At Home: North to Mars
Scientists researching the harsh conditions found on the moon and the planet Mars have found a study subject a little closer to home: a research station on an uninhabited island in Canada’s Far North.
As the CBC reports, for the past 15 years, NASA researchers and others have been using Devon Island, Nunavut, ?as a stand-in for Mars.? With a surface area of 66,800 square kilometres, Devon is the ?the largest uninhabited island on Earth,? and It’s certainly remote: at more than 75 degrees of north latitude, the location appears barren and desolate, a ?polar desert with scant vegetation.? Summer snowfalls are not unusual.
Rocky and dry, ?the extreme environment bears a practical resemblance to Mars or the moon.? In particular, the nearby 20-kilometre Haughton crater, believed to have been created by a meteorite, is unique to the geography of the area.
But It’s the isolation and harsh conditions that make Devon Island the perfect place to test space technology?from robots to space suits to wireless communications.
And although the plant and animal life is scarce, scientists are keen to explore how the few hardy species have managed to ?[cope] with such a harsh environment.? As part of the research, the Canadian Space Agency has maintained a greenhouse at the station. However, now that summer’s come to a close, researchers have returned home and the greenhouse will be ?operated remotely? until next summer.
Around the World: Love is a Highway
Online dating sites linking you with love partners halfway across the world? They might be taking things a little too far?literally.
As Good Morning America reported, a new trend in online-assisted dating suggests that your soulmate may be right around the corner. And all you have to do is ?follow your heart?and your GPS.?
GPS dating, which has gained popularity in large cities, is expected to soon spread to other locations as well. And no wonder: It’s all about convenience. Singles can log where they’re headed?whether a coffee shop, lunch café, or bar?and ?find out who else in their immediate vicinity is looking for a love match.? If a profile seems interesting, users can use the app to send a text, and possibly initiate a meeting if both parties are interested.
Because It’s location-based, GPS dating has an advantage over ?traditional? online dating: meetings can be arranged ?within just minutes? of viewing a profile, so the process moves much faster.
But security experts are concerned about the inherent risks of broadcasting your location to people you’ve never met. Users are urged to exercise caution and ?use common sense.? For safety’s sake, meeting in public places?and/or bringing along a friend?is recommended.