Susmita Baral

Writer/Editor

Location icon United States of America

Portfolio
Rolling Stone
Why Women Troll Women Online

Women are disproportionately the victims of online harassment and the culprits are overwhelmingly men. So it is easy to overlook an unfortunate counterintuitive reality: Women are actively taking part in harassing women on the Internet as much as men, if not more, shaming them on everything from their bodies and sexuality to their lifestyle choices and religion.

Motherboard
10/19/2016
This Is Why We Still Can't Vote Online

Online voting sounds like a dream: the 64 percent of citizens who own smartphones and the 84 percent of American adults with access to the internet would simply have to pull out their devices to cast a ballot. And Estonia-a northern European country bordering the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland-has been voting online since 2005.

Popular Science
09/30/2016
We Are Closer To Curing All Diseases Than We Think

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced an ambitious project-to "invest in basic science research with the goal of curing disease." The couple started by donating $3 billion over 10 years in this initiative, which target four major groups of illnesses: cancer, infectious diseases, as well as heart and neurological diseases.

Quartz
07/01/2016
Can't quit saying 'um' and 'ah'? Just learn how to use them better

Filler words-like, you know, I mean, uh, um-are an inescapable part of our everyday lives. President Barack Obama, a typically eloquent speaker, uses them; they're littered throughout Kim Kardashian's speech; and according to experts, you probably use them every five seconds when you're speaking spontaneously.

Motherboard
09/20/2016
Plastic Surgeons Can 3D Print Your Future Nose Job

Whether it's rhinoplasty or breast augmentation, the general timeline of a cosmetic surgery consultation is relatively consistent: a patient walks in with an idea-often equipped with pictures-and a plastic surgeon outlines what they can do. Historically, doctors have evolved from sketching proposed changes to embracing two-dimensional imaging on computers to incorporating 3D imaging.

NPR.org
01/04/2016
Netflix And Chew: How Binge Watching Affects Our Eating Habits

Bingeing has become many people's favorite way to consume television. But marathon-viewing doesn't just change how we watch, it also affects how we eat. While the culture of the Netflix all-nighter is relatively recent, researchers have been studying the links between TV viewing and mindless eating for years.

Eater
10/19/2015
Neurogastronomy 101: The Science of Taste Perception

Imagine sitting down for a meal after a long day. You're craving delicious comfort food that can lift your spirits with one whiff lingering from the oven. You indulge in a meal that tastes wonderful and leaves you feeling satisfied. Except, instead of macaroni and cheese, you're eating boiled broccoli.

GQ
05/13/2015
The Strange Science of Why Men Love Spicy Food

In the salsa aisle, at the wing joint, or inside the Szechuan noodle house, what kind of man are you-medium? Hot? Exxxtra Atomic Hot? And what, if anything, does that say about you?

Harper's BAZAAR
06/16/2016
This Pop Artist Wants You to Stop Worrying About Your Looks

Growing up in Pakistan, women would routinely apply the skin whitening cream Fair & Lovely to Maria Qamar's face. With her fair complexion, big brown eyes and shiny hazel hair, she was told it would do "wonders" for her skin. It was only years later, after her family immigrated to Canada, that she realized she was covering herself in bleach.

New York Magazine: Science of Us
03/19/2015
Your Personality Could Be Making You Fat

At any given moment, an estimated 108 million people in the United States are on a diet. But despite the fact that the U.S. weight-loss industry makes roughly $20 billion in revenue each year, people continue to fail for one reason or another.

BBC
07/24/2015
Where Buddha was born

Scattered across Asia, from India to South Korea, thousands of Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas and pagodas serve as places of worship and reminders of the principles of Buddhism. But none of these architectural gems hold the symbolic and historical value of Lumbini, a province at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains in the Terai plains of southern Nepal.

Motherboard
10/31/2016
Scientists Are Using the Enzyme That Makes Fireflies Glow to Track Brain Cells

Individual neuron glowing with bioluminescent light produced by a new genetically engineered sensor. Image: Johnson Lab /Vanderbilt University Fireflies and other bioluminescence-producing species (e.g. bacteria, jellyfish, worms, sharks) create light through a chemical reaction in their body catalyzed by an enzyme called luciferase.

Eater
02/15/2016
How the So-Called 'Balanced Breakfast' Reshaped America's Morning Meal

When it comes to breakfast, there is an underlying elitism surrounding what qualifies as a "good breakfast." Eggs and bacon? Great. Leftover pizza? Not so great. Yogurt parfait? Terrific. General Tso's chicken? Not so terrific. Muffins? Fair game. Pie? Not so fair game. The distinction between what or is not acceptable for breakfast seems arbitrary and counterintuitive.

Eater
12/17/2015
What Will It Take for Americans to Eat Insects?

Two billion people around the world consume insects on a regular basis, from Mexico and Venezuela to Cambodia, Thailand, and sub-Saharan Africa. For centuries in the Western gastronomic world, the notion of eating bugs was seen as a dire last resort.

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