Speak up the next time someone says something egregious! Photo by Brett Jordan on UnsplashRecently, at a dinner party with smart, liberally-minded women, I heard one woman say white trash in passing. The term rattled me, and just as I was about to object, the subject changed. In truth, I was a coward. I didn’t want to rock the boat, but sometimes we have to. If white is needed as a modifier for trash, it implies those who are trash also are black.
In the wide world of tropical flora, insects often take up the mantle of protecting the plants that shelter them, each mutually satisfied in a happy marriage of nature’s making. This is particularly true for acacia trees that tower over the African savanna. Their tiny protectors are carnivorous ants that dissuade animals from browsing on their thorny branches.
Astrophysicists have identified a violent collision of two neutron stars 4.6 billion years ago as the likely source of some of the most coveted matter on Earth. This single cosmic event, close to our solar system, gave birth to 0.3 percent of the Earth’s heaviest elements, including gold, platinum, and uranium. Imre Bartos at the University of Florida and Szabolcs Márka at Columbia University report these findings in Nature.