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 September 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:

Speaking of Science: September 2012′s selection of notable quotes

Gender Bias when Hiring Scientists - Both male and female researchers are less likely to hire a female candidate than a male candidate with the same experience.

Pictures: Fire "Tornado" Spotted—How Do They Form? - from National Geographic

Flatworld Knowledge Catalog - online that textbooks that can be read online for free

Chia Seeds - more ideas from VegKitchen on incorporating chia seeds into your diet every day

Cloud Collector’s Reference - from the Cloud Appreciation Society

Lighter-than-air craft rise again - made possible by advances in materials and computer control systems…potential for transporting freight, big enough to be a hotel, casino or spa

Snacking Outside the Box - geared to children…but these are good for adults too

Of Frogs and Embryos - micrographs that could be art

Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is. - Book cover designs you’ll recognize and how they came into being

Quote of the Day - 03/08/2012

On April 13, 1360, while Edward’s soldiers marched toward Chartres, the skies went dark. The air became bitterly cold. The heavens opened, and an apocalyptic storm sent hail stones the size of pigeon eggs smashing into Edward’s army. Tents were shredded. Luggage carts were swept away. Lightning electrocuted knights in their armor. Hundreds of men and more than a thousand horses died. - Bryn Barnard in Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters That Changed History


The event described above resulted in the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years War….significant enough that it was judged to be a natural disaster that ‘changed history.’

What about the more frequent weather disasters that we hear about in the news and may even experience? They change lives of individuals and give virtually every family a cache of weather disaster stories that builds up over the years.

Hail has a place in my family history. My dad’s parked car was totaled by a hail storm in the early 1950s - a cautionary tale in the family supporting the ideas of parking cars in the garage and keeping yourself inside during hail storms…and having good car insurance.

In the mid-1960s I remember being in the backyard of our house on a semi-sunny day and hearing what I immediately thought was hail (not sure why I thought that it was) and ran to the cover of the large porch with my sisters just seconds ahead of the hail cloud coming overhead…and watching the small ice balls dropping on the yard from safety. It was over almost as quickly as it arrived.

Some 10 years later my husband and I were on a canoe trip; we were camped by a river. A storm came through during the night with howling winds. The tree tops were whipping around and it was raining very hard. We heard the canoes banging around but the stakes were holding them to the shore. The next day as we canoed on down the river we immediately noticed uprooted trees and debris along the banks. Later we heard that tornados have come through the area. The bluff we had camped beside had evidently protected our campsite.

Gleanings of the Week Ending February 11, 2012

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

Song of a Jurassic cricket - Scientists at the University of Bristol made a recording of how these extinct crickets probably sounded based on fossil evidence and what is known about crickets that survive today

All the food you eat is why you’re fat - very graphical presentation from Fast Company. The big 5 reasons: diet soda, driving, your mom, your job, your fork!

Hans Christian Andersen collection - The Zvi Har’El site that provides background material and the H.P. Paull 1872 translation of Andersen’s fairy tales.

Timeline of Ancient Origins of Plastic Surgery

In Depth: Weather on Steroids - Article on the UCAR site discussing “when greenhouse gases enter the climate system, what kind of weather comes out?”

The Open University - a site with free online courses in many topic areas

Pearl Guide - A large site containing information about pearls

Jack Horner: Shape-shifting dinosaurs (TED talk video) - Where are the baby dinosaurs?

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation books on Internet Archive - Lots of recent postings - many with color images of 20th Century art that can be easily viewed online.

10 Years Ago – In February 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 February 2002 headline gleanings - I forced myself to pick 10.

  1. Intellectual Resources May Help Soldiers Stave Off Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  2. Second space tourist to take stem cells, HIV experiment
  3. The recent discovery of two giant Roman water-lifting machines near St. Paul's Cathedral in London
  4. Study shows the average sleep for Americans of seven hours per night is safest
  5. Texas A&M Clones First Cat
  6. Enormous Iceberg May Be In Its Death Throes; Collisions With Another Large Berg
  7. Plague fears spark panic in India
  8. A cold front that killed about 250 million Monarch butterflies in central Mexico last month may reduce next year's migrations.
  9. Glacier melting could contribute 0.65 feet or more to sea level this century
  10. One of the odd possibilities that could emerge from global warming is that much of Europe, robbed of the ocean current patterns that help keep it warm, could rather abruptly enter a deep freeze and have a climate that more closely resembles Alaska than the modest temperatures it now enjoys.

Notice that weather and climate figure prominently in this list (6, 8, 9, 10) since it must have been and area of interest to me in 2002. The last blurb must have been from a story about global weather models; I wonder if the low temperatures in Eastern Europe this year are going to happen with increasing frequency.

Item 8 about Monarch butterflies was a turning point in our summer activities. For several years before 2002 we had collected Monarch eggs and caterpillars from the milkweed behind our house, feed them well while they were caterpillars, and released them when they hatched from their chrysalis. There were not enough Monarchs in our area of Maryland from 2002 onward.

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 28, 2012

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

  • Psychology of Color infographic - Hmm…never paint a baby’s room yellow because it will cause them to cry more…other factoids. A snapshot (unreadable) version of the infographic is at right...follow the link to get more explanation and larger size (if it still isn't large enough on your monitor - click on the graphic to enlarge further)
  • Food Combining - for optimal health and weight - Goodbye meat and potatoes in the same meal (not a good combination). This article is an easy read with good embedded graphics. Maybe what we eat is not as bad as how we combine it?
  • 2011 was 9th warmest year on record - A video that shows global temps from 1884 to 2011 from NASA
  • Paper Models of Polyhedra - Wow…lots of shapes you can make with paper with templates to help you do it.
  • Smithsonian fire in January 1865 - report and pictures of the event…lessons from that fire applied to the restoration of the building and other museums.
  • Nutrient Lists - From the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. Lists of foods either alphabetically or sorted by content for common nutrients.
  • American Verse Project - An electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920. If you are in the mood for poetry and don’t have a book already bought, this a great place to go.
  • The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway - Lots of photographs from during the Blue Ridge Parkway construction. This site is also an example of richness of presenting information digitally where it can be accessed from many perspectives rather than in book form.
  • Great Meals with Great Grains - a blog about using whole grains to ‘provide culinary excitement without hours of labor.’ I’ve tried amaranth, quinoa and rolled oats; maybe it’s time to try some others too.
  • How to store fruits and vegetables without plastic - A fact sheet from the Berkeley Farmers’ Market
  • Lisa Harouni: A primer on 3D printing (TED talk) - Is this the future for manufacturing in America?


Gleanings for the Week Ending January 7, 2012

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