Night 39.5

Published: September 2013

The Night issue investigates ideas that resonate most deeply in the dark. Giles Slade sizes up the vulnerability of North Americans' lifestyles against the possibility of a serious geomagnetic storm. Ben Williamson looks into the glowing house plants that aim to make genetic modification a DIY endeavour. Rob Thacker breaks down the incredible capabilities of the planet’s most powerful new telescope, and offers a closing riff about the cultural impacts of a disappearing universe.

We also round up strategies for mitigating light pollution, profile a Toronto co-op's efforts to reuse retired sex toys, and get up close and personal with bat researchers in Borneo and Guyana. 

Jump to selected articles & web extras from this issue

Listen up: In the Night edition of the podcast, Daryn Caister talks to Rob Thacker about ALMA telescope, the Drake equation and the importance of protecting our planet, since it's the only one we've got. In part two, hear the stories of people displaced by the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in recordings from Louis Helbig’s Sunken Villages exhibit.

From the Vault: Rob Thacker introduced us to the ALMA telescope, featured in this issue's Route 66 to Space, back in July 2010. Find out why Stephen Hawking thinks we need to find a Planet B and Rob Thacker says we should focus on this one.

Here's what else you get when you buy the issue:

Letters to the Editor

Research Digest

In Brief: Mégantic, Fracking & Money; The Endocrine Game

Bringing Home Net Zero
Michael Brown hopes his creation, Echo, wins the 6th biennial Solar Decathlon.

Route 66 to Space – Rob Thacker
The planet’s most powerful telescope explores the birth of stars – and other awesome stuff.

They Only Come Out at Night – Burton Lim
The Royal Ontario Museum has partnered with students to research the only mammals that can truly fly.
+ Photo Gallery from Joshua See

Lights Out! – Semini Pathberiya
Too many bulbs actually put us in the dark
+ 9 Ways to Curb Light Pollution

Glow Your Own – Ben Williamson
A crowdfunded glowing plant gives citizen scientists the chance to tinker with do-it-yourself biotechnology.
+ How Synthetic Biology Makes Arabidopsis Grow

Diverting Dildos – Andrew Seale
A Toronto co-op has started Canada's first sex toy recycling program.
+ Principled Prophylactics

Redirecting Anti-Wind Energy – Susan Holtz
Individuals, communities and politicians can turn a debate stalemate into an opportunity for collaboration.

Salad Towers – Sarah Berman
Local Garden raises the roof for growing produce on top of a Vancouver parking lot.

In Review:

Louis Helbig: Sunken Villages, Marianne Van Silfhout Gallery – Reviewed by Janet Kimantas
The Oak Ridges Moraine Battles by L. Anders Sandberg, Gerda R. Wekerle and Liette Gilbert – Reviewed by Nate Prier
Growing Resistance: Canadian Farms and the Politics of Genetically Modified Wheat by Emily Eaton – Reviewed by Welsey Tourangeau
Oil Sands Karaoke, directed by Charles Wilkinson – Reviewed by Ben Williamson

Here's what's online:

Director Charles Wilkinson offers a glimpse into the lives of pragmatic oil sands workers through the lens of a karaoke competition.