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    Stonehenge summer solstice (Matt Cardy/Getty)
    Summer solstice arrives a day "early" this leap year, which gives us more time to appreciate what lies ahead:  hotter-than-normal temperatures in some parts (and maybe an occasional dousing), more pests buzzing about, the Olympics, a sustained political current of hot air, and—for one delectable day—luxuriating in 14 to 17 hours of sunlight (where conditions allow). Let's look back and forward on what summer brings.

    Getting heliocentric: In Latin, solstice means "sun" and "comes to a stop"—but what does it mean, astronomically speaking?

    As Earth orbits the sun, its axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees from its orbital plane. Because Earth's axis of spin always points in the same direction—toward the North Star—the orientation of Earth's axis to the sun is always changing...On the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice, the northern spin axis is tilted toward the sun, and latitudes north of the

    Read More »from Y! Big Story: Summer solstice’s past and forecast
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    If there's one word that describes a die-hard "Star Wars" fan, it would be "dedicated." Mark Dermul of Belgium exemplifies that dedication. When Dermul learned that the home used for Luke Skywalker's house in the movies was in desperate need of repair, he set off on a mission to fix it.

    In a remote area of the Tunisian desert, Dermul led a group of "Star Wars" fans as they renovated and repainted what is commonly referred to as the Lars Homestead. The sci-fi writer raised $11,000 for the renovation on his website in a section titled Save Lars. The website features photos, a diary, and videos of the reconstruction.

    To make the reconstruction as authentic and detailed as possible, one of the cement steps of the home consists of sand from all the other "Star Wars" shooting locations in Tunisia. After a week of working in 115 degree temperature, the team returned Luke Skywalker's

    Read More »from ‘Star Wars’ Fans Rebuild Luke Skywalker’s Home From the Classic Film
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    Looking for the most nutritious food out there? You're in luck, because scientists in England have determined the healthiest meal ever. As you might imagine, the menu consists of certain superfoods, or foods that have great nutritional value.

    Scientists from Leatherhead Food Research examined more than 4,000 health claims used by supermarkets and food companies. They then narrowed the list down to just 222 foods, based on scientific fact. The menu spotlights, among others, cholesterol-balancing omega-3s (from fish and other good-for-you foods) and folates, which can be found in multigrain breads.

    The healthiest meal ever includes salmon terrine, mixed-leaf salad with extra-virgin olive oil dressing, chicken casserole with lentils and mixed vegetables, and a high-fiber multigrain roll.

    For dessert, the most nutritious option is yogurt-based blancmange topped with walnuts and a

    Read More »from Scientists Unveil the Healthiest Meal Ever
  • Nik Wallenda on wireNik Wallenda's tightrope walk across the Niagara Falls is astounding for two reasons—and not just for traipsing in leather-soled slippers across a two-inch-thick wire 170 feet above tumbling waters. The gorge, after all, has been rope-walked 16 times (11 have survived), although not for the last two centuries, and Nik already has two Guinness records, one with his family and a solo one for traveling the longest distance and greatest height by bicycle on a wire.

    The first bewildering fact is that seven Wallenda generations have survived a familial predisposition to hover high in the air above certain death. The second is even more astonishing: how a 21st-century audience might still marvel at a man who considers courting death a performance art. Audiences are gathering, and searches on Yahoo! have been breathlessly rising about the stunt and the Wallenda name ("nik wallenda niagara falls," "wallenda," "niagara falls tightrope," "the flying wallendas").

    In our pleasure palace of

    Read More »from Y! Big Story: Nik Wallenda, old-fashioned daredevil
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    Cody Green, a 12-year-old boy from Lafayette, Indiana, was granted one last wish before he lost his battle with leukemia. Green was made an honorary member of the United States Marine Corps, and even given navigator wings by the military, which said he had shown "strength and honor and courage" during his battle against cancer. One Marine wanted to do more for the young man.

    Cody's father, David Snowberger, said Sgt. Mark Dolfini stood guard at his son's door at the hospital for eight hours straight the night before Cody died. Dolfini said, "Marines don't do this sort of thing for acclaim. If we all just did something like that ... just think of what an incredible legacy that would leave for Cody."

    Cody was diagnosed with leukemia when he was only 22 months old, and had successfully battled a recurrence of the cancer three times. However, when chemotherapy lowered his immune

    Read More »from 12-Year-Old Named Honorary US Marine Before He Died

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