11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… what it takes to keep a grocery chain operating during the storm of the century. Read of the week!

“You want milk, bread, water. You want batteries, you want canned meat. You want tuna. The guy who runs floral at H-E-B calls everyday: Can I start to ship floral? We don’t care about floral. People do not buy flowers in the middle of a hurricane.”
Photograph by Roland Balik, U.S. Air Force

Can you map a grocery store?



… Google Street View can be Aboriginal Street View.

How does our educator get students thinking about the world with Google Street View?



… how snobbery took the spice out of European cooking.

Who needs spice when you have fresh bread and prosciutto?
Photograph by Clay McLachlan, National Geographic

How did capitalism put spice into European cooking?



… descendants of slaves once owned by Cherokees have a right to tribal citizenship.

Should indigenous citizenship shape state policies?



… urban trees save cities millions of dollars.

Trees like these in Central Park may save New York more than $500 million a year in healthcare, energy costs and environmental protection, according to new research.
Photograph by Simon Roberts, National Geographic

How can you find urban nature in your city?



… ribosomes are not like factories. The nucleus is not like a brain. Mitochondria are not like power plants.

Behold some world-famous, life-saving HeLa cells undergoing mitosis.
Photograph by Josef Reichig, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How can mitochondria help trace human migration?



… Iceland has banned “foreign” horse names.

A dip into the official Icelandic horse registry reveals names such as Baldur and Bjork.
Photograph by Sela Yair, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Icelanders are keeping their volcano names, too—take a look at Eyjafjallajokull.



… how Darwin’s finches respond so quickly to environmental changes.

The birds Darwin collected in the Galapagos inspired him and later scientists to develop the evolutionary principle of natural selection—the idea that animals evolve particular traits to suit their lifestyles.
Illustration courtesy National Geographic

If they adapt so well, why are they struggling to survive?



… the 5k, not the marathon, is the ideal race.

A legend says that the Athenian runner Pheidippides, naked and exhausted above, died after running 42 kilometers (26 miles) to tell the Athenians about the Greek victory over Persia at the Battle of Marathon. Would he have perished after five kilometers?
Illustration by Tom Lovell, National Geographic

What about ultramarathons?



… interspecies hybrids play a vital role in evolution.

It’s a zonkey.
Photograph by Dcgi, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Meet the coywolf, our cutest hybrid.



… the Sun unleashed its strongest solar flare in a decade.

What are solar flares?

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