Science

The Shape of Sound

The Shape of Sound The air on our planet is (mostly) transparent. Sound is a mechanical phenomenon. A sound is caused by the pressure changing in a medium, as particles of the medium bump into other particles of the medium. Here on Earth, since that medium is air, it’s kind of hard to see a sound wave. Barring …

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Miracle Fruit

Miracle Fruit In 1725, French explorer, cartographer, navigator, and slave-ship captain, Chevalier des Marchais noticed something incredible as he journeyed through West Africa. In addition to charting the continent, des Marchais also took a keen interest in the native flora of the region. He noticed the Indigenous people rummaging through forest undergrowth for a particular …

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Worms in the Rain

Worms in the Rain As temperatures rise, leaves start to peek out of buds, and the critters begin to reclaim the land. April brings precipitation to many spots in North America and warmer, rainy days solicit one creature, in particular: the earthworm. Amble outside during a shower in the spring and you will likely encounter …

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Chicxulub

Chicxulub Geologists recognize five major extinction events since life emerged on our planet. Each of these catastrophic periods wiped organisms from Earth, usually to the tune of more than 75% of all living species at the time. One such occasion, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, eliminated between 90-96% of species from existence! The one most people …

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Third Man Factor

Third Man Factor Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a …

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Lunar Lasers

Lunar Lasers Before 13 September 1959, no human-made object had ever touched an extraterrestrial body. On that date, Luna 2, the Second Soviet Cosmic Rocket, impacted the moon. Since then, numerous other spacecraft and various humans have visited our satellite. All told, nearly 500,000 pounds of Earth stuff adorns the surface of the Moon. Some …

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The Chaulmoogra Wizard

The Chaulmoogra Wizard On 24 July 1892, in Seattle, Alice Augusta Ball arrived on planet Earth. The daughter and granddaughter of photographers, the Ball family probably never imagined Alice might one day develop into a world-renowned chemist, though their usage of photographic chemicals might have captured her attention. At the age of 11, the Ball family …

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Levitate a Frog

Levitate a Frog Go to your refrigerator and grab a magnet. Now try to stick it to your body. Of course, the magnet falls to the ground because our bodies are not magnetic. Right? Colloquially, yes. Technically, the answer is more complex (though you obviously still won’t find magnetism in your vaccines; I can’t believe …

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Song of Dunes

Song of Dunes …when travellers are on the move by night, and one of them chances to lag behind or to fall asleep or the like, when he tries to gain his company again he will hear spirits talking, and will suppose them to be his comrades. Sometimes the spirits will call him by name; …

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