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A journal of science, thought, and action.

Sand Sea

15

Aug

2018

Sand Sea

Namibia's Skeleton Coast.

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Why Science?

14

Aug

2018

Why Science?

Carl Sagan was interviewed about this.

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The Conservation Alliance

Archive Highlights

Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From

A clever storyteller suggests an answer.

22 Dec 2017

Video Highlights

Recent Archive Highlights

Conserving, the Mother Load

Conserving, the Mother Load 26 June 2018

Conserving, the Mother Load

Avoiding another Dust Bowl.

Environmental Art

Environmental Art 15 January 2018

Environmental Art

Creating paintings with natue connections.

Patagonia and Sustainability

Patagonia and Sustainability 31 December 2017

Patagonia and Sustainability

Patagonia shows how to apply sustainability in business practice.

Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From 22 December 2017

Where Good Ideas Come From

A clever storyteller suggests an answer.

Bottled Arctic Notes

Bottled Arctic Notes 15 December 2017

Bottled Arctic Notes

A bottled note tossed to the waves recovered years later.

Bloody Falls, Dry Valleys, & Mars

Bloody Falls, Dry Valleys, & Mars 7 December 2017

Bloody Falls, Dry Valleys, & Mars

The Dry Valleys are one of the strangest environments on Earth.

Launching in Space Weather

This month, NASA researchers launched a rocket into an aurora in northern Alaska in an attempt to understand these amazing atmospheric displays better. According to the lead scientist from Cornell: "We're investigating ‘space weather’ that is caused by charged particles from the sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field.” Whatever it is called, a fish-eye image taken during the launch is certainly impressive. Aurora Launch  (credit: NASA) WHB
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Launching in Space Weather

This month, NASA researchers launched a rocket into an aurora in northern Alaska in an attempt to understand these amazing atmospheric displays better. According to the lead scientist from Cornell: "We're investigating ‘space weather’ that is caused by charged particles from the sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field.” Whatever it is called, a fish-eye image taken during the launch is certainly impressive. Aurora Launch  (credit: NASA) WHB
  • 2056

Pleistocene Pinks

Silene is a genus of wildflowers typical of cold regions of Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Silene species are  common high Arctic and Alpine mountain environments. They hybridize easily to produce plants with pale pink flowers, thus are often called pinks. Hybrid Silenes are grown as favorite garden plants. Russian scientists have now announced the propagation of a Silene species kept dormant for more than 30,000 years in Siberian permafrost. Their horticultural feat was just ...
  • 2410

Pleistocene Pinks

Silene is a genus of wildflowers typical of cold regions of Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Silene species are  common high Arctic and Alpine mountain environments. They hybridize easily to produce plants with pale pink flowers, thus are often called pinks. Hybrid Silenes are grown as favorite garden plants. Russian scientists have now announced the propagation of a Silene species kept dormant for more than 30,000 years in Siberian permafrost. Their horticultural feat was just ...
  • 2434

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 ...
  • 2331

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 ...
  • 2471

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 ...
  • 2130

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 ...
  • 2166

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 ...
  • 2220

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 ...
  • 2414

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
  • 3068

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
  • 5326

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 ...
  • 2031

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 ...
  • 2258

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 ...
  • 1874

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 ...
  • 1244

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
  • 1179

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
  • 1249

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 ...
  • 1299

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 ...
  • 1763

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
  • 4673

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 ...
  • 1263

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 ...
  • 1265

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, ...
  • 1282

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 ...
  • 1463

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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