Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, October 22

Google unveils their smart car. Analysts consider the implications of discovering water on Mars. And a pumpkin shortage dampens Halloween spirits. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly news feed about science and Earth-related news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Agriculture and conservation aren't often forces that work in concert, but there exceptions to most rules. Scientific American takes a look at how modern agricultural techniques and urbanization could actually work to save the gorillas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's forests.

For now, smart cars that drive themselves remain primarily a hypothetical, rather than a reality. But as Google has demonstrated recently, the reality is ever inching closer. Wired shares their impressions of Google's recent car demo.

We may still wonder if we're alone in the universe but just twenty years ago, no one on Earth knew for certain if there were any other planets at all beyond our solar system. Now we do. Phil Plait goes through the history of exoplanets' discovery and and study.

Speaking of other worlds (but which are closer to home) a lot of attention has been on the red planet Mars of late, partially as a result of the movie The Martian but also due to NASA's announcement that they believe flowing water exists on the planet. Discover Magazine's Corey S. Powell considers some of the most important implications of this recent discovery.

Those of you planning Halloween or Samhain parties and carving out Jack-o-Lanterns may have noticed something about this year's supply of pumpkins: it's short! Grist reports on the surprise shortage, which may be due to climate change.

Top image by Frenchtowner

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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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