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september 2010

Impossible Odds, Irrepressible Hope: Pakistan's water woes and the science that can solve them

Most residents of developed countries don’t think about their water running out or worry about their water leading to the death of their children. In Pakistan, those are distinct possibilities.

05 Oct 2010

Down to Earth With: Dr. Jonathan Patz

From stitching up cuts in Missoula, Mont., to authoring parts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, Dr. Jonathan Patz has made helping people stay healthy his life’s work. With a joint appointment at the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s School of Medicine and its Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Patz is in a unique position to explore global climate change as a matter of public health.

25 Sep 2010

Where on Earth? - September 2010

Clues for September 2010:
1. This series of waterfalls began forming 35,000 years ago as sea levels dropped and altered the flow of a river. The river cut into metamorphic rocks, including schists and gneisses, that date to the Precambrian (750 million years ago).
2. In the 1850s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building a dam near the falls as part of an aqueduct. According to the Army Corps, today the expanded water system produces 180 million gallons of water per day, serving the water needs of more than 1 million people.

Energy Notes: May 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 Sep 2010

Mineral Resource of the Month: Fluorspar

The term “fluorspar” refers to crude or beneficiated material that is mined and/or milled for the mineral fluorite (calcium fluoride). Fluorite is a nonmetallic mineral, containing 51.1 percent calcium and 48.9 percent fluorine. Industry practice has established three grades of fluorspar: acid grade (containing more than 97 percent calcium fluoride), ceramic grade (85 to 95 percent calcium fluoride) and metallurgical grade (normally 60 to 85 percent calcium fluoride). Fluorspar’s uses have grown and changed in the last 100 years; today, the most important markets are fluorochemical production, aluminum refining and steelmaking.

14 Sep 2010

Getting There And Getting Around Oregon

To visit Crater Lake, fly into Portland, rent a car and take a five-hour ride down Interstate 5 and a couple of smaller highways to Crater Lake National Park. If you’re not pressed for time, take scenic routes 26 and 97 along the crest of the Cascades mountain range, where you’ll pass by 3,426-meter-tall Mount Hood, 3,200-meter-tall Mount Jefferson and 2,375-meter-tall Mount Washington. The closest large towns to the park are Bend, a picturesque ski town in the shadow of the Three Sisters and Mount Bachelor volcanoes 180 kilometers north of the park, and Medford, a town with a small airport — with daily flights from Portland — in the Rogue River Valley 120 kilometers southwest of the park. Bend/Redmond also has an airport. 

12 Sep 2010

Travels in Geology: Clear water and cataclysm at Oregon's Crater Lake

Today, Crater Lake in southwestern Oregon is known for being one of the deepest, clearest lakes in the world. In 5,700 B.C., however, the scenery stunned witnesses for a very different reason: The eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama that created Crater Lake is thought to be one of the greatest geologic catastrophes ever witnessed by humans. A trip to Crater Lake National Park will not only redefine your concept of nature’s bluest blue, but it’s also an opportunity to bear witness to the peaceful aftermath of one of Earth’s great cataclysms. 

12 Sep 2010

Museums: Cleopatra: The search for the last queen of Egypt

Cleopatra VII was the queen of Egypt. Even 2,000 years after her death, the last ruler of the great empire is still a focal point of worldwide fascination. Despite the number of movies and books that have centered on Cleopatra, most of her life and death remains a mystery. However, a new traveling exhibit called Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt, currently at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pa., aims to finally set the record straight on her life — and perhaps reveal her final resting place.

08 Sep 2010

Blogging on EARTH: Climate change threatens Virginia's vacation spots

Each year, millions of visitors flock to Virginia’s natural wonders, such as Shenandoah National Park, and to historical landmarks, like Jamestown, one of America’s earliest colonies. But a new report by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that many of Virginia’s landmarks are jeopardized by climate change.

03 Sep 2010