The first day of summer is fast approaching – will you be prepared for suntanning, swimming, and swarms of bugs? Here’s our handy guide to surviving the sultriest of seasons, with SCIENCE.
Above: Rockefeller University’s Emily Dennis offers her arm to her study subjects, Aedes aegypti. In the wild this species transmits yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya, but lab mosquitoes are clean | Photo & Caption Credit: Alex Wild
Some people get ravaged by mosquitoes if they so much as take a walk at dusk. Others can walk through clouds of the insects and not get a single bite. What’s the difference? A lot. Scientists have figured out many reasons why mosquitoes can’t seem to resist some people, but are repulsed by others.
Photo Credit: Emergency Brake via flickr | CC BY 2.0
You’ve heard the myths. If you get a tan, you won’t get skin cancer. If you use SPF 50 sunblock, you’re safe. Only people with light skin are prone to skin cancer. None of these are true. It’s suntan season in the Earth’s northern hemisphere, so you’d better get the facts. We’ve got the lowdown on the real connection between going out in the sun and getting skin cancer — and some recommendations about how to protect yourself while also soaking up some healthy solar radiation.
What are the sunniest (and the darkest) places in the U.S.? For an answer, check out this map, which graphs the average sunlight each place has received daily since 1990.
While some people are disgusted by the thought of human pee in their pool water, others figure there’s no harm in letting loose a little urine while swimming. It turns out, however, that when urine reacts with chlorinated water, it may be creating chemical byproducts hazardous to everyone in the pool.
Photo Credit: jenny downing via flickr | CC BY 2.0
We’ve all seen a cold beer can sweat in the summer heat, but a recent study reveals the surprising effect that layer of condensation has on the temperature of your beverage.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is usually something that wrecks your mood during the dark, cold months of winter. But for some people, summer is the time they feel the worst. It’s called reverse SAD, and neuroscientists are just beginning to understand how it works.
A version of this io9 Flashback appeared on the site in April 2014.