Posts

September 01, 2014

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3:54 PM | 100 Years Ago Today
Today marks a sad centennial: the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), a species once so abundant that their flocks blacked out the skies of North... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:00 AM | Glutbusters: September 2014
Stunning autumn foliage In the gardening calendar, September in the UK is ‘early autumn’. It comes before the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and (depending on the weather) is frequently a period when harvesting of summer crops can continue. There’s usually a few more weeks of frost-free weather, and the mad dash to harvest everything safely and clear everything away for the winter hasn’t started yet. Most people are sick of the sight of courgettes and runner […]
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7:01 AM | Drought Myth-Busting: Why El Niño Is Never A Good Bet
The peculiar set of ocean conditions are known as a California rainmaker -- but El Niño's reputation has been greatly exaggerated.
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7:00 AM | ESRC Festival of Social Science – Tipping Points in Health and Society
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. 6th November 2014, 19:30 to 21:00, Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham City. Presenters: Prof Michael Goldstein and Dr Camila Caiado, Dept of Mathematical Sciences Health problems, from cardiovascular disease to the AIDS epidemic, present major social challenges that require [...] The post ESRC Festival of Social Science – Tipping Points in Health and Society appeared first on […]
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5:25 AM | Cristobal Whirls Toward Iceland
As I’m writing this on Sunday night (Aug. 31), the cyclone formerly known as Hurricane Cristobal is taking dead aim on Iceland. You can see it whirling off Iceland’s coast in the image above, captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite on Saturday. No longer a hurricane, it is, in the parlance of meteorology, an “extra-tropical cyclone” […]The post Cristobal Whirls Toward Iceland appeared first on ImaGeo.

August 31, 2014

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10:59 PM | Scientific literacy
Public engagement in science is a hot topic highlighted by the ‘Nation of Curious Minds’ project and the National Objectives Framework component of the Freshwater Reform package. For both, the […]
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10:00 PM | Monday paper: Use of phytoremediation and biochar to remediate heavy metal polluted soils: a review
Paz-Ferreiro, J., Lu, H., Fu, S., Méndez, A., and Gascó, G.: Use of phytoremediation and biochar to remediate heavy metal polluted soils: a review, Solid Earth, 5, 65-75, doi:10.5194/se-5-65-2014, 2014. Soil heavy metal pollution Due to increased extraction and use by various industries, heavy metals come easily to the environment in various ways. Unlike organic substances, heavy metals can not […]
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9:43 PM | #12: Roseway Basin- the first leg
On August 15, a team including Moe, Philip, Kelsey, Marianna and Kari left Campobello Island for an offshore trip aboard the Shelagh, captained by Joe. Destined for Roseway Basin and slated to last two weeks, the Shelagh was packed to the brim with food, supplies and equipment. After a few days of loading and orienting ourselves to the boat, we left around noon on Friday and began surveying after
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9:33 PM | “Sharing Water: What an Environmental Experiment in Mexico can Teach us About the Future of the Colorado River”
I’m excited to be giving a talk on the Colorado River Delta environmental pulse flow Sept. 8 at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by, say “hi”, and, if possible, ask questions when I explain things poorly. The talk is a snapshot of a work in progress, so no ...Continue reading ‘“Sharing Water: What an Environmental Experiment in Mexico can Teach us About the Future of the Colorado River”’ »
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9:15 PM | Used Tires Could Find Second Life in Batteries
Hundreds of millions of tires reach the end of their first life each year in the United States. The majority of these tires are recycled into road paving materials, plastic additives, and other... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:00 PM | Untapping the Potential of Science-Government Partnerships to Benefit Urban Nature 
Promoting urban nature is a significant challenge for local governments. As demonstrated by so many posts on this blog, it is evident that it consists of much more than simply protecting areas of high biodiversity from human activity; it is … Continue reading →
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2:49 PM | The Sun is Shining Bright in Texas as Solar Becomes a ‘Default’ Generation Resource
This week, the Austin City Council approved a resolution that brings solar to the foreground in Texas. And, perhaps most interestingly, they did so because it made business – and not just... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:00 PM | Beautiful Sunday: Colorful Crustaceans
Good morning! It is another Beautiful Sunday!  Today, take a look at this beauty: Yes, it’s really that blue. This lobster was recently caught by Meghan LaPlante, 14, and her father Jay, who operated the Miss Meghan Lobster Catch company in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  It is the same kind of lobster everyone is familiar […]
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9:21 AM | The Conscience of an Asteroid by Madhusudan Katti
My new contribution to the series “The Moral Is” (hear my previous essays in their archives, or read them here) on Valley Public Radio was broadcast during Valley Edition a couple of weeks ago. Here’s my original, extended version of the essay, before it was pared down for broadcast. You can imagine me reading it in your head, or listen to the broadcast version […]
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3:44 AM | Testing Hoover Dam’s outflow jets
The San Diego Air And Space Museum posted some wonderful old aerial pictures of Hoover Dam on Flickr, and I’m hoping someone in the Inkstain posse can help me sort out the history. This image was taken by Colonel Orie W. Coyle, and appears to be a test of Hoover Dam’s outlet jets that I’m thinking ...Continue reading ‘Testing Hoover Dam’s outflow jets’ »
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3:29 AM | Pecan Lane
The pecan trees of Pecan Lane have seen better days.

August 30, 2014

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5:54 PM | Getting Droned On Greenland’s Ice Sheet
If you’re as fascinated by the science of our planet as I am, you’ve probably seen all sorts of imagery of the world’s frozen places, including dramatic photos of summer meltwater coursing across the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet. And now, for a new and thoroughly spectacular perspective, check out the video above. Shot […]The post Getting Droned On Greenland’s Ice Sheet appeared first on ImaGeo.
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5:29 PM | Love in a mist
Nigella damascena One of my favourite flowers, but one that I have yet to grow, is Nigella damascena, commonly known as “Love-in-a-mist”. It has delicately beautiful flowers, held high on ferny foliage, followed by stately seed heads. I believe it self-seeds quite readily. The picture above shows a predominantly blue mixture, but you can also get a mix called ‘Persian Jewels’ that has a few more colours. I think it would make a nice addition to my Middle Eastern […]
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3:13 AM | Landmark Groundwater Reform Headed to Governor’s Desk
The era of unlimited groundwater pumping in California could be ending. A package of bills would require local agencies to restore over-pumped aquifers.

August 29, 2014

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8:58 PM | Smuggled Giant Millipedes Seized at SFO
Twenty squirming foot-long millipedes in a falsely labeled package from Germany were seized at San Francisco International Airport last month, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said Friday.
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8:13 PM | A Trio Of Smart Cities: How Technology Makes Them More Efficient
A smart city is one that is currently testing or regularly using information, communications and technology (ICT) solutions in at least three areas, states IHS. These can include areas like transportation, safety, energy and the physical infrastructure of the city. … Continue reading →
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7:53 PM | It’s not how much water you get, it’s what you do with it – Indiana edition
Indiana, where nine out of the past ten years have been wetter than the long term average, is talking about water shortages: Water shortages are coming to Indiana unless the state implements policy changes, according to a recent prediction by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Data courtesy NCDC.
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5:11 PM | Glutbusters!
The productive, but labour intensive, kitchen garden at Hampton Court Palace Conventional advice for growing your own fruit and vegetables tends to follow one of two tacks – it either assumes you have acres of dedicated space, and the time to look after a traditional kitchen garden, or that you have no space and are limited to a few pots on the patio or the windowsill. It doesn’t resonate with the modern reality of homes being built with ever-smaller gardens and allotments being […]
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4:07 PM | Weekend Reads: New Jersey Gone Wild, California’s Bivalve Battle, Louisiana’s Disappearing Act
By Jason Bittel The Lion Sleeps TonightBaboons and tigers don’t usually spring to mind when you think of New Jersey, but for a brief period in the 70s, Warner Brothers operated an ill-fated (and ill-conceived) animal theme park there. The park’s problems were myriad, but the fact that one visitor lost an ear to a lion gives you an idea of just how poorly the place was managed. More recently, Jen Miller returned to the ruins of “Jungle […]
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3:23 PM | The World’s Largest Oil Producer Is…
..the United States. Have you heard? Computer scientist and data whiz Randy Olson dove into the UT Energy Poll data and noticed that the American public is pretty confused about where we get out... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:20 PM | Whale: It’s What’s Not for Dinner. Anywhere.
By Brian Palmer Norwegians killed 729 whales this year, marking the largest catch in two decades. The hunt persists despite a more than 30-year ban on commercial whaling worldwide, making Norway one of only three countries that continue to flout international restrictions. The deputy director of the Norwegian Fishermen's Sales Organisation calls this season’s haul “very good,” though he acknowledges a major problem for the industry: nobody […]
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3:05 PM | Research Recap: This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick A good amount of my college career was spent on the top floor of the library, cramming for exams the next day. Even after graduating, I have yet to drop the habit. The night before my first day at EPA, I was frantically trying to catch up on all the research that […]
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2:41 PM | Resilience to drought, California tomato crop edition
From the USDA (pdf): Contracted production of California processing tomatoes is forecast at a record high 14.0 million tons, averaging 48.61 tons per acre, according to a survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The current forecasted production is 17.6 percent above the 2013 crop. Drought has been an issue for some crops, but apparently ...Continue reading ‘Resilience to drought, California tomato crop edition’ »
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2:00 PM | The First Annual World Shorebirds Day Kicks off on September 6
Shorebird populations worldwide are declining, and endangered birds like the spoonbill sandpiper are facing extinction in the next five years. Learn about shorebirds who migrate to San Francisco Bay during winter months and how you can join the first annual "World Shorebirds Day" celebration.
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1:34 PM | Toronto Trashes Its Litterbugs
By Jason Bittel Toronto has a new anti-littering campaign that tells it like it is. The ads portray juxtaposed pieces of trash that spell out not-so-nice words above the tagline: “Littering says a lot about you.” (You can see more below or view the whole set here.) According to Livegreen Toronto, the city’s environmental initiative, litterbugs are “lazy, selfish, low-life pigs,” but don’t worry, reform is easy! Just throw […]
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