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China’s Urban Ghosts (Aeon)
by Andrew Kipnis
Compared with the countryside, Chinese cities have different attitudes toward family and strangers, and different ways of dealing with death. That may explain a particularly urban kind of ghost story.

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For Studying the Past, Lice are Nice (Smithsonian Magazine)
by Brian Handwerk
Lice love people. In fact, the two species are so close that studying the insects’ DNA can shed light on important prehistoric developments, from our adoption of clothing to the arrival of people from different parts of the world in the Americas.

How to Count to Five (Quanta Magazine)
by Yasemin Saplakoglu
The question of how the human brain processes numbers doesn’t have a single answer. That’s because there seem to be two different ways we quantify our world, with a clear threshold at the number four.

Reasons Not to Go to Mars (Undark)
by Christie Aschwanden
For many Earthlings, the idea of colonizing space is exciting to imagine. But if we look a little closer, questions about how we’d really live on Mars or any other outpost in the solar system become a lot more difficult to answer.

Mercury in Retrograde, Scientifically Speaking (Open Mind)
by Trisha Muro
To an astronomer, Mercury being in retrograde has no impact on human affairs. But that doesn’t mean the phenomenon isn’t meaningful. In fact, it was a key ingredient in one of the most dramatic scientific revolutions in history.

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