Gleanings of the Week Ending July 6, 2019

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

Older forests resist change, climate change, that is -- ScienceDaily  - A study from the University of Vermont. But there are a lot of other changes in the forest too – the advent of non-native diseases like emerald ash borer and the explosion of deer populations so that there is a lot less understory in the forest (and few young trees). Is the net still that old forests resist change more effectively than younger ones?

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: June – National Geographic Society Newsroom – The always beautiful series of bird pictures.

Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries ScienceDaily – I’ve noticed the battery in my Prius Prime does not last for as many miles in the winter as it does in the summer. It’s one of the issues I want improved before I buy my next EV.

Chattanooga Becomes First U.S. Airport to Run Entirely on Solar – YaleEnvironment360 – Congrats to Chattanooga on this milestone. Evidently the first airport to do it was Cochin International in Kerala, India which went 100% solar powered in 2015. I’ve noticed a lot of US airports have fields of solar arrays…but maybe they haven’t also installed batteries to make the airport 100% solar powered.

You Can Now Tour the Tunnels Beneath Rome’s Baths of Caracalla – Smithsonian – A little Roman history linked to a place where tons of wood were burned per day to keep the fires going so that the caldarium would have hot water…where 18.5 gallons of water per second were consumed…copper tanks and lead pipes.

Timed release of turmeric stops cancer cell growth – ScienceDaily – Part of the search for gentler treatments for children with osteosarcoma.

A Tale of Contrasting Rift Valley Lakes – NASA Earth Observatory – Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa as viewed from NASA’s Aqua satellite.  Deep and shallow. Salty and fresh. Brown and Blue.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: Holding History in Your Hand – National Parks Traveler – I had to look up where Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located. It’s in the panhandle of Texas, north of Amarillo. I might go someday…on the way to somewhere else. The route would probably pass through the small western Oklahoma town where I was born.

Grand Canyon will soon be a dark sky park – Smithsonian – The park service has retrofitted lights to make it happen. This could be a good reason to camp in this national park!

What does the dust in your home mean for your health? – The Conversation – Thought provoking post. About one third of the ‘dust’ is created inside by ourselves and our pets, food debris, fibers from carpet/fabrics, particles from cooking plus chemicals like flame retardants. Are they toxic? There is ongoing research. Re outdoor sources – lead is the one of most concern.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 1, 2019

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

Flu virus' best friend: Low humidity -- ScienceDaily – Yet another reason to have a good humidifier in our homes during the winter.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Seabirds – National Geographic Society Newsroom – I saw a few of these during the Cape May trip in May: American Oystercatcher, Northern Gannett, Laughing Gull, and Forster’s Tern.

Novel 5-minute workout improves blood pressure, may boost brain function -- ScienceDaily – Preliminary results….have to wait to see if it holds up. It would be great to have another option than medication (that often has side effects).

More Megalithic Jars Mapped in Laos and A Singular Landscape - Archaeology Magazine – Plain of Jars in Laos. The jars were created 1,500 to 2,500 years ago. Excavations are revealing a bit more about the people that created them.

Common food additive found to affect gut microbiota: Titanium dioxide nanoparticles E171 may impact human health -- ScienceDaily – It’s a whitening agent used in foods and medicines in high quantities. I checked the jar of mayonnaise in my refrigerator and it didn’t list it on the ingredients list but evidently some brands do contain titanium dioxide. Maybe I will cut back on the mayo.

Solar System and Beyond Poster Set | NASA Solar System Exploration - Beautiful posters suitable for printing in 11x17 format.

Ancient Egyptians Enjoyed Sweet Watermelons - Archaeology Magazine – All melons in ancient Africa were not the bitter cucurbitacins found wild in Africa today!

Walnuts may help lower blood pressure for those at risk of heart disease -- ScienceDaily – Walnuts are tasty too.

The Bird Conservation Program You’ve Never Heard Of (And the Birds It Saves) – Cool Green Science – Going beyond the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to improve neotropical habitat the birds require during their annual migrations.

Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds -- ScienceDaily – 25 species! They are not native to North America, but many are thriving, and those populations become critical to the survival of their species.

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 23, 2019

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

Salt Could Play a Role in Allergies | The Scientist Magazine® - Atopic dermatitis has increased more than 2-fold since the 1970s….and researchers do not attribute the increase to greater awareness or diagnosis. Now comes the observation that people with lesioned skin from atopic dermatitis (but not psoriasis) had a 30-fold higher salt level in their lesions than in their unlesioned skin or skin from healthy controls. The connection to diet is speculative at this point…but we do have higher salt in our diet now that most people had in the 1970s.

In Siberia, Toxic Black Snow Reveals the Toll of Coal Mining | Smart News | Smithsonian – Yuck! Pollutions from open-air coal pits…in the extreme. Another reason, I’m glad we’re moving away from coal powered electricity generation. I wondered if the people living in the area of black snow develop terrible lung problems.  

See the best pictures from Bill Ingalls, NASA's official photographer – 30 years of photography

What makes joints pop and crack and is it a sign of disease? – A little lesson in joint anatomy

Piling Up: How China’s Ban on Importing Waste Has Stalled Global Recycling - Yale E360 – China’s plastic imports have plummeted by 99%, mixed paper has dropped by a 33%. Recycled aluminum and glass are less affected by the ban. So now we are sending plastics to landfills, incinerators or littering the environment. Communities across the US have curtailed or halted their recycling programs. That hasn’t happened (yet) where I live in Maryland. We must learn to produce less recycle (waste) and process it more locally…not ship is someplace else in the world.

Meet the Bizarre American Bittern – Cool Green Science – It’s a type of heron that makes a strange sound (listen to the recording in this post). It is so well camouflaged that you are more likely to hear it than see it!

Photography in The National Parks: Capturing the Grandness of The Grand Tetons – Reminds me that this is a National Park I want to see again. Last time we went, I wasn’t doing any photography yet.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Interactions – National Geographic Society – Pictures that are more than just a bird.

Prehistoric Microbes Inhabit an Oasis in the Northern Mexican Desert | The Scientist Magazine® - Fish, diatoms, and bacteria in lagoons in the Chihuahua Desert and cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. More than 5,000 species of bacteria and archaea have been documented.

Owls against owls in a challenge for survival: Researchers forecast interactions between two owl species and the quality of their habitat in the Pacific Northwest -- ScienceDaily – I learned at the Festival of the Cranes (New Mexico) last fall about Barred Owls moving into Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) territory….and winning the competition. That further reduces the NSO populations which is already endangered because of over-logging of the old growth forests.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 27, 2018

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

Earth Matters - New Tools to Boost Access to NASA Earth Science Data – How NASA is using big data strategies to streamline processing time to get the information from satellites into usable form.

Trend of the Month… asocially| What's Next: Top Trends – Richard Watson noticing that some people prefer to be left along to look at their devices.

Image of The Day: Open-and-Shut Case | The Scientist Magazine® - They used box turtles in this research….a turtle we see here in Maryland relatively often.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Migratory Birds 2 – National Geographic Blog – Tis the season for bird migration!

BBC - Future - Should everyone be taking vitamin D? – It’s not clear cut. In the winter we probably don’t get enough Vitamin D from diet/sunlight…but the impact of that shortage is not obvious in many people. There are some trials that are ongoing that may provide some answers.

Why the Current Hurricane Rating System Needs to Be Scrapped - Yale E360 – Hurricanes are rated based on wind-spead….but storm surge and flooding for rain (coastal and inland) also causes damage. Hurricane Florence is an example of a Category 1 storm causing tremendous damage even though it wasn’t a ‘major’ hurricane.

Detailed maps of urban heat island effects in Washington, DC, and Baltimore | NOAA Climate.gov – Close to home for me since we live between Washington DC and Baltimore (not on either of the two maps).

Well-Preserved Murals Discovered in Pompeii - Archaeology Magazine – Finding new things in a site that has been studied for many years.

Surprising places where germs lurk in bathrooms | Berkeley Wellness – Hmmm…maybe we should add some tasks to cleaning the bathroom.

Nikon Small World photo competition reveals nature in minuscule detail | New Scientist – The beauty in the microscopic world. I want to look more closely at spittle bugs next spring…see if I can see the bug.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 22, 2018

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

Curiosity rover surveys a mystery under dusty Martian skies -- ScienceDaily – What makes Vera Rubin Ridge so hard?

The Environment's New Clothes: Biodegradable Textiles Grown from Live Organisms - Scientific American – ‘Growing clothes’ that are sustainable – very different form the current fashion industry.

Change your diet to save both water and your health -- ScienceDaily – Research that looked at the water footprint (the volume of freshwater to produce goods) relative to types of diets. It turns out that many of the foods that take a lot of water to produce also are overconsumed – in the EU where the study was done and maybe even mores o in the US.

How the People of Pompeii Really Died - The Atlantic – New technology looked at bones and teeth of the 19th century plaster casts from Pompeii. Two surprises: they had good teeth, and many died of head injures rather than suffocation.

A Great Brown Storm Is Raging on Jupiter – It’s not like the red spot. They come and go and Jupiter. This time NASA’s Juno spacecraft is there to monitor its progress and show more of its structure.

One big reason why women drop out of doctoral STEM programs: The fewer women in entering class, the less likely they'll stay -- ScienceDaily – This study ruled out grades and funding as the main reason….the academic climate for women is not only harder to measure, it’s also harder to change.

First evidence that soot from polluted air is reaching placenta -- ScienceDaily – There is a health cost for burning fossil fuels…and it begins to impact us before we are born. Previous research had linked air pollution with premature birth, low birth weight, infant mortality, and childhood respiratory problems. This research was focused on determining if the particles in the lung – breathed by the mother -  can circulate through the blood to the placenta.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Gamebirds – National Geographic – Peacocks are considered game birds!

Total of 21 new parasitoid wasps following the first ever revision of their genus -- ScienceDaily – The first revision since 1893…and using specimens from 20 natural history museums.

Something Blue | The Prairie Ecologist – Blue sage…insect magnet.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 16, 2018

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

Reading habits in the past | Europeana Blog – When I travel, I tend to do most of my reading on my phone (light weight, easy to carry, and ambient light does not have to be good). It’s a recent development for me. This blog post goes back further in history.

Man against machine: AI is better than dermatologists at diagnosing skin cancer -- ScienceDaily – There are still limitations to the AI but it might be close to a tipping point to begin transitioning into system. It seems like it would be most in demand for screening where there were not highly trained dermatologists available….as long as the imaging technology was not tremendously expensive or hard to use.

BBC - Future - Is it really healthier to live in the countryside? – I thought it would be…but it’s complicated because so many factors contribute to ‘health.’

Mapping Modern Threats to Ancient Chacoan Sites : Image of the Day – Posts about places I’ve visited always get my attention. A study using satellite data and projections for population growth/oil and gas exploration in the area shows that 44 of the 123 known Chaco sites included in the study are threatened by development. Of those, 19 are already protected by the National Park Service.

Paper Art Details Similarities Between Human Microbiome and Coral Reef – Nature inspired art!

Researchers Grow Veggies in Space | The Scientist Magazine® - Progress in a technology required for longer space missions…and then colonies on other planets.

Schoolyard Habitats Provide Resiliency in Houston Independent School District : The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Schools in Maryland have similar projects. I hope the monarchs have shown up in Houston…I haven’t seen any in Maryland yet this year.

US Still Subsidizing Fossil Fuels To Tune Of $27 Billion | CleanTechnica – This post included more detail on what subsidies are…how the US compares to other developed countries.

Thank A Rare Fungus For The Sustainable Solar Cell Of The Future | CleanTechnica – It’s a beautiful color…if it really works, it won’t be ‘rare’ for long. It will be come a commercially grown fungus!

Bright warning colors on poison dart frogs also act as camouflage -- ScienceDaily – Learning a bit more about these little frogs.

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 26, 2018

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

The Secret Science of Shell Seeking – Shells and Sanibel, Florida. Hopefully the sea will not become so acidic that shellfish become less numerous over time.

Old sea ice continues disappearing from the Arctic Ocean | NOAA Climate.gov – Quite a difference in the amount of old sea ice between 1984 and 2018. It’s tough to be a polar bear or any other creature that depends on sea ice.

The secret to honing kid’s language and literacy -- ScienceDaily – Children need enough sleep, playing games, and time without distractions in the background as well as having books read to them…to encourage language and literacy development.

Compound Interest - The chemistry behind how dishwashers clean – The post didn’t address why glass becomes etched by dishwashers over time…so I was a little disappointed. Otherwise, seemed to cover the bases.

Twin Satellites Map 14 Years of Freshwater Changes: Image of the Day – Analysis of observations from multiple satellites to determine where freshwater is changing on Earth. One of the sources of data was GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) that collected data through 2017. The follow-on was launched this past week (on May 22) - Meet NASA’s New Dynamic Duo: A Pair of Climate Change-Tracking Satellites | Smart News | Smithsonian

Fox Photos Capture the Diverse Personalities of the Wild Animals – We occasional see fox around – entering or leaving the forest behind our house. I’ve never managed to photograph one.

BBC - Future - Pain bias: The health inequality rarely discussed – I’m glad I am healthy….but wonder what will happen if I ever do need medical attention. This post is part of series from BBC Future about how men and women experience the medical system differently.

Climate change broadens threat of emerald ash borer -- ScienceDaily – Here in Maryland, our ash trees are dying now. Many have been cut down this year.

Buyer beware: Some water-filter pitchers much better at toxin removal: Study finds some purifiers remove twice the microcystins from risky water -- ScienceDaily – Evidently the slower filters (and often more expensive) do a better job.

Thomas Jefferson and the telegraph: highlights of the U.S. weather observer program | NOAA Climate.gov – A little history of weather observations in the US….the earliest being in the 1640s. Thomas Jefferson bought his first thermometer about the time he wrote the Declaration of Independence and his barometer about the time he signed it….and maintained records until 1816. George Washington also took regular observations….the last entry being the day before he died.

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 5, 2018

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

Top 25 Birds Protected by the MBTA – National Geographic Blog – The Migratory Bird Treat Act was passed in 1918…and covers over 1000 species. Enjoy pictures of 25 of them!

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest point in more than 1,500 years -- ScienceDaily – Something else that could cause more rapid increase in sea level rise on the US East Coast.

Spring Sediment Swirls in the Great Lakes – Image from April 20th after a storm. The areas are the lakes are losing soil.

NASA planet hunter on its way to orbit: Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite successfully launched -- ScienceDaily – Hurray! TESS was launched on April 18th…and should be ready to begin work something in June.

Compound Interest - The chemistry of tulips and tulip fingers – After seeing the tulips display at Brookside…this article caught my attention. I didn’t notice if the gardeners taking up the bulbs were wearing gloves…or whether they were the right kind.

Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation: Data represent first human trials examining the impact of dark chocolate consumption on cognition and other brain functions -- ScienceDaily – I like dark chocolate. It’s a good thing that it has positive health benefits but I would probably still eat it even it didn’t.

Which US Generation Has the Best Eco-Conscious Habits? A Survey+ | CleanTechnica – Boomers, Gen-Xers or millennials. It’s a clever way to highlight ways to become more eco-conscious.

On The Hunt For The Elusive Morel Mushroom In Ohio’s Appalachian Country: The Salt – Morel mushrooms are tasty….enough that people keep their spots secret and turn off their GPS locators when on the hunt!

These Are the Cities With the Worst Air Pollution | Smart News | Smithsonian and Compare Your Air | American Lung Association – Read the summary from the Smithsonian blog then go to the American Lung Association site to compare cities. Where I live gets and ‘F’ for Ozone.

Diseases from Ticks and Mosquitoes Have Tripled | The Scientist Magazine® - Lyme Disease and Zika have caused a lot of the increase.

NASA Visitor Center

Back in the early days of HoLLIE classes, we met in the parking lot of the NASA Goddard Visitor Center before going to our class; it was before it opened so I wanted to go back to see the visitor center exhibits. Last week – it happened. It was a cloudy morning with rain in the forecast. The center opens at 10 and I was there a few minutes afterward. There were only a couple of other early visitors.

I decided to do the outdoor Goddard Rocket Garden and Astobiology Walk first – since I wasn’t sure the weather would stay dry. Did you know that grooved pavement used for airport runways and other pavements was the result of a NASA Wallops Island study from the 1960s?

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I took a lot of pictures of the astrobiology walk and made a slide show of them below (use the arrows to go through at your own speed).

My favorite displays were the two showing banded iron specimens.

Inside – there was a full-side mechanical prototype of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). We saw the operational control room for the mission during the HoLLIE class. It’s quite a thrill to know that the mission is ongoing – knowing that my daughter was an undergraduate at Cornell when LRO reached the moon and she helped with some of the initial image calibration since she had developed calibration skills in her part-time job calibrating images from the Mars rover.

There was also an exhibit of the new James Web Space Telescope – comparing its mirror with the one on the Hubble Space Telescope.

There was also a fun exhibit with two cameras and monitors. One was an infrared camera. It picked up the residual heat from ones feet on the carpet as one walked away from its field of view!

I bought a Cassini Grand Finale t-shirt for my daughter at the gift store; she used some data from Cassini for a couple of papers while she was an undergraduate. Hurray for good experiences!

HoLLIE – week 3

The Week 3 of  HoLLIE (Howard County Legacy Leadership for the Environment) class day was last week and it was held at NASA Goddard like the second week. The theme for the day was continued from last week: “what informed citizens need to know about earth systems science.”

The first talk of the day as about ice sheets and included a discussion of the speakers trek to the South Pole last year. Check out her ICESat-2 Antarctic Traverse Blog (The first post is from December 4, 2017. If you want to start with that one and read in chronological order, scroll down to the bottom of this page until you get to ‘Heading South, to New Zealand and Beyond.’ Then after reading the ‘South Pole Station: The Last Stop Before the Traverse’ beginning at the top of the page, click on ‘newer entries’ to read the rest of the of the posts – and again start with the post at the bottom of the page and work up). She spent Christmas at the South Pole!

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She recommended a book that I found could be checked out from Internet Archive when I got home: The two-mile time machine by Richard B. Alley. The book is about the annual rings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland and what they tell us about Earth’s climate over time.

The second talk was about the Land-Based Hydrology Cycle. This talk included what we can learn from satellites but also what measurements are taken on land too (and how much effort that takes…to get even sporadic data). With fresh water being so key to life – the very highs (floods) and very lows (droughts) are major impact all around the world.

The third talk was about the Black Marble project…about what we can learn from looking at the earth at night. Back in April there was good summation of the project – to create the images more frequently so that they could be used more even more applications (like short-term weather forecasting and disaster response): New Night Lights Maps Open Up Possible Real-Time Applications - https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/new-night-lights-maps-open-up-possible-real-time-applications; take a look at the map of India midway through the article and slide the vertical bar to the see how the northern part of the country was electrified between 2012 and 2016. There is more at https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/NightLights/.

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The fourth talk was about how the Montreal Protocol saved the earth’s ozone layer. I knew the protocol concerned Ozone and CFCs….but didn’t realize any more history than that. The timing of a report that linked CFCs to ozone depletion just before the ‘hole’ was discovered in the ozone layer (a major change from measures of ozone for many years beforehand) over Antarctica made for a dramatic beginning to the conversation. It has been effective because governments engaged industry that provided substitutes (some transitional) that made it possible to move away from compounds that were ozone damaging in the stratosphere.

Next we visited NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio – seeing some of their recent work on a wall sized screen. Here are some web versions of what we saw in the studio:

NASA's Near-Earth Science Mission Fleet: March 2017

Global Temperature Anomalies from 1880 to 2017

Weekly Animation of Arctic Sea Ice Age with Two Graphs: 1984 - 2016

Previous HoLLIE posts: Week 1, Week 2

HoLLIE – week 2

The second HoLLIE (Howard County Legacy Leadership for the Environment) class day was last week and it was held at NASA Goddard. I was worried about hitting rush hour traffic so left very early since we were to meet in the Goddard Visitor Center parking lot to catch the bus into the facility. The day was sunny and clear…but very cold and breezy. I managed to take this picture of the visitor center (not yet open) without getting out of my car!

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The theme for the day was “what informed citizens need to know about earth systems science.” It was the first of two days that our classes will be at Goddard; last week we started with lectures on “understanding the tools and the state of the art in earth science” from the Project Scientist for the AQUA satellite and then got a tour of mission control for several earth science satellites from the Aqua Mission Director. They did a good job of demonstrating the types of data that can be collected, the methods used to collect it, and the ways it has been analyzed. I was surprised to see the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) mission control in the same building. That brought back the memory of my daughter being on the team to do image calibration shortly after it launched during her undergraduate days!

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On the way back to our classroom, we stopped by the replica of the big rock found at Goddard that has mammal and dinosaur and mammal tracks. This was not on our agenda originally but was a wonderful serendipity aspect to the day even if it took part of our lunch time. I’d read about it in one of my news feeds and followed the link to the paper…but it was such a thrill to see the exhibit and hear the short lecture. I managed to take a few pictures.

We started the lectures on ‘understanding the science of earth’s cycles’ that will continue in this week’s class. We talked about the oceans and the carbon system in this second class. One of the interesting videos in the lectures is available online: twenty years of global biosphere data mapped on a slowly spinning globe; it easy to see the annual cycles. With the massive amounts of data, visualization becomes an important component.

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When I got home an article in one of my newsfeeds talked about climate models that are developing that explain why there might be a linkage between melting of Arctic sea ice (one of the topics for the HoLLIE lectures this week) and droughts in California (How nuclear weapons research revealed new climate threats). It was easier to understand since I had the background of the lectures!

Previous HoLLIE posts: Week 1

Gleanings of the Week Ending December 30, 2017

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

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #118 – National Geographic Society – As usual – I can’t resist bird pictures. So many birds….all around the world.

Learning Center Classes and Field Excursions — North Cascades Institute – I’m adding this to my list of places to check out when I get round to planning a vacation in the US Pacific Northwest.

Ancient Maya Heritage Comes Alive...With Some Help from Google and the British Museum | Smart News | Smithsonian and the Preserving Maya Heritage Site – Be prepared to spend some time with the second link if you are interested in Mayan culture at all.

The Woman Who Shaped National Geographic – A short biography of Eliza Scidmore….writer and photographer.

Shutdown of coal-fired power plant results in significant fetal health improvement in downwind areas -- ScienceDaily – A study close to home…a power plan in Pennsylvania…the health impact happened down wind of the plant in New Jersey. An example of the need for multi-state studies (and Federal involvement) …and another reason to reduce generation of electricity using coal-fired plants.

NASA Unveils Finalists for Its Next New Frontiers Mission | Smart News | Smithsonian - A mission to Saturn’s moon Titan (from Applied Physics Lab) and a sample-return mission to a comet (from Cornell). Both projects will be funding through the end of 2018…then one will be chosen.

Bees use invisible heat patterns to choose flowers -- ScienceDaily – Heat pattern on such flowers as poppies and daisies can be 4-5 degrees warmer than the rest of the flower!

BBC - Future - Educationism: The hidden bias we often ignore – Some idea on how to improve: acknowledge that bias exists and use assessment as a tool for education (how to improve) rather than for selection. It turns out that many factors beyond an individual’s control can hinder potential.

Tiny red animals dart in the dark under the ice of a frozen Quebec lake -- ScienceDaily – A surprise for winter researchers – previously the assumption was that everything was on hold during the winter.

Five Surprising Ways Your Christmas Tree Can Give Back Long After the Holidays – Cool Green Science – Maybe there are other things to do with a ‘real’ Christmas tree after the holiday.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 23, 2017

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

Celebrate Cassini’s Historic Voyage in Eight Incredible Images | Smart News | Smithsonian – Cassini has crashed into Saturn’s atmosphere (intentionally) and there have been quite a few retrospective articles about its long mission. I liked this one…so am including in the gleanings for this week.

Eighteenth century nautical charts reveal coral loss -- ScienceDaily – The study compared the coral documented in the Florida Keys in nautical charts from the 1770s to satellite data. More than half the coral reef has disappeared completely. Nearer to land, the loss is closer to 90%.

What We Still Don’t Know about the Health Benefits of Nature – THE DIRT – I noticed this article first because the picture under the heading is of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas (I visited there several years ago and enjoyed it) but thin the article was worth looking at too. It defines some priorities for research to understand the health benefits of nature better although most people already agree that is it beneficial…but how exactly does it happen. Some doctors are already prescribing time in the park!

North American Ash on Brink of Extinction | The Scientist Magazine® - In Maryland many of the Ash Trees are already dead or dying. Very sad.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #105 – National Geographic Society – There’s an Eastern Bluebird toward the middle of this collection….perched a little differently than I usually see them.

A Monumental Road Trip in Northern Arizona - National Parks Traveler – I’ve been to most of these places…..and enjoyed them all.

BBC - Future - How we’re creating ‘super plants’ to help humanity – The article highlights 4 ideas: cross-breeding super plants, using plants as medicine, bananas on steroids, and fire-fighting plants.

Learn How to Create Zentangle Art, a Meditative Form of Drawing – This article is about doing Zentangles (drawing patterns) rather than buying an adult coloring book. I started doing doodles and graduated to Zentangles and never was tempted by the ‘coloring book’ craze.

Ruins of a Roman City Found Off the Coast of Tunisia | Smart News | Smithsonian – The area of ancient Neapolis is off the coast of Tunisia. It was destroyed by a tsunami in 365 AD.

Why are fossilized hairs so rare? -- ScienceDaily – Evidently, fossilized hair is 5 times rarer than feathers.  Chemistry? Environmental conditions? The research includes statistical analysis of where hair and feathers have been found in the fossil record and make some predictions about where and how to look for them going forward.