11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… a Syrian seed bank keeps growing. Read of the week!

This collection of seeds is just part of a Brazilian seed bank’s enormous inventory.
Photograph by Patrick Eozenou, MyShot

What is a seed bank?


… mobile phones haven’t transformed the Maasai. Yet.

A Maasai tribesman talks on his mobile phone in Kenya.
Photograph by Sheri Mandel, MyShot

How might mobile technology help the Maasai conserve big cats and protect their livestock?


… seabird colonies were discovered in the Atacama Desert, 70 kilometers from the coast.

This pretty little petrel has a range that follows the Humboldt Current off the coast of South America. It has breeding colonies in the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth!
Illustration by Joseph Smit, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

How do birds navigate?


… Chicago won’t allow high school students to graduate unless they have a college acceptance letter or a job.

Students in Moore Haven, Florida, graduate in 1969.
Photograph by Otis Imboden, National Geographic

What other requirements are new for graduates?


… you really can enroll in charms and transcribe magical manuscripts.(Hogwarts is in Chicago!)

The oldest image of a witch riding a broom is from a 1491 French manuscript called Le Champion des Dames by Martin le France.
Illustration by Martin le France, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

Be careful what you translate …


… France will ban “all petrol vehicles” by 2040.

Ah, the city of (tail)lights …
Photograph by James L. Stanfield, National Geographic

How do cars use fuel?


… Norway is digitizing Nigerian literature.

“Our goal is for this project to serve as a model for other countries, and that we can help create a fully-fledged African digital library,” says the director of the National Library of Norway.
Photograph courtesy National Library of Norway

Get a great list of books from and about Nigeria and the rest of Africa.



… artifacts from a salvaged shipwreck may have been excavated without permission.

The historic items painstakingly retrieved from the wreck of HMS Erebus were taken without permission from waters now owned by the Inuit people in Canada. Painting by Michael Hampshire, National Geographic

What was the Franklin expedition?


… the evolution of eyes, not limbs, led fish to land.

The big, better vision of Tiktaalik and other Devonian fish may have allowed them to hunt in shallow water.
Photograph by Nobu Tamura, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

How might sharper eyesight benefit ocean animals?


… America’s future is Texas.

Game hunted by oilman Kerry Krottinger surrounds him and his wife, Libby, in their Dallas home.
Photograph by Robert Clark, National Geographic

Explore, customize, and download a 1-page black-and-white map of America’s future.


… how to read a book.

Illustration by Sacha Chua

3 thoughts on “11 Things We Learned This Week

  1. All the articles mentioned are just awesome. All of us can see that Technology is transforming education. In India a platform Career2NextOrbit has started with education higher education Management students by reducing the Gap between Industry and Academia using technology.

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