October 30, 2014

4:53 PM | Two sides to every story?
We all have our biases. Ovation, a data management company, set up a sexy shoeshine stand again this year at the SEG Annual Meeting, a science & technology meeting for subsurface professionals. This cynical and spurious subordination of women by a technology company in our community should be addressed by the immediate adoption of a code of conduct by SEG.     Ovation wants to liven up a boring tradeshow. They hired a small business, owned and run by women, to provide their […]
4:00 AM | Self-Assembly of Layered Membranes
Scientists from Northwestern University working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) used self-assembly under controlled conditions to create a membrane consisting of layers with distinctly different structures.
4:00 AM | ORNL Technology Transfer Continues Strong Upward Trend
New methods are improving connections between private businesses and technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with 101 licenses and options executed during the last three years.
4:00 AM | Toyota to Use Brookhaven Lab's Center for Functional Nanomaterials to Advance Vehicle Battery Tech
Scientists will collaborate with Brookhaven experts and use world-leading electron microscopes to explore the real-time electrochemical reactions in promising new batteries.

October 29, 2014

1:35 PM | Stop the Presses
By The Editors This is the final installment of Today OnEarth, but don’t panic! Today OnEarth—which started as our publication’s daily news digest and has evolved in recent months to feature the most eye-opening story of the day—is giving way to something even better. In a matter of hours, we’ll be launching our new website and its daily newsfeed Earthwire, which takes what we’ve been doing with TOE to the next level. We […]
4:00 AM | Creating the Coldest Cubic Meter in the Universe
A forthcoming neutrino detector will require temperatures approaching absolute zero.
4:00 AM | New Lab Startup Afingen Uses Precision Method to Enhance Plants
Berkeley Lab breakthrough can lead to cheaper biofuels, improved crops, and new products from plants.

October 28, 2014

6:27 PM | Big imaging, little imaging, and telescopes
I caught three lovely talks at the special session yesterday afternoon, Recent Advances and the Road Ahead. Here are my notes... The neglected workhorse If you were to count up all the presentations at this convention on seismic migration, only 6% of them are on time migration. Even though it is the workhorse of seismic data processing, it is the most neglected topic in migration. It's old technology, it's a commodity. Who needs to do research on time migration anymore? Sergey does. Speaking as […]
12:14 PM | Jane Goodall and John Oliver Debate Putting Hats on Chimps
By Susan Cosier We all know biologist Jane Goodall spent years of her youth living with chimpanzees in the forests of Tanzania. But did she ever try to put a monocle and top hat on one of them? Comedian John Oliver—never one to shy away from the tough questions—got to the bottom of wild primate behavior in his interview with one of conservation’s favorite ladies. For over 50 years, Goodall’s chimpanzee research has helped us protect […]
4:00 AM | Fast Company: Cascade Supercomputer Joins Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory
Newest supercomputer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is expected to accelerate advances in biology, climate and chemistry.
4:00 AM | Silicon Shovels for Rare-Earth Solutions
Office of Science scientists use supercomputers to search for innovative answers to rare-earth supply needs.

October 27, 2014

5:35 PM | The most epic geophysics hackathon in the world, ever
Words can't express how awesome the 2014 Geophysics Hackthon was. The spirit embodied by the participants is shared by our generous sponsors... the deliberate practice of creativity and collaboration.  We convened at Thrive, a fantastic coworking space in the hip Lower Downtown district of Denver. Their friendly staff went well beyond their duty in accommodating our group. The abundance of eateries and bars makes it perfect for an event like this, especially when the organization is a […]
12:36 PM | Stop Doodling in Our National Parks!
By Susan Cosier Art has its place, but it’s not in our country’s national parks—unless, of course, we’re talking ancient glyphs, Bob-Ross-style landscapes, photography (whether by Ansel Adams or dear old dad), and other mediums of the “leave only footprints” variety. But that’s not the kind of artistic expression (ahem, vandalism) Casey Nocket allegedly unleashed this summer on our natural treasures. Armed with […]
4:00 AM | Tracking Heat-Driven Decay in Leading Electric Vehicle Batteries
Scientists at Brookhaven Lab reveal reveal the atomic-scale structural and electronic degradations that plague some rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and make them vulnerable during high-temperature operations.
4:00 AM | Boosting Biogasoline Production in Microbes
Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers combine systems biology with genetic engineering to improve production of isopentenol in E. coli.

October 24, 2014

3:06 PM | Texas Power Consumer Complaints On The Rise, Reports TCAP
A recent analysis by the consumer advocacy group Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) shows that consumer complaints filed with the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) have risen again in 2014, after four years of decline. In 2002, Texas became … Continue reading →
12:28 PM | When the Rainforests Run Dry
By Susan Cosier If you thought the California drought was bad (and it is), take a look at what's happening in southeastern Brazil. These satellite images of the Jaguari Reservoir—one of the main water sources for São Paulo, South America's largest city—show how much water levels have dropped in just one year. In the lower photo, taken in August, the resevoir is only at 3 to 5 percent of its carrying capacity. São Paulo, home […]
4:00 AM | Berkeley Lab Study Reveals Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have observed the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold surface under different charging conditions.
4:00 AM | DOE Secretary Helps Usher in New Era of Energy Research at Berkeley Lab
A new building will be the home to lab’s energy storage efforts.

October 23, 2014

8:02 PM | Different Worlds, Connected by Climate Change
By Brian Palmer Life in Thule, Greenland, and the Pacific nation of Tuvalu couldn’t be more different. At 750 miles above the Arctic Circle, Thule is among the northernmost inhabited places on earth. In July it reaches an average high of 52 degrees. Tuvalu is a tropical island where the temperature rarely drops below 75, even in the middle of the night. But the two seaside communities have at least one thing in common: Climate change threatens them […]
1:23 PM | SEG 2014: sampling from the smorgasbord
Next week, Matt and I will be attending the 2014 SEG Annual General Meeting at the Colorado Convention Centre in Denver. Join the geo-tweeting using the hashtag #SEG2014 and stay tuned on the blog for our daily highlights. Fitness training I spent a couple of hours yesterday reviewing the conference schedule in an attempt to form an opinion on what deserved my attention. The meeting boasts content from over 1600 abstract submissions which it has dispersed over three formats: oral […]
12:00 PM | I Spy Something ... Wild!
By Susan Cosier As many as a third of all animal species on Earth are now threatened or endangered, thanks in large part to what we’ve done to the planet. But the Society of Biology is zooming in on what wildlife still remains. The group’s recent photography competition, themed “Home, Habitat, and Shelter,” captures the beauty of wild animals living in environs still healthy enough to support them. A bison crossing a rainbow-colored […]
4:00 AM | National Synchrotron Light Source II Achieves 'First Light'
The National Synchrotron Light Source II detects its first photons, beginning a new phase of the facility's operations. Scientific experiments at NSLS-II are expected to begin before the end of the year.

October 22, 2014

6:59 PM | Ice Zombies?
By John Upton This story originally appeared at Climate Central.Scientists tend to speak of glaciers as if they were living creatures. They say they grow and die and have good health and bad. Now, with Halloween approaching, a handful of researchers has found a way that the anthropomorphized rivers of ice that they study can simultaneously live and die as the globe warms. The discovery of a ghoulishly semi-lifeless glacier in southeastern Iceland […]
11:42 AM | Antarctica’s Lost Photo Albums
By Susan Cosier Flipping through old family albums can remind you where you come from, and that goes for NASA, too. The space agency is getting a peek at its history—and the history of our planet—with hundreds of thousands of old satellite photographs. The long forgotten magnetic tapes and photographic film have been sitting in boxes and collecting dust for five decades at the National Climatic Data Center. Along with early snapshots of the Aral […]
4:00 AM | Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative
Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges.
4:00 AM | Scientists Use Plasma Shaping to Control Turbulence in Stellarators
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Germany have devised a new method for minimizing turbulence in bumpy donut-shaped experimental fusion facilities called stellarators.

October 21, 2014

5:19 PM | The Biggest Loser: Shark Edition
By Jason Bittel Are you an overweight shark having trouble saying no to second, third, and fourth helpings? Do you stay up late at night slamming squid juice after squid juice? Are you consumed by the constant desire to find, hunt, and devour prey in a way that has haters calling you an “eating machine” behind your back?Well, do I have the thing for you—it’s called the Ocean Acidification Diet!This amazing diet has already been […]
12:08 PM | Why don't people use viz rooms?
Matteo Niccoli asked me why I thought the use of immersive viz rooms had declined. Certainly, most big companies were building them in about 1998 to 2002, but it's rare to see them today. My stock answer was always "Linux workstations", but of course there's more to it than that. What exactly is a viz room? I am not talking about 'collaboration rooms', which are really just meeting rooms with a workstation and a video conference phone, a lot of wires, and wireless mice with low batteries. These […]
12:04 PM | Beijing Marathon: 'On Your Mark, Get Set, Face Mask!'
By Susan Cosier Marathoners tend to run with a lot of stuff: sneakers, shorts, headbands, wristbands, sports bras, sunglasses, gel packs, wicking socks, water belts, chaffing rubs, and even band-aids on their nipples. But many runners participating in Sunday's Beijing Marathon added air masks to their gear. The air quality was so bad that day that the city’s environment center warned children and the elderly to stay inside and told everyone else to […]
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