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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, May 25 2017

What does Chernobyl look like decades after the deadly nuclear accident? Can chocolate help prevent heart disease? And how can we stop the assault on science in our culture? These questions and others considered in Earthy Thursday, our segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

More than 30 years ago the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred when the a nuclear power plant in the Soviet Ukrainian city of Pripyat experienced a catastrophic meltdown, forcing the evacuation of both it and the neighboring city of Chernobyl as well as several other communities. More than a generation later the area remains restricted and has been overrun by local wildlife. National Geographic takes a look at Chernobyl and Pripyat as they exist today, complete with photographs.

Have you ever wondered about the behavior of chickens? Well, some scientists did and they decided to track chickens living on a commercial farm and see what they did. What they found is that individual chickens have their own ticks and quirks as well as their own daily routines.

Everyone loves chocolate (well, at least most people do). What's more, there's been considerable research that shows it has some small health benefits. One new finding is that eating chocolate may lower the risk of heart arrhythmia, that is to say an irregular heart rate.

With the majority of global warming's most stark effects visible only in the oceans or around the Earth's poles it can sometimes be difficult to make it feel like an issue people should be concerned with. But global warming, unrestrained, affects us all. Discover Magazine shows how the disappearance of the Antarctic ice sheet could devastate the world's coastlines.

There is a startling and at times alarming resistance to scientific research and knowledge around the globe. Denial of global warming, the perpetuation of anti-vaccination memes, and attempts to replace evolutionary biology with creationism abound. But how can we counteract it? Astronomer Phil Plait considers and reflects on the issue and what he thinks you can do to help.

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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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