Five Moon-Landing Innovations That Changed Life on Earth

The technologies behind weather forecasting, GPS and even smartphones can trace their origins to the race to the Moon. Much of the technology common in daily life today originates from the drive to put a human being on the Moon. This effort reached its pinnacle when Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle landing module onto[…]

Long before Armstrong and Aldrin, Artists Were Stoking Dreams of Space Travel

While the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing is an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable technological achievement, it’s worth reflecting upon the creative vision that made it possible. In the midst of the space race, Hereward Lester Cooke, the former co-director of the NASA Art Program, observed, “Space travel started in the imagination of the[…]

When Americans Understood That Weather Was Connected to Larger Forces

Two hundred years after New England’s first great hurricane, we ask very different questions about the nature of storms. Two hundred years ago this week, the Great September Gale struck New England. The “gale” swamped the coastlines of five states with storm surges up to 15 feet. It reduced dozens of ships in Boston, Providence,[…]

How Language and Climate Connect

While we’re losing biological diversity, we’re also losing linguistic and cultural diversity at the same time. This is no coincidence. The world is getting uncomfortably warm. At present, much of Europe is suffering under a heat wave of record-breaking temperatures. It’s so hot that piles of manure are spontaneously combusting and setting off wildfires in Spain. Across the[…]

What a Deer Tooth Necklace Says about Our Ice Age Ancestors

About 19,000 years ago in southwestern France at a site called Saint-Germain-La-Rivière, an adult woman dies and is prepared for burial by members of her society. Ice Age Europe, approximately 20,000-13,500 years ago; a period known as the Magdalenian. The climate is gradually ameliorating after glaciers and cold temperatures reached their height in the Last[…]