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Energy Notes: June 2007-2008

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

 
20 Oct 2008

Danger and wonder in Nat Geo's "Giant Crystal Cave"

Razor-sharp rocks. Deadly crevasses. Unbearable heat. Scalding water. One false step...and you’re history.

“Giant Crystal Cave,” the National Geographic Channel’s hour-long documentary on scientific exploration deep inside Mexico’s Naica Mountain is as much about derring-do and danger as it is about science. The film follows three scientists as they visit the mountain’s most famous cavern for the first time in hopes of unlocking some of its mysteries.

09 Oct 2008

Down to Earth With: Paleontologist and astronomer Tom Kaye

What do paleontology, astronomy and paintball guns have in common? For one, they have all been pursuits of Tom Kaye. Kaye, a research associate at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Wash., is a self-taught paleontologist and an amateur astronomer. But he’s not content with just digging fossils and observing constellations. His ambitions are much greater. In July, for example, he set off a paleontological debate when he and his colleagues suggested in PLoS One that soft tissue that was discovered in a tyrannosaur fossil in 2005 was nothing more than bacteria trapped in tiny grooves on the bone.
 
04 Oct 2008

Benchmarks: September 21, 1938: The great New England Hurricane strikes

After a disappointing golf outing (the wind made it impossible to drive a golf ball anywhere but straight up), golf pro Raymond Dennehy and his friends returned to the clubhouse of the seaside Kittansett Golf Club in Marion, Mass. Dennehy noticed something wrong: The incoming tide was much higher than normal. In fact, the ocean rose so high that it cut off the club’s grounds from the rest of the state. Then a car floated by./  As water filled the clubhouse, Dennehy took his German shepherd and ran to his car. He drove to the highest point on the golf course and waited. Sitting in the parked car with water around his ankles, Dennehy watched the two-story yacht club collapse under the weight of the rising water. Cottages crumpled. Panicked golf caddies climbed an oak tree to escape the rising sea.  
 
21 Sep 2008

Energy Notes: May 2007-2008

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

20 Sep 2008

Mineral Resource of the Month: Antimony

Today, antimony is used in everything from flame retardants, batteries, ceramics and glass. About 40 percent of the primary antimony consumed in the United States goes into flame retardants, chemicals that when applied to or coated on a variety of materials (such as aircraft, automotive seat covers and children’s clothing and toys) make them more resistant to combustion. The remainder is used primarily in glass for television picture tubes and computer monitors, in pigments, in stabilizers and catalysts for plastics, and in ammunition, cable coverings, friction bearings, lead-acid batteries, pewter and solders. 

 
12 Sep 2008

Down to Earth With: Award-winning sci-fi novelist Kim Stanley Robinson

Don’t let Kim Stanley Robinson fool you. He may know a lot about the geography of Mars and ocean acidification, but he’s no scientist. He’s an award-winning science fiction novelist. Yet the science in his books is so convincing that many fans can’t help but be duped.
 
03 Sep 2008

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