The Knightscope K5 Security Robot

Do Security Robots Signal the Death of Public Space?

A security robot targets the homeless, raising questions about whether private companies can expand their security detail to public spaces like sidewalks.
A computer screen reflected in glasses

To Cope with Digital Distraction, Embrace Digital Neurodiversity

The internet is changing our brains. Our columnist suggests that maybe this isn't such a bad thing.
A contraption used to extract the silk from a spider

The Tangled History of Weaving with Spider Silk

Spider silk is as strong as steel and as light as a feather, but attempts to industrialize its production have gotten stuck, so to speak.
Neon text on the side of a building reads "All we have is words, all we have is worlds."

The Hidden Life of Modal Verbs

A linguist explains why we get so distracted by the fiery language of politics, while ignoring urgent information reported by scientists.
Otto Marseus van Schrieck - Stilleben mit Insekten und Amphibien, 1662

A Recipe for Flies and Frogs

And other wonders of spontaneous generation.
Factories Emitting Pollution

Why Climate Change Is a National Security Issue

Viewing climate change through a national security lens makes a certain amount of sense -- but it won't entirely solve the problem.
creepy old house at night

There’s Someone Buried under the Floor!

The story of a building that will not stand until a living human being is imprisoned in its foundations is so common as to form it own genre.
The U.S. Capitol Building at night

Has the Internet Weakened Our Political Institutions?

According to our columnist, the internet has destabilized many of the informal institutions that underpin our democracy.
hawaii stars lava mana

The Mysterious Mana of Speaking

The Austronesian concept of "mana" helps us understand that behind the monolithic "magic" of modern power and authority, there is a fragile human dimension.

A Book of Divination for the End of the World

The Falnama, or Book of Omens, combined apocalyptic representations from many sources. Say a prayer, ask your question, and flip to a random page.