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An artist’s conception of WASP-18b, a giant exoplanet that orbits very close to its star. X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/I.Pillitteri et al; Optical: DSS

A real-life deluminator for spotting exoplanets by reflected starlight

Sometimes it is difficult to take a photograph of an exoplanet because the star illuminating it is too bright. Now there is a new 'deluminator' telescope that can block out the extra light.
The holidays for many are not always about joy. Grief is a significant part of the holidays for those who have lost loved ones in the past year. Smileus/Shutterstock.com

The holidays remind us that grief cannot be wished away

Grief has been thought to present itself in five stages, but newer studies into how people process grief shows that, in many ways, it never ends. Grief can be especially powerful at the holidays.
Holiday drinking can get out of hand before we know it. It’s important to know the signs of overuse. Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock.com

Alcoholic? Me? How to tell if your holiday drinking is becoming a problem

The holidays are not solely about religious observations or societal celebrations, as alcohol has established itself in the festivities. But how much is too much? An addiction specialist examines.
America lags when it comes to being able to speak more than one language. Monopoly919/Shutterstock.com

7 reasons to learn a foreign language

Better job prospects and richer lives are among the many reasons to learn a foreign language, an expert on foreign language instruction writes.
Host Jack Barry, middle, is flanked by contestants on ‘21,’ a 1950s TV game show. Orlando Fernandez/New York World-Telegram and Sun/Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Think presidential debates are dull? Thank 1950s TV game shows

The only satisfactory debate arrangement everyone agreed to nearly 60 years ago largely remains in place today – the game show format.
The emotion of lassitude might help your body fight off infection by making certain adjustments. Kalinka Georgieva/Shutterstock.com

Feeling sick is an emotion meant to help you get better faster

Fighting off infection comes with predictable psychological and behavioral features. Now researchers suggest an emotion coordinates this response to help you get better. They call it 'lassitude.'
When algorithms make decisions with real-world consequences, they need to be fair. R-Type/Shutterstock.com

How can we make sure that algorithms are fair?

A machine learning expert predicts a new balance between human and machine intelligence is on the horizon. For that to be good news, researchers need to figure out how to design algorithms that are fair.
In 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Planetary confusion – why astronomers keep changing what it means to be a planet

Many people are still upset that Pluto was demoted from being a planet. But definitions of various celestial objects are fairly fluid. So whether it is an asteroid or moon or planet is up for debate.
In Rio de Janeiro, practitioners of the Afro-Brazilian faiths Candomble and Umbanda are increasingly under attack by evangelical crusaders. AP Photo/Leo Correa

Evangelical gangs in Rio de Janeiro wage ‘holy war’ on Afro-Brazilian faiths

As evangelicalism spreads across Brazil, some of Rio de Janeiro's most notorious gangs see minority religions as an affront to God. And they're using guns to spread their gospel.