Wear glasses. Earn more

“AT THE end of the day I would be anxious,” says Anil Awasthi, a 44-year-old garment worker in Delhi, “thinking what mistakes of mine would be pointed out.” He was worried about what was going to happen as his sight deteriorated, until—courtesy of VisionSpring, an American social enterprise—he got reading glasses. “I’m confident now that […]

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Corals eat jellyfish

FROM the human point of view Pelagia noctiluca is an enemy. It is a jellyfish, abundant in the Mediterranean Sea, that is the chief cause of stings to swimmers in that popular holidaymakers’ destination. But, as this picture shows, Pelagia noctiluca has enemies of its own. The other creatures in shot are polyps of Astroides […]

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Software can model how a wildfire will spread

LEST anyone doubt the speed with which a brush fire can strike, consider how rapidly flames engulfed Mati, a seaside resort near Athens, on July 23rd. Less than 90 minutes after fire was reported, flames had reached densely populated areas. Hordes of people fled into the sea, the only refuge, to escape. At least 91 […]

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Heat is causing problems across the world

SODANKYLA, a town in Finnish Lapland just north of the Arctic Circle, boasts an average annual temperature a little below freezing. Residents eagerly await the brief spell in July when the region enjoys something akin to summer. This year they may have wished for a bit less of it. On July 18th thermometers showed 32.1°C […]

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Astronomers have found a lake on Mars

THERE is no shortage of water on Mars. Astronomers reckon that at least 5m cubic kilometres of ice is locked up beneath the planet’s dusty regolith. Whether any of it is liquid is a trickier question. In the 19th century Percival Lowell, an American astronomer, popularised the idea that there were canals criss-crossing the Martian […]

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