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Obama chooses Chu

Sesame Street, the U.S. television show, used to have a segment called "one of these things is not like the others."

Can you spot the anomoly in this list?

  • James Schlesinger
  • Charles Duncan
  • James Edwards
  • Donald Hodel
  • John Herringon
  • James Watkins
  • Hazel O'Leary
  • Federico Pena
  • Bill Richardson
  • Spencer Abraham
  • Samuel Bodman
  • Steven Chu

You guessed it: Steven Chu is the only name on this list that is followed by the letters P, h, and D. He's also the only one with a Nobel Prize, and the only one who has run a major laboratory. Frankly, he is a badass -- and he will be looking to get things done on climate change.

The current U.S. energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, is the only other scientist on the list, but he has an Sc.D degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Basically, it's the same thing as a Ph.D, but Bodman has long since stopped practicing chemical engineering.

Photo: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Lebanon's mutant spud

In a spirit of reflection, as the UN's International Year of the Potato winds to a close, we present this monstrosity:

Lebanese farmer Khalil Semhat holds a giant potato in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre on December 6, 2008. The farmer couldn't believe his peeled eyes when he discovered he had grown a massive potato weighing 11.3 kilos (24.9 pounds), he said today, adding that he now hopes to enter the Guinness World Records book.

AFP/Getty Images