Very cool motion graphic promo for National Geographic’s new year-long series, via Kat and seen at BrainPickings.
Posts Tagged ‘national geographic’
[Editor's note: Interactive map shows proposed renewable energy power plants and transmission lines in the United States and Canada. The print version by Martin Gamache and Sam Pepple is worth a look –– it composites the multiple themes into a single view, and compares with the current state of the power system in a separate map.]
Republished from National Geographic Magazine.
Can we fix the infrastructure that powers our lives?
By Joel Achenbach. Photograph by Joe McNally
We are creatures of the grid. We are embedded in it and empowered by it. The sun used to govern our lives, but now, thanks to the grid, darkness falls at our convenience. During the Depression, when power lines first electrified rural America, a farmer in Tennessee rose in church one Sunday and said—power companies love this story—”The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.” He was talking about a few lightbulbs and maybe a radio. He had no idea.
Juice from the grid now penetrates every corner of our lives, and we pay no more attention to it than to the oxygen in the air. Until something goes wrong, that is, and we’re suddenly in the dark, fumbling for flashlights and candles, worrying about the frozen food in what used to be called (in pre-grid days) the icebox. Or until the batteries run dry in our laptops or smart phones, and we find ourselves scouring the dusty corners of airports for an outlet, desperate for the magical power of electrons.
[Editor's note: Spoiler alert: "El Niño Modoki (Japanese for “similar but different”) triggers more landfalling storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean than normal, and more tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic than El Niño does. Another difference: Modoki’s precipitation patterns are the reverse of El Niño’s—making the American West, for instance, drier rather than wetter."]
Republished from National Geographic Magazine.
It used to be simpler. Whenever the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific turned warmer than normal in summer, climatologists would expect an El Niño year, then forecast when and where droughts, floods, and hurricanes might occur. But that was before a study by Georgia Tech scientists, led by Hye-Mi Kim, deciphered the effects of another pattern in which high temperatures are confined to the central Pacific (Click this link to expand the graphic). Now the already difficult field of atmospheric forecasting has become even trickier.
[Editor's note: That's what Russians say when they're not pulling your leg. This book from National Geographic has this and other intriguing idioms from around the world. It's beautifully illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Julia Suits. Good for the holiday gift list. Thanks Jag!]
Republished from HangingNoodles.com.
That’s what Russians say when they’re not pulling your leg.
From National Geographic Books by Jag Bhalla
A collection of 1,000 funny and intriguing expressions from around the world.
These odd sayings say a lot about how odd the human mind can be.
NPR “An Enchanting Tour” listen and read here
The Splendid Table on the food chapter listen and read here
PRI “A Banquet of foreign idioms” listen here
Guardian “On the joys of idioms” read here
Guardian quiz read here
“On language addiction (its our most ubiquitous mind altering drug) and the thrill of the novel (semantic ambush)” read here
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first human landing on Earth’s Moon, over 250,000 miles distant from our “mother ship”. Apollo 11 was launched into space July 16, 1969 and on July 20th Neil Alden Armstrong and Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr., became the first humans to “moon walk” while fellow crew member Michael Collins orbited above.
This past January I published several blog posts (listed below) highlighting my friend Richard Furno’s involvement with the National Geographic “The Earth’ Moon” map which was published during this amazing time in history. Follow along with Richard’s first hand narration of how historic events shaped the map, the cutting edge science involved in assembling the photographic base material, and the many explanatory notes included on the final design. The wall map is a piece of art, please enjoy
NASA and the President John F. Kennedy Library have a fun (historic) real time recreation / interactive of the four day mission.
This is “one gift I will definitely keep,” President Obama said when he was presented with a National Geographic Society map cabinet at the White House earlier this week.
Photo courtesy the White House
“The Obama family loves maps. I like the tactile feel of maps,” the President added, as he admired the cabinet that was leaning against the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Photo courtesy the White House
The presentation in the Oval Office Wednesday, June 10, was by National Geographic President and CEO John M. Fahey, Jr., (seen on the left in the picture above), Global Media President Tim Kelly (on the right), and Executive Vice President Terry Adamson (next to President Obama).
National Geographic Tradition
Fahey told Obama that the presentation of the map cabinet specially constructed for the U.S. President has been a National Geographic tradition that goes back to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
[Editor's note: Nations around the world are laying claim to areas beyond their 200-nautical-mile limit to lay claim to underwater mineral riches like oil and gas, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, as detailed in last month's National Geographic magazine. Note the use of Southern Ocean on this map for waters around Antarctica south of 60 degrees.]
Republished from the Economist. May 14th 2009
Related story: St Pierre and Miquelon – Squaring off for a seabed scrap
The scramble for the seabed: Coastal states have now made their bids for vast new areas of continental shelf
YOU never know what may come in handy. That is the principle behind the rush for the seabed that reached a climax of sorts this week with the deadline on May 13th for lodging claims to extensions of the continental shelf. When Russia sold Alaska to the United States for two cents an acre (five cents a hectare) in 1867, it thought it was parting with a useless lump of ice. After gold was discovered there, it began kicking itself. Now it is one of a host of countries eagerly laying claim to swathes of the seafloor that may one day yield huge riches. That is the hope anyway.
The rules for this carve-up derive from the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. These gave all countries that had ratified the treaty before May 13th 1999 ten years in which to claim any extension of their continental shelf beyond the normal 200 nautical miles (370km), so long as that extension was no more than 100 miles from the point at which the sea reached a depth of 2.5km, and no more than 350 miles from land. Any other country wishing to make a claim has ten years from the date on which it ratified the treaty. It must then, like all the states that have now made their claims, submit copious scientific evidence to show that the seabed in question is indeed continental shelf.
[Editor's note: The annual geo bee's U.S. round wrapped up yesterday. The winner, Eric Yang, will compete in the world championship in Mexico City. The contest was sponsored by Google this year and is hosted by Alex Trebek. Video of the winning question. Thanks Jo!]
Yang, of Griffin Middle School in The Colony, Texas, won the annual competition during a tie-breaker round with this question: “Timis County shares its name with a tributary of the Danube and is located in the western part of which European country?”
The answer, Romania, comes with a U.S. $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galápagos Islands with Jeopardy! host and Bee moderator Alex Trebek.
UPDATE: Be cautious about installing GE 5 on your Mac. Wired has the details . . .
[Editor's note: New 3d ocean floor elevation data, historical land imagery, ability to record virtual tours, and 3d planet Mars mode come to Google Earth in version 5 released Monday, Feb. 2, 2009.]
Download version 5 from Google for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Google on Monday announced the immediate release of Google Earth 5.0, bumping it up from the previous 4.3 build. Among the biggest changes are the inclusion of a detailed 3D ocean floor, the ability to go up to 50 years back in time when looking at a particular location, record a virtual tour of locations, and a 3D rendition of Mars. The ocean feature was developed together with many partners, including National Geographic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the US Navy, among others. The approximate two-thirds of the planet can now be viewed under water and includes videos and images of ocean life, along with details on surf spots, expedition logs and more. The historical images are accessed via a clock icon on the toolbar when viewing a location on the planet. The Touring feature lets travelers show off their journeys by recording navigating through their destinations and easily sharing them with peers. The fly-throughs can be narrated for an organized flow of a multi-stop journey.
Thanks to a joint project with NASA, Google Earth now also extends beyond to include a 3D map of Mars. Apart from 3D terrain, there are annotations describing the location and circumstanced associated with landing sites and the red planet’s other curiosities.
The download is free for both Mac and Windows PCs. Comprehensive information on the new features of Google Earth will be published throughout the week on Google’s Lat Long blog.