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A journal of science, thought, and action.

What Rivers Can Tell About Earth's History

22

Jul

2017

What Rivers Can Tell About Earth's History

Rivers tells us about Earth's history.

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Holographic Microbes

21

Jul

2017

Holographic Microbes

Exobiology as holograms.

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The Conservation Alliance

Archive Highlights

"Look to the Mountains"

"Look to the Mountains"

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

24 Apr 2015

Video Highlights

Recent Archive Highlights

The Colours of Australia are Fading

The Colours of Australia are Fading 2 June 2017

The Colours of Australia are Fading

Major changes have occurred recently to Australian forests.

Super Coral...a Super Hero?

Super Coral...a Super Hero? 26 May 2017

Super Coral...a Super Hero?

Heat-tolerant corals may help reef restoration.

Replanting Corals

Replanting Corals 17 May 2017

Replanting Corals

Some people are taking positive action today to reverse the damage caused by climate change and building resilience for tomorrow.

A Monumental President

A Monumental President 16 May 2017

A Monumental President

Two new national monuments were designated.

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.

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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Changing Zones

Every so often, the USDA updates its hardiness zone maps for the nation. The agricultural agency released their latest map at the beginning of 2012 to reflect changes since 1990. A hardiness zone is defined, “as a geographically defined area in which a specific category of plant life is capable of growing under the existing climatic conditions, including its ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone.” The maps are of particular utility to farmers and gardeners making plans ...
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City of Lights

Paris, France is known as the City of Lights. It is a place of beauty from any vantage point. I wonder if you can see the Eifel Tower, a 19th Century technological artifact, from the height of a 20th Century one, the international space station (ISS)? ISS views Europe at night (credit: NASA) WHB
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Earth: The Other Side

        Beautiful photo of Earth from NASA’s Suomi NPP.
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The Mechanical Swarm

";" alt=""> The brain sees these little buggers and immediately thinks: attack of the drones. But maybe not. Couldn’t we program these little guys to deliver pizza?
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Super-sized Earth

The first extra-solar planet has been clearly identified orbiting within the habitable zone. The new alien planet to close to Earth. The newly discovered world is designated as GJ667Cc, takes roughly 28 days to circle its parent star, a red-dwarf, and is located only 22 light-years away in the constellation Scorpios. The planet a super-sized, rocky world, 4.5 times as massive as Earth. Its red-dwarf star is part of a triple system, is about one-third the size of the Sun, and, while faint, ...
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X-ray Specs for Pollution

Casey Roberts is a student at the University of Houston. She also writes for Radiology Assistant, which helps students find the right radiology degree. She was kind enough to write for us about how scientists are using X-rays to study pollution. When a bone is broken, you x-ray it. When the planet is broken, maybe you do the same thing. A new technology called Q-XAS, or Quick Scanning X-ray Absorbtion Spectroscopy, uses the power of radiololgy to help care for the environment. This ...
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Bigger, Better, and Best

Robots continue getting better, particularly those complicated mobile machines the Jet Propulsion Laboratory builds to roll autonomously around the surface of Mars. JPL’s latest testing lab, the Mars Science Laboratory, is enroute to attempt a tricky landing there in August. Here is an image illustrating the growth in size and scientific testing complexity of three generations of JPL Mars rovers . JPL Mars Rovers (credit: NASA) The first rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997 ...
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Bulbmania

  I must admit suffering from an acute condition known as bulbmania, the love of rare and unusual geophytes, as they are technically known. Be warned, the condition can be contagious. The bulbs I refer to aren’t the typical super-hybridized daffodils, tulips, or hyacinths of your garden center or florist shop but wild geophytes found in semi-arid and desert landscapes ranging from South Africa’s Namaqualand, the Central Asian mountains and steppes, to Chile’s Atacama Desert. The majority ...
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Dunes-R-Cool

Dunes are some of the coolest features of any landscape be it Earth, Mars, or Titan, the largest moon in our solar system. We typically conjure visions of sand dunes from the Sahara, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, or some creepy SciFi movie that swallows entire cities. The tiny particles that create dunes are moved around dry landscapes by winds—aeolian—and deposited when the air flow stops. On Earth, dunes are produced by sand grains moved by our atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen; on Mars its by ...
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Where the warming's at

Dear Climate Morons:If global warming isn't caused by people and the billions of fires we light every day in our engines and power plants, and it's caused instead by sun spots or solar flares or a wobbly Earth, then why is so much of the warming happening in the northern hemisphere, where all the people are? 
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LeBron bikes to work

No helicopters or Lambos, like Kobe. LeBron bikes to work. Apparently he does this all the time.
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You think you have a small house?

How's this for a small house? This one fits in your pocket.  Casa Básica / Basic House from martinazua on Vimeo.
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Interview with Tim DeChristopher

Tim DeChristopher interviewed from prison. "What the climate movement needs to get to is a point of resistance that doesn't have an ending," he says. "That's what make a lot of people uncomfortable about the Occupy movement was that it didn't have an ending."  He's scheduled to be out of prison in the spring on 2013. 
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Underwater jet pack

From ITN.
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The Beauty of Pollination

Those talented programmers at the TED Talks have provided a beautiful introduction to pollination. And this new presentation doesn’t even include any talking. Our wellbeing is dependent on these critters more than we ever knew. ";" alt="">The Beauty of Pollination (credit: TED Conferences) WHB
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DIY Launches

The do-it-yourself (DIY) philosophy is getting way out of hand. A pair of Canadian teens launched a little plastic Lego robot off into the stratosphere riding on top of a balloon. The high altitude voyage carried a video cam wrapped in woolen hand-warmers to record the trip. The balloon returned to Earth undamaged more than 100 miles from the launch site. Check it out: ";" alt="">Lego Man Goes to Space (credit: YouTube) However, the little Maple Leaf Lego guy should have been ...
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Chasing Ice

In the vein of full disclosure, it must be admitted that I am super-biased about the subject matter of a yet-to-be released movie, Chasing Ice, the film’s subject James Balog, a friend of 40 years, and the Sundance Film Festival where I was an original long-time volunteer. It is hard not to celebrate this fantastic documentary film, the dedicated explorer-photographer, and a festival that has come to represent all that is important in independent filmmaking. Chasing Ice chronicles the ...
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Rust Belt

The idea of a rust belt conjures images of derelict steel mills or long abandoned auto plants covered, well, in red rust of industrial strength. It isn’t a pretty sight. Far less well known are rusts that impact the natural world, particularly plants. Plant rusts are diseases caused by pathogenic fungi of which nearly 7800 species are known. Rusts can affect all plants from their leaves, stems, and roots, to their fruits and seeds. An outbreak of Myrtle Rust has been spreading like a ...
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11 Alien Solar Systems and Counting

Kepler is at it again. The clever space telescope has now discovered 11 entirely new planetary systems circling alien suns. The total of confirmed planets now stands at 26 and counting. According to NASA, the Kepler findings nearly double the number of identified worlds found outside our solar system. The alien worlds range from 1.5 times the size Earth to larger than Jupiter. All of the newly  discovered planets circle very close to their parent stars making it highly unlikely that any ...
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Spaceman Newt

You gotta like Newt, the giant-headed Republican candidate for president who's going to take us back to the moon. There are two ways to love him. First, as the real-life incarnation of Steve Austin, the congressional candidate from 30 Rock who wanted casinos on the moon: Second, as a legitimate person with actual ideas knocking around in that giant globe on his shoulders. He wants to have a permanent moon base by the end of his second term. So we can mine them for rare ...
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Earth HD

Spectacular new high-definition photo of Earth.  Hey, I can see my house!
  • 1955

Strung along

They say string theory is the only game in town, and so we'd better all get working on trying to understand what it means. Most of us are still working on wrapping our heads around relativity.  So my cutting edge is about a hundred years behind. (And, honestly, I never really grasped calculus.) String theory includes a lot of strange components, including the idea -- which scientists say is more likely than not -- that our universe has many more dimensions than the four we're used to. Here's ...
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Auroras Galore

  The eruptions from the Sun’s surface plasma produce visual displays when the energized particles hit the Earth's upper atmosphere. This short video sequence, captured in northern Norway, resulted from a January 19th solar flare. These auroras are particularly amazing. Norway Auroras (credit: Helge Mortensen) WHB
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