The gifts science gave us in 2013
It's Christmas, a season for giving, and so today we reflect on the gifts that science gave us this year. From a rock 'n' roll astronaut to a tweeting robot, and a furry new mammal to a Martian discovery, we didn't lack for stories to share in 2013. So let's reflect back on the year, and thank science for the gifts it has given us.
A meth-cooking science teacher to fall in love with
Chemistry gave television audiences a real boon with the AMC series "Breaking Bad." As the juggernaut story of a chemistry teacher-gone-meth-cook came to a close this year, Miles O'Brien found out that there was real science behind the plot lines of "Breaking Bad" -- even if some of it was a little exaggerated.
The sound of interstellar space
Voyager 1 made a milestone in history this year, becoming the first man-made object to reach interstellar space. (That accomplishment alone took some long-term planning we can all learn from.) As it crossed the threshold, it sent back the sound of interstellar space, which NASA explains in the video above. It was music to scientists' ears.
"We're well beyond the planets, but not all the comets," said Ed Stone, the chief scientist on the Voyager Mission. "We're outside the boundary of the sun. Not only is this an important goal in science, we are exploring where no one has gone before."
Justice for Guatemala
In the 1980s, Guatemalans lived in fear as native Ixil Mayans were raped and murdered. Under the regime of Efrain Rios Montt, 15 massacres targeting Ixil Mayans left over 1,700 dead, and displaced 29,000. As a member of congressional office, Rios Montt was given immunity from charges and evaded trial for years.
This year, forensic science proved that thousands of innocent Ixil Mayans were murdered. Initially, the evidence brought a guilty verdict for Rios Montt on May 14, convicting him of genocide. But the courts overturned the verdict days later, throwing the case into turmoil.
Hope for silence