Superheroes might save the world, but they’d totally wreck the environment

 

Miles Traer and two colleagues have calculated the carbon footprint for nine heroes from the comic book canon — and realized that Earth might be better off if they stopped trying to save it.

In a poster presentation, Traer attempted to get people to think about their own carbon footprints by analyzing nine super heros: Oracle, the Flash, Batman, Iron Man, Jessica Jones, Firebird, Spider-Man, Superman and Swamp Thing. Spider-Man needs to manufacture his carbon nanotube webbing. Firebird depends on combustion to conjure tornadoes of flame. The Flash must eat a ton of meat to maintain his super fast speeds.

“If I calculate my own carbon footprint, that’s a bummer,” Traer says. “But if I calculate it for Batman, things get interesting.”

To further make his point, Traer considers how his heroes might lessen their impact on the environment. By going vegetarian, the Flash could reduce his emissions from 90 million pounds of carbon dioxide to just 3 million. If Bruce Wayne stopped spending money on Batman gear, he could pay for carbon offsets for the entire population of downtown Chicago.

The implied message: If a masked vigilante with too much money and a shortage of good judgment can redeem himself, you can, too.

Want to know more? Read about it here!

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What Eats What: A Landlubber’s Guide to Deep Sea Dining

You’ll never go to dinner in the deep sea. It’s dark, vast and weird down there. If the pressure alone didn’t destroy your land-bound body, some hungry sea creature would probably try to eat you.

Fortunately for you, something else has spent a lot of time down there, helping to prepare this guide to deep sea dining.

For nearly three decades, robots with cameras deployed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have glided through the ocean off the coast of central California at depths as deep as two and half miles below.

Want to know who eats who, before you ask them to dinner? Read about it here!

10 great health and science books from 2017

I love end of the year book lists. I always compile the ones I come across to make a consensus “reading list” and then try to get through them in the first month of the next year (it never works. Ever).

But this year, I’ve stumbled across another great book list: 10 great health and science books from 2017 (read the whole article here):

Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon
By Henry Marsh

The Cell: Discovering the Microscopic World that Determines Our Health, Our Consciousness, and Our Future
By Joshua Z. Rappoport

In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope
By Rana Awdish

The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market
By Joseph F. Coughlin

Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe
By Shobita Parthasarathy

The Family Imprint: A Daughter’s Portrait of Love and Loss
By Nancy Borowick

Drug Wars: How Big Pharma Raises Prices and Keeps Generics off the Market
By Robin Feldman and Evan Frondorf

Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats
By Maryn McKenna

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying
By Nina Riggs

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
By Lindsey Fitzharris

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How Do You Keep an Elephant Warm? Knit a Giant Blanket

Today, in articles that make you go “d-awwwwwww”

Unseasonably cold  weather hit the Winga Baw camp for orphaned elephants in Myanmar, and workers scrambled to protect the seven animals in their care, using straw to keep them warm, according to Sangdeaun Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation, a nonprofit based in Thailand that is dedicated to Asian elephants.

Temperatures fell to 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country. But the camp, in the Bago Region of Myanmar, had another secret weapon: giant knitted and crocheted blankets.

They were donated by Blankets for Baby Rhinos, a wildlife conservation craft group founded in November 2016 on Facebook by Sue Brown, who has been involved in rhino conservation for 25 years, and Elisa Best, a veterinary surgeon.

Want to know more? Read about it here!

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E.P.A. Officials, Disheartened by Agency’s Direction, Are Leaving in Droves

I think the biggest impact of the Trump administrations attack on science, is that scientists don’t feel welcome anymore.

Which will have PROFOUND effects on our economic growth and how we are perceived as a world leader. PROFOUND.

And one common misconception I hear is that scientists think/support an idea because they are being paid to. Spoiler alert: scientist don’t get paid much in the best of times. Federal scientist almost never get paid enough. Ever.

So it’s disheartening to hear that those who are working tirelessly as civil servants are leaving the agencies in droves. Read about it here.

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Sundays at the Altar of Science

I hate the title of this article. I really do. Science is not a religion, as it does not necessitate a leap of faith, and is based in empirical evidence.

But, it is an interesting article over at the New York times about how they found science and how that changed their views on the world.

Worth reading here!

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