Laughter is the Best Medicine

Ep. 88 Comedy Wildlife, Arctic Landscape Changes, and a Student-made Rocket | Twig Science Reporter

On this week’s news update– Students launch a rocket into space– Dramatic changes
to Arctic landscapes– And the Comedy Wildlife
Photography Awards! First up–
it’s Space Track. Since 2005, members of the
University of Southern California’s Rocket Propulsion Laboratory
have been racing other students to design and build a rocket,
and launch it into space! Their first three attempts failed. So let’s see if their new design,
Traveler IV, is a success. [student speaks]
“Five, four, three, two, one– ignition!” The liftoff goes well– But will the rocket
make it into space? [student speaks]
“The drogues have fired.” They’ve done it! Traveler IV falls back to Earth. It’s the first time
a student-built rocket has reached space! But with other students
working on their own designs, it almost certainly won’t be the last. Next up– In a part of the world
called the High Arctic, scientists have reported
that the landscape is changing fast. So what’s going on? The ground here is
known as permafrost, meaning it’s always frozen. Some of it has been frozen
for thousands of years! The permafrost here
has lots of ice in it, which holds the ground together. But as temperatures rise
due to global warming, the ice is melting. That makes the ground collapse,
leaving huge craters. Unlike at the ice caps,
where rising temperatures are causing a steady
increase in melting, in the High Arctic,
just one unusually warm summer can cause big, sudden changes. Permafrost collapse threatens wildlife and destroys houses and roads,
forcing people to move. So it’s important to understand
where and how fast it’s happening. And finally– Animals can be graceful, fierce, and, sometimes,
very funny. The Comedy Wildlife
Photography Awards is a competition celebrating
those amusing moments! Here are some of
this year’s best entries: A grumpy brown bear– A well-hidden deer– Some photographer squirrels– And this icy monkey! But it’s not all just for laughs. One of the Awards’ goals
is to encourage people to protect animals like these,
by caring for the environment. The competition is open
till the end of June– so if you have
a comedy wildlife photo, why not give it a try? That’s all for this week. We’ll see you next time!

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