Imperial Valley News
Stanford, California - This week California water officials performed one of their regular measurements of the state's snowpack and confirmed it is a startling 5 percent of normal - the lowest April 1 total on record. That accumulation of snow in the state's mountains - specifically the Sierra Nevada - serves as natural "frozen storage" for surface water supplies. Its runoff feeds streams, rivers and reservoirs throughout the year and provides about 30 percent of the water Californians depend on for drinking, growing food and other uses in a typical year.
Stanford, California - To kill spam, email filters might need to act a bit more like ants.
Stanford, California - Global oil prices may stay low for the next 10 or 20 years, according to Stanford economist Frank Wolak.
Stanford, California - Last year, eight groups of ants flew to the International Space Station, boosted by a rocket and the curiosity of Stanford University biologist Deborah M. Gordon, who studies collective behavior. Results from that mission, recently published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, showed that the collective search behavior of ants in microgravity had some interesting twists. Now Gordon is inviting high school students to collaborate in further research on collective search by ants on Earth, through a new "citizen science" lesson plan. Younger students could try it too.
Berkeley, California - The iconic image of a writer pecking away at an old typewriter is as quaint as the rotary phone. The digital age enables writers to write when and where they choose, and it has also revolutionized publishing. There are more ways to publish a book than ever before: e-books with enhanced interactivity, print on demand, video adaptations, and so on.
Berkeley, California - A meritocracy holds that if you work hard enough, you can succeed in life, regardless of race, religion, gender or social status. But a new study from UC Berkeley suggests that, despite egalitarian efforts to downplay class as a forecaster for intelligence and achievement, many people still believe their destiny is tied to their station in life.