Pradeep Mutalik

Puzzle Columnist

insights puzzle

Can Darwinian Evolution Explain Lamarckism?

May 11, 2017

Answering three questions can help reveal how the “inheritance of acquired characteristics” fits into modern evolutionary theory.

Illustration: black, numbered cats crossing a calendar. An extra "13" lurks in the background.
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Friday the 13th’

April 26, 2017

There’s more than one good way to bring order to our unruly, seemingly arbitrary calendar.

Illustration: black, numbered cats crossing a calendar. An extra "13" lurks in the background.
insights puzzle

Is It Friday the 13th Again?

April 6, 2017

How our society defines years, months and weeks can seem frustratingly arbitrary. Can you bring order to our unruly calendar?

Still illustration: changing genes
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘A Ticking Evolutionary Clock’

April 3, 2017

How to calculate when a gene’s rate of evolution will slow to a crawl.

GIF illustration: changing genes
insights puzzle

A Ticking Evolutionary Clock

March 16, 2017

How quickly will a gene’s rate of evolution slow to a crawl?

Illustration: balloon modelling as a metaphor for entanglement
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Taming Quantum Weirdness’

March 10, 2017

A simple analogue could offer insights into one of the most astonishing results of quantum mechanics.

Illustration: balloon modelling as a metaphor for entanglement
insights puzzle

How to Tame Quantum Weirdness

February 16, 2017

Can balloon animals help blunt uneasy feelings about “spooky action at a distance”?

Illustration: bucket half-full of amoebas.
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘How Many Half-Lives?’

January 27, 2017

When do negative results from a half-life experiment mean a theory is dead?

Illustration: bucket half-full of amoebas.
insights puzzle

How Many Half-Lives Do You Have?

January 12, 2017

Gaining an intuition about half-life requires some unintuitive thinking.