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Cream of the Cool

Researching oxytocin takes you in one of two directions.

Explaining its chemistry is not something that can be done easily with plain language. Greek tells you that it means "quick birth." This tells you nothing.

Oxytocin is a nonapeptide. Peptides are combinations of amino acids. "nona" is nine — Oxytocin is a combination of nine amino acids. If you are a neurologist, you probably wrote down and memorized a mnemonic expressing the order of these acids to better…

Affluenza has cropped up more recently as a criminal defense, and even as an after-the fact consideration in criminal sentencing. Two recent criminal cases highlight this. The first was the case of Ethan Couch, a Texas teenager who killed four people while driving drunk. His defense as articulated in testimony on his behalf by a psychologist was, literally:
“He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way.... He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no

This is the phrase which, according to tradition, will improve any given New Yorker cartoon if substituted for the caption. It should strictly be formatted as a line of dialogue: »Christ, what an asshole.« Try it; it's surprisingly effective.


The Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (sometimes known as FOBS) is the stepchild of physics, strategy and politics. It was designed and built by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and decommissioned in 1983. Its name reflects the legal nitpicking around its nature.

In 1967, the world was quite familiar with ICBMs. They were the premier means of threatening atomic attack against other nations. However, their use (theoretical or actual) was subject to a number of challenges. On…