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Smokey (the) Bear is still keeping his watchful eye on America's forests after 75 years on the job

  • Written by Wendy Melillo, Associate Professor, American University School of Communication
The PSA star, deployed in the wildJoseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Smokey Bear turns 75 on Aug. 9.

The star of the longest-running public-service advertising campaign in U.S. history is now big on social media, with Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Americans are also still sending the imaginary character loads of real mail. The postal...

Read more: Smokey (the) Bear is still keeping his watchful eye on America's forests after 75 years on the job

What Amazon's decision to retrain a third of its employees means for the future of work

  • Written by Scott F. Latham, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Amazon’s announcement that it will invest US$700 million to retrain 100,000 employees – a third of its U.S. workforce – in new technologies is the latest reminder that the much-heralded future of work is well underway.

Policymakers, analysts and scholars trying to discern the retailer’s motives and objectives chalked it up...

Read more: What Amazon's decision to retrain a third of its employees means for the future of work

Why do birds sing?

  • Written by David Steadman, Curator of Ornithology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
A male Olive-backed Euphonia (_Euphonia gouldi_), photographed in Costa Rica.Andy Morffew, CC BY

Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskidsus@theconversation.com.


Birds are some of the most attractive creatures on earth. Who doesn’t like to watch a Blue...

Read more: Why do birds sing?

Yes, I'm searching for aliens – and no, I won't be going to Area 51 to look for them

  • Written by Jason Wright, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University
A Sept. 20 citizen "raid" on Area 51, a secretive military installation long fancied to hold alien remains, has drawn worldwide interest.Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.com

Editor’s note: What started as an internet joke has generated a stern military warning after more than a million people “signed up” to “raid” Area 51...

Read more: Yes, I'm searching for aliens – and no, I won't be going to Area 51 to look for them

Brain-machine interfaces are getting better and better – and Neuralink's new brain implant pushes the pace

  • Written by Robert Gaunt, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh
Existing BMIs focus on restoring function for people with mobility or communication issues.UPMC/Pitt Health Sciences, CC BY-NC-ND

Elon Musk grabbed a lotof attention with his July 16 announcement that his company Neuralink plans to implant electrodes into the brains of people with paralysis by next year. Their first goal is to create assistive...

Read more: Brain-machine interfaces are getting better and better – and Neuralink's new brain implant pushes...

Are Syrian refugees a danger to the West?

  • Written by Arie Kruglanski, Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland
A Syrian family loads their belongings as they evacuate an informal refugee camp in Deir Al-Ahmar, east Lebanon, June 9, 2019. AP/Hussein Malla

While today’s news is full of stories about refugees and migrants to the U.S. from Central America, the plight of those particular refugees is only part of an international migration crisis that has...

Read more: Are Syrian refugees a danger to the West?

What school segregation looks like in the US today, in 4 charts

  • Written by Erica Frankenberg, Professor of Education and Demography, Pennsylvania State University
Many kids in the U.S. today attend public schools composed mostly of students of the same race.Aksinia Abiagam/Shutterstock.com

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris, a senator from California, has spoken about how she benefited from attending Berkeley’s desegregated schools.

“There was a little girl in California who was part...

Read more: What school segregation looks like in the US today, in 4 charts

Cartel kingpin El Chapo is jailed for life, but the US-Mexico drug trade is booming

  • Written by Luis Gómez Romero, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights, Constitutional Law and Legal Theory, University of Wollongong
Kingpin no longer.AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File

The infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera – aka “El Chapo” – has been sentenced to life plus an additional 30 years for drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering and weapons charges, among other crimes committed over the past...

Read more: Cartel kingpin El Chapo is jailed for life, but the US-Mexico drug trade is booming

Adapting cities to a hotter world: 3 essential reads

  • Written by Jennifer Weeks, Environment + Energy Editor, The Conversation
Keeping cool in Brooklyn.A. Katz/Shutterstock

Heat waves can be deadly, especially when they combine high temperatures with elevated humidity levels that make the air feel even hotter. The impacts can be especially strong in cities, which often are several degrees warmer than nearby rural areas due to the urban heat island effect. These three...

Read more: Adapting cities to a hotter world: 3 essential reads

Heat stroke: A doctor offers tips to stay safe as temperatures soar

  • Written by Gabriel Neal, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Texas A&M University
Staying hydrated is key to avoiding heat stroke and other heat-related health problems.FocusStocker/Shutterstock.com

I easily remember laughing at Wile E. Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner while watching Saturday morning cartoons as a child. I can still see the Coyote walking slowly through the sweltering desert, sun high in the sky,...

Read more: Heat stroke: A doctor offers tips to stay safe as temperatures soar

More Articles ...

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  2. Washington state's big bet on 'free college'
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  5. A giant leap for humankind -- future Moon missions will include diverse astronauts and more partners
  6. Home birth may start babies off with health-promoting microbes
  7. How the Volkswagen Beetle sparked America's art car movement
  8. Justice Stevens, Babe Ruth and the best law clerk assignment ever
  9. Voices from an age of uncertain work – Americans miss stability and a shared sense of purpose in their jobs
  10. Trump wasn't the first president to confront the Supreme Court – and back down
  11. Robert Hooke: The 'English Leonardo' who was a 17th-century scientific superstar
  12. 5 things parents need to know about 'summer loss'
  13. Counting 11 million undocumented immigrants is easier than Trump thinks
  14. How immigrants give American companies a powerful boost against Chinese rivals
  15. Can protecting land promote employment? In New England, the answer is yes
  16. The Bible says to welcome refugees
  17. 3 myths to bust about breaking up 'big tech'
  18. Americans focus on responding to earthquake damage, not preventing it, because they're unaware of their risk
  19. Did we mishear Neil Armstrong's famous first words on the Moon?
  20. As flood risks increase across the US, it's time to recognize the limits of levees
  21. War's physical toll can last for generations, as it has for the children of the Vietnam War
  22. When migrants go home, they bring back money, skills and ideas that can change a country
  23. Young Americans deserve a 21st-century Moonshot to Mars
  24. What is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? Here's why it's still important
  25. Mapping the Moon for Apollo
  26. University of California's showdown with the biggest academic publisher aims to change scholarly publishing for good
  27. How do lithium-ion batteries work?
  28. The real midlife crisis confronting many Americans
  29. In divided Alaska, the choice is between paying for government or giving residents bigger oil wealth checks
  30. The ‘giant sucking sound’ of NAFTA: Ross Perot was ridiculed as alarmist in 1992 but his warning turned out to be prescient
  31. Trump's order for more action on kidney disease may shrink organ transplant waitlists
  32. Erdoğan's control over Turkey is ending – what comes next?
  33. Ticks spread plenty more for you to worry about beyond Lyme disease
  34. Could black philanthropy help solve the black student debt crisis?
  35. The Trump administration wants to dismantle the agency overseeing 2 million federal workers – and weaken safeguards against partisanship
  36. Long before Armstrong and Aldrin, artists were stoking dreams of space travel
  37. DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?
  38. How your diet contributes to nutrient pollution and dead zones in lakes and bays
  39. Commercial supersonic aircraft could return to the skies
  40. Why states and cities should stop handing out billions in economic incentives to companies
  41. How much is your data worth to tech companies? Lawmakers want to tell you, but it's not that easy to calculate
  42. How did people clean their teeth in the olden days?
  43. 'The Farewell' highlights tough conversations families face when confronted with death
  44. An invisible government agency produces crucial national security intelligence, but is anyone listening?
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  46. Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a hotter, drier future
  47. At least 2% of US public water systems are like Flint's – Americans just don't hear about them
  48. Selecting groceries ahead of time helps some shoppers make healthier choices
  49. 4 questions answered on sex trafficking in the US
  50. The long, bipartisan history of dealing with immigrants harshly