Polar bears, climate change, and the derailing power of appeals to emotion

Introduction: Polar bears are often depicted as lovable mascots for the arctic (Fig 1) and horribly threatened by climate change.  They may be lovable.  And they may be threatened by climate change.  But the fact that we don’t like dead … Continued

The oldest human ancestors may be European and much older than previously thought

Introduction: New research suggests that the earliest human ancestors may have evolved in Europe hundreds of thousands of years before African hominids.  This evidence contradicts the current scientific consensus that Humans evolved in Africa and migrated later to Europe. Background: … Continued

American climate change denial: the opinions of others defened by illogical arguments

Introduction: The vast majority of Americans accept the reality of climate change.  Most also seem to understand that climate change will be bad for us humans.  However, this doesn’t seem to have much effect on American behavior.  Furthermore, some American … Continued

Crystals are not magic! vanadinite edition

Introduction: Vanadinite is a beautiful crystal (Figure 1).  However, some woo practitioners, who are inspired by its attractiveness and inhibited by their own ignorance, think that this mineral has magical powers.  This is not the case. Vanadinite background: Firstly, vanadinite … Continued

Anthropogenic climate change and ground water—we’re doing it wrong

Introduction: Yes, climate change and global warming are happening.  Yes, this is largely the fault of us humans (it’s anthropogenic).  Unfortunately, these changes are already resulting in detrimental consequences.  Our ground water reserves, which are supremely important, are one of … Continued

The deadly Johnsons Landing Landslides and the importance of natural hazard monitoring during anthropogenic climate change

Introduction: Years ago, I conducted field research for my Master’s degree in the Kootenay Rockies in British Columbia (BC), Canada.  It was a great time in a rugged backcountry.  Most of that work was done near the shores of Kootenay … Continued

We’ve polluted hadal zones (deep sea trenches) before we could even explore them

Introduction: Researchers have just found pollutants that were banned since the 1970’s have become concentrated in today’s deep-sea environments (hadal zones).  These pollutants are likely toxic (Figure 1) and seem to be stuck in the food chain. Background: What pollutants … Continued

Tardigrade (a.k.a. “water bear” a.k.a. “moss piglet”) extravaganza!

Introduction: Tardigrades are microscopic animals and they are awesome.  They can withstand more abuse than any other known animal.  They can tolerate heat, cold, dehydration, and even the vacuum of space!  But they are not extremophiles (critters that love environments … Continued

Humanity’s oldest ancestor was a tiny Packman-like sack with bad breath

Introduction: Scientists (Han et al., 2017) have just discovered well-preserved fossilised remains of humanity’s oldest ancestor (Figure 1).  The little dude—your greatest grand pappy—was called Saccorhytus coronarius. Details: Where, when and how old? S. coronarius lived in the seafloor during … Continued

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