Monthly Archives: July 2013

Sorting Summer

I’ve been cleaning house all day, and plan to keep at it all week. This is what I do when the family goes on vacation. The house is quiet. No one is around to interrupt or interfere. They’ve gone camping, so a lot of things are out of the house and out of my way.

My Mom used to do this too.  I’d ask her to come along with us, or ask what fun things she would do while we were gone, but no – we always came home to a squeaky clean house. I never understood it – until now.

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Scientist Discover What’s Killing the Bees

From the crap we spray on it? What we INTENTIONALLY poison our environment with? GEE, who woulda thunk it?-OEN

As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

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Barns Are Painted Red Because of the Physics of Dying Stars


Have you ever noticed that almost every barn you have ever seen is red? There’s a reason for that, and it has to do with the chemistry of dying stars. Seriously.


Yonatan Zunger is a Google employee who decided to explain this phenomenon on Google+ recently. The simple answer to why barns are painted red is because red paint is cheap. The cheapest paint there is, in fact. But the reason it’s so cheap? Well, that’s the interesting part.


Red ochre—Fe2O3—is a simple compound of iron and oxygen that absorbs yellow, green and blue light and appears red. It’s what makes red paint red. It’s really cheap because it’s really plentiful. And it’s really plentiful because of nuclear fusion in dying stars. Zunger explains: Read more

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