Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

81581_relCarl Kauffeld image 450 pxFor many years until his death, Carl Kauffeld, the director of the Staten Island Zoo and at the American Museum of Natural History, insisted that he had discovered a new species of frog leaving in New York and New Jersey, but faced widespread dismissals from his colleagues. Kauffeld died in 1974, but this week he received not just vindication but a new species named after him: Rana kauffeldi. The frog was found living in wetlands from Connecticut to North Carolina near I-95.

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300px-F5_tornado_Elie_Manitoba_2007tao-greyThere was much coverage recently about the claim of physicist Rongjia Tao (left) of Temple University that tornados could be curtailed dramatically in the Midwest by the construction of 1,000-foot walls across the middle of the country. Meteorologist Brice Coffer of North Carolina State University says that his research blows away that theory.

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Fall On The Old Rag

IMG_1540Yesterday, I completed the long circuit hike at Old Rag in the Shenandoah National Park. It is one of the most challenging hikes in Virginia and takes much of the day but it is worth it. It remains one of my favorite hikes with truly breathtaking overlooks. In the Fall, Virginia is radiant with different colors and you get the “big picture” on Old Rag.

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Dawn On The Trail

IMG_1502Having partially recovered from the Bears-Patriots game, I put my mind to more tranquil things like my dawn hike this morning on Billy Goat trail.

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220px-Air_Raid_Precautions_on_the_British_Home_Front-_Anti-gas_Instruction,_c_1941_D3948The 34th Beijing International Marathon was held on Sunday — an event long-planned by the government to highlight its economic development and tourism. It did not work out quite that way. Instead of a marathon, the race looked like a competition to see who could hold their breath for over 26 miles after pollution levels surpassed the hazardous level. It looked more like a medical emergency with hundreds of runners using oxygen masks to breath and using sponges to clean off pollution on their skin. The government of course reported only “moderate” pollution. When the Chinese government says that pollution is moderate, it may be time to be a couch potato at home like this lovely couple.

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Home Sweet Home

IMG_1470While I loved Italy and Sicily, I did long to return to my hikes on my favorite trails in Maryland and Virginia. I did my usual dawn hike this morning on Billy Goat trail and it was glorious with the leaves changing and the crisp autumn wind.

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300px-Chernobyl_Disaster1280px-Fukushima_I_by_Digital_GlobeOne of the chief objections to nuclear power is the catastrophic implications of nuclear accidents or leaks. No better examples of that danger can be found in the aftermath of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters. Reports out this week show precisely how lasting such damage can be.

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