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A journal of science, thought, and action.

A Super Bloom

22

Mar

2019

A Super Bloom

California landscapes flower. 

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Ode to Mars

21

Mar

2019

Ode to Mars

A planetary haiku for Poetry Day.

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Archive Highlights

When is Green not a Good Thing?

When is Green not a Good Thing?

When is "green" a bad thing? Answer: When it comes from toxic algae.

4 Aug 2014

Video Highlights

 

The Conservation Alliance

 

Vanya on Walden Pond

In 1897, Anton Chekhov wrote Uncle Vanya.  Set in a dacha in the Russian countryside, the story concerns people with frustrated hopes about wasted lives. In their own ways, each character is unhappy, and each help to give the play a melancholic atmosphere. Widely preformed, appealing across cultures, the 1994 film of Vanya on 42nd Street staring the actor Wallace Shawn was perhaps one of the most creative interpretations.          Uncle Vanya Moscow Production, 1899      College Production ...
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Why Americans Don’t Know Much about Science

Nobody even tries to teach them. http://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics?feature=watch
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Why Americans Don’t Know Much about Science

Nobody even tries to teach them. http://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics?feature=watch
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Why Americans Don’t Know Much about Science

Nobody even tries to teach them. http://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics?feature=watch
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The Best Tree

By Lucas Gardner There's one question that is especially challenging to the scientific the community: which tree would win against all the other trees in a fight? The question might be confusing so let me rephrase it -- Which trees would win against other trees in a battle? Say, for example, you made a maple tree fight a chestnut tree?? Who would win? This is the question that keeps environmental scientists guessing. The answer is chestnut tree, by the way. It's the chestnut tree. What if ...
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The Best Tree

By Lucas Gardner There's one question that is especially challenging to the scientific the community: which tree would win against all the other trees in a fight? The question might be confusing so let me rephrase it -- Which trees would win against other trees in a battle? Say, for example, you made a maple tree fight a chestnut tree?? Who would win? This is the question that keeps environmental scientists guessing. The answer is chestnut tree, by the way. It's the chestnut tree. What if ...
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What to do with a gassy mine

Coal is the largest source of electricity in the United States. And coal-burning is a major source of the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming. But coal isn’t the only resource emanating from coal mines. A mostly overlooked power source from these holes in the ground is methane gas — a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as CO2, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Coal mine methane is present in virtually all underground coal mines, and the mining industry goes ...
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What to do with a gassy mine

Coal is the largest source of electricity in the United States. And coal-burning is a major source of the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming. But coal isn’t the only resource emanating from coal mines. A mostly overlooked power source from these holes in the ground is methane gas — a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as CO2, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Coal mine methane is present in virtually all underground coal mines, and the mining industry goes ...
  • 1339

The Best Tree

By Lucas Gardner There's one question that is especially challenging to the scientific the community: which tree would win against all the other trees in a fight? The question might be confusing so let me rephrase it -- Which trees would win against other trees in a battle? Say, for example, you made a maple tree fight a chestnut tree?? Who would win? This is the question that keeps environmental scientists guessing. The answer is chestnut tree, by the way. It's the chestnut tree. What if ...
  • 1352

What to do with a gassy mine

Coal is the largest source of electricity in the United States. And coal-burning is a major source of the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming. But coal isn’t the only resource emanating from coal mines. A mostly overlooked power source from these holes in the ground is methane gas — a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as CO2, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Coal mine methane is present in virtually all underground coal mines, and the mining industry goes ...
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The Worst Bad Time

Man can't affect the weather? Here's Ken Burns talking about the Dust Bowl, a (nearly completely) man-made disaster. It displaced the Midwest, worsened the Great Depression, and gave John Steinbeck something to write about (hey, every tragedy has a silver lining). The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Stephen Colbert, a fake climate denier, has some stupid objections – but no stupider than a lot of the ...
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The Worst Bad Time

Man can't affect the weather? Here's Ken Burns talking about the Dust Bowl, a (nearly completely) man-made disaster. It displaced the Midwest, worsened the Great Depression, and gave John Steinbeck something to write about (hey, every tragedy has a silver lining). The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Stephen Colbert, a fake climate denier, has some stupid objections – but no stupider than a lot of the ...
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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 ...
  • 2008

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 ...
  • 1947

The Worst Bad Time

Man can't affect the weather? Here's Ken Burns talking about the Dust Bowl, a (nearly completely) man-made disaster. It displaced the Midwest, worsened the Great Depression, and gave John Steinbeck something to write about (hey, every tragedy has a silver lining). The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Stephen Colbert, a fake climate denier, has some stupid objections – but no stupider than a lot of the ...
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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 ClimateScience.org points out: From ClimateScience.org - 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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Recent Archive Highlights

Conserving, The Mother Load

Conserving, The Mother Load 19 March 2019

Conserving, The Mother Load

Avoiding another Dust Bowl.

Fishing for Plastic

Fishing for Plastic 5 March 2019

Fishing for Plastic

It takes garbage to make a boat.

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.

Archive