Views from space reveal the staggering extent of Harvey’s flooding – now confirmed as a 1-in-1,000-year event

As Harvey has lumbered to the northeast, the clouds have dissipated, finally giving satellites a clear view of what the 1,000-year flooding event in southeast Texas looks like. The animation above tells the tale. I created it using images acquired by NASA's Terra satellite, the first on May 2nd, long before Harvey stormed ashore, and the second image just today. Look carefully at the center of the images and you can see the pattern of roads in the Houston area. (Click on the thumbn

Is It Time to Give Bug Burgers a Chance?

A Swiss supermarket is doing its part to get Westerners hooked on the eco-friendly superfood of the future: bugs. Coop is one of Switzerland’s largest food retailers with over 2,200 outlets throughout the country, and it operates as a co-op with some 2.5 million members. Recently, Coop started stocking bug burgers and bug balls (like falafel) that are made by fellow Swiss company Essento. And according to Essento, the burgers and balls, made with ground mealworm and other ingredients, are

To Study Global Warming, Researchers Heated the Ocean Themselves

A perennial problem for climate science is that much of it lies in the realm of abstraction. Various models and forecasts compete for relevance, based on arcane statistical formulations that appear as so much gibberish to science reporters and readers alike. Well, rest easy, weary travelers — here's a climate study that leaves the ponderous math behind in favor of a real-world simulation of warming Antarctic waters. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey decided to see what the eff

Don’t Trust Animal Characters to Teach Your Kids Morals

Yes, Frog and Toad Are Friends, but they aren't moral authorities for your children. That's the finding of a new, fun-spoiling study on little kids and picture books. It found that kids learned a lesson about sharing from a book with human characters—but not from a book about a cute raccoon. Many children's books, of course, feature animals that act like people. And anthropomorphized animals have been imparting moral lessons since the time of Aesop. Nicole Larsen and her colleagues at the

No, NASA Isn’t Going to Drill to Stop Yellowstone from Erupting

Let's cut to the chase: the purported NASA plan to "defuse" Yellowstone is pure science fiction. OK, now that we have that out of the way, let's get into the details of the numerous articles that have jumped all over what might best be "thought experiment" by scientists at NASA. Yellowstone, the massive caldera in the middle of North America, is definitely a volcanic threat. Is it a high volcanic threat? Not as much as other, much more active volcanoes in the United States. However, it ha

The Myth of The 30 IQ Point “Communication Range”

Earlier this week I tweeted a link to a Quora post which, I felt, was rather silly. The post was a response to the question "Are people with very high IQs generally happy?" and it answered in the negative: Let’s say high IQ is a blessing which comes with a terrible price. And each and every person with reading east from 135 has paid that price. HIgh IQ persons usually have also extremely vivid and wide spectrum of emotions and emotional life, and when they are happy, they are in rapture, and

Tiny Bat Shrugs Off Venom Of Deadly Scorpion

Pallid bats (Antrozous pallidus) are quirky little creatures, the sole species in their genus. Their long ears, which can equal half their body length, make them look quintessentially batty, but unlike most of their night hunting relatives, they prefer to tackle ground-dwelling dinners—a strategy called "gleaning." Pallid bats glean as much as half their body weight in prey every night, and their diet includes a wide range of crunchy little critters, including crickets, praying mantis, and b

Overachievers are more likely to cheat on tests.

How common is cheating on exams, and who are the cheaters? These academics suspected it was pretty common in their classes, so they decided to find out. The cheating style they investigated was the old "alter your answer and then ask for a regrade" trick. Turns out it's pretty common (about 2% of all exams, and 17% of exams returned for a regrade), but here is the shocker: more than 60% of cheaters were getting over 80% on the exam already. So there you have it--regrade cheaters are often hi

12,000 Tons of Orange Peels Bring a Jungle Back to Life

Twenty years ago, a pasture in Costa Rica was nearly barren farmland, choked by invasive grasses. Today, it blooms anew with a rich tangle of jungle plants. The magic ingredient for this resurgence? Oranges. In the mid-1990s, Del Oro, a newly established orange juice manufacturer in Costa Rica was looking for a way to get rid of the rinds and pulp left over after juice extraction. They planned on building an expensive processing plant, but two ecologists from the University of Pennsylvani

Pikas Are Disappearing from California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains

According to a survey from Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication, 70 percent of Americans think global warming is happening, but only 40 percent believe it will harm them personally. But what if those same people who believe they are somehow immune from harm were told climate change is being blamed for the demise of an adorable, fuzzy, innocent creature? Oh, the feels. Things, perhaps, just got personal. That’s exactly what’s playing out in a 165-square-mile stre

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