Taxonomy term

june 2010

Getting There and Getting Around Costa Rica

Most people traveling to Costa Rica fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside of the capital of San José. The small city of Alajuela is actually closer to the airport, and some travelers stay there to avoid the capital’s congestion on their way into or out of the country. A second international airport in Liberia, in the northwest, allows for quicker access to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. Visitors with lots of time and a sense of adventure can take the long drive from the United States, via the Pan-American Highway (called the Inter-American Highway in Central America). 

11 Jul 2010

Blogging on EARTH: Ancient whale with a big bite named for Moby Dick author

In a Peruvian desert, scientists discovered the fossils of an extinct whale with a big bite. The whale's teeth and jaws were so powerful that it feasted on other whales.

30 Jun 2010

Benchmarks: June 30, 1972: Timekeepers add first "leap second" to clocks

On June 30, 1972, at exactly 11:59 p.m. and 60 seconds, timekeepers did something most people only dream about: They added more time to the day.
30 Jun 2010

Gain some, lose some

Scientists now know that Earth’s rotation is very slowly decelerating, such that the length of the rotational day is about two milliseconds longer than the 86,400 seconds it was nearly two centuries ago. But that doesn’t mean Earth’s rotation is always slowing down. The tidal force of the moon acts to slow Earth’s rotation by taking away some of the planet’s energy. But other factors, such as the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere with the seasons, the churning of material within Earth’s core, and the rebounding of Earth’s surface as the weight of glaciers is removed, can sometimes act to speed up Earth’s rotation by redistributing its mass, thereby altering Earth’s moment of inertia and thus its speed of rotation.

30 Jun 2010

Where on Earth? - June 2010

Clues for June 2010:
1. These 200-million-year-old dinosaur tracks were discovered in 1966 by a bulldozer driver during a construction project.
2. The tracks were probably made by a dinosaur similar to Dilophosaurus, a two-legged carnivore that was about 6 meters long and made famous in “Jurassic Park.”
3. The tracks are between 25 and 41 centimeters long and are now preserved in a state park.
Name this park and its location.
Scroll down for the answer

Energy Notes: February 2009-2010

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

20 Jun 2010

Hazardous Living: Geologists to be charged for not predicting earthquake?

News out of Italy suggests that seven researchers who did not predict the L’Aquila earthquake in April 2009 are under formal investigation and may be charged with gross negligent manslaughter.

15 Jun 2010

Gulf oil spill threatens subsurface biodiversity

Brown pelicans mired in oily mud along the Louisiana coast are icons of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, daily reminders of the ongoing disaster’s impact on the Gulf coast. Yet, says a leading marine ecologist, the greater long-term danger to wildlife may be occurring out of sight, deep beneath the oily surface of the water.

14 Jun 2010

Water Wise: Where will the oil spilled in the Gulf go?

It’s been about eight weeks since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig damaged a wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico and triggered the onset of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, with oil washing up on shores from Louisiana to northwestern Florida.

14 Jun 2010