Earth Laughs in Flowers: Finding intelligent life on Earth—right under our noses

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Hailey Reissman is the editorial coordinator at TEDx. Science Could these three moons help us find life beyond Earth? TED Talk of the Day. Barbara J. King Grief and love in the animal kingdom. Similar Popular Science Think retirement is smooth sailing? A look at its potential effects on the brain Science Nature can be as engaging as video games -- how to help kids fall in love with the outdoors Science Why changing how we view pain can help us address the opioid crisis Science Coming to your nose: Scent playlists that could boost your well-being Science Meet a scientist with a most delightful job: He studies baby laughter Science What makes a person creepy?

The short answer: They don't Business Bad meetings drain time and energy -- here are 6 ways to lead ones that engage and inspire Science Think retirement is smooth sailing? Here are 6 things you can do We humans Caring for a loved one is hard work -- 6 ways you can fight burnout. Drosophila obviously has this apparatus, but humans? I have my doubts. However, he notes that Cry2 is heavily active in the human retina. The possibility exists. The connections between light, cryptochrome and a magnetic sense were laid out by Klaus Schulten and Thorsten Ritz in , in a bravura paper that united biology and quantum physics.

They suggested that when cryptochrome is struck by blue light, it transfers one of its electrons across to a partner molecule called FAD. The young man hesitated, wondering if he had misheard, so they said it again: four of the vegetables and rice, and four of the meat and rice. Then they asked what kind of drinks were offered, and they ordered everything he listed. Sodas, beer.

Run Me to Earth

The receptionist had stopped writing. He said they probably had some papaya and some kaipen, and so they ordered all of that, too. They took out the envelope and gave him another stack of money. He pocketed the bills without looking at them and hurried away. Outside, the child trampled a plant.

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Not long after, a young woman appeared in the garden and kneeled by the ruined plant and began to salvage as much of it as she could. Prany watched as she rolled up her sleeves to collect the dirt that had fallen on the stones of the path and carried it back over into the garden. Over and over she did this, somehow avoiding getting dirt on her clothes or even on her slippers. Prany studied her profile. Her patience. Her resemblance to the manager. There had been no mention of a family. Did it matter?

He glanced at Vang, but the doctor was looking down at the section of the floor between his feet and rapidly tapping his chest with his fingers. Prany returned to the woman out the window: she brushed the dirt from her hands and left, ducking under the low branches of two trees.

As the minutes passed, Vang still tapping his chest, Prany began to imagine that it was all a joke. Any moment now someone would appear and clap or begin to laugh, maybe Auntie herself would appear, and the lights would go out and the daylight would vanish.

The woman and the child outside and this inn would vanish. That the man who had interrogated them for years was waiting for them in that same room that had turned Vang so quiet. But the food arrived, all of it. They could smell it everywhere now. They leaned over the table and ate, with shyness at first and then more violently. It was dry and not very warm, the meat was tough and the rice was almost raw, but they tasted flavors they had forgotten existed and ones they had thought of so often that Vang began to cry silently. He wiped his eyes and kept eating. They drank their beers and ate and opened the colorful bottles of Fanta and drank them, too, shocked by the sudden sugar, some of it spilling from their mouths onto their shirts.

Account of Life on Athena

They kept eating and drinking. They ignored the receptionist watching them from the kitchen door. No one else came into the restaurant. They ordered more Fantas and beer and one more dish. When the receptionist came back again, they asked how the inn had meat, had all of this. They slid him more money, and Prany gestured out to the garden and the lobby. T hey had trouble finding their room, uncertain of how the numbers on the doors proceeded, but then they found the stairs and went up. They had been given a corner room on the second floor.

The hallway smelled of damp wood. He tried again. They thought they heard footsteps and stopped, but no one came.

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Prany passed the key to Vang. The key turned. They stepped inside.

There were two Western-style double beds. Red mattress covers. A brochure, trifolded and standing up. Vang laughed softly. They turned on the light in the bathroom and saw the folded towels and the toilet. A shower. Then they froze at their reflections in the mirror, their similar clothes, their gauntness, the deep hollows below their cheekbones, and their broken postures.


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Their age. They stood in silence, avoiding looking at each other through the mirror. They were just bones and old, older. They returned to the beds. Prany sat on the edge of the one closest to the window from which there was a view of the back of the inn, the paths, the hills. Prany took off his clothes and folded them carefully on top of the dresser.

His working papers slipped from the pocket of his trousers and he knelt to examine them. He grabbed a towel like Vang had, wrapped himself in it, and went over to the bed. The room was small, but to them it was a palace. He thought he would walk around because he could, but like Vang, he ended up staying there on the bed. Prany kept holding his hand.

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He watched as the doctor breathed as slowly as he could. He thought of Noi and the fruit he had dropped that had rolled down the banks of the river, the way he had chased after them, and he thought of how he had bashed his head against the wall one day in the cell, over and over again, until Vang woke, pinned him down, and held him. Then a joke Vang made about how, in a cell, it was impossible for him to misplace his glasses. He saw that hall of mirrors in the farmhouse and the woman who had kept wanting to get up, forgetting she had lost the use of her legs. The way they had left her and so many others there, on that last day, unable to move them as they had fled.

That day, so many years ago, he had gone back for them all. Alisak and Noi and Vang. In the chaos, he had driven back across the Plain of Jars, seeing smoke rising from a field. A farmer waved a pale shirt, indicating to him someone was alive. He only found Vang. By then, the helicopters had already gone. In their desperation, they had driven across the country, all the way to the Mekong, and had survived the crossing.

He thought of the papers he had just torn up, floating in the toilet water. He imagined the life that had been given to them this morning and understood it would not have been all that bad. He felt the rhythm of going to work every day and helping a village grow food. It seemed good; it seemed okay. It was something he could have done. He knew how. He could do things like that now. He could grow food. He could help a village, and a village could help other villages. Maybe he should.