Straight talk: Berenbaum on DDT and malaria

August 12, 2009

Plus, she’ll answer your questions.

But hurry.

One of the world’s great authorities on mosquitoes, May Berenbaum at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spends this week talking about mosquitoes and malaria, and answering your questions.

Public Radio International runs a feature this week with Dr. Berenbaum answering questions.

(Hey, Beck!  Are you decent this week?)

(Steven Milloy?  Got the guts to ask a real scientist a question?)

You should see these first:

Life Cycle of Malaria, WHO and Campaign to Roll Back Malaria

Life Cycle of Malaria, WHO and Campaign to Roll Back Malaria

You like straight talk – why not share it with others?

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Bad guys of Baltimore

August 12, 2009

Or, “How a little study of history can make your visit to a city so much more entertaining and fun.”  At Clio Bluestocking Tales.

Why do visitors leave pennies at this gravesite?  Read the story at Clio Bluestocking Tales

Why do visitors leave pennies at this gravesite? Read the story at Clio Bluestocking Tales

For five weeks, I walked around the streets of Baltimore, or at least the distance between a certain major university known for its doctors, the Inner Harbor, and Fells Point — especially Fells Point — with some diversions elsewhere. As I walked, I began to notice landmarks of some very bad guys who have graced the streets of this interesting city.

Fans of “The Wire” will especially want to read it.  Did you catch the reason Clio is in Baltimore, for the full effect?

It’s not that history tells you how to live your life, or save it; it can make your life worth the living and saving.


Global cooling? That would be good news for the forests

August 12, 2009

Climate change denialists (sorry, Mr. Watts – denialism is what it is) frequently argue that since the peak heat year of 1998, the planet has been cooling, and may be in a long-term trend to a much cooler planet.

Has anyone told the beetles?

Has anyone told the pine bark beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) that are devastating North American forests?

Colorado conifers affected by pine bark beetles (brown trees are dead) - image from Chad Crawford,  Homebrewed Christianity

Colorado conifers affected by pine bark beetles (brown trees are dead) - image from Chad Crawford, Homebrewed Christianity

I was interested to find this photo and this post at Homebrewed Christianity, by Chad Crawford.

But my trips to the mountains are always simultaneously joyful and mournful. The story I want to tell is about seeing the effects up close of the North American pine beetle outbreak. It’s devastating the Rocky Mountain forests in the U.S. and Canada and growing exponentially each year. The epidemic is occurring because our winters have not been cold enough to stop the beetles from multiplying. Bark beetles are good for the ecosystem, but not in this amount. The fall colors in our evergreen forests are telling us that global warming is no longer something our kids will face; it’s happening now. And it will accelerate if our forests disappear.

Mr. Watts, it’s not me you have to convince.  There are several millions of beetles in Colorado who must be persuaded the climate is not warming — and they’ll be a tough sell, since a colder climate means death to their future generations.

A greater challenge for you, Mr. Watts:  Not one of those beetles reads your blog.  How will you reach them?

Crawford went to Colorado and saw Fr. Thomas Berry.  Maybe we should buy a ticket to Colorado for Watts.


Do not go gently . . . go rockin’!

August 12, 2009

Christopher Street, New York City, August 6, 2009.  Photo by Jeff Simmerman

Christopher Street, New York City, August 6, 2009. Photo by Jeff Simmerman

Does this guy know about Dylan Thomas?  (Go listen to Thomas read his own poem.) Sir Paul McCartney may want to change the lyric to “when I’m 94.”

Photo appeared at And I Am Not Lying.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Mark Frauenfelder, and Dr. Pamela Bumsted.

Help keep rock ‘n roll alive; share:

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