Science & Technology

Science and technology news

Ready to learn a language that's out of this world?

Duolingo, a free app that allows users to learn new languages almost like playing a game, is adding Klingon to its course list. The language, used by a fictional alien race in Star Trek, should be available early next year.

Freeman Dyson is one of the most famous names in science, and sometimes one of the most controversial. Dyson is 91 and was one of the British scientists who helped win World War II. He spent most years since as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has won the Max Planck Medal and the Templeton Prize, and written important, oft-quoted books including Disturbing the Universe and The Scientist as Rebel, and newspaper articles that inspire both admiration and debate.

In a recital hall at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, a group of musicians got together to play Jean-Baptiste Singelée's 1857 quartet for saxophones on some very old, very special instruments.

In August 1992, Christopher McCandless died in an abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness after living mostly on squirrels, birds, roots and seeds for 113 days. Hunters found his body months later. Alaska state coroners declared starvation as the cause of death.

But a mystery lingered: What exactly did him in? A scientific paper published this spring by the journalist who'd been doggedly following the story offers another big clue.

The annual meeting is a staple of corporate life. It's a chance for even a small shareholder to take the measure of a company's managers, to ask a question or express a beef about a company actions.

But here's the dirty secret about shareholder meetings: Unless the company is huge or there's some controversy going on, hardly anyone shows up.

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