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Rare Birds of North America

Rare Birds of North America is the only extensive treatment I’ve see of the so called “vagrant birds” in the US and Canada. Most, or at least many, traditional bird books have a section in the back for rare birds, occasionals or accidentals, which one might see now and then. But when you think about…

Giant Semiaquatic Predatory Dinosaur

It is called Spinosaurus aegyptiacus but it sounds a bit more like Godzilla. Spinosaurus is a theropod dinosaur (that’s the groups birds evolved within) found in what is now NOrth Africa, between about 112 and 97 million years ago. It was first discovered about one century ago, though those bones were destroyed during WW II.…

In the earlier days of the West African Ebola outbreak, it was not uncommon to hear people note that we should not panic about Ebola because, after all, far more people are killed from Malaria than Ebola. This is of course an irrelevant argument. That is like telling a person who has lost their family…

Ken Cuccinelli’s appalling behavior.

Ken Cuccinelli posted a highly offensive cartoon on his facebook page in which Hillary Clinton is depicted in a position where she is about to be beheaded by a caricature of a Middle Eastern terrorist. That was posted on the even of the anniversary of 9/11. You will know of Ken Cuccinelli as the anit-climate-science…

The news is bleak. I don’t have a lot of confidence in the reported numbers. At one time it was said that on a nice Saturday in the summer, four out of five cars driving around in downtown Boston were looking for a parking place. This is somewhat like the situation in Liberia and possibly…

What is Internet Slowdown Day?

How much will the Internet Slowdown slow down my Internet? It won’t. That is not what it is for or what it does even though that is exactly what it says it does. The name is more of an attention getter, and it is apparently working. Who is slowing down the internet? Nobody (see above)…

Climate Smart and Energy Wise

Climate Smart & Energy Wise: Advancing Science Literacy, Knowledge, and Know-How by Mark McCaffrey is a book written primarily for teachers, to give them the information and tools they need to bring the topic of climate change effectively to their classrooms. It addresses the Climate Literacy and Energy Literacy frameworks, designed to guide teaching this…

Most Efficient Tornado Hunt Ever

Al Franken likes to joke about having run the most efficient campaign for Senate ever, referring to when he beat incumbent Norm Coleman by just a couple of hundred votes (on the first count … the number went up during the grueling recount). Now, we have an example of the most efficient ever tornado hunt.…

Penguins: The Ultimate Guide

There is a new book out on Penguins: Penguins: The Ultimate Guide written and edited by Tui De Roy, Mark Jones, and Julie Cornthwaite. It is a beautiful coffee table style book full of information. All of the world’s species are covered (amazingly there are only 18 of them) and there are more than 400…

Don’t Even Think About #ClimateChange

Climate change is emotional, especially when the effects are disastrous and people’s lives are ruined. It is vague, sometimes. For example, bad weather happens and always has happened, so an increase in frequency or severity of bad weather isn’t necessarily qualitatively novel, and can be hard to put one’s finger on. Although the negative effects…