Birthday surprise
"I've had this well of excitement and anxiety. I'm terrible – TERRIBLE – at keeping secrets and more than once I'd had to stop myself from spilling it all out. Once or twice I've had to blatantly lie, which I hate, but I'm determined this will be a complete surprise."

The four stages of happiness: anticipate, savor, express, and reflect.
"My research has shown me that a key to happiness is squeezing out as much happiness as possible from a happy event. Unhappy people don’t have fewer happy experiences as happy people, they just think about them less."

The Night They Killed Troy Davis
"And I, at that point, thought about my father, a native of Hazlehurst, Georgia who had abandoned his home state for New York in 1941. He lived the remainder of his life there, firm in his belief that a black man's life was seen as worthless in Georgia. I grew up hearing the stories of the sadistic violence that was commonplace there, about a black women he'd known growing up who was raped and tortured by white men who went unpunished. I moved to Georgia in 2001, secure in my belief that the place had changed, that our efforts had yielded success and the stories my father told me were now consigned to the horror closets of history.
"But last night, progress, hopes and a black presidency be damned, the state of Georgia had the last word. And they were determined to prove the old man right."

People Being Stupid About Shakesp… or Someone Else
"The problem with Anonymous isn’t primarily that it gets so many things wrong. It’s that it’s a boring story, first and foremost"

The Ice Mummy: Little Known Facts
"Ötzi's body is covered with over 50 tattoos made with fine incisions into which charcoal was rubbed. In the shape of lines and crosses, they were probably used as pain-relieving treatments. Indeed, the tattooed areas correspond to skin acupuncture lines, which predate acupunture in Asia by two thousand years."

The Robot Population of Deep Space
"Right now there are 13 active deep space probes: Messenger [Mercury], Venus Express [Venus], Akatsuki [Vensu], MER-A, B [Mars], Mars Odyssey [Mars], Mars Reconnaissance [Mars], Dawn [Vesta, and Ceres], Rosetta [comets inc. 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko], Cassini [Saturn], New Horizons [Pluto in 2015], Voyager 2 [in interstellar cruise mode at 96 AU, over 3X the distance to Pluto] and Voyager 1 [also in cruise mode, now at 117 AU, almost 4X the distance to Pluto]"