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The First American Woman to Win an Olympic Championship Didn't Even Know It

Margaret Abbott, the first American female Olympic champion. (Photo: Public Domain)The first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal wasn’t aware of what she’d won. In fact, records suggest she...

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When Ancient Greece Banned Women From Olympics, They Started Their Own

An artist's interpretation of ancient Olympia. [Photo: Public Domain]Much like their modern counterpart, the Olympic Games in ancient Greece wasn't exactly a level playing field for women. It's true...

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These Crows Were Discovered Crafting Tools to Reach Food

Wild New Caledonian crows possess tool-craft talent https://t.co/Nvk4dC8fTLpic.twitter.com/mAX0ZnmwbL— BBC Science News (@BBCScienceNews) August 10, 2016New Caledonian crows, which are native to New...

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How a Deadly Camping Trip Revealed an Arms Race Between Snakes and Newts

Left, a common garter snake and right, a rough-skinned newt. (Photos, from left: Sharon Day/shutterstock.com; Yuval Helfman/shutterstock.com)On the West Coast, newts and snakes are locked in an arms...

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A Visual Guide to How Terribly the World's Best Human Athletes Fare Versus...

(Graphics by Michelle Enemark)Yesterday, Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, made an appropriately confident prediction. "I'm going to win the 100 meters," he told CNN. Then, he tripled-down: "I'll...

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Found: A Bloody Stone Axe From 250,000 Years Ago

A hand axe with rhino all over it. (Photo: April Nowell)When April Nowell, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Victoria, sent off a stone tool for protein residue analysis, she didn’t expect to...

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How Cuba's Greatest Cartoonist Fled From Castro and Created 'Spy vs. Spy'

Spy vs. Spy cover by Peter Kuper. (Photo: Courtesy of Peter Kuper/Spy vs Spy © E.C. Publications Inc.)One of the greatest rivalries of all time has been raging since 1961 between two figures who don’t...

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Shifting Sands in Britain Reveal a 100-Year-Old Shipwreck

Norwegian shipwreck from 1916 uncovered at Blakeney as sands shift https://t.co/qCDraHRNeC— carole (@Carolewhy) August 11, 2016As the sands off the coast of Blakeney Harbour in Norfolk, England...

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Forest Burns After Man Set Used Toilet Paper Ablaze

Lit toilet paper sparks forest fire in Spain https://t.co/05sNHU0cfjpic.twitter.com/9u2IPQS0n9— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 7, 2016Last week, an expat living in La Palma, one of Spain's...

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How Racism Kept The World's Fastest Swim Stroke Out Of The Pool

Swimming at the 1904 Olympics. (Photo: Public domain)On April 20, 1844, two men from North America jumped into the Bath in High Holborn, a 130-foot pool in London. They were there to show how fast they...

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The Bloody Histories and Remaining Relics of 5 Violent Feuds

"Le Combat" (Photo: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art / NYPL Public Domain)In honor of Rivals Week this week, here are five relics of the bloodiest family feuds in the Atlas.Tewksbury vs....

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Endurance Starvation Was Once a Crowd-Pleasing Sport

David Blaine suspended in a box by the Thames, London, in 2003. (Photo: james.spector/CC BY 2.0)On September 5, 2003, magician David Blaine stepped into a clear acrylic box and was hoisted into...

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Fisherman Catches Second Blue Lobster, Which Is Very, Very Hard to Do

Local lobsterman hauls in a rare blue lobster off Plymouth https://t.co/XCysiz9iXTpic.twitter.com/urO9BnTrnN— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 10, 2016Catching a blue lobster is rare. Very rare....

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Watch This Creepy Arm Machine Stuck in an Endless Cycle of Wimpy High Fives

If you and a friend mess up a celebratory high five, you give it another go. The loud clap of the perfect high five is a satisfying feeling.Sadly, the two wobbly arms in this video never get that...

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The Long History Behind Fencers' Hit-Detecting Electrified Gear

(Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen/CC BY 2.5)Fencing is a very precise sport. Two fencers battle each other with one of three weapons, a foil, épée, or sabre, which in practice are three very thin rods, with...

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See the 'House-Sized' Boulder that Shut Down This National Park Road

(All photos by National Park Service)Late Wednesday night, after some storms in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah, park officials noted on Facebook that they had a problem: a "house-sized"...

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A Complete Listing of All the Hardware at the Department of Energy Headquarters

(Photo: Department of Energy)A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.In February, I filed a few requests to different agencies asking for their “hardware inventory reports,” after...

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From the Biles To the Wolf Jump, This Cheat Sheet Will Help You Talk Gymnastics

Simone Biles, mid-move, during the August 9th team competition. (Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias/CC BY 2.0)Like most fans, gymnastics-heads speak in a dense tangle of slang. Spend time with them,...

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A 600,000-Flower Carpet Is Beautifying Brussels

That big colorful rectangle is made out of flowers. (All photos: Copyright Wim Vanmaele)On your average day, the Grand Place in Brussels is fascinating in its own way—its UNESCO World Heritage Site...

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Sniffing Behind the Scenes of the Westminster Dog Show

A groomer applies hairspray to a competitor. (All Photos: Cait Oppermann)The dog, a German shorthaired pointer with a white and brown coat, stands tall next to his proud owner.Nearby, in large purple...

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