Jessica Vargas

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Constitution Day: An unconstitutional federal holiday that dictates what schools must teach.

You are no doubt as excited as I am about the advent of Constitution Day, which explodes into being again Wednesday, Sept. 17, with its customary …

Walk like an Egyptian with Street View in Google Maps

article<p>en_US<p>https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/walk-like-egyptian-with-street-view-in.html<p>Official Google …

How to Motivate Students to Work Harder

In an era of rising academic standards, more kids than ever will struggle and fail. But research suggests new ways to help them thrive in the face of adversity.<p>Over the past five years, more than $200 million has gone toward launching the new Common Core standards, with the goal of closing …

Elephants’ Last Chance

Changing Planet<p><b>BY JULIE LARSEN MAHER</b><p>My assignment is a mammoth one: Go to Kenya and photograph African elephants – a vulnerable species currently losing ground as 35,000 elephants are killed a year.<p>Entire families of elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory. The global appetite to own …

World's Toughest Horse Race Retraces Genghis Khan's Postal Route

Riders attempt to stay atop half-wild Mongol horses for over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers).<p>Before most of the world woke up this morning, 47 riders from around the globe had saddled half-wild horses and set out on what the <i>Guinness Book of World Records</i> has called the longest equestrian race on Earth.<p>…

Ancient People Achieved Remarkably Clean Teeth With Noxious Weed?

Eating the tuber of a bad-tasting plant prevented cavities 2,000 years ago.<p>The purple nutsedge is one of the world's worst weeds, spreading stealthily underground and shrugging off herbicides as if they were soda water. But new research shows that for one ancient people, this noxious plant may have …

What Would Happen If You Drank Water From The Gowanus Canal?

The story of how one of the most polluted waterways in America came to be located in one of the country's most expensive neighborhoods. Also: dysentery, cancer, and arsenic poisoning.<p>"So, right off the bat, you'd have a massive problem with dysentery," Ludgen Balan, founder of the Urban Divers …

Iran and Iraq: A long history in 90 seconds

Regional powers have jockeyed for supremacy in the Middle East for thousands of years. Empires have risen and fallen and wars have been fought.<p>As Isis jihadists challenge Iraq's pro-Iran government and Tehran's role in Iraq comes sharply into focus, we look back at hundreds of years of Middle …

Middle East

First haboob of 2014 in Phoenix on July 3

Check out these dramatic shots of the July 3 dust storm – aka haboob – washing over Phoenix, Arizona. Thanks to all who posted on EarthSky’s Facebook …

Your next iPhone might be delivered from China via a 2,000-year-old trade route

The electronic gizmos churned out by China’s factories have long been delivered to western consumers by giant seagoing vessels filled with shipping containers or, in the case of particularly high-value products, by air.<p>But new rail networks that stretch across Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus—in …

China

Sonic Boom

How digital technology is transforming our relationship with sound<p>In late January, a group of musicians, led by the trombone player Glen David Andrews, paraded through the narrow hallways of New Orleans’ City Hall and into the chamber of the City Council. They played snare drums and horns, cymbals …

Black death skeletons reveal pitiful life of 14th-century Londoners

DNA from emaciated London Black Death skeletons matches modern plague bacteria and supports airborne theory of spread<p>The 25 skeletons unearthed in the Clerkenwell area of London a year ago may hold the key to the truth about the nature of the Black Death that ravaged Britain and Europe in the …

Did rainy climate aid Genghis Khan? Tree rings offer clues.

In the rings of ancient and gnarled trees, scientists have found evidence of a period of an unusual stretch of warmth and wetness in Mongolia between the years 1211 and 1225 — the exact time that Genghis Khan was in power.<p>Coincidence? They think not.<p>This unusual period of mild temperatures and …

Modern Genes Reveal 100 Major Population Shifts In Human History

Wherever conquerors go, they leave a little bit of their genetics. Gene analyses of modern people are able to reveal those influences.<p><i>Spread of Mongol Empire. Astrokey44 on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0</i><p>Violence and love, conquest and assimilation, they're all in your DNA. Literally. As human …

Evolution

Halloween is a cross-quarter day

The 4 cross-quarter days fall between equinoxes and solstices. Halloween is the spookiest one – derived from a sacred festival of ancient Celts and …

Astronomy

New Law of Urination: Mammals Take 20 Seconds to Pee

<b>Call it the other Golden Rule: Scientists have found that all mammals weighing more than 2.2 pounds (a kilogram) empty their full bladders in about 20 seconds.</b><p>Like many new parents, David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has changed a lot of diapers. Unlike many new …

Were the First Artists Mostly Women?

Three-quarters of handprints in ancient cave art were left by women, study finds.<p><b>Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturns decades of</b> …

What’s in Your Genes? Join a Twitter Chat with Geneticist Spencer Wells

When National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Robert Ballard, best known for his discovery of the R.M.S. Titanic, first participated in the Genographic Project, he expected to confirm what he already knew of his British-Dutch ancestry. But could his DNA tell him more about his ancient …

Bus-sized lump of fat discovered in London sewer

Discarded food fat is a big issue for London, but Thames Water is using it to generate electricity<p>London water authority Thames Water has discovered what it calls the UK's largest "fatberg;" a mushy deposit of congealed fat and sanitary wipes. Found in a sewer in Kingston, South West London, the …

National Geographic Travel

Why the Incas offered up child sacrifices

As it tried to ward off disasters on the Pacific ring of fire, this advanced culture showed its dark side, explains leading anthropologist Kim MacQuarrie<p><i>These children [to be sacrificed to the mountain and other gods] would be collected from all over the land and would be carried in litters</i> …

Maps of Vast Empires That No Longer Exist

Every imperial project, no matter how great, eventually meets its downfall. In fact, you may be reading this in a country that was once part of a …

Ancient History