Minister Ryan Bell decided to "try on" atheism for a year; now, although he says atheism is an "awkward fit," he's going to continue to not believe in God. Natalie Gee hide caption

itoggle caption Natalie Gee

Religion

After Year Of Atheism, Former Pastor: 'I Don't Think God Exists'

Former pastor Ryan Bell embarked on a year without God at the start of 2014. He says, "Before I wanted a closer relationship to God and today I just want a closer relationship with reality."

Something's missing in the small town of Jackman, Maine. They've have an electrician and some carpenters among their 800-odd residents, but no plumber — even after establishing a scholarship for local students to become certified. Ruediger Wittmann/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Ruediger Wittmann/iStockphoto

Around the Nation

Help (Still) Wanted: A Plumber For A Rural Town In Maine

In August, a couple in Jackman, Maine, created a scholarship for a student willing to train as a plumber and come back to work in the rural town. Months later, no student has taken the plunge.

A New York Police Department officer loads flowers onto a vehicle outside of Officer Rafael Ramos' funeral at Christ Tabernacle Church, in the Glendale section of Queens, on Saturday. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Julio Cortez/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

Police, Politicians, Gather In New York For Ramos Funeral

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot in an unprovoked attack last weekend. "Police officers are a different breed," Vice President Joe Biden said at today's services. "Thank God for them."

A negative image of Kks3, made using the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope. The core of the galaxy is the right hand dark object at the top center of the image. D. Makarov/Royal Astronomical Society hide caption

itoggle caption D. Makarov/Royal Astronomical Society

The Two-Way - News Blog

Dwarf Galaxy, Long Overlooked, Discovered In Our 'Hood

Tiny Kks3, 7 million light years distant, is made up mostly of star stuff that's just a billion or so years younger than the Big Bang.

Demonstrators march in New York after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Many are calling for the officers to be tried before a jury of their peers. John Minchillo/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Minchillo/AP

Law

Finding A Jury Of Your Peers Actually Is Pretty Complicated

Prospective jurors can be dismissed for lateness, the financial burden of taking off work, or any number of other reasons. Add race as a consideration and jury selection can take weeks to complete.

Daniel Kahneman says, "we tend to confuse memories with the real experience that gave rise to those memories." James Duncan Davidson/TED / James Duncan Davidson hide caption

itoggle caption James Duncan Davidson/TED / James Duncan Davidson

TED Radio Hour

How Do Experiences Become Memories?

From The TED Radio Hour: Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently.

The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen opened in 331 mostly independent theaters and on streaming sites Christmas Day. It's estimated to rake in $4 million in its opening weekend. Marcus Ingram/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Video Game Console Sites Attacked; Uber's Crazy Year

In our weekly roundup of tech headlines, Sony and Microsoft video game console sites streaming The Interview were possibly hacked, and a look at Uber's year of hyper-growth and backlash.

Cuba is 90 miles away from the southernmost point in the United States, in Key West, Fla. "There used to be a ferry that ran between the two islands every day," says 89-year-old Gregorio Garcia, who emigrated in 1958. "I hope they operate it again someday." Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

U.S.

For Cubans In Key West, A Longing To Fill In 'Gaps Of Who We Are'

Some Cuban-American families are rejoicing at the possibility of visiting their homeland, but not everyone has embraced President Obama's new policy toward the island nation.

An Iraqi Christian prays inside a shrine on the grounds of the Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church in Irbil, in northern Iraq. Irbil has become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who fled their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Parallels - World News

With Each New Upheaval In Iraq, More Minorities Flee

"We like Iraq, but Iraq doesn't like us," says a displaced Christian man. He's just one example of religious minorities who have been dislodged from parts of Iraq where they have ancient roots.

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