It’s World Penguin Day!
And a happy World Penguin Day to you. To add a little luster to the day, try this lovely gallery of the aquatic, flightless birds, courtesy of BBC Earth: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150425-a-world-of-amazing-penguins
Monitoring Water Quality, the Tampon Way
In a unique application of the feminine hygiene product, scientists are using tampons to help monitor water quality. Key to this development is the pure, clean cotton used in the tampons. It serves as a low cost way to absorb the water, and along with it any contaminants. Of particular use for finding sewage contamination, the cotton absorbs optical brighteners used in most laundry detergents, which in turn glow under UV light. The Smithsonian has the scoop on this novel use for an off-the-shelf product: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-scientists-monitoring-water-with-tampons-180955008/
Hubble’s Spacey Eye Candy
Although it has little to do with paddling itself, when camping by a secluded waterway, many of us have looked up and marveled to see the Milky Way stretch from horizon to horizon. The Hubble Space Telescope is now marking its 25th anniversary of bringing those celestial delights into sharper focus. The Smithsonian provides a nice gallery of some of the high points in Hubble’s stellar career: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hubble-space-telescope-has-been-space-25-years-180955094/