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  1. 1. The mercurys been rising these past few months across the United States as the region heads intosummer, which officially starts on June 21 with the summer solstice. The reason for the season, somemight think (and not illogically so), is that according to a natural cycle, the Earth has temporarilyshifted closer to the sun and is sweltering in the extra heat.But this explanation is bogus. In fact, in its oval-shaped orbit around the sun, the Earthwill be at itsannually farthest point from its star, a position called aphelion, on July 5. Perihelion, the closest point,happened back on Jan. 2. Instead of corresponding to the coldest and warmest days of the year forAmericans, its nearly the opposite. So what gives?
  2. 2. Despite the fact that men are increasingly involved in family life, stereotypes about dad still persist:Hes bumbling. Hes immature. Hes never seen a dirty diaper hed volunteer to change.Yeah, right.Research is increasingly revealing that dads make a big difference in their kids lives — and (surprise,surprise), theyre perfectly capable of being competent parents. For example, dads can recognize theirbabys cries as well as moms, and in some cases, a father-child relationship can influence that kidslife to a greater extent than the mother-child bond.Cheetahs may hold the distinction of being the fastest animals on land, but these elegant felinesactually owe their hunting prowess to their ability to rapidly accelerate and maneuver around tightturns, a new study finds.
  3. 3. A team of researchers monitored five wild cheetahs in northern Botswana and found that despiteclocking top speeds of nearly 60 mph (97 km/h), cheetahs use their agility — rather than simplyrelying on a furious pace — to track down prey."Cheetahs have a very high top speed, but they dont always use it,” said study lead author AlanWilson, a professor in the department of comparative biomedical sciences at The Royal VeterinaryCollege in the United Kingdom.“What was more remarkable was the maneuverability and accelerationthat they displayed."When iceberg chunks break off of floating ice shelves, it can serve as dramatic proof of melting — andthis traditionally has been considered the main way that these expanses of Antarctic ice becomesmaller. But new research reveals a disconcerting finding that is invisible to the naked eye: These iceshelves primarily melt from below.Knowing what is driving ice-shelf melt is important because when ice shelves lose mass, they speedup the flow of land-bound glaciers that feed them, moving ice from the continent to the ocean, andcontributing to global sea level rise.The study, published today (June 13) in the journal Science, found that on average, Antarcticas iceshelves are thinning by about 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) per year. But some of them are thinning muchmore quickly, by as much as 328 feet (100 meters) annually, said Eric Rignot, a study co-author andresearcher at the University of California, Irvine.
  4. 4. What started out as a casual sightseeing trip to a historic castle in the Netherlands took a bizarre turnfor one Dutch woman, who claims she may have spotted some kind of UFO.Corrine Federer, 43, a business manager and amateur photographer, was visiting medieval MuiderslotCastle outside Amsterdam last month when she started taking pictures using her cameras high-dynamic range, or HDR, feature."In order to create HDR images, you take three or more exposures … at the same time, because youthen overlap the images and it gives you the full spectrum of light," Federer told The Huffington Post.This image from the Netherlands appears to showsome kind of object flying above Muiderslot Castleoutside Amsterdam.
  5. 5. Is it ethical to use a dead mans sperm to father a child? Experts are calling for a consensus onpolicies surrounding this question, which currently vary widely across the country.It has been possible for a few decades to obtain a man’s sperm after his death and use it to fertilizean egg. Today, requests for postmortem sperm retrieval (PMSR) are growing, yet the United Stateshas no guidelines governing the retrieval of sperm from deceased men, said Dr. Larry Lipshultz, aurologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.In the absence of government regulations, medical institutions should come up with their own rules sothey can handle the time-sensitive and ethically questionable procedures, Lipshultz argued in aneditorial published June 5 in the journal Fertility and Sterility.Is it ethical to become a father after death?CREDIT: