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Steven Strogatz: The Joy Of X

In The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity, mathematician Steven Strogatz provides an entertaining refresher course in math, starting with the most elementary ideas, such as counting, and finishing with mind-bending theories of infinity--including the idea that some infinities can be bigger than others.
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Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Somewhat Suspect Science

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor scientific research that, in the words of Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think." This year's prizes, awarded in late September, include citations for research into mysteriously green hair, potentially explosive colonoscopies, and the creation of equations that model the back-and-forth swing of a ponytail in motion.
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Scientists Get A New Look At Einstein's Brain

What made Einstein a genius? Maybe his weirdly curvy brain had something to do with it. Scientists have recently analyzed photos from the 1950s to try to figure out what made the genius tick.
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An Arbor Embolism? Why Trees Die In Drought

Scientists who study forests say they've discovered something disturbing about the way prolonged drought affects trees. When drought dries out the soil, a tree has to suck harder to draw in water. But that increases the risk of drawing in dangerous and deadly air bubbles.
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'Erin Brockovitch' Town Faces New Threat

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. — blamed for the groundwater pollution case made famous in the movie -- is offering to buy homes in Hinkley, Calif., again, this time in areas previously believed to be unaffected by the contamination. Many families, some who have lived in the town for generations, are packing up.
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When Fetuses Yawn In The Womb

Ultrasound often catches fetuses opening their mouths, but whether they're really yawning or not has been up for debate. Now, with some fancy ultrasound techniques, scientists have show that babies do indeed yawn in the womb.
NPR

Why Greek Yogurt Makers Want Whey To Go Away

That extra-thick, rich taste of Greek yogurt is popular, but you get it by creating lots of waste. For every pound of authentic strained Greek yogurt, there are 2 or 3 pounds of liquid whey. And getting rid of it can be expensive.
NPR

Coconut Conservationist Seeks Pacific Islands For Fun And Palm Preservation

Are the sources for your trendy coconut water and oil in danger? Not yet, says a French scientist, but he has an elaborate vision for how to overcome the coconut's biological challenges and ensure that the plant's dozens of varieties stick around for a long time.

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