In this issue of Scientific American, "Sculpting the Earth from Inside Out." Powerful motions deep inside the planet do not merely shove fragments of the rocky shell horizontally around the globe - they also lift and lower entire continents. Michael Gurnis reports. How does the brain interpret what the tongue tastes? Authors David V. Smith and Robert F. Margolskee explore the bitter, sweet, salty, and sour world in "Making Sense of Taste." What's the best way to look at a star? If you said an optical telescope, think again. Optical interferometry gives "A Sharper View of the Stars." Columnists Philip and Phylis Morrison look at sodium, salt, and a popular rodent in "The Needy Porcupine." And James Burke's "Connections" column is titled "French Leave," where he discusses matters adulterous, bucolic, passionate, and fugitive.
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