This sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin is called “Politicians discussing global warming.”

(Source: socialismartnature)

tags: ha,


Blue Bar Grizzle Frillback Pigeon. The Frillback is a breed of fancy pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding. Frillbacks, along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons, are all descendants from the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia). The breed is known for the frill or curls on the wing shield feathers. The feather curl should also be present at the ends of the foot feathers or muffs

(Source: 500px.com)


Absurd Creature of the Week: The 120-Foot-Long Jellyfish That’s Loving Global Warming

"Populations of jellyfish like the lion’s mane seem to be exploding in the world’s oceans—because, bluntly put, we’ve goofed. Global warming, overfishing, pollution, basically anything terrible we’ve done to the seas have been an absolute boon to jellyfish, according to [marine biologist] Gershwin. Data on jellyfish populations is scarce, so nothing is yet definitive, but as Gershwin puts it, “we now find ourselves in the unexpected position of knowing that we have serious problems with stings to tourists and cloggings of power plants and salmon kills and whatnot, but really having little idea about the speed and trajectory in terms of long-term view.”

Learn more from wired.


How Your Bee-Friendly Garden May Actually Be Killing Bees

Even as they try to help the bees, people may inadvertently poison them by planting pesticide-laden plants purchased from big-box garden centers, suggests a new report.

More than half of ostensibly bee-friendly plants sampled at 18 Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart garden centers in the U.S. and Canada contained high levels of neonicotinoids, which are considered highly toxic to bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators.

Even when they don’t kill pollinators outright, neonicotinoids can impair their immune systems and sense of navigation, potentially turning gardens and backyards into flowery traps.

“That’s what we’re concerned about,” said Tim Brown, a chemist at the Pesticide Research Institute, a pesticide consulting company. “People are being encouraged to help the bees out, and unfortunately what we found is that sometimes these flowers are contaminated at pretty high levels.”

The report, released June 25 by the Pesticide Research Institute and Friends of the Earth, an environmental group, is one of the most comprehensive investigations yet of an often-overlooked source of neonicotinoids in the environment: gardens and the built landscape.

Read more

Images: Gardeners Beware

tags: imp,


Yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula) - Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand (read more)

Photo by Thai National Parks


Listen to Bats Sing

by Virginia Morell

Since at least 1974, biologists have known that some male bats sing very much as songbirds do, and they warble for the same reasons: to defend territories and to attract mates. Recently, researchers have discovered that the tunes of some bats are even more complex and similar to bird song than first suspected.

These bats’ melodies are structured, have multiple syllables, phrases, repeated patterns, and, of course, rhythm. Their songs also have syntax, meaning rules for how the phrases can be combined. But the rules are flexible, and a bat can improvise, singing a song his way. So far, scientists have identified 20 species of bat troubadours around the world. Here are some of the known bat songsters and their tunes…

(listen here: Science News/AAAS)

photo by Merlin D. Tuttle

tags: me,

Edit by antarque.



"Of the 118 elements that make up everything—from the compounds in a chemists arsenal to consumer products on the shelf—44 will face supply limitations in the coming years. These critical elements include rare earth elements, precious metals, and even life essentials like Phosphorus. Research into more abundant alternatives, more efficient uses, recycling and recovery will help mitigate risks and move industry us towards sustainable supply chains." Via.

A while back Clear Science used the example of tellurium (Te, element 52) to illustrate how obtaining enough of a specific material can be challenging.