Walmart, one of the biggest retail corporations in the U.S., has filed a patent for an autonomous robot bee, eliciting comparisons to the British futuristic show Black Mirror, which addresses the possibilities and perils of technology.
Robot bees are more formally known as pollination drones, and they are being designed to carry pollen between plants just like regular bees. However, the drones would rely upon technology like sensors and cameras, instead of sensitive antennae, legs and wings.
With appearances in pop-culture staples like The Addams Family and Little Shop of Horrors, Venus flytrap plants often get a bad rap for being creepy, carnivorous creatures that will eat just about anything.
While the creepy and carnivorous part might be true, the eating-anything part is not. As it turns out, Dionaea muscipula, that iconic little plant with the spiky, mouth-shaped leaves, is quite a picky–or savvy—eater.
If Internet memes teach us anything, it’s that some people can’t function without the glorious nectar of the coffee bean. If you’re among those who rouse only to a steaming cup of Joe, it may be time to consider tea instead: According to a new report, the world's largest coffee-producing regions could shrink by as much as 88 percent by 2050 as a result of climate change.
This impacts more than just your average American’s ability to function; the global export of coffee averages $19 billion dollars annually, according to The Climate Report’s analysis of climate change on coffee production. Coffee production directly sustains 125 million livelihoods, 25 million of whom are small farmers. To put that in perspective, coffee represents 17% of the export earnings of Nicaragua and 33% of Ethiopia.
Has it been a weird winter? No matter where you live, the climate is changing, and winter as you knew it has become less predictable. This year, if you live in Minneapolis, you had thunderstorms on Christmas Day and your annual ski race is being run on fake snow. If you live in Portland, Oregon, you spent 10 days trapped in your house because a freak ice storm shut down your city. If you live in Birmingham, New York, you got buried under a record-breaking 54 inches of snow during Winter Storm Argos, just one year after a record-setting low snowfall year — and just one day after the area set a record with 70-degree high temperatures. If you live in Los Angeles, you’ve gone from years of record drought to rains that amount to 216 percent of the “normal” amount for the past four months. If you live in Oklahoma, the thermometer just reached 100 degrees in the dead of winter. If you live in the North Pole, the temperature soared 50 degrees above normal.