How and Why Sleep Evolved

Sleep. We all need it, and most of us don’t get enough of it. And even if we get the average recommended amount (the good old 8-hour dosage), that takes up about a third of our lives overall.

But why do we sleep, from an evolutionary standpoint? The fact that it’s so widespread in the animal kingdom attests to it having some kind of vital function. But it just seems like a waste of 8 hours, more or less.

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Bees: how important are they and what would happen if they went extinct?

Philip Donkersley, Lancaster University

How important are bees and what will happen when they go extinct? Is there research into what is killing them? I’ve been told it’s weed killers… – Tink, aged 18, Cornwall, UK.

Bees – including honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees – are very important because they pollinate food crops. Pollination is where insects move pollen from one plant to another, fertilising the plants so that they can produce fruit, vegetables, seeds and so on. If all the bees went extinct, it would destroy the delicate balance of the Earth’s ecosystem and affect global food supplies.

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Is Anthropocene a joke? A good read

According to some scientists, the world entered a completely new geological era called “Anthropocene”. And the reason is humans because we changed the world so much.

Now, a very good and detailed article written by the American science writer Peter Brannen and published on The Atlantic argues that so-called Anthropocene is not a new era, it’s just an “event” in the Earth’s history. It’s a long but good read.

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The end of the world: a history of how a silent cosmos led humans to fear the worst

Thomas Moynihan, University of Oxford

It is 1950 and a group of scientists are walking to lunch against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. They are about to have a conversation that will become a scientific legend. The scientists are at the Los Alamos Ranch School, the site for the Manhattan Project, where each of the group has lately played their part in ushering in the atomic age.

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Are Weddings Causing Environmental Damage?

Weddings are meant to be beautiful and memorable. Whether you have a barn wedding or an elaborate event at a country club, or you keep it simple in a church, it should be a reflection of who you are as a couple.

Unfortunately, certain wedding styles, decorations, and even some long-standing traditions may be doing more harm than good when it comes to the environment. Most people are so wrapped up in the splendor of the event itself that they don’t often think about how their choices might be impacting the health of the planet.

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20 Amazing Elephant Facts

Today, August 12, is World Elephant Day. Even though these largest existing land animals are loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, they are actually close to the edge of extinction. The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. So, we urgently need to take action to protect these amazing (and cute!) animals. Here are 20 amazing elephant facts.

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Saturn on steroids: J1407b

If you read Isaac Asimov’s 1986 novel “Foundation and Earth”, you’ll remember how the main characters of the book (Councilman Golan Trevize, historian Janov Pelorat, and Gaian Bliss) were amazed by Saturn’s rings. They were thinking the gas giant with preeminent rings in old stories was just a myth. But after seeing Saturn, they made sure that they found the solar system which contains the Earth, the original home of humanity.

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