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Kyle Hill

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Kyle Hill is a science writer who specializes in finding the secret science in your favorite fandom. He writes for the Scientific American Blog Network at his blog, But Not Simpler. Hill also contributes to Slate, Wired, Nature Education, Popular Science, and io9. He manages Nature Education's Student Voices blog, is a contributor to Al Jazeera America’s science show TechKnow, and you can follow him on Twitter under @Sci_Phile.

Identified Flying Objects

Reductio ad Absurdum
October 30, 2013
Identified Flying Objects

If aliens really did visit Earth, we would quickly confirm their presence with the most distributed evidence in the history of human sharing. “Viral” wouldn’t even begin to describe it.

Diamonds: A Doctor’s Best Friend

Reductio ad Absurdum
October 17, 2013
Diamonds: A Doctor’s Best Friend

When crystals really do generate happiness, health, and well-being, diamonds are everyone’s best friend.

The Feng Shui Way: A Catastrophe For City Planning

Reductio ad Absurdum
September 25, 2013
The Feng Shui Way: A Catastrophe For City Planning

Dick Van Dyke’s home had terrible feng shui. Improper positioning had him stumbling, fumbling, and tumbling all over the house. The futon in the living room had a particularly negative qi about it. To think of all the slapstick sitcoms we would be deprived of if feng shui were true…

Billions and Billions of Planets and Stars, Twelve Personalities

Reductio ad Absurdum
September 12, 2013
Billions and Billions of Planets and Stars, Twelve Personalities

You are not special, the stars and planets decided that at your birth. In fact, all your complexities and quirks, your desires and passions, everything you have done or will do fits neatly into what looks like a twelve-slice pie chart laden with calligraphy.

A Million Poisoning Planes

Reductio ad Absurdum
August 14, 2013
A Million Poisoning Planes

Millions of planes criss-cross the skies, dumbing down the populace with secret and powerful chemical agents. Every time you board a plane, you can’t look out a window without seeing one of these jet-powered poisoners. There is always danger overhead when chemtrails really do cover the sky.

Moonacy

Reductio ad Absurdum
July 31, 2013
Moonacy

Our moon has about as much gravitational effect on the body of any one person as a mosquito sitting on someone’s arm. If the amount of gravity the moon commands really did affect rates of crime, suicide, homicide, depression, and accidents, any swarm of the pests would be a flying disaster waiting to happen.

When All of Us Are Nostradamus

Reductio ad Absurdum
July 11, 2013
When All of Us Are Nostradamus

Peeking at the hand fate dealt you is commonplace in a world where psychics actually exist. For them, the future is as clear as the past, though abilities would range from Spidey sense to Oracle at Delphi.

Blame the Victim, But Get a Bentley

Reductio ad Absurdum
June 27, 2013
Blame the Victim, But Get a Bentley

If brain waves could really make it out of the head and into some cosmic crucible of creation, neurology would be radically transformed (not to mention that it would become the most groundbreaking science in history).

The Life of Death

Reductio ad Absurdum
June 12, 2013
The Life of Death

More humans have died than you will ever meet, see, or learn about. Since our split from the apes, Earth has been littered with the detritus of human demise—nearly 110 billion bodies. If spirits did live on after death, most of the people you meet will have already met their end. Every single house on Earth would be haunted by default.

The Miracle of Molecular Medicine

Reductio ad Absurdum
May 30, 2013
The Miracle of Molecular Medicine

The germ theory of disease allowed modern science to dissipate the harmful miasma that pre-modern medicine sought to remedy. But the organisms that can make us sick are nowhere near as dangerous as a world where every particle might be poison. It’s a world where homeopathy works.

Magnet People: How Do They Work?

Reductio ad Absurdum
May 13, 2013
Magnet People: How Do They Work?

The first in a hopefully fun and informative series of columns, I want to kick-off Reductio ad Absurdum with a look at so-called “magnetic people.” As will be the case for all the columns, never mind that there is no evidence for these gaussy guys and gals, what would the world be like if people really did generate a noticeable or even intense magnetic field?

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