DNR weekend reading: Mayans used tobacco; EPA tracker locates greenhouse gas emitters; and other stories

Siff-stiped kelp
Stiff-stiped kelp (Laminaria setchellii) is found on rocks and other intertidal areas in all along the West Coast, including in Puget Sound.

Here is a selection of recent articles from the news media and scientific journals for your weekend reading from DNR:

Science Daily: First Physical Evidence of Tobacco in Mayan Container
Using ultra-modern chemical analysis technology, anthropologists and other scientists discovered the first physical evidence of tobacco in a Mayan pottery container. Their discovery represents new evidence on the ancient use of tobacco in the Mayan culture and a new method to understand the ancient roots of tobacco use in the Americas.

LA Times: EPA Web tool tracks major greenhouse gas sources
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new interactive website that allows users to view the names and locations of the biggest emitters of annual greenhouse gases in their area. The database lets users find facilities by industry, state and community, and rank them by the greenhouse gas emission levels.

Science Daily: World’s Smallest Vertebrate: Tiny Frogs Discovered in New Guinea
Scientists recently discovered two new species of frogs in New Guinea, one of which is now the world’s tiniest known vertebrate, averaging only 7.7 millimeters in size — less than one-third of an inch. It ousts Paedocypris progenetica, an Indonesian fish averaging more than 8 millimeters, from the record.

Dot Earth — New York Times: Madrid Joins Cities Replacing Concrete With Greenery
More than six miles long, Madrid Río is a new park in Spain’s capital created atop a complex network of tunnels dug to bury an intrusive highway. In addition to rejuvenating a long-lost stretch of the Manzanares River, the park knits together neighborhoods that the highway had cut off from Madrid’s city center. Video of the project

Scientific American: Illusions Unmask Our “Face Sense”
Our brains are exquisitely tuned to perceive, recognize and remember faces. We can easily find a friend’s face among dozens or hundreds of unfamiliar faces in a busy street. We look at each other’s facial expressions for signs of appreciation and disapproval, love and contempt. But our face-recognition skills can be foiled by our own illusions and biases in face perception.


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