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In this post: the large versions of the Environment and Humanities & Social Science channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.


Environment. Clouds over the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. From Flickr, by *clairity*


Humanities & Social Science. From Flickr, by eschipul

Reader comments of the week:

In Ah, Carbon Capture; we hardly knew ye, James Hrynyshyn of The Island of Doubt laments the dismal results of a pair of new carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) studies. Both studies seem to quash any hopes that the technology would make coal-fired power plants environmentally sound, even though it has been lauded by such luminaries as James Hansen and Al Gore as a potential way to buy time in the transition to renewable energy. Not only does CCS require a huge input of energy to put in place, the potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions it could create are not even great enough to meet the levels experts consider necessary.

Reader _Arthur sees James’s point:

In my opinion, the best carbon sequestration is already done: leave the coal under the ground. Way cheaper than burning it and then trying to gather the gases.

On the Humanities & Social Science channel, Jonah Lehrer of The Frontal Cortex considers the (often barely perceptible) differences in time between Olympic gold and Olympic silver in Fractions of a Second. While losing by 1/100th of a second might torment one’s imagination, Jonah points out, it doesn’t seem to faze many athletes.

Reader Jen, however, confirms that it can be frustrating:

I lost my first indoor college rowing sprint by 2/100 sec. It’s awful for sure – because it’s a breath of air, a slight shift on the seat, a mechanical something-or-other and you lost. You responded to the start gun just a split-second later, maybe. Who knows. But then again, it’s not so bad because you finished at virtually the same time as the winner.

There were no medals involved, but I still think about what I could have done differently.

Some other Environment posts we thought were cool this week were:

Mediterranean Sea is Full of Dangerous Species

This Post Might Make You Cry

Oil and Gas Projects in the Western Amazon Threaten Wilderness, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Peoples

Scientists Employ Seals to Collect Climate Data

Will the rich save the planet?

And from the Humanities & Social Science channel:

Le Corbeau Volant

Picturing Excess

Atheists and apostates: similarities and differences

The taste of the Star Wars Imperial March – if you had synaesthesia

The Camera of the Mind

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!