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Supergiant and Hypergiant Stars Compared to our Solar System

To begin with, the terms “hypergiant” and “supergiant” are both a bit general. For the most part, these terms are loosely used to refer to the largest and most luminous (brightest and thus most energetic) stars in the universe. The exact term that one should use depends on the specific star that one is discussing (its size and luminosity). There are yellow hypergiants, red supergiants, blue supergiants etc.). You don’t…

Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?

For all the reform campaigns over the years, most schools continue to teach math and science in an off-putting way that appeals only to the most fervent students. The mathematical sequence has changed little since the Sputnik era: arithmetic, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and, for only 17 percent of students, calculus. Science is generally limited to the familiar trinity of biology, chemistry, physics and, occasionally, earth science. These pathways, as…

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Do television and electronic games predict children’s psychosocial adjustment?

Wow… what a drab, unquoteworthy, unsoundbiteable, graphics-free presentation of findings that will be of tremendous interest to the general public. TV but not electronic games predicted a small increase in conduct problems. Screen time did not predict other aspects of psychosocial adjustment. Further work is required to establish causal mechanisms..

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Higgs and Englert Are Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics

Beautiful, beautiful science writing by Dennis Overbye. The “God particle” became the Prize particle on Tuesday. Two theoretical physicists who suggested that an invisible ocean of energy suffusing space is responsible for the mass and diversity of the particles in the universe won the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday morning. They are Peter Higgs, 84, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and François Englert, 80, of the University…

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Can the multiverse explain human history?

Where did this idea of parallel universes come from? Science fiction is an obvious source: in the 1960s, Captain Kirk met his ‘other self’ in a Star Trek episode called ‘Mirror, Mirror’, while Philip K Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle (1963) imagined an alternate world in which the US was a Nazi puppet state. Since then, the idea has become mainstream, providing the image of forking paths…

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Astronaut Luca Parmitano describes near-drowning experience in space

With water already obscuring his vision, he had to turn upside down in order to release his safety cable. “Two things happen: the Sun sets, and my ability to see — already compromised by the water – completely vanishes, making my eyes useless; but worse than that, the water covers my nose — a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by…