11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… 22,000-year-old ice cores melted not because of global warming, but because the freezer broke.

Each of these tubes in this freezer contains a one-meter section of ice core.
Photograph courtesy Eric Cravens, National Ice Core Lab, USGS

How do scientists extract ice cores?


… cephalopods can edit their genes on the fly.

This tiny octopus was collected from the waters off Hawaii’s Kona coast.
Photograph by David Doubilet, National Geographic

We welcome our cephalopod overlords!


… you might improve your students’ success by teaching math in the morning and social studies in the afternoon.

A new research paper says the findings support existing research showing that performance in “repetitive, automatised or overlearnt tasks” is better early in the day, while “perpetual-restructuring tasks”, such as making sense of history, are best kept for later.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

Use math and science skills to help explorers in real-world situations.


… we know nature makes us happier, and now science says it might make us kinder, too.

Experiments indicate that exposure to nature increases the likelihood of helpful behavior and approaching dilemmas more ethically.
Photograph by Winfield Parks, National Geographic

How can you connect your students to nature?


… one of North America’s oldest villages was discovered in western Canada.

This gorgeous chest was made by Heiltsuk craftsman Richard Carpenter more than 12,000 years after the earliest human occupation of the west coast of North America—a Heiltsuk village in British Columbia.
Photograph by Joe Mabel, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How are contemporary Heiltsuk schools honoring their heritage?


… distribution of PTA wealth is proving controversial.

The Santa Monica-Malibu school board pools most donations from across the district and distribute them equally to all the schools. Not everyone is happy.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

What is the PTA?


… an abandoned town hints at a nearly forgotten piece of African American history on the Great Plains. Read of the week!

Dearfield was a thriving farming community in Colorado. Then the Dust Bowl happened.
Photograph by Hustvedt, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA 3.0

What other regions did the Dust Bowl impact in the U.S.?


… a lizard has scales that behave like a computer simulation.

Ocellated lizards like this beauty have scales that change from brown and white to black and green.
Photograph by Arturo Nikolai, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Is nature mimicking technology or is technology mimicking nature?


… what it takes for a product to be labeled “Made in the USA.”

Discover your global network with the Global Closet Calculator.


… geography and culture may shape Latin American and Caribbean maize.

Maize was likely domesticated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago.
Map by Bedoya CA, Dreisigacker S, Hearne S, Franco J, Mir C, Prasanna BM, et al. (2017) Genetic diversity and population structure of native maize populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0173488. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0173488

Where is maize a staple crop today?


… why your shoelaces come undone.

What does this have to do with genetics?

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