Many people spend their holiday seasons inside shopping malls. More and more, kids, in particular, are passing up the opportunity to play outdoors during the rest of the year too. The trend could be contributing to serious health risks such as obesity. And so a movement of parents, teachers and lawmakers is trying to get […]
A growing number of parents, children's advocates and political leaders are worried that our culture's disconnection from nature is harming kids. Concerns about long-term health consequences like obesity have spawned a movement to "leave no child inside."
Home designers and constructors are realizing that all houses are organic. The California Energy Commission asked the Davis Energy Group in Sacramento to evaluate new home construction in California a few years ago. The following excerpt from Home Energy Magazine tells you what they found. The increasing architectural complexity of new homes requires greater vigilance […]
It has been nine days since a Chinese freighter hit the Bay Bridge spilling 58-thousand gallons of bunker fuel into the Bay. After a massive effort only 25 percent of the oil has been cleaned up. And experts say they may not be able to recover much more. As clean-up crews in hazmat suits scour […]
It has been nine days since a Chinese freighter hit the Bay Bridge spilling 58-thousand gallons of bunker fuel into the Bay. After a massive effort only 25 percent of the oil has been cleaned up. And experts say they may not be able to recover much more. Amy Standen reports.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science." – Albert Einstein Photo credit: Dr. Richard Mooi It is not often that the public is able to see the components and care that go into creating a museum exhibit. However the California Academy […]
Bobby is more likely to be gay than Greg. Last blog I talked about some studies that link homosexuality and genes. The most powerful studies are those that compare identical twins to fraternal twins. These studies show that both twins in an identical pair are more likely to be gay than are both twins in […]
A tribute to the talking chimp who opened minds more than ears. Photo credit: Hi Pandian, flickr: Original photoIn some realm, Dr. Doolittle is taking a moment of silence. And though his delightful character may have been make believe, thanks to a certain chimpanzee, talking to animals is not. However, on October 30th the world […]
Some toilets are hot, and some are not. My wife and I recently took one of our "affordable" vacations, meaning that her company paid for her airfare and our hotel, and her frequent flyer miles paid for my ticket. We've gotten to Paris, France, and Miami Florida together thanks to her company, which we affectionately […]
When it comes to our health, the Bay-Delta's fish are flunking out of school. This past Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle Magazine featured an eye-opening story on Cambodian subsistence fishers in Stockton and the health concerns they face from a diet dependent on Delta fish. The piece illustrates how water quality in the Delta is an […]
Carcass of a Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus Credit: analog chainsawWhen zoologists speak about superlatives among animals, blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) often play a key role at the high end of the scale of organisms. With good reason, too: they are not only the largest baleen whales, but also the largest mammals ever to have lived […]
Not long ago, the peripheral canal was idea non grata among environmentalists, symbolizing the tug of war between northern and southern California for the state's precious water resources. Now, the canal is back. They may call it a "conveyance," but state lawmakers are once again considering a $5 billion plan to build a pipeline around […]
Joseph Grinell (center) and team, in 1908Last time, I wrote briefly about the history of grizzly bears in California and how there are no grizzlies in California anymore (an irony, given the animal's image on many of our state's symbols). The story of the grizzly's demise in California is the same narrative for many other […]
In the Midwest and Northeast United States, homeowners are anticipating increased fuel oil costs this coming winter. Here in California, we don’t face their kind of extreme weather (in my freshman year at Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, I woke up one morning in January to -25°F weather with the prospect of a one […]
Can you imagine what San Francisco Bay looked like 15,000 years ago? Actually at that time– during the last ice age– San Francisco Bay wasn't a bay at all. Instead, it was a valley dotted with grazing antelope. Hills jutted up here and there (destined to become the Bay's islands). The Sacramento and San Joaquin […]
original image from flickr user "Nemo's great uncle" Three years ago, I joined a small group at the Academy of Sciences named the Greenteam. Little did I know that green issues would be such a hot topic today because of global warming. Many people feel that little to nothing can be done about turning back […]
This fall, fishing was banned or sharply limited in 18 percent of California's ocean waters from Half Moon Bay to Santa Barbara under a landmark state plan. But that was only the first part. Now, scientists need to see how fast sea life recovers. QUEST finds out: how do you count the fish in the […]
This fall, fishing was banned or sharply limited in 18 percent of California's ocean waters from Half Moon Bay to Santa Barbara under a landmark state plan. But that was only the first part. Now, scientists need to see how fast sea life recovers. QUEST finds out: how do you count the fish in the sea?