11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… how to map 1.7 billion stars. Resource of the week!

Behold the Gaia satellite’s all-sky view of the Milky Way, based on measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars. (Those bright clumps in the southeast are our neighbor galaxies, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds.)
Photograph by ESA/Gaia/DPAC

Is there life out there?



… ice-road truckers in Siberia are saying ‘Brother, we need Greenpeace out here.’

With roads made of ice, all it takes is one pleasantly warm spring day for Siberian highways to vanish.
Photograph by SimonBoschmann, courtesy Pixabay

Russia isn’t the only landscape that’s melting.



… how to navigate the ‘third space’ of grocery stores.

Grocery stores can “tell us about neighborhoods, they tell us about how deeply entrenched inequities are in U.S. society, and they tell us about why we should deeply question our investment in food corporations if we’re committed to increasing access and sovereignty for all.”
Photograph by George F. Mobley, National Geographic

What are the regions of a grocery store?



… how to hunt a giant sloth.

Ground sloths could be as large as elephants.
Illustration courtesy NPS

Would you bring back giant sloths? Would you hunt them?



… deep-water trawling has caught more fish than anyone ever thought.

This photo of Alaskan cod may be my favorite photo we’ve ever run on this blog.
Photograph by Nick Rahaim, courtesy Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

What is the footprint of global fisheries?



… indigenous scientists are re-evaluating the concept of invasive species.

Common reeds proliferate quickly and can take over wetlands. One response is to incorporate them into food systems as an ingredient or compost enhancements.
Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, National Geographic

What are invasive species?



… Alaskans are asking what happened to winter.

This iconic whalebone arch at Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow, is fast becoming a monument to a lost way of life.
Photograph by Andrew Gray, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

Learn how M Jackson explores the complex relationship between communities and ever-retreating ice.



… archaeologists discovered what may have been the largest ritual of child sacrifice in history.

More than 140 children were ritually killed in a single event in Peru more than 500 years ago. What could possibly have been the reason? Photograph by Gabriel Prieto, courtesy National Geographic

Where else are our explorers discovering evidence of grisly ancient sacrifice?



… humans have been upstanding citizens for more than 3.6 million years.

The beautiful arches of these footprints in Laetoli, Tanzania, indicate that our ancestors were walking upright more than three million years ago.
Photograph by Robert Clark, National Geographic

Why is bipedalism one of the characteristics that “make us human”?



… ancient Mesopotamians probably got high.

Cyprus was a major exporter of opium and opium pipes like this one.
Photograph by Steve Raymer, National Geographic

Where else have psychotropic drugs played a role in spirituality?



… what life was like in New York City in 1911.

What was life like in the Arctic in 1911? What about the Antarctic?

Leave a Reply