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Silk’s superpowers
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A Meal Plan for Birds
Who's Knocking?
No Fair: Monkey Sees, Doesn't
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A Light Delay
Island of Hope
Surprise Visitor
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Chemistry and Materials
These gems make their own way
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
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The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
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Stone Age Sole Survivors
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A Jellyfish's Blurry View
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Making good, brown fat
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Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
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Who vs. Whom
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
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Detecting True Art
Prime Time for Cicadas
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Human Body
Gut Microbes and Weight
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Workouts: Does Stretching Help?
Invertebrates
Cockroaches
Horseshoe Crabs
Crawfish
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Great Danes
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Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Electric Backpack
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Black Hole Journey
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
When Fungi and Algae Marry
The algae invasion
Reptiles
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Sea Turtles
Pythons
Space and Astronomy
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Saturn's New Moons
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Technology and Engineering
Musclebots Take Some Steps
A Light Delay
Dancing with Robots
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
How to Fly Like a Bat
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Arctic Melt
Watering the Air
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It's a Small E-mail World After All

We're all connected. You can send an e-mail message to a friend, and your friend can pass it on to one of his or her friends, and that friend can do the same, continuing the chain. Eventually, your message could reach just about anyone in the world, and it might take only five to seven e-mails for the message to get there. Scientists recently tested that idea in a study involving 24,000 people. Participants had to try to get a message forwarded to one of 18 randomly chosen people. Each participant started by sending one e-mail to someone they knew. Recipients could then forward the e-mail once to someone they knew, and so on. Targets, who were randomly assigned by researchers from Columbia University in New York, lived in 13 countries. They included an Australian police officer, a Norwegian veterinarian, and a college professor. Out of 24,000 chains, only 384 reached their goal. The rest petered out, usually because one of the recipients was either too busy to forward the message or thought it was junk mail. The links that reached their goal made it in an average of 4.05 e-mails. Based on the lengths of the failed chains, the researchers estimated that two strangers could generally make contact in five to seven e-mails. The most successful chains relied on casual acquaintances rather than close friends. That's because your close friends know each other whereas your acquaintances tend to know people you don't know. The phenomenon, known as the strength of weak ties, explains why people tend to get jobs through people they know casually but aren't that close to. So, start networking and instant messaging now. As they say in show business: It's all about who you know.—E. Sohn

It's a Small E-mail World After All
It's a Small E-mail World After All








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