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On the Cover

May-June 2011 Volume 99, Number 3

Female loons typically lay two eggs, a day apart. By the time the second hatches, the first chick is usually already on the water; it is rare to see two chicks in the nest at the same time. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Global Energy: The Latest Infatuations

Vaclav Smil

In energy matters, what goes around, comes around—but perhaps should go away


Marking Loons, Making Progress *

Walter Piper, Charles Walcott, Jay Mager

Striking discoveries about the social behavior and communication of common loons are revealed by a low-tech approach: individual marking of study animals


Pliocene Climate Lessons *

Marci M. Robinson

An ongoing reconstruction of a warmer Earth 3 million years ago helps test climate-change forecasts


Porphyrins: One Ring in the Colors of Life *

Franck E. Dayan, Emilie A. Dayan

A class of pigment molecules binds King George III, vampires and herbicides


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

A Bold New Bird Book

Michael Szpir

A review of The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds, by Richard Crossley. Crossley has crammed more than 10,000 photographs of birds onto this book’s 640 plates, each of which presents a single species in a lifelike scene typical of its habitat

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

MACROSCOPE

The Man Behind the Curtain

Physics is not always the seamless subject that it pretends to be

Tony Rothman

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Bit Lit

With digitized text from five million books, one is never at a loss for words

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Controlled Demolition*

Removing structures can require nearly as much planning as building them

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

Jefferson's Old Bones

Did the so-called father of American vertebrate paleontology believe in fossils?

Keith Thomson

SLIDE SHOW

The Romance of Ants

In this slide show we present the story of entomologist Corrie Moreau, told comic-book style

Alexandra Westrich, Matt Matcuk

ETHICS

Authorship Diplomacy

Cross-national differences complicate allocation of credit and responsibility

Melissa S. Anderson, Felly Chiteng Kot, Marta A. Shaw, Christine C. Lepkowski and Raymond G. De Vries

SIGHTINGS

Serious Science, Comic-Book Style

A myrmecological comic brings entomologist Corrie Moreau’s journey to life

Catherine Clabby

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Dying Generously

For some single-celled organisms, self-destruction is neighborly

Elsa Youngsteadt

Making Better Maps of Food Deserts

Neighborhoods with little or no access to healthful food can be located and studied using GIS mapping

Anna Lena Phillips

Paleogenomic Puzzles

DNA sequences of extinct hominins could rewrite human ancestry

Catherine Clabby

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Travel to the Stars

Level-headed Peer Review

The Perfect Dome

Cave Controversy

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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