At the start of this new year we crack open some fossils, peer back into ancient seas, and look up at lunar skies to find that a year is not quite as fixed as we thought it was.
"Hey kids," said physicist Tadashi Tokieda, "Wanna see a magic trick?" He pulled out a Slinky and did something that amazed the kids, & their dad Steve Strogatz. Steve, along with Neil deGrasse Tyson, explains what the gravity-defying Slinky trick reveals about the nature of all things great and small (including us).
The mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson posed a big question about mirrors in one of his best-known books: Through the Looking-Glass (yup, Dodgson's pen name was Lewis Carroll). Natasha Gostwick of Storynory reads an excerpt that gets at the heart of the trouble: is mirror milk any good to drink? ...
From hair parts to the origin of the universe, how symmetry shapes our existence.
A mysterious case of the topsy turvies and a return to the question of what felines feel when they fall.
Two stories of falling in everyday life, and one fantastical leap:
6. Falling Asleep: Professor Frederick Coolidge argues that our tree-dwelling ancestors are to blame for a hiccup in our sleeping patterns.
7. Walking as Falling: David Eagleman explains walking as the act of calibrating our steps to turn falls into forward motion.
8. Falling Apart: Neil deGrasse Tyson takes us on a one-way trip into a black hole.
We plunge into a black hole, take a trip over Niagara Falls, and upend some myths about falling cats.