What do you really need to know about the universe?

I've spent the last three years writing the "Ask a Physicist" column in which you folks have sent me some great questions about black holes and warp drives and so on, (and please keep 'em coming). But why? How much do you really need to know about the universe? » 9/17/13 10:20am 9/17/13 10:20am

Why zoning out reveals the evolutionary origins of consciousness

Letting your mind wander allows you to be introspective, and to think in abstract ways most other animals cannot. And yet rats possess the same brain structures we use for introspection — which suggests deeper evolutionary roots for introspection and, by extension, consciousness itself. » 10/13/11 2:16pm 10/13/11 2:16pm

Being fooled by optical illusions might mean you're more self-aware

Not everyone reacts to optical illusions equally: some are completely fooled by them, while others just can't see what all the fuss is about. It depends on the size of your visual cortex...and that can determine how introspective you are. » 6/30/11 12:02pm 6/30/11 12:02pm