Does An Anomaly In The Earth's Magnetic Field Portend A Coming Pole Reversal?

John Tarduno, University of Rochester and Vincent Hare, University of Rochester

The Earth is blanketed by a magnetic field. It’s what makes compasses point north, and protects our atmosphere from continual bombardment from space by charged particles such as protons. Without a magnetic field, our atmosphere would slowly be stripped away by harmful radiation, and life would almost certainly not exist as it does today.

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When 'Energy' Drinks Actually Contained Radioactive Energy

Timothy J. Jorgensen, Georgetown University

Modern life have you feeling frazzled? Flagging a bit as you rush through your day? Maybe you’re one of the millions of consumers who lean on energy drinks to put a little extra pep in your step.

Though emblematic of our time, energy drinks aren’t an invention of the new millennium. People have relied on them to combat fatigue for at least a century. Today, their “energy” typically derives from some type of neurological stimulant that makes people feel more energetic, or sometimes just sugar.

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Static Electricity's Tiny Sparks

Sebastian Deffner, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Static electricity is a ubiquitous part of everyday life. It’s all around us, sometimes funny and obvious, as when it makes your hair stand on end, sometimes hidden and useful, as when harnessed by the electronics in your cellphone. The dry winter months are high season for an annoying downside of static electricity – electric discharges like tiny lightning zaps whenever you touch door knobs or warm blankets fresh from the clothes dryer.

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Getting a Scientific Message Across Means Taking Human Nature Into Account

Rose Hendricks, University of California, San Diego

We humans have collectively accumulated a lot of science knowledge. We’ve developed vaccines that can eradicate some of the most devastating diseases. We’ve engineered bridges and cities and the internet. We’ve created massive metal vehicles that rise tens of thousands of feet and then safely set down on the other side of the globe. And this is just the tip of the iceberg (which, by the way, we’ve discovered is melting). While this shared knowledge is impressive, it’s not distributed evenly. Not even close. There are too many important issues that science has reached a consensus on that the public has not.

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