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iD (Ideas & Discoveries)

iD (Ideas & Discoveries) May 8, 2020

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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.

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United States
Heinrich Bauer Publishing, L. P.
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.

CRY LIKE AN EAGLE When I read “The Mighty Marvel of the Skies” in the March issue, it called to mind a rather unexpected sort of “fun fact” about bald eagles. I’ve had the opportunity to observe them in the wild, and it turns out the sound they make is nothing like what most of us have come to think of it as. That distinct cry as the majestic bird swoops down from the sky is not real! Of course the fierce raptors are still impressive nonetheless, and hopefully knowing this doesn’t diminish anyone’s enjoyment of them. Sam Pellerton, Fairbanks, AK It’s true, and it may be disappointing when people hear what a bald eagle actually sounds like: Rather than the well-known screeching call we associate with them, they utter more of a…

5 min.
can one man defeat a desert?

The barren, lifeless landscape with its arid, parched ground rolls on for as far as the eye can see. The last inhabitants of the small village of Humbo in Ethiopia have been living in the desert—and struggling to survive. The last tree was cut down years earlier, and replanting trees in the bone-dry soil seemed impossible. The villagers had long since abandoned all hope. Their dire expectation: If the burning heat didn’t kill them, they’d all die of thirst as the region continued to dry out. But Humbo did not die—quite the contrary: Only a few years later the area had changed so drastically that it was unrecognizable. The wasteland had turned into a flourishing forest. CAN YOU SAVE THE WORLD WITH A POCKET KNIFE? The name of the man who brought…

8 min.
a day in the life of a frog

ALWAYS THE SAME CROAK? Frogs can ribbit, croak, cluck, bark, grunt, whistle, and peep. “Over the course of evolution, every frog species has developed its own characteristic mating call,” says amphibian expert Tom Kirschey. The wide variety of different rhythms and sounds is an indication of the fierce territorial competition in a given pond. Male frogs typically vocalize by squeezing their lungs with their nostrils and mouth shut. Air flows across their vocal cords and into their vocal sacs, which inflate like a bubble-gum balloon. Frogs may intentionally sound off in order to attract a mate or mark their territory or because they’re hurt or frightened. And in case you’re wondering—no, all frogs don’t “speak” the same language: The same frog species that says “ribbit” in English says “cru-cru” in Spanish,…

20 min.
the 100 companies that are destroying our climate

Corporations are killing people day after day, without having to fear prosecution or other consequences. That might sound drastic—but the situation itself is even worse. If we cannot learn to live in a carbon-neutral environment by 2035 and hold global warming to less than 1.5°C (2.7°F), our children will not inherit the world that we’ve been able to experience. And their children could encounter a planet so hostile to human existence that civilization as we know it may cease to exist. To halt the climate change that imperils our world, it is far from enough to recycle, or ride a bike to work, or vacation closer to home. Even if everyone in the world were to cooperate in such endeavors, we would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by no more…

2 min.

How can we halt climate change, Prof. Quaschning? Volker Quaschning is a professor of renewable energy systems at the University of Applied Sciences for Engineering and Economics in Berlin. WHAT TECHNOLOGY DO WE NEED IN ORDER TO MAKE THE TRANSITION? We’ve had the appropriate technology for a long time. To make the German economy climate-neutral by 2035, we will have to quadruple the output from wind power and increase solar power by a factor of 10. The challenge for the U.S. is far greater because relatively little has been done. DOESN’T MANUFACTURING SOLAR PANELS PRODUCE A LOT OF CO2? The technology has advanced so much that even in areas with relatively little sunshine, solar panels recover the energy that was needed to make them after only two years of operation. Modern solar equipment has a…

8 min.
could this briefcase destroy the world?

THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF POWERS IN A NUCLEAR STRIKE Washington, D.C., January 20, 2017: On Inauguration Day, there was a transfer of power from the outgoing president, Barack Obama, to his successor. The ceremony began at noon, and a short time later the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts swore in the new president, Donald Trump, making him commander in chief of the nation’s armed forces. At the same time, a black briefcase officially changed hands: the “nuclear football” that contains the codes that give the commander in chief the ability to send human civilization back to the Stone Age. From that moment on, Trump had the power to order the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. If the president were to order a nuclear strike, there…