Posts

March 04, 2015

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9:54 PM | A Family at Sea: Catching Up With the Horangics
The Horangics take the family trip of a lifetime and collect samples for ASC’s Microplastics Project.
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9:52 PM | Becoming One With Winter on the Sun Prairie
Take a look into winter life on the prairie, as adventurer Trent Banks shares his experience.
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2:39 PM | Montserrat Turns its Focus Toward Ocean Conservation
When you land on Montserrat, your passport gets stamped with a shamrock. That is the first sign that the island has a bit of magic. The air is warm, but the people are warmer. This video introduces some of the faces and vistas of this wondrous place, the second island where the Waitt Institute has…
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12:37 PM | Reflecting on the Voyage: Around The Capes
Somewhere between Madagascar and Mozambique, Peace Boat volunteer interpreter Moe Sasaki lost her shadow. For a few hours around midday the Ocean Dream passed directly under the December sun and it was as if Sasaki’s shadow had unstitched itself and run ahead to the continent of Africa on which she grew up. A month later, volunteer…
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6:33 AM | Waking Up with the Wildlife in Kenya
I peel myself out of bed as the sun peeps up over the horizon. The dogs are stirring and the mere mention of a walk puts them into a frenzy. We head out – the dogs’ noses close to the ground following all of the exciting scents to be found on the Kapiti Plains in…

March 03, 2015

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9:34 PM | March Drought Update: A North-South Divide, and Where’s the Snow?
Uneven rainfall across the state has helped replenish Northern California reservoirs, while those to the south remain in mostly abysmal shape. Meantime, the latest snow report is in, and it's not good.
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8:50 PM | From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton
Most plankton are tiny drifters, wandering in a vast ocean. But where wind and currents converge they become part of a grander story… an explosion of vitality that affects all life on Earth, including our own.
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3:58 PM | Employing shame for environmental change
Anyone who has ever felt the sting of shame, knows it's power. Shame has long been used by societal institutions—families, communities, governments, religions—for making individuals tow the line of the majority. But a new book explores another—arguably more positive—side of shame: it's potential to challenge rule-breaking and ethically-defunct corporations.
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2:17 PM | Mayors Voices: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on New Climate Action Plan
The City of Boston has long been a leader on climate action. Since 2005, we’ve been tracking our greenhouse gas emissions, from both municipal operations and the entire city. And we’ve been making great progress. Citywide emissions are down 17 percent, while municipal emissions are down 27 percent since 2005. We are well on our…
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2:01 PM | How Do Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous Chemicals? UC San...
How Do Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous Chemicals? UC San Diego’s Amro Hamdoun explains how you can think of cells like night clubs. With every substance that a cell encounters it has to decide which to eliminate and which to let in. Since humans have generated over 80,000 synthetic compounds, it’s now ever more important to understand both what these substances are doing to our bodies, but to also create a rule book for making these chemicals safer.
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2:00 PM | Google Cameras Go Zip-lining Through The Amazon Rainforest
Google likes taking their cameras to strange places, letting people explore viking ruins or walk under the aurora all from the comfort of their computers. Google also has a…
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9:30 AM | Why the OED are right to purge nature from the dictionary
Martin Robbins: Attacking a dictionary for removing archaic words is like punching your thermometer when it’s too cold. If the pen is mightier than the sword then words are probably more lethal than bullets, and that makes Oxford Dictionaries the most powerful military force in the world. This metaphor helps explain two things: why I’m not a very successful writer, and why a group of authors are so concerned that a variety of words relating to nature were culled from the Oxford […]

March 02, 2015

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10:46 PM | World Wildlife Day: How 9 National Geographic Explorers Are Making a Difference
Stressed animals find new habitats, baby animals have a better chance for survival, and the world keeps its natural heritage alive thanks in part to the feats these Explorers perform every day.
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10:46 PM | World Wildlife Day: How 10 National Geographic Explorers Are Making a Difference
Stressed animals find new habitats, baby animals have a better chance for survival, and the world keeps its natural heritage alive thanks in part to the feats these Explorers perform every day.
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10:30 PM | Vienna Is Going To Build A 25-Story Skyscraper Out Of Wood
Next year in Vienna, architects will start working on a 275-foot-tall building made almost entirely out of wood. The Guardian reports that the approximately 25-story…
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9:55 PM | March 1, 2015: Photographing a Revolution, Collecting Subway Bacteria and More
This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they swab New York's subways for bacteria, plan the perfect surf getaway, photograph a revolution, study the world's most important fish, meet a glow in the dark shark, leave and return to a beloved homeland, learn the best way to eat a banana, and plan for sea level rise.
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9:21 PM | How Can We Address Indoor Air Pollution?
From KQED Education Do Now: Indoor air pollution from from burning solid fuels for heating and cooking is a huge health concern in many parts of the world. How can we best address this problem?
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8:42 PM | 6 Ways to Save the Salton Sea and Colorado Delta
By Benny Andrés With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert.…
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4:47 PM | Another online project: Bracing for Impact, reported by Flux
In case you were wondering, Webb of Science hasn’t disappeared, but I have been busy with a variety of other projects. The Science Writers’ Handbook website continued to publish regularly through December, and I had a baby boy in October. In addition,  I was part of a team of reporters (named Flux) who launched a crowdfunded … Continue reading Another online project: Bracing for Impact, reported by Flux →
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6:12 AM | Phytoplankton in Commencement Bay
I routinely look up historic photographs for work on the Washington State Department of Ecology shoreline website. The image below came up on the page when I opened it. The site is the Port of Tacoma at Commencement Bay and captures an impressive phytoplankton bloom in July 2006. Thea Foss Waterway at TacomaThe last image below suggests a source - the sediment laden Puyallup River carrying sediment from Mount Rainier provides a nutrient source for the phytoplankton.  
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5:58 AM | The Voynich Manuscript
What do Assassin’s Creed, Indiana Jones , and the cryptographer Alan Turing (The Imitation Game) have in common? The Voynich Manuscript. The Voynich Manuscript is a hand written document, of which 240 pages remain, written on calf skin vellum, illustrated with diagrams, drawings, and an unknown language written from left to right. It was purchased in Italy […]

March 01, 2015

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7:00 PM | How do we make chemicals safer for our environment?
How do we make chemicals safer for our environment?
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4:33 PM | KFCs in the UK Are Planning to Sell Coffee In Edible Cups… Made Out of Cookies
Every morning, millions of Americans purchase cups of coffee to get their day going. This coffee is typically served in styrofoam cups, which do a great job of keeping the coffee hot. However, styrofoam also takes more than a million years years to decompose, making it terrible for the environment. But what if you could just eat your cup after you finish your coffee? That’s the idea that KFC had when it decided to try out edible cups at select locations in the
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12:11 AM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/02/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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12:11 AM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/02/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]

February 28, 2015

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11:21 PM | Asian tree rings explain historical plague outbreaks in Europe
Climate-driven plague outbreaks in Asia were repeatedly transmitted over several centuries into southern European harbors, an international team of researchers has found. This finding contrasts the general belief that the […]
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11:16 PM | Massive amounts of Saharan dust fertilize the Amazon rainforest
Every year, millions of tons of nutrient-rich Saharan dust cross the Atlantic Ocean, bringing vital phosphorus and other fertilizers to depleted Amazon soils. For the first time, scientists have an […]
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7:18 PM | In Pursuit of Illegal Loggers in India
In India in a rural area along the border with Bangladesh, Tripp Burwell of the Society for Conservation Biology was helping local villagers learn about forest conservation when they heard the sounds of illegal loggers at work. Pursuit of the poachers resulted in an opportunity to apprehend and talk with the interlopers from a neighboring village, and…
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1:44 AM | Survivable IPCC projections are science fiction – the reality is much worse
Even to non-specialists, there is glaring incongruity between potential disaster and promised political action. Nick Breeze dissects the issue with interviews and data. Continue reading →

February 27, 2015

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10:13 PM | Notes on Coal Dust and Bakken Oil
Cliff Mass put up a post of a study he and a student completed regarding wind and potential coal dust at the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal strong-winds-coal-dust. Dr. Mass points out a variety of issues with this proposed project that I am sure is a delight to coal terminal proponents.There is a picture of flying coal dust from a wind event that hit the coal terminal just to the north in Canada. Lest anyone suggest coal dust does not get blown off of coal piles, here is the Boardman, […]
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