Science

Levitate a Frog

Levitate a Frog   Go to your refrigerator and grab a magnet. Now try to stick it to your body. Of course, the magnet falls to the ground because our bodies are not magnetic. Right? Colloquially, yes. Technically, the answer is more complex (though you obviously still won’t find magnetism in your vaccines; I can’t …

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Song of Dunes

Song of Dunes …when travellers are on the move by night, and one of them chances to lag behind or to fall asleep or the like, when he tries to gain his company again he will hear spirits talking, and will suppose them to be his comrades. Sometimes the spirits will call him by name; …

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Call of the Void

Call of the Void Can I confess something? I tell you this because, as an artist, I think you’ll understand. Sometimes when I’m driving on the road at night, I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate …

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Tetrapteryx

Tetrapteryx Ecologist and conservationist William Beebe produced a litany of astonishing scientific achievements. He pioneered the holistic study of biomes, now the standard procedure. He became the first human to study deepsea fishes in their native environments. He discovered the odd phenomenon of army ant death spirals. His first natural love, however, belonged to the …

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The Color Change

The Color Change Autumn Is A Second Spring When Every Leaf Is A Flower. –Albert Camus Why don’t you make like a tree and get out of here? — Biff Tannen One of the greatest boons to living somewhere with distinct seasons is the fireworks show the trees give us every autumn. The reds, oranges, …

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Prometheus and Methuselah

Prometheus and Methuselah The mountains of California, Nevada, and Utah contain magical creatures. These ancient beings live thousands of feet above sea level in unforgiving terrain. Sometimes, you might encounter one, a gnarled hermit, and suspect she is dead. Yet these presences are masters of survival; they have outlasted countless human civilizations; they have bested …

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Aurora

Aurora The Valkyrior [Valkyries] are warlike virgins, mounted upon horses and armed with helmets and spears. /…/ When they ride forth on their errand, their armour sheds a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, making what Men call the “aurora borealis”, or “Northern Lights”. — Thomas Bulfinch, Mythology Sorry, Disney fans, we do …

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Sprites, Elves, Trolls, Pixies, Ghosts, Gnomes, and Blue Jets

Sprites, Elves, Trolls, Pixies, Ghosts, Gnomes, and Blue Jets No, we’re not traveling today to Middle-earth or into the belly of a dungeon crawler. Instead, we’ll take to the skies. All the fantastical characters of today’s title are real phenomena in the upper atmosphere! Lightning strikes – photo by Mircea Madau Most of us are …

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