Coal kills. The good news is that over the past 10 years, the U.S. has reduced its coal consumption by half.

This reduction in coal consumption and the rise of cheaper and cleaner natural gas has resulted in 334 coal-power generating units being taken offline between 2005 and 2016.

It has also caused a reduction in 300 million tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide gas emissions by the coal industry. According to a study published in Nature Sustainability, this drastic reduction in pollution has saved 26,610 American lives.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Firewall, What Firewall? The Top Four Tech Hacks For Teachers

Districts block plenty of sites that are handy in the classroom. Here's how to get around those restrictions.

If you're a teacher, you've probably read about all the great ways Google+ can be used in the classroom, or how to use Twitter to engage shy students, and if you're a teacher working at a school that bans all those sites, you might feel a little frustrated. Some schools even ban educationally useful sites like National Geographic—after all, no district wants to get sued by an irate parent because their child saw nude pictures taken in a remote village halfway across the globe. But even if your school district bans sites that are educational, there are ways around those firewalls. Whether you're a techie or a novice, we've found four hacks that will get you online in a jiffy.

1) Buy your own VPN: A virtual private network runs on the internet but keeps all of your transmissions secure and away from prying eyes, like that of your district's IT administrator. My friend James teaches in Qatar, where sites that "could potentially show the Middle East in a bad light" or "go against Islam (any site that might have a woman in a bikini or something)" are blocked. To get around this, he says educators simply band together to buy a VPN. You can get a good VPN router on Craigslist or eBay for about $200. Just install it on a home computer, and then you and your colleagues can login remotely from your school site and access the resources you need for your students.

Keep Reading

Can You Win the 2010 National Geographic Photography Challenge?

If you have taken some amazing photographs, you should enter National Geographic's 2010 Photography challenge.

If you have taken amazing photographs in the categories of People, Places, or Nature, you should enter National Geographic's 2010 photography challenge. The winner takes home $10,000 and unquantifiable levels of self-satisfaction.

Apparently, the work "will be judged on creativity and photographic quality," which sounds logical enough. You have until November 30 to submit your entry.

Keep Reading