by Steph Guerra figures by Abby Burrus December kicks off the Season of Giving. There are Salvation Army volunteers ringing bells outside of department stores, food drives for the hungry, and fundraising appeals from almost every charitable organization. With so many groups to choose from, is there actually a strategic way to choose the “right” or the “best” charity? Indeed, a social movement known as … Continue reading What Gives?: The science behind effective charitable giving
by Colleen Golja figures by Brad Wierbowski Articles with dystopian titles like “Is it OK to Tinker With the Environment to Combat Climate Change?” and “To Curb Global Warming Science Fiction May Become Fact” have begun to surface regularly in prominent news sources like The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, The Economist, and many others. Just this past October, a cinematic portrayal of a climate-modified … Continue reading Solar Geoengineering: Is controlling our climate possible?
Take a big inhale and a deep dive. Imagine staying underwater as long as possible. Now imagine a shark approaching, with gleaming teeth, and swimming away as fast as you can. Imagine trying to do both at the same time. You are not alone if you find this confusing. Freeze and flight responses are often mutually exclusive. If you try to do both at once, … Continue reading To Flee or Not to Flee: Narwhals puzzle scientists with their escape heartbeat
A new study has compared the brains of dogs and cats and found cats wanting. Scientists counted the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of brains and found that dogs have more than double the number of neurons of a cat. While this doesn’t immediately rule that dogs are the smarter species, it does suggest they have a higher capacity for learning. Continue reading Dog owners rejoice! Dogs could be smarter than cats
by Olivia K. Foster Rhoades On December 4th, President Trump declared both the Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante would be reduced by 1 million acres each–an unprecedented change in federal land policy. As we near the end of 2017, four more monuments totaling 12.3 million acres in size have been slated for reduction. To put that in perspective, the state of Massachusetts … Continue reading The Scales of Federal Land Management: Balancing spacious skies and purple mountains of paperwork
Qubits, the quantum analog of a digital bit, are envisioned as the building blocks of the future of computation. The quantum bit is special because of its ability to be in simultaneous values of 0 and 1, while digital bits can only be a 0 or a 1, not both. The calculations of quantum problem become exponentially more difficult as larger qubit computations are required: … Continue reading Performing a 51 qubit computation
by Felix Barber figures by Rebecca Senft Why are batteries important? Ask yourself what a future with a sustainable economy would look like. Such a future would likely exploit sources of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, to power the electric grid, with personal transport in the form of electric vehicles (“EVs”) that would draw their power from that same grid rather than from … Continue reading The Future of Energy Storage: A lost opportunity for the U.S.?