By Mara Hvistendahl
In Asia, mainly China and India, some 160 million women are missing, culled from the population before birth. The oversupply of men in these countries, primarily through the selective abortion of female fetuses, has been attributed to cultural bias. But journalist Mara Hvistendahl says that in the 1960s and 1970s, some Western scientists actually supported selective abortion as a way to slow population growth. The author outlines the consequences of a society with significantly more men than women—bride buying, sex trafficking, psychological disturbance, violence—and leaves us with a scary fact: Sex selection is now spreading to Eastern Europe and to fertility clinics here in the United States. —Sarah Stanley
New Dinosaur Hall in L.A.
Just in time for summer vacationers comes this new, state-of-the-art Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. At 14,000 square feet, the hall is twice the size of the museum’s former dinosaur galleries and houses more than 300 fossils, 20 refurbished skeletons, and an array of manual and digital interactive displays. Innovative viewing platforms allow visitors to get close to the giant relics, often without any glass barriers in between. The exhibit includes a never-before-mounted triceratops and a 68-foot, long-necked Mamenchisaurus. Most impressive of all is a T. rex growth series, the world’s only array of dinosaur specimens showing the same species at different stages of life; it includes the youngest T. rex ever found, a rare juvenile, and a subadult named Thomas. The Dinosaur Hall is part of a seven-year, $135 million remodeling plan to transform the Los Angeles museum into a modern scientific utopia. Opens July 16. —Caroline Spivack
Touted as The Walking Dead meets Aliens, this 10-part series from executive producer Steven Spielberg (again) twists the familiar alien-invasion narrative (again!) by starting six months after the attack. With the look of a big-budget movie, Falling Skies offers up-close views of CGI extraterrestrials who are kidnapping human children for reasons unknown—but presumably nefarious. Noah Wyle stars as Tom Mason, a former history professor who uses his knowledge to help lead a resistance movement, dodging aliens in a postapocalyptic landscape as he tries to rescue his own captive son. Sundays, 10 p.m. EDT