Science Friday: Cave Rock is a (Dormant) Volcano | How Human Health Varies with City Size

This large rock formation is located on the southeastern shore and is easily visible from almost any point on the lake. Once a part of the neck of a volcanic vent that existed on the site about five million years ago, Cave Rock is now named for the caves high up on its side. When Lake Tahoe was first formed, roughly three million years ago, lake level was initially hundreds of feet higher than it is now. Remarkably, these caves were carved out of the rock by wave action of the lake over tens of thousands of years during that period!

Cave Rock is still considered a sacred site for the Washoe Indians whose ancestors spent their summers at Lake Tahoe and once performed religious ceremonies inside the largest of the caves.


Data Mining Reveals How Human Health Varies with City Size

If you live in a big city, you are more likely to catch flu but less likely to die of a heart attack or be diagnosed with diabetes, say public health scientists.

The science of allometry, the study of the relationship between body size and shape, is more than 100 years old. It dates to the late 19th century, when anatomists became fascinated by the link between the size and strength of appendages such as arms and legs in creatures of varying size.

In recent years, various researchers have begun to think of cities as “living” entities in which activity patterns change over regular 24-hour periods and which also vary dramatically depending on city size. That’s lead to a new science of city-related allometry—how various aspects of life vary with the size of the conurbation they take place in.

Today, we get a new insight into this emerging science thanks to the work of Luis Rocha at the University of Namur in Belgium and a couple of pals who have studied the way health varies with city size. These guys have made some surprising discoveries.



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