Alien-Aficionado and SETI Scientist Dr. Dale Andersen to Visit St. Louis Science Center

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Dale Andersen
SETI's Dale Andersen boldly dives into freezing ice holes -- for science!
The way he describes it, Dr. Dale Andersen has the greatest job in the world.

"I fly to Antarctica, Ski-Doo to the mountains and go swimming beneath thick ice," says the explorer, diver and all-around scientific badass.

Andersen, who's speaking Friday at the St. Louis Science Center, is a senior research scientist at the SETI Institute -- the folks who spend their days searching, scanning and poking the universe for evidence of alien life.

Andersen's work involves hanging out beneath Antarctic ice sheets, an environment that would turn most living things into not-living things fairly quickly. But microbes thrive down there, which means they might be doing the same thing on some distant, frozen planet.

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Two Anti-Evolution Bills Die In MO Legislature

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Flickr/RyanSomma
Evolution may be a divisive topic, but the fossil record provides compelling evidence for the theory. (Also an infinite supply of "Homo erectus"-derived chuckles.)
Whether it was blocking Medicaid expansion, comparing abortion to car-shopping or cutting taxes, Missouri's Republican legislators threw their weight around this year's session.

But amid the victories, two Republican-sponsored anti-evolution bills died quietly in committee. One would have given parents the option of withdrawing their children from classes that taught evolution, and the other instructed science teachers to acknowledge the "controversies" of the biological and chemical foundations of evolution.

"We're talking about a science class here," bemoans Charles Granger, a professor of biology and education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "Teach whatever you want in a theology class, but in science you have to teach the observable facts."

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St. Louis Native Amber Lyon Starts News Site Devoted to "Psychedelic Journalism"

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Reset.me/Youtube
Psilocybin mushrooms in Mexico.
As a journalist for CNN, St. Louisan Amber Lyon had reported on some heavy issues, including war, government oppression, and sex trafficking. Being around that took its toll, and she showed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But instead of taking prescription medication for relief, Lyon turned to natural psychedelics, and the experience led her to create Reset.me, a news website devoted to psychedelic journalism.

The site, set to launch this month, aims to be a resource for people interested in learning more about psychedelics like ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms as treatments for a wide range of mental and physical ailments. But before last year, Lyon says she had never tried any of these substances before. A straight-edge woman from Chesterfield, Lyon only tried ayahuasca out of desperation to cure her PTSD.

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Missouri "Medical Marijuana Refugee" Explains Why She Had to Leave the Show-Me State

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via Youtube
Jacqueline Patterson
When Jacqueline Patterson took her first toke of marijuana at the age of fourteen, she experienced what it was like to be without pain for the first time in her life. It's also why she eventually had to leave Missouri.

Patterson was born with cerebral palsy. The muscles on the right side of her body are significantly weaker and less developed than her left, and she speaks with a severe stutter, or as she prefers to call it, a "speech spasm." Medical marijuana, Patterson says, has helped her deal with the pain her medical condition causes every day of her life, and it also helps with her speech. When she smokes, her brain doesn't feel as rushed, and she's able to get the words out easier, she says.

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Study: Women and the State of Missouri Are Taking Lots of ADHD Meds These Days

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Wikimedia/Sardaukar Blackfang
Vyvanse is one of several medications used for ADHD.
Express Scripts, a St. Louis-based medication prescription company, has released a report saying usage of ADHD meds have risen substantially over the past few years -- and it's adult women, not young boys, who have increased their pill popping the most.

The study looks at 400,000 pharmacy claims out of 15 million patients with ages ranging between 4 and 64. The time frame was 2008 through 2012. Overall, the number of Americans using ADHD medication rose 36 percent during those four years.

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Anti-Evolution Bill Lets Parents Pull Students from Class, Gets Missouri on the Daily Show

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Facebook
Rep. Rick Brattin.
Missouri got another ribbing from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last week, this time for a bill before the Missouri Legislature that would allow parents to remove their children from science class during lessons about evolution. (Watch the video from the Daily Show on the next page.)

Republican Representative Rick Brattin sponsored the bill, which requires schools to alert parents when evolution will be on the syllabus and to permit parents to remove students from class.

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Radioactive Snow? South St. Louis Man Busts Out Geiger Counter, Gets Worrying Results

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YouTube
Equipment for measuring radioactivity levels.
Before you jump into foot-high snow banks, make a snow angel or catch a flake on your tongue, Michael Janitch has something he wants you to see.

The south St. Louis man has been measuring radioactivity levels on his own in his back yard, and when it snows, he says, levels jump up dramatically.

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Mysterious Green Meteor Shoots Across Sky in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa (VIDEO)

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YouTube
A police dash camera captures the green fireball.
Scientists still aren't exactly sure what it was, but hundreds of people in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska reported a bright green meteor streaking across the sky Thursday night, making it the fifth most-reported fireball ever.


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SLU Doctor John Morley Invents Boner Quiz on Toilet, Earns $40,000

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Where we all do our best thinking
Do you have a decrease in libido? Are your erections less strong? Do you feel tired after dinner?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you could be at risk for low testosterone. At least, that's what the companies spending millions marketing hormone medications would have you believe.

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Dumbest Study Ever: Smiles, Hipster Mustaches Make St. Louis Happiest City in America

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Riverfront Times
Smile larger, damn it, we're No. 1!
St. Louis has been named America's happiest city, and the reason why is so idiotic that it's making us furious.

Jetpac City Guides, developers of a travel app launched today, analyzed 100 million photos for four key signs of happiness: smiles, hipster mustaches, bright lipstick and blue skies.

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