Q. I am getting married at the end of February and have no clue what to wear for jewelry. I am having a casual rustic barbecue style wedding with a very simple gown. I am on a very limited budget. Do you have any advice.
A. Congratulations on…
Scientists Solve Mystery of Birds’ Flying V
Migrating birds flap in and out of rhythm depending on where they are in formation
by Helen Thompson
Secret weapon of birds and underdog hockey players alike, the flying V formation is believed to be ideal for energy and aerodynamics. A study published today in Nature not only confirms this idea, but it also fills in the blanks of how and why birds use it.
Most of what we know about the physics of flying comes from studying airplanes—birds push air down to stay aloft and glide through the air similarly. Wings also leave a vortex of air in their wake: air flowing off the top of the wingtips (upwash) creates lift, and air coming off the bottom (downwash) pushes down. “The simple rule is upwash is good air, and downwash is bad air,” says Steve Portugal, a comparative ecophysiologist at the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, UK, and a co-author of the new study.
Whether you’re a bird or a plane, you theoretically want to ride the small upwash part of the vortex. And the flying V configuration, the authors find, helps birds to do that…
(read more: Smithsonian Magazine)
image: Markus Unsold
Frogs Freeze to Survive the Alaskan Winter
How Turning Into a Frogsicle Prevents Death
by Simone Scully
Less than three inches long with paper-thin skin, wood frogs might seem like one of the most unlikely creatures to be able to endure Alaska’s frigid winters. However, it turns out they take a rather Zen-like approach to the cold, becoming one with their environment by freezing along with it.
For as long as seven months, up to 60 percent of their bodies freeze solid. They stop breathing. Their heart stops beating. This semi-frozen state allows them to survive temperatures that that dip below zero, explains Brian Barnes, researcher and director of Arctic Biology at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. Come spring, they thaw out and come back to life.
Scientists have known for decades that the amphibians deep-freeze when the mercury drops. However, this is the first time they’ve been observed surviving such low temperatures or for such a long stretch of time. It’s also the first time that researchers might have an explanation for why these critters don’t just turn into permanent frogsicles…
(read more: Audubon Magazine)
photo Dave Huth/Flickr
The Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)
… is a short-distance migrant… most of the time. Individuals breed in humid coniferous forests, often at higher altitudes, along the western mountain ranges and Pacific coast. In the winter they usually move south and/or down in elevation. However, a handful of individuals each year will turn up in eastern North America in the winter; it is believed they do return west to breed in the spring.
They are insectivorous in the summer but switch to a diet of berries and seeds for winter. As such, they often will come to bird feeders in the colder months, where they may defend a territory and are typically dominant over birds of the same or smaller size. Varied Thrushes are dimorphic, much like our widespread American Robin - both males and females share the same color pattern, but males are crisp and dark while females are more muted.
photo by Eugene Beckes (corvidaceous) on Flickr
(via:Peterson Field Guides)
The Nautilus Science and Engineering Internship Program aims to train undergraduate and graduate students studying ocean science, engineering and video/film in the at-sea environment. Intern positions entail 2-5 week periods working aboard E/V Nautilus as Data Loggers, ROV Pilots, or Video Engineers.
All of our interns spend their time on Nautilus working with a wide array of scientists, engineers, students, and educators. Science interns learn how to make scientific observations and process digital data and physical samples. ROV interns learn how to maintain and operate our exploration vehicles and systems. Video engineering and film interns learn how to operate video for our ROVs and work with our communications team to share our Nautilus story. All interns gain experience in communications and leadership, including participating in educational outreach activities, such as live interviews with shore…
click link to apply
Should Bill Nye Debate a Conservationist?
With Bill Nye’s video on creationism gone viral, the Creation Museum’s Ken Ham has challenged him to a debate that will question the theory of evolution…but should Nye even debate such a thing with a creationist when almost every earth and life scientist finds evolution indisputable? Laci sits down and weighs out the pros and cons of Nye’s decision.
Where Science and Faith Collide - MSNBC
"The MHP panel discusses why recent polls are showing a seeming change in public opinion…"
Rescued Baby Aussie Animals in Pictures
Photographer Alex Cearns has taken a series of striking images of a baby Tasmanian devil, quoll, wombat and other baby animals, to raise funds for a new 24-hour wildlife hospital at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania. Prints are available by emailing, 50% of profits going to the sanctuary.
L - Jock the baby Tasmanian devil is one of two baby devils raised by a specialist carer near Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Hobart. At just four months old, Jock was rescued after his mother was euthanised due to the fatal devil facial tumor disease.
R - Max the baby wombat was photographed at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Hobart. At six months old, Max was rescued from his dead mother’s pouch in August 2013.
Read/see more and help out!
(via: Guardian UK)
There is more going on in the snow than you think—including some odd little bouncy bugs.
Springtails on Ice: it’s not a strange Ice Capades show, it’s just life in the undergrowth. Springtails are technically not insects, although they are close relatives. Many of them are full of antifreeze and active in winter—this one is scampering about on ice crystals…
Oldest trees are growing faster, storing more carbon as they age, study reports
In a finding that overturns the conventional view that large old trees are unproductive, scientists have determined that for most species, the biggest trees increase their growth rates and sequester more carbon as they age.
In a letter published today in the journal Nature, an international research group reports that 97 percent of 403 tropical and temperate species grow more quickly the older they get.
The study was led by Nate L. Stephenson of the U.S. Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center. Three Oregon State University researchers are co-authors: Mark Harmon and Rob Pabst of the College of Forestry and Duncan Thomas of the College of Agricultural Sciences.The researchers reviewed records from studies on six continents. Their conclusions are based on repeated measurements of 673,046 individual trees, some going back more than 80 years…
(read more: PhysOrg)
Photograph by Asier Herrero