5 Things You Need To Know Today (March 20, 2018)

Photo by Juri Pozzi

1. Mystery in the sky? Look to citizen scientists for clues.

Citizen scientists—science enthusiasts who don’t necessarily hold a formal degree or educational background—could be the future of discovery in the field of science. In 2015 and 2016, citizen scientists used online forums to share a total of 30 reports about mysterious purple lights, called STEVE, in the sky that are said to provide insight into Earth’s magnetic field. (ScienceDaily)

2. More and more U.S. veterans are competing at the Paralympics.

The Stoke Mandeville Paralympic games were first established in 1948 as a way to restore a sense of purpose to civilians and veterans who had been injured during World War II. Seventy years later, it seems that military veterans are heavily involved again, largely thanks to funding that's available to them. This year, two of the five members of the U.S. Paralympic curling team are military veterans, and veterans account for 24.3 percent of total 2018 Paralympic participants. (NYT)

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3. This campus will be the first to be 100 percent energy neutral.

Thanks to an on-site solar panel paired with battery storage, the University of Hawaii's Maui College will be one of the first to be totally energy neutral in 2019, which means it creates as much energy as it consumes. Soon, all the remaining nine U.H. campuses will follow suit. Aloha, renewable energy. (Fast Company)

4. Secondhand smoke from cannabis could be harmful to our health.

A few years ago, a biologist and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, decided to study the effects of secondhand smoke from cannabis. Their results showed what many scientists have suspected for years—that the less smoke you inhale from any source, the better. (NPR)

5. The world's largest Muji is making a big play in the food world.

The world's largest Muji store is opening in Osaka, Japan, today, and it's planning on making its mark in the food realm. The home goods store will be serving up local, high-end fare, including a $47 fish, yogurt made on site, and artisan products from the surrounding regions. It might not end there, either. "I would like to introduce seasonal recipes and other cooking as well," said a floor manager. (Nikkei Asian Review)

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