Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:31 pm
By Michaeleen Doucleff
Credit Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech
Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.
A practical joke? No, not in the least.
Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.
Faced with a booming population and a disappearing water supply, the city of San Antonio responded by dramatically cutting consumption, pioneering new storage techniques and investing in water recycling and desalination projects. It now boasts that it is "Water's Most Resourceful City."
There are so many programs and projects that Chuck Ahrens of Water Resources and Conservation with the San Antonio Water System can hardly keep track.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:30 pm
Fossils discovered in East Africa suggest that Homo erectus, the species believed to be humans' direct ancestor, may have shared Earth with two genetically distinct but similar species. Some paleontologists believe that these species may be distant relatives to modern humans, while others need more evidence.
The Olympic Games seem to celebrate the extremes of athletic physique — from tiny gymnasts to impossibly huge shot-putters. But why are they shaped that way?
We've put together an infographic that explores how athletes' bodies have changed over the last century, and the role physics plays in each event. Here on Shots, we're taking a look at some of the athletes featured in the graphic.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:57 pm
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
Olympians from the 1912 games seem a bit shorter, a bit scrawnier, a bit more ... average. Over the past century, elite athletes' bodies have changed a lot, and this evolution has been propelled by the laws of physics.
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This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.