From 1996 to now: 17 years of famous bugs
June 7th, 2013
04:53 PM ET

Dear cicadas: What you missed

By Nicole Saidi, CNN

Dear cicada friends,

We know you probably don't speak English, but we humans can't really buzz that well, so this letter will have to do.

The last time we saw your cicada variety, known as Brood II, emerge was in 1996. You were still in your larval stage at that time, so you probably don't remember. Now, you're rising to the surface and having a grand ol' party. So much so that CNN is tracking readers' reports of your locations and listening to recordings of your buzz.

We humans have a hard time imagining what it must be like to go into hiding for years on end and leave your fate in the hands of the world. Who knows what the world will be like when you next emerge 17 years from now? Will it be a mundane place or a strange post-apocalyptic scene?

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Filed under: On Earth
Comments: Armstrong's one small step resonated for all mankind
CNN iReport contributor Brixton Doyle submitted this cartoon as a tribute after the passing of Neil Armstrong.
August 27th, 2012
07:48 PM ET

Comments: Armstrong's one small step resonated for all mankind

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's a look at what readers are saying.

Earth's largest satellite helps create our tides and makes moonlit rides possible. The white ball adorned in shadows and craters has long confounded and beckoned us, and Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon's dusty surface. Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were with him on a mission that inspired many more small steps.

News that Armstrong had died got our readers reminiscing about the many little impacts from mankind's giant leap into the future.

Space pioneer Neil Armstrong dies

The moon landing had a fairly obvious impact on some readers. Neil Sakaitis of La Prairie, Quebec, owes his first name to Armstrong.

"I was born in the 1970s and back then you just didn't throw out a name for your child. There was an importance to naming a child. My parents thought someone to walk on the moon was significant. They wanted to capture the hope."

He says he felt great sadness when he learned that Armstrong had died.

"I was talking to my dad, and he said your godfather passed away. My first reaction was, 'I haven't seen my father's side in ages,' and then my father said Neil Armstrong died," he wrote, and noted all the ways Armstrong had inspired him.

"Neil Armstrong, thank you for your accomplishments, your inspiration, for allowing us to do great things (reaching Mars for example), and most importantly, for giving us a name to remember. You can be sure that I will continue to speak about you for generations to come, and people will always know, why my name is Neil!"

Mike Black of Belmar, New Jersey, said he became a science teacher in part because of the inspiration of seeing humans in space. FULL POST

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Filed under: iReport • On Earth • People in Orbit
Comments: Edison overrated? Readers praise legacy of inventor Nikola Tesla
The site of inventor Nikola Tesla's former laboratory sits idle and boarded up in Shoreham, New York.
August 21st, 2012
07:26 PM ET

Comments: Edison overrated? Readers praise legacy of inventor Nikola Tesla

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's a look at what readers are saying.

Call Nikola Tesla a "cult hero" if you like, but some of our readers might take issue with you. News that Matthew Inman, the creator of Web cartoon "The Oatmeal," is collaborating with a nonprofit group to create a Tesla museum has commenters singing the futurist inventor's praises. Many say they think he deserves more recognition in the annals of scientific history.

Backers raise cash for Tesla museum honoring 'cult hero'

They hashed out the legacies of Tesla and Thomas Edison, sometimes viewed to be at odds.

MDMick: "The article describes him as a 'cult' hero with far-out dreams, but Tesla was an accomplished scientist. He is the one who realized Edison was wrong by insisting on direct current public electricity supplies and it could be done more safely and much cheaper with alternating current. The modern American - and world - electricity grids are ALL based on Tesla's patents and first working systems he developed for Westinghouse. Edison tried to discredit Tesla and the 'Electric Chair' was invented to try to scare people away from AC current electricity. But Tesla was right and Edison wrong and AC prevailed as Tesla's calculations and foresight proved true - and made Westinghouse (now part of Northrup) a big name."

Kevin Schooler: "Edison wasn't wrong about direct current being useful, he was only wrong about the application. Have you ever wondered why so many electronic devices have an AC adapter? That is because they must convert AC to DC in order to run correctly and safely. The only problem is that DC loses potency over distance. I'll never understand the whole revisionist 'Tesla Angelic/Edison Evil' paradigm. The fact is both contributed enormously to modern living, but Edison happened to be a better businessman."

Was Tesla overlooked in favor of Edison? FULL POST

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Filed under: On Earth • Science Education
April 19th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'This was my space shuttle moment,' reader says of Discovery

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Star-struck space lovers gazed skyward Tuesday to watch space shuttle Discovery's journey to Washington after a series of nostalgic fly-bys on the back of a NASA Boeing 747. The flight departed from Florida's Kennedy Space Center en route to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. It will spend its retirement at a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum facility in Chantilly, Virginia.

Space shuttle Discovery arrives in Washington

The photo at the top was shot by rocket technician Danny Mills of Cape Canaveral, Florida, who joined several other iReporters in documenting the shuttle's journey from point A to point B. Mills went over to Cocoa Beach to see the shuttle. He used an often-mentioned word to describe his feelings.

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Filed under: Commentary • On Earth
December 5th, 2011
05:57 PM ET

Your thoughts: Search for life on other planets

Editor's note: This post is affiliated with the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Life, as we know it, needs certain conditions to exist. Readers yesterday had some strong opinions about searching for that life elsewhere, after NASA made an announcement about a new planet outside our solar system:

FULL POST

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Filed under: Kepler • News • Overheard on CNN.com

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