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Researchers Create New 'Memory' Metals That Could Improve Safety

Some metal alloys will "remember" a shape when you heat them to the same temperature they were originally shaped at. So a straight wire made from one of these "shape memory alloys" might change back into a spring when heated, or vice versa. But the alloys that exist today change shape at low temperatures. Materials scientists at Sandia National Laboratory have developed new alloys that don't change shape until they reach hundreds of degrees, opening the door to thousands of new applications.
NPR

Editing Your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings

Psychologists have found a simple way to improve academic performance and even health. When people sit down and write about a negative experience and they revise their story to see it in a more positive way, it changes their behavior and helps them succeed.
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RoboCop? How About RoboPenguin!

When physicist Flavio Noca first saw penguins zooming around underwater, he was blown away by their speed and maneuverability. Now, his team has built a robotic arm that perfectly mimics the flippers in action — and he says the device could someday propel underwater craft.
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Federal Flood Insurance Program Drowning In Debt. Who Will Pay?

Congress has tried to boost premiums on the cheap, subsidized insurance FEMA offers. But property owners in flood zones protested the rate hikes, and legislators backed off in 2013, calling for "further study." Meanwhile, a string of bad storms has left the program $24 billion in debt — so far.
NPR

Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die

A local Christian aid group is trying to help villages adapt by planting drought-tolerant crops and setting up pumps for irrigation. But even with new methods and crops, farmers still need to know: When is it safe to plant?
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Florida's Mangroves Move North As Temperatures Rise

Mangroves, those luxurious coastal thickets of exotic forest and nurseries for fish, are moving north. Satellite images show the mangroves along the Florida coast are thriving in areas to the north that used to be too cold. It's another result of higher temperatures, and especially a lack of freezing temperatures farther north. It's good news for mangroves, which are disappearing in many parts of the world, but bad for the northern salt marshes they replace.
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Does Champagne Actually Get You Drunk Faster?

Search for "Champagne, bubbles and drunk," and you'll get headlines like "Why Bubbles Make You More Giggly." But when we took a close look at the science supporting the urban legend, we weren't impressed. The effect doesn't happen to everyone, and when it does, it's just temporary.
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Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

They look like fettuccine come to life — little flatworms that glide along riverbeds and perform miracles. Chop off their tails, they grow them back. Split them in half, they grow whole again. But chop off their heads, and not only do they grow new heads, but those new heads contain old memories! Whoa!
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Bon Voyage, Voyager: Old Friends Take Stock

Long gone, but never forgotten, Voyager 1 is about 12 billion miles from home and now sailing through interstellar space, scientists were thrilled to confirm in 2013. The spacecraft carries with it a generation's dreams.
NPR

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

A Swedish inventor came up with a wristwatch that counts down the seconds left in your life. He calls it "the happiness watch" because he thinks living with the reality of one's mortality can enhance how we value our lives.

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