Environment

Mountaintop Removal Mining

More than half of the electricity generated in the United States is produced by coal-fired power plants. Generally, only a small percentage of the coal used in those plants comes from the controversial practice of mountaintop removal mining, or MTR, which involves the use of heavy explosives to blast away up to 1,000 vertical feet of a mountain after its surface has been cleared of timber. What 1970s crises first sparked an increase in the demand for coal and triggered the widespread use of MTR? …read more

Mungo Man

The Mungo Man was an early human inhabitant of Australia discovered at Lake Mungo in New South Wales, Australia, in 1974, when shifting sand dunes exposed his remains. Although his exact age is a matter of debate, he is believed by many to have lived approximately 40,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch—making his remains the oldest anatomically modern human remains found in Australia to date. What is significant about the method of his burial?
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Smokejumpers

Smokejumpers are firefighters who parachute into remote areas to combat forest fires. While smokejumpers save many lives, the inherent risks associated with parachuting into a fire lead many to question the value of the profession. Proponents argue that parachute deployment helps firefighters reach remote areas quickly and with more equipment than other means allow, thus enabling them to begin containing fires at their early stages. Which country employs the largest number of smokejumpers?

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Does that robin in your yard mean spring is in the air?

Not always – but most of us will smile at the sight anyway. A favorite of young and old alike for its vivid color and cheery song, the American robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

We think of American Robins as harbingers of spring, so when we see them during the winter, what does that mean? Is spring coming early? Are there a few confused birds in your neighborhood? Find out in our Question of the Week: …read more

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