Thursday, March 25, 2010


For those of you web jockeys that don't know, I have recently become an avid fly fisher. The sport brings together a number of my favorite things into an exciting and elitist format that I can really dig my teeth into. I get to be outside, which is always a good thing. I get to make intricate little flies which brings me back to my modelling days of old. It also lets me "hunt" with an option of not actually killing the animal. So as my new obsession began to take hold, I decided to do something very unlike me. I subscribed to a local chapter of a activist organization, Trout Unlimited.

Trout Unlimited (TU) is a national organization with more than 150,000 volunteers spread across approximately 400 chapters. Many of the members are dedicated conservation professionals including experts, scientist, and even lawyers. They are constantly working towards fishery restoration and widely known for their influences on policy around prominent fisheries across the country. It seems a little conceded though, saying you are saving the country's waterways when really you just want a nice place to fish. But that works for me, and more importantly they get the job done, in a big big way.

How big? Try the largest dam removal project currently being undertaken in the world at a cost of $450 million. Not bad for a grassroots fishing group.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beekeeping in New York City

Keeping bees in New York City is illegal due to concerns about public safety -- unfounded concerns, according to the many people who keep hives anyway. According to the New York Times, the city may amend the health code this week to permit beekeeping of Apis mellifera:

Bees in the City? New York May Make Hives Legal -

The New York City Beekeepers Association, brazen lawbreakers that they are, offer 12-hour beginner classes for $100 on their website, as well as a bunch of community information (and puns related to beekeeping).

(Image credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blood-red Waterfall of Primordial Ooze

In Antarctica, there is a blood-red waterfall pouring down five stories from the Taylor Glacier.  The water comes from a lake in which an ecosystem of microbes was trapped by the glacier about 2 million years ago.  Since then, the organisms have evolved while sealed off from air, light, and most heat.  "Primordial ooze" as Atlas Obscura says.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Earthquake Shifts Earth's Axis, Speeds Up Rotation

According to NASA scientists, the Earth's axis likely moved by about 3 inches following the major earthquake in Chile on February 27th. Earthquakes can shift the distribution of mass on the planet, changing the way it rotates.

The change is very small -- the length of a day shortened by just a millionth of a second. The quake may have caused some more obvious changes, too, perhaps shifting islands and raising Santa Maria Island (off the coast of Chile) by approximately 6 feet, according to a researcher at Liverpool University.