Science

The Coastline Paradox

The Coastline Paradox What country has the longest coastline in the world? If you answered Canada, peel off a gold star and stick it to your shirt. Great work! OK, now what country has the second-longest coastline? Russia? The United States? Australia? Maybe you figure the question is a trick and answered something along the …

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There Is No Blue

There Is No Blue “And jealous now of me, you gods, because I befriend a man, one I saved as he straddled the keel alone, when Zeus had blasted and shattered his swift ship with a bright lightning bolt, out on the wine-dark sea.” — Homer, The Odyssey, Book V In 1858, then-future British Prime Minister William …

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The Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice Hallelujah! Today marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The shortening of daylight is finally over. For the next six months, our sunlight durations will only increase. Despite speaking of the solstice as a date, it is actually a moment. Precisely, the solstice is the moment one of our planet’s poles is tilted …

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GLOFs & Jökulhlaups

GLOFs & Jökulhlaups When I was just a wee nerd, one year at the Ohio State Fair I happened upon a merchant selling packs of playing cards called Magic: the Gathering. I had no idea what they were. My mother and sister, who were with me, had no idea what the game was. But they looked really …

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