Wonder on the Web

Issue 28: Links to amazing stuff /

Resurrection Mosses

“Will life-forms that can survive a century without water help us develop resilient crops for a drought-ridden future?” So scientists ask of Tortula ruralis, a moss that can preserve itself through exceptionally long dry spells, reviving within seconds of contacting water. Enjoy this beautiful three-minute video, and, while you’re at it, get lost in the whole Deep Look series.

The Secret Work of Your Sleep

That dormant state we all mysteriously submit to for a third of our lives—or, for most of us, more like a quarter—accomplishes more than we can know. The New Yorker explores some of what our brains are up to while we rest, such as forming concrete memories. In the two other parts of this series, learn why most of us can’t fall asleep and how our exhaustion affects our work.

Lewis and Tolkien’s Predecessor

We’ve previously mentioned Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Since the imaginative classic recently turned 150, it’s been in the media a lot. What is not talked about often enough, says Karen Swallow Prior, is the faith of its writer, Charles Dodgson (whose pen name was Lewis Carroll):

While writers like Lewis and Tolkien address grand religious themes that require lions and lords, Dodgson depicts whimsies wrought by a creator who delights in his creation: the power and magic of words, the way truth is gnarled by human perspective, the constant footrace taking place in the human mind between imagination and reason, and the simple wonder of seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

History of New Horizons

If you enjoyed reading about Pluto and New Horizons in this issue, you may want to scroll through this photo essay from The Atlantic chronicling some of the project’s history. One image shows a canister affixed to the spacecraft with unusual contents: the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto 85 years ago.

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Also in this Issue

Issue 28 / August 6, 2015
  1. Editors’ Note

    Issue 28: Meeting an octopus, Wikipedia’s world, discoveries and poetry on Pluto.

  2. The Aliens in Our Oceans

    An octopus’s thoughts are not our thoughts. /

  3. Random Article

    I put Wikipedia’s promise of a comprehendible world to the test. /

  4. Pluto’s New Horizons

    Facts we learned—and stuff people are wondering about—from the exploration mission so far. /

  5. Pluto’s Heart

    ‘This cloud-tattooed heart / So carelessly worn / Orbits everything’ /

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