Tue December 31, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Take Four Minutes To Reflect On Your Place In The Cosmos

In 2013, NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this image of Earth from Saturn. Seen here, our planet is 898 million miles away (1.44 billion kilometers) and appears as a blue dot at center right.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

So it's New Year's Eve again and that means resolutions — resolutions to stop this and resolutions to start that. We resolve to be thinner, to get stronger, to focus more, to be spontaneous. But regardless of our resolutions and regardless of our ability to achieve those resolutions, our lives on this lonely cosmic outpost, this "Pale Blue Dot," continue on. Until, of course, they don't. And that, in itself, is something to consider as we gird our loins for another of our yearly treks into resolution-land.

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Tue December 31, 2013
Krulwich Wonders...

Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 12:28 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

When I first saw this," says cell biologist Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, "it was with total amazement."

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Tue December 31, 2013
Shots - Health News

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:38 pm

Could a countdown to death help you lead a more ecstatic life?
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock.

The seconds left in 2013 are slipping away. And you know what else is slipping away? The seconds left in your life.

Luckily for you, there's a new product called Tikker, a wristwatch that counts down your life, so you can watch on a large, dot-matrix display as the seconds you have left on Earth disappear down a black hole.

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Tue December 31, 2013

Bon Voyage, Voyager: Old Friends Take Stock

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:37 am


For the scientists who have emotionally traveled with NASA's Voyager mission for decades, 2013 will be remembered as the year they knew Voyager 1 had finally become the first explorer from Earth to enter the mysterious realm of interstellar space.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, both blasted off in 1977, more than 35 years ago. Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter, then Saturn — and then on toward the unknown region that lies between stars.

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Mon December 30, 2013
The Two-Way

Lost Images Come To Life A Century After Antarctic Expedition

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:25 pm

Alexander Stevens, Shackleton's chief scientist, looks south from the deck of the Aurora. Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island, Antarctica, can be seen in the background.

Conservators working to preserve artifacts from the early days of Antarctic exploration have uncovered century-old black-and-white negatives taken during Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 expedition but never printed.

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Mon December 30, 2013
The Two-Way

On Evolution, A Widening Political Gap, Pew Says

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:45 pm

A drawing of the scientific theory of evolution, which states that living things evolve over time.
Martin Wimmer iStockphoto

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on their views of the scientific theory of evolution is widening, according to a new poll released by Pew's Religion & Public Life Project.

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Mon December 30, 2013
Shots - Health News

Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:08 am

People drew maps of body locations where they feel basic emotions (top row) and more complex ones (bottom row). Hot colors show regions that people say are stimulated during the emotion. Cool colors indicate deactivated areas.
Image courtesy of Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari Hietanen.

Close your eyes and imagine the last time you fell in love. Maybe you were walking next to your sweetheart in a park or staring into each other's eyes over a latte.

Where did you feel the love? Perhaps you got butterflies in your stomach or your heart raced with excitement.

When a team of scientists in Finland asked people to map out where they felt different emotions on their bodies, they found that the results were surprisingly consistent, even across cultures.

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Mon December 30, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Science: A Laughing Matter?


The Guardian recently published an amusing compilation of science jokes solicited from a variety of scientists. They range from classics you may have come across, like these:

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Sun December 29, 2013

Lost In 2013: Three Nobel Scientists Who Saw Something In Us

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 6:41 pm

Pallbearers carry the flag-draped coffin of Francois Jacob, Nobel Prize-winner and World War II veteran, in Paris on April 24.

Before turning the page on 2013, All Things Considered wanted to tell you stories you haven't heard — unknown stories about people you've heard of, and unknown people who have affected your lives in ways you can't imagine.

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Sun December 29, 2013
Middle East

Security, Logistics Problems Plague Syria's Weapons Removal

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am



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