Researchers Read Sealed Renaissance-Era Letter Without Opening It!

On July 31, 1697, a French lawyer named Jacques Sennacques wrote an urgent message to remind a cousin in the Netherlands to send him a relative's death certificate. To prevent others from reading the confidential memo, the note was carefully folded, or "letter locked." The ancient technique, which transformed the letter into its own secure package, was prevalent before the invention of envelopes.

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How Texans Stepped Up To Help One Another During The Brutal Freeze

The deadly winter storm, which swept across 22 states — from Texas to Maine — the week of February 14, 2021, delivered large amounts of snow and ice, and established numerous low-temperature records. While over 140 million Americans were impacted, Texas was particularly hard hit. The Arctic chill caused about 60 percent of the state's energy sources to go offline and water pipes to freeze and burst, leaving millions without electricity and water.

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How GameStop And Other "Meme" Stocks Became The Centerpiece Of A Stock Market Frenzy

If you have been paying any attention to the news over the past few weeks, you may have heard of the exponential rise and the equally dramatic drop in the share price of video game retailer GameStop (GME) and other "meme" stocks — those favored by millennials — like AMC Theaters. The two-week frenzy, which pitted individual amateur investors against seasoned professionals — and resulted in a Congressional inquiry— began rather innocently in an online community on Reddit.

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Remembering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, DC, on September 18, 2020, from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The 87-year-old, who was appointed to the nation's highest court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, was the longest sitting Supreme Court Justice. She was also only the second woman, after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, to serve in this position.

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Evidence Found In Ancient Cave "Hotel" Indicates Humans May Have Arrived In The Americas 30,000 Years Ago

The lack of clues left behind by ancient Americans has made it difficult for researchers to pinpoint precisely when humans first arrived on the continent. However, it has always been believed to be about 13,000 years ago, just as the world was thawing from the last ice age. Now, evidence from the Chiquihuite Cave in Zacatecas, Central Mexico, seems to suggest that prehistoric humans may have been living in North America as early as 30,000 years ago.

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Reflecting On The Life And Legacy of Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

American civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) passed away on July 17, 2020, following a seven-month battle with pancreatic cancer. The 80-year-old dedicated his life to building what he called "The Beloved Community" in America — first as a civil rights leader and then as a lawmaker advocating, for reforms on issues from gun control to health care.

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Three Missions Set To Launch To The Red Planet In July

The solar system is about to get busy! In the next few weeks, a slew of spacecraft will embark on a one-way journey to Mars, to seek evidence of past life and to further investigate its unusual atmosphere. The back-to-back missions are timed to take advantage of the short window of opportunity — caused by celestial mechanics — that will allow them to reach the Red Planet in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

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Dogs Could Soon Become Valuable Allies In The Fight Against COVID-19

One of the biggest challenges to battling the rapid spread of COVID-19 is identifying and isolating people who are infected before the symptoms, which usually take between 3 to 13 days, surface. Now, frontline workers may get some help from canines who can "sniff out" the disease even when the patient is asymptomatic, meaning he or she never shows any of the traits associated with COVID-19.

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Gorgeous Rare White Grizzly Bear Sighted In Canada

With less than 55,000 grizzly bears left in the wild across North America, the sighting of even one is a cause for celebration. Hence you can only imagine how delighted Cara Clarkson and her family were when they spotted two young grizzlies — one with rarely seen all-white fur— foraging alongside the Trans-Canada Highway near Banff, Canada, on April 26, 2020.

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Massive Protests Instigate Sweeping Police Reforms In The US

The unwarranted death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, by a Minneapolis, MN, police officer on May 25, 2020, has reignited the debate about race-based police abuse. Protestors argue that the current law enforcement system encourages systemic racism and are calling for nationwide police reform. In addition to changing the laws, activists are also making a strong case for "defunding the police."

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Americans Demand Justice For George Floyd

Since May 26, 2020, cities across the US have been gripped by protests seeking justice for George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in police custody on May 25, 2020. The incident has led to one of the biggest displays of unrest seen in America in 50 years and reignited the debate about law enforcement and race relations globally. From May 30 to June 1, 2020, thousands of demonstrators in cities across the world — from London to Berlin to Auckland to Brazil — marched in solidarity with their US counterparts to demand justice for Floyd and to protest against the mistreatment of minority groups in their respective countries.

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Memorial Day Celebrations Get Innovative Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Memorial Day celebrations usually involve parades, flag ceremonies, and other formal public recognitions to honor the brave men and women of the American Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. This includes those in the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. However, the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing requirement is causing American cities and towns to cancel the beloved traditions and find new ways to honor their fallen heroes. Here are a few innovative festivities planned for the holiday, which will be observed on May 25, 2020.

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Random Acts of Kindness Bring Joy During Coronavirus Outbreak

With schools and businesses closed and many cities and towns under mandatory shelter-in-place orders, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has drastically changed lives globally within a matter of weeks. To bring joy, optimism, and strength during this difficult period, people and organizations worldwide are performing random acts of kindness for total strangers. Here are a few heartwarming deeds that will bring a smile to your face during these unprecedented times.

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Let's Go Green: It's Saint Patrick's Day!

Saint Patrick's Day, which is celebrated annually on March 17, is a global favorite. And rightfully so, given the holiday's fun traditions, which include pinching people not wearing green and chasing after elusive leprechauns to snare pots of gold. How did the death anniversary of this once-unknown saint become so popular? Read on:

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Desert Locusts Are Wreaking Havoc In East Africa

Since the beginning of 2020, the East African country of Kenya has been battling the nation's worst desert locust outbreak in over 70 years. The destructive swarms, some as big as three times the size of New York City — an estimated 192 billion insects — are eating their way through thousands of acres of crops and animal pastures, decimating livelihoods in the process. Even worse, the locusts, which arrived from neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia, are now spreading to other countries, including Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Congo.

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