Ancient, giant viruses are being unearthed in Arctic ice that's at risk of melting

Scientists working in the Arctic circle over the past few decades have unearthed several massive viruses that some say could be re-awakened if the permafrost that imprisons them dissolves. Recently, some researchers have suggested that these enormous viruses could thaw out, escape, and make lots of people sick. It sounds like something out of a 1990s horror film. But you shouldn't get too concerned — at least not yet. The likelihood that these viruses will break free and sicken humans is slim.

Materials science: How to keep cool without costing the Earth

The new film works by a process called radiative cooling. This takes advantage of that fact that Earth’s atmosphere allows certain wavelengths of heat-carrying infrared radiation to escape into space unimpeded. Convert unwanted heat into infrared of the correct wavelength, then, and you can dump it into the cosmos with no come back. ...their film, placed atop an average American house, would be enough to keep the internal temperature at 20°C on a day when it was 37°C outside.

Lessons learnt from camping in the midst of a flood

This past weekend when Ellicott City was hit with the worst storm in over hundred years, we ended up camping out in Rocky Gap State Park. Last year when we were out camping it rained a little and I had no tarp below my tent. So as soon as I got home last season, I ordered a tarp and had it ready this time. But some lessons are learned the hard way.

Horrific floods in Ellicott City - Maryland and walk-up walk-down basement drain problem

This past week, Ellicott City, Maryland had one of the worst floods in a long time. You can see some of the devastation that it has caused in thislink. Fortunately, only my basement had a little bit of flooding. But interestingly, this has been the second flooding in over a month. This made me question the drain at the bottom of the walk-down/walk-up basement. Here is a picture of the drain at the bottom of the stairwell.

Bizarre fourth state of water discovered

Bizarre fourth state of water discovered Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) have discovered that when (water) put under extreme pressure in small spaces, the life-giving liquid can exhibit a strange fourth state known as "tunneling". Quantum tunneling means that a particle, or in this case a molecule, can overcome a barrier and be on both sides of it at once – or anywhere in between. Think of rolling a ball down one side of a hill and up another.

My daughter found a four-leaf clover the day before Saint Patrick's Day

My daughter found a four-leaf clover the day before Saint Patrick’s Day! Talk about luck! four-leaf clover According to the Wikipedia article: It has been estimated that there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every one four-leaf clover She should have played the lottery!