What's Up With All These Boring Front Yards?
Researchers have been studying the social, ecological, and economic factors behind what they say is the "homogenization" of American lawns...and "keeping up appearances" is only one of them.
What's the Latest Development?
A series of recent studies takes a look at front and back yards in several American cities in an attempt to understand the various factors behind what may be a homogenizing trend across the country. One study, conducted by researcher Will Pearse, examined plant samples in cities including Minneapolis-St. Paul and Miami. Based on preliminary results, he found that although different cities' plant life may appear diverse, evolutionarily speaking they're all fairly closely related. Anthropologist Laura Ogden notes that one reason for this may be big-box garden centers, which are "where most of us go for our plants, the products we use on our plants and lawns, and where we get some of our information about yard management."
What's the Big Idea?
Ogden also points out the social issue: "The front yard is like the living room people have in their house that no one uses." Homeowners' associations play some part in this; a survey done in Phoenix revealed that 20 percent had specific rules about lawns. Often, there are also "legacy" plants and shrubs that were installed with a house and may remain there for decades. The researchers recommend that all these factors be included when considering urban environmental diversity in building and landscaping.
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What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
A 2019 ranking of all 50 states' education systems shows the Sunshine State serves its college students well.
- Florida may be the butt of many jokes, but its higher education system is second to none.
- However, the state's PreK-12 education lacks comparatively, giving Massachusetts the top spot for the best education overall.
- Americans believe their state governments should prioritize education, but much work needs to be done to catch up to other countries.
Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.
- Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
- The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
- The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
Mega-rich entrepreneurs are taking us where no human being has gone before.
- During the first golden era of space exploration, we went to the moon. Then we sort of dropped the ball for 50 years.
- The problem is space travel is very expensive, especially the way governments do space travel.
- Because it costs $10,000 to put a pound of anything into orbit around the planet, we need to have an infusion of public and private funds. That's where billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos come into the picture. With their help, we have new energies, new strategies, and new plans to go back into outer space.
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