How Europeans Evolved Light Skin

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—Most of us think of Europe as the ancestral home of white people. But a new study shows that pale skin, as well as other traits such as tallness and the ability to digest milk as adults, arrived in most of the continent relatively recently. The work, presented here last week at the 84th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, offers dramatic evidence of recent evolution in Europe and shows that most modern Europeans don’t look much like those of 8000 years ago.

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Sprint CEO to join Uber’s board of directors

SoftBank has more than just a large stake in Uber — it’ll soon have some direct control as well. Recode sources understand that Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is taking one of SoftBank’s two slots on Uber’s board of directors in the “next few weeks.” The other slot is reportedly slated to go to Rajeev Misra, the leader of the SoftBank Vision Fund that took charge of the Uber deal. Neither Uber nor SoftBank has commented on the apparent scoop.

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Six precious substances worth more than their weight in gold

The saffron war of 1374 lasted 14 weeks driven by a notion that the spice could cure plague. It can’t. But people lost their heads over it. It’s not just gold, diamonds, and oil we cherish and plunder. Seemingly benign commodities—whether it’s medicinal tea or stinky fungus—have exerted power over us for centuries. Here’s just a taste of their recent history.

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Dizzy Gillespie and His Bent Trumpet

Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most influential and well-known jazz musicians of all-time. John Birks Gillespie, who passed away 25 years ago this month, he pioneered a number of jazz subgenres and became internationally famous for his legendary ability on the trumpet, his trademark “balloon cheeks,” and his playful stage presence.

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JUNO SNATCHES A SHOT OF JUPITER’S SWIRLING STORMS

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the depths of outer space! While you were getting ready for your holiday vacation, NASA’s space probes were hard at work gathering awesome photos for you. Like Juno, the little spacecraft capturing the Earth-sized tempests while orbiting Jupiter.

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