December 21, 2014

4:39 PM | Forget the Damned Motor Car
Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends. —Lewis Mumford, My Works and Days (1979) Humanity managed for the better part of 400,000 years without cars and did just fine. Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Adam … Continue reading →
3:25 AM | Could holidaymakers be environmental restoration practitioners too?
Another month has almost passed and the end of another year is close. In a few days, motorways will be thick with traffic as holidaymakers exit cities and towns to […]

December 20, 2014

3:10 PM | Top Ten Cool Ways that Animals See in the Dark
Find out about some of the amazing adaptations animals have to help them see in the dark!
10:01 AM | Review: Truvia
Stevia, Stevia rebaudiana Over the summer, I just about gave up sugar for a while. I swapped sugar on my porridge for sliced banana, and my afternoon snack for a banana. After trying to get used to drinking filtered tap water all day for a while, I went back to squash (cordial) and tried the sugar-free versions. I’ve never been a big fan of artificial sweeteners, but it was bearable.I allowed myself a spoonful of sugar in my morning tea, and then I was done for the day. The results […]

December 19, 2014

10:54 PM | Estevan gets his picture on the wall
In March, President Obama nominated New Mexican Estevan López, who at the time was head of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, to head the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It was a big deal in a number of ways, not least of which was that, in replacing Mike Connor, López would be the second New Mexican ...Continue reading ‘Estevan gets his picture on the wall’ »
9:58 PM | Next Napa Quake Could Be Bigger, Stronger
New research indicates the fault that triggered the August quake is 20 miles longer than scientists realized, which could produce more powerful earthquakes in the future.
9:56 PM | Through Charlie’s Window
When I first saw this photo I thought Charlie had added an effect, erasing all colour except the green of a neighbour’s roof. But as I focused on the picture, colour started seeping through. A streetside roll-out blue box, a tiny brick-brown chimney, and then finally, the faintest hint of colour on evergreen needles behind […]
9:10 PM | This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick ‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the Agency, Our researchers were working, so much discovery! Is there one place, where all this can be found? One science review, no looking around? Here’s my present to you, no need to unwrap Right here on this blog, your Research Recap!     […]
8:09 PM | From Maine to Denmark, Islanders (Including Students) Seek Sustainable Energy Solutions
Students from an environment-minded college on a Maine island learn how an island in Denmark turned from fossil fuels to renewable energy
7:00 PM | Using less water, Queensland edition
“The average daily water consumption across the south east in November 2014 was 190 litres per person per day. This is a stark contrast to consumption levels before the millennium drought, when the region’s residents were using an average of 330 litres per person per day.” That’s Queensland, Australia. To translate to U.S. measures, that’s ...Continue reading ‘Using less water, Queensland edition’ »
5:00 PM | CBD Training for trainers
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be launching a capacity-building “training for trainers” course in DNA Barcoding that will be made available to interested Parties to the Convention, thanks to financial support from the Government of Japan. This activity will be facilitated by the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario in Canada and will focus on building technological capacity to help Parties achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 9, specifically, detection and […]
4:02 PM | Could Extinct Clouded Leopards Be Reintroduced in Taiwan?
Two years ago, after an intense 13-year quest, scientists concluded that the Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) had gone extinct in Taiwan. But a new paper by the same scientists... -- Read more on
3:30 PM | UC Berkeley Study Says Migratory Birds Use Infrasound to Avoid Storms
It’s well-known that daylight length is an important migratory trigger, but a new study from UC Berkeley finds birds use infrasound, or tones lower than the normal range of human hearing, to flee bad weather.
1:00 PM | Pink pigeon recovery has been hindered by turtle doves
The pink pigeon is the lone survivor of all the columbids – pigeons and doves – native to Mauritius. In 1990 the species was down to just nine individuals, but thanks to the work of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, there were some 400 individuals flying the skies of the island by 2013. In the year
1:00 PM | Electronics Inspired by Spider Webs and Leaves
Have you ever wished your smartphone was shatter-proof, bendable, or even stretchy? If so, you might not have to wait too long for the phone of your dreams because two physicists at Boston College are working on building the next generation of flexible, durable electronics. They have modeled the next generation of electronics on strong, […] The post Electronics Inspired by Spider Webs and Leaves appeared first on EH Science.
12:43 PM | The stench of compatibility: How otters identify one another, and potential mates by smelling their poop
Otters don’t tend to be very visible to us, but they are more abundant than we might perceive them to be. Otters mostly live in isolation of one another, yet they manage to remotely communicate to one another without the aid of modern technology that so often depend upon for communication. On this blog, I previously wrote how […]

Kean, E., Chadwick, E. & Müller, C. (2014). Scent signals individual identity and country of origin in otters, Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2014.12.004

3:29 AM | “Rain,” coming to a bookshelf near me, April 2015
Excited to see Cynthia Barnett’s Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, is now available for pre-order, which means we don’t have to wait too much longer. (If you have time to kill between now and then, may I recommend Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis?)

December 18, 2014

11:03 PM | New Issue of the Barcode Bulletin
We've just published our newest issue of the Barcode Bulletin. Once again packed with interesting news and findings. Everything DNA Barcoding - the perfect read for any seasonal holiday :-)Just click on the cover photo and you will be redirected to the pdf file.
9:26 PM | Climate Change and Extreme Events Research Showcased at American Geophysical Union Meeting
By Dr. Michael Hiscock   Derechos. Blizzards. Polar vortexes. Superstorms. Whatever you call them, you’re probably aware of the extreme weather events that have occurred with increasing frequency the past few years. What you may not be aware of is their complicated relationship with climate change, air and water quality. Although science will probably never […]
9:01 PM | 6th International Barcode Conference
I know many of you have been waiting for more details on the 6th International Barcode of Life Conference that will happen here in Guelph next August. The waiting has an end as the conference website just went life and it contains all the relevant information you might have been looking for. I think it looks just great. Just click on the image and you will be redirected.I hope to be able to meet a lot of my readers at the conference.
6:09 PM | Dinosaur Extinction: New Research Favors Volcanism as Cause
A new set of rock dates have pushed volcanism back into the debate over the extinction of the dinosaurs.
5:54 PM | A Chat on New York’s Shale Gas Ban with Anti-Fracking Superhero Mark Ruffalo
A chat with anti-fracking campaigner and movie star Mark Ruffalo on on Gov. Cuomo's shale gas ban.
5:53 PM | Satellite View of Cuba at Night Reveals the Impact of Embargo and a Centrally Planned Communist Economy
Yesterday's announcement was historic: restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. And that got me to thinking of how satellite imagery could contribute to public debate now swirling around the move. For 53 years, the U.S. embargo of Cuba, intended to help bring an end to the Cuban regime, has helped to stifle development there. This year, for example, the nation's economy grew at a paltry 1.4 percent, according to the government's […]
4:35 PM | Sponsor a Right Whale: Shackleton
Sponsoring a right whale through the New England Aquarium supports the critical research we're doing to protect this endangered species. This holiday season, give a sponsorship! It's a gift that gives back to our blue planet. Today's post introduces one of the whales available for sponsorship: Shackleton Shackleton the right whale (Catalog #2440) was named after the Antarctic explorer, Sir
2:00 PM | How polluted is your morning commute?
City-dwellers are constantly exposed to pollution, which can contribute to heart and respiratory problems. But commuters may be getting a particularly big dose on their way to and from work. Drivers are breathing more polluted air, especially when diesel vehicles such as trucks and school buses are nearby, researchers say. “[E]xposures during daily commutes may
2:00 PM | Earth Ranger Nicholas is on An Animal Saving Mission
Meet 10-year-old Nicholas, an Earth Ranger who has done some amazing things to help protect animals
1:00 PM | Mind-controlled Robotic Arm
A new prototype mind-controlled robotic arm is the latest example of brain-computer interface technology being developed with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life of people unable to use their own arms. We recently reported on robotic prosthetic arms for amputees. Those prosthetic limbs can be controlled by the users and also deliver a sense […] The post Mind-controlled Robotic Arm appeared first on EH Science.
3:44 AM | Storms a Boon for Rain Water Harvesters
More Northern California residents are harnessing winter storms and cashing in on local rebate programs for rainwater harvesting.
3:09 AM | The Arctic Continues to Bear the Brunt of Global Warming
Acknowledgment: I want to thank my friend and colleague, environmental journalist Susan Moran for help with this story. She covered the NOAA press conference today at the AGU meeting and sent me her notes. The Arctic continues to warm faster than any other region, according a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday. Moreover, the extent of Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, and as a result more and more energy from the Sun is […]

December 17, 2014

10:11 PM | With Unresolved Health Risks and Few Signs of an Economic Boon, Cuomo to Ban Gas Fracking
A look at the mix of economic, political and environmental factors that prompted Gov. Cuomo to bar fracking.
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