22 Apr 2013
Celebrate Earth Day With Trapit
Happy Earth Day, everyone! There’s no better way to celebrate our planet than by learning how you can help protect it, and doing your best to take a small step forward in that regard. Whether that means ditching your inefficient car, taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint, or even occasionally telecommuting, there are all sorts of ways to celebrate and help preserve the natural world we all inhabit. And there’s no better way to stay up on all the latest news about Earth and the environment than with Trapit’s Environmental Protection Agency featured trap!
Today’s a great day to start doing something positive, and the EPA trap is a great place to find ideas and inspirations on how you can make it Earth Day every day! It’s time to take responsibility for the stewardship of our planet, and there’s no better place to inform yourself than here. (And we’ve got some amazing Earth Day pictures for you, too!)
Regardless of where your environmental passions lie, whether it’s with the climate, ocean life, green, clean automobiles, protecting the environment or even something exotic like bringing back extinct animals, Trapit’s got you covered! We’ve only got one Earth, so let’s celebrate by making it the best it can be for everyone on our planet!
21 Mar 2013
Back to the beginning of the Universe with Trapit
It’s not just a show on CBS; the Big Bang Theory tells us where all the matter and energy in our entire Universe comes from! From stars to galaxies to the unseen dark matter that holds the Universe together, the Big Bang describes the origin of it all! One of the most exciting discoveries of the last half-century is that we can observe the leftover glow from the birth of our Universe, and we’re about to release the best-ever measurements of it, courtesy of NASA’s Planck satellite.
You can always check Trapit’s outstanding and diverse Outer Space trap for the latest news about the Universe, but for a limited time only, you can keep track of all the reports on the Planck mission’s results and the large-scale Universe in general in our Cosmology featured trap!
Will the new observations still be consistent with the Big Bang? Will they teach us anything new about dark matter, dark energy, or the origin of our Universe? And — perhaps most excitingly — will there be any surprises in store? Follow along in both the Outer Space trap and the Cosmology trap to keep up with it all!
19 Feb 2013
The Meteors & Comets Trap
5 Dec 2012
Trapit’s Top Picks of 2012
It’s nearing the end of 2012 (and the Mayan Calendar) and it’s been a great year at Trapit. How could it not have been? We launched an iPad app! And while that was certainly a highlight, Trapit’s given us more than that. For your reading pleasure, please enjoy Trapit staff’s top picks of 2012—the discoveries, Traps, and stories that distracted us from the toil of QA presented in no particular order.
NASA’s Perpetual Ocean animations visualize the flow of the ocean.
Feminism: This was the Trap I was most inclined to lose hours to (thank stars for our iPad app). The feminist blogosphere is full of witty, thoughtful, and feisty ladies and gents. And with politicians providing plenty of grist for the mill this year—there was rarely a dull moment.
Garlic Scapes: They’re curly, they’re tasty, they popped up in the grocery aisle this spring (and many a garden). Allegiances aside, Trapit’s my go-to source for finding recipes for new/strange/routine ingredients. My Garlic Scapes Trap did not disappoint.
30 Oct 2012
Hurricane Sandy and Science
While the eastern United States struggles to recover from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy — replete with flooding, power outages, property damage and even casualties — the nation bands together to assist in the disaster relief effort. Hurricane Sandy is easily the most destructive storm to ever hit the northeastern United States, although it will be some time before the total damage is assessed.
Why is Sandy so unprecedented? There’s a mountain of evidence linking increasingly extreme storms to climate change. Very simply:
North Atlantic hurricane power has been tracking tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature for over a century of record, and we think the recent increase in Atlantic SST (and hurricane power) is related both to increasing greenhouse gases and decreasing sulfate aerosol pollution, both man-made trends.
Small but real changes in the environment cause small increases in the intensity and power of storms, and at the most extreme end of that, the most extreme natural disasters become even more damaging.
Learn even more about Hurricane Sandy, the aftermath, and the science behind it at the Hurricanes Trap, exclusively at Trapit!
9 Oct 2012
Trap of the Day: Stem Cells
Every cell in your body, from skin cells to heart muscle cells, from marrow cells to neurons in your brain, all have the same biology behind them. They all contain your DNA, they all suffer damage over time from disease and aging, and — at various points — they’re all in need of repair. All the cell types mentioned above also contain a cell nucleus, which mean they each contain the blueprint for making the entire living organism that is you.
In 1962, John Gurdon proved this was possible not only in theory but in practice, by taking a cell’s nucleus from a frog’s stomach and placing it into a frog egg. That egg developed normally into a whole frog, genetically identical to the frog whose stomach the egg was culled from. And more recently, in 2006, Shinya Yamanaka demonstrated that any cell with a nucleus can — under the right conditions — be coaxed into forming any type of cell in the body.
And that’s why these two scientists — these two stem cell researchers — have been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine. From the cloning of entire organisms to the entire field of pluripotent stem cell research, this research has opened the door for studying and (eventually) combatting hundreds of dastardly diseases, including Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy and childhood diabetes. If true regenerative or personalized medicine ever becomes a reality, it will be stem cell research that brings it to fruition. For those of us with dreams of reversing the aging process or using our own bodies to fight these diseases, stem cells hold the key.
Follow the Stem Cell trap today, found only in Trapit’s Science section, and keep informed of all the latest developments in the most promising new field of medicine of the 21st Century!
21 Aug 2012
Trap of the Day: Invasive Species
Image Credit: Associated Press File Photo.
The natural ecosystem that underlies wherever it is that you live is rife with plants and animals, adapted over thousands or even millions of generations to thrive in balance with one another, specific to that particular terrain. But the careless introduction of a single plant or animal species from a different locale has the potential to completely change all of that. An invasive predator can demolish native animals, an invasive plant can choke off the native flora, and in some cases, entire rivers and lakes can be destroyed. Very often, extinction is the end result from an invasion of a non-native species.
And unchecked, an invasive species can boom out-of-control, creating all sorts of social and health problems.
So protect your local habitat against invasive species! Some communities are battling back by fighting tsunami debris, others are looking to their Department of Natural Resources to take action, while some are even putting them on the menu! From noxious weeds to marine invaders to unaware science teachers, it’s up to all of us to keep our own neck-of-the-woods free from these preventable disasters.
Follow the invasive species trap over at trap!t today, and help ensure that biodiversity doesn’t disappear due to our own negligence!
14 Aug 2012
Trap of the Day: Meteor Showers & Comets
7 Aug 2012
Trap of the Day: Mars
Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Mars Science Laboratory.
The red planet, Mars, has often stood as a source of wonderment in the night sky. Could it have been home to alien life? Did it have a wet, watery past? And could it someday be the home to the first human colony to venture beyond Earth?
Of the 38 missions ever launched to Mars, fully half of them never made it, and so when the largest, heaviest, most expensive Mars mission ever — Curiosity — successfully deployed first its parachute and then its retro-rocket equipped skycrane, touching down softly on the martian surface, it was a worldwide moment of celebration.
The entire operation was a complete success, and over the coming months and years, the most advanced science laboratory will set out to meet all six of the science goals it was designed for. What will we find? What will we learn? And what will come next? Follow the Mars trap to find out, only on Trapit! (And as a bonus, catch me, our Science and Health editor, talking about the Curiosity landing on our local, Portland, OR news!)
24 Jul 2012
Trap of the Day: Sally Ride, RIP
“When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut,” say children of all ages. But for over twenty years, only boys in America could point to a role model they wanted to emulate. But all that changed with the seventh flight in the Space Shuttle program, as Sally Ride — a woman, a physicist, and a lesbian — shed all of those labels and simply became, iconically, an astronaut.
Yesterday, she succumbed to a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Follow as the entire world pays tribute to a hero who symbolizes so much more than the barrier-breaking flights she took on the Space Shuttle.
RIP, Sally Ride. The world has lost one of our bravest and brightest.