Jana Asenbrennerova, in Quanta Magazine, on how a gifted grad student’s solution to a fundamental problem in quantum computing is an incredible breakthrough.
Maris Kreizman, in the New York Times, on why she’s stockpiling insulin in her fridge.
Rafi Letzler, in Live Science, discusses the results of his 9 different commercial DNA tests.
Read time: 5 mins
An environmental group based in New Mexico is suing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over alleged violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) related to climate change. It’s the second lawsuit the agency has faced over its approval of oil and gas leases on public lands in recent years.
WildEarth Guardians has filed a lawsuit against BLM and the Department of Interior, asking a federal court in New Mexico to vacate 210 oil and gas leases approved between 2017 and 2018. The leases cover over 70,000 acres of public land in the southeastern portion of the state, just a few miles away from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and within the Permian Shale, a hotbed for fracking.
The Lesbian Herstory Archives also include a Japanese “dyketionary” and a diary documenting what it was like to be queer in 1950’s small-town Ohio.
After the Raptors GM guided his team to a championship, he was asked for his ID by a cop.
The graphic novel is in development for a “frightening, hilarious, twisted, and culinary-inspired” series.
Read time: 3 mins
On June 6, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that the company Energy Transport Solutions LLC had applied for a special permit to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) in unit trains 100 cars long and for the express purpose of moving LNG to export facilities. The notice in the Federal Register starts a comment period, ending July 8, for the public to weigh in on the proposal, which represents a new mode for transporting LNG and includes no new safety precautions.
The permit documentation and environmental assessment from PHMSA suggest that federal regulators — instead of learning from the deadly mistakes of the essentially unregulated oil-by-rail boom — are poised to allow the fossil fuel and rail industries to repeat the same business model with LNG, with potentially even higher consequences for public health and safety.
What a time to be alive.
The ‘ghost dune’ was created by a volcanic eruption on Mars.
You are just not going to believe how, like, insane this dude is, bro.
Embracing my hearing limitations has come, somewhat counterintuitively, from eroticizing them.
The government wants all the data it can get from you at the border. But what happens when a hacker shows they can’t store it safely?
They are threatening a court challenge if the Liberal cabinet approves the Trans Mountain expansion next week, saying it would put Canada’s youth at risk.
In our first ever Quirks & Quarks public debate, recorded live in Toronto, astronaut Chris Hadfield, cosmologist Renée Hložek, planetary scientist Marianne Mader and space flight historian Amy Shira Teitel weigh in on whether we should leave space to the robots. An extended podcast edition includes Q&A segments not in the radio broadcast.
Canadian molecular biologist Miranda Wang is pioneering a system to turn previously unrecyclable plastic into reusable chemicals. (Photo: ©Rolex/Bart Michiels)
Canadian molecular biologist Miranda Wang, 25, was today named one of five laureates in the prestigious 2019 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which supports entrepreneurs whose work is making a significant contribution globally to improve people’s lives and/or the environment.
Read time: 5 mins
The Adani Carmichael coal mine — one of the most controversial fossil fuel projects in Australia’s history — has been handed its final environmental approval.
Based in Queensland, the Indian-owned mine has been beset by controversy after gaining its first set of approvals back in 2014, sparking a nationwide “Stop Adani” movement and multiple legal challenges.
Read time: 5 mins
A recent Congressional amendment, which backers say will soon reach the House floor for debate, could have major ramifications for the petrochemical industry’s plan to move into the Ohio River Valley and start manufacturing plastics and chemicals in Appalachia.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently considering extending $1.9 billion in federal loan guarantees to the Appalachia Development Group, which submitted an application for loan guarantees through the DOE’s Title 17 Loan Guarantee Program in 2017.
The Appalachia Development Group would use that loan guarantee to build a $3.4 billion storage hub that could store over 10 million barrels of so-called natural gas liquids (NGLs), which can be used to make plastics and petrochemicals and are in high supply due to fracking in the nearby Marcellus and Utica Shales.
Green groups supporting the amendment say that those DOE loan guarantees are meant for energy projects — specifically those that cut down on greenhouse gas emissions — not for the petrochemical industry.
Read time: 7 mins
In the wake of fresh revelations that a Massachusetts agency withheld critical air pollution data, calls on the state to retract a permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in the greater Boston area have intensified this week.
In a letter Thursday to a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) official presiding over an appeal on the permit for Enbridge’s facility in Weymouth, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) slammed the DEP for what he called “gaping insufficiencies” in granting the permit, which “compromise the integrity of the DEP process.”
Author and historian Charlotte Gray chats with Explore podcast host David McGuffin in the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Reading Room at 50 Sussex in Ottawa. (Photo: Alexandra Pope/Canadian Geographic)
For many Canadians, Charlotte Gray hardly needs an introduction. She is one of this country’s most loved authors and historians. For a quarter century she has delighted her readers with non-fiction histories that delve into often unexamined corners of Canadian history, revealing characters, places and moments in time that help explain this country.
The Liard River, which flows some 1,200 kilometres through the Yukon, northern B.C. and the Northwest Territories, is Canada’s longest “wild” river, meaning a river that has remained largely unchanged by human activity. A recent study found that around the world, such rivers are disappearing, lending a new sense of urgency to the efforts of researchers and Indigenous people to understand and protect Canada’s watersheds. (Photo: Heather Crochetiere)
Sixty years ago, British Columbia’s Bridge River Valley was known as the “land of plenty” to the St’át’imc people. Home to deer, moose, and Chinook salmon, the valley — located in the province’s southwest, a few hundred kilometres north of Vancouver — sustained several First Nations communities for thousands of years.
In 1959, that natural abundance was washed away. Two massive dams were constructed as part of the Bridge River Power Project, diverting the flow of Bridge River and flooding the valley.
It’s like a mirage. You see that distant Do Nothing day coming up on the horizon of your kitchen calendar. You stare at its white squarey blankess beckoning you closer and closer and closer. Time moves forward, days march on, and still nothing gets planned on that beautifully perfect patch of nothingness. No homework, no […]
Read time: 3 mins
What’s the future of coal? The answer may be blowing in the wind. Or running through our waters. Or, maybe it’s at the end of a sunbeam.
Wherever the answer is found, the message is clear. Coal is on a downward trend in the U.S. and renewables are on the rise, according to a new report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.
The report shows that renewable energies had slightly more installed capacity than coal, as CNN reported.
You don’t want to sit next to me on an airplane. Chances are good I’ll start drooling on your shoulder, accidentally crank your headset volume, or chat your ear off with boring anecdotes while you attempt to stare dreamily at cloudscapes out the window. Yes, you’ll politely nod and smile while I go on for […]
The post #484 Getting the Emergency Exit row on the airplane and not having to pay for it appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
© istockphoto.com/Michael Thompson
Though its scientific name translates to “American antelope goat,” pronghorns are not part of the antelope family. These mammals have deer-like bodies covered in short, reddish-brown fur with white patches on their cheeks, chest, belly, rump and legs. Both male and female pronghorns have horns.
© istockphoto.com/Clay Greene
The great blue heron is the largest heron in North America and stands about one metre tall. This bird has greyish blue feathers on its body, a white head with a black stripe on each side, a long neck and long legs. It has a long, yellow-orange beak and displays brighter feathers during mating season. Great blue herons have large wings and can fly up to 55 kilometres per hour. During flight, they often hold their necks in an “S” curve.
Read time: 8 mins
The technology exists to hold polluters accountable, but can it now be used to help monitor pollution and prevent toxic messes?
In the early 2000s, residents of a small, Rust Belt city called Tonawanda, New York, began noticing something strange: Over the years, it seemed, an increasing number of people were getting sick — primarily with cancer.
Tonawanda’s a highly industrial city with more than 50 polluting facilities situated within a three-mile radius. It was common for the air to feel dense and to smell like gasoline. Residents wondered what toxic chemicals might be in the air and if they were making them sick.
It’s time to get down with the get down… At the movies! Your arms bearhug fat tubs of popcorn and slippery jumbo drinks as you blindly stumble down the dark aisle. You scan the chattery crowd dotting the red plushy tundra before noticing your friend thirty rows up giving you the two armed wave. At […]
Read time: 3 mins
The Trump administration issued one of its most blatant attacks on climate science this past week when it tried to stop a State Department employee from testifying on the climate crisis, reports showed on Saturday.
As the Washington Post reported, intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover’s testimony was submitted to the White House for approval ahead of his planned appearance before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. His remarks focused on the national security risks posed by the climate crisis.
I’ve been asked a few times, “Have I read anything you’ve written?” My first smart-ass instinct is to reply, “I don’t know, what do you read?” But I don’t. Because for some people, meeting a writer is surprising. They don’t know what to say and that’s …
Hannah Kosick holds colourful microplastics picked up on T’aalan Stl’ang beach in Haida Gwaii during the 2018 Ocean Bridge expedition. (Photo: Conner McDowell)
Canada will ban single-use plastics, including plastic bags, cutlery, straws, stir sticks and more by as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
From the Journal of Duh! (ok, actually it was PLOS Medicine) comes Behavioural intervention for weight loss maintenance versus standard weight advice in adults with obesity: A randomised controlled trial in the UK (NULevel Trial). The study involved 288 people who had lost ≥ 5% of their weight in the preceding 12 months who were randomized into two groups. One where they received periodic newsletters, and the other where they had a single face-to-face visit where they discussed goal setting and self-monitoring (including being told to weigh themselves daily) followed by every other day automated text messages. The hope was that the single visit and text messages would help prevent weight regain in the group that received them. So did that minimal intervention help?
No, both groups regained the same amount of weight over the study’s duration.
What was most surprising about this study wasn’t that minimal interventions don’t help prevent weight regain, but rather that someone thought they might. Because if minimal interventions prevented weight regain, do you really think weight regain would be so commonplace?
So in case you were looking for proof that single office visits and text messages aren’t in and of themselves sufficient to prevent weight regain, there you have it I suppose.
Thank you for calling. We are experiencing lower than normal call volumes. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Check out my podcast 3 Books —
The post #486 When a human answers the phone when you call a big company appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
© istockphoto.com/Klaas Lingbeek-van Kranen
These beautiful birds are covered in white and dark brown feathers—perfect camouflage in their usually snowy habitat. Males can be pure white, but females always have some brown feathers. Since snowy owls are found in colder climates, they have a thick layer of down underneath their many layers of feathers in order to keep warm in the most frigid temperatures.
The moose is the largest member of the deer family. A mature bull (a male) can stand as tall as two metres at the shoulder — that’s as tall as some professional basketball players! Smaller moose stand around 1.5 metres at the shoulder.
Moose have big-muscled bodies, but their legs are long and thin. This helps them walk through deep snow in winter and wade in ponds and lakes, where they forage for plants during spring and summer. Most moose also have something that’s called a “bell”—a piece of fur-covered skin about 30 centimetres long that hangs from their throats.
The Canada lynx may look like a slightly larger version of your housecat, but make no mistake — these boreal predators are ferocious! Canada lynx live in forested areas and make their dens underneath fallen trees, tree stumps, rock ledges or thick bushes. They are territorial animals, and males live alone most of the time. With big eyes and superior hearing, Canada lynx are excellent night hunters. But they are not fast runners, so they have to be sneaky when it comes to catching prey.
Read time: 7 mins
The famous inventor Edwin Land said, “It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.” He seemed to be telling us that solutions lie just beyond our old habits of thinking.
Cities, states and countries around the world are committing to clean energy economies that run on very high levels — even 100 percent — of renewable energy. In New York state alone, four competing bills target 50 percent to 100 percent renewables by or before 2040.
Realistically, only two renewable energy resources are large enough to meet these very high-penetration objectives on the supply side in the U.S. — solar (by far) and wind.
Read time: 3 mins
The goal is part of Bloomberg’s new Beyond Carbon initiative, which he will formally announced during a commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Friday, The Associated Press reported. Bloomberg is pledging $500 million towards an effort to close coal plants and transition the country towards 100 percent renewable energy. It is the single-largest philanthropic effort dedicated to addressing the climate crisis, Bloomberg’s foundation said.
Every once and a while there’s a story that has such an impact on me, that I want to feature it by itself. Today’s Saturday Story, written by Dana Horn for the Atlantic, was a searing read for me. It details her recent visit to a “massive blockbuster exhibition (about the Holocaust) that opened in May at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan“, by the same people who brought you Human Bodies, and how it left her feeling flat. Her closing paragraph,
“The Auschwitz exhibition does everything right, and fixes nothing. I walked out of the museum, past the texting joggers by the cattle car, and I felt utterly broken. There is a swastika on a desk in my children’s public middle school, and it is no big deal. There is no one alive who can fix me.“
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