Small Wonders: July 13, 2012

In this edition: dog yawns, superhero journalists, and babies named for hurricanes.

* A visual history of alchemy and transmutations.

* The debased behavior of penguins finally comes to light. (Choice quote: “…these birds, like men, degenerate in idleness.”)

* Dogs yawn in response to their owners’ yawns.

* The unintended consequences of the CIA’s polio vaccine cover story.

* The challenges of landing on Mars, via an incredible video from NASA.

* Anthropologists study our tchotchkes.

* Superhero journalists do not have a super sense of ethics.

* The robot that cannot lose at rock-paper-scissors.

* Authorities shut down 9-year-old’s blog on school lunch.

* Bots publish books composed solely of YouTube comments.

* Deborah Blum reminds us that “naturally occurring chemistry can be just as wicked as anything we dream up in a laboratory.”

* Why we accidentally name babies for hurricanes.

* Stunning anatomical illustrations of turtle anatomy. (Seriously, check them out.)

* Autism researchers need more brains to study.

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