March 15, 2012
STRANGE THINGS often start happening soon after hydraulic fracturing for natural gas - known as "fracking" - comes to an area. Drinking water become undrinkable (Wyoming, among other places) or erupts into flames (Pennsylvania). And places not known to have earthquakes suddenly start to feel tremors, including Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma - and our neighbor, Ohio. Why should we be surprised that forcing great amounts of water and chemicals into the earth - and then disposing of the wastewater by using high pressure to inject it deep into underground wells - might possibly affect the environment?
March 13, 2012
F. Sherwood Rowland, 84, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer and crusaded against the use of man-made chemicals that were harming Earth's atmospheric blanket, has died. He died Saturday at his home in Corona del Mar of complications from Parkinson's disease, the dean of the physical sciences department at the University of California, Irvine, said Sunday. Mr. Rowland was among three scientists awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for chemistry for explaining how the ozone is formed and decomposed through chemical processes in the atmosphere.
March 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Our high-tech world seems to have easily weathered a solar storm that didn't quite live up to its billing. While some experts think the threat from the solar storm passed by Thursday afternoon, space weather forecasters said it was still too early to relax. That's because there's a chance the storm's effects could continue and even intensify through Friday morning. And while this solar storm may have fizzled, others may be lining up in the cosmic shooting gallery in the coming days, month, and year, the scientists agree.
March 4, 2012
Despite three goals and two assists from rookie Kevin Crowley and a goal and four assists from forward Dan Dawson, the Wings dropped what was for three quarters a tight game, 11-8, to the Rochester Knighthawks at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night. The Wings fell behind by 4-2 in the first quarter before rallying to enter the final period tied at 7. Rochester was led by Mike Accursi with a hat trick and four assists. Rochester improved to 2-0 against the Wings and now owns the season-ending tiebreaker.
February 28, 2012 |
Significant collaborations here: Network for New Music, with its connections to area composers and its long-standing interest in sung words, joined forces with Felyx M (the Mendelssohn Club's 24-member chamber choir) and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, which has an intelligent subscription base and skill at presenting inexpensive concerts in congenial places. What came out of it was the 80-minute intermissionless program "Philadelphia Voices: O My Earth" Sunday night at the Independence Seaport Museum - an all-vocal program of music by Cynthia Folio, Jennifer Higdon, Thomas Whitman, Jan Krzywicki, James Primosch, and Donald St. Pierre.
February 27, 2012
By Jim Verhulst I was only 3 years old when John Glenn orbited the Earth in Friendship 7, so I don't remember that day 50 years ago. But I remember the decade - of a nation marching as one behind an assassinated president's pledge to land an American on the moon before 1970; of grade-school assemblies where the principal would wheel out the black-and-white TV so we could watch the latest Gemini launch; of my G.I. Joe astronaut set, which included...
February 16, 2012
Pennypack Farm and Education Center in Horsham sponsors its third annual film series aimed at engaging neighbors in discussion about environmental issues. Each movie delves into a different aspect of sustainability with a focus on how small changes can make a big difference to the world. All screenings are at the nonprofit Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butler Ave., Ambler 19002. Tickets are $10 each. 215-345-7855 or amblertheatre.org/pennypack Doors open at 6 p.m. for a community expo, highlighting local organizations.
January 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The world last year wasn't quite as warm as it had been for most of the past decade, government scientists said yesterday, but it continues a general trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature was 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, making 2011 the 11th-hottest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. That's 0.9 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average, officials said. In fact, it was warmer than every year last century except 1998.
January 18, 2012 |
GENEVA, Switzerland - It's high noon for the humble leap second. After 10 years of talks, governments are headed for a showdown vote this week on an issue that pits technological precision against nature's whims. The United States, France, and others are pushing for countries at a U.N. telecom meeting to abolish the leap second, which for 40 years has kept computers in sync with the Earth day. Leap seconds are necessary to prevent atomic clocks from speeding ahead of solar time.
January 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - They came from Mars, not in peace, but in pieces. Scientists have confirmed that 15 pounds of rock collected recently in Morocco fell to Earth from Mars during a meteorite shower in July. It was only the fifth time that scientists chemically confirmed Martian meteorites that people had witnessed falling. The fireball was spotted in the sky six months ago, but the rocks were not discovered on the ground in North Africa until the end of December. The find is an important opportunity for scientists trying to learn about Mars' potential for life.