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Weekend Reads 2/10/18

How to Survive Being Swallowed by Another Animal

The beetles may have been taken by surprise, but they still managed to unleash their payloads from inside their attackers’ stomachs. The chemicals were never fatal, but they were unpleasant enough to force many of the toads to regurgitate the beetles. Toads have no gag reflex, though, so they can’t vomit in the same way that we can. Their only option is to turn their stomachs inside-out—a process that takes around 45 minutes.

Climate Strange

Even within the environmental movement, there’s a fraught and often ugly debate over people like Mitchell, who radically change their lives to fight climate change. Critics say they are wasting their time and scaring away the critical audience of the unconverted. Major voices in the climate movement are dismissive of the choice to, say, forego a major flight. Why sacrifice, they chide; focus on what matters.

Planets Outside Our Galaxy Have Been Discovered For The First Time

The galaxy lies almost half-way between us and the quasar RXJ 1331-1231. The galaxy's gravity creates a lens, whose effects vary as the objects within it move. Examination of the spectrum of light from the quasar makes clear the lens is made up of millions of individual objects, all shifting relative to each other, rather than a single gravitational well.

Keeping the world below 2°C of warming needs tech we don’t have

In the two-degrees emissions scenarios, these techniques have to start soaking up at least 11 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year around 2050 in order to offset our continued emissions. If we bank on that future offset, but it fails to materialize, we will find that it’s too late to cut our emissions and limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.

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