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A NASA scientist shares his greatest hope for the future of earth.

"It's indisputable. It's very solid physics"

A NASA scientist shares his greatest hope for the future of earth.
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Unilever and the United Nations

Eric Rignot, a NASA scientist, has a very important job — one most of us would struggle to fully understand.

According to his NASA profile, his work focuses on the "geoscience applications of radar interferometry and polarimetry." (See what I mean?) Basically, what all that means is he studies what's happening to the earth's surfaces...


GIF via Giphy.

...surfaces such as ice sheets, which are dissolving at an accelerated rate due to climate warming from our use of fossil fuels.

Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf has existed for 10,000 years. In 2002, two-thirds of the shelf collapsed into the ocean over the span of six weeks. Researchers estimate the remaining portion will only hold for a few more years. GIF via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

As complex as Rignot's work may be, he wants us to know why it's relevant to all our lives.

In a two-minute elevator speech with Greenman Studio, Rignot explains that rising temperatures are making the weather crazier and sea levels higher, which affects everything from where people can live to our food production, and even the number of species left on earth.

But we shouldn't be surprised. Rignot says science has warned about this for a long time:

"The first thing about climate warming is that the physical basis, we've known it for centuries. This is nothing new in the science of climate change today. You bring more CO2, more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it warms it up. It's indisputable. It's very solid physics."
— Dr. Eric Rignot

At 1:08 in the video, Rignot says something that took a few minutes to hit me:

"We didn't leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stone."

It's true. The Stone Age gave way to the adoption of a new technology: metals. (Now hold that thought.)

GIF via Greenman Studio.

Climate catastrophe is starting to seem inevitable, but Rignot has one last hope: young people.

"To change everything, it takes everyone." Image via South Bend Voice/Flickr.

"I think they are more sensitive to this. They don't want this kind of world down the line. And they probably are the first generation who can actually change it. They have the power to change it, and I hope they take it. I hope they take it."
— Dr. Eric Rignot

If running out of stone isn't why we left the Stone Age, what's keeping us from leaving the Oil Age?

Watch the full interview with Dr. Eric Rignot:

'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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