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Partial Eclipse Of The Heart
One of my daughters made the trip to North Carolina to see the eclipse in the totality zone. I'm a little jealous- but mostly just happy that she had the chance to do it. My wife and I, and those of our kids at home for the moment, saw only a partial eclipse here in Connecticut. After viewing the eclipse and capturing a few images like the one above, I gave in immediately, and sadly, to the sudden insistence of I told you so impulses.
A Total Solar Eclipse Leaves a Nation in Awe
Michael and Nancy Worstell, 71 and 73 years old, clutched each other, beamed and laughed as totality began. He lifted his two hands to his eyes and raised his index fingers to form a smile at the corners of his eyes. Then as totality ended and the sky brightened, the Worstells got back in the minivan and continued their drive north. The crags of the Tetons blushed scarlet as if in the last robes of dusk, and a cheer raced through the crowd.
Schools need to encourage broader participation in science learning outside of the classroom
Analyzing survey data from almost 6,000 UK secondary schoolchildren from communities with traditionally low science engagement, the authors investigated who participates in science learning outside of the classroom. They discovered that students from less privileged backgrounds remain far less likely to participate in informal science learning experiences, such as school trips and museum visits. The authors therefore argued that schools can play a leading role in encouraging interest in science among traditionally marginalized groups.
Research team uses computation and experiment to understand how novel material properties form
A team of researchers led by Prof Dr Britta Nestler at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences works on the frontline of advanced material design, using computation to model new material properties. One of the team's central goals is the computational analysis of the influence of varying melting conditions on material properties and microstructure quantities.
How do international development projects affect property values?
A rich literature in environmental economics has studied how property values change within area, or basin, of some kind of investment, says Michelson. A house or a piece of property has a bundle of characteristics. Another theory is that residents nearby are holding onto their land to see if property values go up and then sell. Michelson says she sees value in the technique they used to learn how people decide where they want to live with respect to large development programs.
What's the annual value of trees? $500 million per megacity, study says
In a recent study published in the online journal Ecological Modelling, an international team of researchers reported that in the 10 megacities they studied, tree-based ecosystem benefits had a median annual value of $505 million, which is equivalent to $1.2 million per square kilometer of trees. From another perspective, the value was $35 per capita for the average megacity resident. The study estimated existing and potential tree cover, and its contribution to ecosystem services in 10 megacity metropolitan areas across five continents and biomes.
Orange is the new green: How orange peels revived a Costa Rican forest
In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. A team led by Princeton University researchers surveyed the land 16 years after the orange peels were deposited. Janzen and Hallwachs have focused the latter half of their careers on ensuring a future for endangered tropical forest ecosystems. The research team evaluated two sets of soil samples to determine whether the orange peels enriched the soil's nutrients.
Bond dissociation energies for transition metal silicides accurately determined
Despite their relevance to modern technology, however, fundamental aspects of the chemical bonding between their transition metal atoms and silicon remain poorly understood. One of the most important, but poorly known, properties is the strength of these chemical bonds-the thermochemical bond dissociation energy. This sharp threshold observation in a dense vibronic spectrum provides a new and highly effective means of estimating the bond dissociation energy for transition metals bonded to other p-block elements.
A silent search for dark matter
Results from its first run indicate that XENON1T is the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth. Dark matter is theorized as one of the basic constituents of the universe, five times more abundant than ordinary matter. Several astronomical measurements have corroborated the existence of dark matter, leading to a worldwide effort to directly observe dark matter particle interactions with ordinary matter. If the xenon is dirty, we won't see the signal from a collision with dark matter, Brown said.
Verizon tweaks prices, cuts video quality on unlimited plans
All major carriers now offer unlimited plans after years of steering people toward paying extra for using more data. Verizon, like its rivals, will start charging more for higher-quality video while hoping to attract cost-conscious customers with a cheaper plan. Existing customers can keep their unlimited plans, but their video quality is now limited to 720p on phones as well. Charging customers who want high-resolution video also lets Verizon make more money off the unlimited plans.
Getting hold of quantum dot biosensors
Quantum dots (QDs) have found so many applications in recent years, they can now be purchased with a variety of composite structures and configurations. We were literally able to see single quantum dots trapped by our nanoantenna, and capture movies showing their motion. The structure concentrates the infrared light used to trap the quantum dots into the small 50 nanometer gap between the cylinders. It was very exciting to see the individual quantum dots being trapped when we actually did the experiments.
New approach makes lightest automotive metal more economic, useful
Despite its light weight and natural abundance, auto makers have been stymied in their attempts to incorporate magnesium alloys into structural car parts. To provide the necessary strength has required the addition of costly, tongue-twisting rare elements such as dysprosium, praseodymium and ytterbium-until now. The method has the potential to reduce cost by eliminating the need for rare-earth elements, while simultaneously improving the material's structural properties. It also improves a property called ductility-which is how far the metal can be stretched before it breaks.
Newest solar cells underperform in cloudy countries
To determine how efficient new solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, small sample cells are tested under ideal conditions. The researchers developed their own model to predict the expected electricity yield of these tandem solar cells under realistic weather conditions. The researchers used measured temperatures, irradiances, and solar spectra to predict the performance of these cells in Utrecht and Denver. This is true even when the cells are made from the best perovskite and silicon solar cells currently available.
Hormonal tug-of-war helps plant roots navigate their journey through the soil
A sophisticated mechanism that allows plant roots to quickly respond to changes in soil conditions has been identified by an international research team. As the root grows and meristem cells at the tip continuously divide, they are left behind in relation to the moving root tip. When these cells reach a certain distance from the tip, called the transition position, they stop dividing and instead start elongating until reaching their maximum lengths.
Study finds that gravity, 'mechanical loading' are key to cartilage development
Mechanical loading, or forces that stimulate cellular growth for development, is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity or mechanical loads. Now, in a study led by the University of Missouri, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. These tissues cannot renew themselves, bioreactors, or devices that support tissue and cell development, are used in many cartilage tissue engineering applications.
'Hero' of Paris climate agreement dies
Former Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony De Brum, who played a key role in securing the Paris climate pact has passed away aged 72. At countless UN climate meetings, Mr De Brum was a passionate champion of the rights of small island states. It was the threat of rising seas and a changing climate became the key issues of his time as a Marshall Islands foreign minister.
'Cyborg' bacteria deliver green fuel source from sunlight
Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. The so-called cyborg bugs produce acetic acid, a chemical that can then be turned into fuel and plastic. In lab experiments, the bacteria proved much more efficient at harvesting sunlight than plants. Dr Sakimoto believes that these bacteria offer some advantages over other approaches to generating green energy from biological sources.
Walmart dives into voice-activated shopping with Google
The world's largest retailer said Wednesday it's working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items from laundry detergent to Legos for voice shopping through Google Assistant. Voice shopping is becoming a more important part of everyday shopping behavior, said Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart's US e-commerce business. Walmart has said Google's investment in natural language processing and artificial intelligence will help make voice-activated shopping even more popular.
ExxonMobil 'double speak' on climate laid bare
We unequivocally reject allegations that ExxonMobil suppressed climate change research, it said at the time. As early as 1979, when climate change barely registered as an issue for the public, Exxon was sounding internal alarms. Natasha Lamb, managing partner of investment management firm Arjuna Capital, said the new analysis could bolster the lawsuits accusing ExxonMobil of deliberately downplaying climate change risks. The fossil fuel industry is especially vulnerable to questions about climate risk as the race to decarbonise the world economy gathers pace.
Warming Arctic spurs battles for riches, shipping routes
Conservationists also oppose the large-scale extraction of Arctic resources, fearing that the fragile environment will be irreparably harmed. The Arctic is certainly among the last frontiers with respect to undiscovered mineral resources, along with the deep oceans, said Smelror. One reason is low oil prices, which along with public pressure have made the Arctic shortcut less attractive to shipping firms. Melting permafrost already poses a problem for Russia's Arctic infrastructure, from ports to pipelines, from roads to residential buildings.

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