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Why Ham Radio Fans Want to Spend Next Summer on an Island Full of Bird Poop
story
hobby

Why Ham Radio Fans Want to Spend Next Summer on an Island Full of Bird Poop

Baker Island, in the middle of the Pacific, is also the last place on Earth to ring in the new year.
December 29, 2017
2017's Most Unusual New Memorials and Monuments
story
the year in wonder

2017's Most Unusual New Memorials and Monuments

Supermarket cats, rainbow crosswalks, tricked-out Jerry Orbach tribute cars, and more.
December 29, 2017
After the Holidays, Christmas Trees Have More Work to Do
story
conservation

After the Holidays, Christmas Trees Have More Work to Do

They're sheltering aquatic species, keeping out invasive fish, and holding beaches and swamps together.
December 27, 2017
What Pigeon Spikes Can Teach Us About People
story
urban planning

What Pigeon Spikes Can Teach Us About People

Hostile architecture for birds has a lot in common with hostile architecture for humans.
December 22, 2017
This Fish's Propensity for Deafening Orgies Is Both Its Strength and Its Weakness
story
noise

This Fish's Propensity for Deafening Orgies Is Both Its Strength and Its Weakness

A single male Gulf covina is louder than a jet engine.
December 21, 2017
One of 2017’s Most Exciting Plant Conservation Moments
story
cryonics

One of 2017’s Most Exciting Plant Conservation Moments

In Ontario this year, researchers propagated a rare species and released it back into the wild.
December 20, 2017
The Incompatible Food Triad Cookoff
Gastro Obscura
story
recipe

The Incompatible Food Triad Cookoff

To solve a tasty philosophical problem, we whipped up strawberry-mushroom-balsamic tarts and beef-orange-cream pot pies.
December 20, 2017
How Archivists Deal With Redactions, Codes, and Scribbles
story
archive

How Archivists Deal With Redactions, Codes, and Scribbles

Sometimes, obscurity leads to surprising intimacies.
December 15, 2017
Wishlist: A Book That Evolves Before Your Eyes
story
evolution

Wishlist: A Book That Evolves Before Your Eyes

Fathom's color-coded version of "On the Origin of Species" changes as you read it.
December 15, 2017
A New Multilingual Sign Language Dictionary Looks to the Stars
story
shorts

A New Multilingual Sign Language Dictionary Looks to the Stars

Hoping to make education more accessible, the International Astronomical Union is compiling all the signs of outer space.
December 15, 2017
The Artist Shrinking Antarctica’s Glaciers
story
the year in wonder

The Artist Shrinking Antarctica’s Glaciers

Using 3-D imaging, Helen Glazer brings the southernmost continent indoors.
December 13, 2017
America's Tumultuous Love Affair With Kudzu
story
evil plants

America's Tumultuous Love Affair With Kudzu

Before the plant was considered a scourge, it was used for decoration, as livestock fodder, and to fight erosion.
December 11, 2017
The Snowy Owls Are Back in Town
story
migrations

The Snowy Owls Are Back in Town

Them wild-eyed birds that had been away.
December 07, 2017
How Far Can You Abstract a Map?
story
design

How Far Can You Abstract a Map?

Morphology, an exploratory cartographic tool, turns the whole world into swoops and lines.
December 06, 2017
Will 2017 Be the Gävle Goat's Lucky Year?
story
gavle goat

Will 2017 Be the Gävle Goat's Lucky Year?

Everyone's favorite arson-prone ungulate is hoping to survive the season, for once.
December 05, 2017
Before Edward Lear Was a Limerick Genius, He Was a Teenage Parrot-Painting Prodigy
story
poetry

Before Edward Lear Was a Limerick Genius, He Was a Teenage Parrot-Painting Prodigy

The beloved children's poet spent his own youth "at the West End / painting the best end / of some vast Parrots / as red as new carrots."
December 04, 2017
To Identify Whale Sharks, Scientists Looked to the Stars
story
data

To Identify Whale Sharks, Scientists Looked to the Stars

A groundbreaking marine database was only made possible by a telescope algorithm.
December 01, 2017
How Professionals Wrestle With One of the World's Scariest Plants
story
evil plants

How Professionals Wrestle With One of the World's Scariest Plants

Giant hogweed can cause blistering burns and even blindness. So what do you do if you want to preserve one?
November 30, 2017
This Camera Recorded Its Own Disappearance
story
journeys

This Camera Recorded Its Own Disappearance

Swept 350 miles across the sea, it would like to be reunited with its owner.
November 30, 2017
The World's Deepest-Living Fish Is Surprisingly Cute
story
records

The World's Deepest-Living Fish Is Surprisingly Cute

Meet the Mariana snailfish, the top dog at the bottom of the world.
November 29, 2017
The First Cat in Space Deserves a Memorial
story
space

The First Cat in Space Deserves a Memorial

And if all goes well, she's finally going to get one.
November 27, 2017
The Treasures Blooming in Canada's Largest Seed Catalog Archive
story
archive

The Treasures Blooming in Canada's Largest Seed Catalog Archive

They were once considered disposable, but the Royal Botanical Gardens is putting 30,000 horticultural periodicals to good use.
November 22, 2017
This Water Safety Campaign in New Zealand Has a Stylish, Sinister Mascot
story
marketing

This Water Safety Campaign in New Zealand Has a Stylish, Sinister Mascot

Meet the Swim Reaper.
November 21, 2017
Untangling the Secrets of One of Harvard’s Historic Hair Collections
story
hair

Untangling the Secrets of One of Harvard’s Historic Hair Collections

The university's Houghton Library is home to a number of famous tresses.
November 20, 2017