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  • Curiouser and Curiouser

    March 5, 2010

    Director Tim Burton’s work has been described as intensely original, and his latest film—an epic 3D fantasy adventure—certainly meets that description. And, as scientific evidence indicates, so, too, does our galaxy.

  • The Hunt for Dark Matter

    February 26, 2010

    Mysterious and elusive, dark matter is for astronomers and cosmologists what the White Rabbit is for Alice. It’s described as a “hypothetical form of matter...whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter.” In other words, scientists know dark matter exists because they can observe its impact on its celestial surroundings—but they have yet to directly detect it.

    • Universe Design
  • Puttin' on the Ritz

    February 19, 2010

    My plans that day were simple: do as little as possible. Committed to that goal, I sauntered over to the couch with casual conviction.

  • Gold-Medal-Winning Design

    February 12, 2010

    Today marks the opening of the twenty-first Winter Olympic Games, held this time in Vancouver, British Columbia. Athletes representing over 80 countries will compete in fifteen winter sport events, all hoping to hear their national anthem played for them.

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  • 15-Yard Penalty

    February 5, 2010

    It’s the first big holiday of the year (after New Year’s, that is). Stores overflow with themed decorations, and ads persuade consumers to buy their honeys a grand gift in honor of the big day.

  • A Spirited Nature

    January 29, 2010

    There are many high-quality nature shows on television these days, but none as spectacular as Planet Earth. Co-produced by the BBC and the Discovery Channel, the series took five years to complete as crew members took their cameras quite literally to the ends of the earth. The final result transports audiences to never-before-seen locations and introduces them to a wild array of animals, some almost alien.

  • It Never Rains in Southern California

    January 22, 2010

    Most non-native Californians travel to the Golden State to bask in its seemingly endless sunshine. But over the last few days, our typical 70-degree weather has been replaced with torrential rains. Back-to-back winter storms continue to slam Southern California cities—with some areas getting as much as an inch and a half of rain per hour. And residents, especially those in burn areas, are definitely recognizing the power of water.

  • Of Hominids and Humans

    January 15, 2010

    I hear this comment a lot—and with good reason. Of the three daughters born to my parents, I’m most like my father in personality and looks.

    • Neanderthals
    • Lucy and Other Hominids
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  • The Proofing Is in the Pudding

    January 8, 2010

    For RTB scholar Fazale "Fuz" Rana, it means the end of the writing stage for his upcoming book (working title Life in the Lab). For the editorial team, it means picking up the baton and running full speed toward the copyediting process (among other things). This is my favorite part of the process—not only do I get to do what I love (edit), but I also get a sneak peek at the scholars’ next book. Bonus!

    • Biochemical Design
  • The Take Two Christmas Spectacular

    December 23, 2009

    For many, the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of chaos—the Black day that sets everyone running from one errand or event to another. Put up the decorations. Hit the mall during lunch. Call Mom about plans for the weekend. Buy the gifts you forgot to get on your last trip to the mall. Eat more cookies (okay, maybe that last one is just me).

  • King and God and Sacrifice

    December 18, 2009

    My pastor has an issue with the three wise men. Movies, plays, crèches, and Christmas cards usually depict the Magi among the people present at Christ’s birth, despite Matthew 2:1’s clear statement that the Magi didn’t arrive in the area (Judea) until after that event. Because this discrepancy bugs my pastor so much, some congregants cut the wise men out of the Christmas cards they send him.

  • The Best Present

    December 11, 2009

    There’s something about this time of year that entices people to sip warm drinks and recall warmer memories of holidays past. Those “I remember when…” conversations seem to sprinkle the air like colored sugar on cookies. And, though many of my Christmas memories are unspectacular, they're sweet nonetheless.

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  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

    December 4, 2009

    RTB’s employees hail from all over America. Sandra and I are native Southern Californians accustomed to almost constant sunshine. Astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink comes from Missouri where white Christmases are reality, not dreams. While Jeff would much rather shovel snow from a driveway than deal with California’s maddening traffic; Sandra and I prefer to admire the (occasionally) snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains that loom over our commute route from the warm interior of our cars.

  • The Take Two Thanksgiving Spectacular

    November 25, 2009

    Every year around Thanksgiving, my mom and I don our favorite aprons to bake our signature pumpkin bread. The annual baking day takes 10–12 hours. But this year we found ourselves nearing completion by noon. Somewhere along the line we had miscalculated the ingredients. But whereas we usually end up with an excess of bread, this time there are just enough loaves to meet our needs. The incident got me thinking, am I truly satisfied with enough?

  • These Vamps Don't Bite

    November 20, 2009

    It’s the day Twilight fans around the country have been dying for. Some have squirmed and squealed—with Team Edward or Jacob shirts at the ready—for the long awaited 12:01 AM premiere. (Count me in that group!) Others have had the willpower to hold off ’till daylight. Whichever camp they’re in, Twilight fans are salivating over New Moon, the latest film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling saga.

  • The Supreme Kind

    November 6, 2009

    Considering all the money raked in from alien- and UFO-themed blockbusters, the market for them has indeed been huge. And year after year the themes get darker, more sinister; the visual effects, more shockingly gory.

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  • It's No Contest

    October 30, 2009

    Another October has come to a close and tomorrow night neighborhoods will come alive with trick-or-treaters on their annual quest for candy. Whether you man the door at home or help out at a community “Trunk-or-Treat,” I bet you’ll see pint-sized Optimus Primes, Bumblebees, and Megatrons making the rounds.

  • Nacho Average Discovery

    October 23, 2009

    In our haste to settle on the couch with a movie and nacho cheesy feast, my husband and I forgot to serve ourselves a drink. We took advantage of the previews to make a break for the kitchen. What we saw when we walked back into the living room stopped us in our tracks.

    • Universe Design
    • TCM - Origin of the Universe
  • Repeat Perfomance

    October 16, 2009

    While in high school my husband, Darren, developed a talent for video production. He learned early on the various setbacks a video producer can experience while working on a project. One of the most frustrating occurred while taping something for his dad’s church. Halfway through, he discovered he had recorded over the only copy of a different video for the same church.

  • Hurts So Good

    October 9, 2009

    2009 has been a big year for The Beatles. Their original catalogue was digitally remastered and released, along with the highly anticipated The Beatles: Rock Band video game, on 9/9/09. And today marks what would’ve been John Lennon’s sixty-ninth birthday.

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