The Nuclear Disaster You Never Heard of

TIME

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

This month, with little fanfare, Palomares begins its 50th year as “the most radioactive town in Europe.” If you’ve heard of Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island but are unfamiliar with Palomares, you might wonder why. All appear in Time’s top-ten list of the world’s “worst nuclear disasters.” Palomares moreover has been called the worst nuclear weapons accident in history. So why do so few people outside Spain know about it?

The cover-up and whitewash were figurative, also literal. Though four nuclear bombs were rained on Spain, many vaguely recall a lone “lost” bomb, fished out of the Mediterranean intact.

So what exactly happened? On 17 January 1966, a US Air Force B-52…

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2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record

TIME

2014 was the hottest year since temperature record keeping began in 1880, scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Friday. The average global surface temperature hit 58.24 F (14.58 C), easily surpassing the previous record, set in 2005 and 2010, by 0.07 degrees.

“Climate change is perhaps the major challenge of our generation,” NASA scientist Michael Freilich warned in on a conference call. “Our changing climate presents us with vast opportunities as well as the potential for profound societal impacts.”

Every continent experienced record high temperatures in some area. Alaska, the west coast of the United States, Europe, Australia and Siberia were among the areas that saw particularly intense temperature rises. Other regions, like the U.S. Northeast, saw relatively low temperatures. Overall, the average global land temperature was nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher in 2014 than the average temperature in the 20th century.

Though…

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This is What Alcohol Does to Your Sleep

TIME

Having a drink before bedtime might make you fall asleep a little faster. But the sleep you get after imbibing may not be so restful, finds a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Building upon earlier research, Christian Nicholas and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne found that alcohol just before sleep can lead to poorer quality slumber.

While most people know from experience that having a drink before hitting the sack can help you feel drowsy, Nicholas and his team were interested in learning how the brain physiologically reacts to the alcohol while you’re sleeping. They had 24 (presumably eager) young adults ages 18 to 21 to spend several nights at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences Sleep Laboratory. On one of the nights, they would be given a nightcap (orange juice and vodka) and on another night, they’d only get a placebo (orange…

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This Smart Mirror Lets You Try On 5 Outfits at Once

This Smart Mirror Lets You Try On 5 Outfits at Once

TIME

Even for people who love shopping, the effort of dressing and undressing for hours while trying on clothes can be a bit draining. (It’s not all Champagne and Pretty Woman people!). That’s why Neiman Marcus just started piloting a new “smart mirror” that lets shoppers save looks and compare styles with the wave of a hand.

Called the MemoryMirror, the system can take an image of you in one dress and then let you flip through how the item would look in other colors or patterns. It then saves the shot so you can compare it side-by-side with other outfits and only ever have to try on something once. Bonus: The imaging is so precise that there’s a zoom function—so prepare to see how your butt takes to those jeans in HD.

If you’re one of those shoppers who prefers a second, or depending on your Instagram following…

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Here’s What 5 Supreme Court Justices Have Said About Gay Marriage

TIME

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide once and for all whether all 50 states must allow gay and lesbian couples marry, likely resolving one of the greatest civil rights debates of the 21st century.

The Court will consider four cases that have been consolidated and will be heard together, from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Same-sex marriage is banned in each of those four states, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld those bans in November. That decision will be appealed in front of the Supreme Court.

The high court has been coy in the past about taking up same-sex marriage cases, and the current justices have rarely written individually on the merits of the issue aside from the crucial United States v. Windsor (2013) decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in which Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. That…

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Get Motivated With 2014’s Inspiring, Unforgettable Quotes

Unforgettable Quotes

TIME

With the year coming to a close, there’s no better time to look back at the words that moved us, made us laugh and inspired us to do more. From the encouragement of big name graduation speakers, to sound TED Talk advice and remembering those who are no longer with us, here are 11 examples of words of wisdom from the pages of Entrepreneur.

  1. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” Maya Angelou, Author and Activist
    Read more:
    10 Inspirational Quotes From Literary Legend Maya Angelou
  2. “And some of you – and now I’m talking to anyone who has been dumped – have not gotten the job you really wanted or have received those horrible rejection letters from grad school…

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