The Halloweens of Yesterday

"When did Halloween become, to use the marketing phrase of the moment, spooktacular?" The New Yorker's Susan Orlean reflects on simpler Halloweens of yesteryear.

"My guess is that the Halloweening of America has many causes," says Susan Orlean. "One is probably the popularity of horror films, and, accordingly, the enthusiasm for things like Bloody Dagger Doorknockers and the whole severed-body-part segment of Halloween decor. Another is certainly the genius of insistent merchandising by card and costume and decoration companies, which have managed to make the average citizen feel like a heel if he or she doesn’t send out St. Patrick’s Day cards or style the house for Valentine’s Day (see Maud Lavin’s excellent book 'The Business of Holidays' for particulars)."

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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