text: "Serial," from the creators of public radio's "This American Life," released its finale on Thursday after holding listeners in suspense week by week since early October. The series took listeners through a reexamination of the 15-year-old murder of Maryland teenager Hae Min Lee. No spoilers here, but the spin-off of "This American Life" will return for a second season, thanks to donations from listeners.
title: NASA's Kepler Finds New Planet
text: The Kepler space telescope has discovered a planet outside our solar system more than a year after its mission came to an end because of a technical failure. The new "exoplanet," which means it doesn't orbit Earth's sun, is 2.5 times the diameter of the Earth. The planet is named HIP 116454b, NASA said Thursday.
Kepler's mission came to an end in May 2013 with the failure of the second of four reaction wheels, which are used to stabilize the spacecraft. But a team of scientists and engineered crafted a solution by using pressure from sunlight as a "virtual reaction wheel" to help control the spacecraft, NASA said.
"Last summer, the possibility of a scientifically productive mission for Kepler after its reaction wheel failure in its extended mission was not part of the conversation," said Paul Hertz, NASA's astrophysics division director at the agency's headquarters in Washington, in a statement. "Thanks to an innovative idea and lots of hard work by the NASA and Ball Aerospace team, Kepler may well deliver the first candidates for follow-up study by the James Webb Space Telescope to characterize the atmospheres of distant worlds and search for signatures of life."
title: Stephen Colbert Retires 'The Colbert Report'