October 2013


Shanghai at sunset, as seen from the observation deck of the Jin Mao tower. The sun has not actually dropped below the horizon yet, rather it has reached the smog line. [Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Oct 31 2013

China Needs a Breath of Fresh Air

Students in Harbin, China got an unexpected long weekend in October. The extra days off weren’t holidays. They weren’t snow days, either. The schools closed because of smog. Eleven million people live in the northern China city. Some stayed home. Many others struggled...


Canadian author Alice Munro (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Oct 24 2013

Canada’s Storyteller Wins Nobel Prize

On October 10, Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature. It’s not the first award the 82-year-old Canadian has earned. But it’s the most prestigious. It’s also the world’s biggest prize for writers—a cool $1.3 million. The Nobel is awarded in literature…


Skulls of members of the Franklin Expedition, discovered and buried by William Skinner and Paddy Gibson in 1945, at King William Island, N.W.T. (now Nunavut), are shown in this photo from the National Archives of Canada Collections. [THE CANADIAN PRESS/National Archives of Canada]
Oct 18 2013

Finding Franklin

Canadian scientists spent 40 days chasing underwater treasure in the Arctic this fall. Their quarry? A pair of 19th century shipwrecks from the doomed Franklin expedition. Sir John Franklin was a famous British sea captain. In 1845, he led a treasure hunt of his own....


Quebec Premier Pauline Marois receives the Charter of Quebec Values from Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship Bernard Drainville on September 10, 2013 at the legislature in Quebec City. (Photo courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)
Oct 10 2013

Charter of Quebec Values Sparks Uproar

On September 10, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois made a big announcement. She said that her government wants to bring in a Charter of Quebec Values. This new law would ban government workers from wearing obvious religious symbols on the job…


2013 Google Science Fair finalists’ t-shirts. (Photo courtesy of Google Science Fair.)
Oct 03 2013

Search Engine Giant Finds Science Fair G...

Four teens scooped up big awards at the 2013 Google Science Fair in September. The science contest is open to teens around the world. This year, Google received thousands of entries. The company narrowed them down to…