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Geoscientist Matt Kuchta explains why wet sand makes a better castle than dry sand — and what you can do to make your sand fortress even more impenetrable. Hint: The secret ingredient is window screens.
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Mark Memmott at NPR's "The Two Way" blog digs in to statistics and maps from the National Climatic Data Center to illustrate exactly how fucking hot it is in hundreds of cities around the US, as a record-setting heatwave continues. I found the data a little confusing, so I 'shooped up a "For Dummies" version for you all, above. But do read the whole post from Mark here. (via Dave Pell's NextDraft)
Storm damage and high temperatures have left 1.3 million homes and businesses in the eastern United States without power since Friday. At least 23 people have been killed, some crushed by falling trees, others from heatstroke. From Illinois to Virginia, "Many Fourth of July celebrations were canceled as local governments confronted damage from the hurricane-force winds and high heat and drought conditions that made firework shows risky." There's an intense image comparison here at the NASA website, showing before/after satellite images that reveal massive blackouts in DC, Richmond, and other cities affected by the "derecho" storms.
It is 83 degrees in Aspen, Colorado—just hot enough that I started dreaming of ice cream as soon as I stepped off the plane.
Now, if I do find some ice cream and give myself a brain freeze while woolfing it down, I will have a better understanding of what that nasty cold-food headache is and how to combat it, thanks to this Scientific American video.
One of the things I like best about the video: Learning that, despite the ubiquity of the brain freeze, it's still not 100% clear what causes it. In particular, there are several competing theories to explain why putting cold things in your mouth would make your forehead hurt. Nifty!
Models present lingerie maker Triumph's new concept bra, the "Super Cool Bra", during its unveiling in Tokyo on May 9, 2012. The bra, modeled after a miniature fishbowl, contains a gel material designed to draw excess heat out of the body in its cups. It was created to help women "feel refreshed" during summer by wearing it, the lingerie maker said. Japan is headed for a power shortage this summer following the shutdown of all nuclear power reactors. I don't really get what's up with the pipe.