Posts

January 23, 2015

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1:00 PM | Citizen Scientists Find Good News for Puget Sound Seabirds
Seabirds have been suggested as critical “sentinel species,” indicators of overall ecosystem health, at least for coastal habitats. They’re often the best ways to see how well a given landscape is facing the threat of climate change and other human-related activities. One of the best ways to assess the health of seabird communities is through
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12:42 PM | Brrrrrr – it’s cold outside! Taking a look at winter car idling
Idling of cars costs money, consumes energy, and pollutes the air. But, when winter temperatures dip below freezing, many Americans intentionally idle their cars for long periods of time. The reasons... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:09 AM | Killing Zombies
I’m watching a bad zombie movie and found myself wondering what kind of numbers were needed to kill off an earth full of zombies. 10 zombie kills (k) a day seems reasonable for a concerted effort365 days a year (y) - no slacking during a zombie apocalypse!7 billion zombies (z)One million survivors (s) seems fair - it’s less than 0.1% of the population, but lets just say a half-million survivors (s) (z/k*s)/y Ok, now time for Wolfram Alpha, just bc it’s fun: So, around four […]
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6:17 AM | Book review: One Magic Square
One Magic Square, by Lolo Houbein Sometimes I’m offered a book for review that I might overlook if I passed it on the gardening shelf of the local bookshop. One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein is such a book – it’s a basics guide to growing your own food, starting with one square metre (and, if you have the space and the time) building up a larger garden gradually. It’s an expansion of the Square Foot gardening method, and as such perhaps not an instant draw to those of […]
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4:00 AM | Oldest Primates Lived in Trees
A new study from the University of Florida suggests that humans’ earliest primate ancestor was a tree-dwelling creature. Named Purgatorius, scientists believe it looked like a cross between a squirrel and tree shrew, and weighed less than a deck of playing cards. This ancient animal was previously known only by its teeth. The shape of […] The post Oldest Primates Lived in Trees appeared first on EH Science.

January 22, 2015

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11:07 PM | An Innovation I’m Looking Forward To: Super Virtual Earth...
An Innovation I’m Looking Forward To: Super Virtual Earth Everyone’s heard about autonomous (self-driving) cars, but what many people may not realize is the enormous amount of processing power needed for them to run in real-time. One solution, an approach being adopted by Google and Nokia, is to map out the terrain beforehand, so the cars already have a pretty good idea of where they need to go, and can allow the car’s processing power to focus on the unpredictable parts, […]
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8:18 PM | When Finding Faults, Geologists Must Sometimes Become Ditch-Diggers
For geologists, even with the advent of modern technology, there are instances when older methods are more effective; picks and shovels are sometimes the best complementary tools available for trenching studies.
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6:05 PM | The Science Battle on Social Media
In recent years, localized initiatives to end or reject fluoridation of public water supplies have made news in the United States and Canada. The practice has long been considered an effective and safe way to help curb tooth decay. It is endorsed by numerous professional science-based bodies, such as the American Dental Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). But there is also a long (half century) history of varied opposition, which this Washington […]
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4:50 PM | Alpine bat diet
Credit: © A AlberdiThe alpine long-eared bat, Plecotus macrobullaris was discovered 2002. It is considered the only bat to feed above the tree line, but it uses its foraging ability at lower altitude too. Not long after its discovery it was found far away around the Mediterranean coasts, where the climate is pretty different from any at high alpine altitude.So how alpine is this bat? In summer, they can be found between 1,500 and 2,500 m. The bats take advantage of meadows in flower that […]
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4:37 PM | Venus Flytraps Risk Extinction in the Wild at the Hands of Poachers
Earlier this month four men were arrested for poaching on the Holly Shelter Game Land preserve in North Carolina. Their arrest made national headlines, and history, as they became the first people... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:30 PM | futurescope: Man against machine. The unbelievably fast KUKA...
futurescope: Man against machine. The unbelievably fast KUKA robot faces off against one of the best table tennis players of all time. Who has the best technique? Who will win the first ever table tennis duel of human versus robot? Watch this thrilling preview of table tennis and robotics performed at the highest level. The KUKA KR AGILUS demonstrates its skills with the table tennis racket - a realistic vision of what robots can be capable of in the future.Timo Boll, the German table tennis […]
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3:20 PM | “This is not a wet place.”
The University of Arizona’s Mike Crimmins: But the real answer might be for Arizonans and other people of the southwest to adapt to living under drought conditions. “We expect it to be a lot wetter than it is and it should be,” Crimmins said. “Just look around, the landscape tells the story. This is not ...Continue reading ‘“This is not a wet place.”’ »
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2:04 PM | Oncor Proposes Battery Storage for Texas Electricity Grid
Texas’s transmission and distribution utility, Oncor, which manages the largest power line network in Texas, has proposed an infrastructure upgrade plan to invest 5.2 billion dollars in a network of large storage batteries that will be connected to the power … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Did the Soviet Union collapse harm wildlife?
When a country goes into economic freefall, the resulting chaos can trigger a host of environmental changes. Wildlife regulation often falls by the wayside, and poaching rises — but activities such as logging may drop. “Thus, socioeconomic shocks may hinder or help conservation,” researchers write in Conservation Biology. In the case of the 1991 Soviet
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1:53 PM | Saving Multiple ‘Greens': Affordable Nanotechnology For Eco-Generators
When we think of nanotechnology (if we think of it at all), it’s usually in relation to our understanding of lightweight spacecrafts or the latest set of golf clubs to hit the market. And while many of us may not … Continue reading →
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10:50 AM | Taking a closer look at the global oil supply/demand balance
Global oil prices are at their lowest levels in six years. Supply is up and demand increases are sluggish. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) oil prices have crashed by 60% since... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:32 AM | Regarding the Scheerer’s phenomenon, should this work looking at white backgrounds as well, like white clouds or snow (given it's a bright day)?
It actually works best with blue light, bc: The dots are white blood cells moving in the capillaries in front of the retina of the eye.[4] Blue light (optimal wavelength: 430 nm) is absorbed by the red blood cells that fill the capillaries. The eye and brain “edit out” the shadow lines of the capillaries, partially by dark adaptation of the photoreceptors lying beneath the capillaries. The white blood cells, which are much rarer than the red ones and do not absorb blue light, […]
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7:10 AM | bluejewofzsouchmuhn: ultrafacts: The blue field entoptic...
bluejewofzsouchmuhn: ultrafacts: The blue field entoptic phenomenon or Scheerer’s phenomenon (after the German ophthalmologist Richard Scheerer, who first drew clinical attention to it in 1924) is the appearance of tiny bright dots (nicknamed blue-sky sprites) moving quickly along squiggly lines in the visual field, especially when looking into bright blue light such as the sky. The dots are short-lived, visible for a second or less, and traveling short distances along seemingly random, […]
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4:00 AM | Whale Sharks Get International Protection
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean. But despite their intimidating size — up to 40,000 pounds and 40 feet long — the creatures are so mellow that humans often swim alongside them. Now, an international coalition has agreed on regulations that may help protect whale sharks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) […] The post Whale Sharks Get International Protection appeared first on EH Science.

January 21, 2015

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6:28 PM | Braving the Cold for Bobolinks
Meet six-year-old Kaylee, an advocate for animals even when it’s cold outside!
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6:00 PM | Perennial broccolis through the season
This short video from Food Forest Farm explains how two perennial vegetables, Sea kale (Crambe maritima) and Turkish rocket (Bunias orientalis) can provide you with fresh broccoli in spring and also stir-fry greens in the autumn, and demonstrates how these plants are propagated :) Perennial Broccolis Through the Seasons from Jonathan Bates on Vimeo. This blog posting is © copyright Emma Cooper 2015. Unauthorized duplication and/or republication is not permitted.
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6:00 PM | Designing with Nature: Insights for Drought Resilience and Carbon in Elqui Valley, Chile
Measures taken in cities to improve their adaptation to drought and for carbon sequestration are usually based on general standards to reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and/or to reach an efficient use of water and energy. Normally, these proposals are introduced using ‘globalized’ technologies, which are applied everywhere regardless of context. But nature … Continue reading Designing with Nature: Insights for Drought Resilience and Carbon in Elqui […]
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4:52 PM | Ants on mountains
Many Neotropical species whose range is restricted to tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) are in danger of local or total extinction due to warming and drying as air warmed by climate change ascends these mountains. While the species richness of many arthropod higher taxa declines at high elevations, those species that do reside in TMCF are often highly specialised and endemic, rendering their natural history especially interesting. However, we know little about these TMCF arthropods.The […]
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4:32 PM | How ‘Warmest Ever’ Headlines and Debates Can Obscure What Matters About Climate Change
The complex calculations behind federal scientists' conclusion that 2014 was "easily" the warmest since records began in 1880.
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4:30 PM | AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs
AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs: Experts envision automation and intelligent digital agents permeating vast areas of our work and personal lives by 2025, but they are divided on whether these advances will displace more jobs than they create. If you got some time for a longer read, this is a fantastic report by Pew about what experts from a range of fields expect from AI and Robotics by 2025. Great way to hear many perspectives. For me, the article definitely dampened some of my […]
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3:16 PM | Here Comes the Sun, I Say... It's Alright
Pic of the Day Today, the Sun poked up above the horizon in the Arctic city of Tromsø, Norway for the first time since late November. From here on out the daytime will get longer and longer until the third week in May when the sun won't set at all for awhile. I should say for the record that if you check web sites that give you sunrise and sunset times for cities around the world, they'll tell you that the Sun returned to Tromsø last Thursday. That's not what the […]
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2:55 PM | Not All Renewables Are Created Equal
This guest post is by Jonathan Trinastic, a physics graduate student interested ...
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1:00 PM | Can there ever be a legal ivory trade?
The international trade in elephant ivory has doubled since 2007. Since 1998, it’s tripled. That’s despite the fact that, in 1989, trading ivory became illegal. There are many, many problems with the trade in ivory, but one of them comes down to basic economics: there is a mismatch between the demand for ivory and the quantity
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4:00 AM | VuePod: Powerful New Virtual Reality System
Since Facebook paid $2 billion to acquire the virtual reality gaming device, Oculus Rift, the 3D industry seems to be booming. Now, Brigham Young University (BYU) has added its own invention to the mix. Principally made for use in engineering, yet powerful enough for gaming, the VuePod is especially exciting because it’s comparatively cheap to […] The post VuePod: Powerful New Virtual Reality System appeared first on EH Science.
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3:02 AM | Papal Advice Becoming Good Shepherds Of Nature
Pope Francis proclaims man has slapped Nature in the face Here’s my open letter to his eminence. If you like it you might send him... The post Papal Advice Becoming Good Shepherds Of Nature appeared first on Russ George.
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