Living

Climate Change

‘Himalayan Viagra’ is going extinct

A parasitic caterpillar fungus that grows in the Himalayas has many names, according to Scientific American — yarsagumba, yarchagumba, yartsa gunba, yatsa gunbu. But we are only going to remember one name: Himalayan Viagra. This …

Business & Technology

Getting used to being in charge of the planet

Decisions made by people alive today will determine the fate of life on Earth for centuries to come. It's time to take responsibility for our planet.

Animals

1915 document shows that penguins are extremely sexually depraved

England’s Natural History Museum at Tring recently rediscovered a 1915 report about penguin behavior that had been buried for almost 100 years — because it was considered too X-rated to be suitable for publication. Which, …

Living

This graphic novel about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch looks awesome

I’m Not a Plastic Bag is a graphic novel about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the agglomeration of plastic flakes that is swirling around in the Pacific Ocean. The book follows the journey of several …

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra: Is my single-serve coffeemaker wasteful?

A reader frets about his caffeine-delivery equipment. Umbra gives him a dose of reality.

Transportation

Transit workers stop train to save toy bunny

Casey Carey-Brown, a Boston woman who blogs about her daughter “Roozle,” has chronicled a harrowing story about childhood trauma narrowly averted by big-hearted transit workers. It concerns Roozle’s toy bunny Nummy, pictured above. (Roozle is …

Living

New York kids need a doctor’s note to use sunscreen in school or at camp

Once upon an innocent American summer, sun-kissed cheeks were all the rage for lithe, beautiful children freckling in the clean air. But now we know that evil sun rays will kill you — not now, …

Living

The coolest photos of Earth from space we’ve ever seen, hands down

NASA astronaut Don Pettit takes pictures from the International Space Station, and they are mind-boggling. In the long-exposure photos, cities appear as streaks of light as the ISS orbits Earth at Ludicrous Speed. And those …

Green Living Tips

Umbra’s second helpings: Untangling the garden hose problem

A reader wonders how to find a hose that's not made of PVC plastics. Umbra's not going to water down this answer.