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Food Of The (Watery) Future: Snorkel Rice
08.20.2009
04:11 pm
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I usually shoehorn my more dystopian views of the future into one of two possible models: The “Ballardian,” the one of malls, high rises, and airport concourses, and the “Waterworld-ian,” the one of pet sharks, rising sea levels, and one-eyed Dennis Hoppers

Sharks aside, that last model might have just become a bit more endurable now that scientists have unlocked a way to engineer a rice plant that can “elongate rapidly in response to being submerged.”  These plants, as Nature reports, “could also boost the production of rice in Asia and Africa, where up to 40% of crops are subject to flash floods or deep water.”  To watch these amazing plants “snorkel” up and possibly save us all, follow this link to some unembeddable BBC footage.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.20.2009
04:11 pm
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100% of Fish in American Streams Have Mercury Contamination, But Look on the Bright Side…
08.20.2009
02:01 am
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I like how the AP writer tries valiantly to put a positive spin on this. It may well be that 100% of all fish in America has some level of mercury contamination, but only one fish in four has dangerously high levels.  Dude, we are so screwed…

WASHINGTON (AP) - No fish can escape mercury pollution. That’s the take-home message from a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country.

The toxic substance was found in every fish sampled, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become.

But while all fish had traces of contamination, only about a quarter had mercury levels exceeding what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for people eating average amounts of fish.

Federal study shows mercury in fish widespread

As seen on Steve Silberman’s Twitter feed

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.20.2009
02:01 am
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Octopus Mimics Fifteen Different Species
08.15.2009
11:51 am
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The Indonesian Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus. This fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, the mimic octopus is the first known species to take on the characteristics of multiple species. This octopus is able to copy the physical likeness and movement of more than fifteen different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. This animal is so intelligent that it is able to discern which dangerous sea creature to impersonate that will present the greatest threat to its current possible predator.


Diving with Mimic Octopus

(via Presurfer)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.15.2009
11:51 am
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Robert Stone’s Earth Days
08.14.2009
04:32 pm
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Robert Stone (the filmmaker, not the author) has a new documentary out today, Earth Days: The Seeds of A Revolution.  In it, Stone hits the rewind button, taking us back to a time when recycling (or heaping scorn on those who didn’t) wasn’t such a reflexive action.  Days features plenty of talking head philosophizing from Original Greensters like Whole Earth founder Stewart Brand, and “Population Bomb” author Paul Ehrlich (who has, incidentally, a great interview over on Seed).  But what, if anything, does it add up to?  Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir sums it all up:

There really isn’t a single message to be gleaned from Stone’s challenging, paradoxical film, but here’s one I came away with: Politics really does matter, and the American people have consistently chosen narcotic reassurance over realism.  Ronald Reagan, of course, had those communistic solar panels removed; it was morning in America, and morning was powered by Saudi oil.

 
In the NYT: Earth Days reviewed

In Salon: Earth Days reviewed

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.14.2009
04:32 pm
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Astounding Striped Icebergs
08.12.2009
03:57 pm
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Some astounding images of melting Antarctic icebergs.   In them, you can see the stripes that were formed over time as layers of snow reacted with various ocean conditions.  Thanks for the cool pix, global warming!
 
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Via Daily Cognition: Striped Antarctic Icebergs

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.12.2009
03:57 pm
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Bruce Sterling: Guerilla Gardening in Abandoned Newspaper Boxes
08.12.2009
02:35 pm
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Posted by Jason Louv
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08.12.2009
02:35 pm
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Ants Build Lifeboat to Protect Their Queen
08.08.2009
02:42 pm
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From BBC Worldwide: “A flood hits a fire ant colony in the Amazon jungle. An amazing chance to see footage on how the species has adapted to water to protect their queen.”

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.08.2009
02:42 pm
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Flight Patterns: Long Exposures of Bugs Under a Street Light
07.30.2009
09:25 pm
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Almost psychedelic, certainly kinetic bug ballet.
 

Charlie McCarthy’s Flight Patterns


Thanks Brian Braun!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.30.2009
09:25 pm
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The Giraffe Manor: Share Your Hotel Room With Giraffes
07.30.2009
12:41 pm
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Travellers from all over the world now make The Giraffe Manor part of their East African safari, the only place in the world where you can enjoy the breathtaking experience of feeding and photographing the giraffe over the breakfast table and at the front door.
  
The Giraffe Manor is surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest just outside Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. As well as the giraffe, the property is also home to many species of birds, large families of warthogs and the elusive Bush Buck.

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The Giraffe Manor

Thanks Olivia!

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.30.2009
12:41 pm
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Baby Elephant Walk: Beautiful Video of Calf and New Mum
07.30.2009
11:58 am
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Touching video of an Asian elephant birth and new mum raising her calf at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia.  Taronga Zoo sez, “The elephant calf Luk Chai can be seen most days out in the paddock with his mum Thong Dee. They are usually bathed in their barn mid-morning and sometimes visit the waterfall in the afternoon, especially if the weather is fine.”


Elephant Diaries


(via Arbroath)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.30.2009
11:58 am
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