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11 Things We Didn't Know Last Week

News, discoveries and ... fun


1. Google's latest self-driving car doesn't have a steering wheel or brake pedal. (Learn more at AARP)

2. Some astronomers insist that the likelihood of life beyond earth is "close to 100 percent," scientists testified recently. (Learn more at The Independent)

what we believe skeptical aliens ufo heaven hell zombies angels
Rachid Dahnoun

3. Traveling the globe, Biddy the hedgehog is an Instagram sensation. (Learn more at Daily Dot)


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4. If you think that home is the place to recuperate from work, you may have it backward. (Learn more at  Deseret News)

5. Home Alone star Macauley Culkin's band sings about pizza and nothing else. (Learn more at  Fox News)

Macauley Culkin singing

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6. Making a microscope that magnifies objects 2,000 times begins with a piece of paper and costs less than a dollar. (Learn more at FoldScope)


7. Kitty litter can help stabilize nuclear waste, but using the wrong kind is extremely dangerous. (Learn more at NPR)

8. A stolen or hacked debit card could cost you 10 times more than a poached credit card. (Learn more at AARP)

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9. Lawyers for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California plan to file a claim that Led Zeppelin stole their " Stairway to Heaven" intro. (Learn more at AARP)

10. Using new technology, magnetic levitating trains will travel 1,800 mph. (Learn more at Gizmag)

11. Rather than compete, sperm may cooperate as they swim toward an egg. (Learn more at BBC)

Sperm and egg


Bonus Video: Be patient for a moment, and you'll enjoy a young performer channeling Michael Jackson.

Learn something this week? Mail your ideas to, and we'll try to include your story next time.

On Twitter, we're using the hashtag   #11things.

Let us read 11 Things to you:

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Images - Self-driving car: Google; Aliens: Corbis; Biddy the Hedgehog: Instagram account; Macauley Culkin singing (cropped): Matt Biddulph/Flickr; Samples of microscope views from Foldscope: Foldscope team; Sperm and egg: Sashkinw/iStockphoto

Music - Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra plays Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra - Blue Blazes by Sy Oliver, Creative Commons, courtesy of Smithsonian Remix project.


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