"Now, my friend Adams was accused of a crime he didn't commit, so he escaped into the mountains, leaving behind the only life that he ever knew."
In 1977, three years after the popular movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
introduced the story of John "Grizzly" Adams to the public, a TV show of the same name premiered. [more inside]
Burke couldn’t believe it. “I asked if he was sure and he said, 'Yes.' I drove down and met him. They were floating in the creek almost like three petals of a flower or something."
Forester Jason Good was surveying timber in Meigs County, Ohio, on November 12 when he stumbled upon a bizarre sight that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up: In a waist-deep pool of Leading Creek, nose-to-nose like fish on a stringer, floated three whitetail deer. [more inside]
On April 18, a half-dozen orcas battled a pod of sperm whales off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The unusual encounter is one of fewer than a dozen such recorded conflicts — and the first observed.
“We saw the water churning on the horizon,” said Heinrichs
, a photographer and filmmaker who was in the area looking for blue whales. He and his colleagues steered their boat toward the patch of white water. As they got closer, they saw an enormous dorsal fin slicing through the water — a killer whale trademark — and then noticed the group of sperm whales, clustered together in a defensive stance.
At that point, Heinrichs did what many of us would not do: He jumped in.
is a sculptor who works in Cleveland, Ohio. She also has a blog
. [Some images may be NSFW
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
Catching Up with Kai
- "Which is the thing about being home free, when you submit to the authority of pieces of paper you lose your personal identity and the identity you find through nature." (previously
A snail-based parody of the ubiquitous AWOLNATION song "Sail".
The concept of nothing is as old as zero itself. How do we grapple with the concept of nothing? From the best laboratory vacuums on Earth to the vacuum of space to what lies beyond, the idea of nothing continues to intrigue professionals and the public alike.
Join moderator and Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson
as he leads a spirited discussion with a group of physicists, philosophers and journalists about the existence of nothing. The event, which was streamed live to the web, took place at the American Museum of Natural History on March 20, 2013. [more inside]
Allegations of flawed research techniques
at an NIH-funded medical lab at Johns Hopkins get notice in a Washington Post
article. Interesting piece on a scientific dispute, the accuser's loss of his job at Hopkins, and the suicide of one researcher from the lab whose analysis, published in Nature
, came into question.
is a BBC nature documentary narrated by David Tennant that takes a breathtaking flight on the wings of birds across six continents and experiences some of the world's greatest natural spectacles from a bird's-eye view. There are some full episodes up on YouTube (including South America, Africa, and the Making Of)
, but in particular these two clips caught my eye: Feral Cat Hunting
and Peregrine Falcon Hunting
Head Like An Orange
is a tumblr dedicated to posting beautiful gifs from various nature documentaries.
Happy snow day, superkids! Here's a raven, havin' a time
. SLYT, about a minute long. Dig it.
's "minimal realism" contributions to science and art are being celebrated by the graphic design blog Codex 99. Part 1 - Charley and Edie
. Part 2 - The Birds
. Part 3 - Tin Lizzie and Dinner for Two
. Part 4 - The Golden Book of Biology
. Part 5 - Bambi and Childcraft
. Part 6 - The Animal Kingdom
- a short animated history of man's time on earth by Steve Cutts. (Via Nag on the Lake)
International aid projects come under the microscope Clinical-research techniques deployed to assess effectiveness of aid initiatives.
Here's the surprise: There is a mathematical formula which says if you tell me how big something is, I can tell you — with some variation, but not a lot — how long it will live.
Yunfun Tan illustrates the heartbeat of mother nature in this post on NPR
The Bronx Zoo is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, which boasts of running more than 500 projects in sixty-five countries through global field offices whose employees work to advance sustainable development; address issues of global climate change, health and well-being, and natural-resource use; and pursue other noble-sounding objectives that attest to the totality of man’s dominion over the lesser beasts.
"Rock balancing is an art, discipline, or hobby (depending upon the intent of the practitioner) in which rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions".
Here are a few practitioners:
Phillip A. Long
uses sticks beside stones
shares basic principles
stacks rocks when they don’t build elaborate sand castles
has links to other balancers
Extra: Balanced sand castles [more inside]
"...they are made of such thin sheets of ice, they will melt away as the sun rises higher in the sky. You may get frost flowers again the following day, but unless the conditions are just right the chances are your first glimpse may be your last."
's illustrated (and explained) animal mating habits
. [somewhat NSFW]
The Translucent Jewel Caterpillar
, the Nudibranch
of the Forest. Gorgeous caterpillar covered in break-off gumdrops that may help it escape predators. Turns into a bright orange furry
The Nature of Computation
- Intellects Vast and Warm and Sympathetic
: "I hand you a network or graph, and ask whether there is a path through the network that crosses each edge exactly once, returning to its starting point. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Eulerian' cycle.) Then I hand you another network, and ask whether there is a path which visits each node exactly once. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Hamiltonian' cycle.) How hard is it to answer me?" (via
) [more inside]
So, uh, apparently Jet Boards
are a thing. Maybe you knew this? I did not. At first I just thought that video was kinda neat, and the idea was interesting. Then I looked at their website and found a ton of amazing photos
, a lot more SCIENCE!
explanations of stuff
than I would have expected, and finally this promovideo
which features both an endearingly cheesy
original themesong, as well as lightning and explosions (GIF!)
. Soooooooooo yeah. Jet Boards. Apparently invented as early as 1965
. Pretty sweet.
Exploring the audible world: [more inside]
The Anternet is always up. On the surface, ants and the Internet don't seem to have much in common. But two Stanford researchers have discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in much the same way that Internet protocols discover how much bandwidth is available for the transfer of data. [more inside]
First Evidence Found for Photosynthesis in Insects: [nature.com]
"The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes."
"I stood staring at the enemy's trophy, the familiar impotent rage rising. But the impulse to fall to my knees, gnash my teeth, and howl at the gods was stayed this time by a resolution I'd made earlier that spring. The squirrels may take my tomatoes and spit them back, but they would not go unanswered. The time had come to close the circle of life
Using spare chemicals, a laser bought on eBay and angst from a late-night argument, physicists have got the world's first room-temperature microwave laser working
. [more inside]
Mark Peters was Albacore hunting off Santa Cruz, with a torpedo-shaped case enclosing a videocamera, and a pod of dolphins showed up. The footage is simply incredible.
The top ten new species 2012
The International Institute for Species Exploration has come up with a list of top ten new species; among them the snub nosed monkey that sneezes when it rains
, a wasp that attacks ants
in less than 0.05 of a second, and a psychedelic jellyfish
. (previously on MeFi
The Psychologically Ultimate Seashore
was the first in the Environments series
of records, an early entry in the field of white-noise nature sound albums. One interesting aspect of the albums was that most were designed to be played on a loop at any speed; another was that selections were included on the Voyager Golden Record
as "Sounds of the Earth". [more inside]
There is now
a live stream
of bears gathering to eat salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park
. [more inside]
North Americans may have noticed that U-Haul
trucks and trailers are emblazoned with colorful SuperGraphics
. First created in 1988 (previously
), the mobile gallery now comprises 206 images. Most U.S states and Canadian territories and provinces are now honored by multiple designs, as are the U.S. armed forces and 9/11
. The classic America and Canada's Moving Adventure
series, seen on trucks and trailers
, features an iconic image for each state, province and territory. The Venture Across America and Canada
series, begun in 1997, presents "carefully researched rare findings, little-known facts and mysteries,"
exploring science and nature, technology and history. At the U-Haul website, the "Learn More" link on each Venture SuperGraphic page leads to a surprisingly exhaustive discussion of the subject of each graphic. [more inside]
Morton and Vicary on the Categorified Heisenberg Algebra
- "In quantum mechanics, position times momentum does not equal momentum times position! This sounds weird, but it's connected to a very simple fact. Suppose you have a box with some balls in it, and you have the magical ability to create and annihilate balls. Then there's one more way to create a ball and then annihilate one, than to annihilate one and then create one. Huh? Yes: if there are, say, 3 balls in the box to start with, there are 4 balls you can choose to annihilate after you've created one but only 3 before you create one..." [more inside]
"A pod of orcas, or killer whales, cooperate to wash a Weddell seal off an ice floe. This sequence
, filmed for Frozen Planet, marks the first complete filming of killer whale "wave washing" behavior." [more inside]
is a field naturalist who draws bird & nature comics: "bird and moon
, "ghosts of the northeast woods
", "bird sound mnemonics
", "birds are gross
", "evolution sucks
". Her bi-weekly comic strip Wild Toronto
("It cleverly observed and taught us about the animals and plants that live in our city") ran on Torontoist
for some months in 2008; she has an illustrated collection of 55-word stories
as well (previously mentioned)
. Her website
, & tumblr
"Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23.
The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions. Incredibly, he provided answers."
Legendary architect-philosopher Christopher Alexander delivers a fascinating lecture at Berkeley
, in which he criticizes "modular" design and offers a radical new vision of architecture's relation to nature. Alexander is best known for A Pattern Language
, which aimed to make buildings and towns more "alive" through a series of pleasing and comfortable patterns (five sample patterns can be found here
). His most recent work, the four-part The Nature of Order
, theorizes that life, whether organic or inorganic, emerges from a single simple process, which can be found on page 4 of Amazon's preview of the third volume
. In the first volume Alexander lists fifteen properties
that make a structure whole. Also worth reading: Alexander's classic essay A City is not a Tree
The Mendenhall Glacier
in Alaska moves less than a foot a day, but thanks to Extreme Ice Survey you can now watch three years of movement happen in just over a minute
complete with a glacier expert explaining what you're seeing. You can also watch giant glacier pieces break into the water
and many other non-glacial glacier videos
. Finally, some info
to make you more of a glacier expert yourself.
"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets."
After an extensive
, months-long debate
, one of two controversial
papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published
today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research
" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed.
's special report
has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.