<strong>Group Genius: </strong>Rubbing shoulders with other smart people, like these employees at Google, fuels innovation.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
The image of the lone genius toiling in isolation, finally emerging with a brilliant new concept is compelling, even romantic. Too bad it's not true.
Instead, innovation thrives in ecosystems, much as microbes flourish in a warm, cozy petri dish.
"There's an important geography to where innovation happens," says AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies how regional differences affect innovation.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:12 pm
These German <em>Liebesperlen</em>, or "love pearls," helped researchers unravel the mysteries of how candies dissolve. Why the baby bottle packaging? Beats us.
Credit Matthias Rietschel / APN
When it comes to candy, most people fit into two camps — either you savor your candy, or you devour it right away.
If you're a "savorist," you'll be happy to learn that certain spherical candies can take up to a half-hour to dissolve if you don't bite into them, at least according to some research recently submitted to the journal Physics Education.
My stepmother passed away last week. She was an extraordinary woman, full of life, who raised me since I was nine years old. In sharing the news with my older son, a graduate student in linguistics and second language acquisition at Indiana University, he said something that got me thinking: "Dad, in away, with the Internet everyone can achieve a kind of immortality. If you look for Grandma Lea I am sure you will find her. And so long as there are memory banks that are digitized, she will be there."
Check out this graph of America's "Growing Season" — it measures the number of continuous days and nights when it never gets below 32 degrees. You could call this our "frost-free" time of year. In many places, the frost-free season begins in the spring and ends somewhere in October.
As you can see, over the 20th century, it's been staying frost-free longer...and longer...and longer...
More than 20,000 high-temperature records have been broken so far this year in the United States. And the heat is especially bad in cities, which are heating up about twice as fast as the rest of the planet.
High temperatures increase the risk of everything from asthma to allergies, and can even be deadly. But a researcher in Atlanta also sees this urban heat wave as an opportunity to do something about our warming planet.
Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 6:06 pm
The astronomer in me will tell you that summer officially ends on Sept. 22. That's the date of the Autumnal Equinox, the point in Earth's orbit where the hours of day and night are equal. That definition is fine for a scientific understanding of the cosmos, but when it comes to experience, we all know that summer really ends on Labor Day. And in that division between the ways we meter time (for science or business) and the way we actually live time, there is a Labor Day lesson we might keep close to our hearts all year long.