Gleanings of the Week Ending December 29, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Daphnia micrograph - a stacked image of a water flea

12 Things to Know about Mistletoe

2013: Hello. Goodbye. - from Richard Watson. How many things on the goodbye list are already gone for you?

6 top health benefits of kale

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #3 - my favorite is the next the last one - the backlit leopard

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #32 - the first one is my favorite

Is Your Fridge Eating your Savings?

The Joy of Salt Licking: Contest Turns Farm Animals into Fine Artists - Cows and their salt licks

Geography in the News: Lake-Effect Snow - from National Geographic

Characteristics of US Science and Engineering Doctorates Detailed in New Report

2012: The year in space - My favorite is the Space Shuttle Endeavor making its final journey across the US

2012: The year in weather - from around the world. My favorite picture of this group is the mother of pearl clouds in Scotland 

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 24, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Studying Granite At Yosemite National Park - a video from Steven Bumgardener about the dominant rock in Yosemite

Willow the White Whale - video of a white humpback whale

The Big Apple's Mayor Makes a Very Scary Video - Bloomberg’s video to help us understand the magnitude of our Carbon Dioxide emissions

harvest pumpkin scones - a recipe from King Arthur Flour

There’s More To Space Than Freeze-Dried Ice Cream - a panel discussion of why space exploration is important

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #29 - my favorite images in this group are the malachite kingfishers and the robin (reminded me the arrival of flocks of robins that always signal spring in our area).

Four Family Cultures of America Identified - From a 3 year study by the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture: the Faithful, the Engaged Progressives, the Detached, and the American Dreamers. A key finding: American parents from all four family cultures want their children to become loving, honest and responsible adults of high moral character (i.e. no ‘death of character’ trend).

Can You Move It And Work It On A Treadmill Desk? - It may not work for a whole day - but what about for part of the day?

Pumpkin Cheesecake - sounds yummy

Women in IT: How deep is the bench? - Not as much as you would think. In 2011 women made up 57% of the US professional workforce but held just 2% of the jobs in professional computing occupations. Women graduates feeding the pipeline for computing professions peaked in 1985 at 37%; in 2010, it was down to 18%.

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 03, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

The Diet-Proof Holiday Meal: Seven Ways to Stay On Track This Season - Tips for the holidays…in time for Thanksgiving

10 Predictions about Information Technology - from the Gartner Symposium

11 stats that suggest our world may not be as globalized as we think - Text and video from TED

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #25 - Which one is your favorite? I like the peacock in flight

How to use a paper towel - TED talk

Intercontinental Insect Migration - You’ve probably heard about Monarch butterfly migration but there are other insects that migrate: painted lady butterflies and dragonflies.

How to Stop Winter from Weathering Your Skin: Top Ten Tips for Preventing 'Winter Itch' - Not too early to have you plan for winter!

On Saturn, Cassini Observes Huge Storm, Causing Incredible Temperature Spike - complete with a short video

Self-Medicating Animals - even woolly bear caterpillars fight parasitic flies

How to Make Droplets Levitate on Water - I watched the YouTube version of the video (link in 5th paragraph of article

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 27, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

'Time-Capsule' Japanese Lake Sediment Advances Radiocarbon Dating for Older Objects - provides a much more precise way to examine radiocarbon ages of organic material that is 11,000-53,000 years old

Poetry in Motion: Gemini Observatory Releases Image of Rare Polar Ring Galaxy - two galaxies interacting

Shuttle Endeavour’s Complete LA Journey - less than 3 minute time lapse video of Endeavor’s trek through LA streets from National Geographic

Space Oddity - comments from Richard Watson about the famous picture of the earth seen from the moon

Roasted Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash - my grocery story has bins of the squash already cut up…making this recipe very simple. I’m going to try it.

Antibiotic Contamination a Threat to Humans and the Environment - a study from Greenland

New Way to Mimic the Color and Texture of Butterfly Wings - a way to create colorful surfaces that won’t fade like conventional pigmentation

Archaeologists to Mount New Expedition to Troy - less than 20% of the site has been scientifically excavated. Without about 4,500 years of nearly uninterrupted settlement at a crossroads between Europe and Asia…there is a lot to learn

'Large and Dirty' Companies Adopting Greener Strategies to Earn More Green - more companies are seeing environmental safeguards as a business opportunity to embed innovations that save production costs in the long term and that also improve their standing as good corporate citizens in the public mind.

A Long and Winding Road: Cassini Celebrates 15 Years - It’s already sent back some 444 gigbytes of data and more than 300,000 images. There is a still a lot in the plan for it too - before it enters Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017.

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer - a zoom in and out visualization of the mammal ‘tree’ from Imperial College London; the project’s goal to eventually include all life on Earth

12 Expert Tips for Fall Fitness - from Marlo Thomas. Anything on this list you should turn into a personal habit?

Ada Lovelace Day Celebrates Women in Science - it was 10/16…and I didn’t see the story until too late. I’m celebrating away. And - becoming more of an activist for the idea that we need more women in the sciences. When I was in college in the 70s, I thought the increased availability of education would lead to increased women in the sciences but the numbers didn’t increase the way so many of us thought they would by now.

The Conversation Project - a starter kit with tools and tips to have the conversation about ‘when it comes to the end of life, I want mine to be…..’

Design for the Public Good (infographic overview of an exhibit at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco)

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 15, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Decoding the Black Death: Anthropologist Finds Clues in Medieval Skeletons - how ‘health at death’ can be determined from skeletons…the impact of disease (like the Black Death) on populations (health of survivors, genetic diversity)

Hadley Crater Provides Deep Insight into Martian Geology - craters within Hadley….there is still a lot to learn about Mars

Fungi Need Some Love, Too - Why? They are nature’s recyclers, food, and source of drugs such as antibiotics. We need them.

CHOCOLATE-PEANUT BUTTER “TRUFFLES” - these sound decadant but 'healthy' too - put on the list for upcoming holidays if you don’t make them this week!

15 Things I Never Knew About Health & Fitness - from Marlo Thomas

7-Point Action Plan for Repowering U.S. - If the US wants to remain a leader rather than become a follower in the world - we are going to have to start down this path to ‘energy independence’ rather than reverting to the strategy of the 20th century (i.e. heavy dependence on oil and coal)

Pumpkin donuts - these are baked….and sound yummy. I’m going to make them in mini-Bundt pans

Good Food on a Tight Budget - The guide includes a food list (by food group), tips, recipes…and more.

British Health Open for Research - Giving researchers access to the health records of 52 million people in England could prove invaluable for studying disease. Finally - some truly large scale analysis will be done. How many drugs and procedures that are widely utilized now will withstand the analysis?

Eyes: a Window to Diagnosis - A possible quick and easy screening for Parkinson’s, ADHD and FASD…maybe other neurological functional differences.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 8, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Stalking Sharks - researchers monitor movement of sharks off California’s coast

In Bike-Friendly Copenhagen, Highways For Cyclists  - one third of the people of Copenhagen ride their bikes to work or school…and they are extending the existing infrastructure out to the suburbs.

Birds hold 'funerals' for dead - experiments with western scrub jays

Face of America: Spirit of South Florida Montage - high energy montage of clips from Wolf Trap's upcoming Face of America: Spirit of South Florida, set to appear at Wolf Trap National Park (article at National Parks Traveler here)

Raw Veggie ‘noodle’ dishes - a step beyond spaghetti squash. If you don’t want to invest in a spiral slicer, try putting your veggies horizontally in your regular food processor and using the grating blade; the opening in my processor is large enough to make 3-4 inch ‘noodles’ this way (see zucchini and sweet potato noodles at left)

Learn the Top Native Plants for Your Backyard - beautiful and usually require less maintenance!

Grand Canyon National Park - the guide from National Parks Traveler.

Wow! NASA Video Shows 'Mind-Bogglingly Gorgeous' Solar Eruption

Green Money-Saving Tips: Cheap Ways to Be Environmentally Friendly - 10 tips (scroll over the images in the slide show to see the accompanying text). The 8th one (make your own cleaning supplies) includes of link to recipes for cleaners!

Cheers, Voyager: 35 Years of Exploration - the most distant human-made object was launched 35 years ago on Sept. 5th

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 28, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Colorful Science Sheds Light On Solar Heating - visualization from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. There is a short video to explain how they do the color coding.

You May Never Need to Clean Your Car Again, Thanks to New Coating Technology - estimated 6-8 years to production. If it works - it will be used on many more things that cars

Radiant creatures and their fluorescent proteins - DayGlo color from living organisms. Also take a look at the slideshow.

Insider Tips From The Grand Teton National Park Foundation - This is a recent post about Grand Teton but the site includes posts on all the parks…check it out as you plan a visit to one of them

Mad About Moths – National Moth Week! - Butterflies tend to capture more attention….but moths are interesting too!

A California jail offers a glimpse of the economic and environmental benefits of locally generated energy - microgrids already are cost effective in some parts of the country particularly for organizations that require very reliable power (hospitals, prisons, data centers, etc.) and their cost is coming down

Chris Helzer - Prairie ecologist and photographer - video that shares photos from the prairie; there’s a lot there to see

The Devil’s Pool - The swimming hole at the top of Victoria Falls (video)

Massive Ice Melt In Greenland - 97% of the Greenland ice sheet has surface melting. Last time it occurred was in 1889 based on ice cores. It went from 40% to 97% in 4 days!

Treatise on Landscape Painting in Water-colours - by David Cox and C. Geoffrey Holme and published in 1922. The images are not in color but they are detailed and still evoke stories of place. The link above is directly to the beginning of the image section in the ‘read online’ double page format that I prefer for books like this; the image below is what that format looks like and the green arrows show how to ‘page forward’ . To view the book in a different format, start with the main entry for the book on the Internet Archive here.

archive book.jpg

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 30, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article:

Karen Bass: Unseen footage, untamed nature - TED Talk

Put a Cork in It: Research Details Quiet Composite Material - positive results using cork instead of synthetic foam in sandwich structures…250% improvement in dampening performance with no sacrifice of mechanical properties

A Virtual Telescope Turns Back toward Earth - a blog about the WorldWide Telescope software and virtual tour

A smart-phone add-on enables at-home diagnosis of ear infections - remote diagnostics still have a doctor in the loop but no trip to the office

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. - TED Talk (time lapse photography)

Researchers Catalog Your Microbial Zoo - microbial cells outnumber human cells 10 to 1 in our bodies. An NIH study seeks to increase our understanding of them.

The Scientific Case For A Return To The Moon

First fledge from Cornell Great Blue Heron Nest - 6/26/2012 at 9:18 AM EDT…and then the next two about 30 minutes later. A summary slide show up to mid-June has also been posted by Cornell. I made a donation to support the cameras in celebration.

Waterproof butterflies mobile - made with recycled paper and coated with wax. These could work for Christmas ornaments too (or would they be too messy with the potential of wax rubbing off)!

A game that heals: Jane McGonigal at TEDGlobal 2012 - psyching yourself to emotional (and physical) health

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 23, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week:

Mars Weather Report: Size of Particles in Martian Clouds of Carbon Dioxide Snow Calculated - Using several years of data…and multiple data sources

Get the Most from Your Skin Care Products: Sequence in Which You Apply Skin Care Products Influences Their Effectiveness - Cleanse, treatment/medication, moisturizer/sunscreen, makeup….but using several products at the same time may negate the benefits and irritate the skin

Antibacterials in Personal-Care Products Linked to Allergy Risk in Children - Another study that suggests that children need exposure to common pathogens to build healthy immune responses…or the immune system can become overactive to food, pollen or pet dander

Million-Year-Old Groundwater in Maryland Water Supply - Wow…Even no-so-dry places are using up ground water faster than it can be replenished

Birding In The National Parks: Top 10 Birding Spots In The National Park System - I’ve been to 4 out of the 10!

5 solar myths busted - infographic

Pralines - Follow the link in this piece if you want to try making your own pralines!

Oil and Conventional Gas Extraction Can Cause Earthquakes Too - evidently biggest risk of earthquakes is when the wastewater from those operations is pumped back down into deep sandstone or other formations for permanent disposal

Non-Antibiotic Approach for Treating Urinary Tract Infections - Promising approach….could eventually be used for other types of infections as well?

What America Spends on Groceries - Comparison between 1982 and 2012

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 26, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week:

Lyrids meteor shower and Earth - as seen from the International Space Station

Unique Gold Earring Found in Intriguing Collection of Ancient Jewelry in Israel - jewelry from 1100 BC found in jug

Toxic Mercury, Accumulating in the Arctic, Springs from a Hidden Source - the rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the Lena, Ob, and Yenisei are the main ones) turn out to be more significant than the atmosphere

Equifax Eyes Are Watching You--Big Data Means Big Brother - They know more than your credit score.

European Physicists Smash Chinese Teleportation Record - This is all about the next generation global communications network. The race is between Europe and China. Yikes! No player from the US.

'Personality Genes' May Help Account for Longevity - Positive attitude toward life is a trait shared by most centenarians

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #14 - Always a great selection…and you can look back to previous weeks as well

First Ladies: Grace Under Fire - Marlo Thomas provides a slide show featuring 12 first ladies

Avoiding bees, wasps, mosquitoes and ticks - tips for avoiding bites from the National Wildlife Federation as you are out and about this summer

Cost of Lighting - infographic comparing incandescent light bulbs, compact-fluorescent bulbs and light emitting diodes

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 5, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week:

Live stream of Blue Heron nest at Cornell Ornithology Lab - There are 5 chicks…two cameras. I leave it on almost all the time. I love having bird noises in my office and they are so interesting to watch. The chicks are growing fast so don’t wait to take a look. The adult male has the extra plummage on his head (the female lost hers in a battle with an owl) and a missing toe on his right foot. They take turns on the nest.

New Saturn video created from Voyager and Cassini spacecraft images - Video and music

New Reservation System In Place For Firefly Viewing At Great Smokies June 2nd—10th - The fireflies that flash synchronously have become so popular that a ticketing system has been put in place. Good to know if you plan to see them this year.

About One Baby Born Each Hour Addicted to Opiate Drugs in U.S. - very sad

Arabic Records Allow Past Climate to Be Reconstructed - Weather in Iraq/Syria in the 816-1009 time period…a time with lots of cold waves in that area of the world

Yellowstone Super-Eruptions More Numerous Than Thought? - yes, it’s still a super volcano

The Library of Utopia - Another try to create the giant online library

10 Emerging Technologies - A list from Technology Review. It has a pull down so you can look at their list from previous years too

Is automation the handmaiden of inequality? - Productivity per hour has continued to climb while the hourly compensation flatten sometime in the 1970s. Manufacturing jobs in the US have declined precipitously since around 2000 while the manufacturing output has continued to increase (and this in spite of outsource manufacturing to other countries too!). Blog post + comments to get lots of interpretations of the data.

Breakthroughs in glass technology - and they’ll come on line in the next few years...I like the idea of having wall sized screens!

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 21, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week:

Trekking Poles - A comparison of 3 hiking sticks. I am eventually buy a pair

Innovate or Evaporate commentary - from Norm Augustine - After a major study of the ever widening education gap, Management Consultant McKinsey and Co. concluded that "if U.S. youth could match the academic performance of students in Finland, our economy would be between 9 and 16 percent larger."

4 feet of hail near Amarillo TX on 4/11 - Wow…and then came flash flooding when it melted

Traveler’s Checklist: Petrified Forest National Park - Things to do and see

1000 Days of Infrared Wonders - 10 images from the Infrared Array Camera aboard NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (there is a ‘tornado’ nebula!)

Magnifying the Universe - Click on the graphic…and start looking at the relative size of things…from the observable universe to a hydrogen atom

Space Shuttle Discovery Flies Over the National Mall - En route to its museum home on 4/17

Atul Gawande: How do we heal medicine (TED talk)

The Worrying Consequences of the Wikipedia Gender Gap - Almost half the readers of Wikipedia are women but they make up only 13% of those that contribute…and it appears to be impacting the content

State of Flux - NASA’s images of change…mining growth in Chile, Dead Sea, plus more…in time for Earth Day on 4/22 (look at the bottom to see more before and after images…there is a series of pictures of the Dallas-Fort Worth area from 1974 to 2003)

15 Earth Day Tips that Really Make a Difference

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 14, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week:

The Amazing Trajectories of Life-Bearing Meteorites from Earth - What happens to the ejection of rocks/water from big impacts?

Ocean surface currents animation from NASA - using data from June 2005 to December 2007

A Apple Pie by Kate Greenaway - online version from the popular Victorian illustrator

What is a Vegan Diet? - Pointers to good references. “Even if you have no intention of going vegan yourself, anyone can benefit from enjoying a completely plant-based meal from time to time.”

Baking with Whole Grain Flours - A goof reference for if you’re in the mood to experiment with some of those exotic flours that are finding their way into your grocery store - amaranth…buckwheat…quinoa

Smart grids (info graphic) - lots of technology being integrated…coming soon (click on the graphic to enlarge it)

Top 25 US Cities for Energy Star Buildings - Los Angeles and Washington DC are the top 2; Dallas-Fort Worth is 8th

Obesity Accounts for 21% of US Health Care Costs - One more reason to achieve/sustain a normal weight

Birding in the National Parks - Spring time and bird migration

Paleo-Birding: What Birds Looked Like 125 Million Years Ago - Photos of bird fossils with commentary

Know where your food comes from - An interactive map…type the name of a food and see where it comes from in the US

10 Years Ago – In April 2002

Many years ago I started collecting headlines/news blurbs as a way of honing my reading of news. Over the years, the headline collection has been warped by the sources of news I was reading…increasingly online. Reviewing the April 2002 headline gleanings - I forced myself to pick 10.   

  1. Wildfire scorches parts of New Mexico
  2. A new census in the solar system doubles the number of large asteroids thought to lurk between Mars and Jupiter.
  3. Despite decades of legal protection, the billion or so monarch butterflies that overwinter in Mexico are losing the cloudbelt forests they depend on
  4. China tops list of world executioners
  5. Thousands of mummies, most of them from the Inca culture five centuries ago, have been unearthed from an ancient cemetery under a shantytown near Lima in Peru,
  6. Huge colonies of Earth microbes are living off of hydrogen gas released by common rocks, raising the possibility of similar life forms on Mars
  7. Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl dead at 87
  8. Cooking tomatoes -- such as in spaghetti sauce -- makes the fruit heart-healthier and boosts its cancer-fighting ability
  9. Four whooping cranes taught to migrate by human trainers have completed the return trip to Wisconsin from Florida on their own
  10. Being the firstborn child in a family may make a person more likely to develop coronary disease

As usual, my interests are reflected in these top 10: space exploration (2 and 6), earth systems and exploration (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9), food/health (8 and 10).

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 10, 2012

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles I read this past week:

Nutrition Data - a site that has the regular nutrition facts label with added graphics: nutritional target map, caloric ration pyramid, estimated glycemic load, inflammation factor, nutritional balance, and protein quality. Type your favorite food in the box labeled ‘enter food name’ on the right side of the banner line to see how it measures up.

Bed Bugs (infographic) - dramatic increase in this problematic bug in the US…everywhere

Images of Earth from Envisat - beautiful images from a satellite that has lived twice as long as planned…is starting its second decade this month.

Birdcast - a project of NOAA and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology…bird migration and weather forecast. Updated weekly.

Solar Grid Parity (with Incentives) - an animated map showing when electricity in major metropolitan areas becomes cheaper using rooftop solar than utilities (include the current tax credit). Lots and lots by 2020!

Top 10 Benefits of Green Smoothies - Better for you than juice

3 great ways to use salsa - a short video…sparks even more ideas of ways to use salsa

Penguin CAM - Penguin antics 24 hours a day through March and April

13 National Historic Landmarks Added - lots of variety….Frank Lloyd Wright buildings at Florida Southern College…Deer Medicine Rocks in Montana…a parish church in Virginia

25 Wild Bird Photographs - National Geographic is posting a set weekly….this is the most recent

10 Years Ago – In January 2002

Many years ago I started collecting headlines as a way of honing my reading of news. Over the years, the headline collection has been warped by the sources of news I was reading…increasingly online. I recently looked back to the January 2002 headline collection and picked 10. 

  1. Dave Thomas (Wendy’s) dies
  2. Ford cutting 35,000 jobs
  3. Enron scandal
  4. Cuba base for war on terrorism detainees
  5. The color of the universe is light turquoise
  6. A 984-foot-wide asteroid, discovered Dec. 26 and labeled as being potentially hazardous by NASA, came within 516,000 miles of hitting Earth
  7. Dead Sea is Sinking Lower
  8. Kmart files chapter 11
  9. Amateur satellite doing well in orbit
  10. Ex-UK PM Thatcher suffers stroke

Were these the most important things in the news 10 years ago? Some may have been (Enron and Cuban base). Others were simply things I was interested in at the time. I enjoyed looking at the whole list and forcing myself to pick 10. It somehow gave the current news more perspective.