tiny particles

Environmentalism + Health + Science

ruineshumaines:

Underwater sculptures by Jason de Caires Taylor | Video here.

These are seriously, seriously amazing. Watch the video, and then check out Jason’s website. In regard to the environmental issues surrounding these sculptures:

"Oceans teem with microscopic organisms that are constantly drifting down towards the sea bed, attaching to and colonising on the way any hard secure surface, such as rock outcrops, and thereby creating the basis of a natural reef. Coral reefs attract an array of marine life (such as colourful fish, turtles, sea urchins, sponges, and sharks) and also provide enclosed spaces for sea creatures to breed or take refuge.

Only about 10 – 15% of the sea bed has a solid enough substratum to allow reefs to form naturally. In order to increase the number of reefs in these areas artificial reefs have recently been created from materials that are durable, secure and environmentally sensitive. These reefs appear to have been successful in that they have attracted coral growth which, in turn, can support an entire marine ecosystem.

One of the greatest benefits of artificial reefs is that they have lifted the pressure off natural reefs which, over the past few decades, have been over-fished and over-visited. By diverting attention to artificial reefs, natural reefs have now been given a greater chance to repair and to regenerate.”

laurenkaye:

RIP Nora Ephron.

laurenkaye:

RIP Nora Ephron.

(via discoverynews)

jtotheizzoe:

“I Am a Scientist”

Mates of State cover Guided by Voices to promote girls in science

The problems are clear. Science and technology fields hold the jobs of the future, but our young women aren’t being prepared effectively to lead, or even compete. Interest in science is equal among younger girls and boys, and then diverges from middle school onward. There’s many culprits to blame, and most of them are social.

So again we ask: How do we fix it?

There’s wrong ways. And then there’s really wrong ways, like last week’s “Science, It’s A Girl Thing” fiasco. You don’t encourage girls in science by creating unrealistic role models and more stereotypes. That’s why I love the soon-to-be-released Science Fair album, especially this track from Mates of State.

To me, it captures all the right stuff. The happy curiosity, the proud young girl working on what makes her happy, and getting to prove the naysayers wrong in the end. The full album features tracks that serve to inspire young girls in education, all performed by female singers, and all of the proceeds will go to girls’ STEM programs through Girls, Inc..

If you’d like more information on the Science Fair album, check out their website. 

(Special thanks to video director Lindsay Van Dyke for sending this my way)

Can’t wait to be another woman working in science! 

(via discoverynews)

Getting around in cities: 'Want more bikers? Build more bike lanes'

plantedcity:

From The Washington Post:

Is there anything cities can do to encourage cycling? Portland, for instance, has twice as many bike commuters per 1,000 people as Washington. But maybe that’s just because Portland has nicer weather or more young people. It’s not clear that there’s an actual policy issue here.

Yet in a new new study (PDF) in the journal Transport Policy, Ralph Buehler and John Pucher suggest that cities might actually be able to influence how many cyclists are on the road. Perhaps all they have to do is — and this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise — build more bike lanes and bike paths.

Buehler and Pucher found that the presence of off-road bike paths and on-street bike lanes were, by far, the biggest determinant of cycling rates in cities. And that’s true even after you control for a variety of other factors like how hot or cold a city is, how much rain falls, how dense the city is, how high gas prices are, the type of people that live there, or how safe it is to cycle. None of those things seem to matter quite as much. The results, the authors write, “are consistent with the hypothesis that bike lanes and bike paths encourage cycling.”

Check out the rest of the article here. You can read more coverage of the study here, here and here

(Photo credit: Atlantic Cities)

brooklynskillshare:

The Secret of the Ooze: Two Years After the Spill

Al Jazeera has a frightening, damning, and infuriating report on the ongoing damage to the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It’s been nearly two years since the Macondo well was ruptured, spilling almost 5 million barrels of oil and requiring almost 2 million barrels of dispersants to clean it up.

Fishermen are reporting shrimp catches full of eyeless shrimp, as well as fish and shellfish with oozing sores and black gills. The damage doesn’t seem limited to oil, either. Manganese-heavy drilling mud and dispersant lefotvers are showing up at even higher rates than petroleum.

Head over to Al Jazeera to read the full article. The Gulf has not recovered, and it will likely take most of a lifetime to do so. It’s important that scientists continue to get financial support to monitor the area and that the government keep pressure on BP to do their part. Not just this year, but until the mistake is fixed.

This is one of the most diverse and fruitful ecosystems in America, and we must repair it.

(via meredithmojtotheizzoe)

This makes me so incredibly sad.

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

—   Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot (via itsfullofstars)

(via crookedindifference)

Does City Life Have to Mean Life Without Stars?

An interesting article on the effects of light pollution, via The Atlantic.

plantedcity:

‘NASA Images Depict Rapid Loss of Thick Arctic Sea Ice’, 1980 - 2012
From Yale e360:

A new comparison of satellite images from 1980 and 2012 vividly depicts the rapid disappearance of thick, multi-year Arctic Ocean ice in winter. Over the past three decades, the extent of the Arctic’s thickest ice has declined by 15 to 17 percent per decade, according to NASA climate scientist Joey Comiso.

Details over at Yale e360 and NASA’s Earth Observatory.
It’s also worth noting that a new study has found an important connection between the melting Arctic sea ice and extreme weather on other parts of our planet. BBC coverage of the study explains that:
The progressive shrinking of Arctic sea ice is bringing colder, snowier winters to the UK and other areas of Europe, North America and China.
More here.

plantedcity:

NASA Images Depict Rapid Loss of Thick Arctic Sea Ice’, 1980 - 2012

From Yale e360:

A new comparison of satellite images from 1980 and 2012 vividly depicts the rapid disappearance of thick, multi-year Arctic Ocean ice in winter. Over the past three decades, the extent of the Arctic’s thickest ice has declined by 15 to 17 percent per decade, according to NASA climate scientist Joey Comiso.

Details over at Yale e360 and NASA’s Earth Observatory.

It’s also worth noting that a new study has found an important connection between the melting Arctic sea ice and extreme weather on other parts of our planet. BBC coverage of the study explains that:

The progressive shrinking of Arctic sea ice is bringing colder, snowier winters to the UK and other areas of Europe, North America and China.

More here.

7 Dangerous Lies About Plastic

douglass-forgot-the-chitterlings:

I would have Tina Fey’s babies.
That’s how serious this shit is. 

douglass-forgot-the-chitterlings:

I would have Tina Fey’s babies.

That’s how serious this shit is.
 

(via lesleykat)