Posts

July 22, 2014

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4:05 PM | Gene drives on Greater Boston
The nice folks at Greater Boston had me and Kevin Esvelt on to talk about the powerful new gene editing technique he devised. ∞∞
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3:01 PM | Things I Forget: Push/Pull Greyed out in RStudio?!?
So, on more than one occasion I have set up a repository locally, then on GitHub and pushed to that repo from the shell. This works great, but this would always result in the Push and Pull buttons in RStudio getting greyed out. I could push just fine from the shell, but not from the […]
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1:54 PM | Genetically Engineering Almost Anything
Yours truly and Eleanor Nelsen, reporting for NOVA Next: With gene drives—so named because they drive a gene through a population—researchers just have to slip a new gene into a drive system and let nature take care of the rest. Subsequent generations of whatever species we choose to modify—frogs, weeds, mosquitoes—will have more and more […]∞

July 21, 2014

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10:28 AM | (Near) Garden of the Gods Reprise: Jackson Falls
Remember when we visited the Shrooms of the Gods at Garden of the Gods? That’s not the only wondrous place formed by the Pounds Sandstone. Reader Heliconia got to visit the area in early... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 20, 2014

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6:01 PM | Earth Art: Wildfire Abstraction
By mid-afternoon on Saturday, July 19th, raging wildfires in Oregon and Washington had consumed 947,583 acres, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. That’s an area more than three times the size of New York City, and up from a bit more than 300,000 acres on Thursday. About 100 homes have been destroyed in Washington, and […]The post Earth Art: Wildfire Abstraction appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 19, 2014

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5:46 PM | Editorial post at Science Borealis
Fear not, dear readers, I haven’t forgotten my blog but have been busy elsewhere – namely over at Science Borealis where we’re making plans to ensure the long-term sustainability of our science blog syndicating project. While I haven’t blogged here in a week or so, I had a guest editorial up at Science Borealis as…

July 18, 2014

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10:27 PM | Super Typhoon Rammasun Slams Ashore in Southern China
Super Typhoon began pummeling the mainland of southern China today, slamming ashore on the Luichow Peninsula with winds at landfall that may have been as high as 135 miles per hour. Click on the image above to watch an animation of infrared satellite images showing the storm barreling ashore. It was the strongest storm to hit southern China […]The post Super Typhoon Rammasun Slams Ashore in Southern China appeared first on ImaGeo.
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8:30 PM | As Rosetta Nears its Rendezvous With a Comet, Use this Way Cool Interactive Model to See How it Got There
The folks at Inove, creators of Solar System Scope, got in touch with me this morning to share their recent cool creation: an online, interactive, 3-D model of the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has lately been going through a series of thruster burns to bring it to a […]The post As Rosetta Nears its Rendezvous With a Comet, Use this Way Cool Interactive Model to See How it Got There appeared first on ImaGeo.
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6:16 PM | Numerous Wildfires Rage in Hot and Dry Pacific Northwest
| Updated 7/19/14, 10 a.m. MDT: see new image below | Ignited by lightning strikes on hot and tinder dry forests, more than a dozen large wildfires are raging throughout the Pacific Northwest of the United States and up into British Columbia. In Oregon and Washington alone, more than 310,000 acres were ablaze as of yesterday […]The post Numerous Wildfires Rage in Hot and Dry Pacific Northwest appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 17, 2014

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9:58 PM | Galapagos
Today, the strange story of a small group of islands that raise a big question: is it inevitable that even our most sacred natural landscapes will eventually get swallowed up by humans? And just how far are we willing to go to stop that from happening? We are dedicating a whole hour to the Galapagos archipelago, the place that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. 179 years later, the Galapagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose -- and possibly […]
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4:55 PM | California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895
I didn’t think that the release today of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report would bring significant news about California. As the report says, with much of the state categorized as being in extreme or exceptional drought, and May through September being normally dry anyway, “there is not much more room for further deterioration, at […]The post California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895 appeared first on ImaGeo.
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9:10 AM | Grown in Hot Rock Depths: The Geology of the Seahawks Super Bowl Rings Part I
The 184 diamonds in the Seahawks Super Bowl Championship rings can tell us a thing or three about Earth’s inner self. We’re still interrogating those valuable, shiny rocks (which... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 15, 2014

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6:48 AM | June Was 6th Warmest Globally. The Month Brought Raging Wildfires, Brutal Temperatures, and Melting in Greenland
Arctic air may be plunging south into the U.S. midsection this week, but for the globe as a whole, the picture has been quite different recently. Check out NASA’s latest rendering of the big global picture above. It shows how temperatures departed from the 1951-1980 average in June. The warm colors covering most of the […]The post June Was 6th Warmest Globally. The Month Brought Raging Wildfires, Brutal Temperatures, and Melting in Greenland appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 14, 2014

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8:54 PM | The Moon: A Visual Appreciation As We Approach the 45th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Historic Small Step
In this post, I’m going to attempt to tie together the recent rising of a “supermoon,” the first Moon landing, the painter Mark Rothko, and photographic technique. I hope you’ll bear with me, keep reading, and click on all the images…  As I was flying home from San Francisco last Saturday, the hazy, twilight view […]The post The Moon: A Visual Appreciation As We Approach the 45th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Historic Small Step appeared first […]

July 12, 2014

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4:20 PM | Has the Sun Blown its Top?
I spotted this image on the Facebook page for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and found it so compelling that I had to share it. The brilliant arcing loops of hot plasma, and the roiling bright areas certainly caught my attention. But I was most intrigued by the two bluish, dark regions, especially the one atop […]The post Has the Sun Blown its Top? appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 11, 2014

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6:59 PM | Lake Mead Shrivels to Historic Low Level. In Just Two Years, the Change is Dramatic Enough to be Visible from Space
Not that it was any surprise, but thanks to continuing drought, Arizona’s Lake Mead is projected to shrivel this week to its lowest level since it first filled behind Hoover Dam in the 1930s. All told, 40 million people in seven states depend on water from the Colorado River Basin. Lake Mead is the giant […]The post Lake Mead Shrivels to Historic Low Level. In Just Two Years, the Change is Dramatic Enough to be Visible from Space appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 10, 2014

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7:15 PM | “Big, expensive, controversial—and indispensable”
James Fallows, making the case for California’s high-speed rail project: Plus, infrastructure! Of the right kind. You can think of big transport investments that didn’t pay off, especially if you start by thinking of Robert Moses. You can more easily think of ones that defined countries, eras, economies. For your old-world types, you have the […]∞
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5:08 PM | In disappearing Mexican jungle, it’s tribes vs. biologists
Joshua Partlow, reporting for the Washington Post: Land struggles have a storied history in Mexico. They were at the heart of the country’s biggest political upheavals, dating to its decade-long revolution at the turn of the 20th century. During the 1994 Zapatista uprising here in Chiapas, the masked Mayan farmers who seized towns across the […]∞
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8:02 AM | Forged in Cosmic Furnaces: The Geology of the Seahawks Super Bowl Rings (Prologue)
What’s a Super Bowl ring got to do with geology, right? I mean, geology’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you gaze upon the Seahawks’ (first ever!) shiny new bling. Don’t worry,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:28 AM | The business of longform journalism on the web
Lauren Hazard Owen, writing for Gigaom: Does Byliner’s failure mean that longform journalism on the web is doomed? Or are Byliner’s problems specific to Byliner? Owen tiptoes around those questions, not explicitly answering either of them. But she does hint a bit, suggesting that Byliner had its own set of problems that haven’t affected its […]∞
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2:09 AM | Will cities of the future be built of wood?
Courtney Humphries, reporting for the Boston Globe: On this scale, the construction industry is set up to work in concrete and steel, and doesn’t change course easily. Architects are unaccustomed to envisioning their designs in timber. They also face building codes shaped by wood’s long record as a flammable material. In that sense, its advocates […]∞

July 07, 2014

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8:20 AM | Super Typhoon Neoguri Now Aiming For Japan
Last Thursday, as Hurricane Arthur was bearing down on the North Carolina coast, I posted a short update about trouble just beginning to brew in the Pacific. Now, that trouble has arrived — big time. What was then a tropical storm has now blossomed into Super Typhoon Neoguri. As I’m writing this shortly after midnight […]The post Super Typhoon Neoguri Now Aiming For Japan appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 05, 2014

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5:11 PM | It takes discipline
Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It’s National Novel Writing Month, and it usually happens in November. NaNoWriMo is a virtual writing group: you sign up online, keep track of your word count online, and communicate with your fellow writers online. This year they’re holding a summer edition called Camp NaNoWriMo, which is for the month…

July 04, 2014

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9:00 AM | Happy Fourth of Geology! I Mean, July!
It’s America’s 238th birthday! I can tell because there are fireworks vendors populating every possible parking lot, and things benignly exploding with beautiful trailing sparks overhead.... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 03, 2014

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11:18 PM | Meanwhile, Out in the Pacific Ocean… Meet Tropical Storm 08W, a Possible Threat to Japan
As Hurricane Arthur begins to lash the North Carolina coast with high winds and storm surges, another cyclone is brewing — this one in the Pacific Ocean. Today, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded it from a tropical depression to a tropical storm. Designated as Tropical Storm 08W, it is now located southwest of Guam […]The post Meanwhile, Out in the Pacific Ocean… Meet Tropical Storm 08W, a Possible Threat to Japan appeared first on ImaGeo.
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9:23 PM | Watch Arthur Explode into a Cyclone and Head up Coast
NASA’s Earth Observatory just published this dramatic video of Hurricane Arthur, based on data from the GOES-13 satellite. It shows the evolution of the storm and its movement up the southern Atlantic coast from July 1 through today. At about 7 seconds into the animation, the storm seems to explode and then take on a clear cyclonic […]The post Watch Arthur Explode into a Cyclone and Head up Coast appeared first on ImaGeo.
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7:52 PM | Hurricane Arthur Threatens Serious Coastal Flooding
As I write this at 3:30 EDT, Hurricane Arthur’s maximum sustained winds are pegged at 90 miles per hour, and conditions are already deteriorating along the North Carolina coast. The storm has accelerated and is intensifying, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is expected to reach Category 2 strength when it passes over or […]The post Hurricane Arthur Threatens Serious Coastal Flooding appeared first on ImaGeo.
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6:39 PM | That’s a Weird Looking Sunspot… Hold On… It’s Actually the International Space Station Transiting the Sun!
The #ISS transits the sun. Credit: M. Teodorescu http://t.co/6Mlxpv9u6R #exp40 pic.twitter.com/WSLPp0DoXr — Observing Space (@ObservingSpace) June 30, 2014 Maximilian Teodorescu of Magurele, Romania captured this fabulous image of the International Space Station passing in front of the Sun on June 30. Both he and his wife knew when the event would happen and set up their […]The post That’s a Weird Looking Sunspot… Hold On… It’s Actually the […]
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4:55 PM | Women-In-Science Series at Canadian Science Publishing
This week, to celebrate Canada Day, the first in CSP’s Women In Science series was posted on their blog. For this post I interviewed Dr. Andrea Kirkwood, an Associate Professor of biology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. My goal with this series is not to rehash the theory and problems behind the…

July 02, 2014

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11:44 PM | Cool New Animation of Arthur (When He Was Just a Tot)
Check out this new animation depicting the low pressure system that would later transform into Tropical Storm Arthur. (But a warning: If you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to take something for it beforehand… Just joking, sort of.) The data, gathered on June 29th by NASA’s TRMM satellite, allowed scientists to construct 3D […]The post Cool New Animation of Arthur (When He Was Just a Tot) appeared first on ImaGeo.
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