11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… the breathtakingly sad story of the Chesapeake’s misguided war on cownose rays. Read of the week!

These cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) are swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
Photograph by Dorothy Birch, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Use our activity to explore the concept of place in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 

 

… what the worst smell in the world is.

Literal spoiler: Dead turtles.
Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

Some cartographers can map their city’s stink!

 

 

one Chicago school welcomed 89 refugee students this year, and 18 languages are spoken at another school in San Francisco.

These students are studying German at a refugee shelter in Berlin.
Photograph by Robin Hammond, National Geographic

What is life like in a refugee camp?

 

 

… Yellowstone grizzlies are no longer officially endangered.

This graphic depicts how grizzlies are adaptable omnivores and less vulnerable to invasive species and climate change.
Illustration by Monica Serrano, National Geographic

Learn about the Nat Geo explorers who “helped save grizzly bears from extinction in the lower 48 states” while also bringing “the ecosystem concept to the fore of conservation.”

 

 

… bone-sniffing dogs are on the hunt for Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart smiles at the controls of her modified Lockheed Electra aircraft—the very plane history buffs are searching for.
Photograph by Acme Newspictures, courtesy Library of Congress

Where are they looking?

 

 

… plankton turns the Black Sea blue.

The turquoise swirls are not the brushstrokes of a painting; they indicate the presence of phytoplankton, which trace the flow of water currents and eddies.
Photograph by NASA

What is plankton?

 

 

… where the most bike-friendly cities in the world are.

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen is a bicyclist’s best friend.
Photograph by heb, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How do Europeans use pedal power?

 

 

how the bombing encyclopedia of the world helped create the science of “catastrophe modeling,” and what the longest war in American history actually accomplished.

Securing more opportunities for Afghanistan’s women and girls became a thread stitching through many U.S. policy decisions. Here, U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Brandy Bates stops to talk with Afghan children and their father during a foot patrol through the village of Tughay, in Helmand province.
Photograph by Corporal Meredith Brown, U.S. Marine Corps, courtesy Wikimedia

What do service members think the war in Afghanistan accomplished?

 

 

 … indigenous Canadians are challenging wealthy Americans for a prime fishing location.

We love this picture of an Innu family in their canoe, about 1941.
Photograph by Paul Provencher, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

What traditional culture do the Innu belong to?

 

 

the surprising link between egg shape and bird flight, and how to live with starlings.

These beautiful emerald eggs are those of red-winged blackbirds in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Delta.
Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic

Why are some birds losing the ability to fly, no matter what their egg shape?

 

 

… the World Taxidermy Championships are awesome.

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