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A journal of science, thought, and action.

Test Driving GEOS-16

27

Apr

2017

Test Driving GEOS-16

GOES-16 tracks a major dust storm in a 'test drive'.

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Denying Science

25

Apr

2017

Denying Science

Learn to reject 'magic beans'.

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The Conservation Alliance

Archive Highlights

Irony Alert: Plants Used in Herbal Remedies Cause Cancer

By Reilly Capps Plants that have been used by Chinese medicine men for centuries as a natural way to cure arthritis and other disease actually...

14 Aug 2013

Video Highlights

Recent Archive Highlights

Coral Reef Update, 3

Coral Reef Update, 3 18 March 2017

Coral Reef Update, 3

Explaining the biology and consequences of coral bleaching.

Supporting Environmental Work

Supporting Environmental Work 1 April 2016

Supporting Environmental Work

April campaign to We Keep it Wild and support The Conservation Alliance.

Protecting New Lands

Protecting New Lands 14 July 2015

Protecting New Lands

Several important land protections were declared in just one week, perhaps a new trend.

Explorer to present at The Conservation Alliance

Explorer to present at The Conservation Alliance 25 June 2015

Explorer to present at The Conservation Alliance

Eric Larsen will present his The Last North expedition to an outdoor/conservation audience in Utah..

Compassionate Turtles

Compassionate Turtles 24 June 2015

Compassionate Turtles

Behavior that would be considered compassionate in humans is also observed in animals.

"Look to the Mountains"

"Look to the Mountains" 24 April 2015

"Look to the Mountains"

A photographer, mountaineer, and environmental ambassador says: "look to the mountains".

Pop-up Bugs

Mobee, or Monolithic Bees, is a tiny drone crafted by engineers at Harvard's Microrobotics Laboratory. Like an origami folded puzzle, the micro-device uses intricate layering and uses a folding process that allows fabrication of multiple pop-up robots. It can fly. The first prototypes consist of layers consisting of carbon fibers, brass, plastic, sturdy titanium, light weight ceramics, and adhesives laminated in a complex, laser-cut, design. The structure incorporates flexible hinges ...
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Three Strikes And You're.....?

Climate Deniers are having a hard time. First, information was leaked to the magnifying glass of the media, including the Los Angeles Times, that efforts to create dis-information and confusion about the science of climate change was actually supported by large supporters of a climate denial think tank and now two scientific reports actually bring clear focus to the actual facts of the situation facing everyone: Researchers find unprecedented, man-made trends in oceans acidity  and  NASA ...
  • 1462

Three Strikes And You're.....?

Climate Deniers are having a hard time. First, information was leaked to the magnifying glass of the media, including the Los Angeles Times, that efforts to create dis-information and confusion about the science of climate change was actually supported by large supporters of a climate denial think tank and now two scientific reports actually bring clear focus to the actual facts of the situation facing everyone: Researchers find unprecedented, man-made trends in oceans acidity  and  NASA ...
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Restore Hetch Hetchy

John Muir once called the glacial carved Hetch Hetchy Valley next to Yosemite “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples”. In the early 1920’s, that wild temple was flooded and turned into a placid reservoir. The City of San Francisco succeeded in its campaign to dam the valley. However, a desire to reverse the 19th-20th Century decisions, breach the dam, and restore the valley has never died. This recovery effort has now received the endorsement in a strong opinion ...
  • 1512

Restore Hetch Hetchy

John Muir once called the glacial carved Hetch Hetchy Valley next to Yosemite “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples”. In the early 1920’s, that wild temple was flooded and turned into a placid reservoir. The City of San Francisco succeeded in its campaign to dam the valley. However, a desire to reverse the 19th-20th Century decisions, breach the dam, and restore the valley has never died. This recovery effort has now received the endorsement in a strong opinion ...
  • 1732

Green Is The Sun

You probably never thought the sun could look green but in this new extreme image taken by NASA’s STEREO spacecraft it does. Photographs captured using ultra-violet and infrared filters, provide additional details to the Sun’s surface and corona that advance understanding of solar processes. Green is also the color of chlorophyll in plants that sustains terrestrial life on Earth. Green Ultra-violet Sun (credit: NASA/STEREO Mission) WHB
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Green Is The Sun

You probably never thought the sun could look green but in this new extreme image taken by NASA’s STEREO spacecraft it does. Photographs captured using ultra-violet and infrared filters, provide additional details to the Sun’s surface and corona that advance understanding of solar processes. Green is also the color of chlorophyll in plants that sustains terrestrial life on Earth. Green Ultra-violet Sun (credit: NASA/STEREO Mission) WHB
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Restoring a Delta

When John Steinbeck and his friend the wildlife biologist, Ed Ricketts, travelled through Baja California in the early 1940’s, the Colorado River still flowed to Sea of Cortez. For millennia, the waters of the river had  fed a vast marshy ecosystem of over 2 million acres that spread from the river’s mouth in Mexico back into the United States. Thousands of species of birds, small mammals, and other wildlife flourished in this estuary as an exquisite example of the life-sustaining capacity ...
  • 1487

Restoring a Delta

When John Steinbeck and his friend the wildlife biologist, Ed Ricketts, travelled through Baja California in the early 1940’s, the Colorado River still flowed to Sea of Cortez. For millennia, the waters of the river had  fed a vast marshy ecosystem of over 2 million acres that spread from the river’s mouth in Mexico back into the United States. Thousands of species of birds, small mammals, and other wildlife flourished in this estuary as an exquisite example of the life-sustaining capacity ...
  • 1643

Worth Its Weight In Rock?

If you were told that something was worth $1000 per gram--$28000 per ounce or $450000 per pound--you would be right to assume that is was an illicit substance likely bad to consume. If you heard that was the value placed on a rock consisting of basic metals and trace elements, you would again be right in thinking someone was crazy to spend the money. However, that is the market price if you wanted to purchase a gram of space rock that was blasted off the surface of Mars several million years ...
  • 1464

Worth Its Weight In Rock?

If you were told that something was worth $1000 per gram--$28000 per ounce or $450000 per pound--you would be right to assume that is was an illicit substance likely bad to consume. If you heard that was the value placed on a rock consisting of basic metals and trace elements, you would again be right in thinking someone was crazy to spend the money. However, that is the market price if you wanted to purchase a gram of space rock that was blasted off the surface of Mars several million years ...
  • 931

Humans and Whales, a Redux part 2

We reflected on the history of humans and whales in the 18th-20th Centuries and a new book about interactions between humans and whales by D. Graham Burnett. Now in the 21st Century, a more positive approach is being pursued as this video by the Great Whale Conservancy demonstrates from the Sea of Cortez off Baja California: ";" alt="">Humpback Whale Rescue (credit: Great Whale Conservancy) Riled Up
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Humans and Whales, a Redux part 2

We reflected on the history of humans and whales in the 18th-20th Centuries and a new book about interactions between humans and whales by D. Graham Burnett. Now in the 21st Century, a more positive approach is being pursued as this video by the Great Whale Conservancy demonstrates from the Sea of Cortez off Baja California: ";" alt="">Humpback Whale Rescue (credit: Great Whale Conservancy) Riled Up
  • 945

Humans and Whales, a Redux

This history of humans and whales is a long and tortured one. From the end of the 18th Century until the middle of the 20th, whales were butchered to produce products used in everything from lighting lamps to producing soap products. The marine mammals were the basis of the first oil industry boom before petroleum replaced their slaughter. However, by the 1950’s when most whaling stopped, the world’s population of whales had been reduced by over 90-95%. Now generally protected except for ...
  • 1027

Colorful Data

Visualizing data is really important. Who hasn’t had to sit through a tedious and boring presentation of charts, graphs, and tables of data? Now, graphic modeling and mathematical algorithms allow vast arrays of numeric information to be viewed in totally new ways. The images can provide insights into underlying and often hidden patterns masked within the data. Besides illustrating a subject in the gathered numbers, such as climate measurements, visual data can often be artistically ...
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Stop-Action---Slow-Motion

Stop-action photography requires excellent equipment to capture events measured in the thousandths of a second. Think of a bullet piercing a melon. Here’s a fine example but what it is depicting? Hint, they are both fluids: Stop-Action Dance (credit: LiveScience) The answer will follow later. WHB
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Wanted: Underwater Pics

The Rosenthiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) at the University of Miami just announced their 2012 annual underwater photo contest with a submission deadline on March 25th. The categories of the photos include: fish or marine animal portraits, macro, and wide-angle underwater photography. The amateur photos will be judged by a panel of professional photographers and marine scientists and draws submitters from around the world. The 2012 contest will also include a “Fan ...
  • 941

Exploring Starts Young

by Conrad Anker Last week the news of job creation was upbeat. The economy registered an overall increase of 243,000 jobs in the month of January 2012. In a broad measure, January’s news adds to 27 consecutive months of job creation. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you’re on, this is good news. Compound this on a level in Montana, where each Sunday our local newspaper highlights recent job additions, and a state unemployment rate of 7.1%, it is fair to say things are ...
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When Plates Collide

Continental Drift, or plate tectonics, has shaped the world as we know it. The process is a cornerstone of modern geology. The plates that carry the continents move and grind against each other and have done so for billions of years. The location and size of the land masses existing during the Devonian, Cretaceous, or Permian ages were totally different from what we know today. The world of the far future---perhaps 50-200 million years from now---will have a new supercontinent, Amasia, ...
  • 957

From Russia With Love

At the height of the Cold War, James Bond was enlisted to retrieve a Russian encryption device and save the world from the evil SPECTRE. Times have changed, the cold war is over, and the Russians have made a  ar more exciting discovery than scrambling messages. Russian engineers and polar researchers have now succeed in drilling more than 12000 feet into the Antarctic Ice Sheet and reached Lake Vostok, a huge body of water covered for millions of years by the ice. Sampling the ice-covered ...
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As Cheap As Sunlight

A new solar cell design has been developed by researchers at Cambridge University in the UK. In a huge increase in efficiency, the new cells promise to increase efficiency by a significant amount. Conversion efficiency of solar energy into electricity directly affects the economics of solar energy production. The more photons converted to electrons per unit area, the better the efficiency, and the lower the cost of energy production. The Cambridge research being published by the journal ...
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Cannon fire

Breaking news: cannon fire at the White House this week. There were no injuries. No, the British army of 1812 has not returned. The cannon ball was a marshmallow. This was at the second White House Science Fair, President Obama helped an eighth-grader from Arizona load and fire his “Extreme Marshmallow Cannon” through the air of the State Dining Room. Watch the President get all childlike about it, pitching in to pump up the cannon and directing it away (I think) from some paintings on ...
  • 965

Auroras, Stars, & Trees

The amazing light-shows known as auroras are very active and very beautiful now. The Sun has recently become active with numerous eruptions of flares, sunspots, and ejections of mass from its surface. These solar events expel charged particles into the solar system triggering auroras when they encounter the Earth’s upper atmosphere. One massive solar storm produced the beautiful auroras seen in this video from northern Norway. The storms on the Sun will continue for some time allowing ...
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Rampage of the Pythons

  Invasive species are annoying. Whether they are cane toads hopping across Australia, kudzu vines smothering southern pine forests, or lionfish eating Caribbean coral reefs, these new visitors from other environments are rapidly growing in their frequency, impacts, and eradication costs. Such unwelcome guests can be especially troublesome if they happen to be an apex or top predator like pythons that have invaded the Florida in massive numbers. OnPoint Radio from WBUR focused attention ...
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The Jurassic Speaks

The Jurassic Age ended 145 million years ago. However, we can now hear how the ancient forests may have sounded courtesy of new research. Paleontologists in China unearthed, complete, fossilized, Jurassic crickets with their hind-leg scales intact. These are the anatomical structures responsible for the sounds produced by modern crickets on a cool summer night. They are familiar to everyone. The prehistoric mating chatter of the ancient katydids was recreated by comparing the wing ...
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Beach Front Property

The Europeans treasure their summer vacations at the beach. Thousands make an annual pilgrimage to the south of France, Italy, Greece, and Croatia. Now, researchers with the European Space Agency ( ESA ) have announced discovering a large beach that once existed on Mars. It dried up nearly 4 billion years ago. Using radar data from an ESA instrument known as MARSIS, the researchers detected sedimentary materials in the northern plains on Mars in a region that has been identified as a ...
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