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Are Conservatives More Fearful Than Liberals?

The tone of this year’s Republican presidential primary (which now seems destined to last much longerthan Mitt Romney had been planning) seems sort of, well, fearful. One after the other, these would-be presidents have warned of looming threats — war with Iran, economic collapse, class warfare, social disintegration, illegal immigration — and have sought to position themselves as the best candidate for the job of protecting America.

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Why Are People Still Afraid of Atheism?

Plenty of people are reviled for their religious beliefs. But a lack of faith seems to inspire even more intense antipathy.

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Musicians Hear Better Into Old Age

Musicians retain the ability to distinguish speech in noisy conditions far longer than non-musicians. That’s the key finding of a just-published study by two Canadian researchers, who report playing music seems to delay the decay in an aging brain’s central auditory processing system. “This finding suggests that continued practice throughout life may alleviate some of the age-related decline in speech perception often experienced by older adults,” Benjamin Rich Zendel and Claude Alain of the Rotman Research Centre and University of Toronto report in the journal Psychology and Aging.

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How Meditation Makes You More Rational

It’s no secret that humans are not entirely rational when it comes to weighing rewards. For example, we might be perfectly happy with how much money we’re making — until we find out how much more the guy in the next cubicle is being paid.

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The Simple Trick That Can Bolster Willpower At the Supermarket

Do you routinely walk out of the supermarket and find your grocery bags are filled with junk food? Have you bemoaned the fact that, against your better judgment, you can’t resist strolling down the cookies-and-candy aisle? Here’s an idea. Next time you walk into the store, don’t grab one of those little hand-held baskets. Even if you’re only purchasing a few items, push around a cart instead.

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Why Men in Southern States Are More Likely to Die in Accidents

Be a man! That pointed phrase, often offered as a rebuke, means pretty much the same thing the world over. Be strong. Don’t back down. Show some courage.

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Will the FCC Ever Do Its Job and Take on the Telecoms?

FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker announced earlier this month that she’s leaving the agency for a job as the senior vice president of government affairs for Comcast-NBC Universal. The decision wasn’t particularly surprising or even unusual. Public servants exit government all the time for K Street suites where their expertise is more profitable.

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Can Psychedelics Make You Happier?

Mike is hunched over a pile of soggy wood chips at the bottom of a glade in Golden Gate Park. It’s a clear winter afternoon and sunlight filters through the eucalyptus trees, landing on grass still damp from a recent storm. Mike sifts through the wood chips, slowly and deliberately examining the soil beneath. Two paper bags fill a pocket of his Patagonia fleece jacket.

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Making Medical Miracles With Inkjet Printers

You’ve probably owned an inkjet printer or two — one of those homely plastic boxes that performs mundane functions like scanning pictures and spitting out boarding passes while running through pricy ink cartridges like nobody’s business.

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Facebook Linked to Narcissism?

Who uses Facebook? The simple answer is a whole lot of people: The online social network has more than 600 million members.

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