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Science Story of the Year

SCIENCE magazine is just out with its breakthrough stories of the year, and leading the way is the discovery that Mars once held vast amounts of water, found with the Martian rovers. (The rovers are still going, by the way,…
December 16, 2004

SCIENCE magazine is just out with its breakthrough stories of the year, and leading the way is the discovery that Mars once held vast amounts of water, found with the Martian rovers. (The rovers are still going, by the way, long past their engineered lifetimes.)

“Their finds mark a milestone in humankind’s search for life elsewhere in the universe,” Science said. Should humans ever go to Mars, the rover landing sites will be prime candidates for landing spots.

First runner-up is the discovery of a race of tiny humans on the Indonesian island of Flores, who lived about 18,000 years ago. The magazine called the find “the biggest discovery in half a century of anthropological research.”

Science also listed its “breakdowns” of the year, which included U.S. scientists accusing the Bush administration of putting ideology before science, and French and Italian researchers protested against budget cuts and more.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

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