By Lauren Goralsky
“You look familiar. How do I know you?”
Walking down the street, attending class, or going to the grocery store, people often ask themselves this question. At times, it may seem that each face is a part of a homogeneous sea. Humans generally share the same basic facial features and expressions across cultures. Yet, our brains have the impressive capacity to distinguish between and identify approximately 5000 faces. So, how exactly are we able to do this?
By Angel Latt
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! In addition to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, we are entering the season of sniffly and stuffy noses, coughs and congestion, and piles of negative rapid tests as we self-diagnose ourselves with the common cold. We blame the rapid drop in temperature or our slightly sick friends we hung out with too closely or even the flu virus. We all have our own little remedies to treat our colds, whether through prescription painkillers or homeopathic teas and salves, we battle off our seasonal colds. However, what is the common cold exactly? Where does it come from? How is it different from the flu? Having gone through this inner turmoil myself recently, I did some digging.
By Charles Bonkowsky
Mantle geologists have it rough.
In its pure form, a sample of the Earth’s red-hot mantle would provide innumerable insights, answering long-standing geologic questions ranging from the precise elemental composition of the planet’s interior to how seismic waves travel. But it’s getting one that’s the tough part. Standing between us and the mantle is several miles of solid rock—that is, the Earth’s crust—and the only way to reach the mantle is straight through.
By Lauren Goralsky
Close your eyes.
The year is 1977, and you are staring at an oversized movie screen in quiet expectation when the words “Star Wars” appear. Fast forward 2 hours to the end of the film, and you find yourself longing for intergalactic space travel, maybe even slightly melancholy that real lightsabers are not for sale at the local Target. While most of us have accepted the fact that we must go through life without handy and deadly lasers by our side, scientists, like the Jedi, have not given up hope. Scientists are currently using the latest laser technology to fight the ultimate earthly enemy: cancer.
By Aidan Eichman
Sarah Connor pulls back the Terminator’s scalp to unveil the cylindrical metal contraption inside the latter’s head. She and her son, John, look for ways to disconnect the robot from its owner’s control. After diving deep into the Terminator’s skull, Sarah removes its central processing unit, immediately placing the Terminator in a fixed state in which it is unable to talk or move. In essence, the robot has been turned off via a metaphorical on-off switch. The audience then must inquire whether or not this intelligent system in the form of a human body is, as a human, sleeping, or whether it is, as a robot, void of any capacity to sleep. The Terminator looks identical to a sleeping human, causing viewers to question the binary separation of robotic functionality and human existence.
By Sydney Wells
When was the last time you composted? If you live in a rural or suburban area, your answer might be “just this morning.” Maybe you have a robust compost pile in your backyard, drive your waste to a compost center, or can toss your banana peels out the window. For those living in metropolitan areas, however, it probably isn’t this simple. In urban areas, people often lack yards, live on high-up apartment floors, and don’t own cars. However, composting in an urban setting is possible, and is easier than most people might think.
By Thilina Balasooriya
For centuries, philosophers have contended that one fundamentally unique quality of humans is their innate creativity. Often paired with intelligence, natural artistry—the ability to conjure emotional and imaginative ideas, often from thin air—is often said to distinctively define humankind. For instance, Socrates believed that poets were divinely inspired, while Imannuel Kant asserted that the imagination and genius of artists followed no rules. However, Aristotle had a different theory; he believed that the poet was rational and goal-oriented in his execution, using almost algorithmic precision to evoke the desired response from the audience. This idea, though unpopular at the time, is taking new meaning in the present-day. A new dilemma is emerging concerning this seemingly inherent human characteristic: can artificial intelligence be creative?
By Ramya Subramanian
Artificial intelligence permeates most aspects of our lives. The device you're reading this article on probably uses some level of artificial intelligence. Whether using google maps to navigate, scrolling through TikTok, accessing gmail, or watching the “recommended section” on Netflix, these programs require AI to create an optimal experience for the user. But, what exactly is AI and how does it improve experiences for us?
By Jianna Martinez
For many people with depression, standard antidepressants have become the only viable treatment option. However, antidepressants are not always effective at treating depression, especially in the long-term. A study by Northwestern University reported that more than half of people on antidepressants, here being SSRI’S, don’t get the relief they need, with 33% experiencing a return of depressive symptoms after taking this medication for a long time. The study highlighted that developers of standard depressants believed that depression is caused by stress or trauma. Therefore, the medication was developed to target aspects of the brain affected by stress or trauma instead of targeting the underlying source of depression among neurons.
Illustration by Summer Renck
By María Valerio Roa
Have you ever watched a movie and felt super scared? Maybe even crying, shivering, and wanting to pee every time you see Coraline’s mom? Wait – I might have gotten a bit too personal there. Putting this out there before even starting: TMI Warning!