Photo: The light of day

Miner Alex Vega, left, hugs his wife after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. He had been trapped with 32 other miners under a half-mile of rock for over two months. Alex was the tenth miner rescued. Photo: AP/Hugo Infante, Chilean government

Photo: Wee blind mice

In October 1609, the song "Three Blind Mice" is published in London. Almost 400 years later, in October 2008, two Americans and a Japanese scientist shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their research on a glowing jellyfish protein that revolutionized the ability to study disease and normal development in living organisms, as seen in this photo of a mouse embryo whose tissues are labeled with green and red fluorescent proteins. Photo: AP Photo/MSKCC, Gloria Kwon, Kat Hadjantonakis

The other alternate reality of ‘Back to the Future’

This month marks the 25th anniversary of  Robert Zemeckis’ classic film, Back to the Future.

Much of the movie’s success can be attributed to the way it expertly straddled the genres of science fiction and comedy, while somehow managing to simultaneously operate as a true coming-of-age tale. In a way, it’s a movie that has it all: romance, high-speed chases, a perfectly despicable bad guy and, of course, a plutonium-fueled Delorean that travels through time!

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Chinese Twitter users support Nobel winner, despite censors

Authorities in China moved swiftly on Friday to block news of the Nobel Committee’s decision to award the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a jailed pro-democracy activist and literary critic currently serving an 11-year sentence in a northern Chinese prison.

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper reported that live coverage of the event by CNN and the BBC was blacked out by government censors, and there was no mention of Liu or the Nobel Prize on sina.com, the country’s popular search engine. Even text messages containing Liu’s name seem to have been blocked.

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Photo: Happy Birthday John!

On Saturday, John Lennon would have turned 70 years old. He is pictured here wearing the now iconic New York City T-shirt in 1974. Photo: Bob Gruen/PRNewsFoto/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex

There is a free screening of the American Masters film”LENNONYC” on Saturday, October 9, 2010, 7 p.m. at the Central Park Summer Stage. The film explores Lennon’s life in New York City during the 1970s as a father, husband, activist and artist. For more information, click here!

The real skinny on weight and earning power

The Wall Street Journal’s Juggle blog looks at a new study that shows a disturbing – but not altogether surprising — correlation between weight, gender and earning power. The study concludes that,

[E]mployers seem to treat women exactly the way the fashion industry does – by rewarding very thin women with higher pay, while penalizing average-weight women with smaller paychecks.

Other highlights of the study show that women who weighed 25 pounds less than the group average earned approximately $15,572 more a year. The opposite was true for underweight men, who made about $8,437 less than their average-weight counterparts.

Photo: Then and now

A portrait of Lahwee standing with a photo of himself as a young Muay Thai boxer. At 64 years of age, he still instructed part-time in Bangkok, when he was not driving a cab. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" due to the use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes (eight points of contact). The fighting art has been around over a thousand years, and Muay Thai practitioners typically begin training at a very young age. Photo: Ronn Aldaman

Virginia AG recycles old claims in new climate change probe

Research by prominent climatologist Michael Mann is the subject of an investigation by Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Photo: Greg Rico

The Virginia attorney general has issued a new civil subpoena in his effort to obtain records related to the research of a prominent climate scientist at the University of Virginia, after failing to convince a state judge in August that the investigation should proceed.

The attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, had been investigating a former University of Virginia climatologist, Michael Mann, for possibly defrauding taxpayers with false research. A judge initially dismissed the request, saying Cuccinelli had failed to present “a reason to believe” that Mann had misled the public. But the judge also allowed Cuccinelli to rework his subpoena to comply with state law, and on Monday the attorney general issued a new request, or “civil investigative demand,” that he said satisfied the judge’s concerns.

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Sweepin’ the clouds away

Gerald Lesser and Kermit in a Sesame Street pitch reel in 1968.

Gerald Lesser, one of the early shining lights in the development of “Sesame Street,” died September 24 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 84. As chairman of the board of advisers for the show, he transformed educational television for children by making it fun. A Harvard psychologist, Lesser had a deep knowledge of child development and introduced that to television. In the process, he broke down the barriers between education and entertainment.

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