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Time to wrap up a few outstanding giveaways and make some general announcements. Sounds fun, right?

"¢ The folks running Ithaca's 'Light in Winter' festival kindly offered two free tickets to one of our readers. Based on the responses to Sunday's upstate New York trivia challenge, we've declared Alicia the winner. She just wanted it more. Congratulations! I'll be in touch about your free tix. And for everyone else who still wants to attend, visit

"¢ In case you missed Higgins' post this morning, we're hoping you'll send us photos of the oldest thing you own for a gallery feature we're working on. If you want to show off your stuff, here are the details.

"¢ Allison is working on the second installment of The Weekend Links. Got something flossy she should include? Send her an email:

"¢ Back on December 27th, we asked what makes your dogs so special. We have a winner!

From Ellen, about BB:

bb.jpgBB (short for Big Boy) was the runt of the litter. He was also the garbage can for all of the worst possible gene combinations available from his parents. His mother is a Shar pei/Pit mix. From that gene grouping he received his problematic skin condition that won't allow fur to grown on his face and throat. Another little "˜gift' from Mom are his collapsing ear canals that has rendered him mostly deaf. From good ol' Pops, an Australian Sheppard/??? mix, BB inherited his white fur with patches of brown, gray, tan, and black markings. A very handsome coat, indeed. However, according to my Vet, the gene that determines the color of the coat is the same that determines the color of the eye. Hence, the whiter the dog, the greater the chance for blindness. Thus, BB was born blind. So here I have this medium size dog with no fur on his face and throat, who is blind and mostly deaf. Awwww, you say? No, just wait. Now, I'll explain why he should be a candidate for world changing canine.

This is a pooch with a demeanor of never-ending hopefulness, good nature and determination. At any given time, you will find him overflowing with love and gratitude at the least sign of attention. He finds his way through the house and around the back yard as though he has it totally mapped out in his head. And when he does by chance run into a chair or a doorway, he smiles and shakes it off as though it were a little joke on him. When he goes looking for me, you can bet he will find me, no matter when I might be. He greets all strangers with an openness and unconditional happiness that melts their hearts on contact. The world should take a lesson from this brave little fellow: The adversities that are handed to us are simply inconvenient, not immobilizing. By the way, when he's really happy, he chases his tail. Makes you wonder how he knows it's there to chase!

Ellen should have already received her copy of 100 Dogs Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Canines. Well deserved!

That's enough for one post. If anyone has any other Odds and/or Ends not covered, leave a comment or send me an IM (flossyjason). Good night!

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.


A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.


Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.


Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.


The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.


Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.


Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]


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