Climbing robots, modeled after termites, can be programmed to work together to build tailor-made structures. [Image courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences hide caption

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[Image courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Science

Robot Construction Workers Take Their Cues From Termites

Termites are masters of construction in the insect world, working together to construct complex, sky-scraping homes with neither blueprint nor foreman. Harvard engineers have created 8-inch-long robots that can build in the same way — by sensing their environment, and applying a few rules.

One of the lovely things about the mousse, according to Dorie Greenspan, is its versatility: It goes as well with maple syrup as with peanut brittle — or nothing at all. Mary Dodd/Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan hide caption

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Mary Dodd/Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan

Paris Confidential: The Mystery Mousse Behind The Chocolate Bar

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Charade Joe Pass & the Folkswingers
In Between Lines The Album Leaf

Climbing robots, modeled after termites, can be programmed to work together to build tailor-made structures. [Image courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences hide caption

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[Image courtesy of Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Robot Construction Workers Take Their Cues From Termites

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Uncle Ace Blood Orange
Let's Stay Together Smooth Jazz Sax Instrumentals
Revolt of the Cockroach People Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada
Fat Ass Joint Amon Tobin

Priscilla Smithers and her four children have arranged chairs around a few air mattresses to create a space for themselves, after fleeing their home. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

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Ari Shapiro/NPR

In Damp Country, Record-Breaking Rains Flood Britain

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Erre Boogarins
Buster Swing Stephane Wrembel

More than a month after the Charleston, W.V., water supply was contaminated, Nakeysha Bennett will only feed her 3-week-old Eli formula mixed with bottled water. "It drives me crazy that I can't just use regular water out my sink," she says. Brakkton Booker/NPR hide caption

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Brakkton Booker/NPR

In West Virginia, Polluted Water Squeezes Wallets And Patience

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Old Friend Sea Wolf
Sunny's Song Benevento-Russo Duo
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Ain't No Sunshine When She is Gone Smooth Jazz Sax Instrumentals

TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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Handout/Getty Images

More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

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Four Works of Art... Owls

Hannah Rood, 3, receives an H1N1 vaccine at a clinic in San Pablo, California, during the 2009 swine flu epidemic. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat

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Paranoid Android Brad Mehldau
Jackson Slavic Soul Party!

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, whose song, "Gone, Gone, Gone," went to No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. Each time it's played in public, the song's writers get a royalty, which is tracked and collected by ASCAP. Bigger hits usually translate into bigger checks. Buda Mendes/Getty Images hide caption

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In The Digital Era, Hit Songs Aren't Everything

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Norteña del Sur Bostich & Fussible & Bostich + Fussible
Sinnerman [Felix da Housecat's Heavenly House Mix] Nina Simone