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  • Questions for Loneliness can breed disease

    SCIENCE

    Before reading

    1. When socializing, what activities do you like to share with friends?

    2. What feelings do you experience while socializing?

    During reading

    1.   What does it mean to be a “social animal?”

    2.   Why is it useful to study hunter-gathers such as the !Kung?

    3.   How does living in a tight-knit community benefit the !Kung?

    4.   Define “chronic” loneliness.

    5.   What do persistent loneliness, cigarettes, alcohol and obesity all share in common?

    6.   What data do the story offer to suggest loneliness is common?

    7.   Why would chronic loneliness be common among some gay men?

  • Questions for World’s coolest clock

    SCIENCE

    Before reading:

    1.    A century ago, watches and clocks were made using a system of interlocking gears. Explain why the rotation of those gears might tell time. How might the size of those gears affect a clock’s accuracy?

    2.    The world’s atomic clocks have a precision most people cannot wrap their heads around. Can you envision why that level of accuracy would be helpful to cell-phone systems or the electric power grid?

    During reading:

    1.    How many years would have to go by before the newest atomic clock might lose or gain one second of time?

  • Cyberspace chemistry earns a Nobel

    The achievements behind the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry relied on a lot of complex physics. But the computer techniques pioneered by these three men are now saving chemists a lot of work.

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