The Five Colors River

For most of the year Caño Cristales, located in central Colombia, looks like any other nice, pure mountain river flowing with crystal clear cool water over smooth river rocks and brilliant beds of green moss and algae.  Then, for a couple weeks of the year, Caño Cristales turns into undoubtedly one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. During a brief period between the Colombian wet and dry seasons (from Sept. – Nov.), the water level evens off and allows its unique Macarenia Clavigera plant to bloom like gorgeous fields of underwater red roses among golden wheat.  The bloom accentuates the yellows and greens of the algae, moss and sediments on the river bottom and the deep browns and blacks of the river rocks and shelves that have formed over the ages.  The result is an array of colors that looks more like an artistic swirl of Skittles or melted Crayola Crayons than a naturally occurring event below a few feet of river water.  It is truly stunning.

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Belly of the Shark – The Ultimate Battle Dome

I have always been fascinated by sharks.  I must have read the shark Zoobooks at least 100 times as a young’n, and when we would visit family in Hawaii, I would sit and stare with my mouth wide open staring at the sharks at the local aquariums and their massive jagged jaws.  The sleek cold beauty of a shark is simply unmatched in nature.  Due to the ridiculous excitement over Discovery Channel’s Shark Week every year, I don’t think I am the only one with an affinity for these aquatic dinosaurs.  As a result, I think we are all fairly well educated on the crazy biological developments in sharks that make them the ultimate seafaring predator.  However, I recently came across one fact that makes sharks even more badass – baby sharks battle it out in the womb to be the chosen one.

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Beer Lovers Unite!

Take heed and heart fellow worshipers of this most glorious of sudsy beverages – beer not only tastes like an elixir of the gods (or demons, depending on your poison), but it also has some fantastic health benefits according to this infogram by our friends at – although I do notice that “beer gut” is auspiciously absent from the benefits.  After all, what lady doesn’t like an man with a healthy beer gut, and how else are we supposed to fill the shopping malls of this country with passable Santa Clauses in December???  Important concerns that demand answers…  Nonetheless, please enjoy this fascinating glimpse in to the world of beer!  Continue reading

The Tunguska Event

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Instead of posting about how this day brings people together blah blah commercialization blah blah The Notebook, I though’t I’d address another meeting of heavenly bodies – and those are the Earth and asteroid 2012 DA14. As you may have seen in the news this asteroid will set a record for near-misses after it passes within 15,000 miles of Earth. This obviously begs the question, “what if it hit us”? As it turns out, we experienced something which caused an effect similar to what would happen in 2012 DA14 hit us: it happened near the Tunguska River in Siberia in 1908.

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Successful Failures – Albert Einstein

This is part five of a series by *AT* contributor Emily Thomas. When we think about people whose lives we would like to closely emulate, more often than not we think of people who have accomplished great things and led successful lives. However, not everyone who is on top has experienced success after success, and some of the most memorable people in history have faced great obstacles to reach their full potential. Not only is this list informative, but it serves as a great self-esteem booster for any time you are feeling as though you can’t strive to become the next Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, or Steve Jobs.

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Water vs. Red Hot Nickel: The Leidenfrost Effect

Watch this video; you see that this person heated up a ball of nickel until it was red hot, and then dropped it into a mug full of water. It slowly grows dim while seemingly surrounded by a bubble, until it suddenly settles in amid a puff of steam. So what is going on here?

This is a demonstration of a phenomena known as the Leidenfrost effect.

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