Articles on Speed reads

Displaying 1 - 20 of 52 articles

Your nose knows what’s on the way. Lucy Chian/Unsplash

Why you can smell rain

A weather expert explains where petrichor – that pleasant, earthy scent that accompanies a storm's first raindrops – comes from.
A man reads the newspaper by flashlight during the Northeast Blackout in August 2003. AP Photo/Joe Kohen

Keeping the electricity grid running – 4 essential reads

Fifteen years after the Northeast Blackout of 2003 cut power to 50 million people in the US and Canada, experts explain that many threats to the electricity grid remain.
Papa John himself resigned from the company after a report said he used a racial slur. Reuters/Danny Moloshok

What is a ‘poison pill’?

Papa John's is hoping to use the corporate strategy to prevent founder John Schnatter from taking back control over the pizza chain.
An agave plant cutter, or ‘jimador,’ cuts the tips off from agave branches at a Jose Cuervo blue agave field. AP Photo/Guillermo Arias

3 questions about tequila, answered

Is a shot of tequila actually good for you? And what's the deal with the worm? To celebrate National Tequila Day, a food historian explores some little-known aspects of the popular Mexican spirit.
You can’t resist the yawn. Chayanin Wongpracha/Shutterstock.com

What is it about yawning?

Everybody does it, but why? Scientists aren't really sure if exhaustion, stress or some other social factor is at the root of yawning – and how it can be so contagious.
Trump has long talked about halting U.S. participation in the WTO. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

What is the WTO?

Trump has often talked about leaving the World Trade Organization. An economist explains what it is and what would happen if the president had his way.
Increasing the amount of exercise is one way to use the energy stored in fat cells, or to ‘burn’ fat. HoonQ/Shutterstock.com

How does your body ‘burn’ fat?

Trainers and fitness gurus often tell their charges how to 'burn fat.' But what does that actually involve? Here's a Speed Read on something that actually takes a fairly long time.
Members of a ‘particular social group’ may qualify for asylum if they have suffered violence for such traits as gender, sexual identity and sexual orientation. AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal

Why domestic abuse and anti-gay violence qualify as persecution in asylum law

International law recognizes that women and LGBTQ people face unique forms of violence that may qualify them for asylum. The US now asserts that domestic abuse is a 'private' matter.
Despite alarming news, retirees can still rely on their retirement nest eggs. Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock.com

Social Security’s future is safe

Social Security will have to dip into its trust fund to pay benefits this year for the first time since 1982. Should we be worried?
One one thousand, two one thousand…. Eric Ward/Unsplash

How far away was that lightning?

When you see a bolt of lightning, do you immediately start counting to see how far off a storm is? An atmospheric scientist parses the practice.
Children are often sad when separated from their parents for a short time, but the effects are pronounced if the separation is long. Eakachai Lessin/Shutterstock.com

Why long-term separation from parents harms kids

Kids often experience anxiety when separated from parents for short periods. Longer separations, happening with some immigrant children, is a different matter, a leading child psychiatrist explains.

Top contributors

More