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Space shuttle set to launch tonight; U.S. East Coasters may see it climbing

The much-postponed launch of space shuttle Discovery on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) finally looks set to go. The shuttle is scheduled to blast off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida tonight at 9:20 (Eastern Daylight Time), delivering the final pieces of the ISS's solar arrays and helping to boost the station's capacity from three to six crew members...

March 11, 2009 — John Matson

And the Intel Science Talent Search winners are...

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2009)—Eric Larson, 17, of Eugene, Ore., took home the top prize at this year's Intel Science Talent Search here—a $100,000 scholarship—for "classifying mathematical objects called fusion categories." His work, according to Intel, "describes these in certain dimensions for the first time." Here, we will attempt to explain what that means...

March 10, 2009 — Ivan Oransky

Computers have a lot to learn from the human brain, engineers say

The year that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) first formed (as the American Institute of Electrical Engineers or AIEE), Chester Arthur was in the White House, the Oxford English Dictionary published its first edition, and construction began on the Statue of Liberty on what was then known as Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor...

March 10, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

How can you tell if coffee is really decaf?

Has Daylight Saving Time messed with your bedtime? Or perhaps the tumbling stock market has you tossing and turning past lights-out. Or maybe, just maybe, you can't sleep because of that "decaf" you ordered at dinner...

March 10, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

We hit pay dirt back in the North Pond

Editor's Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic's North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth's crust...

March 10, 2009 — Katrina Edwards

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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World