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Opinion

Letters to the Editor<p>On this day

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Plane Search Shows World's Oceans Are Full of Trash

Search for missing Malaysian plane shines spotlight on giant ocean garbage patches.<p>Before Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, sea trash was not a global headliner.<p><b>But as hundreds of objects sighted off the Australian coast as possible aircraft debris turn out to be discarded fishing</b> …

How Global Warming Will Affect Your Beer

A pilot study examines how drought affects the quality of starch in barley.<p>There are many things that will change as Earth's climate warms. Doctoral student Peter Gous is worried about the price and quality of beer.<p>The aspiring plant bioengineer worked with a team of scientists to test how not …

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APOD: A Solar Eclipse from the Moon (2014 Apr 07) Video Credit: NASA, Surveyor 3; Acknowledgement: R. D. Sampson (ECSU) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140407.html Explanation: Has a solar eclipse ever been seen from the Moon? Yes, first in 1967 -- but it may happen again next week. The robotic Surveyor 3 mission took thousands of wide angle television images of the Earth in 1967, a few of which captured the Earth moving in front of the Sun. Several of these images have been retrieved from the NASA archives and compiled into the above time-lapse video. Although the images are grainy, the Earth's atmosphere clearly refracted sunlight around it and showed a beading effect when some paths were blocked by clouds. Two years later, in 1969, the Apollo 12 crew saw firsthand a different eclipse of the Sun by the Earth on the way back from the Moon. In 2009, Japan's robotic Kaguya spacecraft took higher resolution images of a similar eclipse while orbiting the Moon. Next week, however, China's Chang'e 3 mission, including its Yutu rover, might witness a new total eclipse of the Sun by the Earth from surface of the Moon. Simultaneously, from lunar orbit, NASA's LADEE mission might also capture the unusual April 15 event. Another angle of this same event will surely be visible to people on Earth -- a total lunar eclipse. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1967-035A http://www.easternct.edu/physicalscience/faculty_website/sampson.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140407 #APOD

Stay Up Late? You're More Likely To Be Single, New Study Suggests

According to new research, your sleep patterns say a lot about your romantic life.<p>A study out of the University of Chicago analyzed the effects of sleep patterns on human behavior and found that male and female "night owls" (NOs) -- defined as people who go to sleep late and wake up late -- were …

Is Anti-Gravity Possible? Brian Greene's WSU Has The Answer

By now you've probably heard about Neil deGrasse Tyson's reboot of <i>Cosmos</i>, running every Sunday night on FOX (yes, that FOX) for the last few weeks. It was a controversial step to take Carl Sagan's beloved early 1980s-era tour of the universe and revamp it for the modern era. According to most …

58 Phrases That Will Help You Be Your Best Self

By Tiarra Rossman,<p>Comment<br>• FlagFlagged<br>• http://tcat.tc/1extOgs<p>In time I’ve listened, noted, and gathered the following; a collection of sayings, bits of …

What Does "The" Mean?

It’s the most frequent word in the English language, accounting for around 4 percent of all the words we write or speak. It’s everywhere, all the …

How Can You Avoid Offending People When Traveling Abroad?

When you travel abroad, you always want to mind your manners. Here’s an easy guide to behaving brilliantly around the world.<p>Norway<p>Remember how …

Global warming led to dwarfism in mammals, twice, says study

Mammal body size decreased significantly during at least two ancient global warming events. A new finding suggests a similar outcome is possible in …

Witch Head nebula

Sure, Halloween is over, but check out this witch!<p>It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to see the screaming witch’s head in this new image of nebula …

Smile, Say Cheezburger.

Popular Science Blogs<p>Boxplot<p>Exploring the world of science through graphic narrative. By Maki Naro<p>Wildlife conservationists can't be everywhere, nor can they be watching for animals nonstop. Combined with the sheer size of many wildlife preserves, mortal concerns such as the need for sleep, food, …

RT @EVNautilus: It looks like a flower, but this stalked glass sponge we found on the seafloor at Kick 'em Jack is indeed an animal. http://t.co/gxcYasIVmD

Great photos: Moon and Venus on November 6, 2013

Some wonderful images of last night’s moon and Venus, as seen from around the world. Thanks to all who posted on EarthSky’s Facebook page!<p>Deborah …

Telescope finds new hunting ground for black holes

When a team of astronomers discovered two black holes in a collection of stars known as a globular cluster, they weren’t sure if the black holes’ …

Why Do Humans Have a Fear of Insects?

Author Dr. Jeffrey Lockwood tries to answer that question<p>Why do so many people have a fear of insects? Is it ingrained, or a byproduct of modern culture? Jeffrey Lockwood, an insect ecologist and philosopher at the University of Wyoming, tries to answer such questions in his new book: <i>The Infested</i> …

Insects

Teens may mimic mom’s troubled friendships

Adolescents are more likely to model their mothers’ conflict-ridden friendships than they are to imitate relationships that have more positive …

Why Doctors Are Testing An Epilepsy Drug For Alcoholism

In the hunt for new ways to help people fight alcoholism, doctors are studying gabapentin, a generic drug that's commonly used to treat epilepsy and fibromyalgia.<p>In a 12-week clinical trial conducted by the Scripps Research Institute, people taking taking gabapentin were much better at reducing …

Best photos of Comet Lovejoy near Beehive star cluster

Comet Lovejoy has been visible with binoculars in the predawn sky, near the famous Beehive star cluster. How to spot it, plus best photos, …

Astronomy

WIRED Space Photo of the Day 2013

PhysicsWhy Do You Feel Lighter at the Top of a Ferris Wheel?<p>Author: Rhett AllainRhett Allain<p>EcologyHow Plastic Straws Slip Through the Cracks of …

Is this the first ever sci-fi novel?

Long before scientists invented the telescope, literature was already travelling through space. But how do Plato and Lucian of Samosata compare to modern science fiction?<p>Interstellar warfare, travel to distant planets and alien reproduction: all familiar elements of modern science fiction. But all …

Sad Faces Make People Support Social Campaigns

Any face. Even on a trash can.<p>At the end of last year, the international aid organization Oxfam decided to dramatically change their advertising tactics in their campaign to fight hunger in Africa, replacing pictures of sad, starving children with happier landscapes featuring the continent's …

What does that cute baby video actually show?

“Mommy’s going to sing you a song; let me know how you feel about the song, OK?”<p>says a voice behind the camera as the video starts. By now, more than 23 million people have watched the YouTube video of Marie-Lynne Leroux, a 10-month-old from Ontario, Canada.<p>The video appears to show a baby …

Cute

The Modular Robots Are Coming, One Toy At A Time

It’s fitting that the first real-world deployment of modular robotics—smaller bots that combine to form larger ones—came from a company called Modular Robotics. “We stole the name of the academic field for our company,” says CEO and design director Eric Schweikardt. “And I don’t feel bad about that …

Your science questions answered

<b>Q We know that humans can snore, but are all other animals able to snore as well?</b> asks Toby<p>A Having owned a dog with a snore like a pneumatic drill, I know of at least one that can. But Dr Charlotte Burn, Lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, filled me in on the rest of the animal kingdom. …

Bug-Inspired Candy Boats Add Science To Your Cocktail

An intoxicating collaboration from a celebrity chef and an MIT mathematician<p>After attending a Harvard series on food and science, MIT mathematician John Bush and molecular gastronomist José Andres got together and decided to collaborate on something delicious. Well, a pair of somethings: an edible …

APOD: Solar Eclipse from Uganda (2013 Nov 08) Image Credit & Copyright: Jaime Vilinga - collaboration / Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131108.html Explanation: The Sun's disk was totally eclipsed for a brief 20 seconds as the Moon's dark umbral shadow raced across Pokwero in northwestern Uganda on November 3rd. So this sharp telescopic view of totality in clear skies from the central African locale was much sought after by eclipse watchers. In the inspiring celestial scene the Moon just covers the overwhelmingly bright photosphere, the lower, normally visible layer of the Sun's atmosphere. Extending beyond the photosphere, the reddish hydrogen alpha glow of the solar chromosphere outlines the lunar silhouette, fading into the Sun's tenuous, hot, outer atmosphere or corona. Planet-sized prominences reaching beyond the limb of the active Sun adorn the edges of the silhouette, including a cloud of glowing plasma separated from the chromosphere near the 1 o'clock position. http://www.iap.fr/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131108 #APOD

Take A Computerized Look At 17th-Century London

A new project recreates St. Paul’s Cathedral, back in the olden days.<p>For as well-preserved as Shakespeare's writing is, there's still plenty we don't know about 17th-century London. For example: we know town square-style speeches were an important part of life, but what was it like actually …