It's that time of week again, when we bring you science and Earth-related stories to read and consider. This week for Earthy Thursday we bring you a number of articles relating to the ongoing California drought, which continues to threaten the state's agricultural industry. Read where and how the drought is hitting hardest and what you might be doing to help aggravate it (and what you can do to stop). Additionally, we've gathered a few other stories, including one about how best to weather a heat wave (no pun intended). All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

First up, we take a look at corn farmers around the United States, courtesy of this article from grist. Ever wondered about what life is like on a corn farm or how their business is organized? Follow the link to find out.

Who's hurting the most in California's drought? If you guessed the poor, you'd be right. This story from The Washington Post takes a look at how the drought is turning toxic the water used by California's most economically deprived.

Is the summer weather burning you up yet? This article from Scientific American discusses the recent (and deadly) heat wave in India and how scientists are working to protect the world's most vulnerable populations from the debilitating effects of heat exposure.

Where do scientists and laymen commonly differ on issues of policy? This piece from io9 takes a look at some of the most common ways, at least within the United States, tackling such controversial subject as genetic engineering, evolution, global warming, and vaccination.

How are we connected to the California drought? It may not occur to you that you're having an impact, particularly if you don't live in California, but virtually everyone in the United States is connected in some way to California's water shortage, if only because the state contributes so much of America's food supply. Read more here at The New York Times.