11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… the effects of a single terrorist nuclear bomb. Read of the week.

According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “it is far easier to make a crude, unsafe, unreliable nuclear explosive that might fit in the back of a truck than it is to make a safe, reliable weapon of known yield that can be delivered by missile or combat aircraft.”
Photograph courtesy U.S. Navy

Where have nuclear bombs been deployed by the U.S.?



… Nestle makes billions bottling water it pays nearly nothing for.

Poland Spring is just one of the family of “Nestle Waters” bottled and sold around the world.
Photograph by Brett Weinstein, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-2.5

Where is freshwater available around the world?



… the purpose of education—according to students.

These Peruvian first-graders are stressing about grades.
Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic

What do your students think about education? Let them express themselves with the Photo Ark Challenge!



… what one Canadian street can teach the world about religious harmony.

No 5 Road in Richmond, British Columbia, is home to about 20 places of worship: Buddhist, Sikh, and Hindu temples; a Sunni and a Shia Mosque; and several churches, preaching in English, Mandarin, Minnanese, Cantonese, Arabic, Hindi, and Punjabi. This isn’t that road! it’s a local park.
Photograph by Grassbag, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How can picture books help us learn more about religious tolerance?



… a new startup is teaching endangered languages.

Why are endangered languages important?




… L.A.’s legendary palm trees are dying. And that’s OK.

Mexican fan palms like these are not native to California.
Photograph by Waltarrrrr, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How might Angelenos put their dying palms to use?



… ropeless fishing traps might help save right whales.

A team of state and federal biologists assisted in disentangling this big, beautiful right whale off Daytona Beach. The fishing line is still visible tangled in the whale’s body and trailing behind it.
Photograph by NOAA News Archive

How are fisheries getting roped into conservation?



… ancient maps mirror the ancient psyche.

This ancient Babylonian map of the world identifies mountains, cities, canals, and possibly the Persian Gulf. Not easy to read.
Photograph by Victor R. Boswell, Jr., National Geographic

What does the oldest map in the world have to say about the culture that created it?



… a giant concrete sphere in Iceland will track Earth’s wobble in space.

Orbis et Globus, a nine-ton concrete sphere, will trace the movement of the Arctic Circle as it shifts north on the island of Grimsey, Iceland.
Photograph courtesy Studio Granda

Why does the Arctic Circle move?



… Chinese people may experience feelings more viscerally than non-Chinese people.

Chinese people tend to express their feelings, particularly psychological distress, through their bodies—a process known as somatization.
Photograph by Gerd Ludwig, National Geographic

Can you experience emotions through food?



… tattoos are more than skin deep.

Nanoparticles from tattoo ink can be embedded into lymph nodes.
Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

What are nanoparticles?

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