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1book140's January Read: The Luminaries

Join our Twitter book club to read Eleanor Catton's astrological murder mystery.<p>Eleanor Catton calls her Man Booker Prize-winning novel an "astrological dance" within a "straightforward murder mystery." Full of blackmail, séances, shipwrecks, and smuggled treasure, set in an 1860s New Zealand gold …

Why NYC Drops an 11,875 Pound Ball on New Year's Eve

The tradition dates back to December 31, 1907, though the balls have changed along with technology.<p>On New Year's Eve, a number of word class cities will harken in 2013 with giant fireworks displays. In New York City, a giant ball suspended above Times Square will slowly descend at …

How Rich People Celebrated New Year’s Eve in the Gilded Age

Why we drink champagne on the holiday, and other curiosities<p>For many people around the world, New Year’s Eve was (and still is) a rustic holiday. Homely traditions include running outside with luggage, if you want to travel in the new year, and exchanging money or tokens to bring wealth. In many …

In 1964, Isaac Asimov Imagined the World in 2014

But he couldn't have known the consequences of the development he predicted—a planet whose climate is badly destabilized, whose inhabitants face mass extinctions in the years ahead.<p>In August of 1964, just more than 50 years ago, author Isaac Asimov wrote a piece in <i>The New York Times</i>, pegged to that …

Light of the year

The Eurasian lynx

Wild Horses


"Misty Patterns"


Grand Portage Waterfall

Space Pictures This Week: Birth of a Star, Moon Lineup

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