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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.

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The Conservation Alliance

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Lensing the wind

Japan suffered from an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale earlier this year. It released a massive tsunami that devastated coastal communities and also collapsed a nuclear power complex with multiple electrical generators. The consequences of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are still unfolding for the Japanese economy and the country's people. It isn't surprising that the Japanese have investigating alternative energy technologies that might reduce their nation's dependency on ...
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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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24 Hours of Reality

Al Gore has prepared a new climate change project-- 24 Hours of Reality --that will present commentaries on the impacts of climate change on global screens, September 14th. Scientists, businessmen, and environmentalists will live-stream their climate related experiences and perspectives to viewers around the World. Presentations will focus on the connections between recent extreme weather and how weather patterns are changing under the influence of increased atmospheric CO2 ...
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The European Space Organization announced the new discovery of 50 more extra solar planets including one planet within the temperate zone of its star. The planet could potentially support life but nothing quite like we know it. [caption id="attachment_7484" align="aligncenter" width="825" caption="Exoplanet within habitable zone (credit: concept image)"][/caption] The newly exoplanet is designated as HD-85512b, weighs in at nearly 4 times the mass of Earth, is estimated to be hot and ...
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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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Two beacons

[caption id="attachment_7435" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Two beacons (source: file photo)"][/caption]
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From space, Texas in flames

The worst wildfires in Texas history are now seen from space: [caption id="attachment_7411" align="aligncenter" width="575" caption="Texas wildfires from space (credit: NASA)"][/caption] Perhaps an image from NASA's lofty vantage point will provide some connections between temperature increases, drought, and climate change in the Lone Star State and elsewhere. WHB
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Free Energy

It's a holiday, so time for an arty animated video on freedom: Happiness from Bran Dougherty-Johnson on Vimeo. Riled Up
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Opals on Mars

Grab those picks and shovels, Mars may have regions covered in opals if recent images from JPL's HiRise camera are confirmed. [caption id="attachment_7158" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Potential opal deposits on Mars (credit: JPL/NASA)"][/caption] Even if the rocks don't turn out to be those fiery, iridescent gemstones, the JPL image is a beauty. WHB
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Warren Calls It Like It Is

by Conrad Anker On August 14th, Warren Buffet called for the re-evaluation of the tax rates for the mega-rich in a guest column for the New York Times. When one of America’s wealthiest citizens calls for an increase on his own tax, people take notice. As the primary shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway Inc., an investment and holding company, Mr. Buffett is a wildly successful investor. For many Mr. Buffett is the icon of wealth. His sage insight, based on sound business practices, has ...
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Holding back the sea By Reilly Capps KINDERDIJK, The Netherlands -- It’s a tourist thing, these windmills. The windmill keeper wears wooden shoes. They are made of the simplest materials. Bricks, wood, straw on top. The rattle of the blades is like a giant washing machine. Geese drift toward the windmill, sucked toward the blades by the manmade current. They proudly fly a Dutch flag overhead, which the windmill keeper pulls down at dusk. But they work. The mills at ...
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Lionfish, an update

Here at Riled Up we pay particular attention to the major environmental issue of invasive species, critters that come from one place to become a massive weed in another. Sadly, the number of invaders is long and growing. Besides all the ecological damages they cause, controlling invasive species is very expensive. A short list of plant and animal invaders would include: the 'frankenfish' carp in the Mississippi River; feral camels in outback Australia; salt cedar along western rivers; ...
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Collision course

The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy are on a collision course. Andromeda --the only galaxy that can be seen with the naked eye --is on a course to collide with us billions of years from now. If you ever wondered what colliding galaxies might look like, check out this Hubble photo: [caption id="attachment_7086" align="aligncenter" width="575" caption="Colliding galaxies (credit: NASA)"][/caption] WHB
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Designer mosquitos...bye-bye dengue

Dengue fever is one bad news disease. Sometimes called Breakbone Fever, I can attest to its pathologies since I caught the infection while working on a reforestation project in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) years ago. As such, I have a personal interest in Dengue's control. Dengue is carried by the mosquito-- Aedes aegypti --and is a worldwide problem endemic in more than 110 countries. When I had the disease, treatment was only bed-rest, two aspirin, isolation from other patients-- dengue causes ...
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A river runs through it

Norman Maclean wrote the beautiful novella-- A River Runs Through It --as an allegory on the power of water. He would have been impressed by a discovery in Brazil that shows the mega-force of a river. The Amazon is the world's second longest river. It stretches east-west across South America. The river's watershed drains an area nearly 3 million square miles wide and accounts for approximately twenty percent of the world's total flowing water. Now Brazilian researchers report finding a ...
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De Beers planet

De Beers is the world's largest producer and marketer of diamonds. Couples planning to get married typically come in contact with the Company. A planetary discovery has just been made that must have the diamond cutters at De Beers pulling out their star charts. Using the famous Parkes radio telescope in Australia. an exotic object has been discovered that seems to be made of pure diamond closely circling a pulsar. The new planet is super-dense, consists largely of molecular carbon and ...
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Yes, it's hot...very hot

NOAA has now confirmed what anyone living in the mid-western and southwestern USA already knew. It's hot-- very hot! Nearly 60% of the nation experienced above normal to much above normal temperatures in July and counties in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and elsewhere measured their record warmest temperatures ever. August is approaching comparable conditions but that NOAA map isn't complete yet. Adverse impacts from the heat and drought on people, animals, forests, and agriculture ...
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A whole lot of shakin' going on

The US Geological Survey has produced an earthquake map of the tumbler that hit Virginia, Washington DC, and elsewhere August 23rd. The quake was the first to hit the East Coast in nearly a century. [caption id="attachment_6926" align="aligncenter" width="575" caption="East Coast earthquake, 8-23-11 (source: USGS)"][/caption] There was a whole lot of shakin' going on! WHB


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