Posts

November 27, 2014

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6:17 PM | Satellite Spies Gargantuan Sunspots that Could Launch Solar Explosions Toward Earth
Looking a bit like nasty bruises, a cluster of truly massive sunspots appeared on the Sun’s surface starting in mid-October. Their collective surface area, measuring 66 times larger than the Earth’s cross section, was the largest in the last 24 years, according to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The sunspots produced six major solar solar […]The post Satellite Spies Gargantuan Sunspots that Could Launch Solar Explosions Toward Earth appeared first on […]
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4:38 PM | Honey bee conservation
In order to compensate the dramatic losses of honeybee colonies that we see globally for many years now, beekeepers try to restore their apiaries by importing colonies or queens in the hopes that those survive better than their previous bees. Such imports increase the level of introgression with local honeybee populations in which genetic variability is geographically highly structured. In response to this a number of European countries started to preserve honeybee endemic diversity […]
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4:25 PM | Gratitude, Woodworking and Music on the Home Front on Thanksgiving
Fitting in some analog home time, and music, amid the digital flow of work seeking a better planet.
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2:00 PM | Should farmers practice ‘weed conservation’?
Farmers often douse their fields in herbicides to clear the area of weeds. But scientists have found that bees depend heavily on these weeds for food, suggesting that farmers should consider conserving these pesky plants. We need bees to pollinate crops and flowers. But bee populations have been crashing, probably due to a combination of
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6:32 AM | Thanksgiving in Space
The sweet potato (yam) may adapt well to living in space Over the past few months I have been looking at how future space missions might be able to grow and raise their own food, so I thought it might be nice today to see how the astronauts on the ISS are feeding themselves this Thanksgiving. They’re lucky – they don’t have to eat worms! NASA has supplied them with a special Thanksgiving meal that includes ‘traditional’ dishes: irradiated smoked turkey, […]

November 26, 2014

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10:48 PM | A Optimistic Realist Tours Earth’s Age of Humans
A lyrical nature writer explains her optimistic view of the deepening human imprint on the Earth.
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7:43 PM | Meet Lucy – A Girl on a Mission to Banish Abandoned Batteries
Eight-year-old Lucy is a dedicated Earth Ranger who is always looking for ways to keep our planet healthy.
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7:07 PM | EPA Proposes New Rules to Curb Ozone
The EPA says new rules to reduce emissions of smog-causing ozone will improve air quality and reduce pollution linked to asthma and other health problems. Critics say the reduction will cost jobs and hurt the manufacturing sector.
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6:58 PM | Add Your Voice to Plans for an Alice Munro Museum
One of the great things about being a freelance writer […]
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6:15 PM | "Imbeciles" on Twitter Continue to Distract Nassim Taleb
Those of you familiar with Black Swan author Nassim Taleb know he has a formidable mind and an abrasive public persona. It is necessary to separate the two when analyzing his logic, which is what economist/writer Noah Smith does admirably in his Bloomberg column on Taleb's controversial GMO paper. (More on Smith's take in a minute.) To quickly review, Taleb and his coauthors argue that the ecological and public health risks of GMOs are not adequately known, and because of the unique […]
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5:39 PM | Questions about a Parliamentary Science Officer
A couple of weeks ago, the European Union’s Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) was axed. It didn’t make headlines in Canada until about a week ago, which was surprising given the push by Kennedy Stewart and the NDP for a Parliamentary Science Officer (PSO) here in Canada. I hadn’t thought very carefully about the PSO initiative…
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5:37 PM | Prairies could make flying safer
Cara Giaimo, reporting for NOVA Next: By turning hundreds of these acres back into prairie, Slaybaugh aims to mitigate the airport’s environmental impact. As part of a recent sustainability initiative, Dayton International Airport compared the potential carbon footprint of different land uses and found that rewilding would put them in the black: for every acre […]∞
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5:21 PM | Review: Burford Garden Company
Over the past few months, Ryan and I have been undertaking a tour of some of the local farm shops. The best are treasure troves of unusual foods, many of which have been sourced from local producers. The worst… well, lets just say that one popular shop very close by has fallen from favour, after I discovered that I needed a high-powered microscope to find the lamb in their ‘lamb samosas’. They would have been more accurately named ‘onion samosas’. We had a more […]
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5:15 PM | “Imbeciles” on Twitter Continue to Distract Nassim Taleb
Those of you familiar with Black Swan author Nassim Taleb know he has a formidable mind and an abrasive public persona. It is necessary to separate the two when analyzing his logic, which is what economist/writer Noah Smith does admirably in his Bloomberg column on Taleb’s controversial GMO paper. (More on Smith’s take in a minute.) […]The post “Imbeciles” on Twitter Continue to Distract Nassim Taleb appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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4:00 PM | Early warning signals for environmental and social change
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Earth systems are known to switch suddenly without warning. Take the weather for example, where one moment it could be a bright, sunny day and the next it suddenly transforms into strong winds and heavy rain of a severe storm. [...] The post Early warning signals for environmental and social change appeared first on Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog.
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3:22 PM | Weevil diet
from: colpolon.biol.uni.wroc.plThe weevil  species Centricnemus leucogrammus lives predominantly in European dry-hot (xerothermic) habitats and steppes. The species was probably more widespread during the Pleistocene glaciations, while its current distribution is limited to what some call 'warm-stage refugia.' Their habitats in central and easternEurope sustain very high biodiversity of plants and insects. Unfortunately, these analogs of the Eurasian steppes are seriously threatened as a […]
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2:54 PM | Through Dawn’s Window
This photo combines a few of my favourite things: a river (a meandering river), an aerial shot (I never met a window seat I didn’t love), and a chance to daydream about being on the Harvard rowing team… Dawn sent this picture of the Charles River forever ago, and I haven’t had a chance to […]
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1:00 PM | Accounting for meat: The hidden emissions in your steak
Each year, the average American chows down on a whopping 120 kilograms of meat. The same is true in New Zealand and Australia. Most Europeans and South Americans dine on slightly more than half that amount of meat each year. Combined that means that as a species, we’re eating some 310 metric tons of meat
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3:54 AM | Annals of adaptation: Cally Carswell on desert cattle
In High Country News, Cally Carswell has a story about the criollo (“a name that is endlessly fun to recite. These are criollo cows. (Try it: cree-oh-yo.)”: There’s anecdotal evidence that criollo will eat more of the shrubs and tougher grasses on degraded grasslands, but no hard data yet on whether that amounts to a ...Continue reading ‘Annals of adaptation: Cally Carswell on desert cattle’ »
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1:20 AM | Stalled Clean Power Alternative to PG&E Looms Large in New S.F. Electricity Law
A city-run alternative to PG&E could rake in millions for San Francisco but faces opposition from the business sector.

November 25, 2014

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10:03 PM | Unlocking Antarctica with Time-lapse Photography
At a remote Antarctic outpost, cameras are being installed to capture time-lapse images of geological features in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.  Satellite image of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (NASA)The images are giving scientists from Brown University and elsewhere a view of geological change in the Dry Valleys of the Antarctic that can't be seen any other way. Time-lapse photography is combined with weather data is revealing new details about the changing climate on Earth, but also offering […]
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8:33 PM | Unlocking Antarctica with Photography
At a remote Antarctic outpost, cameras are being installed to capture time-lapse images of geological features in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The images are giving scientists from Brown University and elsewhere a view of geological change in the Dry Valleys of the Antarctic that can’t be seen any other way. Time-lapse photography is combined with […] The post Unlocking Antarctica with Photography appeared first on EH Science.
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4:52 PM | Discoveries of the week
Muscicapa sodhiiThe Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a globally important hotspot of avian endemism, has been relatively poorly studied ornithologically, to the extent that several new bird species from the region have been described to science only recently, and others have been observed and photographed, but never before collected or named to science. One of these is a new species of Muscicapa flycatcher that has been observed on several occasions since 1997. We collected two specimens in […]
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3:40 PM | Stuff I wrote elsewhere: NM water policy tools poorly suited for the job
From this morning’s newspaper, a look at the latest proposal to pump rural groundwater to New Mexico’s populous middle (behind Google surveywall): Depending on your view of the issue, this is either: a) an innovative approach to bring new water to the Middle Rio Grande Valley, or b) an inappropriate attempt to privatize a public resource ...Continue reading ‘Stuff I wrote elsewhere: NM water policy tools poorly suited for the job’ »
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2:52 PM | Indigenous Health Indicators: What, where, when how, and why?
November is Native American Heritage month. Throughout the month, we are featuring blogs related to Tribal Science.  By Jamie Donatuto For going on 15 years, I have been fortunate enough to be employed by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, a Coast Salish Tribe in Washington. Like most tribal employees, I “wear many hats,” meaning that when an environmental […]
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2:00 PM | Could seals follow acoustic fish tags to find dinner?
Humans making noise in the oceans is generally considered a bad thing these days. Ship motors, military sonar, and other sources have been shown to interrupt marine mammal communication, increase stress of many sea creatures, and simply drive some animals out of the area they’d like to stay in. A new study, though, shows that
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8:40 AM | The Composting Condundrum
A giant compost heap, like this one at West Dean, isn’t an option in my new garden Clearing the allotment is no simple task – it’s now a 20-minute drive away, and as the weather has turned wet and the ground is sodden, it’s impossible to get the car anywhere near the allotment. Anything I want to bring home has to be carried down to the car park, and transported from there. As a result, there has been a certain amount of prioritising about the things that are worth […]
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6:20 AM | Physicists Make a Quantum Whirlpool
Imagine changing matter into light and light into matter, and then using that technology to build computers that are faster and more powerful than anything most of us can dream of.The brass mask used to create the spiral laser beam. The spiral is created by a circular pattern of holes of increasing size. (Stuart Hay, ANU)That dream is closer to reality thanks to a new discovery that could link electronics with photonics. Physicists have successfully engineered a spiral laser beam that can […]

November 24, 2014

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10:42 PM | Giraffes under Threat: Populations Down 40 Percent in Just 15 Years
One of the world’s most iconic and beloved animals is quickly disappearing. Fifteen years ago about 140,000 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) roamed the plains and forests of Africa. Today that... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:23 PM | Physicists Make a Quantum Whirlpool
Imagine changing matter into light and light into matter, and then using that technology to build computers that are faster and more powerful than anything most of us can dream of. That dream is closer to reality thanks to a new discovery that could link electronics with photonics. Physicists have successfully engineered a spiral laser […] The post Physicists Make a Quantum Whirlpool appeared first on EH Science.
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