How “Avatar” Inspires Love of Nature and Love of Science

Few recent movies have moved this nature-lover’s heart as much as the smash-hit “Avatar.” For anyone who loves nature and astonishingly beautiful plants and animals, the experiencing the world of Pandora was like entering a dream-come-true. In fact, that’s exactly how one New York Times reviewer described the movie—”a biologist’s dream.” The reviewer should know, … Continue reading

Amazing Oxygen-Key to Planetary Life

One of the best science books I read in 2009 was Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by biochemist Nick Lane. Although I think I have a good basic understanding of fundamental biological processes, I didn’t find the book an easy read, frankly. This is no criticism of Lane’s writing. The biological processes … Continue reading

The Red Demons of the Sea of Cortez

The fishermen of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico are said to call it Diablo Rojo, or Red Demon. They tell of fishermen who have fallen into the water and been dragged to horrible deaths, their bodies never recovered. The object of their fear and respect is one of the more formidable predators in the … Continue reading

We’re Killing Our Oceans

As readers of my blog know, I’m passionate about saving our environment from the effects of human pollution and reckless industrialization. In Global Warming and the Loss of Earth’s Coral Reefs I discussed the scientific evidence for the disastrous effects of ocean warming and increasing CO2 in ocean water on our planets reefs. In The … Continue reading

The Biggest Snake that Ever Lived

The anaconda is one big snake, as this capture picture shows: Now, imagine an anaconda-like snake that’s 3 times longer, 3 or 4 times bigger in diameter, and 6 to 8  times as heavy! No, this isn’t a fake monster from a bad Hollywood B-Movie! It’s an actual creature that lived in Columbia some 60 … Continue reading

Amazing Creatures-Weird Fish With Transparent Head

This is the first in a series of posts I’m going to call Amazing Creatures.  And what better way to start off, than with a fish with a transparent head! Pictures of this bizarre fish were first taken in 2004 but not released until 2009.  You can find great pictures and an explanation of the … Continue reading

Octopus coconut snatch and run!

Click to read: BBC News – Octopus snatches coconut and runs: If you think octopuses are interesting animals, wait until you see this video at this BBC news site. I have seen amazing videos of octopuses “walking,” such as this: But this new video is astonishing in terms of the tool-using intelligence the octopuses exhibit: … Continue reading

The Moral Math of Climate Change

Click to listen to: The Moral Math of Climate Change [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media] “A conversation about climate change and moral imagination with Bill McKibben, a leading environmentalist and writer who has been ahead of the curve on this issue since he wrote The End of Nature in 1989. We explore his … Continue reading

Global warming and the Loss of Earth’s Coral Reefs

I’ve been studying weather and climate almost my whole life. As a little boy and into my teen years, I was an avid amateur meteorologist and had my own backyard weather station.  Alas, except for hot weather, there wasn’t much extreme weather in Las Vegas, though we did have some exciting flash floods from time … Continue reading

The Largest Animal That’s Ever Lived

When comes to largest, heaviest, and biggest—and loudest—the blue whale has no equal in the animal kingdom. In terms of sheer size, nothing on Earth, now or even in the prehistoric past, can match the blue whale. A few dinosaurs may have come close, but so far as we know, the blue whale is the … Continue reading