Why do the eyes in some paintings appear to follow the viewer around the room, and how do artists achieve this illusion? Manzul Rahim, Lisle, Ill.
Viewing art is typically a one-way street. The feeling that a painting or photograph is also watching you can be both unnerving and awe-inspiring. Artwork, as well as many religious icons in churches and synagogues, has conjured the feeling in many viewers that something animated lies within the eyes that look back at them.
By Gunjan SinhaPosted 05.07.2002 at 3:34 pm 0 Comments
Nicotine becomes habit-forming by hijacking the brain's pleasure pathways. But to better treat nicotine addicts, scientists need to figure out precisely how it does so. University of Chicago researchers led by postdoctoral student Huibert Mansvelder appear to have unlocked much of the mystery.
Animal behavior: Male G. cancriformis spiders prefer to mate with virgins.
By Gunjan SinhaPosted 05.06.2002 at 6:26 pm 0 Comments
When a male spider of the species G. cancriformis goes a-courtin', it's in his evolutionary interest to choose a virgin. That's because a female's first mate almost always gets to fertilize her eggs, while subsequent males wind up with nothing to show for their ardor. Which made Todd Bukowski, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona at Tucson, wonder: How good are these male spiders at spotting virgins?
Ivan Moscovich likes nothing better than a riddle wrapped inside an enigma.
By Charles HirshbergPosted 05.06.2002 at 2:18 pm 0 Comments
Over the course of his amazing life, Ivan Moscovich has been a railroad supervisor, a museum director, an inventor, a researcher for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and an artist. But math and science puzzles are his greatest love, as shown by his recent book, 1,000 Playthinks (Workman Publishing).
When Mickey or Bullwinkle falls to pieces, it's Ron Stark to the rescue!
By Julie BainPosted 05.06.2002 at 11:50 am 0 Comments
Ron Stark couldn't believe it. A woman was approaching him holding a rare piece of original animation from Walt Disney's Fantasia. "It was Mickey Mouse from 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' and she was waving it around like a piece of salami. Flakes of paint were sprinkling off of it," he recalls. "What do I do?" she asked. "Well, the first thing you do," he replied, "is hold it flat."
By Suzanne Kantra KirschnerPosted 05.03.2002 at 4:56 pm 0 Comments
"Ciba Vision has combined the peanut butter and the chocolate," says New York opthamologist Barry Farkas, referring to the company's Focus Night & Day contact lenses, the first designed for continuous 24-hour, 30-day use. The lens is a hybrid of an oxygen-permeable silicon lens (the peanut butter) and a more comfortable soft lens (the chocolate). Under Farkas' care, two Popular Science editors tested Ciba's claims.
Producer Larry Klein takes us behind the scenes of the NOVA
documentary "Why the Towers Fell", a scientific look at the American Society
of Civil Engineers' report of why the World Trade Center collapsed.
By Larry KleinPosted 05.01.2002 at 5:06 pm 0 Comments
NOVA producer Larry Klein, who won a Peabody Award for his NOVA production Building Big, completes a six-month partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers in order to bring NOVA viewers behind the scenes in the investigation into "Why The Towers Fell." In the following essay, Mr. Klein reveals his personal feelings on this project.
Looking back over the months it has taken to produce "Why The Towers Fell,"
my most vivid memories come from the first day of shooting. After weeks of
Chemical senses research: New-car aroma can be hazardous to your health.
By Louisa Wray DaltonPosted 04.23.2002 at 4:06 pm 0 Comments
If you like new cars, you probably love their smell: the mingling scents of taut leather, shiny propylene, and new rubber. Used-car dealers have even been known to spritz the interiors of "pre-owned" autos with an ersatz version of this bouquet. But the real new-car aroma can be hazardous to your health. It has been known to cause headaches, irritated eyes, and even drowsiness, which can be especially dangerous when you're driving your new car home from the lot.