Environment, News, Technology, World Problems

EX-NASA Engineer Wants to Plant one Billion Trees a Year Using Drones


Each year, we cut down 26 billion trees, for lumber, agriculture, mining and development projects. Every year, we plant about 15 billion trees, so that still leaves us with a huge deficit – something which is not sustainable and has to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further problems down the road. Now, a former NASA engineer has found that drones could play a key part, and he plans to plant up to 1 billion trees a year using them.

News, Research, World Problems

Lowest science spending since WWII threatens US economy and security, MIT says

What the US needs is to spend more on science.

A report issued by a committee at MIT concludes that the decline in science funding will have drastic consequences for the country’s economy and security, making the US trail behind other countries like China which is spending immense amounts of money on science. In fact, one study estimates China will become the world’s leading science and innovation producer by 2020, outpacing the US. The MIT report identifies some 15 fields where inadequate budgets seriously hampers progress, from Alzheimer’s research, to nuclear fusion, to disease and agriculture.

Animals, Biology, News

Courtship in the animal kingdom: the amazing blue-eyed satin bowerbird


Endemic to Australia and New Zealand, the satin bowerbird is considered one of the most intelligent birds found in nature. Mature males are very easy to spot because of their bright blue eyes, while their bodies are uniformly covered in black, although sometimes light diffraction makes the bird’s feathers turn almost into a metallic sheen. What sets these birds apart is their remarkable courtship ritual, and the male’s seemingly obsessive fixation for blue.

Animals, Biology

What’s all the Buzz about Pollinators?

Photo credit: USFWS (Adult monarch butterfly by Tina Shaw/USFWS).

It’s been in all the headlines: monarch butterflies are in decline, honey bees are experiencing colony collapse disorder (CCD), and our future food supply appears to be in peril. The importance of preserving pollinators has even reached the White House, as President Obama issued a presidential memo in June 2014 that directed federal agencies to 1) develop a Pollinator Health

Green Living, News

Man cleans up entire river on his way to work


We all see garbage in our daily routine, be it on the way to work, school, or just on the streets. But most people just choose to ignore it; after all, what difference could one man possibly do? Well, Tommy Kleyn didn’t think like that when he was walking pass a polluted river to work. He took a bag of garbage

Animals, Biology, News

The seemingly chaotic, but elegant movement of the octopus: how it pulls it off

octopus arms

Despite lacking a rigid skeleton, octopuses have a remarkable coordinated locomotion. Using high-speed cameras, a group at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found the octopus achieves this by precisely and independently moving one or more of its eight legs to crawl its body, even when its facing a different direction. Moreover, there is no discernible rhythm or pattern to this undulating leg movement, making the octopus unique in this respect. It’s controlled chaos, and only the octopus itself completely knows how it pulls all this off.

Climate, News

Dutch citizens sue the government over human rights for lack of action against climate change

Image: Hague Court, Netherlands

Some 900 Dutch citizens have banded together and filled a lawsuit against the Dutch government over human rights, citing the latter’s lack of decisive action against climate change. This is the first such case in Europe where a group of citizens holds its government responsible for ineffective climate policy, and also the first to be based on human rights law.

Climate, News, World Problems

A ‘warm blob’ in the Pacific is linked to California’s drought and East Coast snow storms

East coast snow

Strange weather in the East Coast and California’s worst drought in history have been linked to a peculiar warm mass of water out in the Pacific Ocean. A new study published in the Geophysical Research Letters explain its origins and how its warm waters also warmed surface temperatures out in the coast, and displaced marine life, a major concern at the moment. Worth noting that research thus far suggests that ‘warm blob’, as it’s been dubbed, has been primarily attributed to natural variability, and not global warming.

Climate, News

Massive Methane Hotspot Over the US Might Signal Bigger Problems to Come

The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan

A “massive methane hotspot” sounds pretty bad… and bad it is – much worse than previously thought. In 2014, NASA reported that the methane hotspot is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate. But the methane, a potent greenhouse gas, might have even more drastic consequences on the climate of our planet.


Brinicles under Antarctica: the underwater icicles with a touch that spells death


This incredible time-lapse footage was captured by a daring oceanographer for the BBC a while ago, showing for the very first time how a brinicle forms. It’s essentially a salt water icicle that gets bigger and bigger as it hits the sea floor, and when it does its icy touch puts life to a halt instantly, like the poor sea urchins and starfish.