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iD (Ideas & Discoveries)iD (Ideas & Discoveries)

iD (Ideas & Discoveries) September 2018

iD (Ideas & Discoveries) is an intriguing science and technology magazine that delves deep to help readers discover answers to questions about science, nature, psychology, history, current events and more. With captivating photography and design and engaging editorial content, iD will have readers thinking about the world around them in a whole new way.

United States
Heinrich Bauer Publishing, L. P.
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£7.79(Incl. tax)
£17.47(Incl. tax)
6 Issues


access_time3 min.
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THE GRAVITY OF WEIRD PLACES After reading the July issue, I spent some time considering what it is that lends the strange sites shown in “The World’s Weirdest Places” their uncanny allure: The common theme that appears to run through the majority of them is death. How unsettling to think that civilizations can vanish from the Earth, and all the more so to think that the whole of humanity could have even disappeared. On a lighter note, what are some of the world’s happiest places? Jacqueline Delgado via email Truly life on Earth can be tenuous, no matter how established a species might be. And hardly anything is more unnerving than a site of human death, especially when the number of deaths was large. Despite the ever-present potential for fatal cataclysms, life goes…

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how do you sail through a cyclone?

This isn’t likely to be a pleasant trip—that’s crystal clear to Captain Daryl Wislang as he examines the satellite images on his monitor. For sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race, “Leg 5” is comparable to what Tour de France cyclists call the “Queen Stage”: the most difficult, most demanding, and most prestigious part of a race—and this race is regarded as the “Everest of sailing.” The teams have to battle their way across more than 6,700 nautical miles from New Zealand to Brazil, through the fierce towering waves of the Southern Ocean. But for the Ocean Race of 2015, nature has a very specific challenge in store for the extreme sportsmen: Cyclone Pam hurtles toward the yachts at a speed of 125 miles per hour, churning the sea into 30-foot-high…

access_time18 min.
the unacknowledged catastrophes of history

“Rome has fallen—the city that once conquered the world.”SAINT JEROME (347–420), one of the Latin Fathers of the Catholic Church Did an ICE AGE bring down an emperor? The year is AD 400. The glory of the realm that once made the whole world tremble has now faded. The Roman Empire has proved a giant with feet of clay. Although Roman garrisons are still stationed on the Scottish border and along the banks of the Nile River, appearances are deceptive: The legions are very weary, and the rulers of Rome are divided. Five years earlier a schism had split Rome in two, into the Western and Eastern Empires. It was the beginning of an end that now approaches faster than anyone could have imagined. In AD 410, Visigoths came to invade Italy…

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continent of leaves

The scenery is breathtaking: a scarred landscape of monumental mountain ranges with green columns towering over the valleys. In the shadows, tens of thousands of inhabitants crowd the deep chasms of craters and ravines. They’re waiting for the life-sustaining geysers that regularly shoot up from the vertical shafts of the underworld. A unique spectacle of nature? Quite the contrary: It is a phenomenon that recurs many billions of times—every hour of the day, every day of the year, and on every single leaf. In fact, there are roughly 10 million life-forms living on every square centimeter of a leaf, and on average a deciduous tree has some 40,000 leaves on thousands of levels, with inhabitants on every level. What at first glance might seem like a rather shapeless mass of…

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arsenal of a leaf

Some leaves, such as those of the stinging nettle, protect themselves with microscopic “injection needles” full of formic acid. One ten-millionth of a gram of this substance is enough to cause a painful inflammatory reaction in humans. And stinging nettles are not exceptional in this regard—thousands of plants around the world have developed defensive strategies to protect themselves from their enemies: poisons in their cells, chemical growth retardants that slow the development of attackers, and sugar coatings to distract insects.…

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smarter in 60 seconds

HOW MANY TREES ARE THERE IN THE WORLD? Our planet is home to around 3 trillion trees—that works out to about 400 trees for every human. Currently there are some 300 billion trees with a diameter of at least an inch in the U.S. Around one-third of the total U.S. land area is covered by trees. American forests are predominantly populated with natural stands of native species. The most common U.S. tree is the red maple, followed by the loblolly pine. DO TREES GET HEADACHES? When researchers set up detection devices in a walnut grove in California to examine the air quality in a forest, they discovered the presence of methyl salicylate, a substance closely related to the active ingredient in aspirin. But unlike humans, who take this medicine for pain or fever…