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Searching the stars

For more than 30 years, the scientists at the SETI Institute have been looking and listening for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. And recently, some of them decided to get a bit more proactive.

Bar time.

For a true case study of an awkward situation, just head to the nearest pick-up bar. Here's what not to say when introducing yourself to a potential mate, in the words of actor and writer Jesse Eisenberg.

flight board

When blogger Jenny Lawson tweeted about an awkward exchange with a cashier at an airport, she couldn't have imagined the flood of responses she'd get from fans recounting their own mortifying moments.

Before John Muir and Charles Darwin, there was Alexander von Humboldt, the German scientist who shaped our understanding of nature. Now, he’s largely forgotten, but biographer Andrea Wulf says he was once the world's most famous scientist. 

“Mortified SF” by rick is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For years, the Mortified stage show and podcast has brought people together from all walks of life to share their most painfully awkward teenage moments. Participants open up their diaries and recount their most embarrassing stories.

ruined boats

There’s a lot of scientific debate about the future of climate change. But have you ever considered the worst case scenario? David Wallace-Wells gives us one terrifying glimpse into the future.

The thoroughly domesticated dog

Merrill Markoe loves dogs. She’s written two novels and many comic essays about our furry friends. Doug Gordon sat down to talk with her about how dogs became our besties.  

soldiers return home

For some veterans, coming home from war can often be a struggle. In his book "Tribe," journalist Sebastian Junger offers a nuanced and thought provoking take on why it’s so difficult and complicated for some returning veterans. 

revolutionary soldier

In the final volume of Laurie Halse Anderson's “Seeds of America” trilogy, white colonists everywhere can be heard talking about liberty and freedom – just not for African Americans. 

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