Not that it’s newsworthy ...
but we received more snow last night. Everything had nicely melted, only a couple of small piles were left. Damn. When is this winter going to end?
Discover: The Earth *Really* Moved.
“Studying precise GPS images of the area struck by the quake, a team led by earth scientist Mike Bevis discovered that the Chilean city of Concepción had moved 10 feet to the west. The epicenter of the quake was 71 miles northeast of Concepción, which is Chile’s second largest city.” Cued for your listening pleasure.
SF New Mexican: Prospects good for 2010 spring runoff.
“The New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande Basin sports the fifth-best snowpack in 16 years, said Wayne Sleep, snow surveyor for the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service.” And that is excellent news for all of us with water tables served by snowmelt. Hallelujah!
NewWest.Net: Sage Grouse Listing Denied.
Rather than chicken out, I’d grouse too.
Macworld: Taiwan earthquake may send LCD, chip prices higher.
“One analyst in Taipei called the impact on global supplies minimal, but said the impact depends on what kinds of chips were affected. TSMC and rival United Microelectronics make a wide range of chips, including mobile phone chips for Qualcomm and graphics chips for Nvidia and ATI.”
NY Times: Study Says Undersea Release of Methane Is Under Way.
“Natalia Shakhova, a scientist at the university and a leader of the study, said it was too soon to say whether the findings suggest that a dangerous release of methane looms. In a telephone news conference, she said researchers are only beginning to track the movement of this methane into the atmosphere as the undersea permafrost that traps it degrades.”
EurekAlert!: A magnetometer in the upper beak of birds?
“More than about 500 dendrites in the periphery encode the magnetic field information, which is composed in the central nervous system to a magnetic map. It obviously does not matter, whether birds use this magnetic map for their long distance orientation or do not — the equipment can be found in migratory birds, like robin and garden warbler, and well as in domestic chicken.” Now I wonder why we have the old saying, “follow your nose” ...
BBC News: Human gut microbes hold ‘second genome’.
“There is a huge diversity. We have about 100 times more microbial genes than human genes in the body. We also have 10 times more bacterial cells in our body than human cells.” There’s a fungus among us. I tell you, if I had things to do over again, I’d go into bacterial research.
Discover: Female Dung Beetles Evolved Elaborate Horns to Fight for the Choicest Poop.
This begs for a few choice puns, but I fear I’ll be gored to death for committing them.
Photo.net: What’s up?
NewWest.Net: Report: Battling Forest Beetles May be Counter-Productive.
”Drought and high temperature are likely the overriding factors behind the current bark beetle epidemic in the western United States ... [snip] ... Because logging and thinning cannot effectively alleviate the overriding effects of climate, it will do little or nothing to control these outbreaks.” Logging and thinning won’t do a damned thing. When the beetles killed nearly all of our piñon trees here in Northern NM, clouds of beetles were swarming over the landscape, far and wide. A tree would turn that sickly yellow-green within a month, be completely dead two months later. Three months from lush and green to brown and dead. That fast. Enjoy your pines while you’ve got ‘em, and water the ones you have control over.
Slate: Did we save the whales or what?
Consensus seems “yes.”
NPR: Snake Vs. Dinosaur Deathmatch Preserved In Fossil Find.
“Scientists have discovered a macabre death scene that took place 67 million years ago. The setting was a nest, in which a baby dinosaur had just hatched from an egg, only to face an 11-foot-long snake waiting to devour it. The moment was frozen forever when, apparently, the nest was buried in a sudden avalanche of mud or sand and everything was fossilized.”
Times Online.UK: Severn surfers ride once-a-decade tidal wave.
“A once-in-a-decade tidal wave surged down the River Severn this morning carrying a horde of surfers relishing the rare natural phenomenon.” Nothing like surfing muddy water.
Gizmodo: The Wrath of God This Weekend.
“This weekend’s Chilean earthquake was 8.8 magnitude, among the most powerful in recorded history. This is how its 66.6 exajoules of energy spread across the Pacific, as shown by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” I’d like to see such models done of the 1883 Krakatoa explosion.
Sunset last evening.
CNN: Sirens in Hawaii warn of possible tsunami.
“Citing the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the senators said some areas of Hawaii could see an initial 10 to 15 foot rise and that waves could continue for at least six hours.” Be safe!
Wired: Stop the Ug99 Fungus Before Its Spores Bring Starvation.
“Indeed, 90 percent of the world’s wheat has little or no protection against the Ug99 race of P. graminis. If nothing is done to slow the pathogen, famines could soon become the norm — from the Red Sea to the Mongolian steppe — as Ug99 annihilates a crop that provides a third of our calories.”
Reuters: Scientists examine causes for lull in warming.
“I think we need better analysis of what’s going on on a routine basis so that everyone, politicians and the general public, are informed about our current understanding of what is happening, more statements in a much quicker fashion instead of waiting for another six years for the next IPCC report.” I’d say so. You’ve left enough holes for a garden-variety doubter to drive a bus through. You’re prosecuting a circumstantial evidence case to the public, and the defense is exercising ‘reasonable doubt’ with abandon.
New Scientist: Killer whale: the clue’s in the name.
The trainers have to know they’re working with highly dangerous animals. Just a quick peruse of Youtube, you find trainers knocked silly [vid implies this may be the same trainer who was killed], nearly drowned. Some people rock climb without ropes, some people skydive. I’d like to say this is the same, but there’s the whales themselves to consider. Keeping them locked up in a small pen is cruelty, in my book.
Reuters: Heavy winter storms lambaste Northeast.
Linked for one reason: “lambaste”?!! Sounds like I wrote the headline ...
Offered without comment.
Spiegel.DE: Death in the Atlantic: The Last Four Minutes of Air France Flight 447.
“Without a speed reading, the computer more or less throws in the towel, which doesn’t make things easier for the pilots. It would be easier for pilots if they could simply switch the computer off in critical situations, as is possible on Boeing planes.” I remain unconvinced about fly-by-wire. Give me mechanical backup. Ice has always been a scourge, and just goes to show that fancy engineering still hasn’t made man ‘master of nature’. There remain times to keep your butt parked on the firmament.