NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving, and is not far from completing the first extraterrestrial marathon. The previous record was held by the Soviet Union’s Lunokhod 2 rover. “Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world,” said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance.”
We hear of other people feeding deer and partially domesticating them but in our case it was the deer which for no reason we can fathom adopted and trusted us. Living in the mountains with wild animals is certainly a unique and educational experience. Many of the things we have heard about wild animals has systematically proven untrue. One thing we have noticed is that wild animals respect us humans far more than we respect them. It is humbling and amazing when wild animals display a trust in us humans to the extent Junior did to us.
It was a long and difficult road, but 110 former laboratory chimpanzees are now living the good life, far from the cages and experimentation that dominated their existence for decades. The last of these lucky primates, ranging in age from 1 to 50, have arrived at Chimp Haven, the organization announced on July 2. There they will spend the remainder of their lives in comfort, able to play and interact with other chimps. It’s a joyous time for them after years spent locked away and tormented as government-funded research subjects.
We have a tendency to lionize mankind’s mind-bogglingly complex inventions. It’s why we teach our children about the Alexander Graham Bells and Thomas Edisons of the world, and scour the Internet for every little iPhone rumor we can find. But sometimes, it’s the simple technologies that truly change the world. Think of what pasteurization did for public health or what mechanical clocks did for, well, time. These unheralded inventions maybe don’t appear incredibly complicated at first glance, but they nevertheless improved the lives of countless people.
A cave in southern France dubbed the “prehistoric Sistine Chapel” has been added to Unesco’s World Heritage list. The 1,000 drawings carved in the walls of the Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, or Grotte Chauvet, are 36,000 years old and include mammoths and hand prints. Continue reading
Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on November 24, 2013.
The benefits human civilization enjoys from the world’s natural ecosystems — grasslands, marshes, coral reefs, forests, and the like — amounts to something in the vicinity of $142.7 trillion a year. That’s over eight times the value of the entire U.S. economy ($16.2 trillion a year), and almost twice the value of the world economy ($71.8 trillion a year).
Officer David Harriman and his partner responded to a call after a 59-year-old woman accidentally submerged her truck in more than 8 feet of water in Carver, Massachusetts. The woman was able to escape from the vehicle and another dog swam out on its own, but one dog remained trapped when the officers arrived on the scene.
The water revolution reaches beyond the filtering and storage capacity of wetlands, plants, and trees to the way we perceive, use, and pay for water. It involves seeing value in every kind of water—from irrigating with recycled water to finding energy in sewage. It sometimes eschews infrastructure altogether. It’s a promising new way of living with water that stands out from the old like Vine Street’s bright blue rain tank rising from the former grayscape.
Whale watchers were treated to an exciting spectacle on Friday when they spotted J2, who is more affectionately known as “Granny,” the oldest known orca in the world.