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The Magic of Dowsing Keeps Holding On
Jun 26, 2019 · 1 

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By Sasha von Oldershausen Before Jeff Boyd became the city of Marfa’s public-works director, he had a long career underwater. As a commercial saturation diver, one of the most specialized kinds of divers around, he would spend his days some 400 feet below the surface, breathing a mixture of helium and oxygen, for month-long stretches. …


Astronomers Have Decoded a Weird Signal Coming from a Strange, 3-Body Star System
Jun 26, 2019

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By Rafi Letzter Once or twice a day, a strange object in the Milky Way blinks at us. Now, astronomers think they know why. The object is called NGTS-7, and to most telescopes it looks like a single star. Researchers at the University of Warwick in England started watching because it seemed to be emitting flares, but …


‘Activist Mommy’ Terrorizes LGBTQ Prom With Hateful Phone Campaign
Jun 26, 2019

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By Tracy E. Gilchrist Virulently anti-LGBTQ activist Elizabeth Johnston, who goes by the name “Activist Mommy,” launched a phone campaign that succeeded in pushing a branch of the Jacksonville, Fla., Public Library to cancel a queer-inclusive prom at the venue over concerns for the teens’ safety, according to local TV station WJAX.  Johnston is known for …


Former Creation Museum Staffer Exposes “Toxic Culture” of Ken Ham’s Empire
Jun 26, 2019

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By Hemant Mehta In October of 2015, Creationist Ken Ham and his colleagues decided to throw a month-long Halloween event at the Creation Museum. (Minus the demons and witchcraft.) There would even be a life-sized creature on hand to take pictures with the kids while museum staffers would be on hand to answer questions about what the …


‘Bathtub rings’ around Titan’s lakes might be made of alien crystals
Jun 25, 2019

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By the American Geophysical Union The frigid lakeshores of Saturn’s moon Titan might be encrusted with strange, unearthly minerals, according to new research being presented here. Scientists re-creating Titan-esque conditions in their laboratory have discovered new compounds and minerals not found on Earth, including a co-crystal made of solid acetylene and butane. Acetylene and butane …


A Recent Local Controversy Reveals the Theocratic Heart of ‘Project Blitz’
Jun 25, 2019

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By Frederick Clarkson Much has happened since RD broke the story last year of Project Blitz—a stealth state legislative campaign of the Christian right that framed much of their agenda in terms of religious freedom. Controversies over legislation based on model bills have broken out across the country on issues ranging from LGBTQ civil rights and discrimination in …


Evangelicals go all in for Trump reelection
Jun 25, 2019

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By Jonathan Easley Faith leaders and anti-abortion groups are ramping up their efforts to reelect President Trump, rewarding a president who has become an unlikely hero of the Christian right because of his commitment to socially conservative causes. The Faith and Freedom Coalition will spend tens of millions of dollars on a voter mobilization effort that …


Indianapolis Catholic school fires openly gay teacher
Jun 25, 2019

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By Tim Stelloh A Catholic high school in Indiana said Sunday that it is firing an openly gay teacher to avoid “forfeiting our Catholic identity” — the second school in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to publicly reckon with the issue of homosexuality in a week. In an open letter, officials with Cathedral High School in Indianapolis …


NASA Set To Launch a Deep-Space Atomic Clock Tonight
Jun 24, 2019

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By Kasandra Brabaw NASA is set to launch an incredible new atomic clock into orbit on a Falcon Heavy today (June 24) in a technology demonstration mission that could transform the way humans explore space. The Deep Space Atomic Clock, developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is a space-ready upgrade to the atomic clocks we use here on …


Mars rover detects ‘excitingly huge’ methane spike
Jun 24, 2019

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By Alexandra Witze NASA’s Curiosity rover has measured the highest level of methane gas ever found in the atmosphere at Mars’s surface. The reading taken last week at Gale Crater — 21 parts per billion — is three times greater than the previous record, which Curiosity detected back in 2013. Planetary scientists avidly track methane …