slowdown2013

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Queer as folk: the fantastical costumes of old English festivals

In quiet corners of England, something bizarre is going on. Women swarm with flowers. Men hide beneath enormous feathered headdresses. These images look like something from a forgotten past – or a more surreal future – but the traditional English costumes photographed by Henry Bourne are all taken …

Curious About Cuba: The Great Museums of Havana

57mins2008NR<p>Despite Cuba's overwhelming economic and political challenges, museums in Havana abound, from rum and revolution to cars and cigars. In …

Cuba

Speaking in Whistles: The Whistled Language of Oaxaca, Mexico

Whistled language is a rare form of communication that can be mostly found in locations with isolating features such as scattered settlements or …

French in Action: Cult Classic French Lessons from Yale (52 Episodes) Available Online

During the 1980s, Pierre Capretz, a Yale professor, developed <i>French in Action</i>, a French immersion program that featured textbooks, workbooks, and a …

1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

Movies

The 10 Greatest Books Ever, According to 125 Top Authors (Download Them for Free)

Earlier this month, we highlighted The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics. Featuring films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles and …

10 Stunning Standouts in National Geographic Photography Contest 2013

The 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest is now well underway! With over 1,000 entries so far, it's going to be tough for the judges to pick out their favorites. If you'll remember, last year, Ashley Vincent won the top spot for her perfectly timed photo of a tigress in a Thailand zoo …

Nature
Arizona Diamondbacks

Understanding the radioactive legacy of Chernobyl and Fukushima

Scientists fear not enough is being done to study long-term effects of radioactive contamination from the nuclear disasters at Chernobyl and …

Nuclear Energy

Epic flooding hitting the Boulder, Colorado area

The National Weather Service used the word “biblical” to describe ongoing flooding in Colorado. Many are evacuating as water levels rise.<p>A …

Weather

Today’s worst watershed stresses may become the new normal

“By midcentury, we expect to see less reliable surface water supplies in several regions of the United States,” said the study’s lead author, Kristen …

Climate Change

Which cities are most at risk for a natural disaster?

Tokyo-Yokohama, the Pearl River Delta and Osaka-Kobe are the riskiest metropolitan areas in the world. Otherwise … does your city make the list?<p>Swiss …

Geography

A shot of anxiety and the world stinks

How stress can rewire the brain – linking centers of emotion and olfactory processing – to change good smells to bad.<p>In evolutionary terms, smell is …

Northwestern University

Giant fragment of Chelyabinsk meteorite lifted from Russian lake

On October 15, a giant fragment of the meteorite that hit Russia on February 15 was lifted from the bottom of Lake Chebarkul in the Russian Urals …

Space

World’s first mapping of rare plants in the Americas

California, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, parts of the Andes, the south of South America, and the region around Rio de Janeiro have many rare …

Aarhus

2017 Hunter’s Moon on night of November 3

The Northern Hemisphere’s full Hunter’s Moon for 2017 falls the night of November 3. Will it be bigger, brighter, more colorful?<p>In skylore, every …

Astronomy

Find constellations of the zodiac

Tonight’s sky chart (top of post) shows the constellations of the zodiac that are up after nightfall on these October evenings. In a separate chart …

Astrology

Hummingbird memory

New research suggests the tiny birds may have what might be called an episodic memory – a trait previously thought unique to humans.<p>When it comes to …

Halloween ghost of the summer sun

Every Halloween – and a few days before and after – the brilliant star Arcturus, brightest star in Bootes the Herdsman, sets at the same time and on …

Astronomy

Pleiades star cluster, aka Seven Sisters

November’s often called the month of the Pleiades, because it’s when this star cluster – aka the Seven Sisters – shines from dusk until dawn.<p>The …

Astronomy

Sun’s magnetic field about to flip

This reversal happens every 11 years and is tied to the sun’s cycle of activity, now near its peak. The effects of the reversal will ripple …

Shock veins in Russian meteorite helped it break up

Damage from the February 15, 2013 meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk, Russia would have been more severe if the rock hadn’t fragmented high up in the …

Astronomy

Do you lose most heat from your head?

To wear, or not to wear, a hat when it is cold? Claudia Hammond trawls through studies plunging people into freezing water and seeing what Patagonian locals do. To wear, or not to wear, a hat when cold<p>We were told we must not capsize at all costs. If we did, we would have only seconds to get out of …

Backpacking

‘Genetic portraits’ offer view of family resemblances

By splicing together images from siblings, parents and children, one photographer is exploring the way in which we inherit our appearances.<p>“Family faces are magic mirrors looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future,” wrote US journalist and author Gail Lumet Buckley. …

Molecular Biology

What makes us extroverts and introverts?

Why do some people prefer adventure and the company of others, while others favour being alone? It’s all to do with how your brain processes rewards.<p>Will you spend Saturday night in a crowded bar, or curled up with a good book? Is your ideal holiday adventure sports with a large group of mates and, …

Does sugar make children hyperactive?

Dread birthday parties because of the effect cakes and drinks will have on your child? Evidence shows this actually affects parents’ behaviour, not the child’s.<p>Many of us have watched children arrive at a party as reasonable, polite human beings, eat copious amounts of cakes and sweets and then …

Diabetes

How the ouija board really moves

The mystery isn’t a connection to the spirit world, but why we can make movements and yet not realise that we're making them.<p>Ouija board cups and dowsing wands – just two examples of mystical items that seem to move of their own accord, when they are really being moved by the people holding them. …

Should you put butter on a burn?

Burns seem to have attracted their fair share of folk remedies, but after looking through the evidence Claudia Hammond explains what you should do and why.<p>Using butter to treat burns is an old folk remedy that has been around for centuries. It gained credibility when the Prussian Surgeon General …

Alternative Medicine