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Exploring Montana’s Sea of Grass

Wildlife<p><i>By Ellen Anderson, American Prairie Reserve –</i><p>In prairie ecosystems, it is difficult to see the biodiversity that is there from the window of a vehicle, even for people who are plant nerds like my husband Lars and me. Who can really distinguish different grass species without walking out …

BioBlitz Finds 2,300+ Species in Golden Gate Parks

Changing Planet<p>Rain doesn’t stop the BioBlitz. Citizen scientists scoured the waters and grounds of Golden Gates National Parks, from Muir Woods to the Presidio, for all the plant, animal, and insect species they could find in a 24-hour period. They found 2,304 species, surpassing the record. More …

Behind the Lens: Making the Present Look Past

Photographer Robert J. Szabo specializes in wet plate collodion photography, a technique that was used during the Civil War, to photograph modern day battle sites and reenactors. <i>National Geographic Traveler</i> published his past-meets-present images in our latest issue (download the latest issue for …

Joshua Tree, Retrofied

<i>By Monica Corcoran, senior photo editor at NationalGeographic.com.</i><p>It’s funny how your mind can change after you’ve tried something for the first time. I was convinced that Hipstamatic – an iPhone app that let’s you apply film, lens, and flash settings to your pics to achieve a retro look – was more …

The Simple Truth About Good Composition

<b>Reader Question:</b> What is meant by good composition and how do I achieve it?<p><b>My Answer:</b> Tip No. 1: Don’t constantly put subjects in the middle of the frame. Whether it is the horizon in a landscape or a person in a portrait, dead center is rarely the best place to put them in a picture because it …

Photo Tips: How to Shoot the Cherry Blossoms

Photographers, charge your batteries and clear your memory cards! The cherry blossoms are nearing peak bloom along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., and we know you’re dying to get that perfect shot.<p>The <b>National Cherry Blossom Festival</b> kicked off on March 20, but due to a belated spring, the …

Do Your Pictures Tell a Story?

TravelTraveler Magazine<p><b>Reader Question:</b> How do I tell a story with photographs?<p><b>My Answer:</b> A photo editor’s nightmare is when someone shows him a picture and then starts to explain what’s in it. In the worst cases, the photographer starts to talk about important things that aren’t even in the …

How to Make Light Work for You

<b>Reader Question:</b> What’s the best time of day to take pictures?<p><b>My Answer:</b> Most photographers love early morning and late afternoon. There are many good reasons for this.<p>Typically, the light is coming from a lower angle. That makes the scene have more depth and 3-dimensionality. At these times the …

Building a Resilient Water Portfolio

Changing Planet<p>A collection of water strategies reduces risk. (Photo collage by Robert B. Sowby)<p><b>By Robert B. Sowby</b><p>People often ask me, “So what’s the answer to the world’s water problems?” and expect an easy, digestible response. But there is no silver bullet. While most water plans have a dominant …

technetium

<b>technetium-tc.com</b> is a service that provides performance statistics for websites and protects users from harmful and malicious activity that can …

The 6 Biggest Salad Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

From underseasoning to overdressing, it's surprisingly easy to ruin a salad. Watch out for these 6 common mistakes, and you can avoid this sad fate<p>Salads are supposed to be light, bright, and full of life—but too often, they hit the table flat, limp, and soggy, with all the good stuff sunk at the …

Cook Like a Pro: 11 Ways to Make a Restaurant-Quality Meal at Home

Ever wonder how restaurants bring that extra oomph to every dish? We asked the country's best chefs to spill their secrets. Your home cooking will never be the same again<p><b>Burnt Citrus:</b> For cocktails, char thin slices, then muddle (and garnish) as normal.• <b><br>Toasted Barley Risotto with Spinach and Herb</b> …

Sleek Carbon-Fiber Electric Bike Is Perfect for the Commuter

The bike ride to work just got more exciting. It comes in the form of the Leaos Electric Bike, a light-weight cycle originally modeled after the famous Vespa scooter. This futuristic-looking bike is designed and handmade in Italy and is produced out of carbon fiber. Leaos looks sleek and modern …

48 epic dream hotels to visit before you die

A GOOD HOTEL CAN MAKE or break a trip. The worst hotel in the best place is still going to make retiring after a long day an unfortunate experience. …

How to Keep Your Job When Your Boss Is a Robot

The robots are coming for our jobs. No, seriously.<p>There’s no need to take up arms -- they come in peace -- but you may want to dust off your resume …

'Waves' detected on Titan moon’s lakes

<b>Scientists believe they have detected the first liquid waves on the surface of another world.</b><p>The signature of isolated ripples was observed in a sea called Punga Mare on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan.<p>However, these seas are filled not with water, but with hydrocarbons like methane and …

February rains ease drought restrictions slightly

Thanks to February storms, state officials are slightly easing drought restrictions on water deliveries, but the changes won't make a difference to most of the state.<p>The prime beneficiaries will be Central Valley irrigation districts with the most senior water rights.<p>Although last month's above …

How does your memory work? | Head Squeeze

The Week In Numbers: Google's Robot Army, A Beautiful View Of Pi, And More

<b>3.14159265358979323846264338327</b>: the first 30 digits of pi. Happy Pi Day! (see how science artist Martin Krzywinski turned the irrational number into colorful circular diagrams here)<p><b>1,315 times the diameter of the sun</b>: the size of this yellow hypergiant star, one of the 10 largest stars ever …

Rubber Bands

Big Pic: The World's Largest Solar Power Tower Field

Shining in the desert<p>The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating system is the largest solar plant of its kind in the world. By "its kind," we mean a solar power tower system, which uses an array of mirrors to focus sunlight on single towers. So those thin concentric circles you see in this photo are …

Digging For Gold: Study Says Your Race Determines Your Earwax Scent

I'm not sure what type of situation would lead you to compare your earwax with anybody else's earwax. (Because, gross.) But researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that the smell of ear gold varies by race. The volatile organic compounds in earwax — call it cerumen, if you're in …

Einstein's Lost Theory Discovered ... And It's Wrong

Earlier this week, physicists announced they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time from just moments after the Big Bang. Such ripples were predicted almost a century ago by Albert Einstein.<p>Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not …

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Awesome chocolate chip bar cookies.

You might think, “Hey, I don’t really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe.”<p>Yes, yes you do. These are awesome, truly—I daresay the best …

Dark Chocolate Brownies • A Sweet Pea Chef

Heat oven to 350 degrees.<p>Butter an 8x8-inch (2 quart) baking dish and set aside.<p>In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, …

To remember a song, don’t just listen

The brain’s motor network helps people remember and recognize music that they have performed in the past better than music they have only heard, new …

The Brain

Genius, As A Tot

She learned to read, then for a challenge she taught herself Spanish – at the tender age of 2. Her parents took her to the doctor, where IQ tests put her in the top 2% of test-takers, with an IQ of 160 – the same as Albert Einstein’s. Her doctors told a reporter that her IQ was “off the scale."<p>This …

5 of the Craziest Scientific Facts Out There

<b>1.</b> The human body contains enough DNA to stretch from the sun to Pluto and back again. 17 times.<p><b>2.</b> Microbes colonize human bodies, outnumbering human …

Is the Universe Made of Math? [Excerpt]

<i>Excerpted with permission from</i> Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, <i>by</i> Max Tegmark<i>. Available from Random</i> …

Mathematics