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Attitudes toward Racial Integration

The third in a series of reports spanning nearly three decades shows a continuing advance in the support of desegregation by U.S. whites. The trend has not been affected by the racial strife of recent years...

By Andrew M. Greeley and Paul B. Sheatsley

The Gum Nebula

This enormous cloud of ionized hydrogen is the largest known nebula in our galaxy. Its full extent and nature are currently the subject of considerable controversy among astrophysicists

By Stephen P. Maran


The term refers to the deathlike state of certain primitive animals that have been almost completely dehydrated. When the animals are moistened, even after decades, they revive.

By John H. Crowe and Alan F. Cooper Jr.


Substances that accelerate chemical reactions without being used up play a major role in producing goods worth more than $100 billion a year. Various techniques help to reveal how a catalyst functions...

By Vladimir Haensel and Robert L. Burwell Jr.

Multistability in Perception

Some kinds of pictures and geometric forms spontaneously shift in their principal aspect when they are looked at steadily. The reason probably lies in the physical organization of the perceptual system...

By Fred Attneave

How Birds Breathe

The avian respiratory system is different from the mammalian one. The lungs do not simply take air in and then expel it; the air also flows through a series of large sacs and even hollow bones...

By Knut Schmidt-Nielsen

The Rotation of the Earth

An analysis of recent measurements indicates that one of the main nonuniformities of the earth's rotation-its tendency to wobble gently about its rotation axis-may be excited by major earthquakes...

By D. E. Smylie and L. Mansinha

The Talking Drums of Africa

In spite of an abundance of tall tales, drum talk is a reality. Moreover, the drummers of Africa may well have been the first to utilize the principle of redundancy in their communications...

By John F. Carrington


  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: December 1971

  • Science and the Citizen: December 1971

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, December 1971

  • Recommended


  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments

    The Authors

  • Annual Index

  • Bibliography

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