If Friday's school shooting in Connecticut follows the pattern set by other mass tragedies, huge numbers of Americans are worrying about the safety of their kids at school. How is our perception of risk is shaped by tragedy, and what happens when our perceptions do not line up with the facts?
The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening the standard for how much soot in the air is safe to breathe. Fine particles come from the combustion of fossil fuels by cars and industrial facilities. They're linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart attacks and lung ailments like asthma. States will be required to clean up their air to the level specified by the new standard.
Empty, forgotten, forlorn — the curbside recycling bin can seem like a sort of existential low point for all those soda bottles, tin cans, egg cartons and other containers whose contents we consume. But then – voila! Sorted for recycling, they become a thing of beauty.
Mariner 2's 1962 mission to Venus was the first time any spacecraft had gone to another planet. Before the mission, very little was known about the planets, and much of what was believed to be true turned out to be wrong.
Dec. 21 marks the end of the Mayan calendar — a time of celebration for the ancient people, scientists say, although some modern day folks worry it's a sign of the apocalypse. It may not be the end of the world as we know it, but beer masters inspired by the end of days feel fine.
Alan Alda founded The Flame Challenge last year to promote better science communication, and he started by asking scientists to come up with a kid-friendly explanation for a flame. Now, Alda is back with round two of the popular contest, and kids want to know: What is time?
Nothing beats the smell of a live Christmas tree in your home, but how can you keep the needles on your tree and off your carpet? Rick Bates, professor of horticulture at Penn State University, offers tips for how to properly care for your Christmas tree this holiday season.
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