nature

How do some kids go to school? Remarkable and humbling story of human endurance and the will to get an education

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If you live in the Zanskar valley, India it is a 5 day walk along one of the highest rivers, through some of the highest mountains, some of the coldest places on Earth.

 

Just saw this heart-stopping trip in ‘Human Planet’ on TV.


Human Planet- Zanskar River by BBCfanable

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhzfi8_human-planet-zanskar-river_shortfilms

 

This is the first someone has successfully filmed the journey that families have to undertake every year.

More here:

http://www.humanplanetblog.com/?p=1080

This one is a must read !

http://timothyallen.blogs.bbcearth.com/2010/02/26/the-school-run/

Going to school in Ladakh, India

Going to school in Ladakh, India

On a side note I learned that ice sheets on frozen rivers / lakes is called ‘chaddar’ in Zanskari. In Hindi ‘chaddar’ means ‘sheet’ more like bedspread never knew that it also means ice sheet

Earth Day & Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot

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This gives me goosebumps every time I watch it…. Happy Earth Day !

 

on the way to the grocery store…

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If neurons talk using RFID…are we zapping our brains with our phone yapping?? !!

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I stumbled across this article today about how neurons in brains do not rely just on physical connections to talk to each other. They interact with each other with their version of electro-magnetic coupling similar to Near Field Communication (NFC)or RFID.

NFC or RFID type technologies can be prone to interference from various gadgets or devices. This new discovery about neural communication may bring into focus how electronic devices affect our brains and cognitive abilities. Is it time to think about how our society designs and uses the billions of cell phones ?

Here is the article from Caltech:

Neurobiologists Find that Weak Electrical Fields in the Brain Help Neurons Fire Together – Caltech Media Relations.

The Story of Electronics

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The Story of Electronics employs the Story of Stuff style to explore the high-tech revolution’s collateral damage—25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill. Host Annie Leonard takes viewers from the mines and factories where our gadgets begin to the horrific backyard recycling shops in China where many end up. The film concludes with a call for a green “race to the top” where designers compete to make long-lasting, toxic-free products that are fully and easily recyclable

t r u t h o u t | The Story of Electronics Video

The economic value of nature

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Governments are finally waking up to the economic value of nature… but is it too late?
Check out this BBC article titled India and Brazil head move to ‘green’ economic future . Dr. David Suzuki has spoken about this extensively earlier

Leave it as it is…

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Leave it as it is. You cannot improve it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it….

President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt commenting on seeing the Grand Canyon

Read more about the US National Parks and President Teddy Roosevelt at http://www.nps.gov and  http://blogs.nashualibrary.org/reference/2009/09/leave_it_as_it_is_1.html

Star-Trek Traction beam discovered

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The traction beam cannot lift your car or boat but it can move really really small objects. Who knows this may solve other mysteries like dark energy :) Here is the blurb from the article in ScienceDaily:

A team of Yale University researchers has discovered a “repulsive” light force that can be used to control components on silicon microchips, meaning future nanodevices could be controlled by light rather than electricity. The team previously discovered an “attractive” force of light and showed how it could be manipulated to move components in semiconducting micro- and nano-electrical systems—tiny mechanical switches on a chip. The scientists have now uncovered a complementary repulsive force.

Rainforests may pump winds worldwide

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The NewScientist has an article titled Rainforests may pump winds worldwide, which may shake up the climate and environmental skeptics. It seems large forests are the heart, lungs and kidneys of our living planet. Large forests may be responsible for pumping moisture laden air across continents helping rainfall far inland…

Cool factoid of the day from the article: “More moisture typically evaporates from rainforests than from the ocean. The Amazon rainforest, for example, releases 20 trillion litres of moisture every day.

How can forests create wind? Water vapour from coastal forests and oceans quickly condenses to form droplets and clouds. The Russians point out that the gas takes up less space as it turns to liquid, lowering local air pressure. Because evaporation is stronger over the forest than over the ocean, the pressure is lower over coastal forests, which suck in moist air from the ocean. This generates wind that drives moisture further inland. The process repeats itself as the moisture is recycled in stages, moving towards the continent’s heart (see diagram). As a result, giant winds transport moisture thousands of kilometres into the interior of a continent.

Fighting hunger with flood-tolerant rice

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CNN reports that scientists after over 10 years of research have successfully developed a new strain of flood-tolerant rice through precision breeding. Read the article to know more about the inspiring work being done to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions.

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