Murderous Twins Paradox, From the Wood, Alumni Decomposition

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Double Jeopardy — … Jane Ridley assesses a tough legal problem in an article with an extremely long headline: “Identical college twins were accused of cheating in an exam by signaling. They won $1.5 million […]

A scholarly classification of British contract killers

Scholarly fans of British hitmen have managed to rank the members of that profession. Hitmen in Britain, according to this study, essentially come in four varieties: Novice, Dilettente, Journeyman, and Master. Details are published in: “The British Hitman: 1974–2013,” Donal MacIntyre, David Wilson, Elizabeth Yardley [pictured here], Liam Brolan, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, […]

Are There Any Non-Carnivorous Plants?

There may be more meat-eating plants out there than we previously thought: It’s all about defining your terms. “Murderous plants: Victorian Gothic, Darwin and modern insights into vegetable carnivory,” Mark W. Chase, Maarten J. M. Christenhusz, Dawn Sanders, Michael F. Fay, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (4), December 2009, pp. 329-356. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.01014.x. The authors […]

Bye-bye, birdman: John E duPont 1938-2010

John E duPont, the multimillionaire (heir to the DuPont chemical fortune), the trained ornithologist who discovered and officially named more than a dozen new (sub)species of birds, collector of stamps, birds and shells, founder of the Delaware Museum of Natural History, the paranoid schizophrenic who was jailed after murdering an Olympic wrestler in 1996, died […]