What is True Detective really about? Was Stonehenge originally built as a musical instrument? What does springtime on Mars look like? What if light were a drug? Here are some answers is this week's landscapes reads!
This isn't your typical True Detective theory. Alexis Madrigal's environmental reading of HBO's hit show casts the idea of Louisiana as a "sacrificial landscape." The ghostly refineries that appear so often are a reminder that Louisiana's coast has been violated for the sake of New York and Los Angeles and Iowa City. If you, too, thought the Yellow King was disappointing, then take a minute to think about what True Detective has to say about the natural world. [The Atlantic]
Never in history has mankind had so much access to light. "We treat light like a drug whose price is spiraling toward zero," writes Dirk Hanson, arguing that our addiction to light as major consequences—from environmental damage to disrupted circadian rhythms. [Nautilus]
Why were such massive stones carried so far to create Stonehenge? Could the answer be rock music? Researchers recently got to test this theory, striking the stones with small hammers and, to their surprise, found that the stones did indeed produce distinctive sounds. [Gizmodo]
To slake the thirst of its dry northern cities, China is undertaking the largest water transfer project the world has ever seen. Just how massive? "The project's eventual goal is to move 44.8 billion cubic meters of water across the country every year, more than there is in the River Thames. The infrastructure includes some of the longest canals in the world; pipelines that weave underneath riverbeds; a giant aqueduct; and pumping stations powerful enough to fill Olympic-sized pools in minutes." [Quartz]
As Mars emerges from the chilly temperatures of its winter to the slightly less chilly temperatures of its spring, melting dry ice reveals the sand of almost forest-like dark patches. The top image was captured by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. [NASA/JPL/University of Arizona]