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On the Cover

November-December 2012 Volume 100, Number 6

An aerial top view of the Bahá’í House of Worship in New Delhi shows why the building is nicknamed the Lotus Temple. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

The Information Paradox *

Peter J. Denning, Tim Bell

Classical information theory has no room for meaning—but humans persist in assigning meaning. How can we reconcile this difference?


Framing Political Messages with Grammar and Metaphor

Teenie Matlock

How something is said may be as important as what is said


Can Concrete Be Bendable? *

Victor C. Li

The notoriously brittle building material may yet stretch instead of breaking


How the Owl Tracks Its Prey

Masakazu Konishi

Experiments with trained barn owls reveal how their acute sense of hearing enables them to catch prey in the dark


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Sex Is for Real

Mary S. Calderone

A 1969 review of Sex Is for Real (Human Sexuality & Sexual Responsibility), by W. Dalrymple

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITOR

Getting Personal

Despite occasional appearances, science is a highly personal pastime

David Schoonmaker

MACROSCOPE

An Interlude with Dirac

A geodesist remembers Paul Dirac’s visit to the University of Hawaii Lunar Laser Ranging Observatory

William E. Carter

COMPUTING SCIENCE

The Science of Sticky Spheres

On the strange attraction of spheres that like to stick together

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Overarching Problems*

Keystones, whether employed to complete an arch or as a metaphor, require care in their use

Henry Petroski

SLIDE SHOW

100 Years by the Numbers

Take a numerical journey through American Scientist's 100-year history

MARGINALIA

The Cost of the Wild

Restoring an ecosystem to primitive grandeur is no simple matter in a complex world

Pat Shipman

ETHICS

Mentor vs. Monolith

Finding and being a good graduate advisor

Mohamed Noor and Caiti Heil

SIGHTINGS

Computing Dolphin Fin Photo IDs

Image-processing software helps biologists tell which dolphin is which

Catherine Clabby

EVERYDAY SCIENTIST

The Buzz of New Beginnings

Rigging up a new life abroad can be revitalizing

Ralf Dahm

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Interface Facts

Video games allow people all over the world to do scientific research

Katie L. Burke

Kind of a Drag

Hurricane intensity predictions may benefit from more refined estimates of momentum transfer at the sea surface

David Schoonmaker

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Emotional Literacy

Mechanical Drawing

Reluctant Book Reviewers

What a Fir Tree Feels

Tilted Cones

Vocal Spectra

An Experimental Subject

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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