Table of Contents December 1996

Discover Magazine's mission is to enable readers to lead richer lives by explaining and expanding their universe.  Each month we bring you in depth information and analysis from various topics ranging from technology and space to the living world we live in.
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They're neither as boring or as exciting as they've sometimes been painted.
In a lab in Boulder, one physicist is building a clock that will not gain or lose a second for 300 million years. Next door, a colleague is putting together one accurate for 30 billion years. And when they've finished those, they'll start working on better ones.
The spectacular supernova of 1987 left a hole astronomers have tried to plug for nine years.
Evolutionary biologists are always struggling to discover what evolution has long ago figured out--such as why, or if, ladies like a massive sperm-depositing organ, and gentlemen prefer paired fat deposits on the female form.
Quickly shifting currents can radically alter Earth's climate.
The remains of an 11-year-old who lived and died 800,000 years ago have been found in northern Spain, at a place called Atapuerca. The child's people may have been the ancestors of Neanderthals. But the child's face was ours.