Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 4

Marine biologists find something at the bottom of the sea they can't quite explain. Orangutans provide insights into the possible origins of language. And a dead star still proves full of surprises in the depths of space. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment about science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

It might seem like we've discovered everything that crawls, flies, or swims through our home planet but that's not actually the case. Indeed, marine biologists recently discovered something they can't quite explain deep in the ocean: a strange, purple orb that seems to defy their attempts to understand it.

It's become increasingly evident that one of the most significant environmental impacts individual people have is the waste of food. And as it turns out, a lot of food that's thrown out really needn't be even though consumers believe it's necessary. Gizmodo's Ria Misra explains the myth behind a lot of preventable food waste here.

Although other animals certainly communicate, so far as we know humans are the only species that uses what we might call language, featuring grammar, syntax, and symbols. But our close relatives among the great apes do offer clues as to how such an innovation arose.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie." H.P. Lovecraft may have been describing the eldritch abominations of his fiction when he wrote those words many years ago but they might just as well apply to stars. For even a dead star it seems can be full of life.

Sometimes it seems like there are no simple solutions to problems as big as climate change. But some shifts in urban planning could make a surprisingly large difference. At Grist, Eve Andrews makes the case for "walkable cities."

Top image by Bonnie U. Gruenberg

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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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