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    Why Did the Ancients Bury Their Dogs like Family Members?

    Man’s best friend was also man’s first buried pet.Photograph by Pavlina Trauskeova / Shutterstock As a kid, when my pet turtle died we had a funeral—of course—and buried him in the backyard. When the family dog passed, his remains were cremated and placed in an urn on the mantle. In today’s society, mortuary rites for […]

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    Clash of the Tiny—One Pushy Squirrel & the Turf War for LA

    A resourceful eastern fox squirrel eating pizzaCourtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County In West Los Angeles, just across the 405 freeway from UCLA, sits a hospital that’s been serving veterans for more than 100 years.  Back in 1904, it housed veterans from the Civil and Spanish-American Wars and was called the “Sawtelle Veterans […]

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    How a Kids’ Cartoon Created a Real-Life Invasive Army

    Tales of monsters invading Japan are a longstanding tradition, usually involving menacing kaiju—literally “strange creatures”—rising from the sea to wreak havoc on a Japanese city. At this very moment, the country is engaged in just such a war, with an entire army of invasive creatures, but they’re both less fearsome and more adorable than Godzilla […]

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    Dr. Frankenstein Needs His Own Hippocratic Oath

    In the next war, instead of a soldier going on a reconnaissance mission into enemy territory, consider this possibility: a cloud of “micro air vehicles,” flying cyborgs, with built-in cameras and microphones, that could be guided by remote control. What military commander wouldn’t want that? DARPA, the research wing of the Department of Defense, has […]