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Great horned owls, which are best observed locally in the winter, are impressive predators with a diet as broad as their habitat. Prey includes porcupines, squirrels, songbirds, bats, rats, house cats, and even young alligators. Their sense of hearing is so acute they can hear mice moving under a foot of snow or the slithering of a snake on a tree branch.
Every Monday, Rx/Museum, a project that connects art and medicine, sends subscribers an email that includes a piece of artwork and a short essay exploring medicine as a humanistic practice. Developed by educators at Penn Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, and a variety of museums and art institutions throughout Philadelphia, it’s a thought-provoking prescription for reflection and learning.
The North Country National Scenic Trail, the longest in the National Trails System, stretches 4,600 miles across eight states, including Pennsylvania. Accessible regionally from Wampum, Lawrence County, about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, and nearby McConnells Mill and Moraine State Parks, the trail is forging a path for hikers from Vermont to North Dakota, traversing more than 160 public lands, 10 national forests, and more than 100 state parks, forests, and game areas.
NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Center is transforming data from astronomical images into audio. The birth of a star, a cloud of dust, or even a black hole can now be heard as a high- or low-pitched sound, making cosmic wonders more accessible to people with visual impairments or blindness. NASA’s distant space telescopes collect and convert digital data into images that are visual representations of light and radiation that can’t be seen by the human eye. By translating that same data into sound, they’re creating a celestial concert.
State agencies in Alabama, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania are piloting the use of lifelike mechanical dogs and cats to ease loneliness for senior citizens who are isolated during the pandemic. Studies show that the interaction between aging adults and animals—whether real or robotic—can help lower blood pressure, ease anxiety, and reduce feelings of loneliness. The robotic companions have built-in sensors that respond to touch and motion. They bark and meow, nuzzle, and even have a heartbeat.
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