Sometimes, but definitely not always.

Deserts can be any shape. Take Death Valley for instance, home to the highest air temperature ever recorded. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, these are my own photos, featuring my wife because she’s the better looking of the two of us. :)

Looks pretty mountainous to me. Even the sign’s artist recognizes that.

The first performance of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and the founding of the first American colony, Virginia, in 1607.


I lived in a haunted house. Before you write this off as a story from some superstitious idiot, let me say a few things.

Not the house itself but the general place

First, I did not believe in ghosts of any kind before this experience. Second, I am quite well-educated. I am also a very skeptical person by nature. When people tell me that they’ve also lived in a house that was haunted, I look them in the eye and tell them they haven’t. They’ve lived in a house where the floor boards creak, where mice are in the walls, where old pipes knock in cold weather, where…

The answer to that is a complicated yes and no.

I was asked the question recently whether it was ethical to collect rocks. Is it immoral to gather them and take them home so that no one else can enjoy them? Can beaches be picked clean of rocks, leaving nothing behind for others to enjoy? Is the hobby of rock hounding ethical?

The answer to that is a complicated yes and no. Certainly, when you pick up a rock and take it home, it’s no longer there for others to enjoy. It’s all a bit greedy and selfish, isn’t it…

The answer is yes, they do manipulate religious texts to fit modern science… and even more commonly, they do the opposite.

The most common version of this I encounter is what I call “the compromising creationist.”

There are biblical creationists who fully reject science and others who pick and choose what they want to believe. And there are non-Christians and many other Christians who recognize that Genesis is, at best, the recorded oral history of the Jewish people and about as far from “inerrant” as things get.

But you get a large group in the middle, though, who often refer…

The white stuff in your ice cubes is actually very very tiny air bubbles.

Virtually all-natural water you deal with is oxygenated to some extent. It’s why fish can breathe in it. Scientists measure dissolved oxygen in streams to determine how healthy the environment is. And when the water flows from your tap, it tends to be pretty well-oxygenated also.

As the water freezes, it wants to form a regular crystalline structure (ice). That means impurities like oxygen and other dissolved gasses are pushed away from the crystallization front into the remaining liquid. This means that the last parts of…

A special article on the Earth Day

In late February this year, the weather in Texas was… abnormal, to say the least. Temperatures dropped close to zero Fahrenheit in some places, leading to widespread power outages that have grabbed headlines in recent days. Conservatives point to it as proof that global warming is a hoax while liberals point to it, claiming it as proof that climate change is real. How common are these extreme events around the world, however, and why do they occur? And do they have anything at all to do with climate change in the first place?

Weather or climate change?

Nothing magical about it, just some cool science.

Firstly, the waters absolutely are mixing! It doesn’t look like it, does it? There seems to be some sort of a clear boundary between the two bodies. On one side, you have murky fresh river water and on the other, you have clear saline ocean water. However, mixing must be occurring… if it was not, then the river water would push the boundary of the ocean outward indefinitely. That is not the case, however- the boundary is relatively stable.

Since the boundary between the clear saline and murky fresh water is stable…

The Michigan-Ohio war, also known as the Toledo War, must be the lamest war ever fought… not just in terms of its causes but also for the participants and the “battles” that resulted.

The Cause

In 1787, it was decided by Congress that the Northwest Territory, which included the future states of Ohio and Michigan, would be divided along an East-West line drawn from the southern extreme of Lake Michigan. The problem was that no one was really very clear about where the southern extreme of Lake Michigan was. The best map at the time had Michigan drawn thusly:

Craig McClarren

Geologist, a lover of all science, father of a young child, published writer on Forbes and Mental Floss

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