Science
Monday, October 18, 2021

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 Misticism

The Seven Wonders of the Natural World may have been named too quickly. Wonders like The Grand Canyon and Victoria Falls are certainly big, and anyone who sees them will surely be impressed—but sheer size isn’t enough to truly leave a person in awe. There are other places in this world, though, that are far stranger. Places that seem almost alien, as if they could only exist on a planet that evolved separately from our own. These are places that scientists have had to struggle just to understand how they ever could have been formed. Places that will truly make you wonder—not just because they’re beautiful, but because they seem to follow scientific laws that don’t exist anywhere else on earth.

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 storm eye and surge

There are several characteristics of the changing climate that are helping to increase the risks of damage from Hurricanes, even though global warming is not directly causing such a storm to spin up.  Katharine Hayhoe, a climate researcher at Texas Tech, put the relationship between climate change and storms such as Florence as follows: "Hurricanes are absolutely being affected by our changing climate, in many ways. As the world warms, the rainfall associated with hurricanes is becoming more intense; they are getting stronger, on average; they are intensifying faster; they are moving more slowly; and, as sea level rises, the storm surge from these events can be more damaging."

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Heart Puszzle 

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was identified in January of this year. As of the date of this letter, there are over 3 million total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., which is roughly the size of the entire population of Puerto Rico. COVID-19 has killed over 135,000 Americans. These are confirmed infections – we are not incentivized to attribute a patient’s death to COVID-19 if the diagnosis is not confirmed with laboratory studies. This pandemic is real, and we are very concerned about it.

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 Bones of MammothsN Mexico City

Last year, archaeologists discovered huge earthen pits dug by humans some 15,000 years ago in an area just north of Mexico City. Inside those pits were the remains of more than a dozen woolly mammoths, some of which showed signs of being butchered. This discovery led researchers to hypothesize that these pits were in fact traps laid by human ancestors to capture huge, prehistoric prey. In 2020,  another mammoth graveyard has been found just six miles away, though archaeologists so far see no signs of human involvement in the demise of the roughly 60 mammoths that have been unearthed.

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Autism and the Israeli Army

Six years ago, three former Mossad agents launched an experimental Israeli Army program to recruit those on the autism spectrum, harnessing their unique aptitudes—their "superpowers," as one soldier puts it. The name of this big military success? Roim Rachok, Hebrew for "seeing into the future," and it may bring neurodiversity to the broader workforce. They’re part of an innovative military program called Roim Rachok, Hebrew for “seeing into the future.” The elite group consists entirely of members of a burgeoning but underserved and overlooked population with powers as special as their needs: autistic teens.