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Celebrating Earth’s Amazing Places

What do Yellowstone National Park, the Galapagos Islands, Ethiopia’s Simien National Park, the Xinjiang Tianshan mountain range in China, Italy’s Mount Etna, and the Namib Sand Sea in Namibia have in common? Each is considered a natural treasure. They, along with over 150 other natural places–forests, parks, mountains, deserts, islands, lakes, rivers, and reefs–have been […]

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A Lunar Tetrad for Tax Day

If adults in your life seem extra cranky this week, it may be because Tuesday, April 15 is tax day, the day federal income taxes are due. The mere mention of taxes elicits moans and bad jokes and plunges many adults into a fiscal funk. This year, the night sky offers a conciliatory show: a […]

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Play Ball! The Physics of Baseball

Roger Hornsby, the baseball player, manager, and coach once said, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” Last week, umpires across the country ended fans’ and players’ wait when at last they called “Play ball!” […]

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Marie Curie: Science Pioneer

If you have ever had an x-ray, you have Marie Curie to thank. The Nobel-winning physicist and chemist researched radioactivity, discovered polonium and radium, and created the first mobile x-ray machines to assist doctors during World War 1. Marie Curie’s research contributed to physics and chemistry, and changed medicine and medical treatments. Her persistence and […]

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Recalled: Toyota’s Expensive Mistakes

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a $1.2 billion (that is not a typo—it’s billion with a b) fine against carmaker Toyota. The Department of Justice imposed the fine after investigating how Toyota handled the 2009 recall of 8.1 million cars. Watch an excerpt of the news conference where Attorney General Holder announces the decision […]

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Lost: Amelia Earhart

On March 8, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 left the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Beijing, China. It never arrived. Over a week later, rescuers continue to search for the plane and its 239 passengers in huge swaths of the Indian Ocean west of Australia, as well the mountains of Central Asia. The multi-national rescue […]

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Crisis in Crimea

Russian President Putin enjoyed the spotlight last month when Russia hosted the Olympic games. Last week, Putin returned to the headlines but for a very different reason. The Russian military is engaged in a tense military stand-off with Ukrainian forces as both sides lay claim to the Crimean peninsula. As the conflict deepens and western […]

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Bag It! The Fight over Grocery Bags

Filled with groceries, stuffed under cabinets, tumbling down city streets, drifting with the breeze, floating across the ocean. Plastic bags are everywhere, including many places they should not be. To environmentalists, plastic bags have become the symbol of waste. Lawmakers in California aim to eliminate plastic bags by passing a state-wide ban. The proposed law, […]

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Riding the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman

Freedom, prosperity, and equality shape Americans’ national ideals and identity. America’s lineage is full of people who have worked hard and prospered. But, strife, inequality, and brutality are also a part of America’s bloodline. Thankfully, America’s story includes men and women who faced intimidating foes and overwhelming opposition yet asked a bold question: Why not […]

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Let the Games Begin!

The winter Olympics opened February 7 in Sochi, Russia amid security concerns, rumors about missing stray dogs, and fervor over Russia’s anti-gay laws. And then all that faded and the focus became the world’s elite athletes who were invited to this city on the edge of the Black Sea to demonstrate their prowess, to amaze […]

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