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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Earth's Lowly Rumble
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Science loses out when ice caps melt
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A Change in Climate
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Early Maya Writing
Chicken of the Sea
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A Taste for Cheese
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Strong Bones for Life
GSAT English Rules
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42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
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GSAT Exam Preparation
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Prime Time for Cicadas
Math is a real brain bender
Math Naturals
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Kids now getting 'adult' disease
Walking to Exercise the Brain
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Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
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Black Hole Journey
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Bright Blooms That Glow
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Fastest Plant on Earth
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Asp
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Unveiling Titan
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Holes in Martian moon mystery
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A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Young Scientists Take Flight
Bionic Bacteria
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Middle school science adventures
Reach for the Sky
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Recipe for a Hurricane
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Losing with Heads or Tails

Heads, you win. Tails, you lose. It turns out that coin tosses may be less fair than you might think. A new mathematical analysis even suggests a way to increase your chances of winning. People use coin tosses all the time to make decisions and break ties. You've probably done it yourself to decide who gets the last piece of pizza or which team gets the ball first. Heads or tails? It's anybody's guess, but each side is supposed to have an equal chance of winning. That's not always true, say mathematicians from Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. For a coin toss to be truly random, they say, you have to flip the coin into the air so that it spins in just the right way. Most of the time, though, the coin doesn't spin perfectly. It might tip and wobble in the air. Sometimes it doesn't even flip over. In experiments, the researchers found that it's practically impossible to tell from watching a tossed coin whether it has flipped over. A tossed coin is typically in the air for just half a second, and a wobble can fool the eyes, no matter how carefully you watch. To see how wobbling affects the outcome, the researchers videotaped actual coin tosses and measured the angle of the coin in the air. They found that a coin has a 51 percent chance of landing on the side it started from. So, if heads is up to start with, there's a slightly bigger chance that a coin will land heads rather than tails. When it comes down to it, the odds aren't very different from 50-50. In fact, it would take about 10,000 tosses for you to really notice the difference. Still, when you're gunning for that last piece of candy, it can't hurt to have a leg up, no matter how small.—E. Sohn

Losing with Heads or Tails
Losing with Heads or Tails








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