Category: Features

The Animals That Detect Disasters

In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a 9.1 magnitude undersea quake off Indonesia decimated coastal communities around the Indian Ocean, killing at least 225,000 people across a dozen countries. The huge death toll was in part caused by the fact that many communities received no warning. Local manmade early warning...

Why The Migrating Birds Are Flocking To Cities

Ana Morales stepped through the shrubbery, scanning the airwaves with a radio receiver. The device had picked up a signal from a transmitter that she and colleagues had previously attached to a Swainson’s thrush, a small brown and white speckled bird native to the Americas. The same signal had popped...

The Climate Benefits of Tiny Islands

Just off the north coast of Northern Ireland, in the chilly waters of the Atlantic, lies a tiny, L-shaped island called Rathlin. It is home to around 160 people. Mains electricity only arrived on Rathlin in the early 1990s, with the construction of three wind turbines. One islander enthused to...

Powerful Ways to Reduce and Calm Your Anxiety

Today I want to share 12 tips that have been really useful for me to calm my anxiety in everyday life.Because if you’re anything like me you have been there many times.You’re sitting in a waiting room. Or just waiting somewhere.Soon it will begin. Your leg is starting to shake...

The Country Fighting Disinformation

For two days riots raged in Estonia’s capital Tallinn. Protestors clashed with police and looters rampaged after the violence was sparked by controversy about a decision to move a military statue erected during Soviet rule. The flames of outrage among Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority were fanned by false news spreading online...

Netherlands’ Floating Homes

When a heavy storm hit in October, residents of the floating community of Schoonschip in Amsterdam had little doubt they could ride it out. They tied up their bikes and outdoor benches, checked in with neighbours to ensure everyone had enough food and water, and hunkered down as their neighborhood...

Africa’s ‘Great Green Wall’

Africa’s “Great Green Wall” initiative is a proposed 8,000-kilometer line of trees meant to hold back the Sahara from expanding southward. New climate simulations looking to both the region’s past and future suggest this greening could have a profound effect on the climate of northern Africa, and even beyond. By...

Practice Positivity and Optimism Every Day

Positive and optimistic people lead themselves by constantly finding encouragement within their soul. The more you give out positively, the more you get back. Here are seven essential mantras that I find helpful to keep myself on a positive track. By now the benefits of positive thinking are well established....

An Alternative to Regular Ice

“Jelly” ice may one day replace the cubes chilling your cold drink. These reusable cubes trap water inside their sponge-like structure. That water can freeze but it can’t escape. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, hope their innovation may open new frontiers in food-cooling tech. Jelly ice cubes are...

The Medieval Solution to Flooding

This July, gorged by days of rain, the Meuse River broke its banks, and the Belgian town of Liège was its victim. Waters the colour of old gravy raced through town, leaving residents floating in canoes as their homes vanished about them. In the city and its province, over 20...

The Future of Driverless Cars

The Future of Driverless Cars

It’s a late night in the Metro area of Phoenix, Arizona. Under the artificial glare of street lamps, a car can be seen slowly approaching. Active sensors on the vehicle radiate a low hum. A green and blue ‘W’ glows from the windscreen, giving off just enough light to see...

The Rhinos Bringing Peace in India

The Rhinos Bringing Peace in India

The call came at midnight on 1 September 2008. One of the first greater one-horned rhinos, brought 400km (250 miles) from Kaziranga National Park to Manas National Park in Assam, India, was heading towards a village on the outskirts of the jungle. Any conflict with humans could spell doom for...

Building a Skyscraper from Rubbish?

We now smash, grab and pull some 100 billion tonnes of raw material out of the fabric of the planet in just a single year. That’s equivalent to destroying two-thirds of the mass of Mount Everest every 12 months. Roughly half of the raw materials we extract go into the...

The Innovative Technology of Inca

In the 15th and early 16th Centuries, a small island in Lake Titicaca was one of South America’s most important religious sites. Revered as the birthplace of the Sun, the Moon and the Inca dynasty, Isla del Sol (“Island of the Sun”) drew pilgrims from across the Andes. A few...

Another Use of Old Coal Mines

Coal mines were the beating heart of Britain’s industrial revolution. Their sooty, energy-dense output gave life to new-fangled factories and shipyards, fuelling the nation’s march towards modernity. They helped shape a carbon-intensive economy, one that took little notice of the natural world around it. The mines paved the way for...

A Sense Of Touch Could Upgrade Virtual Reality

On most mornings, Jeremy D. Brown eats an avocado. But first, he gives it a little squeeze. A ripe avocado will yield to that pressure, but not too much. Brown also weighs the fruit in his hand. He feels the waxy skin’s bumps and ridges. “I can’t imagine not having...

Remembering The Lion of the Dessert -Ahmad Ullah

The man, an ordinary teacher, fought against the colonial & fascists and sacrificed his life for the emancipation of his country, is the ‘Lion of the Dessert Omar Mukhtar’. He led the resistance of Libyans against Italian colonialism for 23 years. For which he was executed by the Italian occupiers...

The Ancient Stepwells Helping to Curb Water Crisis

An exquisitely carved maze of 3,500 steps, arranged in perfect symmetry, descends with geometrical precision to reach a well. Criss-crossed steps encircle the water on three sides, while the fourth side is adorned by a pavilion with embellished galleries and balconies. Built by Rajput ruler Raja Chanda during the 8th-9th...

The people who believe plants can talk

Laura Beloff’s plant seemed to be clicking. She had rigged its roots up to a contact microphone in order to detect faint, high-pitched clicks in the soil. With the help of software she had written for her computer, the frequency of the clicks had been lowered, making them audible to...