Mashable: U.S. upgrades its weather forecasting system, but still lags behind competitors.
Yeah, well ... weather here in the Southwest could use some computer upgrades. Meteorologists do their best, but I still carry multiple jackets in my trunk. Mountains take the complexity up by exponential amounts, or so I theorize.
SF New Mexican: Land commissioner slams attempt to create two new wilderness areas.
With the huge drop in oil and gas revenues, beggaring the state’s coffers, it may be a harder sell than they think. [I’m always for more protected lands.]
Atlas Obscura: The Epic Century-Long English Battle to Rid Itself of American Squirrels.
Excuse me if I remind our Brit friends that they gifted us with overabundant English sparrows and starlings (to name just a couple of invasives).
Yeah, this kinda blew my mind, too.
First little T-storm of the year, happens late in the afternoon, Sun drops below clouds, and I see this as it moves East. I friggin’ ran outside the house in the rain, up the hike-bike path to get it.
NY Times: U.S.-Mexico Teamwork Where the Rio Grande Is but a Ribbon.
Oh, I remember the river-choking effects of cane down on the Rio. Try clambering back through it after swimming to Mexico ...
Freddie Mercury—analysis of speaking fundamental frequency, vibrato, and subharmonics.
Random find. Related note: I felt American Idol should have ended after finding Adam Lambert. The competition was always weighted towards finding a new Freddie Mercury; all the critique/comments tended in that direction from Day One of the show. Lambert is about as close as a television contest would ever get.
Archaeology News Network: Scientists crack secrets of the monarch butterfly’s internal compass.
“Monarchs use their large, complex eyes to monitor the sun’s position in the sky. But the sun’s position is not sufficient to determine direction. Each butterfly must also combine that information with the time of day to know where to go.” Assuages one of my childhood curiousities!
NOAA/Climate.gov: April 2016 El Niño/La Niña update - What goes up …
If El Niño was so unusually unproductive, I fear how hot La Niña is going to end up being next year ...
ScienceDaily: Fetal and newborn dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Yep. Still not eating anything from the Gulf.
Guardian.UK: Lancashire couple hoping to cash in on ‘whale vomit’ windfall.
A smell you’ll never forget. When our grandfather clock (ancient) stopped, we found a small bottle of whale oil hidden in the back, still stoppered. Dad took it down to the basement, opened the stopper (a cork smaller than your pinky fingernail). In that split second, the smell permeated the house, making gorges rise. Pig farms are worse, now that I’ve experienced them ... but for sheer stinkeroo in a very small package, go with whale oil.
Hell, it might be a way to stop war. Shower the stuff on fighting troops. Instant retreat, I guarantee.
Way too early for such big T-storms to be forming.
It’s usually more a May sort o’ thing.
NY Times: Over 80 Percent of Water Is Polluted in Tested China Wells.
“The latest study found that 32.9 percent of wells tested had Grade 4 quality water, which meant that it was fit only for industrial uses ...” Given the industrialization and population, I’m not necessarily surprised. Saddened, but not surprised.
Colossal: Drones Rigged with LED Lights Dramatically Illuminate Landscapes at Night.
Neat as they are, it’s another technique that’s going to ruin the wilderness experience for us all. Drone racket *and* LED lights. Ed Abbey’d be out there with a shotgun, methinks.
SciAm: Earth Is Tipping Because of Climate Change.
Great. New opportunity for acquired insomnia.
DP Review: Lee announces very hard neutral density grads for seascapes.
You often notice an abrupt increase in quality of landscapes, after photographers discover neutral density grads. Pricey, though.
Straight outta the camera, a few minutes ago.
Mashable: The horrifying moment a man narrowly escapes a raging wildfire.
Why you don’t mess with Mother Nature. Imagine being in steep canyons, as we have here in NM, when the winds change (and are blowing at 50MPH). Another reason we go out of our way to drop food and sundries for firefighters. They do one hell of a dangerous job.
SciAm: Italy’s Olive Trees Didn’t Have to Die.
“But now experts can say with certainty that Xylella travels toward the roots and branches from the point of infection, rather than starting at the root and traveling through the tree. This insight suggests that growers or officials in Puglia could contain the disease by extensive pruning, rather than simply clear-cutting all trees in the vicinity of infected ones, which Italy insisted on after being pressured by the E.U., which was looking on warily.”
Italian Ways: Eight Alpine lakes, eight wonders to see.
Funny, I would have imagined these lake photos were from the rocky crags of South America. Clearly, I need to go see the Alps.
Guardian.UK: Veteran scuba diver dies in underwater cave accident in New Mexico.
Smithsonian/NMNH: Collections Photo Gallery.
Oh mama. If I’d only seen this when I was a kid, starting my various bug and rock collections. Come to think of it, do kids even DO that anymore? On their own, no scholarly masters or helicopter parents forcing the issue?
NY Times: Sherpa - They Die, We Go Home.
$5k to court death 30-40 times a season. Criminal.
SF New Mexican: Fire officials plan 223-acre prescribed watershed burn.
“If the winds aren’t too strong, the air isn’t too dry and weather forecasts are favorable ...” Yeah, we remember the start of Cerro Grande. We just came off 50mph gusts the day before yesterday. And we’re deathly dry again. I’ve had to start watering the trees a month early this year. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. If we lose the forest climbing to the Ski Basin ...
Guardian.UK: American tribes are in trouble, and most won’t get $48m to flee climate change.
“A potent combination of accelerating sea level rise, salt water intrusion and subsidence of the land has caused devastating erosion and flooding, exacerbated further by regional oil and gas development and the shipping industry. Today, less than a quarter of the original inhabitants still live on the island, which has lost 98% of its landmass since the 1950s.”