1) Nature


A closer view of the head and mandibles of an Army ant. The worker’s duties include carrying the colony’s pre-adult pupae while migrating.  Colonies of 500,000 to two million individuals so finely tuned that they operate as if they are the cells of a single organism.

Fortunately the guy above is not found in the US.  Ants are an amazing story of evolutionary success.  They have adopted to almost every environment, including the concrete medians of our city streets.

From a Christian Science Monitor story:


“Medians on three major streets can contain fruity-smelling ants that nest in pavement; ants that farm aphids as if they were cattle; predatory, colony-raiding ants; forest-dwelling ants imported from Asia; and a species with dangerous stings.” In a recent survey of just 44 medians in New York City entomologists of found 13 different species.

2) Space

Using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, scientists have recently discovered a gigantic, mysterious structure in our galaxy. This feature looks like a pair of bubbles extending above and below our galaxy’s center. Each lobe is 25,000 light-years tall and the whole structure may be only a few million years old.

3)  How much you really know about your energy use? To find out take this quiz from the Christian Science Monitor:

1. Which laundry method saves more energy?

a) using a clothesline instead of a dryer

b) washing with cold water instead of hot water

2. For every two minutes a car idles, it uses the same amount of fuel it takes to drive

a) a quarter-mile

b) a half-mile

c) a mile

3. Stand-by power – energy consumed by appliances turned off but plugged in – accounts for how much of all US residential energy use?

a) 1 percent

b) 3 percent

c) 5 percent

4. What is the biggest expense on your utility bill?

a) computers and electronics

b) heating

c) cooling

d) lighting

5. How much land would be needed to replace all of the world’s current use of fossil fuels with biofuels such as wood, charcoal, ethanol, and biodiesel?

a) 400,000 square miles (equal to the area of France and Spain combined)

b) 4.8 million square miles (equal to the area of the US and India combined)

c) 6 .6 million square miles (equal to the area of Russia)

6. Turning off your car engine and restarting it uses as much gas as about the equivalent of

a) 10 seconds of idling

b) 30 seconds of idling

c) 1 minute of idling

7. Which nation is the top foreign supplier of oil to the US?

a) Canada

b) Saudi Arabia

c) Venezuela

8. Which of these countries has the lowest energy consumption per capita?

a) Iceland

b) United States

c) Trinidad and Tobago

d) Qatar

9. A CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) that produces the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb will use only about

a) 10 watts

b) 25 watts

c) 60 watts

You can find the answers here – http://tinyurl.com/39e9wrf

I hope you did better than me, I didn’t know # 2, 5, 7 and 9.  If you have to guess than you really don’t know the answer.