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7 Animals That Harnessed Nanotechnology Long Before Humans

The animal kingdom boasts many an impressive form, from arching giraffe necks to spoon-shaped bird beaks to gigantic beetle claws. But evolution has worked on much smaller scales too, producing finely honed nanostructures--parts less than a millionth of a meter across, or smaller than 1/20th of the width of a human hair--that help animals climb, slither, camouflage, flirt, and thrive. Consider an insect's compound eye, which has anywhere from 50 to 10,000 individual facets, each with its own set of optical machinery. Zoom in on the seemingly smooth curves of those facets and, in many insects--like the robber fly seen here--you'll find they're studded with an array of nanoscale protuberances called "corneal nipples." The tiny bumps, which range in diameter from 50 to 300 nanometers, help the insects camouflage: by breaking up the cornea's even surface, they cut down the glare that reflects off the eye, which could potentially alert a predator to the bug's presence. The nanoscale nipple pattern on moth eyes has inspired new anti-reflective coatings for solar cells.

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Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes, According to You

tar Trek: The Next Generation tried "to envision a future better than the present that we live in," said reader MikkiTii, one of two winners of our Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season One Blu-ray giveaway. "Few ever really tried that before, and no one I can think of has tried since. Instead we have only endless visions of dystopia, killer robots, post-apocalyptic suffering or terror descended from the stars." "I watched the very first episode in 1987 with my father," added reader oldskul68, who also won. "My father's gone now, but watching The Next Generation with my son reminds me of those times, 25 years ago, when me and my dad would step out of reality for an hour and dream of a world where humankind was united, and the problems we face today no longer exist."

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10 Techie Halloween Costume ideas for DIY Geeks

This Halloween, you could dress as a boring ghost or something equally as simple. Or even worse, you could buy one of those cheap costumes with the strings that tie in the back to hold it all together. You're a geek! Wouldn't it be better to create something a little more high tech and a lot more fun? How about a jellyfish that glows? Or an authentic-looking outfit from Tron? Here are some high-tech Halloween ideas you could still pull off with a little elbow grease.

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The 10 Lamest Horror Villains of All Time

It's that spooky time of the year again, where we pretend childhood obesity isn't an epidemic, and it's ok to watch terrible things happen to other people. But for every classic chain saw wielding psycho enshrined in the Horror hall of fame, there's some wannabe in a bondage suit. To help you navigate these bloody waters, here's a list of the worst Horror Film baddies to grace the screen.

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The 12 Best Geeky Costumes for Halloween 2012

As I’m sure you already know, Halloween is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time to get your costume together. Me, I’ve already decided to go as Marceline from Adventure Time and Zeon’s going to be the Doctor. For those of you who still haven’t decided though, here are a few ideas to provide you with some very geeky inspiration.

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Top 10 Countries That Have The Highest Tax Rates

It is very often aptly said that death and taxes are the two inevitable things about life! Some governments around the world seem to have taken that seriously. But the comparison of tax rates around the world is extremely difficult as tax laws are complicated and the onus of paying tax falls differently on different sub groups of the population. Tax is a pretty high profile agenda for most governments and now with rising public debt and elections in Europe, the going seems to be rough for many nations. It is forcing many countries to increase their tax rates. While some taxes might be imperative keeping in mind the general wellness of the population, others might put strain on individual coffers.

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8 Most Shocking Bullying Stories

From the mother who gave a gun to her bullied kid to another who choked her daughter's bullier, meet some unbelievable cases of bullying.

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Catching Up With 9 Advertising Icons

There’s a lot of buzz around this year’s slate of Super Bowl ads. But will you even remember these commercials next year? Let’s catch up with nine advertising icons who’ve managed to stick around for at least a generation—in our memories, at least.

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Top 10 ways to Ditch Your Clutter and Digitally Organize Your Life

We've all got a few cabinets, drawers, and shelves filled with clutter that seems outdated: CDs, paper, photo albums, DVDs, and books take up a lot of space. Here are 10 ways you can take the plunge into a digital, clutter-free life.

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10 Films That Are Stranger Than Fiction

As you might have read yesterday, our film editor Jason Bailey anointed Ben Affleck’s Argo as his film of the week. If you’re not familiar with the film, we won’t spoil too much of it, save to say that it’s based a true story — the sort of story that you wouldn’t believe if it wasn’t true. We rather enjoyed Argo, not least because the tale it relates is so outlandish, and watching it got us thinking about other films whose plots are the sort of thing that you’d never believe if they weren’t based on actual events. We’ve chosen a few of our favorites after the jump — are there any we missed?

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