That choice may seem quotidian next to Oxford's buzzworthy selection, selfie, but the editors argue that their word embodies the culture of 2013 in its own way. "Our data shows … that many of the most looked-up words in the dictionary are words that reflect the big ideas that are lurking behind the headlines," writes Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski in a statement. The editors link science, a word users looked up 176% more than last year, to political discussions of climate change and education, as well as Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, criticized as a misrepresentation of science.
Astronomers know that gravity from Saturn's various moons tug at the planet's rings and make spirals in them. But the catalyst for certain spiral patterns has been difficult to pin down. Now, two Cornell astronomers have determined the source: Saturn itself.