DNR weekend reading: Tuning out tech and taking a (long) hike improves creativity

Watch where you step
Find the porcupine in this photo taken recently on forested state trust land in Washington state. (Photo: Rick Foster/DNR)

Here are links to reading selections about climate, wildlife, the environment and other science news published recently by science journals, universities, websites, and other sources.

PLOS One: Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings
Time spent in natural settings and away from electronic media can substantially improve creativity. Researchers found that four days of immersion in nature, and a corresponding disconnection from multi-media and technology, increased performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50 percent.

Scientific American: Which U.S. City Is the Greenest ?–It Depends on Whom You Ask
Every year dozens of publications and websites release their assessments of which cities have the most environmentally conscious citizenry, the highest percentage of recycling or the lowest carbon footprint per capita. Some of the leading choices may be a surprise.

Science Daily: Even in Same Vineyard, Different Microbes May Create Variations in Wine Grapes
Differences in the microbes present on grapes — even in different parts of the same vineyard — may contribute to flavor fluctuations in samples of grapes from different tanks from the same harvest.

Close up of a porcupine peaking out from under a log. Photo: Rick Foster/DNR

Scientific American: Robot Glider Detects Rogue Waves and Other Ocean Anomalies Missed by Satellites
The wave-powered unmanned sub Papa Mau not only set a record while crossing the Pacific Ocean autonomously, it also studied rogue waves, micro currents, and other marine phenomena invisible to eyes in the sky.

Geomar: When the ice melts, the Earth spews fire
It has long been known that volcanic activity can cause short-term variations in climate. Now, researchers at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany), together with colleagues from Harvard University have found evidence that the reverse process also occurs: Climate affects volcanic activity.

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