For more than a century – since its first documented eruption in 1843 – Mauna Loa Volcano in the Hawaiian Islands has been considered Earth’s largest volcano. But although Mauna Loa makes up half of the big island of Hawai’i and rises 56,000 feet from base to summit, it just lost its title. The new champ, named Tamu Massif Volcano and located under the Pacific Ocean about halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and Japan, isn’t measured in thousands of feet: it’s 120,000 square miles. That’s about the size of New Mexico, or around the same size as the British Isles. Here are some details on the new discovery and some other fun volcano facts. Read more
It’s about 10 times more accurate than the previous atomic clock – which means it’s so accurate that if it had been started at the beginning of the universe, about 13.8 billion years ago, it would have only lost one second. This is the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) new atomic clock, the most precise device for measuring time that scientists have ever devised. Known as the ytterbium optical lattice clock, it’s so accurate that scientists believe they can use it to test Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Read more
It was once thought to be impossible, but the giant squid video released January 7, 2012 by the Discovery Channel and Japan’s National Science Museum showed that humans could actually capture film of the elusive creature in its natural habitat. In December, Discovery made the announcement that Japanese scientists had captured footage of the creature thought to have inspired the kraken of Greek Mythology, popularized in recent films such as Clash of the Titans. Read more
Today’s current environmental issues provoke a good deal of science, research and controversy. Questia, the premier online research and paper-writing tool, is a terrific resource for exploring the history of complex environmental topics such as climate change, global warming and sustainable development. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the first eight months of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded in the continental United States. Researchers at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center have said a key indicator of climate change, arctic ice, has melted to its lowest level on record this year. Read more
Happy birthday to the late Steve Jobs! As a culture, we often take technology for granted and forget the painstaking years that inventors spend creating the machines we use every day. For example, you have Charles Babbage to thank, among others, for your ability to view this text on your computer. In honor of the late Steve Jobs’ birthday on February 24th, Questia, the premier online research tool for students has compiled a list of the top 10 inventors being researched in the Questia library.
To celebrate these inventors’ contributions to our society and Steve Jobs’ legacy, we’ve selected reference works from our library of 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles and are opening them up for free for a month. In addition to the 10 listed below, you might want to take a look at our full list of computer and Internet research. Read more