Like all magazines, New Scientist is desperate for any gimmick to attract slackjawed readers from our increasingly video game-addled society of functional illiterates. NS's idea: "neuro-marketing" to design an irresistible cover. The incontrovertible findings: human brains are quite dumb.

No disrespect to New Scientist. The cover (pictured) is very nice. But why did the test subjects subconsciously choose it over the other cover possibilities? Was it the provocative question of the nature of spacetime? The stunning tableau of our majestic universe?

A. K. Pradeep, chief executive of NeuroFocus, said that the winning design incorporated several nice touches. The red lettering is one, and using the word "fabric" and an image of fabric is another, as it provides a nice synchronicity...

"The human brain loves to solve simple puzzles," he said.

Just wait until the magazine industry catches onto scratch-n-sniff covers. Game over!