Alyson Foster

  What do the members of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics discuss during their annual meetings?  Math, usually.  Lots of math.  But this week they’ll also be talking about something a little different: penguins. That’s because mathematician Francois Blanchette will be presenting a paper that examines fluid dynamics in relation to the…

Human Journey

If you’re like most people you probably find cobwebs to be a nuisance – something to brush off or wipe away with a dust rag while cleaning house.  But it turns out that these messy webs are actually small feats of engineering.  Polymer scientists at the University of Akron have discovered that the common house…

Human Journey

  A newly discovered star with an extremely strong magnetic field has caught the attention of scientists.  Located about 20,000 light-years from Earth, NGC1624-2 is the most magnetic massive star discovered by astronomers to date. NGC1624-2 has about 35 times the mass of our sun and possesses a magnetic field nearly 20,000 times stronger.  Because…

Human Journey

  How do you film a net-casting spider catching its prey?  Strap on your hiking boots, trek out into the the middle of the woods, get your camera ready, wait a long time, and then . . . don’t blink. A crew for the BBC caught the small-scale, but dramatic, kill on film while making…

Human Journey

  On March 8, 1918, National Geographic editor, Gilbert Grosvenor received a letter from Arthur Hosking regarding several photographs the Society had recently purchased.  Hosking was handling the transaction for the photographer, a Japanese schoolteacher named Kiyoshi Sakamoto, and he thought Sakamoto and National Geographic might be a good match.  “His case is a very…

Human Journey

  For Americans who are sweating it out around the country, the news won’t come as much of a surprise:  the first five months of 2012 have been the hottest on record in the continental United States.  This past June 164 all-time heat records were broken or tied, and July is off to a sweltering…

Human Journey

Being alone doesn’t just feel bad.  It’s bad for you — especially if you’re older.  This is the conclusion of two recent studies that examined the link between feelings of loneliness the risk of mortality.  In one study, Harvard researchers examined data from the Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health Registry and found that participants…

Human Journey

Helen Churchill Candee on her trip to Angkor.   In February 1935, National Geographic magazine published “Summering in an English Cottage”.  The author, a 76-year-old American woman, Helen Churchill Candee, described her adventures renting a cottage during her trip to Britain.  Among her observations about village life, she offered this advice about how to stave off…

Human Journey

  Life getting you down?  Maybe it’s time to go to Hawaii.  According to the results of a recent poll by Gallup, Hawaii’s residents are the happiest people in the United States.  North Dakota took second place, demonstrating that a landlocked life can be pretty good too.  Other states that made it into the top…

Human Journey