A whirring, mechanical sound fills the air inside a basement office of the Sacramento Public Library’s main branch. It’s the steely and determined sound of the MakerBot Replicator II -- a 3-D copier -- in the process of making a chain link bracelet.
For anyone who has accidentally stepped on an insect and faced the vexing question, "Should I kill it and put it out of its misery?," there is one answer better than the others.
The question, posted last fall on the online question-and-answer site Quora.com, garnered a burst of celebrity for Matan Shelomi, an entomologist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Davis.
Few may give it much thought, but Halloween may be the least eco-friendly of holidays.
Last year, Americans spent $2 billion on Halloween costumes. Typically, such costumes are discarded the following day. The materials, many of which are made of polyester and plastic, eventually find their way to landfills.
A movement is under way to stem that tide. It's called National Costume Swap Day. This year, the official swap day was Oct. 8.