Curiosities

Culture, ideas and society.

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For the new year, we’re sharing our conversation with psychologist Wendy Wood, who told us that changing habits and keeping goals isn’t about willpower — it’s about tapping into our unconscious selves.

Zak Podmore / The Salt Lake Tribune

How can a simple column of metal capture the world’s imagination? Easy: Put it in Utah’s Red Rock Country and suggest it’s the work of extraterrestrial beings.

This week, the world lost James "The Amazing" Randi, who died at the age of 92 on Oct. 20. Randi was a renowned magician and escape artist, but, as we learned in 2014, he couldn't abide charlatans. 

Renee Bright / KUER

The writer Bill Buford wanted to learn the secrets of French haute cuisine. So, he went native. Buford and his family moved to Lyon, France, where he undertook a rigorous, enlightening and delectable education.

Renee Bright / KUER

  It has all the makings of a Hollywood film: A Harvard-trained psychologist approaches a professional poker player about showing her the in’s and out’s of the world of high stakes poker as a way to study human behavior. 

Renee Bright / KUER

Most of us think we want knowledge and information. We search online, hungrily looking for answers to our questions.

Renee Bright / KUER

In 1906, an earthquake destroyed scientist David Starr Jordan’s collection of newly discovered fish. His life’s work was utterly ruined. And yet he tried, very literally, to put the pieces back together.

Tim Slover / KUER

If trees could speak to us, what might they say? 

Renee Bright / KUER

 

Have you ever felt like an outsider, feeling that you don’t quite fit in with the group around you? That feeling, says science writer Olga Khazan, might actually work to our advantage. 

Renee Bright / KUER

 

Take a breath. Like, right now. Did you use your nose or your mouth? Turns out, that matters.

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