witchywinny

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Six NASA Astronauts Describe the Moment in Space When "Everything Changed"

"This is what heaven must look like."<p>There’s no squinting in space. Things appear small, sure. From your vantage point, 254 miles above Earth, even …

The ‘alien megastructure’ is acting weird again

Tabby's Star has dimmed by 5% – the lowest dip seen since it was first observed in 2013<p>For some people, the weird lights emanating from the ‘alien …

Universe

Why are Pringles so addictive and how many of the potato crisps are in a can?

Anyone who can resist sticking their hand in a tub of Pringles once the lid is off has willpower stronger than us ordinary mortals.<p>In the words of …

How to Think about "Implicit Bias"

When is the last time a stereotype popped into your mind? If you are like most people, the authors included, it happens all the time. That doesn’t …

Psychology

Who’s Smarter, Dogs or Cats? Science Now Has the Answer

They might chew your shoes, occasionally pee on the rug, or snarf down your entire dinner the minute you turn your head, but it turns out your family …

To Save the Oceans, Should You Give Up Glitter?

Sparkles are fun, but these tiny bits of plastic escape into waterways.<p>When 19 British pre-schools stopped using glitter in art projects to save the oceans, it set off a frenzy that reached as far as New Zealand over glitter’s potential to harm marine life. The change at the Tops Day Nurseries, the …

Pollution

The Genetic Divide Between NYC's Uptown And Downtown Rats

The Empire State building, pizza and Broadway are just a few things synonymous with New York City — and then there's the rats.<p>Like many other major metropolitan areas, New York City has a rat problem. But that doesn't mean that all the rats are the same.<p>Matthew Combs is a graduate student at …

New York City

Tesla Has Just Activated Its Mega-Battery in South Australia

Tesla (tsla) officially inaugurated the world’s largest lithium ion battery in South Australia Friday, making good on CEO Elon Musk’s promise to …

Children in poor areas exposed to five times as many fast food takeaways

More than 400 schools in England have 20 or more takeaways nearby, data reveals, with the problem at its worst in London<p>Increasing numbers of fast food take­aways are springing up close to schools in England, with pupils in the most socially deprived areas exposed to five times as many outlets as …

Public Health

Scholars Have Found a Rare Copy of Heretical Writings on Jesus And His 'Brother'

This didn't make it into the Bible.<p>Near what is today the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi, some 1,400 years or so ago, somebody buried a whole bunch of …

Children seeing up to 12 adverts for junk food an hour on TV, study finds

Health experts call for ministers to ban adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt before 9pm watershed, saying rules are ‘not fit for purpose’<p>Children are seeing as many as 12 advertisements for junk food within an hour while watching family television shows such as The Voice, new research has …

Nutrition

There's a Scientific Reason to Speak, Not Write, to Those Who Disagree With You

Sorry, keyboard warriors.<p>There may be more to the phrase "the voice of reason" than meets the ear.<p>When it comes to controversial ideas, a person's …

First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a digital pill — a medication embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors whether, and when, patients take their medicine.<p>The approval, announced late on Monday, marks a significant advance in the growing field of digital devices …

Who is Ibtihaj Muhammad? The fencer who inspired Mattel's hijab-wearing Barbie

The 31-year-old Muhammad is the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab.<p>Ibtihaj Muhammad, who made history at Rio 2016 by …

People for sale: Where lives are auctioned for $400

<b>Tripoli, Libya (CNN)</b> -- "Eight hundred," says the auctioneer. "900 ... 1,000 ... 1,100 ..." Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars -- the equivalent of $800.<p>Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not "merchandise" at all, but two human beings.<p>One of the unidentified men being sold in the …

Africa

Move over Starbucks: the indie coffee shops battling it out on the high street

It’s flat whites at dawn as entrepreneurs line up to cater to the nation’s growing passion for coffee<p>Overlooking the harbour in Margate, Carey Karlberg’s Scandi coffee shop, Mala Kaffe, holds prime position for both locals seeking a soul-stirring view with their morning latte and tourists craving a …

Coffee

#MeToo Has Been Empowering, Yes, but Sexism Is Only Getting Worse

Don't let the progress distract you from the truth.<p>In the midst of the #MeToo movement, it's easy to think that we've arrived at a turning point. So …

Feminism

Americans Are Putting Down the Soda Pop

Sugar-sweetened drinks are not as popular as they once were.<p>According to a new study based on a continuing national health survey, 60.7 percent of children and 50 percent of adults drank a sugary beverage on any given day in 2014, down from 79.7 percent of children and 61.5 percent of adults in …

North Korea 'trying to work out if Donald Trump is crazy', says US negotiator

Pyongyang wants to know if US President Donald Trump is “crazy”, according to a senior US academic who has held secret back channel talks with North Korean officials four times over the past year.<p>“They want to know if he’s crazy…or if this is just an act,” Suzanne DiMaggio, a director at the New …

Did human women contribute to Neanderthal genomes over 200,000 years ago?

A new Neanderthal mitochondrial genome supports a remarkable hypothesis – that there was interbreeding with an extremely early migration of African hominins<p>Keeping pace with new developments in the field of human evolution these days is a daunting prospect. It seems as though every few weeks …

Humanity

Pope extends power to forgive abortion to all Roman Catholic priests | Reuters

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Monday extended indefinitely to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors in most parts of the world.<p>Francis, who has made a more inclusive and forgiving Roman Catholic Church a …

Why We Celebrate New Year's Day on January 1

Some things are taken to be so self-evident that they are beyond question: the sun rises in the east; the Cubs will choke in the post-season; and New …

Roman Empire

Two British Teenagers Face Trial Over Claims They Stole Items From Auschwitz

Two British schoolchildren accused of stealing items from Auschwitz will stand trial, it has been announced.<p>Two teenagers from Perse School, in …

Crime

Berlin prepares for New Year celebrations amid Europe-wide terror threat

Security will be tight this New Year's Eve in Germany. It's most evident in Berlin, where the country's biggest party is due to be held at the …

newyear

Exploding The Myth Of 'Unengaged' Students

Jordan Shapiro drew a lot of attention this year with his four misconceptions about the future of education. As with much of his work, he tries to take a cattle prod to the conventional education narrative.<p>In an era of highly polarized ed debates, Shapiro doesn't fit neatly into any of the …

Teaching

Belgium, Netherlands to exchange territory _ without a fight

VISE, Belgium (AP) — Throughout history, borders have caused unfathomable bloodshed, ageless feuds and decades-old legal disputes, which makes plans …

To Conquer Fear, A Man Turns Rejection Into A Game

<b>Editor's note:</b> <i>This</i> <i>story first ran on Jan. 16, 2015, as part of</i> <i>NPR's Invisibilia podcast. It's about a man who decided he no longer wanted to be ruled by fear. Without realizing it, he used a standard tool of psychotherapy to help him stop dreading rejection.</i><p><i>And if you've been dreading a future</i> …

Prioritizing fighting terrorism over climate change is a no-win scenario

The start of the Paris climate summit on Monday should be a moment of glory for President Obama. His administration has instituted the country's first serious action against climate change by requiring dirty coal plants to drastically lower emissions. He played a key role in China's dramatic …

Climate