Watch out Taliban, here comes Sesame Street. A tough mushroom makes a tougher bumper. And welcome a microscopic friend.

Pakistan Meet Elmo

US international aid comes in many forms: food, medical, monetary.  How about muppets? Sesame Street, the beloved children’s program will be making its debut in Pakistan with the help of $20 million from USAID. The remake is in an effort to educate Pakistani youth not just about the “three Rs” but also about tolerance. Is this another attempt by the US to propagandize or a laudable educational endeavor?  Read more here and come back to comment.

Bumper Crop

A fireproof, waterproof and entirely compostable material made from combining mycelium, the tough root system of mushrooms, with agricultural byproducts, has already found modest success as an affordable alternative to Styrofoam. Ford Motors is looking to turn this magical mushroom material into car parts, but is it just another eco-friendly gimmick?  Read more here and come back to weigh in.

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Small Bear, Big Deal?

Fresno City College, with the help of a National Science Foundation grant, is home to the world’s largest tardigrade data-base. Tardigrades are microscopic animals that live only in water, can survive the most extreme environmental conditions—and happen to resemble bears. They also may hold the key to agricultural and medical breakthroughs. Read more here.

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