A journal of science, thought, and action.

Love Is In The Air




Love Is In The Air

Natural reminders for Valentine's Day.

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Opportunity Signs Off




Opportunity Signs Off

A voyage of exploration concludes.

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Archive Highlights

The Colours of Australia are Fading

The Colours of Australia are Fading

Major changes have occurred recently to Australian forests.

2 Jun 2017

Video Highlights


The Conservation Alliance


Aussie ‘Ring of Fire’

A total solar eclipse passed over northern Australia today---Aussie time. If you were anywhere near the northern city of Cairns, you were inside the zone of totality. With proper optics and protective eye gear, you can observe the ‘ring of fire’ produced by the sun’s corona around the parameter of the moon’s face as it reaches a total eclipse. Not to be outdone by the nature, some textile artists have been so inspired by solar eclipses that they produce artistic representations of the ...
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Cars & Drivers

What are some potential driving options for your future driving comfort? One could be long traffic jam heading nowhere fast for 160 miles in China while another might be a ‘camo car’ that blends into its background. Either way, you choose!       160 Mile Long Chinese Traffic Jam             Camo Car (credit: The Big Picture/BG)                        (credit: The Big Picture/BG) WHB  
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Poor Pandas

Nature Climate Change has just published research on the potential of climate change to impact protected wildlife, in this case the bamboo forests of the mountain habitat for the Giant Panda in China. The authors of the research from the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University commented: “Climate change is threatening global ecosystems through its impact on the survival of individual species and their ecological functions. Despite the important role of ...
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TEDx: Geoff Lawton on Ecological Engineering Modeled on Nature

In John Lennon’s iconic song, Imagine, the songwriter intoned that “you may think that I’m a dreamer---but I’m not the only one.” The field of permaculture imagines possible futures for living more sustainably by taking design inspiration from natural processes. The TEDx conferences invited Geoff Lawton from Australia’s Permaculture Research Institute to explain his perspectives on new ways of thinking about living. Lawton has a big imagination. Perhaps he’s not the only one: Geoff ...
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Making solar power accessible

Americans have been attracted to solar power for decades, but solar technology has always been out of reach for most — it’s expensive to install and maintain, and most homes aren’t optimally situated to capture the sun’s rays. But Colorado entrepreneur Paul Spencer is on a mission to make solar a key component of America’s energy portfolio. Spencer’s Clean Energy Collective, which builds solar gardens and sells individual panels to customers of the local electric utility, is changing the way ...
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“Pale Blue Dot” Day

Today is the Carl Sagan’s birthday. The famous astronomer launched many a young mind into careers of exploration by his ‘big picture’ thinking and enthusiasm for all things science. In 1989, Sagan coined the phrase “pale blue dot” to describe the Earth after seeing a photo captured by the Voyager probe. The spacecraft had passed Neptune and Pluto on its voyage out of the solar system when it turned its camera back toward the Earth. You can check out the current location of the dual Voyager ...
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Best-known Weed in the West

Tamarisk is a poster child in the world of invasive, non-native plants. A Eurasian native introduced in the United States in the 1800s as an ornamental shrub and riverbank-stabilizer, tamarisk (also known as salt cedar) has proliferated wildly along rivers, reservoirs and canals throughout the West. Bob Ward photo The plant is hated by river-runners, who have watched many of their favorite camping and swimming beaches turn into dense, inhospitable forests. But biologists also decry ...
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Tiny Maples

Who could possibly dislike maple tress? If you enjoy syrup on your pancakes (sugar maple); appreciate the beauty of a finely-crafted cabinet (birdseye maple); or seeing dwarf trees in a fall garden setting (Japanese maples), maples should appeal to you. The trees are particular noticeable in the fall when cool temperatures and shorter days force chlorophyll in their leaves to change from green into a pallet of colors that any aspiring painter or photographer tries capturing by brushstroke ...
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Romney Smiles, Pauses, and Continues to Ignore Global Warming

Mitt Romney’s a good man, with some good ideas. But he – and his campaign – are wrong on the climate. And you get the feeling he knows it, too. Watch him smile and plow on while a protester at one of his rallies responds to his talk about Hurricane Sandy relief by yelling “What about the climate?” His supporters chant “USA! USA!” As if patriotism can slow the growth of reality. Romney says nothing. He must know the climate is changing, and his party is doing everything they can to ...
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Romney vs. Sandy

Sometimes, you have to wait decades for the verdict of history. In the case of Mitt Romney and global warming, we only had to wait a couple months, as this ad from points out: From - Reilly Capps
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7 Years Later

Hurricane Sandy has moved on from its march up the East Coast in late October. It seems ages ago that a new hurricane designation---superstorm---was developed for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Both hurricanes flooded coastal zones, displaced huge numbers of people, and caused massive damage to infrastructure. The costs for repairs ranged into the billions of dollars and are still underway. Besides these sad similarities there was one big difference---the physical extant of the winds from both ...
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The Rewards of Donating to SWP

You will be helped, other people – perhaps Mario Lopez -- will be hurt By Lucas Gardner Hello friends, I'm a humorist for Riled Up Journal. My friends here at SWP Media are developing an app for photographers and it's really cool and I'd like you to help us make it. SWP’s new photography interface is sort of like a new beginning for photographers. Instead of giving your stuff away for free by uploading it to Facebook or Instagram, who own the rights, you can sell your photos, for a small ...
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Sniffer Dog

Our loyal “sniffer dog” on Mars, the Curiosity rover, has been smelling the air and tasting the soils of Gale Crater where the rover landed in August. The first results are in and, so far, no methane has been detected by in the air. Methane is important. It could be a signature of extant life on the desert planet. On Earth, the methane molecule---CH4---can either be produced by geology (volcanoes) or biology (anything dead or alive) but the vast majority of the gas is derived from ...
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How to Tell if You're a Good Photographer

If you shoot your bong, you may suck By Lucas Gardner You've heard the phrase: “Nowadays, everyone with a phone is a photographer.” It's true everyone with a phone can take a photo, but those people are only photographers in the same sense that everyone who owns a car is a racecar driver. On the Internet, talented photographers are overshadowed by thousands of 14-year-olds taking pictures of their bongs and captioning them with Wiz Khalifa lyrics. That's not photography, and Wiz Khalifa ...
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The myth of the Century Plant

Ever heard the stories about the Century Plant, the desert agave that was supposed to live for 100 years and then send up a glorious, 15-foot-high, flowering stalk, in a final reproductive flourish, before dying? Well, it was a romantic myth. At least the century part.   Bob Ward photo Fall hikers on the Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab Trail will see literally hundreds of Utah Agave plants, many of them dead with tall, yellow, dried-out stalks. But if these plants flower only once per century, ...
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Fall Photo Tips

In many locations, its fall and the perfect time for some excellent photo and video explorations. Nature photographer Juergen Roth provided Riled Up with a guest post about 11 Tips for Better Fall Foliage Photos . New England Fall Color (credit: Juergen Roth) Read Juergen’s tips for producing better photos and start shooting before the fleeting colors vanish. Visit him at Juergen Roth Fine Art Photography to view more of his work. Riled Up
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Climate of Doubt

Frontline’s great story, “Climate of Doubt,” is about how skeptics have won this last round of the climate debate. It’s frustrating … infuriating … to watch it. From the days when Newt Gingrich and John McCain said we have to do something about global warming to today’s silence on the issue. Watch Climate of Doubt on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE. It includes a bit on my favorite former congressman, Bob Inglis, who had the bad sense to be both a Republican and a realist on global ...
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Recent Archive Highlights

Krakatoa Awakens, Update 2

Krakatoa Awakens, Update 2 29 December 2018

Krakatoa Awakens, Update 2

Krakatau is again active.

Plant Intelligence

Plant Intelligence 17 December 2018

Plant Intelligence

An understanding of intelligence in plants.

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Where Do Good Ideas Come From? 24 November 2018

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

A storyteller suggests an answer.

My Life As A Turkey

My Life As A Turkey 21 November 2018

My Life As A Turkey

A true turkey story for Thanksgiving.


Rewilding 4 September 2018


A 'silent spring' could become a 'wild summer' 

Conserving, the Mother Load

Conserving, the Mother Load 26 June 2018

Conserving, the Mother Load

Avoiding another Dust Bowl.