Tuesday, September 30, 2014

aral sea

"For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried."

That's the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.

Once the world's fourth-largest lake, the Aral Sea has been broken apart and drying out since the 1950s and '60s, when the Soviet Union diverted two rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, to provide irrigation for farms. Another factor in this year's decline, experts say, is a drop in rain and snow levels in the lake's watershed. npr

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

size and weight comparisons for dreadnoughtus schrani


cat or dog person

Scientists Find Evidence for Tectonic Plates on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth.
Researchers have clear visual evidence of Europa’s icy crust expanding. However, they could not find areas where the old crust was destroyed to make room for the new. While examining Europa images taken by NASA’s Galileo orbiter in the early 2000s, planetary geologists Simon Kattenhorn, of the University of Idaho, Moscow, and Louise Prockter, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, discovered some unusual geological boundaries.
"We have been puzzled for years as to how all this new terrain could be formed, but we couldn’t figure out how it was accommodated," said Prockter. "We finally think we’ve found the answer."
Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that Earth’s outer layer is made up of plates or blocks that move, which accounts for why mountain and volcanoes form and earthquakes happen…


california sea hare

Don’t let those floppy “ears” fool you!
The California sea hare (Aplysia californica) can release a slimy cloud of irritating purplish ink to confuse or distract hungry predators. 

Learn more about this sizable sea slug

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

rights of the child

the US and Somalia are the only two to not sign the treaty

"38 countries now have agreed that corporal punishment of children, including spanking, 
violates children's human rights. And they have banned spanking altogether, both in homes 
and in schools" npr

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (commonly abbreviated as the CRCCROC, or UNCRC) is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under a state's own domestic legislation.[4]
The Convention deals with the child-specific needs and rights. It requires that states act in the best interests of the child. This approach is different from the common law approach found in many countries that had previously treated children as possessions or chattels, ownership of which was sometimes argued over in family disputes.[citation needed]
In many jurisdictions, properly implementing the Convention requires an overhaul of child custody and guardianship laws, or, at the very least, a creative approach within the existing laws.[citation needed] The Convention acknowledges that every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his or her own name and identity, to be raised by his or her parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.
The Convention obliges states to allow parents to exercise their parental responsibilities. The Convention also acknowledges that children have the right to express their opinions and to have those opinions heard and acted upon when appropriate, to be protected from abuse or exploitation, and to have their privacy protected, and it requires that their lives not be subject to excessive interference.
The Convention also obliges signatory states to provide separate legal representation for a child in any judicial dispute concerning their care and asks that the child's viewpoint be heard in such cases.
The Convention forbids capital punishment for children. In its General Comment 8 (2006) the Committee on the Rights of the Child stated that there was an "obligation of all state parties to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and all other cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children".[14] Article 19 of the Convention states that state parties must "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence",[15] but it makes no reference to corporal punishment. The Committee's interpretation on this point has also been explicitly rejected by several state parties to the Convention, including Australia,[16] Canada and the United Kingdom.

Monday, September 15, 2014

free museum day!

free museum admission to museums all across the country!

get your tickets now! smithsonianmag.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

the ephemeral life of a salt marsh by sergio fagherazzi

"Compared to the history of Earth, a salt marsh resembles a gorgeous butterfly. After emerging from the cocoon, it extends its wings under the morning sun, rises in the sky during the day, and when the night falls, it folds its wings and dies."