The Private Investigator Who Spies Using Drones


drone

Chris Wright is a problem solver. Her clients come to her with an issue, a question, a mystery, and she figures out the best way to find the answer – using whatever tools she can. “I use a combination of new technology and old technology, because I have to solve a problem. So I’ve used everything from geese and dogs to Roombas to drones to GPS.”

Wright is a private investigator – and owner of the Wright Group – based in Anaheim, California. She’s worked in the business for more than 40 years, and has seen the tools available to investigators change dramatically. Early on, stakeouts in vans were important. More recently new technology in the form of tiny cameras and social media has begun to play a role. And she’s embraced those changes. Today, when the problem calls for it, she uses drones to do her work. Continue reading

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The Number of Sea Lions Washing Up on Californian Shores Is Higher Than Ever


Rising sea temperatures mean less food for the mammals

sea lions

Emaciated sea lions are showing up on beaches in Southern California at unprecedented rates, because rising sea temperatures have reduced the populations of sardines and squid that form their main diet.

The National Marine Fisheries Service reports that a record-breaking 2,250 sea lions, largely young pups, have washed ashore in California so far this year.

That’s double the number seen in 2013 (which was previously the worst winter season for the mammals) and 20 times the stranding rate over the same period during the past decade, Reuters reports. Continue reading

The Brontosaurus Comes Back from the Dead


A new study finds the “thunder lizard” was its own type of dinosaur after all

brontosaurus

It’s been more than a century since paleontologists began arguing that the Brontosaurus didn’t exist as a separate category of dinosaur. Now, the thunder lizard is making a comeback.

The 75-foot-long sauropod was named a brontosaurus (“noble thunder lizard”) by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, LiveScience reports, who discovered its remains in 1879. But another dinosaur expert, Elmer Riggs, determined in 1903 that the animal was not its own species and in fact a type of Apatosaurus (“deceptive lizard”). The brontosaurus name was officially retired from dinosaur taxonomy.

Now, a new study in the journal PeerJ shows that the Brontosaurus was in fact its own genus of dinosaur. Continue reading

This New Battery Would Charge Your Phone in Just 60 Seconds


But researchers will have to figure out how to double the voltage to match the performance of lithium batteriesnew battery

Stanford University researchers have developed an ultra-fast charging aluminum battery that they’ve hailed as a cheaper, safer alternative to the current batch of lithium batteries that power most mobile devices. Continue reading