In the West during the summer, wildfires are a part of life; ignited by lightning or accident, flames will rampage through lodgepole forest and across dry mountainsides, filling the air with a dirty orange haze and residents’ hearts with trepidation. But the hot shots will be there, digging trenches by hand, and the Black Hawks and infrared satellites will watch from above, combining a century of ground strategy with modern technology to battle even the most uncooperative fires.
As firemen prepare for wildfire season this summer, they will reach for their trusty Pulaski ax, the century-old tool used to hack ditches between flames and the rest of the forest. But they will have some new, high-tech help as well. Mini tree-mounted weather stations and airborne infrared sensors will provide the clearest picture yet of where fires are and where they're headed.
This story of a man and his best friend, an 800-pound grizzly bear, is sweet and all. And it's pretty cute that the bear served as best man in his wedding. But doesn't this kind of thing always come back around to literally bite you in the butt? Incidentally, one of the google ads running along the bottom of the video was, "Bear Butchered Man in Ukrainian Zoo."
Also in today's links: controlling toxins from forest fires, an island secret uncovered, and more.
Here's a vivid example of an electrical short circuit in a beautiful natural setting. In brief, a short circuit occurs when the normal path of current is bypassed via an alternate route with very low resistance. Since current likes to take the path of least resistance, most of it will flow through the short circuit. Also, according to Ohm's Law (V = IR), reducing the resistance of the circuit will drive up the current. Large currents result in excessive resistive heating in circuits, and we usually want to avoid them.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.