daniel williams

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Last Straw: How The Fortunes Of Las Vegas Will Rise Or Fall With Lake Mead

Next year, a new tunnel under Lake Mead will begin delivering water to Las Vegas. The project is massive, expensive, politically fraught—and a harbinger of things to come.<p>The bathtub ring can be seen for miles. The 120-foot-high band of rock, bleached nearly white by mineral-rich water, circles the …

Las Vegas

The Garbage Man

Mike Biddle could free the world from having to make new plastic. Forever.<p>In December 2001, American environmental activist Jim Puckett traveled to the town of Guiyu in southeast China to look for old computers. He’d learned that electronic waste from the West was finding its way to Guiyu, and the …

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies'

A former British Petroleum (BP) geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of "continuous recession" and increased risk of conflict and hunger.<p>At a lecture on 'Geohazards' earlier this month as part of the postgraduate Natural Hazards for Insurers …

Math Square #197

Good luck with today's <b>mentalfloss.com</b> Brain Game, <i>Monday Math Square #196</i>. Happy holidays, everyone!<p><b>Place the digits 1 through 9 in the white blanks</b> …

Mathematics

More Oil, More Gas and Less Driving: Predicting America’s Energy Future

You’d think I’d be used to it now—I’ve certainly been writing about it long enough—but the revolution in United States energy production is still …

Antarctica Live: Macquarie Island – 'a treasure, one of the last untouched areas of the world'

Ravaged by hunters in the 19th century, Macquarie Island is now protected as a pristine environment and is home to tens of thousands of penguins, seals and millions of seabirds<p>Guardian journalists Alok Jha and Laurence Topham are en route to Antarctica with the Australasian Antarctic Expedition<p>Four …

Can Lake Turkana Be Saved?

Sean Avery is a man on a mission. The Kenya-based hydrologist and civil engineer is the leading authority on the hydrological workings of Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, and he's extremely worried about its future.<p>The cause for his concern is a boom in river-crippling projects being …

Africa

Top 10 martial arts movies

10. Once Upon a Time in China<p>The film that kick-started Hong Kong cinema's kung-fu renaissance and launched Jet Li towards a future of substandard western action movies. Its subject was already well known to local audiences: Wong Fei-hung was a real person: a turn-of-the-century martial arts master …

Flipping pancakes with mathematics

Mathematical minds love a problem that's easy to pose but tough to solve<p>Tomorrow marks the 80th birthday of Jacob E Goodman, a mathematician at the City College of New York. If Professor Goodman's name does not ring any bells, then maybe you know him better by his pseudonym, Harry Dweighter. No? …