|—||Andrew Gillespie tells us why we should study economics on the OUPblog.|
While a liquid soap dispenser is very convenient, a good old solid bar of soap is a much ‘greener’ option, as it’s more concentrated and doesn’t require a plastic bottle. But squishy, wet soap bars next to the basin are a pain, and they harbour bacteria too. So, what to do? Young designer Nathalie Stämpfli has come up with a very satisfactory solution with her Soap Flakes soap holder. It takes an ordinary bar of soap, and shaves off tiny soap flakes every time you want to wash your hands.
Brilliant! The main reason I don’t like bars of soap is because I don’t want to rub a slippery germ fest on my body that someone else has been rubbing on their body. This would probably do the trick
Did you miss “Saving Otter 501”, the remarkable story of a stranded three-day-old otter pup rescued by the Aquarium? It’s being rebroadcast on KQED Dec. 4-6.
Against all odds, will this tiny otter be able to return to her home in the wild? Find out!
How Big Is the Ocean?
While the Earth’s oceans are known as five separate entities, there is really only one ocean. So, how big is it? As of 2013, it takes up 71% of the Earth’s surface, houses 99% of the biosphere, and contains some of Earth’s grandest geological features. Scott Gass reminds us of the influence humans have on the ocean and the influence it has on us.
Lesson by Scott Gass, animation by Sandro Katamashvili.
Of monarchs and milkweeds: How one species’ pest is another’s repast
by Nathanael Johnson
The monarch butterfly is a prime example of charismatic minifauna. Charismatic megafauna — bears, sharks, wolves — evoke feelings of awe, but there’s a subtle contradiction in sheltering species that sometime eat us. With charismatic minifauna, however, that contradiction disappears. It may be harder to empathize with insects, but nurturing them comes a bit more naturally.
People like Debbie Jackson, a conservation specialist with Monarch Watch, have been nurturing the insects for decades.
“I started this as a little girl the cornfields of the Midwest, just enjoying them,” she said. “Feeding the caterpillars on milkweed and watching them grow.”
Now monarchs are in trouble — in part because there’s not much milkweed left in the cornfields of the Midwest (herbicides…).
“The numbers are astronomically horrible,” Jackson said. The monarch overwintering spot in the mountains of Mexico once hosted a billion butterflies. But just 3 million have shown up so far this year, she said.
(read more: Grist.org) photograph: Shutterfly
Does it get more tropical than a coconut on the beach?
true bonding is when you and your friends are all angry about the same thing