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It was a lazy, hazy, crazy day on Pluto when a spacecraft from Earth flew by at a blistering speed of 31,000 miles per hour two years ago.
New Horizons took a bunch of snapshots, made some quick measurements of Pluto’s atmosphere, and sent them all back here, giving planetary scientists their first up-close look of the distant dwarf planet.
One of the more bizarre things they found was that the haze in Pluto’s atmosphere was much thicker than our previous peeks indicated. The icy hunk of rock also had an atmosphere much cooler than earlier estimates, topping out at -333.4 ºF (more than 50 degrees colder than expected, even for something about 40 times further from the Sun than Earth is).
Now, a study published in Nature links those two atmospheric observations. A computer model developed by University of California Santa Cruz planetary scientist Xi Zhang and colleagues shows the haze of tiny droplets in the upper atmosphere is likely scattering light from the Sun, preventing heat from reaching the planet below.
“It’s been a mystery since we first got the temperature data from New Horizons,” Zhang, said in a statement. “Pluto is the first planetary body we know of where the atmospheric energy budget is dominated by solid-phase haze particles instead of by gases.”
We see hazy skies on Earth too from time to time, whenever solid particles get suspended in the air—from water-based fogs, to ash and soot from fires, to the toxic droplets that make up a thick smog. But on Earth, the overall temperature of the planet is dominated by the distribution of gases in our atmosphere. On Pluto, the authors suggest, haze might be more influential.
This haze appears to be made up of large hydrocarbon droplets, created high in the atmosphere when ultraviolet light from the Sun strips electrons from particles of methane and nitrogen gas. The reaction helps form solid bits of hydrocarbon. But what gets created up there must still come down. Pulled back to the surface by gravity, the hydrocarbons start to bond together, eventually creating a thick haze. It doesn’t completely block sunlight, but rather absorbs and re-scatters it, theoretically warming up part of the atmosphere while keeping most of Pluto frigid below.
We know that particles can reflect light from the Sun here on Earth. We’ve seen it happen after volcanos erupt, putting sun-scattering aerosols into the atmosphere. Some people even propose mimicking this phenomenon to alleviate the effects of climate change. But our planet isn’t dominated by that process, or at least it hasn’t been for a few billion years.
If Pluto’s atmosphere is very different from ours and from that of other nearby planets, it could help scientists expand their understanding of exoplanet atmospheres. But right now, an accompanying paper [paywalled] points out, this is just a good guess based on data from New Horizons and a sophisticated computer model, not direct observations of the haze’s composition. There are other theories floating around to explain Pluto’s cool temperatures, including blaming the frigid air on gases in the atmosphere. Luckily, the authors will get a chance to test their notions when the James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2023. That observatory can detect infrared light, which the hazy Plutonian atmosphere would be positively glowing with as it scattered sunlight. The researchers just have to wait and see if the light from the telescope validates their bright idea.
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What is Reddit? Should you be marketing on Reddit? Are you even cool enough to be on Reddit? Answers inside.
Reddit isn’t often mentioned alongside the “big” social networks, though it’s one of the most influential. It boasts 420 million users — 20% higher than the population of the United States — and receives more traffic than Amazon with over 1 billion monthly unique visitors.
Reddit continues to grow by double digits every year, adding 25% more users in 2023 and 14% more in 2023. That growth, combined with 40% of Gen Z searching social platforms for info instead of Google, makes Reddit a unique opportunity for brands.
But Reddit isn’t the best place for every company. It has a unique vibe, which this article will explain.
Find out if Reddit marketing is right for you, and how to get started on the self-proclaimed “frontpage of the Internet.”
Download our Social Trends report to get data from over 10,000 marketers that you can use to plan a viral-worthy social strategy in 2023.
What is Reddit?
How does Reddit work?
Reddit is all about fostering community by encouraging users (a.k.a. redditors) to interact with each other.
Before today’s visually-focused platforms like TikTok and Instagram existed, we eldest Millennials only had web forums with text posts to connect with others around common interests. (R.I.P. Yahoo Groups.)
Reddit is a hybrid between a forum and a modern social network: Subreddits are like individual forum sites, but you can participate in everything with one account, like a social network.
The other big thing that sets Reddit apart is the way their algorithm works: Popular posts with lots of upvotes get more exposure in the Reddit homepage and subreddit feeds. And, downvoted content receives less exposure.
Instead of using complicated algorithmic tools to rank content, Reddit’s algorithm runs on votes. Simple and effective.
Redditors use the platform in many ways, but common ones are:
To ask for help with a specific problem, such as tech tutorials (or big life crises)
Subscribing to subreddits to stay informed about their favorite topics
Connecting with others who share their interests
To learn something new (check out r/IWantToLearn)
For entertainment via memes, humor subreddits, or to discuss TV or moviesWhat is a subreddit?
People often leave in the r/ when talking about subreddits. Seeing the leading r/ in front of a word is recognizable as being a Reddit community almost anywhere on the web these days. For example, instead of saying “the memes subreddit,” I’d say “r slash memes.”
Anyone can create a subreddit. Like any online group, most large subreddits have multiple moderators to keep the community on-topic and spam-free. To help with this, subreddits often have specific rules and posting requirements to follow, with consequences for not adhering to them.
You can find subreddit rules in the right sidebar or in the dedicated Rules tab.
SourceWhat is karma on Reddit?
A redditor’s karma is their net upvote score. Clear as mud?
Every upvote counts as a +1 to your karma score, and every downvote subtracts from it. Upvotes – Downvotes = Your karma score.
Having a high karma score doesn’t give you any special powers, but it does serve as a general indication of how helpful you are. It’s a quick “trust temperature” others can use to evaluate you.
You can see someone’s karma score by hovering over their username.What is a flair on Reddit?
Flair is a feature many subreddits use. There are 2 types of flair:
User flair is a text or icon “tag” that appears after your username in a specific subreddit. Sometimes you can choose it yourself and in some subreddits, only moderators may assign flair.
In the r/cats subreddit, you can choose a cat breed as your user flair. This community also has achievement-based user flairs that appear automatically when you reach those milestones.
Post or link flair is like a subject tag or category that subreddits use to differentiate and filter content. These show up as multi-colored labels next to a post’s title.
Not all subreddits have user flairs, though most use post flairs to keep things organized.What is an upvote on Reddit?
You can see how many upvotes a post has and as mentioned earlier, each upvote helps raise your karma score.
6 ways businesses can use Reddit1. Market research
With so many highly-specific subreddits, Reddit is the perfect place to learn more about your target audience — everything from a quick vibe check to in-depth insights. Is it a little stalkerish? Meh. Good marketing always is, right?
Use Reddit to find out what’s really important to your peeps.
Efficiency hack: Do Reddit research alongside all your other social media management inside Hootsuite with the Reddit app add-on. Set up automated keyword searches and easily monitor new posts.
For a more detailed process, check out our guide to Reddit market research.2. Social listening
All the benefits of market research without having to do the searching yourself. The joys of technology.
Social listening tools automatically capture mentions of your brand, or other defined target keywords, and measure sentiment over time. Essentially, it’s tracking what people say and think about your company across multiple platforms and delivering that data in a neat report.
A popular method for listening on Reddit is with Brandwatch, which is part of Hootsuite Insights, and available as a free app integration.
Learn more, including other tool recommendations, in our guide to social listening.3. Affiliate marketing
Can you make a ton of money with affiliate marketing, either as an individual or business? Heck yes.
Reddit’s official content policy doesn’t explicitly ban affiliate links, but they do warn against coming across as “spammy.” It does, however, explicitly say you can’t disguise link sources, A.K.A. use shorteners or cloaking tools to purposefully pass off an affiliate link as organic.
More than link management, Reddit cautions against appearing spammy by:
Only posting self-promotional content.
Sending a lot of unsolicited private messages.
TL;DR? Use Reddit with the intention of building connections and being a genuinely helpful person, not just to make money.
So how can you be genuine AND make money at the same time?
Follow the 60/40 rule: Ensure at least 60% of your contributions are promo-free and useful for others.4. Advertising
You can also install Reddit’s Pixel on your website to retarget web visitors, plus choose from standard targeting options like location, interests, and more.5. Create your own subreddit
If you’re ready to go all in on Reddit marketing, create your own subreddit. This can either be branded with your name or be topic-based.
For example: r/dbrand is a company-focused sub for snarky tech device skin manufacturer, Dbrand.
Their community serves as a place for loyal fans to find out about new collections and get quick customer service, either from the company or from other Redditors.
Yes, when done right, your subreddit can allow your best customers to do customer service for you. Now that’s a social ROI to get behind.
As a topic-first community, you don’t know at first that r/NewTubers is run by a brand.
The subreddit focuses on helping new YouTube creators grow, and is operated by Fetch, which helps small YouTubers monetize their videos before they’re eligible for the official YouTube Partner Program.
The key to a topic-based community like this is to ensure it’s valuable without being self-promotional. Mention your company, but not often.
Moderating a subreddit can take a considerable amount of time so make sure Reddit is a good fit for your audience, and fits into your marketing plan, before jumping in.6. Host an AMA
There’s an entire AMA subreddit, although I wouldn’t suggest posting there as a brand. Instead, host an AMA within your own subreddit (if you have one), or partner with a popular subreddit in your industry.
Subreddits are always looking for valuable content to engage their members and many are open to hosting AMAs with verified experts (that’s you!). Many will ask for “proof” of who you are, which is usually a photo of you at work standing next to Apollo 11 to verify you’re really a rocket scientist, for example.
AMAs help you learn what your audience truly cares about based on what they ask. And, they can strengthen trust in your brand through building real connections.
How to start a Reddit account?1. Sign up
Source2. Choose a username
Reddit will fill in a (ridiculous) username for you. Pick your own and a password.3. Optional: Personalize your home feed
Hooray, you have a Reddit account!
Answering a few onboarding questions will help personalize your recommendations, or you can skip it. You do have to pick at least 3 interests before skipping.
Is Reddit worth it?
Only you can answer that. Ask yourself:
Does Reddit fit into our marketing plan?
Which of our marketing goals does Reddit tie into?
Do we have the time and resources to add Reddit to our content mix?
Last but not least, you could stay incognito and simply use Reddit as a search engine for market research.
Download our Social Trends report to get data from over 10,000 marketers that you can use to plan a viral-worthy social strategy in 2023.
Roughly 55,000 adult consumers in the United States take popular chewy melatonin gummies to promote better sleep. But they may be getting a little more of the hormone than the label indicates. A study published April 25 as a letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that 88 percent of tested supplements were mislabeled.
The study follows a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report from last year about an alarming surge of excessive pediatric infestations of melatonin over the past 10 years.
[Related: Yes, you can overdose on melatonin. Here’s how to use the sleep supplements safely.]
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced deep within the brain in the pineal gland. It is released into the bloodstream to regulate the body’s natural sleep cycles. Melatonin is considered a drug in some countries in the European Union, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom, making it only available through a prescription. The US Food and Drug Administration considers melatonin a dietary supplement, but manufacturers are not required to receive FDA approval or provide safety data on melatonin products.
For this study, a team of researchers from Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts and the University of Mississippi tested 25 different supplements. According to the authors, the team selected the first 25 gummy melatonin products that displayed on the National Institutes of Health database for this study. The team dissolved the gummies and then measured the quantity of melatonin, cannabidiol (CBD), and other components in the supplements.
Most of the products tested had 20, 30, or 50 percent more melatonin than the quantity listed on the label. Four has less amounts of the hormone than promised, including one without any detectable levels of melatonin.
Twenty-two were “inaccurately labeled,” meaning they contained 10 percent more or less than the amount of melatonin on the label.
Five products listed CBD as an ingredient, but they all had slightly higher levels of CBD than indicated on the label. According to the FDA, “it is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”
[Related: The science behind our circadian rhythms, and why time changes mess them up.]
“One product contained 347 percent more melatonin than what was actually listed on the label of the gummies,” study co-author and professor of medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance Pieter Cohen told CNN.
In response to the JAMA letter, Steve Mister, the president and chief executive of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, told The Washington Post that supplement companies are required to have “at least 100 percent of labeled dosage” in their products. “It’s not uncommon for companies to put in a little extra,” he added. “So, for instance, a melatonin product that’s labeled as 3 milligrams might put in 4 milligrams.”
Melatonin was the most cited substance in calls about children to US poison control centers in 2023. Drowsiness, headaches, agitation, and increased bed-wetting or urination in the evening hours are all potential side effects of melatonin use in children.
“It’s important, especially in kids, not to use melatonin until you’ve spoken with your pediatrician or your sleep doctor,” M. Adeel Rishi, a pulmonology, sleep medicine, and critical care specialist in Indiana and vice chair of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Public Safety Committee, told PopSci last July. “The dose recommended in children is significantly lower than what is recommended in adults, and if you take too much of anything you have an overdose. Although it’s come to attention really in the last couple of years, we know that cases of melatonin among children have been on an upswing even before the pandemic.”
Other pediatric sleep experts stress the importance of good sleep hygiene and habits before starting melatonin. The new study’s letter also included a warning to parents that giving the gummies to children could result “in ingestion of unpredictable quantities” of melatonin.
If you meet someone in search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO) and ask them about their background, I’m willing to bet that they were self taught or that they “fell” into the industry. The reality is that there is very little opportunity for higher educational opportunities for young people to learn search engine marketing. Why? We’ve put together a list of 3 reasons why SEO isn’t taught in school and why it shouldn’t be:
1. The Nature of The Beast
The beast in this case is Google, and it is a very fickle beast. It’s estimated that Google changes their search engine ranking algorithms around once a day on average. This means that over 365 times per year, the industry rules are changed. Google’s big updates (Panda and Penguin) create industry wide earthquakes over night! At this pace there is no way educational instructors could ever keep up a current standard for curricula.
2. A Creative Game
SEO is an complex industry, in that it is a business built on data and metrics, but a large portion of the actual work is creative. As the industry moves away from focusing on link quantity and moves towards link quality, it will be imperative that SEO’s are doing top notch creative work (like content writing, blog posting, and outreach, for example). There are very few standards to evaluate how different agencies get good links, which would make teaching SEO “best methods” very difficult, if not impossible. Each SEO has their own style, secrets, and methods, which can’t always be reproduced.
3. A Bunch Of Tools
SEO, as a new and changing industry, has a competitive marketplace for analytic tools, programs, and software, where no particular company has emerged as the industry go-to. With so many different software options, it would be very difficult for professors to choose which platform to teach. Who is to say that one program is better than another? In many ways, it all boils down to personal preference or a history of using one platform.
So how then can you learn SEO in college without taking a single SEO course?
2. Study Statistics – If you can learn how to work well with big data, analytics, and reporting tools, then you’ll be primed for a healthy career in SEO. Basic statistics courses should teach you how to interact with large sets of data and how to read trends in the numbers. It is also imperative that you learn to use Microsoft Excel (or something similar) as it seems to be the industry standard for compiling data sets.
4. Study Business – A large portion of people in the SEO industry work in small businesses, which means it can be very useful to understand the how small businesses work. In 2011, SEOmoz (now MOZ) released a study that shows that the overwhelming majority of SEO agencies employ 1-5 employees. If you can come into a small agency with a good understanding of business structure and growth, you can quickly become a very valuable asset to the company.
6. Read SEO Books – Teach yourself SEO like many of us have. Find and read every book possible and be hungry to learn — if you’re still interested in search engine marketing after a few thick books, then I’m sure you’ll fit in well with the rest of us geeks. As I’ve mentioned before, SEO is a quickly changing business. To succeed in the industry, you must be willing to keep up to date with the newest information that is published. There are plenty of great SEO books out there, so I won’t waste my breath, but a good place to start is here.
7. Follow Industry Leaders – Many of the best and brightest minds in the SEO industry have personal blogs and social media profiles full of incredibly useful information. Some of my personal favorite bloggers include Matt Cutts (if you don’t know who he is, then Google him), Gary Vaynerchuck (a beast in social media), and the fellas at MOZ (particularly the White Board Friday segment). You can also follow industry sites like this one to get a wide variety of opinions and ideas from various experts in the industry.
8. Attend Conferences – There are countless conference opportunities hosted by leading search companies (such as Distilled) that can be perfect opportunities for learning and networking. I can’t stress how important it is to get out of the office and hit the streets to network. After all, the handshake was the predecessor to the “friend request”.
On January 26, 1700, deep below the northeast Pacific, two pieces of Earth’s crust abruptly gave way, ending a centuries-long deadlock. The massive earthquake sent a wall of water rushing inland. By the time the shaking stopped and the water settled, the coastline had been transformed. In some places, the land had plummeted by more than a meter, while the flood of sediment turned coastal marshes into mudflats.
“It’s probably pretty wild, right? Like, very chaotic,” says Erin Peck, a salt marsh geomorphologist who conducted the work while at the University of Delaware.
For the past five years, Peck has been investigating how one of these buried salt marshes, in Netarts Bay, Oregon, recovered from the tsunami. Her work came to an unexpected conclusion: the salt marsh took way longer to rebuild atop the mudflat than expected. First, rootstalks left by the lost marsh had to resprout, then the growing plants had to gradually trap sediment, raising their successors above the reach of the tides until the land-like highest parts of the marsh again flooded only occasionally.
“I went into the research thinking that Netarts would probably have actually recovered from the earthquake relatively quickly, on the order of decades,” Peck says. “But we found that it actually took 200 years.”
The discovery that salt marshes can be so slow to re-establish suggests some may be less resilient than scientists tend to think—a grim finding in a world where sea level rise is threatening to gradually drown coastal marshes around the world.
The realization that Netarts Bay took centuries to bounce back after the earthquake stemmed from Peck and her colleagues’ analysis of sediment that they pulled from the modern marshland using a massive PVC pipe jackhammered into the ground. “It’s a bit like putting a straw in a glass of water, putting your thumb over the top of the straw, and pulling it out,” Peck says. Only, instead of water, the sediment layers in the tube—and the seeds and leaves trapped inside the sediment—reveal the secret of how the land evolved over the past three centuries.
Peck is unsure why Netarts Bay took so long to rebuild. One possible explanation is that because Netarts Bay is fed by a relatively small watershed, the newly established marsh could only slowly creep up to the lost marsh’s elevation above the sea. A salt marsh grows taller by accumulating silt and mud that flows off the landscape and settles beyond the reach of currents, so a smaller watershed means less sediment, which means slower marsh growth.
John Callaway, a wetland ecologist at the University of San Francisco in California who wasn’t involved in the new research, suspects that most marshes can bounce back faster than Netarts Bay did. “It’s somewhat surprising that it took so long, but given the context it’s understandable,” he says, referring to the bay’s small watershed.
While the research examined events that unfolded centuries ago, Peck’s focus is firmly on the future. Along with sea level rise threatening to inundate salt marshes, anthropogenic activity is reducing the flow of sediment in many regions. If both trends persist, salt marshes forced to deal with inundation and low sediment supply will grow back ever more slowly, making the two-century recovery of Netarts Bay more common.
This article first appeared in Hakai Magazine, and is republished here with permission.
PostScript, or PS is a common printing language used by many printer manufacturers. PostScript may be common; however, it is not found available for many printers. PostScript is used in high-end printers that are used in the printing industries, some offices, graphic designers, and others who need high-quality printing outputs.
There are two types of printers PostScript printers and Printer Control Language (PCL). Most small home or even some office printers are PCL printers. You will decide to buy a printer at some point and knowing what is PostScript and why is it used in high-end printers will help your choice.What is Adobe PostScript?
Printers that use PostScript are usually more expensive and these printers are mainly used in medium to large industries. These printers are used in printing, publishing, and design businesses.1] PostScript explained
The PostScript Page Description Language was developed by Adobe and released in 1984. It was originally designed for use on laser printers. However, it began to be used on imagesetters for commercial printers. PostScript is a device-independent Page Description Language (PDL). This means the document you print will be the same across all PostScript printers. PostScript describes the graphics and the text so that the printer knows what to print. This means that the print will be uniform. This means that you can print a draft document at home and then send the soft copy to a printer for printing and the two documents would be the same.2] PostScript language is costly to use
One reason for the PostScript printing language to be used in high-end printers is the fact that it is expensive to use. This means it would make regular printers more expensive. The PostScript printers used in industries need to print consistent high-quality files for commercial purposes, so they would find a better use for these costly high-end printers. With most homes or offices not needing to print very high quality, it would not be cost-effective for them to purchase a printer with PostScript. For this reason, manufacturers will use PostScript in high-end printers used in commercial or industrial applications.3] PostScript printers are more specialized
If you think about it, the average person does not need to print high-quality files that would require PostScript. Most persons who would need to print high-quality files would go to a print shop for this. This makes printers that use PostScript language more specialized. Regular printers are device dependent which means they depend on the computer’s memory as well as the small memory in the printer to process files. Printers that use PostScript are not device dependent, they usually have an intermediary server computer that processes their files. Specialized printers are usually more expensive, and they are best for commercial uses.4] PostScript printers are slower than regular printers
Saying that PostScript printers are slower than regular printers may seem like a weird point. However, it is good to note that PostScript printers are slow compared to regular PCL printers. This does not mean that PostScript printers are snail slow, but they are usually not as fast as regular printers. PostScript printers are made for high-quality prints that in some cases need to be large as well.5] PostScript printer files are larger, and more memory is required
PostScript printers are used for commercial applications in most cases. This means a lot of the files will be large. Large files especially with high quality, will take up a lot of memory. PostScript printers would have larger memory and processing capabilities so they will be more expensive. Regular printers do not have a lot of memory in them so that makes them cheaper. Because printers that use PostScript are mainly commercial printers, they are usually very large. This is not to say that PostScript printers cannot be small like an office printer.
Read: Printer keeps pausing during printingWhat does PostScript do in printing?
PostScript is a general-purpose programming language that allows the user to describe the text and graphics on a page. PostScript printers use a computer to run an interpreter for processing the PostScript language files.
PostScript works like vector graphics using mathematical calculations instead of Bitmap and pixels to define graphics and text. This means that a PostScript printer will output higher-quality print and the quality will be consistent across devices.
In essence, this means that the PostScript language creates all the print data and does not rely on the printer for print data. This allow the output to be consistent when printed on more than one type of printer or print device.Are PostScript printers necessary?
If you intend to print only simple graphics and text on a single printer, then you will not need to get a PostScript printer. However, if you design complex work that you want to be printed large, high-quality, and consistently across different devices, you will need a PostScript printer.
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