11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… polluted water popsicles are making an impact. Resource of the week!

Think about what water pollution is, and use inexpensive materials to make some “pops” of water in your own backyard.


… Native American chokecherry pudding has medicinal qualities after all.

These gorgeous little chokecherries are coming to fruit beside the parking lot for the Hellcat Swamp Trail area at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island in Massachusetts.
Photograph by Botteville, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

Learn how is Nat Geo’s new explorer Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is raising the voice of indigenous knowledge about natural resources.


… it’s really hard to find Jewish food in Israel.

Gefilte (“stuffed” in Yiddish) fish is traditionally eaten during the eight-day Jewish holiday of Passover. “It may taste like cat food, but that’s why I love it,” says one man.
Photograph by Marcelo Träsel, courtesy Flickr. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Culture and food and ritual, oh my!


… scientists may have found the “Eighth Wonder of the World” beneath a volcanic lakeshore.

The Pink and White Terraces were destroyed in an 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, New Zealand. Today, they are buried beneath Lake Rotomahana.
Painting by Charles Blomfield, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

See if you can find LakeRotomahana!


… wolves are being redomesticated.

Not heeding the call of the wild, wolves in various parts of the world may have started on the path to becoming dogs.
Photograph by Jim and Jamie Dutcher, National Geographic

How did wolves get domesticated, anyway?


… residents of a low-lying Maryland island may deny climate change, but they still want to stop it.

Map by Iskandar Baday, National Geographic

Map Tangier Island while you still can.


… the humble post office was once a hotbed of innovation.

Employees sort mail into sacks in the Lethbridge Post Office in Alberta, Canada.
Photograph courtesy the Galt Museum and Archives. Public domain

Do you celebrate World Post Day?


… how the world’s earliest accountants counted on cuneiform.

According to the good folks at the Met, this tablet most likely documents grain distributed by a large temple, although the absence of verbs in early texts makes them difficult to interpret with certainty. The seal impression depicts a male figure guiding two dogs on a leash and hunting or herding boars in a marsh environment.
Photograph courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Was the first person in history a cuneiform-using accountant?


… why older female elk so successfully evade hunters.

Older cow elk like this one are good at playing hide-and-seek.
Photograph by M. Williams Woodbridge, National Geographic

Zoom in on these smart cervids with our gorgeous map.


… Jupiter has 69 moons.

Three of Jupiter’s 69 moons—Io, Ganymede, and Callisto—shadow the gas giant in this rare triple-eclipse of 2004.
Photograph by NASA

Does one of those moons harbor life?


… living with nuclear waste means remembering on a different scale. Great read.

Reinforced stainless-steel containers of radioactive cesium-137 sit in a 4-meter (13-foot) deep pool at the Hanford Site, a nuclear facility in Richland, Washington. Cesium-137, a nuclear fission product, must sit underwater for ten years until it is cool enough to be removed to a nuclear-waste storage site.
Photograph by Emory Kristof, National Geographic

How is Finland breaking new ground in finding a place for nuclear waste?

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