Animals, Feature Post

The elephant bird: the largest bird to have ever lived

Restoration of the famous elephant bird. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Once one of Madagascar’s crown inhabitants, the elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus) is considered the largest bird to have ever lived. The first records of the bird are from the 9th century when Saracen and Indian traders visited Madagascar and spoke of legends of the the giant roc (rukh). The elephant bird became rarer and rarer once with the settling of Madagascar’s…

Climate, Environment, Environmental Issues, News

Americans are convinced of global warming by changing temperatures, not by climate scientists

Jon Krosnick of Stanford. Photo by Ian Terpin

The Stanford News Service recently made an interview with Jon Krosnick, a Stanford professor of communication and of political science who conducts survey research on how people view climate change. It’s a most compelling read, one I advise those of you interested in the subject of climate change and the politics behind it to go through it. Some of the key insights from the…

Animals, News

Pesticides threaten bees, birds and worms alike

Neonicotinoid chemicals and bees

A new study has shown that neurotoxic pesticides blamed for the huge drop in bee numbers are also equally affecting butterflies, worms, fish and birds. Killing the Bees Analyzing two decades of research on the topic, they found out that two classes of pesticides – neonicotinoids and fipronil – show “clear evidence of harm”. “We are witnessing a threat to the productivity…

Climate, News

Scientist offers $10.000 to anyone who can scientifically disprove man-made climate change


Are you a convinced climate change denier? Wanna make a quick buck? This is the thing for you! A physics professor is so fed up with people denying climate change, that he’s willing to offer $10.000 out of his own pocket to anyone who can scientifically disprove climate change. So what if the scientific community is basically unanimously agreeing that climate…

Anthropology, Environment, News

What countries do the most good for the planet? The results are surprising


It’s kind of strange that we often think about what countries are doing the most harm to the planet, but we rarely think which countries are doing the most good. Announced at the TEDSalon in Berlin, the Good Country Index measures just that, and the winners are quite surprising; the losers, not so much (sorry USA). What, Ireland ?! Yep, according…

Biology, Environment, News

Invasive ant has bear trap-like jaw which can propel it through the air


An invasive ant has been sweeping through southeastern United States; it has a jaw like a bear trap, which close faster than almost anything in nature. Naturally, it packs quite a sting, and if that wasn’t enough, it can propel itself through the air like a rocket. “They look like little hammerhead sharks walking around,” said D. Magdalena Sorger. That…

Art, Climate

12 Insightful Climate Change Cartoons that put Things into Perspective


Last month, the Niels Bugge Cartoon Award asked illustrators and cartoonists from around the world to submit drawings based on a basic theme: climate. Oceans are in our hands,” they proclaimed, and participants from all around the world put forth their best interpretations (often satyrical) of the current climate situation. You can check their website to see who won, but I…

Animals, Biology, News

Pianist plays the piano to old, injured elephants ontop of a Thai mountain


Paul Barton, a 50 year old pianist fulfilled his dream, as he sat behind his piano just a few metres away from the gentle giants. He transported his piano up a mountain in Thailand – so he could play Beethoven for old, injured, and blind elephants. A lifelong dream “It was a 50th birthday present to myself, my wife and I have been…

Animals, News

Not only do fish feel pain, but they also multi task and even have cultural traditions

Culum Brown uses Pavlovian conditioning.

Do you still think that fish don’t feel pain? That we shouldn’t really care how we catch or treat them? If so, then you’re terribly wrong. In a new article published in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition, Associate Professor Culum Brown from Macquarie University concludes that not only do fish feel pain and are conscious of it, but they can also multi task,…

Renewable Energy

Elon Musk takes on solar panels, to build factories “an order of magnitude bigger”


The energy industry simply isn’t keeping up with what Elon Musk wants to do. Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity and founder of electric car company Tesla Motors announced that SolarCity will acquire a solar panel manufacturer and start building factories “an order of magnitude bigger” than those existing today. This comes just a few days after Tesla Motors…