Table of Contents August 2006

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.
Digital editions


If a father of two tells you one of his children is a boy, what are the odds that the other child is also a boy?
He tried to explain gravity but left a giant mess for today's physicists to clean up.
Everyone from GM to President Bush is suddenly infatuated with ethanol. Here's how Big Corn could really replace Big Oil.
Urban planners zero in on the areas of the Gulf Coast most vulnerable to the threat of extreme weather.
In the wildest place in the continental United States, visitors flirt with untrammeled nature, while scientists try to study, defend, and preserve it.
One physicist's ideas could overthrow Newton and Einstein—and tear up our whole picture of how the universe is put together.
An emerging movement known as positive psychology aims to provide a scientifically validated set of exercises, known as interventions, that lead happiness seekers to the grail.


When everyone knows everything, what will be the point?
The master of the computer god game tackles alien life and dreams up a world that would make Darwin drool.
Now seventeen years after the most damaging oil spill in U.S. history, what's happened to the affected Alaskan environment?
Dark truths about the rise of Silicon Valley and art made in a psychiatric hospital. Plus: the place to hear Earth sing.
A seemingly simple stumble provides clues to serious injury.
Measuring changes in the Earth's magnetic field.
Is language descended from musical mating calls?
X-ray slaps, the Tears of St. Lawrence, and the fiddly asteroid/meteoroid/meteor/meteorite distinction.


The Army adds shock treatment to target practice.
Nearly 40 years after Apollo, Russia eyes moon tourists—and the Red Planet.
Now your cell phone can help monitor the intensity of rainfall.
Ancient skulls show that interpersonal feuds were a frequent cause of death in the Stone Age.
A team of amateur cryptologists tries to crack previously undecoded Nazi messages.
When a day lasts 90 minutes, how often does a Muslim astronaut pray?
Scientists find a strain of super-mice that just can't get cancer.
Giant sand-dune deserts on Titan are strikingly similar to those on Earth.
Introduced deer likely drove bears extinct on a Canadian island because they ate all the berries.
Some of the most fascinating places out there are facing the wrong way.