Afghanistan Tries to Stamp Out Opium Again

The multibillion-dollar trade has survived previous bans. Now, the Taliban are going after solar-powered water pumps to try to dry up poppy crops in the middle of a national economic crisis.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #agriculture-and-farming, #deserts, #drug-abuse-and-traffic, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #irrigation, #opium, #politics-and-government, #poppies, #rural-areas, #solar-energy, #taliban, #united-nations, #united-nations-office-on-drugs-and-crime, #water, #wells

Deadly Venom From Spiders and Snakes May Also Cure What Ails You

Efforts to tease apart the vast swarm of proteins in venom — a field called venomics — have burgeoned in recent years, leading to important drug discoveries.

#alternative-and-complementary-medicine, #arizona, #deserts, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #fraser-island-australia, #insects, #research, #scorpions, #snakes, #spiders

In Joshua Tree, Are 1,818 Airbnbs Too Many?

A short-term rental gold rush is fueling concern for the area’s signature trees and debates about whether the nature of life in the desert of southeastern California is changing forever.

#airbnb, #deserts, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #instagram-inc, #joshua-tree-calif, #social-media, #travel-and-vacations, #vrbo-com

A Photographer’s View of Jordan’s Many Splendors

For 10 days, a photojournalist drove across Jordan from north to south, visiting several of the country’s most treasured sites. Here’s what he saw.

#amman-jordan, #dead-sea, #deserts, #gulf-of-aqaba, #jerash-jordan, #jordan, #petra-jordan, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #red-sea, #road-trips, #travel-and-vacations

The Eerie, Lunar Nothingness of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

The stretch of coastline in southwest Africa is a strange and beautiful reminder that, in the end, we are powerless against nature and time.

#deserts, #namibia, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #road-trips, #shipwrecks-historic, #travel-and-vacations

A Slow-Motion Climate Disaster: The Spread of Barren Land

Brazil’s northeast, long a victim of droughts, is now effectively turning into a desert. The cause? Climate change and the landowners who are most affected.

#bolsonaro-jair-1955, #brazil, #clay, #deserts, #drought, #weather

Four-Inch Scorpions Called Deathstalkers Descend on Egypt

Swept from desert burrows, hundreds, if not thousands, of scorpions skittered into villages, stinging at least 503 people.

#aswan-egypt, #deaths-fatalities, #deserts, #floods, #scorpions, #weather

The Man Who Finally Made a ‘Dune’ That Fans Will Love

How Denis Villeneuve broke the curse.

#brolin-josh, #chalamet-timothee-1995, #deserts, #dune-book, #lynch-david, #movies, #science-fiction, #villeneuve-denis

Surviving in Isolation, Where the Steppe Has Turned to Sand

In the Russian republic of Kalmykia, the encroaching desert has transformed the landscape. “Nature,” one farmer said, “is forcing us to leave.”

#agriculture-and-farming, #buddhism, #deserts, #europe, #immigration-and-emigration, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #russia, #sheep, #travel-and-vacations

In Iraq, Drought and Abundance in the Mesopotamian Marshes

Once vengefully drained by Saddam Hussein, the wetlands in southeastern Iraq have since been partially restored. Now the region and its isolated settlements face a new set of challenges.

#deserts, #drought, #euphrates-river, #iraq, #iraq-war-2003-11, #photography, #tigris-river, #water, #wetlands

Glimpses of Sudan’s Forgotten Pyramids

Desecrated by plunderers, threatened by floodwaters and largely overshadowed by their Egyptian counterparts, Sudan’s ancient archaeological sites may finally be poised to receive broader recognition.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #bashir-omar-hassan-al, #deserts, #giza-egypt, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #khartoum-sudan, #nile-river, #politics-and-government, #sudan, #travel-and-vacations, #united-nations-educational-scientific-and-cultural-organization, #world-heritage-sites

Smoky Artwork by Judy Chicago at Desert Zoo Is Canceled

“Living Smoke” was scheduled for April but the California venue withdrew after an activist said the colorful smoke display could harm the environment.

#art, #atmospheres-exhibit, #chicago-judy, #desert-x-exhibit, #deserts, #living-desert-zoo-and-gardens-palm-desert-calif, #sheep, #smoke

Along the Southwest Border, Trump’s Wall Is Only One of the Insults He Left Behind

Here’s what Biden should do about the poverty, discrimination and environmental destruction.

#agriculture-and-farming, #border-barriers, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deserts, #global-warming, #hispanic-americans, #illegal-immigration, #immigration-and-emigration, #international-trade-and-world-market, #land-use-policies, #migrants-environmental, #native-americans, #race-and-ethnicity, #stimulus-economic, #water

The Skin-Deep Physics of Sidewinder Snakes

A close-up on snake skin helped scientists work out what might help certain snakes navigate sandy surfaces.

#deserts, #physics, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #sand-and-gravel, #skin, #snakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

A New Theory About the Monolith: We’re the Aliens

A mysterious metal pillar in a desert would be interesting in any year. But something about 2020 has made one a global phenomenon.

#deserts, #extraterrestrial-life, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #quarantine-life-and-culture

Earthlings, It Seems, Not Aliens, Removed the Utah Monolith

A photographer said four men dismantled the mysterious shiny object that has captivated the country.

#aliens, #art, #deserts, #mccracken-john, #monolith, #sculpture, #utah

Did John McCracken Make That Monolith in Utah?

It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, buried in the desert: If the sculptor made this tall, silvery object, it was without mentioning a word to his dealer or his art friends.

#2001-a-space-odyssey-movie, #art, #deserts, #extraterrestrial-life, #john-mccracken, #kelley-mike-1954-2012, #ruscha-edward, #sculpture, #star-trek-tv-program, #utah, #zwirner-david-gallery

In a Desert’s Burning Sands, Shrimp

When it rains in Iran’s Dasht-e Lut desert, the ground comes alive with tiny, upside-down crustaceans.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #deserts, #iran, #lakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Aided by Modern Ingenuity, a Taste of Ancient Judean Dates

The harvest of the much-extolled but long-lost Judean dates was something of a scientific miracle. The fruit sprouted from seeds 2,000 years old.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #dates-fruit, #deserts, #elaine-solowey, #israel, #jews-and-judaism, #kibbutz-ketura, #sarah-sallon, #science-advances-journal

Is Virtual Burning Man the Internet’s Ultimate Test?

The cyberdelic extravaganza is online for the first time because of the pandemic. But maybe that’s not as strange as it might seem.

#burning-man-festival, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #creativity, #deserts, #festivals, #harvey-larry, #nevada, #san-francisco-calif, #social-media, #virtual-reality-computers

Death Valley Just Recorded the Hottest Temperature on Earth

Scientists still have to validate the reading of 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, the equivalent of 54 degrees Celsius.

#california, #death-valley-national-park, #deserts, #earth, #global-warming, #kuwait, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #temperature, #weather

This Moss Uses Quartz as a Parasol

In the Mojave Desert, a translucent crystal offers bryophytes much-needed respite from the heat of the sun.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #deserts, #microbiology, #mojave-desert-calif, #moss, #plos-one-journal, #research, #rock-and-stone, #your-feed-science

Coming of Age on Mars

In a new book, planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson recalls how the Red Planet drew her to become a scientist.

#books-and-literature, #curiosity-mars-rover, #deserts, #earth, #extraterrestrial-life, #geology, #johnson-sarah-stewart, #mars-planet, #microbiology, #planets, #science-and-technology, #solar-system, #space-and-astronomy, #the-sirens-of-mars-searching-for-life-on-another-world-book

How a Velvet Ant (Which Is a Wasp) Got Its White Fluff

The thistledown velvet ant, which is actually a wasp, resembles creosote fuzz. But mimicry isn’t the reason, a new study suggests.

#biology-letters-journal, #camouflage, #color, #deserts, #evolution-biology, #insects, #mojave-desert-calif, #research, #ultraviolet-light, #wasps-insects

Homesteading Today: Living on Free Land

A few lucky homeowners have either inherited land obtained through homestead acts or have claimed property in modern free land programs.

#coachella-valley-calif, #denali-national-park-alaska, #deserts, #land-use-policies, #minnesota, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential

11 Great Alternatives to the Top National Parks

Whether you like hiking, fishing, volcanoes, trees or even fossilized trees, there is a less-traveled and still awe-inspiring national park for you.

#arches-national-park-utah, #big-bend-national-park-tex, #biodiversity, #canoes-and-canoeing, #canyonlands-national-park-utah, #congaree-national-park, #coronavirus-reopenings, #deserts, #dunes, #forests-and-forestry, #fossils, #glaciers, #great-basin-national-park, #great-sand-dunes-national-park-and-reserve-colorado, #gunnison-colo, #hikes-and-hiking, #lakes, #lassen-volcanic-national-park-calif, #national-park-service, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #north-cascades-national-park-wash, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #petrified-forest-national-park-ariz, #shutdowns-institutional, #travel-and-vacations, #trees-and-shrubs, #volcanoes, #voyageurs-national-park-minn, #wilderness-areas

Making Space in Marriage, Even as the Walls Close In

She didn’t want to go to Burning Man (for all the reasons people don’t), but then there she was, dancing naked in the desert, and it was good.

#burning-man-festival, #deserts, #love-emotion, #marriages