Charles Dean

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Just a handful of wild bee species do most of the pollination work

Wild bees pollinate many crops, but some bees are busier than others.<p>On average, only 2% of wild bee species were responsible for 80% of the pollination visits witnessed by researchers around the world, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.<p>"This study puts a …

Urban Farmers Say It's Time They Got Their Own Research Farms

About 80 percent of Americans now live in urban areas, and more and more of us are growing food in cities as well.<p>But where's an urban farmer to turn for a soil test or when pests infiltrate the fruit orchard?<p>Increasingly, they can turn to institutions that have been serving farmers in rural areas …

New in the Shop: Clever Pictogram Movie Posters by H-57

We have a new addition to My Modern Shop! H-57 is a creative studio in Milan established by designer Matteo Civaschi. Back in 2011, we first featured their clever pictogram history posters, and then in 2013, their hilarious pictogram movie posters came to light. We're excited to announce that we've …

The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, review: 'idiosyncratic'

Noel Malcolm is charmed by an eccentric – though overblown – account of a 17th-century oddball physician<p>It would be all too easy to portray the 17th-century physician and writer Sir Thomas Browne as an amusing oddball. Here is a man whose rather short list of publications includes an essay on …

First trailer and images unveiled for the Wachowskis' Netflix series Sense8

Netflix has revealed the first look at the anticipated sci-fi <b>Sense8</b> with a trailer and images for the original series, which has been co-created by …

Can neuroscientists dispel the myth that children have different learning styles? | Pete Etchells

A new initiative from the team behind “I’m a scientist – get me out of here” aims to bring neuroscientists and teachers together to discuss how brain science can inform education<p>Over the past few years, there seems to have been an insidious pandemic of nonsense neuroscientific claims creeping into …

Education

Couple Lives Off-the-Grid in Incredible Floating, Self-Sustainable Home

Since 1992, husband and wife Wayne Adams and Catherine King have lived completely off-the-grid in a floating home made of 12 platforms in Cypress Bay, British Columbia. The Canadian couple and their two kids are completely self-sustaining, eating whatever King grows in her garden as well as the …

Internet 'rationing' needed as UK cannot keep up with demand

The Internet is already consuming at least 8 per cent of Britain's power output, equivalent to the output of three nuclear power stations, and demand is soaring, says one academic.<p>Internet access may soon need to be rationed or restricted because the UK’s power supply and communications network …

Playing politics in video games: how you can have democracy or despotism at your fingertips

Polling day looms and, as the clamour for our votes reaches a climax in this extraordinarily close-run election, it might be supposed that gaming has little to add to the debate. But whether democracy really works and how is a question the gaming industry has taken on and with interesting …

Anesthesia review – diverse characters come together in a Crash-style setup

Here’s a screenwriting tip: if you want your main character, and maybe some folks in his orbit, to spout paragraphs about ethics or Schopenhauer’s erotic inquiries and not have it sound weird, just make him a celebrated philosophy professor. The Columbia University setting allows writer-director …

Judith Woods: Where do we draw the line between playing Darwin and playing God?

The fact that Chinese geneticists have taken the first steps to creating designer babies should fill us with horror<p>TWO contrasting stories this week have thrown into sharp relief the complex relationship between humanity and science. The first was the harrowing yet inspirational story of how …

Adventures in medicine: ‘I journey through the body every day’

Before starting my GP clinic yesterday I glanced through the list of patients I’d see that day. Most of the names I knew relatively well: their appointments would be follow-ups on diabetes, mental health problems, heart disease, or any number of the myriad difficulties many of us struggle along …

Drone Bombs Crops With Beneficial Bugs

Paratrooping mites join the battle against farm pests<p>A lot of agriculture is bug herding. Predators and pesticides keep the bad bugs off, while strategically placed plants attract the good bugs. It’s a lot of work, but a student at the University of Queensland has figured out a way to get …

Ocean acidification drove Earth’s largest mass extinction

New evidence suggests that ocean acidification played a key role in the Permian–Triassic mass extinction event 252 million years ago that killed most …

World Bank on Turning Trash into Tempting Tastes

The World Bank is on a mission to end poverty and hunger by 2030, and it’s looking for chefs.<p>Yesterday (April 16), Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Superchef David Chang of Momofuku Restaurants kibitzed in the Bank’s sleek steel-and-glass atrium in Washington, D.C. about how the world’s toques can …

Photog! Transforms Your Offline Pictures Folder Into a Photo Website

If you’d like to quickly create a custom photography website and are familiar with installing software through a command line interface, there’s a …

Command-line

Sollywood: the extraordinary story behind apartheid South Africa's blaxploitation movie boom

Photograph: Joao Silva/New York Times/Redux/eyevine<p>Tonie van der Merwe at the Sabela Films awards ceremony at Durban’s film festival in 2014.<p>276<p>http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/14/1429028370084/8cf3ae16-a28f-47f9-9eb1-537253642415-460x276.jpeg<p>460<p>Photograph: Joao …

Cure for thinning hair? Scientists find plucking stimulates huge growth spurt

Pulling out lingering follicles could stimulate the scalp into a burst of regeneration, scientists have found<p>For people with thinning hair the idea of plucking out the few strands that remain may fill them with horror.<p>However a new study suggests that pulling out the lingering follicles could …

10 Ways Freelance Life Is Different Than a Day Job

Wouldn't it be grand if you could trade in the tedious predictability of the 9-to-5 grind for 100 percent control of your efforts and the resulting profits, plus the authority to give yourself as much vacation time as you need?<p>It's really not so far-fetched, I promise. Flexible, on-demand work …

This designer doesn’t make chairs. He grows them—from trees

Can nature prove to be the best furniture designer? Early prototypes of chairs growing from a field in Derbyshire in the British countryside is showing exciting possibilities.<p>“We’ve taken a complete rethink of how wood is used as a material,” said designer Gavin Munro. His production method upends …

Trucking

California governor tells climate change deniers to wake up

California water restrictions have not stopped the sprinklers from flowing<p>Read more<p>As his state faces the worst drought in its history, with mandatory water rationing for residents and fears of destruction to the agricultural sector, California governor Jerry Brown had a message Sunday for climate …

Water

Green Roofs Get Lift as France Makes Them Chic

Roofs bedecked in plants gain popularity as a way to reduce a building's energy use and stormwater runoff.<p>France, long the world's arbiter of haute couture, is taking aesthetics to a loftier level: the rooftop.<p>As it spruces up its green portfolio ahead of global climate talks in December, France …

Iron ore rout persists after hitting 10-year low on China fear

Price of the steelmaking commodity has continued to plummet amid fears of Chinese demand.<p>Iron ore prices have hit a new 10-year low sending shockwaves through the global mining industry and sparking concern among analysts that smaller producers could soon be forced out of business.<p>The price of a …

Why Babies Love (And Learn From) Magic Tricks

To survive, we humans need to be able to do a handful of things: breathe, of course. And drink and eat. Those are obvious.<p>We're going to focus now on a less obvious — but no less vital — human function: learning. Because new research out today in the journal <i>Science</i> sheds light on the very building …

Johns Hopkins University

Francis Maude warned by scientists over 'chilling effect' of new media rules

Letter to minister expresses fears that changes to the civil service code will effectively silence government scientists on important public issues<p>Francis Maude has been warned that changes to the civil service code threaten to stop thousands of publicly-funded scientists from expressing their …

Italian physicist's book on Einstein's relativity theory becomes surprise hit

Sette Brevi Lezioni di Fisica (Seven Brief Lessons in Physics), by Carlo Rovelli, promoted alongside Fifty Shades of Grey in Italian bookstores<p>A book explaining Einstein’s theory of general relativity seems an unlikely contender for a bestseller. But in Italy, Sette Brevi Lezioni di Fisica (Seven …

British MPs urge DfID to think long-term rather than lavish aid money

The UK is spending too much on humanitarian aid and funding big international agencies when it should be concentrating on its own long-term development programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, an influential group of MPs has warned.<p>In its latest annual report on the Department for International …

The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide

In May 2011, a postdoctoral student at Los Alamos National Laboratory named Park Williams set out to predict the future of the dominant iconic …

Climate Change

Panama Canal: Superhighway for Invasive Species?

The canal's expansion may bring a new wave of invasives from Asia to the Gulf and East Coasts, a study says.<p>When the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed in 2016, giant ships that now must dock at West Coast ports after crossing the Pacific will be able to deliver cargo directly to ports on …

Pollution Kills Far More People Than Malaria Or Ebola In The Developing World

Electronic waste dumps and old factories are especially dangerous in places that don’t have the resources to keep them cleaned up.<p>Diseases like ebola, HIV, and malaria rightly get a lot of a headlines, because they can kill millions of people very quickly. But there’s another problem that affects …