Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, January 21

The role of icebergs in climate change is explored. Lucid dreaming is discovered to possibly have a link to the secrets of consciousness. And a whole bunch of exoplanets get official names. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

We may have gotten some small relief from global warming: according to a new study, the icebergs breaking off the Antarctic coast as a result of global warming are... slowing down global warming (temporarily). The exact mechanism is explored here, at Reuters.

Is a glass a liquid? Or are such claims less than solid? Science writer and astronomer Phil Plait takes a look at the semi-common claim at his blog, Bad Astronomy.

The nature of consciousness remains one of the most elusive mysteries in brain science. So, for that matter, are lucid dreams. But the two may actually provide insight into one another.

Pretty much everyone knows the eight major planets of the Sol system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. And many also know the names of a couple dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, etc. But what about exoplanets, planets which dwell outside our solar system? Until recently, most were categorized by the name of their star and their order of discovery. Now, 32 have received their own, relatively easy-to-remember names.

No calendar is complete without a list of astronomical events. If you're inclined to stargazing or want to take it up this year, Scientific American's gathered some of the most spectacular events you'll be able to see in 2016.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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