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A journal of science, thought, and action.

Fog

21

Jun

2017

Fog

Fog is really important.

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CO2 & Climate Animated

20

Jun

2017

CO2 & Climate Animated

Visualizing climate change.

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The Conservation Alliance

Archive Highlights

Compassionate Turtles

Compassionate Turtles

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

24 Jun 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.

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 ...
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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 ...
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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
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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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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