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    On the record

    “Wouldn't it be fascinating to take a Fourier transform of those waves?”

    The words with which science blogger Sean Carroll, of Cosmic Variance, captured the heart of Jennifer Ouellette, who blogs at Cocktail Party Physics, while watching a Pacific sunset. They are to marry next year.

    “This is a guy who takes a neuropeptide and a prairie vole and spins from them science fiction.”

    Journalist Amanda Schaffer is outraged that Eric Keroack has been chosen to head the US federal family-planning programmes. Keroack says that research in voles has led him to believe that promiscuity makes people less able to bond with their children.

    “For the time-being our immediate solution is to send them to the taxidermists.”

    Muhedin Abdulaziz, of Addis Ababa's zoo, on the problem of having more Abyssinian lion cubs than the zoo can handle.

    Scorecard

    Amateur fusion

    Schoolboy Thiago Olson of Oakland Township, Michigan, has reportedly become the 18th amateur scientist to achieve a low level of nuclear fusion using a home-made set-up.

    Number Crunch

    US$20 million is the ticket price for a trip to the International Space Station on a Russian spacecraft.

    2,080 is the number of years a Russian cosmonaut would have to bank his or her entire $810-a-month salary to save that much money.

    0 is the number of cosmonauts recruited from Russia's top universities through outreach programmes this year.

    Sources: Slate, Detroit Free Press, The Times.

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