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Object of Intrigue: Ancient Persian Water Clocks

It's like looking down at your watch. (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)The word for an ancient water clock sounds like a name of a Greek goddess: Clepsydra. These age-old time-keeping devices are...

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The World's Longest-Running Experiment is Buried in a Secret Spot in Michigan

The 15th of 20 seed bottles that make up the world's longest-running experiment "Some people say it looks like a whiskey flask," says curator Dr. Frank Telewski. (Photo: Kurt Stepnitz/Michigan State...

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The Secret Weapon That Could Make Waiting for the Bus Less Terrible

Every minute at the bus stop feels longer than it actually is (Photo: Public Domain Pictures/Pixabay)Waiting at a bus stop or a subway station, it can feel like the minutes stretch on forever, forever,...

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FOUND: Hydrogen Plasma That Could Be New Energy Source

Inside the Wendelstein 7-X reactor (Photo: Gwurden/Wikimedia)Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, is about to switch on a giant fusion reactor, to create hydrogen plasma.In 2014, a team at the Max...

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Drug Enforcement Agent Claims Rabbits are Getting High; Agency Says Otherwise

Is the rabbit high? Probably not. (Photo: Roland zh/Wikimedia Commons)A version of this story originally appeared on Muckrock.com.What’s the difference between a stoned rabbit and a not-stoned rabbit?...

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Fleeting Wonders: Patient Woman Rewarded With Solo Flight

Zhang living the dream. (Photo: Miffyscat/Weibo)Ill-timed snowstorms in eastern and central China have wreaked havoc on Chinese New Year plans, stranding tens of thousands of travelers in train...

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FOUND: A 155-Year-Old Mousetrap Still Doing Its Job

A different type of 19th century mousetrap (Photo: The Iconographic Encyclopaedia of Science/Wikimedia)When Colin Pullinger & Sons advertised an innovative, humane mousetrap in the 1860s, the...

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Places You Can No Longer Go: 'The Matrix Reloaded' Highway

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100 Wonders: The Atomic Clock

How long is a second? How do we know what time it is? And how can we be sure that two clocks are running at the same pace?The intangibility of time makes it tricky to standardize. We can, for example,...

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FOUND: Ancient Winged Insects Were So Close to Being Butterflies

An artist's impression of a Kalligrammatid lacewing (Image: Vichai Malikul/Smithsonian)120 million years ago, in the Mesozoic era, there were little creatures called Kalligrammatid lacewings fluttering...

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Fleeting Wonders: America's Only Jaguar Makes An Appearance in Arizona

El Jefe, America's last known jaguar, investigates the weird new gadget in his mountain home. (Screenshot: Center for Biological Diversity/Facebook)It took years of planning, but the conservationist...

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How 'Live' is Live TV?

Our creation of the Seven Second Delay may be making TV even less live than we intended. (Photo: SashaW/Flickr)Later this month, the Oscars will be airing "live" all across America. But not really,...

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LOST: A Rare Tortoise Was Stolen From An Australian Zoo

Another radiated tortoise (Photo: Kyle Bedell/flickr)Yellow lines streak in stars across the dark shell of a radiated tortoise. It's beautiful, and highly prized in the illegal wildlife market. The...

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Fleeting Wonders: Escaped Goat Frolics All Over Iowa

Like all tech-savvy escaped animals, the escaped @uiowa goat joined Twitter: @UofIGoathttps://t.co/gg32gtV8y6pic.twitter.com/S6t3INwApB— KCRG (@KCRG) February 3, 2016Just a few days after the Iowa...

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Minute-by-Minute, Donald Trump's Time Is Among the Most Expensive in America

But how much money will you give me? (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr)Every job negotiation, no matter how big or small, comes down to one thing: Is it worth my time? But how much, exactly, is our time...

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Video Wonder: Watch a Mosquito Suckle on a Vein

If the fact that earlier this week the World Health Organization declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus a global emergency didn't catch your eye, perhaps this close-up video of a feeding skeeter will....

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What Nationality is a Baby Born Mid-Flight?

What is the nationality of a baby born on a plane? (Photo: mliu92/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)Imagine that you are a pregnant lady. (Perhaps you actually are, but if you are not, then do your best to imagine.)...

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Peek Inside a Private Clock Museum in Austria

Details of a late Baroque tower clock made in the second half of the 18th century, from Upper Austria. (All photos: Yvonne Oswald)The Uhrenstube Aschau, a little-known private clock museum in the sunny...

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The Forensic Accounting Tool That Could Reveal Almost Any Election Fraud

A ballot is cast in the second round of the French presidential election of 2007. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Rama)As the 2016 Presidential Campaign finally enters primary season—and with no clear...

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Congress Ends Funding of Official Government Portraits

Thomas Peter Lantos (2011) by Laurel Stern Boeck, detail. (Photo: Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives)A long-running dispute in Congress has finally reached its conclusion: The sordid...

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