This issue of Scientific American asks the question, "Are We Almost Tapped Out?" It offers a series of stories about the state of the world's water supplies. In "Making Every Drop Count," freshwater expert Peter Gleick explains why clean water is a rare commodity for billions. Even when there is water for drinking, what about having enough for irrigation? Sandra Postrel tackles that issue in "Growing More Food with Less Water." Is the era of Edison's light coming to an end? Three pioneers in the field of light emitting diodes (LEDs) say yes. M. George Cranford, Nick Holonyak, Jr., and Frederick Kish, Jr. illuminate the near future in an article called "In Pursuit of the Ultimate Lamp." Also, do you ever feel like a sap because you fell for a sales pitch? "The Science of Persuasion" should make you feel better. Columnists Philip and Phylis Morrison ask whether we've characterized the beginning of the universe correctly, in "The Big Bang: Wit or Wisdom?" And James Burke's Connections column ties together body-snatching, mastodons, war, and raincoats.
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