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Blogs

NASA Scientists Discover Places that Could Harbor Life in Our Solar System

NASA Scientists Discover Places that Could Harbor Life in Our Solar System
June 30, 2017

The search for extra-terrestrial life may keep astronomers far closer to home than previously thought, as two NASA missions have uncovered some of the most compelling evidence for life within our solar system to date.

The Psychology of a Late-Game Lead Invites a Comeback

The Psychology of Late-Game Lead Invites a Comeback
June 27, 2017

Everybody loves a comeback. One competitor performing their best to overcome a deficit before time runs out is the type of moment that can make any competition exciting.

To anybody who watches a lot of sports, it seems like those comeback kids get a lot of help from their opponents. The person or team in the lead often eases up or hits a stretch where nothing goes right.

Fudging Predictions on the Impacts of Government Spending is Surprisingly Easy

Fudging Predictions on the Impacts of Government Spending is Surprisingly Easy
June 27, 2017

Politics, at its heart, is a number puzzle.

Even beyond the counting of votes, delegates and electors, lawmakers need to know how every new law, budget, executive order and legal ruling will affect citizens and the economy.

National Hurricane Center Debuts New Look for Cone of Uncertainty

You know you’ve seen it. A hurricane is approaching and the National Hurricane Center issues a forecast cone in their report to indicate the possible path and impact area of the tropical cyclone. 

Maybe you have wondered about this “cone of uncertainty.” 

It turns out a lot of people have wondered about what exactly the cone means. The problem is that the public’s understanding of the its meaning is usually wrong. So forecasters are trying to improve the tool. 

But first, just what is the cone? 

Losing weight isn't about having a fast metabolism

Yes, I’m writing this blog because I am trying to lose some weight. It's not easy, as you have probably heard many people complain. And it’s likely that you have also heard people place the blame for this difficulty on a slow metabolism. I’m not exactly sure what that might mean, but, hey, the excuse made sense. That is, until I asked the researchers at Metabolon. 

Bottom line: I lost my excuse. 

Spotting a galaxy, and other discoveries that were total accidents

Astrophysicist Patrick Treuthardt wasn’t looking for a rare galaxy. But while gazing at a cluster of galaxies, he happened to notice a small, unobtrusive speck. The speck turned out to be PGC 10000714, an elliptical galaxy surrounded by two rings of stars. It’s one of the rarest types of galaxies in the universe and Treuthardt found it by chance. 

A lot of major scientific discoveries can happen by accident, failure or just plain dumb luck. 

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