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If you live in California, Bakersfield is just a place where farming mega-corporations grow a lot of stuff.  If you're remotely literate, you remember it as the 'Promised Land' the "Okies" left home for in The Grapes of Wrath.  If you like pop culture, it is part of the Route 66 highway(1),  which became famous in a song first sung by Nat King Cole(2).

But Bakersfield's rich central farmland was once the Temblor Sea, thanks to global warming, and  the fossil  remains tell a science tale.
A recent survey of 'dark' gamma-ray bursts, which are bright in gamma- and X-ray emissions, but have little or no visible light, are giving us a look into the dusty corners of otherwise dust-free galaxies.

Star formation occurs in dense clouds that quickly fill with dust as the most massive stars rapidly age and explode, spewing newly created elements into the interstellar medium to seed new star formation. Hence, astronomers presume that a large amount of star formation is occurring in dust-filled galaxies, although actually measuring how much dust this process has built up in the most distant galaxies has proved extremely challenging.
Who doesn't every elderly person have a cognitive function decline as they age?   Elderly people who exercise at least once a week, have at least a high school education and a ninth grade literacy level, are not smokers and are more socially active are correlated to maintained cognitive skills through their 70s and 80s, according to research published in the June 9, 2009, print issue of Neurology.
Tony La Russa, manager of baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals, recently sued Twitter, claiming that an unauthorized page using his name damaged his reputation and caused emotional distress.   It's true, anyone can sign onto Twitter and claim to be a celebrity but it can happen anywhere in the world of social media.

Media personality Keith Olbermann also was a victim of Twitter fraud - yes, someone out there said things so ridiculously partisan even Keith Olbermann was concerned about his portrayal and CNN recently acquired the rights to CNNbrk (CNN Breaking News), the largest Twitter account on record with 959,011 followers, 'owned' by James Cox, who doesn't even work for CNN.
Core-collapse (or gravitational) supernovae are among the most energetic and violent events in the universe and  constitute the final tremendous explosions in the life cycles of stars 8 times more massive than our Sun.

After running out of fuel, the core of such a star collapses and forms a neutron star or a black hole. At the same time, the outer layers are ejected at high velocity (up to 10% of the speed of light) and shine as brightly as billions of stars together.

To provide some perspective, the total energy suddenly released by such a supernova exceeds the total energy release by our Sun to-date; and also in the next 10 billion years.
Want to know how gravestones will weather due to pollution?   Can you help measure hailstones?   If so, or you are wondering what else one person can contribute to solving global climate issues, controlling the spread of invasive plant species or managing severe weather risk, EarthTrek is for you.

EarthTrek is a new worldwide program developed by the Geological Society of America and an array of national and international partners to provide a new tool allowing concerned citizens  to collect data that will provide answers in understanding our planet