Nature starts a weblog about the flu pandemic.
Now the virus is in coastal cities on both sides of South America. It hit Europe two weeks ago, ripping through Paris in just 11 days. In the French capital alone, there were 2.5 million cases and 50,000 dead. That's par for the course — infection rate 25% and mortality 2%, similar to the 1918 pandemic. Extrapolate these numbers, and we're going to have over 30 million dead worldwide. In poor and densely populated countries like India, it could be worse.
Where's next, I asked. Based on passenger data — which had to be prised from the airlines — one epidemiologist was willing to make a guess. "Within two weeks, there." He traced his finger from San Diego to Los Angeles, up to San Francisco. Within another three to four weeks, it'll be the turn of the conurbations along the eastern seaboard.
It's fiction but it might become reality soon.
posted by kika
on May 25, 2005 -
Camouflaged and Walking octopuses
Octopus marginatus and Octopus (Abdopus) aculeatus, that walk along the seafloor using two alternating arms and apparently use the remaining six arms for camouflage.
posted by dov3
on Mar 30, 2005 -
Rainbows, pots of gold, and leprechauns
are images that come to mind on St. Paddy’s Day. They are beautiful
to behold, but how much do you really know about rainbows
? Did you know that there are double
, and supernumerary
rainbows, that no two people ever see the same rainbow
, and that rainbows consist of more than just the ROYGBIV colors
? Rainbows permeate mythology
, and sexuality
. Rainbows are a job
for one, a link to the past
for some, and a hope for the future
posted by debralee
on Mar 17, 2005 -
The strange case of the homosexual necrophiliac duck pushed out the boundaries of knowledge in a rather improbable way when it was recorded by Dutch researcher Kees Moeliker.
posted by Shanachie
on Mar 8, 2005 -
To live in a pristine land ... to roam the wilderness ... to choose a site, cut trees, and build a home ... Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.
In 1968, at 51 years of age, Richard Proenneke retired to Upper Twin Lakes, Alaska
and using nothing but hand tools, built a cabin
where he lived for the next 30 or so years. He filmed
the cabin's construction (as well as much of nature's wonder) and kept meticulous notes on the back of wall calendars. In 1973, Sam_Keith
produced a book (One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey)
based on Proenneke's journal entries and photography. In 1999, at the age of 82, Proenneke could no longer endure the harsh winters of Alaska and moved to California to be with his family. He
on Easter Sunday, 2003.
posted by a_day_late
on Feb 10, 2005 -
and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
announced a pilot program to offer wireless Internet service at five Texas state parks... The wireless service will allow park guests while visiting the park to access the Internet to gain park information, send e-mail or pictures, or just surf the Web, without cords having to physically plug into a network."
Shouldn't be camping be more about nature than technology?
posted by Doohickie
on Dec 16, 2004 -
The Animaris Rhinoceros Transport
: "Since about ten years Theo Jansen
is occupied with the making of a new nature. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic matierial of this new nature. He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives." [2MB Quicktime Video
posted by muckster
on Sep 28, 2004 -
(linked page needs Java, sorry)
Victor Wooten's Bass and Nature Camp
sounds interesting. Bass guitar and music master class in the woods, with animal tracking, meditation, health, and basic wilderness survival lessons.
posted by crunchburger
on Jun 5, 2004 -
Country Life: Wildlife Reports From Around The World.
Here's a generous helping of trip reports from a group of dedicated naturalists who manage to be thorough and entertaining at the same time. It's part of a travel agency's web site, but not so as you'd notice it. Reading through them, one feels quietly (perhaps dangerously?) optimistic at the astonishing variety of all things bright and beautiful in this grossly over-exploited world of ours. (Well, there may be too many birds in the fauna/flora mix, if you're not a certified ornithologist. Oh - and not enough detail on the local gastronomical delights!)
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Mar 18, 2004 -
New Scientist reports that
a virus has been built up from mail order components. Other reports on this are in USA Today
. This isn't time life has been created in the lab, as previously linked
What's interesting is that this study was funded by the Department of Energy
to produce a completely man made lifeform that can create hydrogen or consume greenhouse gasses.
The present virus is an artificially created copy of a naturally occurring virus.
posted by substrate
on Nov 14, 2003 -
of a Great White Shark breaching (leaving the surface of the water, like a whale or a dolphin would). Note - they apparently usually exhibit this behavior when they are killing/feeding, so those with delicate sensibilities shouldn't click.
posted by jonson
on Sep 11, 2003 -
"is the Noah's Ark for the Internet era - the world's centralised digital library of films, photographs and associated recordings of species, accessible to all via the world wide web."
posted by tbc
on Aug 14, 2003 -
Nature is amazing.
"Camera approaching coral with no sign of animal. As the camera gets closer, an O. vulgaris that was camouflaged changes color to white and becomes visible." This page leads to a video clip containing "special effects" that put the movie industry to shame. (via Looka!
posted by stefnet
on Aug 8, 2003 -
If a young worker attempts to reproduce, she is spreadeagled by her fellows and kept immobilized for hours or even days. At the end of her sentence, the best she can hope for is a reduction in rank and loss of reproductive capability. Often she is mutilated or killed.
about police-state behavior in insects, complete with information on mutant anarchist worker bees, ant-led coups, and parasitic self-cloning bees. (via BoingBoing.)
posted by Vidiot
on Aug 6, 2003 -
A bold paper
published in the August issue of Foundations of Physics Letters seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to motion and classical and quantum mechanics. The work also appears to provide solutions to Zeno's paradoxes
. (Via Kurzweilai.net
. More inside...)
posted by Pinwheel
on Aug 1, 2003 -