Archives for July, 2011

Why shrews are interesting

It has been said that our most distant primate ancestors, the mammal that gave rise to early primates but itself wasn’t quite a primate, was most like the Asian tree shrew, which is neither a shrew nor does it live in trees. This is, of course, untrue. When the average American sees a shrew native…

MN 350 is planning an event for September 24th, and would like you to help get it off the ground, or at least, show up! This September, people all around the world are joining together for Moving Planet–a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis. In Minnesota we’ll gather on the State Capitol…

Eyes, Brains and Latitude

Two things have been known for some time now: Human brains get bigger as you go north, and the volume of the primate eye and the primate brain are correlated. This COULD mean, and this may not be true, that as you go north in human populations you’ll get larger brains (for thermoregulatory reasons) and…

Somewhere around 1990 I wrote an article for a monthly paper on global warming. My intention was to explain the idea behind it (the greenhouse phenomenon) and to make clear the distinction between depletion of the ozone layer and greenhouse effects (the two were getting confused on a regular basis in those days). The reason…

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Juno spacecraft is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Aug. 5. The launch window extends from 11:34 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. EDT (8:34 to 9:33 a.m. PDT), and the launch period extends through Aug. 26. The spacecraft is expected to arrive at…

Nyiragongo Volcano

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Goma Congo (Zaire), trying hard to stay out of trouble, and I’ve flown around this mountain and driven around this mountain or its sister volcanoes, and the very existence of this volcano field has a lot to do with some of the research I’ve done. Oh, and…

Butter Milk Creek is a Texas archaeological site and an archaeological complex located rather symbolically a couple of hundred miles downstream from the famous Clovis site in New Mexico. It is the most recently reported alleged manifestation of a “pre-Clovis” archaeological presence. The most important thing about this site is probably this: It is well…

Cool Planet is a community science-oriented organization located in Edina, Minnesota which “… strives to strengthen and empower the community of Edina by providing fun and engaging opportunities for citizens to join together in local homegrown solutions to climate change.” Interesting idea. If you are in the Edina Area or are just interested in local…