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Mess in Texas: Holding Big Oil Accountable in the Lone Star State

In unincorporated West Texas, where oil derricks dominate the landscape, locals aren't sure about "drill, baby, drill" anymore.

As I approach Midland, Texas from the southeast the rolling hills give way to large, engine-revving trucks, their menacing grills reflecting the setting sun into my rearview mirror. The asphalt beneath my white Toyota Corolla seems to be melting into the petroleum-laden ground from which it had emerged: Not even the road was prepared for the heavy vehicles that showed up with the recent oil and gas boom.

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Who Runs the World? Three Girls Sweep Google's Science Fair

Three young American women, Lauren Hodge, Naomi Shah and Shree Bose won Google's global science competition.


It turns out that when Beyoncé sings that girls run the world, she might be right. They're at least running the Google Science Fair world. On Tuesday three young American women, Lauren Hodge, Naomi Shah, and Shree Bose, smashed the stereotype that only boys are good at science and became the winners of Google's inaugural science competition.

The Google "judges said the unifying elements of all three young women were their intellectual curiosity, their tenaciousness and their ambition to use science to find solutions to big problems." They beat out "over 7,500 entries from more than 10,000 young scientists in over 90 countries around the world," and their projects are undeniably impressive.

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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: The Surprising Link Between Light Pollution and Cancer

Do we need nighttime darkness to stay healthy? After finding a correlation between light pollution and increased risk of cancer, researchers say yes.


There are plenty of arguments against lighting the night sky: It wastes energy, blots out stars and messes with the nocturnal habits of animals in a big way. Now there’s another reason, one that could go a long way toward convincing humans that whatever sense of safety is conferred by nighttime lighting, it isn’t worth the risk. It turns out that light pollution may be a cancer risk.

That statement is bold, but increasingly the science is proving it out. Humans, as well as many animals and plants, need regular exposure to darkness to maintain what’s called the circadian rhythm—essentially the body’s internal clock, which governs various bodily functions. Of particular interest to researchers is the fact that darkness at night tells the body to produce certain hormones, most importantly melatonin, which not only aids sleep, but also helps to maintain immune system function.

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