Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, May 5

Google patents a new eye implant. Farmers look to trap excess carbon. And amateur astronomers prepare to watch Mercury's transit across the Sun. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Would you implant a tiny machine into your eye? You might not but Google's sure some people will and has patented a new implant to put their money where their mouth is. You can read more about the landmark cyborg device and Google's plans for it at Discover Magazine.

It's becoming increasingly clear, both because of global warming and the likelihood of dwindling supplies, that the world needs to move beyond fossil fuels. But what should replace coal and oil? Renewable energy like solar and wind will likely play a part but one environmentalist argues they're not the whole picture: nuclear's important too.

There's more than one way to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Stopping or reducing emissions is one way. But another method is to recapture the carbon. And sometimes, doing so is remarkably simple. According to this article from SF Gate, a little compost can go a long way.

Most of us probably think of the mind as a uniquely animalistic attribute. After all, only animals have what we would recognize as brains or nervous systems. But does that mean for sure that other lifeforms such as plants have no cognition at all? Not so far. Apparently plants might actually be able to remember (depending on what you mean by memories).

Another astronomical event will be occurring next Monday: the transit of the planet Mercury across the disc of the Sun! If you're interested in catching this event be sure to read astronomer Phil Plait's rundown of how to do so. After all, looking at the Sun unprepared is an easy way to cause severe damage to your eyes!


Top image by Ramiro Barreiro

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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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