My friend Austin took this photograph last week, looking out his office window near the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. That flare in the distance isn't Photoshop. Nor is it the nuclear annihilation of St. Paul. Instead, it's a sun dog — an atmospheric phenomenon that happens when light from the Sun is refracted off of ice crystals in the air. The light gets bent as it passes through the crystals and we see the bright flash of a "false sun" to the side of the actual Sun. The same process can also form rings around the Sun. Whether you get a halo or a sun dog depends on which way the ice crystals are oriented in relation to you.
The NASA Osiris-Rex spacecraft "crushed rocks and sent rubble flying as it briefly touched an asteroid, a strong indication that samples were collected for return to Earth, officials said Wednesday," reports AP. More at the OSIRIS-REX Sample Return Mission site: "OSIRIS-REx TAGS Asteroid Bennu." Excerpt: Captured on Oct. 20, 2020 during the OSIRIS-REx mission's Touch-And-Go… READ THE REST
Meet the leaf-nosed snake, a peculiar Madagascan species with a gift for crypsis. Reading about it I found my way to Envenomation by the Malagasy colubrid snake Langaha madagascariensis, which turns out to be "This God Damned Snake Bit Me!" written up as a formal scientific paper. To avoid harming the snake and to prevent… READ THE REST
In Violet magazine, writer Sasha Sagan, author of the must-read For Small Creatures Such As We, is interviewing a series of inspiring and diverse female scientists. First up is evolutionary biologist Dr. Michelle Trautwein, "curator of flies" at the California Academy of Sciences. followed by South African chemist/nanotechnologist Dr. Tebello Nyokong of Rhodes University, and… READ THE REST
If you thought the fear and instability that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic unleashed on world financial markets would send investors scurrying for the sidelines, think again. In fact, the individual investor has jumped into this new economic landscape with both feet in 2020. Retail investors — everyday, non-professional stock traders — now account… READ THE REST
Fix-it projects don't always fit to your schedule. In fact, it often feels like projects or even emergencies that require your attention often come at the worst possible moments. That's why it feels like every time there's a leaky pipe or a problem underneath a vehicle or a wild animal stuck underneath your house, it… READ THE REST
What's the only thing tougher than deciding to finally get your financial life and monthly budgeting on track and under control? When there are two of you. Making sure to log all of your transactions and be fiscally responsible is often difficult enough, but when you're trying to manage that operation when both you and… READ THE REST