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Science

Anthony Quintano / Creative Commons

When you think of evolution, you might picture the classic textbook illustration "March of Progress" by Rudolph Zallinger. It shows how, over 25 million years, our human ancestors slowly transform from hunched apes into modern homo sapiens. But now, thanks in part to roads and highways, lots of evolution happens much quicker than that.

Microscopic, bear-shaped animals called tardigrades are one of the most resilient animals on earth. Known colloquially as water bears, they can survive freezing temperatures, radiation, even a trip to outer space.

The creatures are famous for their ability to withstand extremely dry conditions. Water bears can go without water for 10 years, surviving as a dessicated shell. Just how they come back to life when their environment is friendlier has baffled scientists for years.

Maxlme Raynal / Flickr

UFOs have been reported in America since the 1600s. And in all that time our government has largely dismissed the objects as being of Earthly origin. But this culture of dismissal in the U.S. is not indicative of how sightings are handled around the world. Some foreign governments readily discuss the possibility of extraterrestrials having visited Earth, and others go so far as to openly support the possibility.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This week NASA announced the discovery of at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. The next step is peering more closely at this unique system to search for signs of alien life.

Vinoth Chandar / Creative Commons

I once took guitar lessons with a small group of people who met two nights a week in the basement of a local elementary school. We spent most of each lesson practicing in little nooks and crannies we each carved out in the old room. I enjoyed picking out tunes in my own little corner at my own pace. It was all going so smoothly until... the instructor mentioned the final "concert."

I lost sleep by night, fretted by day, and practiced a lot before forcing myself to show up on the scheduled night. But a funny thing happened: no one else showed up beside me and the instructor. I'm not sure what made me happier - that I showed up, that I got off the hook, or that I had an otherwise pleasant experience that was calm and not rushed.

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