Weblog

Mild Winter, Early Spring Bring Talk of Climate Change

This article from PBS Newshour Extra discusses the mild winter and early spring of 2012. The article examines the possibility that this may be related to climate change, and also the potential impacts a mild winter and early spring may have on plants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's updated climate zone map for farmers and gardeners is included.

Freakonomics Blog

If you enjoyed the book Freakonomics, or saw the documentary by the same name, check out this blog from creators Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. The posts discuss a variety of topics, and usually dissect a statistic or fact that we tend to take for granted; the discussions may make you think differently about the world as we know it. The blog's editors include professors of law, economics and sociology. Links to the site's podcast, Freakonomics Radio, are also included in the blog.

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is a self-proclaimed compendium of the world's wonders, curiosities and esoterica. Armchair travelers will enjoy reading about interesting sites around the world, and may be inspired to compile a list of places to visit one day. Natural wonders, museums, national treasures and landmarks are included, and users can contribute to the site or help edit content already present.

Two New Elements Added to the Periodic Table

Two new radioactive elements, which have yet to be named, have been added to the periodic table after three years of review by the governing bodies of chemistry and physics. Both of the new elements were discovered by a joint team from Dubna, Russia and California. The elements are said to be highly radioactive and exist for less than a second before decay.

A Curious Case of Foreign Accent Syndrome

This story from NPR highlights Foreign Accent Syndrome, a rare but fascinating condition that can happen after a brain injury, resulting in the patient's accent changing drastically. The story profiles Karen Butler, a woman from the United States who developed the condition after being put under anesthesia while having dental work done. I recommend listening to the audio of the news story to hear Karen's accent, which sounds somewhat Scottish. Running time for the audio clip is 3:58.

Exclusive Area 51 Pictures: Secret Plane Crash Revealed

Conspiracy theorists have long wondered what exactly has been concealed by the U.S. government at Area 51, a large military base located in southern Nevada. National Geographic presents a series of recently declassified photographs of an experimental spy plane which crashed there in 1963. The photographs depict the government's cover up of the crash, and may answer the questions that still exist for many people who have heard a variety of conspiracy theories about the site, most of which relate to government research and concealment of UFOs.

Help New Computer Users Learn to Copy, Cut, and Paste

Despite the fact that many of us are computer savvy enough to have learned the basics long ago, a digital divide still exists between those who know how to use technology and those who struggle with it. If you've ever had to teach the basics to someone, you know that many people do not understand all of the shortcuts right away. This article from Lifehacker provides a good starting point for anyone teaching new computer users basic commands like copy, cut and paste.

Breathtaking Undersea Aliens: Deep Sea Photography

This page includes a few examples of marine biologist Alexander Semenov's undersea photography. His images of sea life are not only interesting scientifically, but are also visually stunning. In a brief interview, he explains the photographic process. More examples of his work can be found here; the site is entirely in Russian, but the images are content enough for those of us who don't understand the language.

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