Category Archives: Fun Facts

Floating Solar Parks? Seriously?

How does your energy generation go green when you have a limited amount of land, and much of that is below sea level? You can design a floating solar park! The obvious candidate for such an innovation is The Netherlands. And they’ve done it! Trust the Dutch to think outside the box. The Dutch company

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Meet the Top 10 New Marine Species

Putting rovers on Mars is exciting, but we must not forget our home planet has never been completely explored. This is especially true of the oceans, which cover about 70 percent of Earth’s surface, yet are still relatively uninvestigated. I was reminded of this while reading that the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) released its annual

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Plastic From Bacteria?

Consider the ubiquity of plastics. If present trends continue, we will be producing a billion tons a year by 2050. And since 1950, we’ve produced more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic in total. It gets worse. By 2015, three quarters of those 8 billion+ metric tons were discarded, and only 9% has been recycled.

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There Used To Be A Woman In Your Beer

Song of the Witches — from Shakespeare’s Macbeth Double, double toil and trouble;Fire burn and caldron bubble.Fillet of a fenny snake,In the caldron boil and bake;Eye of newt and toe of frog,Wool of bat and tongue of dog,Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,For a charm of powerful trouble,Like a hell-broth boil and

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How to Regrow a Body

If you don’t like your body, how would you like to regenerate a new one? It can be done, at least in slugs. Researchers have discovered two species of Japanese sea slugs that can shed their bodies and regrow new ones within three weeks. I can understand why some humans would want to regrow their

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What You Don’t Want To Know About Plastic

Are you tired of hearing about the evils of plastic? I hope not, because there is some new research (and it’s not very good news). When large plastic items like food containers break down, they tend to form microplastics: Small pieces less than five millimeters long.  These pieces are so minute they end up everywhere. Consequently,

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Ghosts of Fukushima

Do you believe in ghosts? Recall the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster). Particularly hard-hit was the city of  Ishinomaki, with 3,097 deaths and 2,770 residents missing.  In 2016, Yuka Kudo, a graduate student in sociology at Tohoku Gakuin University, traveled to Ishinomaki and began asking taxi drivers,  “Did you

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Who’s Afraid of Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are an important part of our modern diet. From catsup to soup to sauce to salsa, they pop up in many places. A New World discovery, tomatoes originally grew as wild plants in the Andes Mountains. They were eaten by the Aztecs as early as 700 AD. Today they are grown in thousands of

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