Modern society is literally built on sand. Most of our buildings and bridges are made with concrete, which consists mostly of sand and gravel. The same is true for the asphalt that covers our roads and parking lots. Glass, from window panes to eyeglass lenses to smartphone screens, is made by melting sand, and the semiconductors in our electronics come from heating silica sand ... After air and water, sand is humankind’s most consumed natural resource.

Nepal...has water resources that can generate about 80 times the electricity it needs ... Today, no industry gets electricity from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., when national demand soars to its maximum. On the flip side, this means all industries are getting power for 20 hours a day ... The sudden disappearance of blackouts has also saved another 50 MW of power, since consumers in major cities are not backing up their inverters anymore.

Food and yard trimmings account for a bigger share of America’s trash than anything else – about 28 percent – slightly ahead of paper and cardboard and twice the level of plastic. And while the US recycles more than half of its yard trimmings, food composting is in its early and costly stages.

The long-promised software will update Tesla’s existing semi-autonomous driving features, and will include speed matching technology that will help Tesla cars to keep pace with traffic, switch lanes, and exit and merge onto freeways, among other uses ... The speed-limiting software will kick in on roads and non-divided highways, where Teslas will have no choice but stick to the precise speed limit. On freeways, however, Tesla will merely stick to its overall speed limit of 90 miles per hour.

Virtually all the 11.6 million jobs created since 2010 went to workers with some kind of postsecondary education... Workers with a four-year college degree were hired for nearly 3 out of every 4 positions. Those with a high school diploma or less saw almost no recovery in demand for their labor... By 2020, 2 of every 3 jobs will require some kind of postsecondary education. And most of these jobs will be in services like health care, customer service, and food prep...not the manufacturing sector

Anything that eases Iran’s chronic brain drain is welcomed by officials, who have struggled to find solutions ... 150,000 “educated brains” leave the country each year, calculating the cost to Iran to be tens of billions annually. Official statistics in 2012 indicated that 64 percent of Iran’s International Science Olympiad winners in the previous 14 years had left the country. Another official source that year stated that 90 of Iran’s 125 medal winners from 2008 to 2011 had immigrated to the US

Aboriginal Australian people living today are the descendants of the First People to enter Australia, who lived between 25,000 to 40,000 years ago... Aboriginal DNA is an ancient story of migration into this continent, far deeper in time than any other population group... It shows ancient contact and gene flow between the ancestors of the First Australians and now extinct populations of Neanderthals and Denisovans ... similar to the gene flows reported between Neanderthals, Europeans and Asians

While usually unseen, pollen is essentially ubiquitous in terrestrial habitats, and it is extremely tough ... pollen is so durable that paleontologists can examine fossilized pollen grains in ancient sediments to see what plants grew during prehistoric times. And the “signature” of which pollen grains are present is specific to a particular place (because different plant species occur in different areas) and time (because different plant species flower at different times).

When you cut down an acacia tree and convert it to charcoal, you make a maximum of four bags, which in total fetch 1,000 [shillings, $10]. When you put a single bee hive on the same acacia tree, you will harvest 20 kilograms [44 lbs.] of honey each year. Each kilogram of honey sold to Proactive Merit [the company founded by Mbondo that buys honey from farmers] goes for 250 shillings, which translates to 5,000 shillings ($50) per year

What economics has missed is that adding an incentive – a fine or a bonus – may be subtracting something else, the individual’s sense of responsibility, or obligation, or intrinsic pleasure ... Children have an initial inclination to help, but extrinsic rewards may diminish it. Socialization practices can thus build on these tendencies, working in concert rather than in conflict with children’s natural predisposition to act altruistically.