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.
Continue reading How and Why Sleep Evolved
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.
Continue reading Bees: how important are they and what would happen if they went extinct?
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.
Continue reading Is Anthropocene a joke? A good read
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.
Continue reading The end of the world: a history of how a silent cosmos led humans to fear the worst
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.
Continue reading Are Weddings Causing Environmental Damage?
Social media is a big deal. Over 40% of the world population uses some type of social media platform. That includes Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and dozens of other platforms that connect us on a global scale.
Continue reading Can Social Media Help Save the Environment?
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.
Continue reading 20 Amazing Elephant Facts
Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle and Joseph K. Bump, University of Minnesota
Indian tiger numbers are up, according to one of the most detailed wildlife surveys ever conducted. Tiger populations have risen by 6%, to roughly 3,000 animals.
Continue reading Some good conservation news: India’s tiger numbers are going up
Hydroelectric dams act as obstacles for wildlife, especially migrating salmon. The Whooshh Fish Transport System, also known as the “salmon cannon,” gives fish a much-needed boost over dams so they can swim upstream to spawn.
Continue reading This “Salmon Cannon” helps native fish pass over dams
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.
Continue reading Saturn on steroids: J1407b