Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

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Sharks require another update

Riled Up has paid close attention to sharks with previous posts on their conservation situation and the massive overfishing of these top ocean predators to produce a status-symbol soup in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The unsustainable demand in Asia poses the threat of extinction for these iconic marine creatures that have survived since the dinosaurs. It seems that many others around the world have been paying attention to their precarious situation also. Both the BBC and Public ...
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The Dolphin in the Mirror

The Dolphin in the Mirror is a newly published book by marine mammal researcher Diana Reiss, dolphin research director at Baltimore's National Aquarium. Her radio interview on the Diane Rehm Show was an excellent introduction to marine mammal intelligence and issues of dolphin conservation worldwide. It is well worth capturing the podcast for later listening. In particular, the interview focused on self recognition in dolphins-- one of the cognitive psychological keys to an animals ...
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Sharks, a status report

Anyone concerned about the oceans should be equally worried about the status of sharks, one of the marine world's top predators. As we have previously noted, sharks are being harvested at a rate far beyond any standard of sustainability to satisfy Asian demand for their fins used in Chinese cooking. The demand for shark fins has the potential to eliminate these critical creatures from the oceans if it isn't not stopped. One Atlantic shark population has decline nearly 90 percent in just ...
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Turtle People to the rescue, again

Turtle People are special. In Florida, they rescued an injured and endangered loggerhead turtle, nursed it to health, and released it back into its marine environment. This is another fine example of compassion towards these gentle creatures that are being harassed at every turn. WHB
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Rare earths revealed

If you own a cell phone, laptop computer, hybrid car, or virtually any other digitally controlled device, you own some rare earth metals as well. Strange elements like scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, neodymium, and dysprosium are ingredients in all these products. The name dysprosium-- from the Greek "dysprositos" meaning "hard to get" --says it all. I use a cell phone, work a good deal on a computer, and could probably find a use for a hybrid car so I'm a culprit in the mining of these rare ...
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The next mass extinction

A report on "the next mass extinction" was just released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and several other organizations. The State of the Oceans was submitted to the UN. A video commentary is worth viewing as most folks will still be living to see this event unlike the one that extinguished the dinosaurs: Ignorance, greed, pollution, and ineffective regulations are the prime culprits. The report concludes that beyond the national 200 mile territorial ...
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"Bobo's who stuck with oil"

I never followed the TV program Cheers but I know it was popular. Ted Danson still appears on stage but he is also a dedicated ocean activist and founded the marine conservation organization, Oceana. He was interviewed on the Diana Rehm Show and it is a broadcast that everyone should tune in. [caption id="attachment_4584" align="aligncenter" width="314" caption="Endangered Northern Right Whale photo credit:"][/caption] One of the comments Danson made in the impressive ...
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Nemo goes deaf

Pixar Animation Studios can really tell a great story. Their track record is chock full of movie treats like Toy Story, Cars, Wall-E, Up, and the wonderful Finding Nemo. In Nemo, Pixar's screenwriters used the creative storytelling device of trying to rescue an acquarium captured Clownfish to showcase issues in marine conservation. Their animated film charmed kids and adults alike. [caption id="attachment_4447" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Clown fish with anemone source: file ...
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Whale sing-a-long

Most of us think about opera in New York City as occurring on the stages of Lincoln Center . However, an "ocean opera", performed by whales, has now been taped and makes us think more broadly about singing venues around the city. [caption id="attachment_3965" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="humpback whale recording source: file image"][/caption] In a gig worthy of the any world stage, researchers from the bio-acoustics labs at Cornell University have recorded the songs of ...