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On the Cover

May-June 2006 Volume 94, Number 3

Continually changing scenes can keep a child (or adult) riveted to a television screen for hours. Why are fast-changing images in a video game or music video so intensely pleasurable? In "Perceptual Pleasure and the Brain," Irving Biederman and Edward A. Vessel propose that the human brain has evolved a craving for information that can be satisfied through continual visual stimulation. ...


 

DEPARTMENTS

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Gauss's Day of Reckoning

Brian Hayes

A famous story about the boy wonder of mathematics has taken on a life of its own

MACROSCOPE

The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs

Robert S. Gable

Alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances

SIGHTINGS

When Less Might Be More

Felice Frankel

An aquatic protozoan yields its secrets under a polarized-light microscope

ENGINEERING

Things Small and Large *

Henry Petroski

"Testing" designs of different sizes poses varied challenges, but failure analysis remains key

SCIENCE OBSERVER

A Helix with a Handle

Fenella Saunders

Mathematicians prove the existence of a new class of minimal surfaces

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

David Schoonmaker

Clouds sometime increase, rather than reduce, levels of ultraviolet radiation

Watch and Learn

Christopher R. Brodie

Benchwarming pays off for the archer fish

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Comings and Goings

Statistically Significant

Einstein and Company

A Climate of Change

Bright Lights

FROM THE PRESIDENT

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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