Helen McGowan

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29 Books That Will Enrich Your Inner Literati

Little, Brown<p>Bloomsbury Publishing<p>Alfred A. Knopf<p>Farrar, Straus and Giroux<p>Harper & Brothers<p>Farrar, Straus and Giroux<p>Jonathan Cape<p>Viking Press, Dell …

Chocolate-Oatmeal Moon Pies

Makes about 18 Servings<p>February 2012Print<p>Ingredients<p>Cookies<p>1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour<p>3/4 teaspoon baking powder<p>1/2 teaspoon baking soda<p>1/2 teaspoon kosher salt<p>2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats<p>1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped<p>1 cup pecans, chopped<p>3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate …

Dessert

Secret Mediterranean islands where you can escape the crowds

There are more than 200 islands in the Med, yet 90 per cent of tourists stay on just 10 per cent of them. We’ve rounded up six lesser-known isles worth seeking out if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet.<p><b>Pantelleria, Italy</b><p>Boat at sunset by Luca Volpi. CC BY-SA 2.0.<p>Closer to Tunisia than …

Cool facts about your biological clock

Feeling tired after turning the clock back? That’s because the internal clock that controls your circadian rhythms needs time to adjust.<p>Circadian …

Christopher Nolan: the man who rebooted the blockbuster

In early spring of 2013, Christopher Nolan and his crew were scouting for locations in Iceland – looking for glaciers that could stand in for the icy wastes of a distant planet in Nolan’s new film, Interstellar. They were on foot, the terrain proving inaccessible by car through freezing rain. The …

Who Says You Can’t Quantify Literature?

Figuratively Speaking<p>Who Says You Can’t Quantify Literature?<p>The longest novels, the shortest stories, the number of kisses in Jane Austen’s …

Does drinking milk really make you die early?

A Swedish study suggests that people who drink three glasses of milk a day are more likely to die early than the rest of us. But is it true?<p>A new study, published in the BMJ, suggests that drinking milk not only fails to prevent bone fractures, <b>it may actually cause a higher rate of death</b>.<p>Or that's …

Baddies in books: Sauron, literature’s ultimate source of evil

In the first of a new series on fictional villains, <b>Sarah Crown</b> argues that Tolkien’s unseen Sauron from The Lord of the Rings is the most frightening and enduring<p>A really bravura villain grabs you by the throat. From childhood bogeymen via the dastards and arch-nemeses of adolescence, all the way …

Baby care: expensive items to give anxious parents sleepless nights

A third of parents waste more than £200 on useless baby gadgets in their child’s first year of life and one in 10 spends more than £500 trying to speed up their child’s development, according to research.<p>In a survey of more than 1,000 parents by Topcashback.co.uk for the <i>Observer</i>, 92% said they had …

The Borgias

• <b>Author:</b> Alexandre Dumas<p>There are many dreadful -- and perhaps scurrilous -- rumors about the Borgia family of renaissance Italy, and Alexandre Dumas (author of "The Three Musketeers" and many other period classics) reveals one possible truth in all its ugly glory. Dumas minces no words in …

L.A.'s Earthquake Hazard Zone Provides Parks for Rich People

Despite the risks, green spaces around the San Andreas fault draw affluent families, while poor and minority neighborhoods farther away lack parks<p>It would seem safe to assume that the people living closest to active earthquake hazard zones in Los Angeles are there because they have no choice. It's …

Sugar: the evolution of a forbidden fruit

Sweetness was meant to be irresistible.<p>We are born with a sweet tooth. Babies drink in sugar with their mother’s milk. Sweetness represents an instant energy boost, a fuel that kept our ancestors going in a harsher world where taste buds evolved to distinguish health-giving ripeness and freshness …

The Five Biggest Threats To Human Existence

The big and bad crises that could wipe out humanity<p>In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. I use the word “hope” because we face risks, …

Most Anticipated Book To Film Adaptations Premiering In 2015

Novels are the original movies.<p>For me, one of the hallmarks of a really great book is that I'm seeing it in my head while I'm reading. Not exactly shot for shot, because with prose you have other pleasures as well -- the taste of the language, the sway of the rhythm, the gut punch of a philosophy …

Google launches a teaching tool to help schools ditch paper

Google's itching to get Chromebooks into classrooms (and it's doing a pretty good job too), but the search giant just went full steam ahead with another product meant to help it shape the school experience. It's called (unsurprisingly) Classroom, and the free service is finally ready for …

Why mosquitoes bite some people and not others

Science explains one of life’s great mysteries. Plus! A natural remedy to keep you insect-free all summer<p>Jill Richardson<p>July 1, 2014 11:15am (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>Why are some people so much more attractive to mosquitoes than others? And what can you do about the pesky …

Robin Williams’ Family Remembers Comic’s Gentle Spirit as They Mourn

A day after Robin Williams was found dead, his children penned statements that both captured their states of mind and what their father meant to …

Dinosaur line that became birds shrank incredibly fast, study finds

How did birds emerge from a lineage of large dinosaurs whose clawed feet were planted firmly on the ground? Size really matters, according to a team of scientists that traced the incredibly fast shrinkage along 50 million years of ancient avian evolution.<p>The findings, published in the journal …

Mysterious holes in Siberia may be craters of climate change explosions

Holes like this one have been appearing in Siberia — at least three are known so far. There are a couple of theories for what's causing them and both …

Albert Camus And The Search For Meaning In The Midst Of Ebola

For months now the Ebola virus has been wreaking havoc in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. More than 700 people have died, and it seems that doctors are near-powerless to help. With the threat of the disease tearing communities apart, it's hard not to think of a …

50 Page Fridays: Comic Con Special - Unbound Worlds

Every Friday, we here @ Del Rey Spectra will place a 50 page excerpt of a selected title on Unbound Worlds. Whether it is science fiction, epic …

This Woman Had Her Face Photoshopped In Over 25 Countries To Examine Global Beauty Standards

Esther Honig, a freelance journalist based out of Kansas City, sent an unaltered photograph of herself to more than 40 Photoshop aficionados around the world. "Make me beautiful," she said, hoping to bring to light how standards of beauty differ across various cultures.<p>The project, titled <i>Before &</i> …

5 Awesome "Graffitrees": Graffiti with Actual Trees

Afro Taino by Gabriel Abreu in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic<p>Great graffiti happens when the artists don't get stumped. Instead, they go out on a …

After a 'Year' on Mars, What's Next for Curiosity?

It takes Mars almost twice as long as Earth to rotate around the Sun.<p>Tuesday marks 687 days — one full <i>Martian</i> year — since NASA's Curiosity rover …

The Great Arctic Melt Opens Up A Lot Of Questions

Can we answer them before it's too late?<p><i>The Great Melt: This animation of images taken over time by NASA satellites shows Arctic sea ice declining for the past 30 years. The year to year rate of decline 11.5 percent per decade. Via The Bridge. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization</i> …

Satellite eye on Earth: April 2014 – in pictures

Antarctica's crumbling glaciers, Argentina's guitar forest and a 621-mile dust storm over Sahara are among the images captured by European Space Agency and Nasa satellites

The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 Bits

From ‘Donkey Kong’ to the NES — how a Japanese company took over the American living room. An exclusive first serial from ‘Console Wars.’<p><i>The</i> …

George Steinmetz’s Eye From the Sky

Picture Stories<p>What is it like strapping yourself into the equivalent of a leaf blower, getting a running start, then taking off into the air with a camera in your hand?<p>“You have 180-degree horizontal and vertical visibility and you’re going about 27 or 28 miles per hour. You don’t need a …

Watch 'Game of Thrones' mysteries explained (or disproved) with science

Sure, works of fiction are hardly subject to the rules of science, but the folks behind <i>It's OK To Be Smart</i> set out to explain many of the enigmas surrounding <i>Game of Thrones.</i> In the PBS digital short that awaits after the break, topics like the plausibility of Daenerys' dragons, winters that last a …