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Weekend Reads 10/28/17

Human water use is draining the world’s saline lakes

The economic benefits of taking water from these lakes for agriculture is apparent, whereas the costs of doing so are not as obvious. But the costs are there. The lakes’ decreasing surface may render their shores inaccessible for mineral extraction. Their increasing salinity may cause the collapse of recreation, tourism, fisheries, and ecosystems, as the species that used to thrive in them can’t tolerate all that salt.

But the Dow is at 23,000

It’s humbling and amazing to recognize that I live in the most financially successful nation in the history of the world — and it’s tragic and defeating to try to help people see how poor we really are, in so many important ways. It’s like we can’t seem to notice or really care about all the problems, because the Dow is at 23,000. Yes, we are still the envy of the world, but increasingly we are lagging behind our neighbors — except for the Dow, which is at 23,000.

The Ultimate Halloween Candy Power Ranking

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and their spinoffs come out huge here, taking four of the top 10 spots and appearing pretty synonymous with the platonic ideal of Halloween candy. The brand was the best-selling candy in the U.S. as of 2013, and market research showed it was the top snack-sized candy in Halloween times.

Dwarf Planets: Science & Facts About the Solar System’s Smaller Worlds

As of 2014, the IAU recognizes five named dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. But those aren't the only ones. Other solar system bodies that are possibly dwarf planets include Sedna and Quaoar, small worlds far beyond Pluto's orbit, and 2012 VP113, an object that is thought to have one of the most distant orbits found beyond the known edge of our solar system. The object DeeDee could also be a dwarf planet, according to observations made in 2017. According to NASA, scientists think that there may be more than a hundred dwarf planets awaiting discovery.

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