World's Strangest Natural Wonders Ever played the game of Twister on water? The green, yellow, and brown polka dots that form on British Columbia’s Spotted Lake each summer make it look like you could. It’s a far cry from the stereotypical landscapes of clear blue lakes, rolling green hills, and white-sand beaches that inspire most travelers—and that’s part of what makes strange natural wonders like Spotted Lake so thrilling. A recently discovered cave that grows crystals the size of four-story buildings, a lake the color of a strawberry milkshake, and a glacier that seems to bleed sound like they’re from another planet, but can be seen right here on earth, and they remind us that there’s plenty of mystery left to explore. For billions of years, our planet has been a work in progress. Long before scientists were able to offer explanations for the world’s more curious natural achievements, locals have been coming up with their own ideas.
International Women's Day: Five female scientists you probably haven't heard of - People - News - The Independent Their only common characteristic? They are women, and their appearance on the walls marks International Women’s Day. Try to recall a woman scientist and Marie Curie may be the first and perhaps only name that springs to mind. This is a shameful state of affairs, when for more than a century scientists who happen to be women have reached great scientific heights, despite the many barriers they faced on account of their gender. So here are five women whose amazing discoveries and contribution to science should be as well-known and respected as those of Marie Curie: Lise Meitner – nuclear physics Austrian physicist Lise Meitner (Bettmann/CORBIS)Lise Meitner (1878-1968) was an Austrian physicist and the second woman to obtain a doctorate in physics at the University of Vienna in 1906, and the first woman in Germany to assume position of a full Professor of Physics in 1926. Mary Anning – paleontology Gertrude Elion – pharmacology Jocelyn Bell Burnell – astrophysics Loading gallery 1 of 35
Science Fairs Aren't So Fair — Atlantic Mobile These K-12 events are hardly more than a competition among over-involved parents. As a parent of two elementary school-aged kids, I know spring is approaching when my Facebook feed fills with desperate pleas for more time, calls for patience, and questions about the locations of retailers selling tri-fold posters. Yes, it’s science-fair time. Last year, one mother’s satirical science-fair poster titled "How Much Turmoil Does the Science Project Cause Families?" Much of the parental anger seems to stem from the fact that the bulk of science fairs ask children to produce something, in some cases competitively, that is well beyond their abilities. Even the easiest of these items—researching a topic—is nearly impossible for a child who hasn’t yet mastered the ability to browse the Internet. An often unspoken sentiment, which Dave Barry gave voice to in a children’s book about rich kids who buy their science-fair projects, is that there’s something inherently unfair about science fairs.
Sat-navs and mobile apps 'threaten map-reading skills' - BBC News Map-reading skills are under threat because of a growing reliance on smartphones and sat-navs, experts say. The Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) said increasing dependence on technology means people are losing the ability to find their way by traditional methods. The RIN wants schools to encourage the teaching of basic map-reading because few pupils can read one. Its president, Roger McKinlay, said society is "sedated by software". Mr McKinlay added: "It is concerning that children are no longer routinely learning at home or school how to do anything more than press 'search' buttons on a device to get anywhere. "Many cannot read a landscape, an ordnance survey map, or find their way to a destination with just a compass, let alone wonder at the amazing role astronomy plays in establishing a precise location. "Instead, generations are now growing up utterly dependent on signals and software to find their way around." Analysis: By Tom Heap, BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth
Some spiders can sail across oceans, scientists say But that's no reason for arachnophobes suddenly to start climbing flag poles. A select number of creepy-crawlies have been doing this for eons, researchers now say, because a good many of them can sail quite adeptly. They can harness wind, weigh anchor and toss a line to a raft. Also, poles wouldn't offer arachnophobes a complete escape, because many spiders can fly, too, by catching a breeze in lines of web they spew from their abdomens, a feat called ballooning. It can take them to the neighbor's yard or to a neighboring continent. Myths about spiders and water Ballooning is not news to scientists. But previously, arachnologists thought the ballooning spiders' flying range abruptly ended at the water's edge, because after landing in a pond, a creek or the ocean, they'd be helpless. If that were the case, then why are a large number of spider species found on most continents, the scientists asked? 325 spiders dumped in water And the spiders did all this specifically when on water.
Here's Why Scientists Are Giving Honeybees Tiny 'Backpacks' Scientists use tiny technology to help explain bee die-off LONDON -- Honey bees help produce about a third of America's food supply. But last year, nearly half the bees in the U.S. disappeared -- a problem being felt across the Atlantic as well. Now, some detective bees are trying to figure out why. At London's Botanic Gardens, beneath the flowers where wild bumblebees roam, deep in a secure basement laboratory, British ecologist Sara Barlow suits up her bees for flight. It's called the "bumblebee backpack" and it's one of the smallest tracking devices ever placed on a living organism. "We'd be able to build up a map of the bee movements and see a network of where they've been, how long they've been out feeding, how far they've traveled," Barlow told CBS News. Every time a bee passes a receiver, information will be sent to a computer and Barlow will know the bee's every move. "Her tag emits a unique signal and picked up by a reader if she flew within a meter of it," she explained. It's a bumblebee radar. © 2015 CBS Interactive Inc.
What's Quicksand? - How Quicksand Works Quicksand is an interesting natural phenomenon -- it is actually solid ground that has been liquefied by a saturation of water. The "quick" refers to how easily the sand shifts when in this semiliquid state. Quicksand is not a unique type of soil; it is usually just sand or another type of grainy soil. Quicksand is nothing more than a soupy mixture of sand and water. Quicksand is created when water saturates an area of loose sand and the ordinary sand is agitated. Flowing underground water - The force of the upward water flow opposes the force of gravity, causing the granules of sand to be more buoyant.Earthquakes - The force of the shaking ground can increase the pressure of shallow groundwater, which liquefies sand and silt deposits. Vibration tends to enhance the quickness, so what is reasonably solid initially may become soft and then quick, according to Dr. RiverbanksBeachesLake shorelinesNear underground springsMarshes
Top 10 Science Stories of 2015 It’s been a busy year for scientists: medical breakthroughs; newly discovered human ancestors; genes and neurons; Earth’s troubled species; and enticing findings from Mars, Pluto, and beyond. Here are 10 science advances that made a big impact in 2015. After a 9.5-year, 3-billion-mile journey, NASA’s intrepid New Horizons spacecraft finally reached Pluto in July, sending back high-resolution images of the dwarf planet and its moon, Charon. At its closest approach, the craft passed within 7800 miles of Pluto’s surface—close enough to reveal bizarre ice mountains and vast, crater-free plains, seemingly divided into “cells” dozens of miles wide. An organism’s development is governed by its DNA—but what if you could manipulate that DNA at will? Are genetically engineered humans next? Berger et al. ineLife. But is it really a new species? Getty Images iStock We think of memories like pages in a scrapbook, or pictures in a photo album, but in practice, our memories are often wrong.
These women are turning science into cash - Feb. 26, 2016 Yes, engineering is their passion. But they've also become entrepreneurs -- using their technical know-how to inspire kids, and especially girls, to become the next generation of inventors. 3D printed jewelry inspired by science Erin Winick and Emily Huber have a lot in common. They're both 21-year-old engineering students at the University of Florida. They both tinkered with Legos as kids, and they're both committed to getting kids excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). To do that, they melded science with fashion. All the pieces are inspired by science. Their ideas are limitless. "The soundwave was of her grandkids saying, "I love you," said Winick. Huber said they want the jewelry to spark conversations. The women graduate in December -- and plan to continue working on Sci Chic, no matter what their future jobs are. "But if Sci Chic gets really big, I'd love to support it full time," said Huber. Sisters inspiring kids to embrace robotics Kids love to create.
Exclusive: Marvel launches program for girl scientists "Captain America: Civil War" stars Elizabeth Olsen and Emily VanCamp introduce the Marvel "Girls Reforming the Future Challenge" program. Marvel Studios Marvel Studios is increasing their girlpower on the big screen, and behind the scenes they’re looking for some talented science-loving youngsters as well. Marvel’s partnering with the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange for a program where girls 15-18, and in grades 10-12, can submit projects they feel can change the world with a short video that demonstrates their idea and explains its far-reaching potential. Five finalists will be picked to travel to California to present their projects to a panel of experts, and they’ll also receive an invitation to hit the red carpet at the Civil War world premiere at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre April 12, a tour of Walt Disney Studios and a $500 saving account from Synchrony Bank. In addition, one girl will be selected for the grand prize: an internship at Marvel Studios.
Is Glass a Liquid? Is glass a liquid? If you're familiar with Betteridge's Law of Headlines, you probably know where we're going with this already. But still, as long as I can remember, people have told me that glass is indeed a liquid, but a supremely viscous, slow-moving one at room temperature. Derek from Veritasium explains in the video below. Note: As Derek mentioned, a relevant comparison is the pitch drip webcam, which we've covered over the years: Watch, Live, as Almost Nothing Happens and The Pitch Drip Dripped ‘Round the World.
Upside-down lightning and mystery blue glimpses caught on film ESA/NASA/Iriss/DTU Space By Andy Coghlan It’s the ultimate light show that happens above clouds during thunderstorms. Weird lights up to a dozen kilometres long called blue jets, mysterious blue blobs called glimpses and upward slithers of red light called C-sprites have all been recorded from the International Space Station. Dutch astronaut Andreas Mogensen captured the footage and photos, which were presented at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna last week. “We wanted to see what happens above a thunderstorm,” says Olivier Chanrion of the Danish Space Institute in Lyngby, who co-founded the THOR project to observe the effects from the space station. Advertisement Dancing on the clouds Blue jets – projections that fan out and upward as far as 12 kilometres – have been seen before, as have the sprites, but the blue blobs were a real surprise. “They were dancing over the top of the cloud, and we called them glimpses,” says Chanrion. Striking upwards More on these topics: