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2012 Roundup

Some of the more interesting things that passed through these pages in 2012.

The Brocken Spectre is an optical phenomenon in which the observer’s shadow appears to be magnified on clouds or fog below.

Psychedelics are back in science. After decades of little research due to drug hysteria, scientists have started exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and similar drugs again. Here is the New York Times reporting on a promising study of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD.

On February 9, 1913, a unique procession of meteors was observed from North America. This meteor shower may have been the breakup of a short-lived, small second moon.

Rare earth metals are important for a number of modern technologies. China has a near-monopoly on the world’s supply, and they’re prepared to use it for political gain.

Synthetically grown bismuth crystals.

How long is the coast of Britain? Depends on the size of your measuring stick, of course. Enter fractal dimensions.

Wolbachia pipensis is an interesting group of bacteria that do funky things to reproduction.

(Previous years: 2011, 2010.)