Category Archives: science

Lowly Dung Beetles Are Insect Astronomers

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Even the humble dung beetle, its life spent barely an inch above the ground, pushing balls of waste, steers by starlight.

“Dung steered by the stars,” as my longtime friend Steve said.

Or, as Oscar Wilde wrote in “Lady WIndermere’s Fan”:

DUMBY. I don’t think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.

LORD DARLINGTON. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Kuwait on the Prairie

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Light in the North Dakota darkness.

When oil comes to the surface, it often brings natural gas with it, and according to North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, 29 percent of the natural gas now extracted in North Dakota is flared off. Gas isn’t as profitable as oil, and the energy companies don’t always build the pipes or systems to carry it away. For a year (with extensions), North Dakota allows drillers to burn gas, just let it flare. There are now so many gas wells burning fires in the North Dakota night, the fracking fields can be seen from deep space.

(via npr.org)

What Was Lost

This is where we go when we follow the water. Down it flows—that’s science—and we race it to the ocean. Not quickly enough. The stream dwindles to mud that shines and then dulls. I feel as if I can hear the waves wash the rocks, just past where the pastures rise. We were so close this time. We’ll try again another day. Tomorrow’s weather forecast says rain.

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Cats that I made using only MY MIND!

It’s true. AND: I did it in a dream the premise of which was: THIS IS NOT A DREAM.

You know how you have those dreams? Those other dreams? You realize, “Wait! This is a DREAM!”

This was not like that. THIS IS NOT A DREAM was the foundation of the dream.
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