Oceans are becoming stormier


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❝ Earth’s oceans have become stormier since 1985, according to a study published Thursday in Science. In the most extreme places, wind speed and wave height rose by about 5 to 8 percent.

If this trend continues, it could exacerbate the effects of sea level rise, including floods that damage coastal communities and natural ecosystems…

❝ The authors said the precise role that climate change is playing in this trend is still unclear, because interactions between the oceans, the atmosphere, and global climate are so complex. It’s possible that the seas are becoming stormier due to warming temperatures, and that stormier conditions in turn contribute to extreme weather events.

Of course, the creeps at the top of the chain of command governing reactionary politics aren’t about to risk their butts working at any tough, dangerous job. If they work for a living at all.

Climate change protesters get semi-naked in House of Commons

❝ A dozen climate change protesters have been arrested after activists a including a counsellor and a retired charity chief executive stripped off in the House of Commons public gallery.

The activists from Extinction Rebellion stripped to their underwear and glued their hands to surfaces in an attempt to draw attention to the “elephant in the room”.

❝ The 14, two of whom were painted grey and wearing elephant masks, included Oliver Baines, 68, former charity chief executive, Bell Selkie, 48, a counsellor, Isla Macleod, 34, a celebrant, Iggy Fox, 24, a wildlife biologist and William Cooke, 36, former teacher and Mark Øvland, 35.

Extinction Rebellion have publicly stated their aim is to get activists arrested and even sent to prison to draw attention to their cause.

RTFA. Reflect upon the commitment these folks are making to all of our lives.

Morgan Freeman Turns His Mississippi Ranch Into Honeybee Sanctuary

❝ Morgan Freeman has long been known for having a voice of gold, using his clout and vocal talents for such worthy causes as environmental conservationist group One Earth. But it has also become apparent that the beloved actor also has a heart of gold–especially now that he has devoted his ranch to helping save honeybees.

The 81-year old actor took up beekeeping on his 124-acre Mississippi ranch as a simple hobby in 2014, largely in reaction to the mass die-offs that were occurring and continue to this day.

❝ “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet … We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation … I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too.”

“As she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’ so we have got acres and acres of clover, and we have some planting stuff like lavender, I have got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.”

❝ While Freeman’s efforts may not be enough on their own to turn back the tide of adverse factors facing bees, his example is an inspiring signal that people are beginning to grow more conscious of the winged pollinators’ importance to humanity.

An example to us all.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Dick Dale, Surf Rock origins

❝ Most musicians have a mild hatred of scales because we were all forced to practice and memorize them without anyone ever telling us what the hell they are…

Dick Dale wasn’t just borrowing the Byzantine scale for his surf anthem. “Misirlou” is a remake of a vaguely Middle-Eastern traditional song, possible Egyptian or Turkish, first recorded in Greece in 1927. The whole melody finds its way into the Dick Dale version.

As it further turns out, Dick Dale’s connection to the scale isn’t crazily random. Dale was of Lebanese descent on his father’s side and grew up playing the tarabaki drum and hearing music based on these scales, which he then incorporated into his surf music.

What goes around, comes around.

Green Dragon in the Sky over Iceland


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A gargantuan green dragon hisses in the sky over Iceland. Either “Game of Thrones” really upped its production budget for its final season, or the sun belched a barrage of charged particles into our atmosphere again.

As much as any of us would like to see a real dragon breathe flames into the winter sky, buzzkill NASA blames solar activity — as usual — for the writhing, “fire-breathing”- aurora that loomed over Iceland earlier this month.

Of course, I like the GAME OF THRONES scenario.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Ravens are probably smarter than your four-year-old


birdsandblooms.com

❝ We’ve long known ravens aren’t your typical bird brain: Myths featuring the wily black bird extend from Aesop’s fables to Native American folklore.

In more recent times, experiments testing the problem-solving capabilities of ravens and their corvid kin, the jays and magpies, have shown these birds have cognition on par with people and some other great apes…

❝ [Swedish researchers] Kabadayi and Osvath designed a series of experiments with five captive birds to see if ravens can plan for an unseen future…

In almost identical experiments on four-year-olds, the ravens were technically more successful in planning ahead…than toddlers.

❝ The researchers also set up an experiment to test the birds’ bartering skills.

They instructed the ravens how to exchange tokens to get their favorite foods at a later time. Again, the birds passed these tests with flying colors over 90 percent of the time.

I admit to being crazy about ravens. That started decades ago watching the genetically-older, bigger versions common to places I spent camping, hill-walking, in Europe and the UK. RTFA for details of the experiments and where this all may lead.