Waking Life

"We may not know why we sleep, dream or wake up, but these states are never static," writes author Siri Hustvedt. There is a continuum of perception from unconsciousness to full self-consciousness.

"Understanding waking consciousness, sleep and dreams depends on how the lines are drawn among them," writes author Siri Hustvedt. "Ernest Hartman at Tufts University School of Medicine proposes a waking-to-dreaming continuum, a range of states that move from highly self-conscious, logical, category bound, sequential wakefulness to daydreaming and reverie with their more fragmented, less logical thoughts to dreaming. ... We may not know why we sleep, dream or wake up, but these states are never static."

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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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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Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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