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Climate Talks End With Eye On Next Year

COPENHAGEN (Associated Press) -- A historic U.N. climate conference ended Saturday with only a nonbinding "Copenhagen Accord" to show for two weeks of debate and frustration. It was a deal short on concrete steps against global warming, but signaling a new start for rich-poor cooperation on climate change.

from the San Diego Union-Tribune (Registration Required)

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Winter Solstice Monday: Facts on First Day of Winter

Monday is the winter solstice and the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It's all due to Earth's tilt, which ensures that the shortest day of every year falls around December 21.

from National Geographic News

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Autism Numbers Are Rising. The Question Is Why?

One in 110 American children are considered to fall somewhere along the autism spectrum, according to the latest report released by the federal government. The new figure, which was released initially in October, comes from the most comprehensive set of data yet on the developmental health of eight-year-olds.

from Time

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Rising Prices Spark a New Gold Rush in Peruvian Amazon

PUERTO MALDONADO, PERU -- Boriam Valera has seen his future. It shimmers--and sells for more than $1,100 an ounce.

from the Washington Post (Registration Required)

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When Does Death Start?

Robin Beaulieu was telling me about her daughter's bike accident. It was an event that would force Beaulieu not only to confront the death of her child but also to embrace a new way of dying.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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Davy Jones's Lock-up

A shipwreck is a catastrophe for those involved, but for historians and archaeologists of future generations it is an opportunity. Wrecks offer glimpses not only of the nautical technology of the past but also of its economy, trade, culture and, sometimes, its warfare.

from the Economist

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Frozen Light Stays Fresh Longer

Forget about ziplock bags. A cloud of ultracold atoms can store a beam of yellow light for 1.5 seconds. That timescale isn't impressive for frozen peas, but it's enough time for light to circle the Earth 10 times under normal conditions, researchers led by Lene Hau of Harvard University report.

from Science News

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Bones From Abandoned Village 'Show Tough Life of Medieval Women'

The fearsome northern woman of legend and cliché, broadchested and with a frying pan poised to whack sense into her man, has proved to have genuine historic origins. Analysis of bones from Britain's biggest medieval excavation has unearthed a race of real-life Nora Battys, ruling a Yorkshire roost nearly 1,000 years ago.

from the Guardian (U.K.)

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There's a Fly in My Urinal

This will have to be a guys-only experience, but should an urgent need send you to the men's room at Terminal Four at JFK Airport in New York, or to the men's rooms at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, or to any number of stadiums, or--for any 10-year-old boys reading--to more and more elementary school bathrooms all over America, you may see, right above the drain, a perfect facsimile of a house fly.

from National Public Radio

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Fitting Prosthetic Limbs, via a Computer

The best fit for a prosthetic leg depends in part on the small adjustments in alignment that help amputees walk comfortably.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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