Read A Short Story Prequel To Fight Club, Featuring Tyler Durden

Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk’s new book of short stories comes out later this month, and among them is a story featuring the enigmatic Tyler Durden. That story, “Expedition,” is already online, so we can read what happens when a self-important writer looking to exploit the denizens of a vice district encounters… » 5/14/15 11:40am 5/14/15 11:40am

A Look Inside The Mind Of Revolutionary Neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth

If you work in neuroscience, or follow the field, you probably know who Karl Deisseroth is. At the very least, you’re familiar with his methods. He’s best known for his development of optogenetics, a technique that enables researchers to manipulate individual neurons with light. Today, Deisseroth estimates the… » 5/12/15 2:20pm 5/12/15 2:20pm

Are Female Condoms Finally Ready For A Second Chance?

Two decades after the “windsock” was nearly laughed off the market, a radical redesign has made the female condom more user-friendly. In a feature for Mosaic, Emily Anthes outlines the device’s history and how training in its use may help give women more choices for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted… » 5/08/15 1:00am 5/08/15 1:00am

How Should We Address Science's Selective Memory?

At Slate, Ben Lillie reflects on the ongoing battle between those who would build a colossal, $1.5-billion telescope atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea and the native Hawaiians who regard the dormant volcano as a sacred place. The conflict, says Lillie, is emblematic of a larger, and largely unspoken, truth about science: that… » 5/01/15 1:40pm 5/01/15 1:40pm

The Odd Children's Books That Taught Jonathan Lethem About Storytelling

Some of the best children's books are actually quite strange, even dreamlike. And this is especially true of kids' books from the 1960s and 1970s. In an interview with BoingBoing, author Jonathan Lethem talks about the kids' books that he loved, including the "mysterious and rich" Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (above). » 4/14/15 1:19pm 4/14/15 1:19pm

A Particle Accelerator in Space Could Trigger Artificial Auroras 

Auroras appear according to the whims of nature, not humans, which might just be part of their eerie appeal. But c’mon, it’s the 21st century now. Why are we just waiting around? So here’s a crazy idea unearthed by Mark Zastrow writing in Eos: Let’s a build a particle accelerator to trigger auroras whenever we want. » 4/09/15 12:00am 4/09/15 12:00am

How Katherine Kurtz Changed Fantasy Books Forever

She doesn't get the same level of props as Michael Moorcock. But Katherine Kurtz, author of the Deryni novels, had a huge impact on fantasy, argues a new essay over at Strange Horizons. Starting in 1970, her books were the first of a new kind of fantasy — closer to historical fiction than epic quest narratives. » 4/03/15 10:44am 4/03/15 10:44am

Economists Who Study Science Fiction Will See Science More Realistically

There are definitely plenty of economists who love science fiction — Paul Krugman comes to mind immediately. But economics could still benefit from more attention to the genre, argues economist Ha-Joon Chang from Cambridge University. But Chang's reasons for recommending SF might be a bit surprising. » 3/26/15 1:59pm 3/26/15 1:59pm

"Sex For Sunscreen," And Other Rejected Story Ideas For Lost Season 1

Back when Lost was nothing but an outline for the most expensive pilot to date, the writers were struggling to come up with more story ideas. Including stuff like: "Shannon trades sexual favors for sunscreen, which has rapidly become the most prized commodity on the island." That's just one of the revelations from a… » 3/24/15 3:38pm 3/24/15 3:38pm

The Time Activists Tried to Destroy GPS With an Axe in the 90s 

If you had heard of GPS in 1992, you likely heard about it because of the Gulf War. For the first time, GPS was used to precisely guide missiles to Iraqi targets. With this context in mind, it perhaps makes more sense why two activists would want to hack a GPS satellite to pieces. » 3/06/15 12:02am 3/06/15 12:02am

What Burger King's Super-Disturbing Mascot Teaches Us About Creepiness

Back in the mid-2000s, Burger King had a really unnerving ad campaign where a man in a plastic Burger King mask breaks into people's houses and watches them sleep. Over in the New Inquiry, Adam Kotsko uses the skin-crawling mascot, the King, as a jumping-off point to discuss the history of creepiness. » 3/02/15 2:27pm 3/02/15 2:27pm