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Weekend Reads 4/11/15

Why do we have allergies?

We might have more effective treatments if scientists understood allergies, but a maddening web of causes underlies allergic reactions. Cells are aroused, chemicals released, signals relayed. Scientists have only partially mapped the process. And there’s an even bigger mystery underlying this biochemical web: why do we even get allergies at all?

How fundies miss out on the fun (the Synoptic Problem is not that kind of ‘problem’)

We lump those three Gospels together like this because they’re all so closely related. They all contain identical or nearly identical chunks of text — whole stories that seem copied from one another. But if so, who was copying who? That is what we mean when we talk about the “synoptic problem.”

The Brontosaurus might be a real dinosaur again

A team of paleontologists working out of Morrison Colorado has completed a survey of sauropod bones, meticulously categorizing the different types and decided that enough separates the “Brontosaurus” from the Apatosaurus (what we thought all Brontosauruses really were) to allow the beast to have its own genus once again.

Generation X: America’s neglected ‘middle child’

Gen Xers also stand out in another way. In 2010 when Pew Research asked adults of all ages if they thought their own generation was unique, about six-in-ten Boomers and Millennials said yes. But only about half of Gen Xers said the same.


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