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Social Studies

Sharks on spring break? Add to ...

Sharks have spring break

 

“The thousands of sharks that emptied Florida beaches this week are later than usual, but their purpose sounds like the usual spring break itinerary: gulping down food, having sex and seeking warmth,” says NBCNews.com. George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, likens the mass grouping to people lined up to get into a football stadium. He said sharks are backed up trying to get into the warm water stream. “‘Sharks are temperature dependent. The ups and downs of global climate change can affect water temps,’” he said.

Northern latitudes look greener

 

“Growing seasons in Earth’s northern latitudes are shifting and vegetation increasingly resembles lusher latitudes to the south,” reports United Press International. “With climate change, temperatures and vegetation in northern latitudes resemble those found four to six degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 1982, [NASA scientists] said. [The scientists,] along with U.S. and international researchers, analyzed the relationship between changes in surface temperature and vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean.” Increased temperatures and a longer growing season have created large patches of vigorously productive vegetation spanning a third of the northern landscape. This landscape resembles what was found 400 kilometres to 700 kilometres to the south in 1982, researchers noted. “‘It’s like Winnipeg, Manitoba, moving to Minneapolis-St. Paul in only 30 years,’” said Compton Tucker of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

 

Want more colourful meals?

 

“A German food company has invented an edible spray paint for people wanting to give meals a splash of colour,” reports Orange Co. U.K. “The cans, called Food Finish, come in gold, silver, red and blue. … The spray paint has no taste by itself and can be applied to any item of food to offer a quirky alternative to regular meals. … Cooking enthusiasts must spray the paint layer by layer and wait for it to dry to enjoy the perfect finish.” The idea was created by The Deli Garage.

 

Liberals can take the heat

 

“It’s easy to preach about the importance of energy conservation,” says Pacific Standard magazine. “But are people in the left really willing to sacrifice personal comfort in the name of environmental protection? Newly published research focusing on electricity usage suggests the answer is yes. Two UCLA economists report that, in the area served by an unnamed utility in the western United States, households headed by registered Democrats use less electricity than those headed by registered Republicans. This holds true after factoring in variables such as climate, the price of electricity and the size and age of the homes in question. The difference in kilowatt hours suggests that left-leaning voters are less likely to respond to uncomfortable heat by reaching for the thermostat.”

 

 

Penalty for shark-wrangling

 

A Briton who grappled a shark on an Australian beach has been fired after returning home – because he was on sick leave, reports The Daily Telegraph. “The footage of Paul Marshallsea grabbing the shark’s tail as it swam toward paddling children was broadcast around the world and he was hailed as a hero. … He and his wife Wendy, who work for the same children’s charity, were on sick leave for work-related stress when they took the two-month holiday in Australia. After seeing January’s footage, charity trustees decided the couple had been dishonest and sacked them.”

 

Thought du jour

 

“Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”

Epictetus

Greek stoic philosopher (AD55-135)

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