Life and Nature

Chubby Pets

People aren’t the only ones who have weight problems. Nearly 50 percent of all dogs and 25 percent of all cats are overweight. Extra pounds can put your pet at risk for heart disease, liver problems, arthritis and diabetes. In some cases, you may be feeding your pets too much, or giving them too many …

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Biodiversity Database

In the past half billion years, life on Earth has experienced several waves of mass extinctions. The most recent — 65 million years ago — wiped out the dinosaurs. But it’s what happens to biodiversity between extinction events that interests paleobiologist John Alroy, of the University of California, Santa Barbara. John Alroy: The traditional view is …

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Terra Preta

In the Brazilian Amazon, the soil is poor. So farmers resort to slashing and burning trees to enrich the soil. It’s common wisdom that the natives have always practiced slash and burn techniques. But beneath the rainforest, small patches of rich, dark soil polka-dot the Amazon river basin. It’s known as Terra Preta — or …

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Pulsars Discovered

Imagine you’re an astronomy student gathering data, and suddenly your radio telescope receives regular signals from deep space. It happened to Jocelyn Bell in 1967. This is for Wednesday, November 28. On today’s date in 1967, a new kind of star was discovered by a graduate student at Cambridge University. Jocelyn Bell was sifting through …

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The Gilboa Forest

Flash floods are hardly unheard of in the Catskills. Our mountains commonly stand in the way of weather patterns, forcing rising air masses to generate sudden thunderstorms. A heavy downpour, in the upper, narrower valleys of the higher Catskills, can quickly overwhelm the drainage system and raise the levels of the streams. Schoharie Creek has …

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