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Just over three and a half billion years ago, in the direction of the constellation Leo the Lion, something big happened – something very, very big. That very big something caused a beam of intensely energetic (yet invisible) light to fly our way. It's been traveling toward us all this time, as our Earth evolved and changed, until finally, on April 27, 2013, it reached our planet.

On that date, astronomers operating telescopes in orbit around the Earth recorded the most powerful gamma ray burst they'd seen in decades. Now those same astronomers are anxiously watching the same patch of sky for what they believe must follow, a giant stellar explosion called a supernova. If they can spot it, they will learn much about stars, their moments of death, and the origin of us all.

So what's the big deal about gamma rays?
Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

Celebrating COSI Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

We are excited to be celebrating our volunteers at COSI during National Volunteer Week, April 21 - 27. COSI Volunteers are an essential part of the COSI experience and contribute to all aspects of the organization. When I have a chance to interview a teen for a volunteer position with us, I always like to ask, "What made you interested in volunteering at COSI?."
Photo of COSI volunteers.

Little Changes = Big Results For The Earth

According to GreenWaste, the average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash per day – that's 1.5 tons per year per person. The really baffling part of that number to me is that approximately 45% of our waste generated per year could have been recycled! I know personally that the initial thought of adding extra work to my everyday life seemed daunting, but the fact is, taking an extra minute to change my original course of action makes a huge impact for us all.

I'm lucky enough to work in a place where Green Mission is ingrained in our everyday actions so carrying over good habits hasn't been all that challenging thanks to the lessons I've learned at Whole Foods Market after I decided a good starting point for myself. Below are a few of the tricks I've adopted at home and links to resources that helped me to change my behavior.

Going Green at COSI

Happy Earth Day from COSI! As the new Manager of Energy and Environmental Initiatives I'm excited to take this opportunity to highlight some of the great work COSI has committed to in the name of sustainability.

One way that COSI has gone green, is through composting. If you have been to COSI in the last year, you may have noticed that we collect food scraps in our Atomic Café. But, our composting efforts don't stop there! Many of our service items (such as napkins and condiment cups) are compostable too. COSI's commitment to compost doesn't end with our visitors. Our food service staff practices what we preach in the kitchen by separating out food waste from other waste items. These efforts lead to the collection of 18.14 tons of compostable material in 2012!
Photo of composting bins in Atomic Cafe.

Know Your Mother

Some Incredible Earth Facts to Celebrate on Earth Day

1) The Earth isn't round!

Actually, (like a lot of us) the Earth is a bit plump about the middle. Why? Because it's spinning so fast! The Earth's rotation creates stress on the rocks and the oceans, causing the planet to bulge around the equator. In fact, because the Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean and because water is easier to move than land, the Earth is a little bit pear-shaped!

2) The tallest mountain is . . . well . . .

You probably said Mount Everest right away. It's true that Everest is the point on Earth farthest from sea level. However, there are at least two challengers to Everest's claim. If you measure base to peak, then Mauna Kea in the Hawaiian Islands is actually about four thousand feet taller than Everest. Of course, Mauna Kea begins on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and doesn't even break sea level until it's already almost 20,000 feet high. But if you put the two side by side, Mauna Kea would actually be larger.
Gorgeous view of Pacific Ocean.
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