Water below California

Researchers have just found a huge reservoir of groundwater below California – making the supply of water below the state three times larger than previously estimated.

The new reserve won’t solve the state’s crippling drought, but the discovery suggests that more freshwater might be hiding in deep aquifers around the world than we think, and we need to figure out how to protect it.

via Scientists just found a huge reservoir of water below California – ScienceAlert.

Helium under Africa

British scientists have detected a huge helium field in Africa, after discovering a massive stash of the crucial gas underground in Tanzania.

The find – estimated to be nearly seven times the total amount of helium consumed globally every year – will help allay concerns over Earth’s dwindling known supplies of the natural resource, which is crucial for things like MRI scanners, nuclear energy, and detecting industrial leaks.

via Scientists just discovered a massive field of precious helium gas in Africa – ScienceAlert.

Fourth Phase Of Life

While investigating the late life phase of fruit flies, often used by biologists as model organisms due to their quick generation time and vast understandings of their genetics and biology, a different group of researchers found another oddity. They discovered that regardless of a female fly’s age, in the two weeks leading up to their death, their fertility dropped. Soon this was also found to be the case with the male fly’s fertility, too. It could be to do with the fact that producing eggs for a female fly is costly, and if they are about to die they may give up on it.

via “Death Spiral” Could Be A Fourth Phase Of Life | IFLScience.

Scientists accidentally created nanorods that harvest water from the air – ScienceAlert

These unintentionally produced carbon-rich microscopic stalks absorb and release water differently to every other material we know about. They can absorb more water at low humidities, then expel it as the humidity increases to 50-80 percent – other materials simply carry on taking in the extra liquid in the air.


Terra Bella Blog: SkySat-3 First Light

Last week, SkySat-3 was successfully launched aboard ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket into a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit. We captured our first image less than 72 hours after launch and are excited to share an early image of Chicago taken on June 25, 2016 at 10:40AM local time. 
Since inception, we have taken great pride in the diverse, hard-working team we’ve built here at Terra Bella. Each and every member of our team has played an integral part in accomplishing this significant milestone — from building spacecraft radios, to writing imaging analysis algorithms, to managing our growing fleet of satellites. Moments like this are a good reminder that great things can happen with a small and dedicated team.
We’d like to thank our extended team, including ECAPS, Earth2Orbit, SSL and ISRO, for helping us get to this point. 


Turn your smartphone into any kind of sensor

When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put out its request in 2007, NASA Ames Research Center scientist Jing Li already had a sensor that reacted to various gases and compounds—she’d been working on it for space applications, like evaluating atmospheres on other planets.

But to answer the DHS specs, she needed a way for the device to “sniff” the air for samples and a system that would allow it to interface with a smartphone.


A pear-shaped nucleus?

Physicists have confirmed the existence of a new form of atomic nuclei, and the fact that it’s not symmetrical challenges the fundamental theories of physics that explain our Universe.

But that’s not as bad as it sounds, because the discovery could help scientists solve one of the biggest mysteries in theoretical physics – where is all the dark matter? – and could also explain why travelling backwards in time might actually be impossible.

via Physicists just confirmed a pear-shaped nucleus, and it could ruin time travel forever – ScienceAlert.

17 Grammar Mistakes

1. Him/her or his/her versus them or their

We don’t have a gender-neutral singular possessive word in English, so many of us use “they” or “their” when technically “him or her” or “his or her” is correct. Instead of pointing this out when other people do it, however, congratulate them for trying to solve one of the biggest linguistic challenges in the English language.

2. Who versus that

“That” refers to things; “who” is used for people. This one is a personal pet peeve of mine, but that’s no reason to make a federal case out of it. So be the kind of personwho keeps it to yourself.

3. Less versus fewer

This one drives me a little crazy as well–but it’s also not worth arguing about. Technically, you use “fewer” when you’re talking about things that can be quantified or counted easily (“This checkout line is for people with nine items or fewer.”), and “less” when you refer things that can’t be counted easily (“We need less hatred in the world.”)

4. Skipping the “-ly” in adverbs

You might remember the Apple marketing campaign, “Think different.” Grammatically, it’s flat-out wrong to skip the -ly in an adverb–but the truth is, nobody cares.

5. That versus which

The issue here is the use of that or which at the start of a clause in the middle of a sentence. The easy way to remember the rule is that if cutting the clause would change the meaning of the sentence, use “that;” if it’s not necessary, use “which.” If that confuses you–well, it confuses just about everyone. Don’t bother correcting it.

6. Irregardless

Technically not a word–except that it’s used so much that it’s become one, colloquially anyway. One day soon we’ll see it adopted officially. Until then, as someone put it on Urban Dictionary, “Everyone knows what you mean to say and only a pompous, rude asshole will correct you.”

7. Further versus farther

The rule, according to Quick & Dirty Tips: “[U]se ‘farther’ for physical distance and ‘further’ for metaphorical, or figurative, distance. It’s easy to remember because ‘farther’ has the word ‘far’ in it, and ‘far’ obviously relates to physical distance.”

Just don’t correct other people who use them incorrectly.

8. Me versus I

Most of us get this right when we’re using the singular pronouns alone. For example, “I went to the store,” or “I hope she’ll go out with me.” When we combine a reference to ourselves with other pronouns however, intuition fails us.

Shortcut: Remove the other person from the sentence and see whether “I” or “me” still makes sense. Still, correct people for using the wrong word too often, and you’ll probably wind up all by your lonesome.

9. One or two spaces after a period

Using two spaces makes you look old. This is because the only reason you were taught to do that was because old-fashioned typewriters required two spaces in order to compensate for monospaced type. However, if you want to talk about battles that aren’t worth fighting, don’t bother with this one.

10. Em-dash overuse

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as em dash overuse. I understand that other punctuation might often be more technically correct, but I think of it as all-purpose punctuation that fits the way people read today.

11. Oxford commas

There are two kinds of people out there: Those who include a final comma when they’re listing three items in a sentence, and those who don’t. It’s the difference between “sit, stand, and lie down” and “sit, stand and lie down.”

Believe it or not, there are people who get really worked up about this rule. Don’t be one of them.

12. i.e. versus e.g.

If you want to know how to use these correctly, “i.e.” means basically “in other words,” while “e.g.” means “for example.” There, you’re among the approximately 0.1 percent of people who know the difference. Enjoy your knowledge without criticizing others.

13. Split infinitives

You were probably taught to always avoid split infinitives. If you see what I did there, congratulations. But keep it to yourself when you’re critiquing others’ work. I guarantee you have more important battles to fight.

14. Incomplete comparisons

Sure, it can be annoying, but so many people do this that maybe it can’t really be considered wrong anymore: They begin a comparison but don’t finish it. For example, they say something like, “Our company’s products are better, cheaper, and more efficient.” More efficient than what? Most of us understand that they simply mean they’re efficient–maybe in comparison to their previous performance, or to other options.

15. Into versus “in to”

These are two distinct words and phrases, but they’re used almost interchangeably, even though technically they shouldn’t be. “Into” is a transitive word–Turning lemons into lemonade, or putting money into your pocket. “In” and “to” are simply an adverb followed by a preposition–usually short for “in order to,” as in “I just came in to get my computer before the meeting.”

16. Double negatives

“Nobody knows nothing about anything,” so the saying goes. The trick here is that most of us understand that we’re not supposed to use double negatives, which means that most often they’re being used intentionally incorrectly. Correct the speaker, and you’ll come off like the only person who doesn’t get the joke.

17. Confusing habits for rules

This is the coup de grace, because even those of us who write for a living, and who think we know all the rules, most often don’t. For example, perhaps your grammar teacher in high school told you never to start a sentence with a conjunction. But he or she was wrong.


http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1NM4tR/:PZ VzFbc:eJ!zELUI/www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/17-grammar-mistakes-that-are-technically-wrong-but-you-should-really-stop-worryi.html

Where did HIV start

HIV-1 group M, the type of HIV that originated in the colony (Belgian Congo), is responsible for about 90 percent of all infections, while HIV-1 group O, another type of HIV originating nearby is still quietly confined to West Africa. Thereby suggesting it may have been the opportunities, and not the function, of that disease that enabled it to roar globally.

“Ecological rather than evolutionary factors drove its rapid spread,” says Nuno Faria at the University of Oxford in the UK, in an interview with the BBC.

via Scientists just discovered where HIV began – ScienceAlert.