Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Impact from the Deep" by Peter D. Ward

This short article from Scientific American, by Peter D. Ward, provides short overview with clear illustration of the mechanism of Mass Extinction he describes in detail in his book, Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future.

Mass Extinctions have fascinated me since I was a little boy reading about Dinosaurs,  Peter Ward's books are the primary way I indulge that fascination as an adult.

I recommend the pdf if you want a short concise explanation, but strongly suggest the book if your looking for a deeper understanding, or if like me your fascinated by Mass Extinctions or Paleontology.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Institute for Redwood Ecology

Professor Sillett is an leads an interesting life, at least in my opinion,  he studies Forest Canopy Ecology, from what I understand he pioneered the study of Redwood Canopy, by climbing to the tops of Giant California Redwoods, to observe first hand the life and ecology that lives way up there.

He has also studied Cloud Forests, which in addition to Redwoods, are my passions for life sciences, if Mosquitoes didn't like me so much, I might have pursued more first hand learning in the great forests.

I have to make do by studying the work of people like Professor Sillett, whose work I greatly appreciate and admire.

So if you have any interest in Redwoods, or Forest Ecology, or Cloud Forests, take the time to learn from Professor Sillett's work.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bike Head Light

Got my girlfriend a new bike this weekend, so started looking around for a good light for her morning commutes.

This light, NiteRider MiNewt 600 Cordless Rechargable Headlight, gets very good, even exceptional, reviews on Amazon & REI. Flashlight, and related, technology continues to impress me.

On the high setting this like will put out 600 Lumens! Only a little over $100 at the moment on Amazon.

I also found this Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light

REALLY bright tail light. Uses same LED's used in Car taillights.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Improved Solar Cell Power Production: "Solar ‘towers’ beat panels by up to 20x"

It seems, based on this story by ScienceBlog, that 3D Solar structures offer more efficiency than normal flat ones, especially in higher latitudes.

That story is based on Solar Energy Generation in Three Dimensions, by Marco Bernardi, Nicola Ferralis, Jin H. Wan, Rachelle Villalon, Jeffrey C. Grossman.

Solar Energy Generation in Three Dimensions abstract here, full PDF here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From Journal Nature: Satellites expose 8,000 years of civilization

I started in the hard sciences, and I still have a lot of passion for Astronomy & Physics, though my degree is in Anthropology.

So stories like this, that combine Satellites, Technology, and Anthropology always draw my attention, I have been waiting in anticipation for advancements like this to bring new types of data to light.

This Nature article quotes Jason Ur, as saying, “Traditional archaeology goes straight to the biggest features — the palaces or cities.

I am not sure if that is really true in the first place, reality is you go were something has been found, or that you believe something can be found, and you have the funding to pursue.

Additionally, in Archaeology, you need a significant sample of data, in order to draw many conclusions, and working in a large site is more time and resource efficient.

Part of the reason I am excited by this article, it actually provides a large amount of data in itself, and it also points to additional areas to study, on the ground, with traditional techniques.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Colossal Squid

I saw the summaries of this BBC story, about the eyes of Giant Squid, some time ago, looked at it closely for the first time today, no puns intended.

I had not realized before this that the Giant Squid is not the largest.

That privilege belongs to the Colossal Squid as far as we know.

This is best site I have found, it was referenced at link below.

This site, shows good pictures of the hooks or claws from on the arms of the Colossal Squid.

I find cephalopods among the most interesting and intriguing of sea creatures, my favorites are the Cuttlefish.

See also

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Climategate: Leaked docs: Heartland Institute think tank pays climate contrarians very well

Full story here at Ars, usually on Ars I recommend reading the comments thoroughly, since the comments sections on Ars often has more and deeper information than the main article, though with a controversial topic like this one, there might be more noise and less information than usual.

Seems like Ars comments are up to par, found this link on first comment

"A Swiss satellite tackles space debris"

Full story here, from News Mediacom.

Basically they are looking at grappling with debris and deorbiting it so it burns up on reentry.

I could see this maybe working for a few larger object, don't think it will be very practical for the cast majority of space debris in Earth Orbit.

IMVHO this concept would make more sense for an anti Satellite weapon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Astronomy Software

A wonderful list of software and apps for or related to Astronomy, including for apps for iPhone and Android. 

A very dense resource of links, strongly suggest spending some time looking through their information.

Here is just one resource from the link about, a 9 page pdf, of just iPhone Apps

New Insights into Primitive Cells

The Bio Sciences are my weakest by far, so I am not going to try and give any highlights, just suggest people click on the Ars link above.

Science keeps opening doors into the past, so exciting!