Rare earth elements aren't actually rare, but right now the vast majority of them (97%) come from a single place — China. Given how important these elements are to the making of everything from computers to cars, that gives China quite the monopoly. With that context, here's the news: Japan just found a big supply of rare earth elements in mud at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Of course, what may be good news for manufacturing is not necessarily good news for the health of oceans.
Below is an image of Thiomargarita magnifica, the world's largest bacterium that scientists just discovered in the French Caribbean hanging out on underwater on decaying leaves from a mangrove tree. The size and shape of a human eyelash, you can see it without a microscope. (The illustration above shows the lil' creature beside a dime.)… READ THE REST
These miniature Brazilian frogs (aka pumpkin toadlets) don't have much balance and thus jump in reallllly awkward ways. Apparently, their inner ears are too small to provide good balance. New research published in Science explains the phenomenon: Miniaturization has evolved repeatedly in frogs in the moist leaf litter environments of rainforests worldwide. Miniaturized frogs are… READ THE REST
Even though people employ the concept of navel-gazing as a pejorative insult, I still find my belly buttons remarkably intriguing. Ever since my mother elucidated the reason behind my belly button as a youth, the deep poignancy around the mark has stuck with me forever. Call me sentimental all you want, but having a visual… READ THE REST
As much as you hate it, sometimes we have to search for things in places we never want to go, like the kitchen sink's drain, the dusty attic, or the spider-web-laden area underneath the house. Your shrieks might just bring music to their ears! But as much as we don't want to see what's in these… READ THE REST
Whether you have your own cookie business or run a celebrity gossip blog, having an unimpressive landing page can really slow things down. Sure, hiring a professional developer to create a website would be awesome, but their rates can be pretty steep, and that's not something you want to budget for these days. Just because… READ THE REST
How much of your Mac's storage space is actually stuff you use? Odds are good a significant portion of your hard drive is filled with untouched downloads, duplicate files, and apps you forgot existed. You may not have noticed it, but the gradual slowing of your computer could be due to all those files just sitting… READ THE REST