Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, February 4

The nature of supernovas explained. A new farm that raises fish debuts. And we discuss the value of preserving particular words. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

What causes a start to explode? New research suggests turbulence, the same phenomenon that shakes a plane during flight, possibly plays an important part. Astronomer Phil Plait explains in more detail here.

Speaking of space, if you've been paying attention to astronomical news recently you may have heard about the possible discovery of another giant planet in our solar system, far beyond the orbits of Pluto or Eris. You can read all about the evidence and arguments for it at Scientific American.

More and more people are looking for ways to raise food sustainably and cheaply. One such group is Growing Power, which has launched an "aquaponics" farm which raises fish, vegetables, and more.

Sadly, despite the fact that no country in the world tolerates the existence of legal slavery, the practice continues illegally throughout the world. And if the captivity and abuse of involuntary laborers wasn't bad enough, there's evidence to suggest that illegal slavery also has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem.

Does it matter what words we use to describe the natural world? Does it matter if the specificity of some definition are lost? Jack Turner would argue it does and you can read his full argument over at Yes! Magazine.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.

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