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Cicadas Set to Swarm East Coast, Radiolab Wants You To Help Track Them

East Coast kids won't have seen them before, but they're coming again soon as they do every 17 years: A brood of cicadas known as Magicicada Brood II will make the "air hum with a 7 kHz mating buzz." These winged, red-eyed, black-bodied 1.5-inch bugs with hatch in their underground lairs and swarm by the millions across the coast, filling the skies and humming as they do. They do this routinely, but this time public radio science show Radiolab aims to track them -- and they want your help.

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The American Museum of Natural History Needs Help Naming Humanity’s Common Ancestor. Do Us Proud, Internet.

In Which We Make A Terrible Pun

First SETI asked us to name two of Pluto's moons. And now our assistance is needed to name our common ancestor. Remember, Internet: With great power comes great responsibility.

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Paleo-Bracketology: You Can Help Name The Earliest Common Ancestor Of All Mammals

Earlier this month, researchers at the American Museum of Natural History and several other institutions announced that they had constructed a model of the first mammal that is a common ancestor to all other mammals, showing that creatures as disparate as whales, humans, and Grumpy Cat all descend from a small, rat like creature that evolved shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Now that all the heavy lifting of constructing a model of this earliest mammal is done, researchers want you to step in for the fun part and help name the hypothetical critter by voting in a March Madness-style tournament.

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Marvel Says That For Tax Purposes, All Mutants Are Not Human

While Marvel's mutants carry on a fictional struggle for personal and public acceptance, it seems the issue of whether or not mutants are human is a done deal for Marvel. However, it's not so much an issue of ethics, but something far, far more compelling: Tax law.

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Mutant Rights: That Time the (Real) Federal Government Ruled On Whether The X-Men Were Human

Mutatis Mutandis

In Marvel comics, members of world governments argue forcefully that the X-Men and mutantkind are far from human: so far that their civil liberties can and should be taken from them. But in the real world, at the beginning of this century, it was private lawyers that sought to classify the X-Men and a number of other Marvel characters as non-human, and the government who had assumed they were just normal people like everybody else. Why? Those things your high school history teacher tried so desperately to stress the importance of: tariffs.

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The Billion-Bug Highway You Can’t See [Video]

i'll just leave this here

Look Up! The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See from NPR on Vimeo. Radiolab's Robert Krulwich shares a horrifying secret: the sky is full of bugs. But because he's one of the Radiolab guys, it's kind of heartwarming and wondrous, and doesn't make me want to walk outside only in a hazmat suit. For the most part. (via Geeks Are Sexy.)

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Man Uses Facebook to Find His Doppelgänger

This weekend, Graham Comrie met Graham Cormie, the man who he once thought was simply impersonating him on Facebook for a lark, and the two posed before an escherian hellscape just to drive home the ultimate weirdness of the situation. From the Daily Record:
Graham Comrie feared someone was impersonating him online when a friend emailed to say a man was pretending to be him on the social networking site. His "impersonator" was even said to be using his photos. The more Graham looked into it, the stranger it got - until he realised this person wasn't trying to imitate him but appeared to be his doppelganger. Amazed by what he saw, he contacted his lookalike, Graham Cormie, and discovered they were leading parallel lives.

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