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NAM, the Little Weather Model That Could

From NAM's website. "You know the old saying, garbage in, garbage, out." So began the news segment hosted by Bruce Leshan, a weather analyst camped out, like many weather analysts, at the National...

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Why Snow Shoveling is an Unusually Deadly Type of Exercise

Experts recommend people over 55 don't shovel snow. (Photo: Sage Ross/Wikimedia Commons)Yesterday, in the onslaught of announcements from New York officials about the near-record setting blizzard...

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The Famous Photo of Chernobyl's Most Dangerous Radioactive Material Was a...

Artur Korneyev, Deputy Director of Shelter Object, viewing the "elephants foot" lava flow at Chernobyl, 1996. (Photo: US Department of Energy) At first glance, it’s hard to know what’s happening in...

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Fleeting Wonders: Winter's Toughest Bugs Have Antifreeze Blood

A snow fly does its thing. (Photo: D. Sikes/Flickr)It's winter. You're cold, you can't get anywhere, everything smells like road salt, and shoveling is both mandated and dangerous. At least there...

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The Women Who Rose High in the Early Days of Hot Air Ballooning

Spectators watching French balloonist Jeanne-Genevieve Labrosse ascending in a balloon on 28 March 1802.  (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)On the evening of July 6, 1819, British tourist John Poole...

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Video Wonder: Mountain Unicycling

Think mountain biking looks tricky? Remove a wheel, and you’ve got mountain unicycling.As Ross, a 52-year-old unicyclist, notes in the video above, this unusual sport is “a very very inefficient way to...

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Were Portuguese Explorers the First Europeans To Find Australia?

Is this the first map of Australia? (Photo: Wikipedia)Did a secret search for Marco Polo’s islands of gold lead Portuguese explorers to be the first Europeans to discover Australia? According to some...

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An Afternoon At Boston's Newest Parody Storefront, 'Cash For Your Warhol'

Cash For Your Warhol, Inman Square's newest fake business. (All Photos: Atlas Obscura)Inman Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a quiet neighborhood that feels distant from the city’s universities,...

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How the ‘Einstein of Sex’ Kept the World’s First LGBT Movie Safe from Nazis

A scene from Different from the Others, in which Körner meets his blackmailer (Photo: Courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive)The first LGBT film ever made was released in Berlin, not long after...

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Behind the Scenes of Brooklyn's Airbnb Igloo–Now Trying For Tinder Sponsorship

The Boutique Igloo for 2: the perfect spot for a first Tinder date. (All photos: Justin Seeley)This weekend, a small group of Brooklyn entrepreneurs and snow-lovers built an igloo and listed it on...

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Wildwood's Doo Wop Beach Hotels Are Desperate for Your Love

A passer-by ponders the lights at Laura’s Fudge Shop in Wildwood, New Jersey. One of the first stores near the boardwalk, Laura’s opened in 1926 and sells online in the off-season. (All photos:...

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Why the Man Who Popularized Birthstones in America Came to Loathe His Creation

A hunk of topaz, the birthstone of November. (Photo: Parent Géry/Wikimedia Commons) As children, many Americans get introduced to the idea of birthstones—that the month of your birth corresponds to a...

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Fleeting Wonders: Doomsday Clock Remains At 3 Minutes

This prescient still from the 1928 film Safety Last illustrates our current predicament. (Image: Harold Lloyd and Wesley Stout/WikiCommons Public Domain)Ever wondered how close we are to the end of the...

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Fleeting Wonders: An All-Female Senate

Tuesday morning's Senate crew. (Screenshot: C-SPAN)The Senate is normally a divisive place, full of shouting matches, endless filibusters, and the occasional violent caning. But yesterday, in the...

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Red Tides Are The Auroras of the Sea

A cloud of neon algae surrounds St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea (Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)"Too much of a good thing" might be the most apt way to describe the beautiful...

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Why Cheetah Researchers Spend A Lot Of Time Sneaking Up On Bushes

For some wildlife biologists, daily research begins with figuring out what that dot is. (Photo: Anne Hilborn)Look closely at the above picture. Halfway between the foreground and the horizon, tucked...

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Get Over Here, Man: Decoding the Bro-Hug

Get over here, man! (All illustrations: Franziska Barczyk)About 25 seconds into Tupac Shakur’s music video for the 1993 hit “I Get Around,” it happens. Shakur walks through a pair of French doors onto...

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Romans Once Filled the Colosseum with Water and Staged an Epic Mock Sea Battle

An artist's rendering of an ancient Roman naumachia. The emperor's got some serious front row seats. (Image: Public Domain/WikiCommons)Being appointed party planner in ancient Rome for a simulated...

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Fleeting Wonders: Challenger Astronaut Christa McAuliffe's Lost Lessons

Christa McAuliffe gets a weightlessness preview aboard the zero gravity aircraft. McAuliffe used some of her zero-G time to practice her lesson plans. (Photo: Keith Meyers/NASA Public Domain)Thirty...

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Why New York City Has a Public Bathroom Problem

Decommissioned bathroom in Wall Street subway stop in NYC. (Photo: Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons) The NYPD issues between 20,000 and 30,000 citations for public urination each year. But while there...

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