This morning found us hiking in the hills above the house. We left with a request for sage, to be used to flavor one of the dishes for Christmas dinner. Once we found ourselves in the chaparral it wasn’t too difficult to find. It grows seemingly everywhere. I believe the species we encountered is Salvia apiana, although I can certainly be wrong about that. I’m quite new to the flora...
Everything that we’ve learned about the universe warns us against assuming...– from The Living Cosmos
Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too →
Even as I speak, the very last polar bear may be dying of hunger on account of...– Kurt Vonnegut, Armageddon in Retrospect. This is the opening quote in Richard Ellis’s new book, On Thin Ice. The NY Times review of the book is here. If the polar bear didn’t have such high energy requirements it might be able to successfully hunt on land. Unfortunately, any...
Vertebrates Aren't The Only Tool Users →
The Veined Octopus has officially been admitted to the exclusive club of tool users, becoming the first invertebrate to do so. Well, the first as far as we know. At least four individuals have been observed retrieving discarded coconut shells and using them for shelter. But is the use of tools by the veined octopus truly unique among invertebrates? Regardless, these octopuses don’t care if...
A Super Earth
It has been 15 years since the first extrasolar planet was discovered. Since that initial discovery over 400 more have been detected. Astronomers today announced that they have discovered what they call a “super-Earth” a mere 40 light-years away. Their best guess at the moment is that the planet is made up of mostly water, with a surface temperature hovering around 400 degrees and a...