In Defense of Christmas

Christmas is one night that is allowed to rip itself from the continuum and to exist all on its own, a mystery and damnation to all the clocks ticking away below.

In defending Christmas I have nothing to say about Jesus Christ, a terrifying and influential historical figure who, I confess, has had little impact on my life. My Christmas, the Christmas I have known, revolves centrally around objects—most crucially around presents and then secondarily around things like Christmas trees, ornaments, decorations, advent calendars, etc., and people—the people I’ve known, the family members whose faces come most quickly to mind when I smell pine needles, as if their faces are the secret look of pine needles and the two are united forever in a correspondence that is prior to history, understanding, or even my own awareness.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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