Table of Contents October 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.
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A new book explores how flowering plants beat out the competition on ancient Earth.

NASA scientists prepare for an unprecedented look at the Red Planet's ancient seas and modern ice fields—key sites in the ongoing search for life.

A trove of letters reveals a man of worldly affairs. Yes, that kind of affair.
He was a brilliant scientist, yes, but also a thoughtful philosopher and a master of his own celebrity.
The former Speaker—now a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination—talked to DISCOVER in 2006 about evolution, stem cells, Washington's two cultures, and why kids should be paid to take science and math.
A quarter century's worth of DISCOVER advertisements reveals a radically changing world.
A surprisingly simple manipulation shows how infinity can trick our intuition.
Ten years after the publication of The End of Science, John Horgan says the limits of scientific inquiry are more visible than ever.


Does time come together like an island of boats floating on the open seas?
How abhorrence and attraction affect our bioethical judgment.

Our picks explore why Edison electrocuted an elephant named Topsy, a chance to commune with Mendel's peas, and how cartoons taught adults good hygiene.

The increased detail of HDTV may decrease our viewing pleasure.
The king who tried to kill the prizes, what goes through the minds of cockroaches as they watch Star Wars, and more.
Apparently, yes. Most volunteers say psilocybin experiences are spiritually significant.

Primatologists devise ways to revitalize the population of Brazilian tamarins.

Why China has as many IP addresses as an American university, which ISP should be called "Spamalot," and more.
The injury seemed recent, but its origins were not.


Platypuses are peculiar, but 20 million years ago, Australia was home to even weirder wildlife.
Can a chemical cocktail turn any old adult cell into a stem cell?

In only a million years we'll have an eighth continent, courtesy of the drift between African and Arabian tectonic plates.


Van Gogh's Starry Night, painted in an insane asylum, accurately models a mystery of physics.

A tip-off from a taxi driver reveals how bush meat gets to Brooklyn.
Strap on your iron helmet: Zapping your brain with magnetic flux makes you (temporarily) smarter.
Does sleep allow us to cull out and delete the throngs of ordinary, unimportant memories from each day?
Researchers find a full 12,000 genes that act differently in male and female mice, a finding that could lead to sex-specific medicine.

A mysterious device found in Greek waters was "all-in-one astronomical device" used by ancient astronomers.

The world's largest desert was once a green Eden. One day it will be again.
Bye-bye, Bordeaux: Global warming threatens the world's best vineyards.
Researchers say 4,500 years ago, some Mexicans hacked off their own teeth to the gum line and plugged in jaguar dentures.