The phrase “good things come in small packages” certainly appears to hold true when it comes to ants. The tiny creatures can survive floods by morphing into rafts, find their way home using an internalized GPS system, and even lift up to 20 times their body weight. In 2013, scientists discovered that the insects whose brains are smaller than a quarter of a small pin’s head could even use tools, a skill that was once believed to be the realm of “intelligent” species like humans, and a select number of animals. Now, researchers from the University of Szeged in Hungary have discovered that when given a choice, the clever insects even have the smarts to select the most efficient tool for the job.
Kids News - Current Events
Even if math doesn’t rank high on your list of favorite subjects, chances are you still look forward to Pi Day. That’s because though the discussions may begin with Pi — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — they invariably end with a piece or two of yummy pie! The event is commemorated on March 14 because though the irrational number (its decimal representation never ends and never repeats) has been calculated to over ten trillion digits, it is widely recognized as 3.14.
In August 2013, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk released a 57-page white paper concept for Hyperloop — a supersonic mass transit system between high-traffic cities that lie within short distances. The founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX envisioned it to be a frictionless system where pods inside low-pressure, vacuum-sealed tubes would transport passengers and cargo at up to 760 miles an hour — approximately the speed of sound. Powered by solar energy, it would be strong enough to withstand extreme weather and earthquakes.
Holi, the spring festival of colors that will be celebrated on Sunday, March 12, is one of India’s most anticipated events. Observed annually on the last full moon day of the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna, the two-day holiday entails taking to the streets early in the morning to douse strangers and friend alike, with colored powder and water. However, unlike the copycat color runs in the US, revelers do not have to race five or ten kilometers to participate!
After a relatively calm 2016, Europe’s most active volcano — Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy — came to life on February 27. The eruption that occurred at about 6:00 pm local time from the relatively new Southeast Crater formed by a 1978 eruption lit up the dark Sicilian skies with fountains of bright orange lava. As is characteristic of all Mount Etna ejections, the lava stream was accompanied by Strombolian eruptions. The short-lived, explosive outbursts that are caused by trapped bubbles of gas escaping through the lava can reach heights of several hundred meters, making for a spectacular show.
On February 21, after a week of feasting on her favorite treats that included a multi-tiered ice cake, giant panda Bao Bao started preparing for her one-way journey to China. The National Zoo resident began the morning with a hearty breakfast comprising 17 pounds (8 kg) of bamboo and 5.4 pounds (2.4 kg) of leafeater biscuits before heading out for some fresh air. Shortly after, she was put inside a custom-made, four-by-six, steel travel crate and transported to the Washington Dulles International Airport.
The steady increase in global temperatures has been particularly disastrous for the polar ice caps. Experts warn that if this trend continues, there will be no late summer ice in the Arctic region by the 2030’s. The most effective solution, of course, is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions before it’s too late. But since that is not happening, scientists are frantically trying to come up with alternative ways to try to reverse the situation.