The Unseen Critters in Your Crib:

We all spend countless hours every year cleaning our homes. We pick up stray crumbs to keep ants away, and we seal our windows and doors to keep those nasty silverfish out. We treat our dogs and cats for fleas, and most of us kill spiders on sight. We like to think we do a pretty good job of keeping the critters out of our houses. But according to a new study, we might be doing less of a good job than we think.

According to a new survey, your home might have up to 500 different kinds of creepy crawly living in it! Most of these aren’t visible to the naked eye. They’re microscopic creatures called arthropods.

A team of scientists visited 50 different homes in NC to see what they could find. Bear in mind that these homes are cleaned just the average amount, so the results would probably be similar in your home.

The results: over 500 species of tiny insects, all living off of small particles in carpets, behind furniture, and under floorboards. They found anything from book lice, to silverfish, to pillbugs under old couches.

Now, the good new is, most of these critters are completely harmless. They’re only eating things you’d be cleaning up anyway, like dead skin, dust and mold. However, for those of us who are prone to a case of the heebie jeebies, this news might not be super welcome.

If you’re freaked out by the though of all those little creepy crawlies in your home, you might want to look into upgrading your vacuum. A lot of these creatures live on fine dust and dirt particles in carpets and floorboards. While the scientists who conducted the study say there’s no way to totally eradicate these little friends, you can work wonders with a newer vacuum that has HEPA filtration. You can also make a dent in the infestation by getting a pet hair vacuum. Those models have more powerful motors and more thorough filtration systems. So, whether you’re a pet owner or just reluctant to own all those microscopic pets you’ve acquired by accident, your vacuum is now your best friend more than ever. Deal with hair and all the little crawlies that come with it by visiting


Keep It In the Ground:

One of the biggest ideological and political movements in the world right now, especially here in America, is divestment. Whether you’re a single investor with a 401K account, or a multinational organization investing major capital, at some point you have to decide which industries to buy stocks in. And for years, that’s meant energy.

However, since we’ve all been seeing the effects of climate change and pollution firsthand, there’s been a concerted effort to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The most popular solution so far has been to make a financial stand by divesting funds from fossil fuel companies like Shell or BP.

This movement is especially visible across college campuses, as student groups and faculty unions attempt to use their leverage to get boards and trustees to take a moral stand with their endowments.

Of course, there has to be another destination for all those funds. That means reinvesting the formerly carbon-based funds into renewable energy projects.

So, what’s proposed is a broadly moral economic shift, with institutions and individual investors shaping their investment portfolios to reflect their social and moral values.

What does this mean for science? It means that billions of dollars will potentially swing from drilling and oil reconnaissance to research and development (as well as construction) for new, renewable power sources. While governments still have yet to make any grand strides past the Paris agreements, we here at Crosscut are hopeful that the divestment movement will show our leaders that responsibly-minded individuals can take charge on our own, and show the leaders how to make concrete change that goes beyond treaties and agreements.

You can learn more about divestment over at the Guardian, where they’ve got an extensive Keep It In The Ground campaign on right now.