Presidential Vice

Attention has been drawn once again to President Barack Obama’s struggle to stop smoking, more than a year after the habit threatened to blight his clean-living campaign image.

Attention has been drawn once again to President Barack Obama’s struggle to stop smoking, more than a year after the habit threatened to blight his clean-living campaign image. The news emerged following a complete physical examination of the president by his doctor. "During Monday's press briefing, Robert Gibbs told reporters, President Obama continues to chew nicotine gum. Gibbs says the President has quit smoking but ‘like anyone he falls off the wagon.’ Gibbs also told reporters the President ‘works hard at it and continues to struggle with it.’ After President Obama’s Sunday physical, his doctor recommended he should continue to stop smoking. Gibbs was asked when and where the President sneaks his cigarettes. Gibbs replied he is not with the President 24 hours of the day. The President has admitted in the past that during the campaign he was smoking up to 5-6 cigarettes per day but Gibbs said he isn't aware the President is up to that level currently."

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
Keep reading Show less