It looks like a ribbon of lava cascading down the east face of the El Capitan walls in California’s Yosemite National Park in America, but it’s actually a regular waterfall illuminated by the bright light of the setting sun. The Firefall only occurs when conditions are perfect – when the sky is clear and the sun is setting at the correct angle.
When to visit: The phenomenon is difficult to time, as it only occurs during a 10-minute window around sunset for just a few days in mid-to-late February.
The Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata, one of India’s most famous epic poems. It’s unclear exactly when the Gita was composed—estimates vary widely, but a number of scholars suggest it was completed around 200 CE and then inserted into the larger work; many see it as the first fully realized yogic scripture. Curious though it may seem that such an ancient text from a foreign culture has been so enthusiastically received by Westerners, the Gita, like all truly great works of literature, can be read on many levels: metaphysical, moral, spiritual, and practical; hence its appeal.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading it, the Gita recounts a dialogue between Arjuna, one of five Pandava princes, and the Hindu deity Krishna, who in this epic serves as Arjuna’s charioteer. Arjuna and his brothers have been exiled from the kingdom of Kurukshetra for 13 years and cut off from their rightful heritage by another faction of the family; the Gita takes up their struggle to reclaim the throne, which requires that Arjuna wage war against his own kinsmen, bringing his considerable military skills to bear.
The story begins on the dusty plains of Kurukshetra, where Arjuna, a famed archer, is poised to fight. But he hesitates. He sees arrayed against him friends, teachers, and kin, and believes that to fight—and likely kill—these men would be to commit a grievous sin and could bring nothing good even if he were to win the kingdom back. Krishna chides him for his cowardice—Arjuna is from the warrior caste after all, and warriors are meant to fight—but then goes on to present a spiritual rationale for battling his enemies, one that encompasses a discussion of the karma, jnana and bhakti yogas, as well as the nature of divinity, humankind’s ultimate destiny, and the purpose of mortal life.
Ecohydrology to Gynecology Ecohydrology: The study of interactions between organisms and the water cycle Ecology: The study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment Ecophysiology: The study of the interrelationship between an organism’s physical functioning and its environment Edaphology: A branch of soil science that studies the influence of soil on life Electrophysiology: The study of the relationship between electric phenomena and bodily processes Embryology: The study of embryos Endocrinology: The study of internal secretory glands Entomology: The study of insects Enzymology: The study of enzymes Epidemiology: The study of the origin and spread of diseases Ethology: The study of animal behavior Exobiology: The study of life in outer space Exogeology: The study of the geology of celestial bodies Felinology: The study of cats Fetology (foetology): The study of the fetus Formicology: The study of ants Gastrology (gastroenterology): The study of the stomach and intestines Gemology: The study of gemstones Geobiology: The study of the biosphere and its relations to the lithosphere and atmosphere Geochronology: The study of the age of the Earth Geology: The study of the Earth Geomorphology: The study of present-day landforms Gerontology: The study of old age Glaciology: The study of glaciers Gynecology: The study of medicine relating to women
Bacteriology: The study of bacteria Bioecology: The study of the interaction of life in the environment Biology: The study of life Bromatology: The study of food Cardiology: The study of the heart Cariology: The study of cells; the study of dental cavities Cetology: The study of cetaceans (e.g., whales, dolphins) Climatology: The study of the climate Coleopterology: The study of beetles Conchology: The study of shells and of mollusks Coniology: The study of dust in the atmosphere and its effects on living organisms Craniology: The study of the characteristics of the skull Criminology: The scientific study of crime Cryology: The study of very low temperatures and related phenomena Cynology: The study of dogs Cytology: The study of cells Cytomorphology: The study of the structure of cells Cytopathology: The branch of pathology that studies diseases on the cellular level Dendrochronology: The study of the age of trees and the records in their rings Dendrology: The study of trees Dermatology: The study of the skin Dermatopathology: The field of dermatological anatomical pathology Desmology: The study of ligaments Diabetology: The study of diabetes mellitus Dipterology: The study of flies
Actinology: The study of the effect of light on chemicals Aerobiology: A branch of biology that studies organic particles transported by the air Aerology: The study of the atmosphere Aetiology: The study of the causes of disease Agrobiology: the study of plant nutrition and growth related to soil Agrology: The branch of soil science dealing with the production of crops Agrostology: The study of grasses Algology: The study of algae; the study of pain Allergology: The study of the causes and treatment of allergies Andrology: The study of male health Anesthesiology: The study of anesthesia and anesthetics Angiology: The study of the anatomy of blood and lymph vascular systems Anthropology: The study of humans Apiology: The study of bees Arachnology: The study of spiders Archaeology: The study of past cultures Archaeozoology: The study of relationships between humans and animals over time Areology: The study of Mars Astacology: The study of crawfish Astrobiology: The study of the origin of life Astrogeology: The study of the geology of celestial bodies Audiology: The study of hearing Autecology: The study of the ecology of individual species
A baby’s body has about 300 bones at birth. These eventually fuse (grow together) to form the 206 bones that adults have. Some of a baby’s bones are made entirely of a special material called cartilage.
Since South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, there are now 195 independent sovereign nations in the world (not including the disputed but de facto independent Taiwan), plus some 60 dependent areas, and several disputed territories, like Kosovo.