New York, NY — The September/October issue of Popular Science is on newsstands and the iPad.

Your Schedule Could Be Killing You Modern lifestyles are at war with the way our bodies evolved to function, and the battle is wiping us out. Chronobiology could help us get back on track. Plus: you might think you’re in control of your schedule, but your body evolved to follow a natural rhythm. Sticking closer to that routine can help keep you in tiptop shape. Learn the scientifically optimal times to drink coffee, eat, sleep, exercise, be creative and more. (page 58).

Where Does the Day Go? Breathtaking moments might linger in your memory, but they’re not what make up a life. It’s the minutes spent cleaning the toilet and choosing a not-too-hard avocado that add up. PopSci figured out how you’re most likely spending your waking hours in the different stages of your life – and where you can pause to savor them for the lifetime they really are (page 12).

Where Did It All Begin? Life’s first moment just got pushed back. Scientists who specialize in finding signs of the origins of life make pilgrimages to rare sites where primeval rocks survive, hoping to read them. A new geological finding stirs questions—and controversy—about where and when earliest life emerged (page 38).

Watching the Clocks Five experts obsess over lines, faces, places and noses to understand how every second shapes our world and how our minds shape every second. Popular Science reached out to Google’s VP of Material Design, a Barnard College Dog Cognition Researcher, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures’ Time Department’s Director, and more to learn from the very people who define time itself (page 45).

What Came Before the Big Bang? Cosmologists used to think the universe was totally timeless: no beginning, no end. But not everyone thinks the universe had a beginning: some physicists cooked up alternative cosmological theories that make time’s role seem a little less important. The concepts are pretty trippy… (page 52).

Digging Up The Past The lure of treasure hunting is not that of striking proverbial gold (although some do still search for it), but that you never know what historical holdovers the ground will produce. At the right local spot—an old battlefield or remote beach—these tools will allow you to burrow back in time (26).

Tales From the Field Read about how a stroke erased one woman’s sense of past or future; find out what an ecologist takes with him to Antarctica in the summer (when the sun is always out); ruminate on the intersection between life and beyond with the Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, and more (page 75).