Moose, Meese, Mooses

Moose, Meese, Mooses Way back in the 42nd episode of the newsletter, we explored the gorgeous Gekko gecko, otherwise known as the tokay gecko. I came upon that beauty through photographs but loved the nearly identical scientific nomenclature, which got me thinking about tautonyms. A tautonym is the term for a doubled taxonomic name, and its …

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Derechos

Derechos I think most people are familiar with tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards, all storms associated with ferocious winds. But there is another menacing monster out there in the clouds, beyond these familiar storms, called a derecho. The term comes from the Spanish word for “straight” or “direct.” Unlike the swirling winds of a tornado, a derecho …

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The Mother of Modern Physics

The Mother of Modern Physics Maria Salomea Skłodowska entered our orb in Warsaw, then part of the Russian empire, now the capital of Poland, on 7 November 1867. Her parents were both teachers, whose families had histories of involvement in Polish independence movements, and probably envisioned an erudite future for their youngest child. My guess, though, …

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Documenting Demise

Documenting Demise As we explored in the previous issue, Mt. St. Helens began to display activity in March 1980, a string of action that led to the largest recorded landslide and an incomprehensible lateral blast on May 18. This two-month period allowed geologists and amateur scientists time to study the mountain in the buildup. Many volcanologists …

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Aconcagua – South America’s High Point

Aconcagua – South America’s High Point We’ve aimed the virtual GPS at Argentina to visit South America’s highest mountain: Aconcagua. At 22,837 ft, Aconcagua is not only South America’s queen, but it is also the tallest peak in the Southern Hemisphere, the Western Hemisphere, and the highest outside Asia. This classification makes it one of the Seven Summits – the …

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Poles of Inaccessibility

Poles of Inaccessibility   The place on Earth that’s farthest from an ocean is in what nation? A: Canada B: China C: Central African Republic If you answered with China, give yourself a round of applause. The Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility is in China, near the border with Kazakhstan, and that pole happens to be the continental …

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The Tilting of Uranus

The Tilting of Uranus When I stumbled across the article with the title, “A New Approach to Tilting Uranus,” I knew immediately I had to include the topic in the newsletter. Uranus is one of those puns that everyone continues to love, despite “growing up.” I know some people who publicly claim to disdain this line of …

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