The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics released today its latest report on American teenagers having babies. The results are both happy and strange. American teens are having babies at their lowest rate ever -- and that rate is falling fast. Yet, as Vox discovered, nobody knows why this is happening. One of the steadiest trends in American life is inexplicable.
Over the past week, scientists have published the results of studies analyzing two very strange -- and very different -- lakes. One is Pitch Lake, a lake made of asphalt and filled with hydrocarbon gases on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. The other is Lake Whillans, a freshwater body located 800 meters under the surface of a glacier in West Antarctica. You might say the lakes seem unearthly, although they're located right on our home planet. Titan, Saturn's moon, has hydrocarbon lakes like Pitch Lake, and several moons in our solar system are thought to host liquid water underneath a thick layer of ice.
Now Iceland is warning airlines that another volcano named Bárðarbunga may be about to blow. On Monday scientists registered the area’s largest earthquake since 1996, and they’ve spotted magma welling beneath the ground, causing Iceland’s Met office to issue a code orange risk level to the aviation industry, Reuters reports. On the scale, which comes from the International Civil Aviation Organization, the only thing riskier than orange is red. Now, the Iceland Review reports that areas north of the volcano are being evacuated.
British art and design duo Bompas and Parr love crazy cooking projects and lava seemed like the ideal way to give their steak a unique flavour. Teaming up with Professor Robert Wysocki from Syracuse University, they successfully cooked what they described as the best steak they have ever had. But how do you create lava, let alone control it enough to cook with it?
Maybe you've heard of King Henry VIII's tendency to blame his wives for giving birth to baby girls instead of male heirs. That the sex of a baby is somehow a mum's fault is a belief that's cropped up in a number of pre-scientific societies. It's total bull, of course. The sex of babies is random. For those conceiving in the old fashioned manner, there's no way to control the outcome.
At that moment, separated from the physical seashore by 150 miles, I began to ponder what actually accounts for the telltale flavors of the sea. People often describe the taste of uni as a meaty, in-your-face beach flavor. Nori has that green sea taste. And oysters are best when they append the bright brininess of their growing environment with their own sweet butteriness. What are the chemicals that actually create these ocean flavors?