Sugar Found In Space: A Sign of Life?

Astronomers have made a sweet discovery: simple sugar molecules floating in the gas around a star some 400 light-years away, suggesting the possibility of life on other planets.

The discovery doesn’t prove that life has developed elsewhere in the universe—but it implies that there is no reason it could not. It shows that the carbon-rich molecules that are the building blocks of life can be present even before planets have begun forming.

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This seat’s taken

Obama tweeted a picture — sent from the @BarackObama account, run by his campaign — of him sitting in a chair marked “the President”. His caption: “This seat’s taken.”

Riomaggiore, Italy

The village, dating from the early thirteenth century, is known for its historic character and its wine, produced by the town’s vineyards. Riomaggiore is in the Riviera di Levante region and has shoreline on the Mediterranean’s Gulf of Genoa, with a small beach and a wharf framed by tower houses. Riomaggiore’s main street is Via Colombo where numerous restaurants, bars and shops can be found.

Cool Morning Mug

Designer Damion O’Sullivan really understands those of us who need time to wake up in the mornings. When cold, his morning mug displays a sleeping face white on black. As you pour in the hot coffee (or tea), the mug awakens to greet you.

Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low—Extreme Weather to Come?


Global warming to blame for highest observed decline, scientists say.

Arctic sea ice is thawing at a historic rate, scientists say. In fact, a recent analysis of satellite data “utterly obliterates” the previous record, set in 2007.

The chief culprit? Global warming. The potential upshot? Longer and more intense extreme-weather events such as heat waves, cold spells, and droughts. (Read more about extreme weather in National Geographic magazine.)

On Monday, researchers at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said the rate of Arctic sea ice decline is now the highest that has ever been observed for the month of August. In August of this year, the sea ice disappeared at an average rate of about 39 square miles (a hundred square kilometers) per day—or about twice as fast as normal, NSIDC scientists say.

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