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July 9, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Want to name a planet? Astronomers seek ideas

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kepler11A few years ago, scientists discovered six planets orbiting a sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, about 2,000 light years from Earth. Artist’s conception.

“Help decide the names of planets orbiting other stars,” the International Astronomical Union says, as it announces the NameExoWorlds contestContinue Reading →

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July 8, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Tube with a view: Cement pipes turned into motel

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TubeWithViewPhoto courtesy of Rex. See more photos here.

Talk about reuse and recycle.

In Henan, China, a motel has been conjured up out of old concrete pipes. Each “tube” room can  accommodate two people, and comes with air conditioning.

 

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July 8, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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John Wayne’s heirs sue Duke University

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Wayne Family Portrait1969: John Wayne at home with his family: Ethan, Marissa, Aissa and his third wife, Pilar. Photo by John Dominis | Time & Life Pictures|Getty Images

He was known as that rare breed in Hollywood, a gentleman. So it’s hard to imagine how the Duke would have reacted to a lawsuit brought by John Wayne Enterprises against the unwittingly eponymous university in Durham.

Maybe, as his son Ethan asserts, Duke’s dream was to distill fine spirits, which Ethan is trying to do with Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Continue Reading →

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July 3, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Founding Fathers live! Most common patriotic names are …

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New York Public Library Displays Copy Of The Declaration Of Independence

Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Declaration Of Independence was on display at the New York Public Library this week.  | Photo by Getty Images

Somebody at WhitePages decided to count how many people are walking around with the names of the Founding Fathers.

The White Pages database and public Social Security records were scoured for names that ring of Liberty.

John Adams, who beat Thomas Jefferson in 1800, beats him again with 9,893 people carrying the name of the second president and only 522 with the name of the anti-Federalist.

The top 14 names are … Continue Reading →

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July 1, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Sick 7-year-old granted wish: He’s ‘Honorary Marine’

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Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla, director of operations for Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps, pins an eagle, globe and anchor pin on Andrew Starr’s lapel during a ceremony awarding Starr the title “honorary Marine.” Seven-year-old Andrew is one of less than 100 people to ever receive the title since its conception in 1992.

Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla, director of operations for Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps, pins an eagle, globe and anchor pin on Andrew Starr’s lapel during a ceremony awarding Starr the title “honorary Marine.”

Andrew Starr II has been plagued by painful tumors since he was a baby but “believes he can do anything,” his parents tell Headquarters Marine Corps.

Andrew’s greatest hero is his father, a retired Marine colonel, part of a proud family tradition that goes back to the First World War. The 7-year-old wanted one thing: to be a Marine. Continue Reading →

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July 1, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Salary list: Who makes what at the White House

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You may recall that the president of the United States rakes in $400,000 per annum and has an expense allowance of $50,000. The Veep makes $230,700. But how much do White House staffers take home?

The White House has sent to Congress its annual report listing the name, salary and title of its 457 employees. Continue Reading →

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June 26, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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Black bear crashes birthday party, eats cupcakes

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GlennMerillAndBrokenSkylightPhotoCourtesyofJuneauEmpireGlenn Merrill and his wife, who live on an Alaskan mountainside, were expecting guests for their son’s 1st birthday party to arrive any minute on Saturday when they heard a cracking of a skylight, not a knocking at the door.

“I was literally in the room, and I heard this cracking,”  Merrill tells the Juneau Empire. “And the next thing you know, there’s this bear that, I mean, literally, fell right from (the skylight). It was like three feet away from me” in the middle of the living room. Continue Reading →

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June 24, 2014
by M.S. Scully


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X-ray signal tantalizes astronomers

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A giant collection of galaxies immersed in hot gas about 250 million light years from Earth.In the Perseus Cluster, a mysterious signal. The cluster contains thousands of galaxies immersed in an enormous cloud of superheated gas.

ET is not on the phone. But nonetheless scientists are excited about a “mysterious” X-ray signal found when a team sifted through old data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton.

Astronomers think it might be evidence of sterile neutrinos — dark matter, that stuff that makes up about  85% of the Universe, but does not emit or absorb light.

“We know that the dark matter explanation is a long shot, but the pay-off would be huge if we’re right,” says Esra Bulbul of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,  who led the study. “So we’re going to keep testing this interpretation and see where it takes us.”

A paper explaining the research is published in the Astrophysical Journal.

You  can read more here.

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