Environment

The cause of “angel wing”, a deformity found in waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans has been uncovered. Sadly, it is often caused by well-intended people feeding birds foods that are too high in proteins or carbohydrates (bread, crackers and popcorn anyone?). Not surprisingly, this condition mainly impacts birds that live in public areas.…

California Drought Feels Fine

On Significant Figures, Peter Gleick examines the rather relaxed attitudes of some Californians to an extreme drought fostered by three years of dry weather. Gleick writes “reservoirs are at record low levels. Deliveries of surface water to some farmers are lower than at any time in recent history. Streams are drying up and fisheries are being…

No happy ending for us tonight alas. We had a good start, and not one but two whistles on Tabs into Grassy, and all of that was the plan, but we lacked the oomph to close down the last half length plus the overlap. Which was the bit that wasn’t under our control. We also…

The original hoser, I’m told by an unimpeachable source from way up in Canada, was the guy who went out to his front yard in the middle of the winter and hosed down the lawn in order to make some flat ice, so he and his friends could play hockey. A better way to get…

Environmental reporter’s tale of EPA censorship

One reporter’s tale of hoops and roadblocks trying to get an interview with an EPA official.

There are a lot of great and admirable religious leaders. Gandhi. Some other guys. But there are also a lot of bad ones. Did you ever want to have a place to look up who these dudes are (and most, but not all, are dudes)? This may be especially helpful if you find yourself in…

Super-sniffing elephants

Like Aesop’s fable, rats have another reason to be envious of elephants. Elephants also have significantly more genes that can detect different smells (i.e. olfactory receptor genes) than other super-sniffers like rats and dogs. In fact, compared to 13 other species, African elephants have 1,948 genes related to smell putting them ahead of the previous…

Handbrake turn

I should write up day 2 before day 3, else I’ll be coloured. There’s a riggercam video, again, but it will look pretty similar to yesterday unless you care, so instead here’s some footage from Grassy. This has the benefit of showing the handbrake – I’ll come to that. So, we’re now at 8, which…

How warm will 2014 be?

We just experienced the warmest two months (May and June) on record, meaning, essentially, in well over 100 years. This is because of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Does this mean that 2014 will be the warmest year on record? Probably not, in part because February was pretty cold and that lowers the score for the…

At last, Champs One

More nonscience, I’m afraid. When we left off the never-ending story last year we’d just bumped Press, and were rather regretting not getting a shot at Champs. Roll forwards a year, and its Tuesday again. We have six of our old crew back, losing Mr W and Dr H, and replacing them with old-hand-turned-fit Paul…