11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… fire, as well as ice, may have helped sink the Titanic.

The long black scar in this image of the Titanic would later be crushed by an iceberg. New research suggests a coal fire caused the damage, and structurally weakened the ship. Photograph courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain.
The long black scar in this image of the Titanic would later be crushed by an iceberg. New research suggests a coal fire caused the damage, and structurally weakened the ship.
Photograph courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain.

How was the Titanic built?

 

… Treepedia reveals the greenest streets on Earth.

Treepedia explores the canopy of cities around the world. Image courtesy MIT Senseable City Lab
Treepedia explores the canopy of cities around the world.
Image courtesy MIT Senseable City Lab

Who’s the greenest of them all?

 

… how the world’s largest recorded wave was measured.

A rogue wave is usually defined as a wave that is two times the significant wave height of the area. The significant wave height is the average of the highest one-third of waves that occur over a given period. Rogue waves can disable and sink even the largest ships and oil rigs. This NOAA research vessel, the DISCOVERER, endures punishing waves in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. Photograph courtesy Commander Richard Behn, NOAA Corps
Rogue waves can disable and sink even the largest ships and oil rigs. This NOAA research vessel, the DISCOVERER, endures punishing waves in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.
Photograph courtesy Commander Richard Behn, NOAA Corps

What are rogue waves?

 

… how global consumption hurts wildlife.

Darker areas indicate areas of threat hotspots driven by US consumption, based on the mix of threats exerted in each country and the mix of export goods sent to the United States for final consumption.  Map by Daniel Moran and Keiichiro Kanemoto, “Identifying species threat hotspots from global supply chains.” Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, doi:10.1038/s41559-016-0023
Darker areas indicate areas of threat hotspots driven by US consumption, based on the mix of threats exerted in each country and the mix of export goods sent to the United States for final consumption.
Map by Daniel Moran and Keiichiro Kanemoto, “Identifying species threat hotspots from global supply chains.” Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, doi:10.1038/s41559-016-0023

How far does your own consumption footprint extend?

 

… the dying Earth will display fascinating geology. Unfortunately, no one will be there to study it.

Earth has pretty cool geology now, actually. Learn a little about the core, mantle, and crust.

 

… water might exist in a new state, beyond ice, liquid, and gas.

We could do a whole other activity on the biomimicry involved in this experiment—thanks to Dan R. for the heads-up on this great Current-Event Connection! Photograph by Michael Apel, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.5
Liquid water displays some anomalies when heated to around 50°Celsius (122° Fahrenheit).
Photograph by Michael Apel, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.5

Will this impact our study of Earth’s water cycle?

 

… how climate change is redefining botanical zones, and not everyone is unhappy about global warming.

As the world warms, how do we decide when a plant is native? Maps by the Arbor Day Foundation
As the world warms, how do we decide when a plant is native?
Maps by the Arbor Day Foundation

What is a botanical zone?

 

… how LIDAR helped an ancient city emerge out of a remote rain forest, and the Indus Valley may have been home to the greatest civilization ever forgotten.

The Indus Valley Civilization, sometimes called the Harappan Civilization, was “as extraordinary as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt.” Its script, seen on these gorgeous seals, has yet to be deciphered. Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic
The Indus Valley Civilization, sometimes called the Harappan Civilization, was “as extraordinary as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt.” Its script, seen on these gorgeous seals, has yet to be deciphered.
Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic

Map the Indus Valley Civilization with MapMaker Interactive.

 

… why ancient Pacific mariners were the NASA of their day. Pick of the week!

How did ocean geography define the cultures of the South Pacific?

 

… the art of the security escort.

President Barack Obama is somewhere in this security motorcade in Iraq. Photograph by Pete Souza, courtesy the White House
President Barack Obama is somewhere in this security motorcade in Iraq.
Photograph by Pete Souza, courtesy the White House

Why are security escorts different in different countries?

 

… how the rainbow illuminates the enduring mystery of physics.

The arc of the moral universe is long, George Washington, but it bends toward justice. Photograph Peter Essick, National Geographic
George Washington looks at a rainbow from atop Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.
Photograph Peter Essick, National Geographic

What is a rainbow?

2 thoughts on “11 Things We Learned This Week

  1. The dying earth will display a fascinating geology seriously would it be fascinating? I don’t agree it would be a disaster.. No water no lives nothing is gonna survive… Maybe it’s a new discovery for science but in Quran it’s already mentioned WHATEVER IS CREATED WILL BE DESTROYED… This time our earth is able to soak water but after millions of years everything will be of metals.. Sun will be close to earth but that time our earth won’t be able to soak our water means our sweat.. Temperature of earth will be intolerable.. Be prepare for this drastic end be a good human help humanity..

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  2. Don’t know that reason for sinking of the Titanic is right or wrong the theory of that coal burning.. but whenever we think about titanic the first thought in the mind is the love story of Rose and Jack and that melodius tune and my favorite song MY HEART WILL GO ON… Rest in peace all those people who got died because of this unfortunate incident..
    It’s so interesting to do new things always… Like mesuring the heights of a wave.. A former record get broken and again searching for a new one..

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