EARTH PORTATION curated News March 7th

ANIMALS - Can monogamy undermine intelligence?
Yes. At least over 100 generations in Drosophila melanogaster vinegar flies .. ...

ANIMALS - Do elephants call ''human!''?
African elephants make a specific alarm call in response to the danger of humans, according to a new study of wild elephants in Kenya .. ...

ANIMALS - All of Earth's land mammals by total weight in one graph (notice wild vs. livestock)
"Bacteria still outweigh us thousands to one--and that's not even counting the several pounds of them in your body. .. ...

ANIMALS - Brain activity during slow-wave-sleep differs between mammals and birds
When we drift into deep slow-wave sleep (SWS), waves of neuronal activity wash across our neocortex. Birds also engage in SWS, but they lack this particular brain structure. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Australia have gained deeper insight into the sleeping avian brain. They found complex 3D plumes of brain activity propagating through the brain t ...

ANIMALS - Elephant age estimated from voice: A powerful conservation tool?
Researchers have been able to estimate the age of an elephant based on its vocal sounds. Results showed that they could distinguish infants, calves, juveniles, and adults with 70 percent accuracy and youngsters (infants/calves) from adults with 95 percent accuracy. The call feature that was most useful for doing this was overall frequency -- not surprisingly, since vocal frequency usually decreases as an animal grows larger .. ...

ANIMALS - Knit a sweater, save a penguin
Sweaters keep little penguins warm, and prevent them from ingesting toxins .. ...

ANIMALS - Why are some snakes so venomous?
Australia is world famous for its venomous critters, including its many highly venomous snakes .. ...

BOOKS - Book Excerpt: Religious Vows, The Sermon on the Mount and Christian Living
Bonnie B. Thurston on Jesus' call for us to live a life of humility .. ...

CLIMATE - America Could Soon Face More Days of “Extreme Rainfall”
Global warming means more heavy rainfall…and more drought.NOAASquelch, squelch, squelch – that could be the sound of future America, if predictions about how climate change will ramp up “extreme rainfall” prove accurate.Say the world’s nations do little to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases pouring into the atmosphere. By the years 2041 to 2070, the warmer climate could bring torrential downpours to vast parts of the United States, as shown in ...

CLIMATE - Cities Are Still Too Afraid to Make Driving Unappealing
Carrots will only go so far.Traffic jam in Los Angeles. egdigital/Thinkstock The morning I wrote this I took public transportation to work. I hopped on the bus around the corner from my house, then the train for a few stops farther. I took mass transit because it was convenient, because my card was already preloaded with the cash that diverts from my paycheck, and because the ride gave me 20 minutes to start the day browsing Twitter.Baked into th ...
Traffic jam in Los Angeles. egdigital/Thinkstock

CLIMATE - How To Make Natural Gas More Climate-Friendly
We have the technology to clean up fracking, but we can’t trust industry to use it voluntarily.LonnyG/ThinkstockThis is a story about natural gas leakage, and we’re not talking about what happens after your grandfather says, “Pull my finger!”Recent reports in journals such as Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have carried some depressingnews: Natural gas, the “bridge fuel” touted by President Obama for its lower CO2 ...

CLIMATE - Louisiana’s Coastline Is Disappearing Too Quickly for Mappers to Keep Up
Climate change and development are accelerating coastal erosion.The area south of the town of Buras, Louisiana, in 1990 (left) and today (right). NOAA has retired the names English Bay, Bay Jacquin, and Scofield Bay, acknowledging the vast water that now separates Buras from the barrier along Pelican Island (NOAA Chart 11358)Twenty-five years ago, miles of marshy land and grasses separated the small fishing outpost of Buras, Louisiana, from the G ...

CLIMATE - Science Says Your Soul Is Like a Traffic Jam
Science writer Jennifer Ouellette explores the emerging science of the self, a body of research that examines not just who we are, but also…if we are. The National Archives/FlickrWho are you?The question may seem simple to answer: You are the citizen of a country, the resident of a city, the child of particular parents, the sibling (or not) of brothers and sisters, the parent (or not) of children, and so on. And you might further answer the quest ...
The National Archives/Flickr

CLIMATE - Using Putin To Push Fossil-Fuel Projects
Will natural gas exports really solve the Ukraine crisis? Experts aren’t so sure.A trade union building being seized in Simferopol, Ukraine. Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS/ZUMAThe hallmark of a Republican policy proposal is that it can be adapted to virtually any circumstance. Just as George W. Bush advanced tax cuts as the appropriate response to both budget surplus and deficit, congressional Republicans believe that fossil fuel promotion is th ...

EARTH - Clue to earthquake lightning mystery
Mysterious lightning flashes that appear to predict earthquakes could be sparked by movements in the ground below, scientists say .. ...

EARTH - Colossal desert artwork spirals out in Sahara (Video)
Made almost twenty years ago, this breathtaking art installation of sand and water can still be seen today in Egypt .. ...

EDUCATION - Study: Classroom focus on social and emotional skills can lead to academic gains
Classroom programs designed to improve elementary school students' social and emotional skills can also increase reading and math achievement, even if academic improvement is not a direct goal of the skills building, according to a study to be published this month in American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). The benefit holds true for students across a range of socio-economic backgrounds .. ...

ENERGY - Recycling heat from industry could reduce carbon emissions
Industrial processes that require high temperatures often expel any surplus heat into the environment. While industries are fairly good at using as much of this surplus as possible, a small amount of heat is always wasted .. ...

ENERGY - Silver Spring to Connect Miami Streetlights to Smart Meters
Silver Spring Networks (SSNI) has been saying for some time that its smart meter networks can be used to link all kinds of “smart city” devices, including streetlights. On Thursday, it announced its first project on that front -- a 75,000-streetlight deployment with long-time customer Florida Power & Light that connects to, and enhances, the network it’s already deployed for FPL’s 4.5 million smart meters. The deployment in the Miami-Dade Co ...

ENERGY - This roadmap shows how all 50 US states can transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050
How do we get from our current dirty energy dependence to 100% clean energy? This renewable energy roadmap shows the way .. ...

ENERGY - Tim Flannery says coal communities are being kept in dark about dangers
Climate scientist wants the inquiry into the health effects of wind turbines to also look at mines and firesHelen Davidso .. ...
Enclosure: image/jpeg http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/20

ENERGY - Can No-Money-Down Financing Unlock the Batteries-for-Buildings Market?
Green Charge Networks, the startup that’s putting batteries in commercial buildings to help shave utility bills and balance the grid, has just joined a small but growing roster of energy storage players trying out a model that’s helped solar PV hit mainstream and which could push energy efficiency to much broader markets: no-money-down financing. On Tuesday, Green Charge and partner TIP Capital announced a $10 million fund aimed at giving custom ...

ENVIRONMENT - Rust never sleeps, but you can make it take a nap
Here are a few tricks to prevent rust in the first place, and to get rid of it when you have it .. ...

ENVIRONMENT - The pains and joys of recycling
But it goes beyond that to include reducing, reusing, and repurposing .. ...

FASHION - Kooshoo's sustainable shawl is 12 garments in 1
Made in L.A., this sustainable clothing and accessories company is crowd-funding a versatile product inspired by travel .. ...

FASHION - OpenKnit: Open source 3D knitter lets you digitally fabricate your clothes (Video)
If you're not a fan of knitting by hand, this build-it-yourself 3D knitting machine can help you make your own garments quickly and on an open source platform .. ...

GARDENS - Twitter-enabled vending machine gives out free seeds for tweets
To promote their fantastic garden grant program, Seeds of Change is bringing a seed vending machine and photo booth to several US cities, where visitors can tweet for seeds .. ...

MOVIES - Feature Film Review: The French Minister
A witty, face-paced and audacious comedy about French diplomacy, politics, and the peculiarities of power .. ...

MOVIES - Feature Film Review: The Gilded Cage
A Portuguese working-class couple who give all they've got to their employers must rearrange their priorities when they come into a large inheritance .. ...

MOVIES - Feature Film Review: Under the Rainbow (Au bout du conte)
A delightful French dramedy about young love, middle-age, and the continuing quest for an intimate and lasting relationship .. ...

MOVIES - Movies To See While Depressed
We all mentioned that the mainstream belief is that we would be triggered into uncontrolled depression if we saw anything sad; so, we should be watching comedies to help us get out of the depression. We concluded that we prefer sad movies because it helps us to explore the richness of the experience and become more clear about it; comedies seem inappropriate for the state.read mor .. ...

PEOPLE - 15 Works of Art Depicting Women in Science [Photo Essay]
Visualizing notable women in the STEM fields through the lens of fine art .. ...

PEOPLE - Elon Musk interview at Stanford Business School
I know that many of you can't get enough of Elon Musk, one of the rare entrepreneurs who is tackling big problems in difficult industries because he thinks they're going to make the biggest difference to the future of humanity .. ...

PEOPLE - Seven women to watch in global politics
For International Women's Day, UNDP leader and former prime minister of New Zealand Helen Clark picks seven women who are leading positive change all over the worldNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson, African UnionIn 2012, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was the first woman to be elected African Union (AU) chairperson since its inception in 1963. In this role, she is driving the AU's decade of the African Woman (2010 to 2020). She is already making signif ...
Enclosure: image/jpeg http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/20

PERMACULTURE - Nature Blows My Mind! World's largest earthworm can grow to 9 ft. long
Found only in one single river valley in southeast Australia, these rare, giant earthworms grow large and live long .. ...

PERMACULTURE - The fact that I call myself a farmer is highly offensive to many people I’ve talked to
Walking through the wide expanse of nurtured and cultivated vegetable beds – a seemingly endless array of broccoli, an almond tree, lemons hanging from struggling branches, among others – one cannot help but wonder if Acta Non Verba Farm is a hidden away oasis in the midst of decades-old disrepair and intransigence.Kelly Carlisle doesn’t call herself a miracle worker, a do-gooder or even an agent of change. She calls herself a farmer .. ...

PLANTS - Flavor secrets of Hass avocados probed
What makes an avocado delicious? U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant physiologist David M. Obenland and a team led by University of California-Riverside colleague Mary Lu Arpaia are collaborating in a series of studies to answer that question .. ...

PLANTS - The genome of sesame sheds new lights on oil biosynthesis
Researchers from Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, BGI, University of Copenhagen and other institutes have successfully cracked the genome of high oil content crop sesame, providing new lights on the important stages of seed development and oil accumulation, and potential key genes for sesamin production. The joint efforts made sesame become the second Lamiales to be sequenced along with the former publ ...

SCIENCE - Breakthrough in hybrid species science
(Phys.org) —Massey University scientists have discovered a universal law that explains how hybrid species survive and thrive .. ...

SCIENCE - Effective thermal insulation with wood foam
Insulation materials of tomorrow must be both efficient and environmentally friendly. Scientists are developing insulation foam made from wood that could re- place petrochemical plastics in the long term .. ...

SCIENCE - Computational study finds maximum packing density of 55,000 different shapes
A team of researchers at the University of Michigan has used computational and analytical analysis to find the maximum packing density of 55,000 uniquely shaped particles. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they used two parameters: edge and corner truncation, to find the most efficient way to pack various structures .. ...

SCIENCE - Pigment or bacteria? Researchers re-examine the idea of 'color' in fossil feathers
Paleontologists studying fossilized feathers propose that the shapes of certain microscopic structures inside the feathers can tell us the color of ancient birds. But new research shows that it is not yet possible to tell if these structures are what they seem .. ...

URBAN - Book a Private Space to Work or Relax with Breather
When you’re away from your office or home, but need a quiet and private space to get some work done, or a place to relax and recharge before your next appointment, a new service could help you find a comfortable and well-equipped spot to grab some peace and quiet.If you need a temporary space in the city to be more productive during your day, or to hold a meeting in, or even to catch a quick nap and charge your phone and laptop, but a coffee shop ...
breather space

WATER - Value from sewage? A new technology cleans up waste water
Clean water startup Ostara has built a new sewage treatment technology that reduces water pollution and saves moneyIt may be tricky to see dollar signs or green qualities when you think about sewage, but Vancouver-based company Ostara has found a way to connect the three by pulling commercial value from waste water. Its technology harvests phosphorus and ammonia from municipal sewage treatment plants and turns it into fertilizer pellets. The proc ...
Enclosure: image/jpeg http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/20

WIND - Photos: Is GE’s Space Frame Tower the Future of Wind Power?
Greentech Media got an early look at GE's new space frame wind turbine tower in advance of its official debut at next week’s European wind industry conference. The space frame advances the potential of GE to deliver taller towers capable of more power production at a lower cost. The GE Tehachapi facility’s enclosed-lattice, five-legged space frame prototype is 97 meters tall with a "brilliant" GE 1.7-megawatt, 100-meter rotor turbine on top. GE ...

WRITE - Writers from seven countries awarded $150,000 Yale prize
The Windham Campbell Literature Prizes in fiction, non-fiction, and drama gives writers, in the words of one of this year's winners, "[W]hat we most crave — time to write, free from deadlines, financial pressures, the expectations of others. .. ...


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