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On the Cover

May-June 2005 Volume 93, Number 3

Baseball pitchers use spin, or lack thereof, to deceive batters about where a pitched ball will cross home plate. Because a batter must begin to swing when a fastball is only two-thirds of the way to the plate, clues about the ball's spin, and therefore trajectory, are crucial to getting a hit. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Predicting a Baseball's Path

A. Terry Bahill, David Baldwin, Jayendran Venkateswaran

A batter watches the pitcher's motion plus the spin on the ball to calculate when and where it will cross the plate


Science and Religious Fundamentalism in the 1920s *

Edward Davis

Religious pamphlets by leading scientists of the Scopes era provide insight into public debates about science and religion


New Ideas About Old Sharks

Susan Turner, Randall Miller

A rare fossil sheds light on the poorly understood relationship between early sharks and bony fishes


Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background *

Matthew Hedman

Astronomers search for clues about the dynamics of the early universe in the ancient afterglow of the Big Bang


The Lion's Mane *

Peyton West

Neither a token of royalty nor a shield for fighting, the mane is a signal of quality to mates and rivals, but one that comes with consequences


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

"Just a Lonesome Traveler, the Great Historical Bum"

Douglas K. Charles

In After the Ice, Steven Mithen's fictional time traveler, John Lubbock, journeys from 20,000 to 5000 B.C.

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Rumours and Errours

Brian Hayes

Failure can lead to greater self-knowledge, but usually it leads to frustration

MACROSCOPE

Ernst Mayr, Biologist Extraordinaire

Lynn Margulis

A tribute to the eminent evolutionary biologist

SIGHTINGS

Capturing Quantum Corrals

Felice Frankel

Don Eigler and Dominique Brodbeck discuss how they took a snapshot of goings-on in the quantum realm

MARGINALIA

Dinosaurs as a Cultural Phenomenon

Keith Stewart Thomson

Why have dinosaurs gained such a hold on the public's imagination?

ENGINEERING

The Bay Bridge *

Henry Petroski

Oakland's Bay Bridge has a colorful history, but it faces an uncertain future

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Improve Your Image

Roger Harris

Were planetary scientists scooped by a chat group of amateur enthusiasts?

Storm Watch

David Schneider

A tempest erupts over the political neutrality of the best-known climate-change panel

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Soupçons for the Soul

Your Number's Up

Fueling the Debate

FROM THE PRESIDENT


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