One December night my family and my girlfriend both visited me in the small Missouri town where I went to college. As large flakes of snow fell, we walked to the school auditorium, where student jazz combos were giving a concert with a special guest. It’s thrilling to watch student performances, because there’s no guarantee it won’t be a complete disaster. In this case, it was far from that: the bands played perfect covers of “Dear Old Stockholm” and “Caravan.” The horn players launched into deeply felt, unpredictable solos—you could sense both the rigor of years of endless scales in the practice room and the need to prove they could do much more, the desire to surprise. Full Article »
posted April 26, 2016 at 3:09 pm
Trees can flee from climate change—with a little help from a burly friend.
Humans, we hope, can retreat from the effects of global warming. But trees—though they have limbs—can’t uproot themselves to find a new home. If a tree species has adapted to a particular temperature range, it needs a way to stay in that range or risk extinction. Read the rest in NOVA Next.
posted December 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm
The original Z151 lived in a pond in Lancashire, England. She spent her days the way most microscopic animals of her species do, munching on the pond’s algae and using her eight translucent legs to shamble from one clump of pond scum to another, until November 13, 1987, when a fellow named Bob McNuff scooped her up as part of a water sample. Full Article »
posted December 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm
Contrary to previous reports, China’s efforts at protecting its forests appear to have been successful. Kendra Pierre-Louis reports at NOVA Next.
posted December 9, 2015 at 11:02 am
Can this new technology stop pet cats from killing local birds? Conor Gearin reports in the Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/12/accessories-for-your-murderous-pet/419601/
posted November 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm
On April 16, 1964, Frank Press had just returned from the site of a tsunami. Three weeks prior, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.2—the highest ever recorded in North America—had struck the southern coast of Alaska. The four-minute-long quake shook hundreds of miles of seaside sediment loose. Alaska’s shores tumbled into underwater mudslides, taking whole villages with them. Suburban homes sank into the sludge. Pavement cracked. Backyard bomb shelters crumbled. 131 people died. And with just two earthquake monitoring stations’ worth of data to go on, the young expert in digital seismology was summoned to the scene to attempt to sort out what had happened. Full Article »
posted November 6, 2015 at 9:09 am
posted November 5, 2015 at 11:46 am
Two researchers are laying to rest continued fears about radiation from the Fukushima meltdown on North American shores. Jay Cullen and Ken Buesseler, with the help of a team of citizen scientists, have been hunting for radiation in water samples and fish specimens up and down the west coast since 2012. Their results have shown there is more radioactivity in a dental x-ray than in the Pacific—yet fear lingers in the air about what might be lingering in the water. The continued questions about Fukushima’s influence show that, as one researcher put it, “the greatest health impact from Fukushima has been the psychological impact.” Read more at NOVA Next.
posted November 4, 2015 at 11:46 am
A a team of scientists recently went on record in calling for a public a ban of the use of microbeads in personal care products. Microbeads, small bits of plastic added to personal care products to increase their exfoliation capabilities, frequently slip down bathroom drains, through municipal waste treatment facilities, and out to the rivers, streams, and waterways where they become not just ocean litter but persistent pollutants. Read more at NOVA Next.
posted November 3, 2015 at 9:11 am
800 Trillion Plastic Microbeads Go Down Drains Every Day
From Nova Next, by Kendra Pierre-Louis, ’16
“Scrub away the stank,” promises a television commercial for a popular brand of men’s body wash after flashing a montage of questionable behaviors that would challenge even the most industrial cleaners. However, this cleanser doesn’t just send your dignity down the drain, it also sends microbeads, the tiny bits of plastic that are in myriad personal care products.