The Perseid meteor shower — the year’s best — is tonight


A long exposure photo of the 2012 Perseid shower, as seen in WyomingDavid Kingman

As Earth plows through a trail of dust and rock left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, tiny pieces of debris will enter our atmosphere and burn up, producing dazzling shooting stars. Starting around 10 pm local time (regardless of your time zone) on Wednesday, you’ll be able to see as many as 50 of these meteors per hour — with the show aided by the low amount of light coming from the barely visible crescent moon.

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California fights drought with crazy shade balls


This story is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On Monday afternoon, the mayor of Los Angeles found a ballsy way to fight California’s unprecedented drought:

There are now 96 million « shade balls » floating on the surface of the L.A. Reservoir. They’re made of plastic, the same kind of polyethylene that gallon-sized milk jugs are made of, so they don’t pose a threat to the drinking water, according to the LA Times. They’re designed to keep water from evaporating and are expected to conserve 300 million gallons per year. And at a cost of $35 million, they’re about $250 million cheaper than the alternative, a tarp-like covering.

So, saving California from the drought just takes leadership from someone with a pair of … sorry I’ll just stop now.


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