Climate, Geology, News

This Globe Trotting geologist will help us better understand Climate Change

Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati (BS '14) on a backpacking trip along the Tour de Mont Blanc, one of the most popular long distance walks in Europe.

Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati graduated this year from Caltech. She majored in mechanical engineering but minored in geology and her main area of interest was seeing how green technology and engineering can help mitigate the effects of climate change. Now, she has embarked on a global quest to understand the past, the present, and the future of climate change. When Caltech wrote this article…

Design, Environment, News, Technology

3-D Printed Gardens may reinvent urban green spaces

vertical garden

3-D printing has taken the world by storm, and even though we’ve already discovered a myriad of potential applications, we’re just beginning to scratch the surface on what the technology can actually do. From cranium replacements to fossils, from artificial ears to artificial skin and from bacteria to livable rooms, 3-D printing has done it all, and more. Now, Sony computer…

Animals, Offbeat

Zoo realises it has been trying to mate two male hyenas for four years

Image via Sapporo Zoo.

Zookeepers in Japan have learned that no matter how hard you try and no matter what some Arnold Schwarzenegger movies tell you, two males can’t have offspring. In what seems like an article taken straight from The Onion, staff at Maruyama Zoo in the northern city of Sapporo spent four years trying to get two spotted hyenas to mate, only…

News, Renewable Energy

German village goes off the grid with 100% renewable energy from wind, sun and pig manure

Werner Frohwitter, spokesperson for the "Freier Energieforum Feldheim" association stands at the bio gas plant in the energy-sufficient village of Feldheim, 80km south of Berlin.

Germany has taken a pioneering role in terms of renewable energy, in Europa and even worldwide. Many countries are now negotiating or even applying renewable energy systems, but in Germany the situation is different – most of renewables are owned by individuals (as opposed to companies), and most of them are produced in the rural areas – not in big…

Great Pics

GeoPicture of the Day: Oklahoma Supercell

Image credits: the Minerva Studio.

No, what you see here isn’t a gateway to hell or an alien invasion. What you see here is a supercell – a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft. Supercells are usually found isolated from other thunderstorms, although they can sometimes be embedded in a squall line. Typically, supercells are found in the…

Biology, Climate, News, Nutrition

Tea flavors changing with shifting rainfall patterns

People working on tea plantations. Image via China Tour.

Climate change has many unexpected consequences – as a research has shown yet again. This time, a team of Montana scientists have shown that the tea flavors are changing, mainly as a result of shifting rainfall patterns. This variability can jeopardize the livelihood of tea growers and has significant effects on the end product we drink. Tea is the most…

AstroPicture

AstroPicture of the day: How the surface of a comet looks like

ltRGo0m

Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the European Space Agency to perform a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko – and here is how the surface of the comet actually looks like. The camera the shuttle used is greyscale, and researchers then used color filters to capture different spectrums of the light.   All image credits: ESA/Rosetta project  ……

Anthropology, Genetics, News

Researchers find early connection between Easter Island and America inhabitants

Easter island is famous for its large human head statues, called moai. A total of 887 monolithic stone statues have been inventoried on the island and in museum collections so far

People from the Americas may have been making their way to the Easter Island way before Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived in 1722, according to new genomic evidence; this new evidence showed that the isolated Rapanui people shared a strong connection with Native American populations hundreds of years earlier. This evidence shows that early Americans undertook the 4000 kilometer route to Easter…

Archaeology, News

Enigmatic 4000 year old “CD-ROM” decoded

Phaistos disk Side A. Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons.

A disk made from clay dating from 4000 years ago was finally decoded. The Phaistos Disk has puzzled specialists for over a century, but archaeologists have finally managed to crack the code. The Phaistos Disk is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete, probably dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze…

Animals, Biology, News

Killer whales are so smart they can learn to speak “dolphin”

Image via Animal National.

Killer whales are smart, we already know that; they’re also really scary. But a new study has shown that they are actually scary smart – up to the point where they can learn the language of another species. Killer Smart Killer whales are actually a species of dolphins found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas….