Posts

November 22, 2014

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4:22 AM | I guess the pot farmers have junior rights
Al Jazeera Counties, mostly in the more rural northern parts of California, are reporting a surge in thefts and illegal diversions of water from wells and streams. The prime suspects are illegal marijuana farmers desperate for water before the fall harvest, which would explain the surge in water thievery over the summer.
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1:34 AM | Through Marsha’s “Friend’s” Window
I finally have a bit of time to catch up on some of the great photos you’ve sent of “the world outside your windows.” I’ve wanted to write about this one for ages; it’s a wonderful view—although a trifle out of the ordinary. Marsha sent this photo, and described it thus: “What the creature in […]

November 21, 2014

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11:48 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. 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 insight into what conditions might be like in the similar […]
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11:48 PM | Tapeworm Removed from Man’s Brain Reveals Genetic Secrets
Doctors in the UK recently removed a very rare tapeworm from a man’s brain that had been living there for four years. During its residency, the worm traveled five centimeters from one side of the brain to the other before it was detected and removed. Following the successful operation, a team took the opportunity to sequence the genome of this rare and poorly understood parasite. The tapeworm, Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, has been reported only 300 times worldwide since 1953 and never […]
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10:21 PM | Life on the Volcano Is Increasingly Tough for These Hawaiian Birds
You have to hike a pretty long distance if you hope to see the critically endangered bird known as the palila (Loxioides bailleui), but if you’re lucky and work hard, you can walk their entire... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:05 PM | World’s largest tree planter wins award
A jury of architects and real estate investors awarded Bosco Verticale the “International Highrise Award”. The project, they say, is a “role model” for other densely populated areas. I respectfully disagree. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the jury chair won the last installment of the prize for his high-rise in Sidney. It has a handful of trees […]∞
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9:02 PM | Dramatic Growth of Australian Bushfire as Seen from Space
Much of the United States may have been shivering over the past week or so, with poor Buffalonians worried that their roofs might collapse under staggering amounts of snow. But on the other side of the Earth, Australians have had a far different experience. For Australia, it was the second warmest October on record. (Globally, two […]The post Dramatic Growth of Australian Bushfire as Seen from Space appeared first on ImaGeo.
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7:18 PM | Buying the Farm, Building a Subdivision
Photographer Scott Strazzante spent years documenting the why and how of the farm-to-subdivision transition. Having seen both the before and after several times while growing up, his photos are particularly poignant.  ∞∞
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6:50 PM | Selective logging
Selective logging is the logging practice of entering a forest and only removing some trees, usually those which are unhealthy or in dense areas. Sometimes the logging is performed on the ground, but to not harm surrounding forest, it is more often done by air using a helicopter. Selective logging has been well-documented to improve forest health and reduce the dangers of wildfire and has been endorsed by the National Forest Service as the better alternative to clear-cutting. It is also […]
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6:28 PM | This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick I come from a big family so on holidays – Thanksgiving in particular – the kitchen can get pretty hectic. This inevitably ends with someone breaking, spilling, or burning something. While a burnt turkey would be a major disappointment to some of us, it’s the least of kitchen worries for nearly half […]
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5:05 PM | A kitchen garden for aliens
Himalayan balsam, an ‘alien invader’, growing in the wildlife garden at Birdland Following the news that homeowners who fail to control Japanese knotweed in their garden could face fines or ASBOs (anti-social behaviour orders), I thought it might be a good time to think about non-native plants. Now, I am definitely not suggesting that anyone should choose to grow Japanese knotweed, or allow it to spread further than it already has – it’s a problematic plant in the UK. […]
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5:02 PM | Clean Cookstoves Research: An Opportunity to Benefit Billions
By Bryan Bloomer, Ph.D. I have long appreciated the ability to cook and heat my home with minimum risk of exposure to toxic indoor air pollution. But I am also painfully aware that more than 3 billion people around the world rely on inefficient, unsustainable and dangerous cookstove technologies for their everyday cooking, heating and […]
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4:30 PM | It’s Time for Obama to Tighten Rules on Gas Leaks
An array of environmental groups have endorsed ways the Obama administration can cost-effectively cut leaks of methane from gas and oil facilities.
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3:16 PM | Does Uber Make Cities More Energy Efficient?
It seems you can’t read an article about new mobility or the sharing economy without stumbling across Uber; the mobility service that sprung up in 2009 to only five years later become valued at more... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:08 PM | Is It Too Cold Out Today?
Arctic researcher Luana Sciullo tells us how Arctic animals stay warm!
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1:18 PM | Friday Fiction Facts: Why We Don’t Have Unicorns
Welcome to Friday Fiction Facts: sciency things that fi […]
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1:00 PM | Unlikely partners: Rhino poaching & sea snake exploitation
Each month, hundreds of squid fishing vessels return to port in Vietnam loaded not just with squid, but also with sea snakes harvested from the Gulf of Thailand. Each month, the seven major snake processing facilities move an average of 6,500 kilograms of sea snakes, which are sold for between $10 and $40 per kilogram,
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12:51 PM | Podcast from my Interview on Near FM’s Enviro Show
I was recently invited to participate on the Enviro Show hosted on Dublin’s Community Radio Station, Near FM. We chatted about red squirrels, grey squirrels, pine marten, invasive species and more. The interview starts about 29 mins into the podcast. Enviro 17/11/14 by Enviro On Nearfm on Mixcloud
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4:40 AM | Archaeologists Get a Bird's-eye View of Ancient Roman Gold Mines
Archaeologists and geologists in Spain studying Las Médulas, the largest known open-cast gold mines of the Roman Empire, have discovered it was a much bigger operation than previously thought. The mines, located in the province of León, form a unique cultural landscape that was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997. The mining technique used by the Romans known as ruina montium, (Latin, “wrecking of mountains”) created a challenging terrain for later […]
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2:13 AM | AT&T Could Pay $50 Million for Illegal E-Waste Dumping
Preliminary settlement agreement directs new funds to prosecute environmental and consumer crimes.

November 20, 2014

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11:52 PM | California Drought: A Glimmer of Hope For Winter Rain And Snow
But given the state of long-range forecasting, climatologists admit that the glimmer could be a mirage.
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8:30 PM | Using 3D Visualization, Geologists Explore the Complex Areas Where Faults Join and Split
The cutting edge in earthquake research is mapping our most important faults in three-dimensional detail. A new paper finds some key hidden links in the Bay Area's fault system.
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7:23 PM | Type material on GenBank
I consider it very good news - GenBank now includes annotation of type material:Type material is the taxonomic device that ties formal names to the physical specimens that serve as exemplars for the species. For the prokaryotes these are strains submitted to the culture collections; for the eukaryotes they are specimens submitted to museums or herbaria. The NCBI Taxonomy Database  now includes annotation of type material that we use to flag sequences from type in GenBank and in […]
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6:26 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 beam that can create a vortex, or whirlpool, of particles called polaritons, hybrid particles with the properties of both matter and light. Polaritons form in […]
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5:01 PM | Trendy Pond
My new Trendy Pond, still in its packaging The nice people at Swell UK have given me a trendy pond to play with – as you can see, I haven’t managed to take it out of the box yet, but might manage that this weekend. I’m hoping that it will make a nice water feature in the garden next year, and that I can plant it up with some edible plants. Ryan has already said that he’s not keen on the idea of an indoor pond (one of the suggestions made on the packaging!), so we can […]
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3:30 PM | Making the Most of Puberty on the Scale of a Planet
Access to education and jobs can make the world's huge youth population an asset.
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2:00 PM | Does climate change spell trouble for airlines?
As if airplane travel weren’t already bad enough, scientists have found yet another problem that might arise with climate change. In warmer air, planes could have more trouble taking off and may need to shed cargo or passengers to get aloft. Airlines already deal with this issue: planes have specific weight restrictions depending on the
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9:00 AM | How modelling social behaviour can help prevent poor health choices
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Key Points In a population a person may not necessarily copy the behaviour that’s popular, but the behaviours they interact with. Populations have a kind of memory that keeps them locked into the same behaviour, making it difficult to change [...] The post How modelling social behaviour can help prevent poor health choices appeared first on Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog.
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2:19 AM | Stunning New Satellite Image of Brutal Lake Effect Snow
For Buffalonians and others in the Great Lakes region, the snow just keeps on coming. And coming, and coming, and… Yesterday, some suburban areas of Buffalo got 60 inches or more, prompting the National Weather Service to Tweet that the area may have set a record for “highest 24hr snow in a populated area.” Time […]The post Stunning New Satellite Image of Brutal Lake Effect Snow appeared first on ImaGeo.
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12:42 AM | NASA CO2 Animation Recalls 1859 Account of the Global Flow of this Gas
A new NASA visualization and an 1859 account by America's first oceanographer make the same point about carbon dioxide.
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