PBS News, Africanews, Al Jazeera, ABC (Australia), CNA 24/7, Global National, Sky, and DW News Lives, Roylab Stats, Scientific American, and Thisiscolossal

PBS News: March 20 – 23, 2020 and Confronting Coronavirus — A PBS NewsHour Special

NBC News: How To Identify Early Symptoms Of COVID-19

africanews Live,

Al Jazeera English | Live

ABC News (Australia) Live

 [CNA 24/7 LIVE] Breaking news, top stories and documentaries,

Global National: March 23, 2020 | Coronavirus crisis leads to more extreme measures around the world,

Sky News live

DW News Livestream – Latest news and breaking stories

Roylab Stats: [LIVE] Coronavirus Pandemic: Real Time Counter, World Map, News

Scientific American: Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge COVID-19 may be just the beginning of mass pandemics

 Thisiscolossal: Amazing Underwater Photographs Capture the World’s Only Known Pink Manta Ray

PBS NewsHour full episode, Mar 23, 2020

Mar 23, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Monday on the NewsHour, as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S. and the globe, Congress struggles to agree on a relief bill. Plus: What doctors are seeing on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, how to protect health care workers, the threat of pandemic in war zones, Politics Monday with Tamara Keith and Amy Walter, the latest from the White House and what to read. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS Where are Senate negotiations on next COVID-19 relief bill? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVbTt… What doctors are seeing in emergency departments nationwide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OeLi… How hospitals can keep medical workers safe amid pandemic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COv2G… News Wrap: IOC member says Tokyo Olympics will be postponed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbVQn… What virus would mean in current global conflict zones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv3kV… Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on 2020 race’s pandemic pause https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOD5s… Trump says he’s eager to return U.S. economy to normal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyTR8… Author Ann Patchett on what to read while staying home https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6_OS… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode March 22, 2020

Mar 22, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, March 22, the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak, social services adapt to continue to provide for seniors, the psychological toll of social distancing and the trends that researchers are seeing with the pandemic. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode, March 21, 2020

Mar 21, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, March 21, as the coronavirus spreads hospitals and medical professionals are pushed to capacity, a growing number of cities shut down services, and the music industry deals with cancellations from the outbreak by performing online. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Mar 20, 2020

Mar 20, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Friday on the NewsHour, more sections of the U.S. shut down in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Plus: The latest from Congress and the White House on pandemic response, Dr. Anthony Fauci provides a public health perspective on the crisis, why the U.S. wasn’t better prepared for coronavirus, the outbreak worsens in the United Kingdom and Shields and Brooks on a historic week. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS More states go on lockdown as Trump defends virus response https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfdg8… When will U.S. be able to meet demand for COVID-19 tests? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxXJo… Dr. Fauci on what Americans can do to limit pandemic’s harm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vvma… News Wrap: Taliban attack kills at least 17 in Afghanistan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMnU0… Why public health hasn’t been a national security priority https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5QDS… Coronavirus pandemic finally hits home for United Kingdom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-PUt… Shields and Brooks on American life amid a pandemic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fVff… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

WATCH: Confronting Coronavirus — A PBS NewsHour Special

Streamed live 8 hours ago  PBS NewsHour

Novel coronavirus has, in just a few months, grown into a full-blown pandemic. It has stressed governments and health systems around the globe, ended an era of economic expansion and reshaped public life. To offer context around these uncertain times, the PBS NewsHour will air “Confronting Coronavirus: A PBS NewsHour Special” on PBS stations across the country on Thursday, March 19, starting at 8 p.m. ET. PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff and our correspondents will shed light on what health precautions everyone should take, as well as the pandemic’s economic impact. The special will feature interviews with officials, dispatches on the crisis from around the world, plus a virtual town hall with curated questions from viewers like you across the United States. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

How To Identify Early Symptoms Of COVID-19 | NBC News NOW

Mar 18, 2020  NBC News

President Trump said that anybody who wants a COVID-19 test can get one. NBC News’ Alexa Liautaud explains the step-by-step process to getting tested for the virus, and why some people are hitting roadblocks. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and engaging news stories. NBC News Digital features NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, TODAY.com, Nightly News, Meet the Press, Dateline, and the existing apps and digital extensions of these respective properties. We deliver the best in breaking news, live video coverage, original journalism and segments from your favorite NBC News Shows. Connect with NBC News Online! NBC News App: https://apps.nbcnews.com/mobile Breaking News Alerts: https://link.nbcnews.com/join/5cj/bre… Visit NBCNews.Com: http://nbcnews.to/ReadNBC Find NBC News on Facebook: http://nbcnews.to/LikeNBC Follow NBC News on Twitter: http://nbcnews.to/FollowNBC Follow NBC News on Instagram: http://nbcnews.to/InstaNBC How To Identify Early Symptoms Of COVID-19 | NBC News NOW

Category  News & Politics

africanews Live

Started streaming on Feb 20, 2020


Africanews is a new pan-African media pioneering multilingual and independent news telling expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa. Subscribe on ourYoutube channel : https://www.youtube.com/c/africanews?… Africanews is available in English and French. Website : www.africanews.com Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/africanews.c… Twitter : https://twitter.com/africanews

Category  News & Politics 

Al Jazeera English | Live

Started streaming on Jan 15, 2020   Al Jazeera English

@Al Jazeera English, we focus on people and events that affect people’s lives. We bring topics to light that often go under-reported, listening to all sides of the story and giving a ‘voice to the voiceless’. Reaching more than 270 million households in over 140 countries across the globe, our viewers trust Al Jazeera English to keep them informed, inspired, and entertained. Our impartial, fact-based reporting wins worldwide praise and respect. It is our unique brand of journalism that the world has come to rely on. We are reshaping global media and constantly working to strengthen our reputation as one of the world’s most respected news and current affairs channels. Subscribe to our channel: http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/ #AlJazeeraEnglish #BreakingNews #AlJazeeraLive

Category  News & Politics

Watch ABC News live

Started streaming on Mar 19, 2020  ABC News (Australia)

ABC News channel provides around the clock coverage of news events as they break in Australia and abroad. Including the latest coronavirus updates. It’s news when you want it, from Australia’s most trusted news organisation. This embedding tool is not for use by commercial parties. ABC News Homepage: http://abc.net.au/news Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/abcnews Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/abcnews.au Subscribe to us on YouTube: http://ab.co/1svxLVE Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/abcnews_au

Category  News & Politics

[CNA 24/7 LIVE] Breaking news, top stories and documentaries

Started streaming on Jan 1, 2020  CNA

Watch CNA’s 24-hour live coverage of the latest headlines and top stories from Singapore, Asia and around the world, as well as documentaries and features that bring you a deeper look at Singapore and Asian issues. CNA is a regional broadcaster headquartered in Singapore. Get the programming schedule here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/… Subscribe to our channel here: https://cna.asia/youtubesub Subscribe to our news service on Telegram: https://cna.asia/telegram Follow us: CNA: https://cna.asia CNA Lifestyle: http://www.cnalifestyle.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/channelnewsasia Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/channelnews… Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/channelnewsasia

Category  News & Politics

Global National: March 23, 2020 | Coronavirus crisis leads to more extreme measures around the world

Mar 23, 2020  Global News

Canadian Parliament will be holding an emergency session on Tuesday to pass urgent legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. David Akin and Mercedes Stephenson explain how the Liberal government will table a bill aimed at giving it new, special powers. Also, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a stern warning to Canadians refusing to abide by social distancing guidelines. Mike Le Couteur reports on the prime minister’s message, and what different provinces are doing to get people to stay in their homes. Hospitals across Canada are bracing for the inevitable spike of COVID-19 patients that will strain resources and medical workers. Abigail Bimman reports on Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s message to hospitals. Turning to the United States, New York state has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., while a new outbreak is growing in Louisiana. As Jackson Proskow reports, the White House is facing multiplying, urgent pleas to bail out the economy and the healthcare system. After Canada and Australia refused to send their athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, veteran IOC member Dick Pound said he expects the games will be postponed. Eric Sorensen explains when the next Olympics could be held, and the reaction. Additionally, despite social distancing guidelines to help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in the U.K. are still mingling in parks and cramming into commuter trains. As Crystal Goomansingh reports, the British government is preparing to ramp up enforcement. For more info, please go to http://www.globalnews.ca Subscribe to Global News Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/20fcXDc Like Global News on Facebook HERE: http://bit.ly/255GMJQ Follow Global News on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1Toz8mt Follow Global News on Instagram HERE: https://bit.ly/2QZaZIB #GlobalNews #GlobalNational

Category  News & Politics

Watch Sky News live

•Started streaming on Nov 2, 2019   Sky News

Today’s top stories: Boris tells adults the best present they can give their mother for Mother’s Day is to stay away, the health secretary has said 4,500 retired healthcare workers have signed up to help battle coronavirus and lockdown in the Italian region of Lombardy has been tightened as the country confirmed more than 53,500 cases of COVID-19. ? Boris Johnson warns of ‘stark’ and ‘accelerating’ coronavirus numbers ahead of Mother’s Day https://trib.al/lrbMq77 ? 4,500 retired doctors and nurses sign up to battle COVID-19 pandemic https://trib.al/LYsfa83 ? Lockdown tightens in parts of Italy hardest hit by COVID-19 https://trib.al/oBdZFdy SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: http://www.youtube.com/skynews Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynews and https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skynews Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skynews Sky News videos are now available in Spanish here/Los video de Sky News están disponibles en español aquí https://www.youtube.com/skynewsespanol For more content go to http://news.sky.com and download our apps: Apple https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sky-n… Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…

Category  News & Politics

DW News Livestream | Latest news and breaking stories

Started streaming on Jan 21, 2019   DW News

DW News goes deep beneath the surface, providing the key stories from Europe and around the world. Exciting reports and interviews from the worlds of politics, business, sports, culture and social media are presented by our DW anchors in 15-, 30- and 60-minute shows. Correspondents on the ground and experts in the studio deliver detailed insights and analysis of issues that affect our viewers around the world. We combine our expertise on Germany and Europe with a special interest in Africa and Asia while keeping track of stories from the rest of the world. Informative, entertaining and up-to-date – DW News, connecting the dots for our viewers across the globe. Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster. We convey a comprehensive image of Germany, report events and developments, incorporate German and other perspectives in a journalistically independent manner. By doing so we promote understanding between cultures and peoples. #dwNews #LiveNews #NewsToday

Category  News & Politics

[LIVE] Coronavirus Pandemic: Real Time Counter, World Map, News

Started streaming on Jan 29, 2020   Roylab Stats

Novel coronavirus Live Streaming: Breaking news, world Map and live counter on confirmed cases, recovered cases(COVID-19). I started this live stream on Jan 26th, and since Jan 30th I have been streaming this without stopping. Many people are worried about the coronavirus spreading. For anyone that wants to know the numbers and progression of the worldwide spread of this virus, I offer this live stream. The purpose is not to instill fear or panic, nor is it to necessarily comfort; I just want to present the data to help inform the public of the current situation. At first, I tried to show only official data from governments without any manipulation. But many people wanted to apply an up-to-date format of data to stream. I added a procedure to manually manipulate data with my computer. After seeing the inflicted countries numbers had sharply increased, I realized that I could no longer keep up with new information from 100 countries. So I made another procedure which enables moderators the ability to manipulate the numbers on screen remotely. Not only the moderators who willingly accepted the hard work, but also everyone that gave us reliable information were able to add streaming data. The role of this streaming is to show basic information to undertand situation easily. For detail information, please visit our reference sites. References: 1. WORLDOMETER: https://www.worldometers.info/coronav… 2. BNO News: https://bnonews.com/index.php/2020/02… 3. JHU CSEE: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/ap… 4. 1point3acres (for USA/CAN):https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en 5. RiskLayer (DEU): http://www.risklayer-explorer.com/eve… 6. MorgenPost (DEU): https://interaktiv.morgenpost.de/coro… 7. DXY (CHN): https://ncov.dxy.cn/ncovh5/view/pneum… 8. J.A.G Japan (JPN): https://jagjapan.maps.arcgis.com/apps… 9. VG (NOR): https://www.vg.no/spesial/2020/corona… 10. Wiki – Brazil page (BRA): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_co… I majored in life science and joined bioinformatics laboratory for master degree. At that time I used python. Since I decided to change my career as dentist, I have been stopped programming for 15 years. Now, I start to learn more about python with googling. Because my job doesn’t allow mistakes, I won’t try something new works. Still I am wondering how can i start this live streaming. Sometimes python program doesn’t work as i intended. If I can devote all my free time to this live stream, I would give more accurate and faster information. But please understand that I can’t manipulate data all day. While I am working and sleeping, data gathering is done automatically. I live in South Korea. At the beginning of streaming, the number of confirmed cases were not so high in South Korea. After sudden appearing local transmission that can’t be trackable, the number has been dramatically increased. Please be warned that COVID-19 is highly contagious disease. Although the stream started off crude and basic, many people have supported me in improving and maintaining this. It is because of your support that I am encouraged to keep streaming. I especially appreciate all moderators for willingly accepting the role. They have given their precious time to making this live stream better – Max Mustermann, Stephanie Hughes, Random, Entrenched Trader, Droid Knight, Craft Fan, Fries, jlpowell73, The NCV, Josh Leathers,The Eldritch God, srpk khin, Hitz1001, Red Chiref, GildArt by Gilda, emmamec, lambi, AmberLeanne, DukeHeart, Green Rock Films, Charlie and amithist57. I hope this live stream can be a useful source of information for you. Please keep track of the numbers that impact you and let them inform the decisions you make when you have to make them. Please take care. Keeping good immunity is very important!!! Please sleep, eat and rest fully for resilience. Keep those affected by this unfortunate outbreak in your thoughts. Data1 – screen numbers https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/… Data2 – Daily numbers https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/… Eyes_of_Glory/ Heaven_and_Hell / Heaven_and_Hell_Part_2 / Hero_Down/ Into_the_Sky / Lonely_Troutman / Lonely_Troutman_II / Parzival / Mountain/The_Heartache Hero Down: http://incompetech.com/ from www.bensound.com from www.epidemicsound.com

Category  News & Politics


Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge COVID-19 may be just the beginning of mass pandemics

      By John VidalEnsia on March 18, 2020

Destroyed Habitat Creates the Perfect Conditions for Coronavirus to Emerge

Alexis Huguet Getty Images

From Ensia (find the original story here); reprinted with permission.

Mayibout 2 is not a healthy place. The 150 or so people who live in the village, which sits on the south bank of the Ivindo River, deep in the great Minkebe forest in northern Gabon, are used to occasional bouts of diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and sleeping sickness. Mostly they shrug them off.

But in January 1996, Ebola, a deadly virus then barely known to humans, unexpectedly spilled out of the forest in a wave of small epidemics. The disease killed 21 of 37 villagers who were reported to have been infected, including a number who had carried, skinned, chopped or eaten a chimpanzee from the nearby forest.

I traveled to Mayibout 2 in 2004 to investigate why deadly diseases new to humans were emerging from biodiversity “hot spots” like tropical rainforests and bushmeat markets in African and Asian cities.

It took a day by canoe and then many hours down degraded forest logging roads passing Baka villages and a small gold mine to reach the village. There, I found traumatized people still fearful that the deadly virus, which kills up to 90% of the people it infects, would return.

Villagers told me how children had gone into the forest with dogs that had killed a chimp. They said that everyone who cooked or ate it got a terrible fever within a few hours. Some died immediately, while others were taken down the river to hospital. A few, like Nesto Bematsick, recovered. “We used to love the forest, now we fear it,” he told me. Many of Bematsick’s family members died.

Only a decade or two ago it was widely thought that tropical forests and intact natural environments teeming with exotic wildlife threatened humans by harboring the viruses and pathogens that lead to new diseases in humans like Ebola, HIV and dengue.

But a number of researchers today think that it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases like COVID-19, the viral disease that emerged in China in December 2019, to arise—with profound health and economic impacts in rich and poor countries alike. In fact, a new discipline, planetary health, is emerging that focuses on the increasingly visible connections among the well-being of humans, other living things and entire ecosystems.

Is it possible, then, that it was human activity, such as road building, mining, hunting and logging, that triggered the Ebola epidemics in Mayibout 2 and elsewhere in the 1990s and that is unleashing new terrors today?

 “We invade tropical forests and other wild landscapes, which harbor so many species of animals and plants—and within those creatures, so many unknown viruses,” David Quammen, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemicrecently wrote in the New York Times. “We cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it.”


Research suggests that outbreaks of animal-borne and other infectious diseases like Ebola, SARS, bird flu and now COVID-19, caused by a novel coronavirus, are on the rise. Pathogens are crossing from animals to humans, and many are now able to spread quickly to new places. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that three-quarters of “new or emerging” diseases that infect humans originate in nonhuman animals.

Some, like rabies and plague, crossed from animals centuries ago. Others, like Marburg, which is thought to be transmitted by bats, are still rare. A few, like COVID-19, which emerged last year in Wuhan, China, and MERS, which is linked to camels in the Middle East, are new to humans and spreading globally.

Other diseases that have crossed into humans include Lassa fever, which was first identified in 1969 in Nigeria; Nipah from Malaysia; and SARS from China, which killed more than 700 people and traveled to 30 countries in 2002–03. Some, like Zika and West Nile virus, which emerged in Africa, have mutated and become established on other continents.

Kate Jones, chair of ecology and biodiversity at UCL, calls emerging animal-borne infectious diseases an “increasing and very significant threat to global health, security and economies.”


In 2008, Jones and a team of researchers identified 335 diseases that emerged between 1960 and 2004, at least 60% of which came from non-human animals.

Increasingly, says Jones, these zoonotic diseases are linked to environmental change and human behavior. The disruption of pristine forests driven by logging, mining, road building through remote places, rapid urbanization and population growth is bringing people into closer contact with animal species they may never have been near before, she says.

The resulting transmission of disease from wildlife to humans, she says, is now “a hidden cost of human economic development. There are just so many more of us, in every environment. We are going into largely undisturbed places and being exposed more and more. We are creating habitats where viruses are transmitted more easily, and then we are surprised that we have new ones.”

Jones studies how land use change contributes to the risk. “We are researching how species in degraded habitats are likely to carry more viruses which can infect humans,” she says. “Simpler systems get an amplification effect. Destroy landscapes, and the species you are left with are the ones humans get the diseases from.”

“There are countless pathogens out there continuing to evolve which at some point could pose a threat to humans,” says Eric Fevre, chair of veterinary infectious diseases at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health. “The risk [of pathogens jumping from animals to humans] has always been there.”

The difference between now and a few decades ago, Fevre says, is that diseases are likely to spring up in both urban and natural environments. “We have created densely packed populations where alongside us are bats and rodents and birds, pets and other living things. That creates intense interaction and opportunities for things to move from species to species,” he says.


“Pathogens do not respect species boundaries,” says disease ecologist Thomas Gillespie, an associate professor in Emory University’s Department of Environmental Sciences who studies how shrinking natural habitats and changing behavior add to the risks of diseases spilling over from animals to humans.

 “I am not at all surprised about the coronavirus outbreak,” he says. “The majority of pathogens are still to be discovered. We are at the very tip of the iceberg.”

Humans, says Gillespie, are creating the conditions for the spread of diseases by reducing the natural barriers between virus host animals—in which the virus is naturally circulating—and themselves. “We fully expect the arrival of pandemic influenza; we can expect large-scale human mortalities; we can expect other pathogens with other impacts. A disease like Ebola is not easily spread. But something with a mortality rate of Ebola spread by something like measles would be catastrophic,” Gillespie says.

Wildlife everywhere is being put under more stress, he says. “Major landscape changes are causing animals to lose habitats, which means species become crowded together and also come into greater contact with humans. Species that survive change are now moving and mixing with different animals and with humans.”

Gillespie sees this in the U.S., where suburbs fragmenting forests raise the risk of humans contracting Lyme disease. “Altering the ecosystem affects the complex cycle of the Lyme pathogen. People living close by are more likely to get bitten by a tick carrying Lyme bacteria,” he says.

Wet market in Guangzhou, China. Credit: Nisa Maier Getty Images

Yet human health research seldom considers the surrounding natural ecosystems, says Richard Ostfeld, distinguished senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. He and others are developing the emerging discipline of planetary health, which looks at the links between human and ecosystem health.

“There’s misapprehension among scientists and the public that natural ecosystems are the source of threats to ourselves. It’s a mistake. Nature poses threats, it is true, but it’s human activities that do the real damage. The health risks in a natural environment can be made much worse when we interfere with it,” he says.

Ostfeld points to rats and bats, which are strongly linked with the direct and indirect spread of zoonotic diseases. “Rodents and some bats thrive when we disrupt natural habitats. They are the most likely to promote transmissions [of pathogens]. The more we disturb the forests and habitats the more danger we are in,” he says.

Felicia Keesing, professor of biology at Bard College, New York, studies how environmental changes influence the probability that humans will be exposed to infectious diseases. “When we erode biodiversity, we see a proliferation of the species most likely to transmit new diseases to us, but there’s also good evidence that those same species are the best hosts for existing diseases,” she wrote in an email to Ensia.


Disease ecologists argue that viruses and other pathogens are also likely to move from animals to humans in the many informal markets that have sprung up to provide fresh meat to fast-growing urban populations around the world. Here animals are slaughtered, cut up and sold on the spot.

The “wet market” (one that sells fresh produce and meat) in Wuhan, thought by the Chinese government to be the starting point of the current COVID-19 pandemic, was known to sell numerous wild animals, including live wolf pups, salamanders, crocodiles, scorpions, rats, squirrels, foxes, civets and turtles.

Equally, urban markets in west and central Africa see monkeys, bats, rats and dozens of species of bird, mammal, insect and rodent slaughtered and sold close to open refuse dumps and with no drainage.

“Wet markets make a perfect storm for cross-species transmission of pathogens,” says Gillespie. “Whenever you have novel interactions with a range of species in one place, whether that is in a natural environment like a forest or a wet market, you can have a spillover event.”

The Wuhan market, along with others that sell live animals, has been shut by the Chinese authorities, and the government in February outlawed trading and eating wild animals except for fish and seafood. But bans on live animals being sold in urban areas or informal markets are not the answer, say some scientists.

“The wet market in Lagos is notorious. It’s like a nuclear bomb waiting to happen. But it’s not fair to demonize places which do not have fridges. These traditional markets provide much of the food for Africa and Asia,” says Jones.

“These markets are essential sources of food for hundreds of millions of poor people, and getting rid of them is impossible,” says Delia Grace, a senior epidemiologist and veterinarian with the International Livestock Research Institute, which is based in Nairobi, Kenya. She argues that bans force traders underground, where they may pay less attention to hygiene.

Fevre and Cecilia Tacoli, principal researcher in the human settlements research group at the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), argue in a blog post that “rather than pointing the finger at wet markets,” we should look at the burgeoning trade in wild animals.

“[I]t is wild animals rather than farmed animals that are the natural hosts of many viruses,” they write. “Wet markets are considered part of the informal food trade that is often blamed for contributing to spreading disease. But … evidence shows the link between informal markets and disease is not always so clear cut.”


So what, if anything, can we do about all of this?

Jones says that change must come from both rich and poor societies. Demand for wood, minerals and resources from the Global North leads to the degraded landscapes and ecological disruption that drives disease, she says. “We must think about global biosecurity, find the weak points and bolster the provision of health care in developing countries. Otherwise we can expect more of the same,” she says.

“The risks are greater now. They were always present and have been there for generations. It is our interactions with that risk which must be changed,” says Brian Bird, a research virologist at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine One Health Institute, where he leads Ebola-related surveillance activities in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

“We are in an era now of chronic emergency,” Bird says. “Diseases are more likely to travel further and faster than before, which means we must be faster in our responses. It needs investments, change in human behavior, and it means we must listen to people at community levels.”

Getting the message about pathogens and disease to hunters, loggers, market traders and consumers is key, Bird says. “These spillovers start with one or two people. The solutions start with education and awareness. We must make people aware things are different now. I have learned from working in Sierra Leone with Ebola-affected people that local communities have the hunger and desire to have information,” he says. “They want to know what to do. They want to learn.”

Fevre and Tacoli advocate rethinking urban infrastructure, particularly within low-income and informal settlements. “Short-term efforts are focused on containing the spread of infection,” they write. “The longer term—given that new infectious diseases will likely continue to spread rapidly into and within cities—calls for an overhaul of current approaches to urban planning and development.”

The bottom line, Bird says, is to be prepared. “We can’t predict where the next pandemic will come from, so we need mitigation plans to take into account the worst possible scenarios,” he says. “The only certain thing is that the next one will certainly come.” 


John Vidal and Ensia

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Amazing Underwater Photographs Capture the World’s Only Known Pink Manta Ray

March 13, 2020  Grace Ebert

All images © Kristian Laine, shared with permission

Australia-based photographer Kristian Laine recently got a glimpse at a particularly special underwater creature: the world’s only known pink manta ray. Spanning about 11 feet and nicknamed Inspector Clouseau after The Pink Panther, the aquatic animal lives near Lady Elliot Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef. “I had no idea there were pink mantas in the world, so I was confused and thought my strobes were broken or doing something weird,” Laine told National Geographic.

Project Manta has been studying the male fish since he was discovered in 2015. After conducting a skin biopsy, the organization concluded that the unusual hue is not due to diet or disease but rather is likely a genetic mutation called erythrism, which causes changes in melanin expressions. Most manta rays are black, white, or a combination of the two.

For more of Laine’s underwater shots, follow him on Instagram or Facebook. You also can purchase one of his photographs of Inspector Clouseau and other ocean fish from his shop. (via My Modern Met)

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PBS News, BBC News, Scientific American, TED Talks, Google, Wikipedia, Simon Kids, Abolitionist, Biography, Thisiscolossal, and Dezeen

PBS News: February 14 – 20, 2020

BBC News: How mattresses could solve hunger 

Scientific American: The month was our planet’s warmest ever recorded without an El Niño being present

TED Talks: Debbie  Millman How Symbols and brands shape our humanity?, Rayma Suprani dictators hate political cartoons so I keep drawing them#t-87937 and Patrick Chappatte A free world needs satire

Google, Wikipedia, Simon Kids , Abolitionist – Mini Bio: Susan B. Anthony

Biography: Grant Wood

Thisiscolossal: 50,000-Square-Foot Garden Populates New Workspace, Making It the Densest Urban Forest in Los Angeles and Food Artworks by Tatiana Shkondina & Sasha Tivanov

Dezeen: Second Home Hollywood – Architecture

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 20, 2020

Feb 20, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Thursday on the NewsHour, Trump associate Roger Stone is sentenced to 40 months in prison after a public drama involving commentary from President Trump. Plus: 2020 Democrats engage in a fiery Las Vegas debate, analyzing the 2020 Democratic race, Venezuela’s political dynamics a year after Juan Guaido tried to seize power, California’s homelessness problem and saving for retirement after job loss. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison after DOJ drama https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6VH4… News Wrap: Germany reels from deadly shooting rampage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4xHK… Bloomberg takes criticism at Democrats’ Las Vegas debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=086dG… 3 political experts on 2020 Democrats’ Las Vegas debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kosiH… A year after Guaido’s rise, Venezuelans wait for change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kPne… Can California solve its major problem with homelessness? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SoEP… When older workers are laid off and can’t afford to retire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFGf8… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 19, 2020

Feb 19, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Wednesday on the NewsHour, six Democratic rivals face off in Las Vegas ahead of the Nevada caucuses. Also: A look at the billionaire businessman shaking up the presidential race, the world-wide spread of novel coronavirus, inhuman conditions grow bleaker in a Greek migrant camp, the melting block of ice threatening the world’s sea level and author Kevin Wilson on his new novel. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS News Wrap: Pentagon official resigns in impeachment fallout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXkzD… What to watch as Democrats’ Nevada competition ramps up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzS6V… What Bloomberg’s record means for his White House bid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8X2A… People may be catching novel coronavirus without symptoms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6-De… Children yearn for peace in hellish Greek refugee camp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwLdu… Visiting the ‘doomsday glacier’ that’s melting away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ782… This novel makes fun of your child’s meltdown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pie33… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 17, 2020

Feb 17, 2020

PBS NewsHour

Monday on the NewsHour, hundreds of American passengers are evacuated from cruise ships stranded by novel coronavirus in Asia. Plus: 2020 Democrats prepare for the Nevada caucuses, Politics Monday with Amy Walter and Tamara Keith, a migrant crisis builds on the Greek island of Lesbos, a book about presidential authors and the moment comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short became friends. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6 Follow us: Facebook: http://www.pbs.org/newshour Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/newshour Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/newshour Snapchat: @pbsnews Subscribe: PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts Newsletters: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/subscribe

Category  News & Politics

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode February 16, 2020

Feb 16, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, February 16, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates turn to Nevada as early voting takes place ahead of the upcoming caucuses, a look back at the historic Baldwin-Buckley race debate and how it is still resonating, and in Arizona an experimental program is being used to battle a decades-long drought. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode February 15, 2020

Feb 15, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, February 15, new cases of the coronavirus decrease in China, early voting begins in Nevada’s caucuses, the intersection of politics and architecture in North Macedonia, the Trump administration plans to ramp up enforcement in sanctuary cities, and a vital tuna industry struggles to stay afloat amid a perfect storm of obstacles. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 14, 2020

Feb 14, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Friday on the NewsHour, conflict looms over the Justice Department, as President Trump continues to tweet about pending cases. Plus: The U.S. reaches an agreement with the Taliban to wind down the war in Afghanistan, 2020 Democrats head south and west, political analysis with Mark Shields and Michael Gerson, consequences of Trump’s asylum policies and why young Brits are playing the cello. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS 2 former DOJ officials on Trump, Barr and the rule of law https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlRDX… News Wrap: Army says Vindman won’t be investigated https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ4XS… U.S., Taliban agree on short-term plan to pave way for peace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFhes… Nevada, South Carolina offer next tests for 2020 Democrats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oez9… Mark Shields and Michael Gerson on NH primary, Trump v. DOJ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9asIb… What’s happening to asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VkvS… A 20-year-old classical cellist inspires other youth to play  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZYgi… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6


How mattresses could solve hunger 

BBC News

Syrian refugees at Zaatari camp in Jordan and scientists from the University of Sheffield are working together to create a way to grow healthy, fresh food with nothing but water and old mattress foam.

These ‘recycled gardens’ use the mattresses in place of the soil, which solves two problems in one: It reuses the mountain of plastic mattresses that have piled up in the camp and it allows everyone to grow fresh food in a crowded, desert environment.

Victoria Gill has been to the camp in Jordan to see how it’s working.

Produced by Vanessa Clarke. Filmed and edited by Stephen Fildes.

12 Feb 2020


January 2020: Earth’s Warmest January on Record

The month was our planet’s warmest ever recorded without an El Niño being present

      By Jeff Masters on February 13, 2020

January 2020: Earth's Warmest January on Record

Fire and Rescue personnel run to move their truck as a bushfire burns on December 19, 2019 near Sydney, Australia. Fires in Australia were the most expensive weather-related disaster so far in 2020, with damages estimated in the billions by insurance broker Aon. Credit: David Gray Getty Images

January 2020 was the planet’s warmest January since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Thursday. Global ocean temperatures during January 2020 were the second warmest on record, and global land temperatures were the warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures in January 2020 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest or second warmest in the 42-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and RSS, respectively.

January 2020 had the fourth highest departure of temperature from average of any month since 1880. Only March 2016, February 2016 and December 2015 had a greater temperature departure. Impressively, the warmth of January 2020 came without an El Niño event being present. Furthermore, we are also near the nadir of one of the least active solar cycles in the past century–a time when it is more difficult to set global heat records, due to the reduced amount of solar energy Earth receives. Thus, the remarkable warmth of January 2020 is a strong reminder that human-caused global warming is the primary driver of our warming climate.

Departure of temperature from average

Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for January 2020, the warmest January for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. Record warm January surface temperatures were present across parts of Scandinavia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the central and western Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and Central and South America. No land or ocean areas had record cold January temperatures. Credit: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).


Two billion-dollar weather-related disaster hit the Earth last month, according to the January 2020 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker Aon:

U.S. severe weather outbreak: A powerful winter storm over central and eastern sections of the U.S. from January 10 – 12 killed 12 and did $1.2 billion in damage. The storm brought a multi-day severe weather outbreak to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, with 79 confirmed tornadoes.

Australia wildfires: Intense heat and drought over much of Australia in January caused destructive wildfires blamed for billions of dollars in damages. The combined death toll for the 2019/20 Australia bushfire season stands at 34, with more than 5,900 homes and other structures destroyed. Guardian Australia has launched the first of six very impressive immersive multimedia features on climate change, reported through the experiences of people living through it in Australia. The first episode–on bushfires–is best viewed on a large screen (not mobile) with the sound on.


NOAA’s February 13 monthly discussion of the state of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) stated that neutral ENSO conditions existed, with neither an El Niño nor a La Niña event in progress. Over the past month, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific, though warmer than average, have been below the 0.5°C above-average threshold need to be considered El Niño conditions.

Forecasters at NOAA and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) are calling for a roughly 60% chance of neutral conditions continuing through Northern Hemisphere spring, and a 50% chance of continuing through summer. They put the odds of an El Niño event during the August-September-October peak of the hurricane season at 23%, and the odds of a La Niña event during that period at 33%.

Departure of temperature from average

Figure 2. Departure of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region (in the equatorial Pacific) ending on February 13, 2020. Over the past month, SSTs were about 0.3°C above average, falling short of the 0.5°C above-average threshold need to be considered El Niño conditions. Credit: Levi Cowan, tropicaltidbits.com.


Arctic sea ice extent during January 2020 was tied for eighth lowest in the 41-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The ice extent was higher than seen in recent years thanks to a strongly positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO), which kept cold air bottled up in the Arctic. Antarctic sea ice extent in January 2020 was the tenth lowest on record.


Hottest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: 42.0°C (107.6°F) at Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, 21 January
Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -66.0°C (-86.8°F) at Geo Summit, Greenland, 3 January (dubious data)
Hottest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: 48.9°C (120.0°F) at Penrith, Australia, 4 January
Coldest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: -47.4°C (-53.3°F) at Concordia, Antarctica, 31 January

 (Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera.)


Among global stations with a period of record of at least 40 years, 28 set new all-time heat records in January, and 3 set all-time cold records:

Canberra (Australia) max. 44.0°C, 4 January
Newcastle (Australia) max. 44.9°C, 4 January    
Katoomba (Australia) max. 39.8°C, 4 January   
Parramatta (Australia) max. 47.0°C, 4 January  
Bankstown (Australia) max. 47.0 °C, 4 January  
Taralga (Australia) max. 40.5°C, 4 January
Goulburn Airport (Australia) max. 42.0°C, 4 January  
Albury (Australia) max. 46.1°C, 4 January
Burrinjuck Dam (Australia) max. 45.0°C, 4 January  
Grenfell (Australia) max. 44.0°C, 4 January
Young (Australia) max. 44.9°C, 4 January  
Gundagai (Australia) max. 45.2°C, 4 January  
Cootamundra (Australia) max. 45.0°C, 4 January  
Temora (Australia) max. 46.4°C, 4 January
Narrandera (Australia) max. 47.4°C, 4 January  
Griffith (Australia) max. 47.2°C, 4 January
Calama (Chile) max. 31.2 °C, 12 January
Fraserburg (South Africa) max. 42.4°C, 16 January
Pofadder (South Africa) max. 43.0°C, 16 January
Willowmore (South Africa) max. 42.2°C, 16 January
Beaufort West (South Africa) max. 44.5°C, 16 January
Saint Raphael-Cargados Islands (Mauritius) max. 35.6°C, 9 January
Honiara Downtown (Solomon Islands) max. 35.4°C, 3 January
Veguitas (Cuba) min. 7.0 °C, 23 January
Pinares de Mayari (Cuba) min. 6.5°C, 23 January
Conakry Airport (Guinea) max. 38.0°C, 24 January
Kalewa (Myanmar) min. 6.6°C, 26 January
Cabramurra (Australia) max. 34.0°C, 31 January
Hobart Airport (Australia) max. 41.4°C, 31 January
Maydena (Australia) max. 38.2°C, 31 January
Gisborne (New Zealand) max. 38.2°C, 31 January

No all-time national heat or cold records have been set thus far in 2020.

(Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera.)


As of February 13, 13 national monthly all-time heat records have been beaten or tied in 2020:

January (10): Norway, South Korea, Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Dominica, Mexico, Indonesia, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe

February (3): Spain, Antarctica, Azerbaijan

No monthly national cold records have been beaten or tied in 2020.

(Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera.)


Highest minimum temperature ever recorded the Northern Hemisphere in January: 29.1°C (84.4°F) at Bonriki, Kiribati, 17 January.

Highest maximum temperature ever recorded in North America in January: 42.0°C (107.6°F) at Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, 21 January.

Highest temperature ever recorded in continental Antarctica and highest February temperature ever recorded in Antarctica plus the surrounding islands: 18.4°C (65.1°F) at Base Esperanza, 6 February.

(Courtesy of Maximiliano Herrera.)

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Jeff Masters

Jeff Masters worked as a hurricane scientist with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. After a near-fatal flight into category 5 Hurricane Hugo, he left the Hurricane Hunters to pursue a safer passion–a 1997 Ph.D. in air pollution meteorology from the University of Michigan. In 1995, he co-founded the Weather Underground, and served as its chief meteorologist until the company was sold to the Weather Company in 2012. Since 2005, his Wunderblog (now called Category 6) has been one of the Internet’s most popular sources of extreme weather and climate change information, and he is one of the most widely quoted experts in the field. He can be reached at weatherman.masters@gmail.com.

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Susan B. Anthony

American women’s rights activist

Susan B. Anthony was an American social reformer and women’s rights activist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. Wikipedia

BornFebruary 15, 1820, Adams, MA

DiedMarch 13, 1906, Rochester, NY

Full nameSusan Brownell Anthony

SiblingsMary Stafford AnthonyDaniel Read AnthonyMORE


Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.

I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.

Independence is happiness.

Susan B. Anthony – Abolitionist | Mini Bio | BIO

Oct 17, 2012  Biography

Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 to March 13, 1906), better known as Susan B. Anthony, was an American writer, lecturer and abolitionist who was a leading figure in the women’s voting rights movement. Raised in a Quaker household, Anthony went on to work as a teacher. She later partnered with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and would eventually lead the National American Woman Suffrage Association. #Biography Subscribe for more Biography: http://aetv.us/2AsWMPH Delve deeper into Biography on our site: http://www.biography.com Follow Biography for more surprising stories from fascinating lives: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Biography Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/biography Twitter – https://twitter.com/biography Biography.com captures the most gripping, surprising, and fascinating stories about famous people: The biggest break. The defining opportunity. The most shattering failure. The unexpected connection. The decision that changed everything. With over 7,000 biographies and daily features that highlight newsworthy and compelling points-of-view, we are the digital source for true stories about people that matter. Susan B. Anthony – Abolitionist | Mini Bio | BIO https://www.youtube.com/user/Biograph…

Rating  No mature content   Category  Entertainment

Susan B. Anthony, Fighter for Women’s Rights!

Mar 9, 2017 Simon Kids

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WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

LAST UPDATED: Feb 9, 2020 See Article History

Grant Wood, (born February 13, 1891, near Anamosa, Iowa, U.S.—died February 12, 1942, Iowa City, Iowa), American painter who was one of the major exponents of Midwestern Regionalism, a movement that flourished in the United States during the 1930s.

Wood was trained as a craftsman and designer as well as a painter. After spending a year (1923) at the Académie Julian in Paris, he returned to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where in 1927 he was commissioned to do a stained-glass window. Knowing little about stained glass, he went to Germany to seek craftsmen to assist him. While there he was deeply influenced by the sharply detailed paintings of various German and Flemish masters of the 16th century. Wood subsequently abandoned his Impressionist style and began to paint in the sharply detailed, realistic manner by which he is now known.

A portrait of his mother in this style, Woman with Plants (1929), did not attract attention, but in 1930 his American Gothic caused a sensation when it was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago. The hard, cold realism of this painting and the honest, direct, earthy quality of its subject were unusual in American art. The work ostensibly portrays a farmer and his daughter—modelled for Wood by his dentist, B.H. McKeeby, and Wood’s sister, Nan—in front of their farmhouse. As a telling portrait of the sober and hardworking rural dwellers of the Midwest, the painting has become one of the best-known icons of American art.

American Gothic, oil on beaverboard by Grant Wood, 1930; in the Art Institute of Chicago.

American Gothic, oil on beaverboard by Grant Wood, 1930; in the Art Institute of Chicago.SuperStock

The meaning of American Gothic has been subjected to scrutiny since Wood painted it. Was it meant to be an homage to the strong values in the Midwest or was it a satire? Is it a husband and wife or a father and daughter? Wood’s own statements on its meaning were wishy-washy, leading to further ambiguity and debate. Open to so much interpretation, the American Gothic trope lent itself to countless parodies in popular culture as well as in the political arena, in advertisements, in television shows such as The Simpsons, in albums, in comic books, on magazine covers, and by Jim Henson’s Muppets.

Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your

Wood became one of the leading figures of the Regionalist movement.

Daughters of Revolution

Painting by Grant Wood

Daughters of Revolution is a painting by American artist Grant Wood; he claimed it as his only satire. Wikipedia

ArtistGrant Wood





Dimensions50.8 cm × 101.4 cm (20.0 in × 39.9 in)

Another well-known painting by him is Daughters of Revolution (1932), a satirical portrait of three unattractive old women who appear smugly satisfied with their American Revolutionary ancestry. In 1934 Wood was made assistant professor of fine arts at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Among his other principal works are several paintings illustrating episodes from American history and a series of Midwestern rural landscapes that communicate a strong sense of American ambience by means of a skillful simplification of form.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Naomi Blumberg, Assistant Editor.

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From 1920 to 1928 he made four trips to Europe, where he studied many styles of painting, especially impressionism and post- impressionism. Influenced by the work of Jan Van Eyck. From 1924 to 1935 he lived in the loft of a carriage house that he turned into his personal studio Wood helped found the Stone City Art Colony near his hometown to help artists get through the Great Depression. He became a great proponent of regionalism in the arts.

50,000-Square-Foot Garden Populates New Workspace, Making It the Densest Urban Forest in Los Angeles


Designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano, a Los Angeles workspace has popped up in a formerly empty parking lot in Hollywood. The recently opened SecondHome Hollywood boasts a 50,000-square-foot garden of 6,500 trees and plants and 700 tons of soil and vegetation. It is Los Angeles’s densest urban forest and is also home to 112 native species.

The Hollywood location, which is the first in the United States, contains sixty yellow-roofed office pods. It also encompasses the Anne Banning Community House, a ’60s building designed by prominent architect Paul Williams who is known for defining much of Los Angeles’s architectural aesthetic throughout the 20th century. (via Jeroen Apers)

Second Home Hollywood | Architecture | Dezeen

•Dec 4, 2019  Dezeen

Second Home Hollywood, the first US location from the British co-working company, is revealed in this captioned video produced by Dezeen for Second Home. Spanish architecture practice SelgasCano transformed a former Hollywood parking-lot into a sprawling co-working complex that will house 250 companies. It has previously worked with Second Home to create other spaces in London and Lisbon. In Los Angeles, the architects filled the site with sixty oval-shaped office pods of varying sizes, which are topped with bright-yellow rooftops that resemble a cluster of lily pads when seen from above. The site has been populated with more than 6,500 plants and trees from 112 species native to Los Angeles, in order to create a tranquil working environment for members. The site also incorporates the former Anne Banning Community House, a historic 1960s building which SelgasCano renovated to accommodate 30 additional office spaces for Second Home members. Read more on Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/?p=1442212 WATCH NEXT: Watch our talk with Thomas Heatherwick from Second Home LA – https://youtu.be/Blx2gF63xJ4 Subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest architecture and design movies: http://bit.ly/1tcULvh Like Dezeen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dezeen/ Follow Dezeen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dezeen/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dezeen/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/dezeen/

Category  Entertainment


Food Artworks by Tatiana Shkondina & Sasha Tivanov

Published Oct 3, 2017

Food stylist Tatiana Shkondina and photographer Sasha Tivanov worked in collaboration to produce incredible food artworks inspired by famous paintings.

More food art via Behance

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PBS News, Scientific American, Ted Talks, Genius Channel, DW Documentary, Indian Diplomacy, mortrek, and Thisiscolossal

PBS News: February 8 – 13, 2020

Scientific American: The World Health Organization chose the name based on the type of virus and the year the first cases were seen

TED Talks: Alicia Eggert  Imaginative sculptures that explore how  we perceive reality? and Alejandro Duran How I use art to tackle plastic pollution in our oceans

Genius Channel: Albert Einstein Part 1: The Biography, Albert Einstein Part 2: The Formula and Albert Einstein Part 3: The Mind

DW Documentary: Oil and ruin — exodus from Venezuela

Indian Diplomacy: Mahatma – A Great Soul of 20th Century

mortrek: Time Lapse of Sunflower from Seed to Flower

Thisiscolossal: Remarkable High Speed Photos of Birds Catching Fish by Salah Baazizi and Miniature Seascapes and Cities Top Elaborate Paper Wigs by Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 13, 2020

Feb 13, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Thursday on the NewsHour, a conversation with Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the current leaders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Plus: Ongoing political fallout in China over the novel coronavirus outbreak, measles makes a deadly comeback, a book with an inside look at the Trump presidency, controversy over school shooting drills and a Brief But Spectacular take on revolutionary poetry. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS News Wrap: Barr decries public criticism of Roger Stone case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krEie… How 2020 Democrats are positioning themselves after NH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELKp8… Bernie Sanders on Culinary Workers Union, Medicare for All https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43q5B… In China, political fallout from novel coronavirus continues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmaoF… How vaccine hesitancy is causing deadly measles resurgence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0oKa… ‘A Very Stable Genius’ offers inside look at Trump’s tenure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy3kj… Why education unions dispute value of active shooter drills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmFBH… How Tongo Eisen-Martin looks to poetry to create revolution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMWOR… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 12, 2020

Feb 12, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Wednesday on the NewsHour, what the results in New Hampshire mean for Democratic presidential candidates. Also: Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his second-place finish in the Granite State, crisis at the Justice Department as President Trump tries to take the law into his own hands, a possible solution for the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and a new novel from Isabel Allende. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS 2020 Dems look to more diverse states after N.H. primary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aCSO… Buttigieg: Results are proving he’s ‘a serious contender’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkiaf… News Wrap: New novel coronavirus infections declining https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syiWY… Does the Roger Stone fight hurt the Justice Department? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPKmO… What N.H. primary results mean for the 2020 race https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrae_… U.S. needs safer bridges. Super strong concrete could help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg7CB… In Allende’s new novel, a familiar story of refugee life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8D8X… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 11, 2020

Feb 11, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Tuesday on the NewsHour, voting is underway in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a primary during the 2020 election cycle. Plus: Controversy over Roger Stone’s sentence, how China is coping with its deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir is closer to facing prosecution, new efforts to clean India’s Ganga River and a woman helping perfect technology for a bionic limb. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 10, 2020

Feb 10, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Monday on the NewsHour, 2020 Democrats make final pitches to voters in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary. Plus: The death toll from novel coronavirus surpasses that of SARS as China struggles to contain the outbreak, what’s in President Trump’s proposed 2021 budget, Politics Monday, Denmark’s rising anti-Semitism troubles Auschwitz survivors and a milestone Oscars night. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS NH voters battle indecision as Democratic primary nears https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvs21… News Wrap: Turkish, Syrian forces clash again in Idlib https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx-EG… Can China’s information about novel coronavirus be trusted? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onE6X… What’s in Trump’s proposed 2021 budget https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgVDh… Lauren Chooljian and James Pindell preview NH primary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_x4n… In Denmark, Auschwitz survivors lament rise of anti-Semitism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ycxV… What best picture for ‘Parasite’ means for foreign films https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsL8o… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode February 9, 2020

Feb 9, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, February 9, Democratic presidential candidates canvass New Hampshire in the final push ahead of Tuesday’s primary, the death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to climb, a 15-year battle heats up over Oregon’s Jordan Cove pipeline project, and a look at misconceptions about race and culture. Alison Stewart anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode February 8, 2020

Feb 8, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, February 8, the Democratic presidential candidates look to New Hampshire for support, new cases of the novel coronavirus emerge, Louisiana oyster farmers feel a changing tide along the Mississippi Delta, and internet satellites are launched into space with the hope of expanding broadband coverage. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6


Disease Caused by the Novel Coronavirus Officially Has a Name: COVID-19

The World Health Organization chose the name based on the type of virus and the year the first cases were seen

     By Andrew JosephSTAT on February 11, 2020

Disease Caused by the Novel Coronavirus Officially Has a Name: COVID-19

Coronavirus. Credit: Getty Images

The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has a name: COVID-19.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, announced the name Tuesday, giving a specific identifier to a disease that has been confirmed in more than 42,000 people and caused more than 1,000 deaths in China. There have been fewer than 400 cases in 24 other countries, with one death.

In choosing the name, WHO advisers focused simply on the type of virus that causes the disease. Co and Vi come from coronavirus, Tedros explained, with D meaning disease and 19 standing for 2019, the year the first cases were seen.

The virus that causes the disease has been known provisionally as 2019-nCoV. Also on Tuesday, a coronavirus group from the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for naming new viruses, proposed designating the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2, according to a preprint of a paper posted online. (Preprints are versions of papers that have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.) The name reflects the genetic similarities between the new coronavirus and the coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003.

In selecting COVID-19 as the name of the disease, the WHO name-givers steered clear of linking the outbreak to China or the city of Wuhan, where the illness was first identified. Although origin sites have been used in the past to identify new viruses, such a namesake is now seen as denigrating. Some experts have come to regret naming the infection caused by a different coronavirus the Middle East respiratory syndrome.

“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” Tedros said. “It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”

Viruses and the disease they cause do not have to have related names—think HIV and AIDS—but more recently those responsible for the formal naming process have kept them associated. For example, SARS, the disease, is caused by SARS-CoV, the virus.

The provisional name of the new virus stemmed from the year it was first seen (2019), the fact that it was new (n), and a member of the coronavirus family (CoV).

A clear name could also stop the ad hoc identifiers that have sprung up in the press and online, many of which, like the Wuhan virus or Wu Flu, linked the virus to the city.

Republished with permission from STAT. This article originally appeared on February 11 2020

Andrew Joseph

Recent Articles

TED Fellow Alicia Eggert takes us on a visual tour of her work — from a giant sculpture on an uninhabited island in Maine to an installation that inflates only when people hold hands to complete an electric current. Her work explores the power of art to inspire wonder and foster hope in dark times. As she puts it: “A brighter, more sustainable, more equitable future depends first on our ability to imagine it.”

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Alicia Eggert · Interdisciplinary artist

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Apr 18, 2017  sok sokuntheara

Category  People & Blogs

Genius Channel: Albert Einstein Part 2: The Formula

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Category  People & Blogs

Genius Channel: Albert Einstein Part 3: The Mind

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Oil and ruin — exodus from Venezuela | DW Documentary

Jan 17, 2020  DW Documentary

Venezuela is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Hunger is widespread and there is a severe shortage of medicines. The UN estimates that more than four million people have now fled what was once South America’s richest nation. Venezuela is in the grips of what is now the world’s second largest refugee crisis after Syria. But unlike Syria, Venezuela is not mired in civil war, and the country is sitting on the world’s largest proven oil reserves. How could such a rich nation be driven into ruin? Where has the country’s wealth gone, and why are its people starving? Corruption and mismanagement are driving displacement worldwide. The majority of the world’s refugees and migrants are fleeing from countries in the top 10 of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index – places like Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan and Somalia. Venezuela was once one of the world’s wealthiest countries and a showcase of democracy. The country enjoys an abundance of natural resources, including oil, gold, diamonds and coltan. But rather than invest in its people and economy, this wealth has been squandered. Today Venezuela is mired in corruption, and deindustrialization, debt, political conflict, authoritarianism and poverty are the order of the day. The billions in profits generated by the oil business during the boom years between 2003 and 2014 have largely ended up in private pockets. And once oil prices collapsed in 2014, Venezuela was plunged into economic crisis. Nicolás Maduro, who rose to the presidency after Hugo Chávez died in 2013, has installed loyal military officers in key economic positions. Venezuela is now little more than a state-run criminal enterprise. At the same time, the country has become a pawn in a geopolitical contest over power and natural resources, with the US, Russia and China all looking to assert their own interests. Every two seconds, a person is forced to flee their home. Today, more than 70 million people have been displaced worldwide. The DW documentary series ‘Displaced’ sheds light on the causes of this crisis and traces how wealthy industrialized countries are contributing to the exodus from the Global South. Tomatoes and greed – the exodus of Ghana’s farmers: https://youtu.be/rlPZ0Bev99s Drought and floods — the climate exodus: https://youtu.be/PjyX5dnhaMw ——————————————————————– DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary. Subscribe to: DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39… DW Documental (Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocumental DW Documentary ??????? ?? ?????: (Arabic): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocarabia For more visit: http://www.dw.com/en/tv/docfilm/s-3610 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dwdocumentary/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories DW netiquette policy: https://p.dw.com/p/MF1G

Category  Education

Mahatma – A Great Soul of 20th Century

Aug 7, 2012  Indian Diplomacy

The film ‘Mahatma — A Great Soul of 20th Century’ is a documentary film which records the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and his social, political and spiritual influence on the country during pre and post independence times. The film starts with Gandhi’s childhood, his early influences, and his study at England and then goes on further to South Africa to practice Law. When he attempted to claim his rights as a citizen, he was abused and soon saw that all Indians suffered similar treatment. He developed a method of action based upon the principles of courage, nonviolence and truth called Satyagraha. Using the principles of Satyagraha, he led the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. Gandhi had been an advocate for a united India where Hindus and Muslims lived together in peace and helped free the Indian people from British rule through nonviolent resistance, and is honored by Indians as the father of the Indian Nation or ‘Mahatma’, meaning Great Soul.

Rating  No mature content

Category  Film & Animation

Time Lapse of Sunflower from Seed to Flower

•Mar 26, 2015  mortrek

This is a time lapse video of a dwarf sunflower growing from seed to full flower, then wilting. A version with a beautiful musical score can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKo5I… You can license this video for commercial purposes at my Gumroad store at: https://gum.co/HkNjP Unfortunately the flower was too heavy and it collapsed the plant at some point. This video also illustrates the centripetal anthesis present in sunflowers, where the outer flowers mature first and the maturation process extends inwards. I would have attempted to get it to go to seed, but these sunflowers tend to be self-infertile. Video took about 130 days from start to finish. That means it’s slightly more than 1 second of video per day of growth.


Science & Technology

Remarkable High Speed Photos of Birds Catching Fish by Salah Baazizi



Double-crested Cormorant working on its catch, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Elegant Tern, Double Crested Cormorant and a fish

Photographer Salah Baazizi has an amazing knack for photographing birds up close and personal as they pluck fish from the waters around Bolsa Chica in southern California. The split-second shots of terns, herons, and cormorants give the illusion Baazizi is sitting just inches away, practically sticking a camera down their beaks, but in reality he uses a 400mm super telephoto lens and positions himself at great distances. This is only the smallest fraction of the hobbyist photographer’s wildlife photos, you can explore hundreds of additional shots over on Flickr.


Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Great Blue Heron working on its catch, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Elegant Tern losing its fish, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Forster’s Tern doing the contortionist, Irvine (CA)


Great Blue Heron working on its catch, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica (CA)


Elegant Tern displaying its acrobatic aerial skills after a fish escaped from its beak

Miniature Seascapes and Cities Top Elaborate Paper Wigs by Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin


All images © Asya Kozina and Dmitry Kozin, shared with permission

Saint Petersburg-based paper artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin situate miniature worlds atop their towering paper wigs. The detailed headdresses combine contemporary themes with historical elements, resembling the extravagant hair and head pieces of the Baroque period. A recent series crafted for Dolce & Gabanna features a whale and lobster with fins and claws woven through and sticking out from the tops of the elaborate pieces. Both have ships, as well, to add a human element. “We did this work and had (the) idea to do works with various marine monsters,” Kozina says. “In the old times, sailors believed in gigantic sea monsters… All characters are taken from folk myths.”

Since Kozina last spoke with Colossal, the scale and complexity of their monochromatic creations have changed, in addition to their public perception. “Our works fell into collections of museums, became symbols of some events related to the history and history of art and fashion,” she writes. “Our work is perceived not as photo props, but as artworks, sculptures, exhibition objects.” Head to Instagram or Behance to check out more of the artists’ sky-high creations.

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PBS News, TED Talks, Scientific American, BBC Click, Thisiscolossal Great Big Story and Inspiration Grid

PBS News: Jan 12 – 8, 2020, What’s in the $1.4 trillion federal spending bill, This Paris program helps refugees tell their stories through art

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PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode January 12, 2020

Jan 12, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, January 12, the Trump administration defends a U.S. drone strike against Iran, House Democrats prepare to deliver impeachment articles this week, and the Latin Grammy-winning singer Concha Buika continues to defy genres with an eclectic mix of musical styles and languages. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode January 11, 2020

Jan 11, 2020  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, January 11, Iran says the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane last week was “human error,” an influx of migrants attempting to head to the U.S. are stuck in limbo in Mexico amid shifting immigration policies, and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explores how to age successfully. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour live episode, Jan 10, 2020

Streamed live on Jan 10, 2020 

PBS NewsHour

Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6 Follow us: Facebook: https://www.pbs.org/newshour Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/newshour Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/newshour Snapchat: @pbsnews Subscribe: PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts Newsletters: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/subscribe

Category   News & Politics

PBS NewsHour full episode, Jan 9, 2020

Jan 9, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Thursday on the NewsHour, the U.S. says it is likely that Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran early Wednesday. Plus: How Congress is attempting to limit President Trump’s power to respond to Iran with military action, high stakes in Taiwan’s upcoming election, Trump’s rollback of seminal environmental regulations, a successful Las Vegas labor union and Ronan Farrow. WATCH TODAYS SEGMENTS U.S., other governments say Iran likely downed civilian jet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqUGu… Can Congress effectively limit Trump’s war powers on Iran? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66eGV… News Wrap: UK’s House of Commons approves Jan. 31 for Brexit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WQSK… Taiwanese election resurfaces long-simmering China tensions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptq0i… Trump may roll back infrastructure environmental review law https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX0Mw… Are Nevada’s hospitality workers the future of labor unions? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR-Je… Ronan Farrow’s Brief But Spectacular take on pursuing truth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG_YZ… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Jan 8, 2020

Jan 8, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Wednesday on the NewsHour, after Iran strikes Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops without incurring casualties, President Trump says the Islamic Republic is “standing down.” Plus: Reaction to the Iranian conflict from two members of Congress, Iran’s deadly plane crash, immense bushfire devastation in Australia and how the country’s government is responding and the promise of personalized medicine. WATCH TODAYS SEGMENTS Both U.S. and Iran appear to want to de-escalate conflict https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JP_w… Gallagher: Iran will again use proxies for ‘dirty work’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_2w… Crow: Trump hasn’t answered questions about Soleimani threat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5u7Y… News Wrap: Puerto Rico reels from strong earthquake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tY4u… Ukrainian plane crashes near Tehran, killing all 176 aboard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIXgK… Australia’s catastrophic and relentless battle with bushfire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_StlM… How Australia is fighting fires while also mounting recovery  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OneHo… How trove of genetic data can yield individualized medicine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1BB2… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

What’s in the $1.4 trillion federal spending bill

Jan 2, 2020  PBS NewsHour

Before leaving town for the holidays, lawmakers came together to pass a huge federal spending bill that illuminates the government’s policy priorities for 2020. The deal allocates a total of $1.4 trillion to the military, education, a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border and much more. Lisa Desjardins joins Nick Schifrin to discuss where American tax dollars will be going this year. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

This Paris program helps refugees tell their stories through art

Jan 6, 2020  PBS NewsHour

For years, refugees from the Middle East and Africa have sought shelter in Europe, igniting debates there about immigration, asylum and changing culture. But one Paris program has been using the lens of art to help some of these refugees find community in France — and to try to change the conversation around their plight. Jeffrey Brown reports. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 — a crisis of “climate migration” the world isn’t ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this passionate, lyrical talk, she urges us to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration — and caused it in the first place — and shares how we can cultivate collective resilience, better prepare before disaster strikes and advance human rights for all.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

About the speaker

Colette Pichon Battle · Climate justice and human rights lawyer

A Louisiana native with a deep connection to things that burrow in the mud, Colette Pichon Battle fights to advance human rights for communities on the frontline of the struggle against climate change.

Take Action


Participate in the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy’s work with communities on the frontlines of climate change.

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Join the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy mailing list.

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Learn more about the Gulf South for a Green New Deal policy platform.

Water is essential to life. Yet in the eyes of the law, it remains largely unprotected — leaving many communities without access to safe drinking water, says legal scholar Kelsey Leonard. In this powerful talk, she shows why granting lakes and rivers legal “personhood” — giving them the same legal rights as humans — is the first step to protecting our bodies of water and fundamentally transforming how we value this vital resource.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

About the speaker

Kelsey Leonard · Water protector

As a water scholar and protector, Kelsey Leonard seeks to establish Indigenous traditions of water conservation as the foundation for international water policy-making.

Take Action


Learn more about the Navajo Water Project and how you can support the work of Dig Deep to bring water and sanitation access to families across the Navajo Nation.

Learn more ?


Learn more about the efforts of Indigenous youth to promote Indigenous water governance by bringing together diverse Indigenous water initiatives, increasing access to knowledge, connections, information and approaches.

Learn more ?


Donate to Mother Earth Water Walkers and help foster healing for the water.


Scientific American: To Stop Wildlife Crime, Conservationists Ask Why People Poach

A novel study in Nepal shines light on why people commit wildlife crime and how others might be dissuaded from doing so in the future

By Rachel Nuwer on January 10, 2020

To Stop Wildlife Crime, Conservationists Ask Why People Poach

An Indian one-horned rhinoceroswalking in Chitwan National Park. Credit: Frank Bienewald Getty Images

Most people imprisoned in Nepal for wildlife crime share two things in common: they did not understand the seriousness of their offense, and they had little conception of how profoundly it would impact not only their lives but also the lives of their families. In interviews with more than 100 people convicted of illegally killing or trapping wildlife, researchers found some lost their businesses and land following their imprisonment. A dozen men’s wives left them. Many respondents’ children had to drop out of school, and family members of some took jobs in other countries to survive. One man’s daughter found herself unable to marry because of the stigma of his crime, and another said his mother committed suicide out of shame.

“People really underestimate the risk of getting arrested and all of the social harm that comes from that punishment,” says Kumar Paudel, who led the research and is co-founder and director of Greenhood Nepal, a science-driven nonprofit organization that focuses on the human dimensions of conservation. He is also a graduate student in conservation leadership at the University of Cambridge.

Paudel and his colleagues uncovered these gaps in awareness of the punishments for poaching as part of an effort to better understand the motivations of, and impacts on, the people who are arrested and prosecuted for wildlife crime. Such information is critical for designing effective deterrent strategies yet is often lacking, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars governments and nonprofits have poured into combatting the illegal wildlife trade worldwide.

The researchers also took their findings, published Friday in Conservation Science and Practice, a step further: they teamed up with a well-known local musician to create awareness-raising songs that share key messages from their study. They hope this effort will ultimately benefit both people and wildlife. “I don’t think scientists should wait for decision makers to come and read their paper,” Paudel says. “They should find ways to inform policy and undertake conservation interventions on the ground.”

Prakash Gandharva performing “Ban Ko Katha” at Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal. Credit: Kumar Paudel

“Full Force” Crime Fighting

Nepal takes its antipoaching efforts very seriously, particularly for charismatic megafauna such as tigers and rhinoceroses, which receive the majority of global conservation funding and attention. Nearly 7,000 military personnel patrol the country’s protected areas, and wildlife-crime-related arrests increased more than eightfold between 2009 and 2014. Official data now report around 2,000 such arrests annually, and these efforts do seem to be helping. Nepal celebrated zero rhino poaching for the first time in 2011 and has repeated that achievement several times since. Yet the possible social harms of the nation’s militarized conservation approach have gone unexplored. “This is a country that’s going full force, but we don’t know who they’re going full force against,” says Jacob Phelps, an environmental social scientist at Lancaster University in England and senior author of the new study.

Paudel, who has worked in conservation in his native Nepal since 2010, wanted to tackle this question to help develop targeted, fairer ways to combat poaching. Starting in 2016, after securing special permission from the government, he visited seven prisons across the country. He persuaded 116 people who had poached primarily rhinos but also tigers, red pandas and other species to speak with him. Paudel says it helped that he came from a similar rural background as most of the interviewees, 99 percent of whom were men.

Their answers offer nuance to experts’ understanding of the problem. Most respondents were from poor backgrounds, but surprisingly, nearly 90 percent of them said they resorted to breaking the law to make some extra money—not to meet basic economic and nutritional needs. “A really popular narrative in conservation is that poor people poach, but this overlooks other motivations by just blaming poverty,” Paudel says. A lack of awareness also factored in the decision to do so, he found. More than 90 percent of the interviewees said they knew wildlife poaching and trade were illegal, but just 30 percent understood the steep penalties involved, such as the possibility of a five- to 15-year prison sentence. Nearly half of the respondents said their imprisonment had negatively impacted their families’ livelihood, their children’s education or both.

Communities near protected areas have been particularly affected. For example, more than 20 percent of inmates in one prison near Chitwan National Park were jailed for wildlife crime, compared with about 3 percent of Nepal’s total prison population. “That’s mind-boggling, especially if you consider that many people are from the same communities that were originally expropriated” from their land to make way for the park, Phelps says. “We’re hitting them twice. That’s a huge social cost.”

Basudev Dhungana, who lives near Chitwan and is former chair of the Mrigakunja Bufferzone User Committee (which works with communities to use park revenue for local development), says he has seen firsthand the impacts described in the study. He knows several people who have been arrested for poaching, most of them heads of families. “Their arrest affects the livelihood of the family and education of their children,” he says. “Further, it affects the family’s prestige and dignity in society, because they are seen as a family of poachers.”

According to Annette Hübschle, a criminologist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, who was not involved in the Nepal research but has interviewed rhino poachers in South Africa and Mozambique, the study provides “important, novel perspectives” on the motivations, drivers and impacts of people who engage in wildlife crime in Nepal. Yet she would have liked to see a deeper analysis on whether historical injustices, land evictions and political marginalization motivated people to retaliate or seek to reclaim land perceived as unfairly taken from them. Hübschle also wonders whether offenders agree or disagree with antipoaching rules. In southern Africa, for example, some communities contest the illegality of poaching, pointing out that hunting was their right prior to colonization. In Nepal, she says, “future research might want to explore this in more detail.”

Maheshwar Dhakal, joint secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Environment, also believes the findings are important for shining a light on the reasons why individuals in the nation poach. While enforcement is necessary to curtail “greedy people who would like to be rich overnight,” he says, education would go a long way toward stopping others who are simply unaware of the seriousness of wildlife crime.

Singing to Stop Poaching

Paudel and Phelps agree that education could make a crucial difference on the ground, and they both say they felt a responsibility to act on their findings. They launched a fellowship program between Greenhood Nepal and Lancaster University to provide more opportunities to young Nepalese conservationists. Paudel also initiated a collaboration with a musician from the Gandharva ethnic group, whose traveling troubadours are famous in Nepal for their sorrowful ballads, played on a stringed instrument called a sarangi. Paudel wrote five songs based on his interviews. In “Shameful Name,” for example, a farmer in prison for poaching recounts how greed led to the loss of his freedom and his family’s dignity and implores the listener not to make the same mistake.

The songs are now available online as music videos and are being played on the radio and performed live in communities across Nepal. Paudel says more than 1,000 people have already seen the performances, and some were moved to tears. “Music is one of the simplest ways to communicate,” he says. “Even illiterate people can understand our songs.”

Dhungana attended a performance and agrees people responded well to it. “We all love the sarangi music,” he says. “This is a simple and an innovative approach to make communities aware of wildlife conservation.” He wonders, though, whether his neighbors will actually retain the songs’ messages over the long term. What’s really needed, he says, is for the government to invest not only in conservation enforcement but also in education and employment opportunities for communities near national parks. “Local people should be empowered to take advantage of the potential for conservation tourism and nature-based enterprises,” Dhungana says. “I think people will poach less if they get significant benefits from conservation.”

Rights & Permissions


Rachel Nuwer is a freelance journalist and author of Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking (Da Capo Press, 2018). She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Credit: Nick Higgins

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Protecting Pangolins from Poachers in South Africa by Great Big Story

Best Of 2019, – BBC Click

Jan 7, 2020  BBC Click

The biggest tech stories and trends of 2019, including space travel, electric cars, 5G and the increased use by the police of facial recognition. Subscribe HERE https://bit.ly/1uNQEWR Find us online at www.bbc.com/click Twitter: @bbcclick Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBCClick

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Tim Peake Talks Life In Space – BBC Click

Dec 20, 2019  BBC Click

A longer cut of Spencer Kelly’s interview with British astronaut Tim Peake. Peake spent over 185 days in space as part of a mission for the European Space Agency. Subscribe HERE https://bit.ly/1uNQEWR Find us online at www.bbc.com/click Twitter: @bbcclick Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBCClick

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A 17-Story Dragon Climbs Thailand’s Pink 80-Meter Buddhist Temple

December 18, 2017  Kate Sierzputowski

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The Samphran district of Thailand holds one of the most unique Buddhist temples found in the country.  The bright pink temple, called Wat Samphran, stands 17-stories high and is wrapped in a scaly green dragon. The design of the structure came to the founder of the temple during a 7-day fasting meditation, and is built 80 meters tall to honor the number of years that Buddha lived.

Visitors can climb the great building and touch the dragon’s beard or large talons from an access point on the roof. You can get a 360 perspective on the gigantic temple in the Great Big Story video below.

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Ascend Thailand’s Temple of the Rising Dragon

Dec 13, 2017  Great Big Story

In the Samphran district of Thailand sits one of the country’s most spectacular Buddhist temples. Wat Samphran is a towering pink masterpiece scaling in at 80 meters high — an homage to the number of years Buddha lived. Known for the hollow dragon’s head that encircles the temple, visitors are welcome to ascend the 17-story superstructure to touch the dragon’s beard, or climb inside the belly of the beast. SUBSCRIBE: https://goo.gl/vR6Acb This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants. Got a story idea for us? Shoot us an email at hey [at] GreatBigStory [dot] com Follow us behind the scenes on Instagram: https://goo.gl/2KABeX Make our acquaintance on Facebook: https://goo.gl/Vn0XIZ Give us a shout on Twitter: https://goo.gl/sY1GLY Come hang with us on Vimeo: https://goo.gl/T0OzjV Visit our world directly: https://www.greatbigstory.com

Category   People & Blogs

Meticulous Detailed Carpets Drawn with Bic Pens by Jonathan Bréchignac

September 24, 2013  Christopher Jobson


Art director Jonathan Bréchignac of Paris-based design studio Joe & Nathan has been working on a series of drawn carpets using ballpoint Bic pens. The first four drawings were completed last year and were made to approximate the size of Muslim prayer carpets. Bréchignac says the various designs and patterns found in each piece were inspired by an amalgam of artistic forms and influences:

Painstakingly detailed, it explores different ways and patterns to create a unique whole with only a simple tool: the “Less is more” precept. The inspiration comes from different types of art (French roman, traditional Japanese, native American and Mexican) and also military camouflage and animal patterns. Together they create a mix of civilizations and religions bringing forth a new meaning to them.

A newer carpet, aptly titled Ultraviolet, was recently completed and will be on view at the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels through 2014. (via Juxtapoz, Yatzer)


Graphic Design

 Inspiration Grid: Surreal Digital Paintings by Cyril Rolando

Otherwordly Digital Paintings by Cyril Rolando

Published May 3, 2018

Cyril Rolando is a French psychologist that produces incredible digital art as a hobby “I like the universe of Tim Burton and Hayoa Miyazaki. I use Photoshop CS2 and a wacom intuos 4M graphic tablet.”

— Cyril Rolando

More digital paintings via Design You Trust

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PBS News: December 25 – 30, 2019, Mysterious death of White Helmets co-founder spotlights toxic propaganda, China: Power and Prosperity — Watch the full documentary

TED Talks: Cara E Yar Khan The beautiful balance between courage and fear, Katie Hinde What we don’t know about mother’s milk and  Kate Slabosky The three different  ways mammals give birth

WIRED UK: Shenzhen – The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary)

Scientific American: A Russian Ice Cap Is Collapsing–It Could Be a Warning

NASA’s Giant Leaps, Past and Future: Saluting Apollo Heroes and Looking Forward to Artemis Missions, SpaceX #CrewDragon Demonstration Flight Return to Earth

Thisiscolossal: Radically Diverse Australian Fungi Photographed by Steve Axford, Wildlife Intertwine in Finely Rendered Mythological Worlds by Lauren Marx, Unsettling Illustrations of Tangled Flora and Fauna Beings by Alex Kuno, and Wildlife Intertwine in Finely Rendered Mythological Worlds by Lauren Marx

EcoFarmVideo: Mushrooms, Mycology of Consciousness – Paul Stamets, EcoFarm Conference Keynote 2017,

PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 30. 2019

Dec 30, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Monday on the NewsHour, weekend attacks on Jewish and Christian congregations send shockwaves nationwide, reiterating fears of violence toward religious groups. Plus: The fallout from U.S. airstrikes on an Iran-backed militia group in Iraq, 2020 Democrats campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, Politics Monday with Susan Page and Domenico Montanaro and our Now Read This book club for December. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode December 29, 2019

Dec 29, 2019  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, December 2019, a suspect was arraigned in the stabbing attack that injured five people during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in New York. Also, NewsHour Weekend producers and reporters discuss some of their biggest stories in 2019. Karina Mitchell anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode December 28, 2019

Dec 28, 2019  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, December 28, a truck bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, killed at least 78 people and injured more than 120 others, and how winter storms across the southeast and plains are affecting travel this holiday weekend. Also, NewsHour Weekend producers and reporters reflect on some of their favorite stories from 2019. Karina Mitchell anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 27, 2019

Dec 27, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Friday on the NewsHour, how Iran is responding to internal pressure from mass protests and external pressure from U.S. sanctions. Plus: What the outcry over a new Indian citizenship law says about the country’s secular values, Mark Shields and David Brooks review the politics of 2019 and preview 2020 and a new film imagines the interactions between Popes Benedict and Francis. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 26, 2019

Dec 26, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Thursday on the NewsHour, how months of mass protest have contributed to political gridlock in Iraq. Plus: Why U.S. territories in the Caribbean are still recovering from 2017 hurricanes, Zimbabwe’s worsening food crisis, experimentation in the economics of development, a critically acclaimed memoir, rare J.M.W. Turner watercolors on display and a Brief But Spectacular take on Beach Boy life. WATCH TODAYS SEGMENTS News Wrap: Hong Kong protesters target shopping malls again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgbx2… Why Iraq has been unable to find a new prime minister https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHLX_… Why hurricane recovery in U.S. islands remains underfunded https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGPco… In Zimbabwe, 60 percent of the population is food insecure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rufQk… How these 2 Nobel winners are challenging popular economics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXFiT… Sarah Broom on ‘The Yellow House’ and New Orleans East https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtdAI… Watercolors of J.M.W. Turner make rare appearance in U.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3_J5… Mike Love’s Brief But Spectacular take on Beach Boy life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xoHa… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode December 25, 2019

Dec 25, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Wednesday on the NewsHour, as the year concludes, we examine what it told us about the problem of climate change — and how to address it. Plus: How foreign policy has evolved over the past decade, repairing Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire, late night TV with Lilly Singh, a conversation with “The Other Americans” author Laila Lalami and military musicians sing “Carol of the Bells.” Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

Mysterious death of White Helmets co-founder spotlights toxic propaganda

Dec 24, 2019  PBS NewsHour

A month after the suspicious death of White Helmets co-founder James Le Mesurier in Turkey, British officials are being urged to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. Friends and colleagues fear Le Mesurier may have been murdered or driven to suicide by a relentless campaign of character assassination. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports on how propaganda maligned him. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

After being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that deteriorates muscle, Cara E. Yar Khan was told she’d have to limit her career ambitions and dial down her dreams. She ignored that advice and instead continued to pursue her biggest ambitions. In this powerful, moving talk, she shares her philosophy for working on the projects that matter to her most — while letting courage and fear coexist. Watch for heart-stopping, vertigo-inducing footage of a trip that shows her living her theory to the full.

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Cara E. Yar Khan · Human rights and disability activist

Cara E. Yar Khan is an international human rights advocate promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities within all facets of society.

Breast milk grows babies’ bodies, fuels neurodevelopment, provides essential immunofactors and safeguards against famine and disease — why, then, does science know more about tomatoes than mother’s milk? Katie Hinde shares insights into this complex, life-giving substance and discusses the major gaps scientific research still needs to fill so we can better understand it.

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Katie Hinde · Lactation researcher

Katie Hinde is studying breast milk’s status as the first superfood, providing babies with invaluable microbes custom-tailored to their individual needs, via an incredible and unlikely dialogue between the mother’s enzymes and the baby’s saliva.

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All mammals share certain characteristics, like warm blood and backbones. But despite their similarities, these creatures also have many biological differences — and one of the most remarkable differences is how they give birth. Kate Slabosky details the placental, marsupial, and monotreme methods of giving birth. [Directed by Compote Collective, narrated by Julianna Zarzycki, music by Big Banda Soundscapers].

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Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) | Future Cities | WIRED

Jul 5, 2016  WIRED UK

Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen. Subscribe to WIRED?? https://po.st/SubscribeWired We examine the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west. The film looks at how the evolution of “Shanzhai” – or copycat manufacturing – has transformed traditional models of business, distribution and innovation, and asks what the rest of the world can learn from this so-called “Silicon Valley of hardware”. ABOUT FUTURE CITIES Future Cities is part of a new flagship documentary strand from WIRED Video that explores the technologies, trends and ideas that are changing our world. Subscribe to the WIRED YouTube channel to ensure you never miss an episode. HOLY LAND: STARTUP NATIONS (SERIES 2) Premiering in February, the second season of WIRED’s Future Cities series takes us inside one of the world’s biggest startup nations. With the most tech startups and venture capital per capita in the world, Israel has long been hailed as The Startup Nation. WIRED’s four-part series will look beyond Tel Aviv’s vibrant, liberal tech epicentre to the wider Holy Land region – the Palestinian territories, where a parallel Startup Nation story is emerging in East Jerusalem, Ramallah and the West Bank, as well as in the Israeli cybersecurity hub of Beersheba. And we will learn how the fertile innovation ecosystem of Silicon Wadi has evolved as a result of its unique political, geographical and cultural situation and explore the future challenges – and solutions – these nations are facing. CONNECT WITH WIRED Web: https://po.st/WiredVideo Twitter: https://po.st/TwitterWired Facebook: https://po.st/FacebookWired Google+: https://po.st/GoogleWired Instagram: https://po.st/InstagramWired Magazine: https://po.st/MagazineWired Newsletter: https://po.st/NewslettersWired ABOUT WIRED WIRED brings you the future as it happens – the people, the trends, the big ideas that will change our lives. An award-winning printed monthly and online publication. WIRED is an agenda-setting magazine offering brain food on a wide range of topics, from science, technology and business to pop-culture and politics.

Category   Science & Technology


A Russian Ice Cap Is Collapsing–It Could Be a Warning

A surge in glacial ice flow that created an “ice stream” is a concern for Greenland and Antarctica as well

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News on December 23, 2019

A Russian Ice Cap Is Collapsing--It Could Be a Warning

Vavilov ice cap, June 24, 2018. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

High in the Russian Arctic, in the chilly waters straddling the Kara and Laptev, an 84-billion-ton island ice cap is projectile vomiting into the sea. Scientists say it could hold useful clues about what to expect as the world continues to warm.

The Vavilov Ice Cap, nestled in Russia’s Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, suddenly started to surge forward in 2013. This is not an uncommon event for glaciers — every so often, pressure will build up behind the ice and cause it to temporarily slip forward. These surge events can last anywhere from a few months to a year or more, and they’ll typically stabilize on their own.

But in 2015 — two years after the surge started — the Vavilov Ice Cap was still going. By then, it was moving faster than ever, flowing forward at a rate of about 26 meters per day and dumping 4.5 billion tons of ice into the sea over the course of a single year.

In total, Vavilov has lost about 9.5 billion tons of ice in the last six years.

Scientists monitoring the ice cap’s progress say it’s moved beyond a simple glacial surge. The rush of ice seems to have transitioned into a phenomenon known as an “ice stream,” a long-lasting, fast-moving flow of ice out of the glacier and into the surrounding landscape — or, in this case, the sea.

Scientists know ice streams exist in frozen places around the world, including the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. But according to a new paper describing the events at Vavilov, this is the first time researchers have documented an ice stream’s formation from the very beginning.

Now that they’ve seen how it happens, the researchers say their observations may hold clues about the future of the world’s glaciers as global temperatures rise.

“Now we know these ice caps could be more unstable” than previously believed, said lead study author Whyjay Zheng, a doctoral student at Cornell University. “We may possibly have to revise our future sea-level rise, considering this.”

Even when they appear to be stationary, glaciers are typically flowing forward — just so slowly it’s barely noticeable. There’s a reason for the phrase “moving at a glacial pace.” Until 2013, Vavilov Ice Cap was likely inching forward at an imperceptible rate.

The researchers believe the ice first began to surge when it pushed past a mound of sediment on the landscape that had previously served as a barrier holding it back. When this happened, it slid onto a smoother patch of bedrock and slipped forward.

“You used to have a gate that constrained the ice, and then you lose this gate,” Zheng said. “So all of this ice at a higher place just collapsed down into the ocean.”

The Vavilov ice cap is on a Russian island in the Arctic Ocean. Photo credit: NASA

Over time, as the movement of the ice accelerated, the scientists began to observe physical features that suggested the flow had morphed into an ice stream. Rifts and crevasses began to appear on the landscape around the moving ice, which showed up as dark stripes on satellite images. These cracks are typical features of ice streams.

While warming didn’t necessarily cause the initial surge, the researchers believe rising temperatures may be partly influencing the flow of ice, now that it’s on the move. During hotter summers — including unusually warm years in 2015 and 2018 — the researchers observed that the ice tended to flow even faster, slowing down again when the temperatures cool.

The scientists haven’t proved the temperatures are causing the faster ice flow, but they suspect there’s a connection. If so, it could mean even faster losses at Vavilov Ice Cap as the region warms.

Perhaps more importantly, the ice cap’s behavior has given scientists useful insight into the factors that cause ice streams to form in the first place. In Vavilov’s case, a shift in the bedrock beneath the ice seems to have been a key component. Afterward, faster ice flow seems to have helped the initial surge transform into a long-lasting, possibly permanent ice stream.

Scientists believe the much larger Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets may be vulnerable to these kinds of processes as temperatures rise.

Ocean-facing glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are often stabilized by thick ledges of ice, or ice shelves, jutting out into the sea. A theory known as “marine ice sheet instability” suggests that as ice shelves melt and weaken, glaciers may begin to slip backward along the bedrock beneath them, pouring ice into the ocean at faster speeds. Eventually, they may give way to unstoppable losses, which may empty entire glaciers into the sea.

While Vavilov is a comparatively tiny patch of ice, it’s demonstrated similar processes in action, the researchers say. A stabilizing barrier broke down and allowed the ice to surge forward. The ice never stabilized, and it’s now become a fast-flowing ice stream.

What this means for the future of the Vavilov Ice Cap remains uncertain. It’s still too early to tell whether the stream will slow down again — or, in a worst case scenario, eventually drain the ice cap from the face of the island.

“One thing we have to do is to continue to monitor this place,” Zheng said. “Maybe for 10 more years or so.”

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.


Chelsea Harvey

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China: Power and Prosperity — Watch the full documentary

Nov 22, 2019  PBS NewsHour

As China has risen in prosperity, influence and military strength, what are the social, economic and political forces at play? Come along with PBS NewsHour as we travel around the globe to explore the emerging superpower and its relationship with the United States. “China: Power and Prosperity” covers the country’s powerful leader, his signature foreign policy, U.S.-China trade and technology wars, how Chinese technology helps stifle dissent, and more. A collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, PBS NewsHour conducted more than 70 on-camera interviews in eight Chinese cities and across eight countries. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

NASA’s Giant Leaps, Past and Future: Saluting Apollo Heroes and Looking Forward to Artemis Missions,

Streamed live on Jul 19, 2019  NASA

Fifty years ago, humans took their first steps on the Moon and the world watched as we made history. On July 19, 2019, we broadcast this live salute to our #Apollo50th heroes and looked forward to our next giant leap for future #Artemis missions to the Moon and Mars.

Category   Science & Technology

SpaceX #CrewDragon Demonstration Flight Return to Earth

Streamed live on Mar 8, 2019  NASA

Join us starting at 7:30 a.m. EST to see SpaceX’s #CrewDragon on its journey back to Earth, including its deorbit burn and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

Category   Science & Technology

Radically Diverse Australian Fungi Photographed by Steve Axford

May 27, 2015  Christopher Jobson


Photographer Steve Axford (previously) continues his quest to document some of the world’s most obscure fungi found in locations around Australia. Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard to make some of the discoveries you see here. The forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he prefers to document seem to have no limit in their diverse characteristics. Axford explained when we first featured his work last year that he suspects many of the tropical species he stumbles onto are often completely undocumented. You can follow more of Axford’s discoveries on Flickr and SmugMug.


Mushrooms, Mycology of Consciousness – Paul Stamets, EcoFarm Conference Keynote 2017

Feb 16, 2017  EcoFarmVideo

EcoFarm Conference “Mycodiversity is our biosecurity. Let’s celebrate decomposition. Let’s let it rot.” Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi habitat, medicinal use, and production. He lectures extensively to deepen your understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep you take on this path of life. His presentations cover a range of mushroom species and research showing how mushrooms can help the health of people and planet. His central premise is that habitats have immune systems, just like people, and mushrooms are cellular bridges between the two. Our close evolutionary relationship to fungi can be the basis for novel pairings in the microbiome that lead to greater sustainability and immune enhancement. www.eco-farm.org

Category  Nonprofits & Activism

Unsettling Illustrations of Tangled Flora and Fauna Beings by Alex Kuno

March 8, 2017  Christopher Jobson

Minneapolis-based artist Alex Kuno imagines a world of twisted organic beings that borrow elements of plant life, anatomy, and the natural world. The artist admits that his illustrations are likely to creep some people out, but purposefully includes ideas that highlight life and growth, creating a dichotomy of revulsion and delight as the viewer carefully untangles each artwork. The mixed-media drawings are made primarily using ink, watercolor, graphite and chalk. You can see more of Kuno’s artwork on Instagram and limited edition prints are available in his shop. (via Booooooom)

Wildlife Intertwine in Finely Rendered Mythological Worlds by Lauren Marx

December 11, 2019  Laura Staugaitis

“Offerings” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen and colored pencil on paper. 26.75 x 42.5 inches

Sinuous, intertwined wildlife bridge worlds of the living and the dead in Lauren Marx’s intricate multi- media work. Twisting fox heads, disemboweled deer, and lambs bursting with flowers and birds are rendered with watercolor, ink, pen, and colored pencil. Marx often places her animal compositions on semi-abstract backgrounds, awash with grey tones that give a sense of weightlessness to the dense drawings by evoking fog or clouds.

The artist, who resides in her hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, cites frequent trips to the Saint Louis Zoo, biology classes, and National Geographic television shows as cultivating her lifelong interest in animals. Her latest body of work debuts December 14, 2019, at Corey Helford Gallery. The show, titled Chimera, is an evolution from her previous pieces, combining multiple animals into each artwork to combine their symbolic meanings.

“From Our Flesh” diptych (2015), Pen, ink, colored pencil, graphite, and gel pen, 17.75 x 10 inches

Chimera further explores my concepts of fauna representations of emotions, personal mental health, family, and self,” Marx shares in a statement. “I am creating a mythological world, centered around North American flora and fauna, to better expresses my image of who I am, how I am perceived, my struggles with mental health, and to explore self-healing.”

Marx studied Fine Art at Webster University and draws inspiration from zoology, mythology, scientific illustration, and Northern Renaissance themes. The artist shares with Colossal that in 2020 she wants to continue to challenge herself technically and conceptually, and that works in the Chimera show brought her practice to new levels in terms of scale and complexity.

See Chimera through January 18, 2020, at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and explore more of Marx’s intricate illustrative artwork on Instagram. The artist also offers prints and stickers on Etsy.

“Honey” (2019) Pen, watercolor, ink gel pen, gouache and colored pencil on mixed media paper, 31 x 37.25 inches

“Self-inflicted” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, and gel pen on paper, 20 x 20 inches

“Nested Fawn” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen, gouache, and colored pencil on mixed media paper, 25.75 x 40 inches

“The First” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, and gel pen on paper, 20 x 24 inches

“Snake-Bird” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen and colored pencil on mixed media paper 20 x 38 inches

“The Second” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, gel pen, and acrylic on paper, 20 x 24 inches

“Lovely” (2018), Pen, watercolor, ink, colored pencil, gel pen, and graphite on paper, 17.5 x 22 inches 

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PBS News, BBC Click, TED Talks, Elian Silverman and Scientific American

PBS News: November 22-25,2019, How these 2 economists are using randomized trials to solve global poverty, Is the distinction between migrant and refugee meaningful?, and Winslow Homer’s long love affair with the sea,

BBC Click: What’s The Impact Of 5G?

TED Talks: Daniel Bogre Udell How to save a language from extinction?, Jimmy Nelson Gorgeous portraits of the world’s vanishing people,

Elian Silverman: Photo gallery: Stunning images of indigenous peoples in their traditional splendor

Scientific American: Can Scientists Predict Fire Tornadoes?  

PBS NewsHour full episode November 25, 2019

Nov 25, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Monday on the NewsHour, Hong Kong voters deliver a stunning rebuke to Beijing in the first election since protests began months ago. Plus: President Trump clashes with military leadership over a Navy SEAL, Politics Monday with Amy Walter and Tamara Keith, Italy’s falling birthrate drives rising anxiety, David Rubeinstein on America’s story and art brings joy to people with Alzheimer’s disease. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS: News Wrap: Judge rules McGahn must testify to Congress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlKk5… How will Beijing respond to Hong Kong election results? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r0BC… The fallout from Trump’s intervention in Navy SEAL case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uiZb… Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on impeachment polls, Bloomberg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igLPJ… In Italy, rising anxiety over falling birth rates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYYzT… David Rubenstein on what history can teach our politicians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VNhf… How art can help people with Alzheimer’s enjoy the moment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW-3j… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode November 24, 2019

Nov 24, 2019 BS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, November 24, the latest on the impeachment inquiry, Michael Bloomberg officially enters the 2020 presidential race, a look a racial bias in algorithms used by hospitals, and reenacting the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history more than two centuries later. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6 Follow us: Facebook: https://www.pbs.org/newshour Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/newshour Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/newshour Snapchat: @pbsnews Subscribe: PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts Newsletters: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/subscribe

Category   News & Politics

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode November 23, 2019

Nov 23, 2019  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, November 23, a look ahead at the next steps in the impeachment inquiry, Minneapolis eliminates single-family zoning as it searches for a solution to its housing crisis, and the Navy secretary downplays reports he may resign. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

PBS NewsHour full episode November 22, 2019

Nov 22, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Friday on the NewsHour, the week’s impeachment hearings are over, but analysis of their impact continues. Plus: The significance of Hong Kong’s upcoming election, countering the dangers of vaping through public policy, political analysis with Mark Shields and David Brooks, a Brief But Spectacular take on women in comedy and a preview of a movie about beloved children’s entertainer Mister Rogers. WATCH TODAY’S SEGMENTS: News Wrap: DOJ says political bias didn’t alter Russia probe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFr1P… What happens next in the impeachment inquiry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQPFZ… Will Trump take action on medical crisis of youth vaping? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz4Uw… Shields and Brooks on impeachment hearing revelations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkE0F… Amid protests, Hong Kong’s interest in local elections soars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5Btj… A Brief But Spectacular take on women in late-night comedy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJrfd… Honoring Mister Rogers with a film starring Tom Hanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNz-t… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

How these 2 economists are using randomized trials to solve global poverty

Nov 21, 2019  PBS NewsHour

More than 700 million people across the globe live on extremely low wages. This year, a trio of economists won the Nobel Prize for their work on addressing global poverty, using randomized control trials to test and improve social policy. Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to two of those winners, husband-and-wife duo Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, about their work. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

Is the distinction between migrant and refugee meaningful?

Nov 18, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Under President Trump, American immigration policy has been in the spotlight. While Trump may talk the most about stopping illegal entry into the U.S., he is also taking action to reduce the volume of legal migrants the country accepts as refugees. But what makes one immigrant a refugee and another simply a migrant? Writer Dina Nayeri offers her humble opinion questioning that distinction. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

Winslow Homer’s long love affair with the sea

Nov 18, 2019   PBS NewsHour

Renowned 19th century American artist Winslow Homer began his journey in marine painting with a trip to Europe, following his well-known work documenting the frontlines of the Civil War as an illustrator. But it was back in the U.S., and specifically on the shores of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where Homer became “enchanted” with land, sea and sky. Jared Bowen of PBS station WGBH in Boston reports. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6

What’s The Impact Of 5G? – BBC Click

•Nov 15, 2019  BBC Click

Click investigates whether 5G networks could damage our health as some fear, and whether 5G might take our weather forecasting ability back to the 1980s? Subscribe HERE https://bit.ly/1uNQEWR Find us online at www.bbc.com/click Twitter: @bbcclick Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBCClick

Category   Science & Technology

As many as 3,000 languages could disappear within the next 80 years, all but silencing entire cultures. In this quick talk, language activist Daniel Bögre Udell shows how people around the world are finding new ways to revive ancestral languages and rebuild their traditions — and encourages us all to investigate the tongues of our ancestors. “Reclaiming your language and embracing your culture is a powerful way to be yourself,” he says.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

About the speaker

Daniel Bögre Udell · Language activist

Daniel Bögre Udell is the cofounder and director of Wikitongues, working with a global network of grassroots linguists to build a seed bank of every language in the world.

Take Action


Contribute a video of your language to the Wikitongues seed bank.

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Donate to Wikitongues and help safeguard linguistic diversity.

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TED Residency | May 2019

When Jimmy Nelson traveled to Siberia to photograph the Chukchi people, elders told him: “You cannot photograph us. You have to wait, you have to wait until you get to know us, you have to wait until you understand us.” In this gorgeously photo-filled talk, join Nelson’s quest to understand — the world, other people, himself — by making astonishing portraits of the world’s vanishing tribes and cultures.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

About the speaker

Jimmy Nelson · Last tribes photographer

Jimmy Nelson’s photographs of vanishing tribes illuminate the indigenous cultures of our shared world.

More Resources  book

Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson

teNeues (2013)

Take Action  join

Support the effort to protect the homes of indigenous people who live in the rainforest.

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TEDGlobal 2014 | October 2014


Jimmy Nelson’s photographs of vanishing tribes illuminate the indigenous cultures of our shared world.

Why you should listen

In his quest to photograph endangered cultures, Jimmy Nelson has endured Kalishnikov-toting Banna tribesmen, subzero reindeer attacks, and thousands of miles of hard travel. With a blend of humility and humor, Nelson won the trust of each of his subjects, using an antique plate camera to create stunning portraits of 35 indigenous tribes.

The result is Before They Pass Away, a photo treasury that Nelson hopes will not only help preserve the lifestyles of people the world over, but also perhaps inspire readers in the developed world to ponder their own connections with their ancestral environments.

What others say

“There is a pure beauty in their goals and family ties, their belief in gods and nature, and their will to do the right thing in order to be taken care of when their time comes. Whether in Papua New Guinea or in Kazakhstan, in Ethiopia or in Siberia, tribes are the last resorts of natural authenticity.” — beforethey.com

Jimmy Nelson’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Jimmy Nelson

Arts + Design

Photo gallery: Stunning images of indigenous peoples in their traditional splendor

December 7, 2018

Jimmy Nelson has gone all over the earth to photograph native peoples at their proudest moments and to show you their soul.

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Live from TEDGlobal

Through the looking glass: A recap of session 8 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 9, 2014

In this session, “Lenses,” speakers look through cameras and new lenses — at subjects from the very, very big to the very, very small to the very, very far away. Wendy Freedman talks about a remote location in the Andes, far from the lights of civilization, where the stars can be seen clearly with the naked eye. In that location, […]

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Live from TEDGlobal

Lenses: A sneak peek of session 8 at TEDGlobal 2014

October 9, 2014

Lenses allow us to look at far away worlds and to examine our own more closely. In this session hidden social and scientific fabrics will be amplified by several orders of magnitude, bringing us a richer and more vibrant experience than the naked eye can see on its own. The speakers who’ll appear in this […]

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Photo gallery: Stunning images of indigenous peoples in their traditional splendor

Dec 7, 2018 / Elian Silverman

Jimmy Nelson has gone all over the earth to photograph native peoples at their proudest moments and to show you their soul.

“This is us at our best” — that’s the caption that could hover over these images from Dutch photographer Jimmy Nelson (TED talk: Gorgeous portraits of the world’s vanishing people), who works to put the world’s peoples and their rich traditions front and center in his pictures.

“I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world who looks like us or does things the way we do,” says Mucathalepa Tchombo, a 32-year-old Muchimba woman from southwestern Africa, and one of the subjects of Nelson’s work. “I’m very proud of my culture, but the world is changing fast, and we’re part of that too.”

Nelson is keenly aware that customs can vanish in a flash. To document them before they do, he spends months immersing himself in remote communities, connecting with people and really learning about their lives. Later, he returns to share the finished pictures with them. “In some cases, I’m not the first person to have photographed them,” he says. “But, in most cases, I’m the first to return and show them the imagery.”

While Nelson’s images are undeniably beautiful, some critics have accused him of perpetuating stereotypes and “othering” his subjects. But he disagrees. “I think a lot of judgement is based on fear,” he says. “And that’s the antithesis of my project — it’s about trying to break down those barriers and bring the people closer to you.”

Nelson’s new book, Jimmy Nelson: Homage to Humanity, is his latest attempt to showcase the pride, strength and resilience of the people he has come to know; all shown, as he puts it, “standing at their most proud.” The book’s smartphone app lets viewers access 360-degree images and videos, letting readers feel as if they are witnessing these rituals firsthand. “The idea is that the whole world can get access to what’s going on behind the pictures, see who these people really are, and dispel myths about them,” he says. “I want to show you the soul of these people.”

The Huli people, Papua New Guinea

The Huli are believed to have laid down roots in Papua New Guinea as far back as 45,000 years ago. The people shown are from the town of Tari, and many still live according to the traditional ways. “The Huli men are famous for their unique custom of creating and wearing impressive wigs decorated with feathers. They also wear bright facial paint in red, yellow and white — colors originally chosen to strike fear into their enemy in times of conflict,” says Nelson. “Nowadays, they usually wear them to sing and dance.”

The so-called Wigmen make their wigs out of their own hair — yes, that’s right — and weave them with feathers from the island’s 700 bird species. Each feather carries its own symbolic meaning (such as strength and courage). The Huli who participated in Nelson’s photographs did so in the hopes that their portraits will inspire their youth to follow in their elders’ footsteps. But they also want their images to reach people outside their community.

“The forest in which we live is essential to us. It provides for all our needs, it is sacred, and I would do anything in my power to protect it,” writes Mundiya Kepanga, a 53-year-old Huli Wigman, in the foreword to Homage to Humanity. “I hope that by helping people to better understand my culture, they will also respect our environment.”


The Dolgan people, Siberia

The nomadic Dolgans roam one of the coldest regions on earth, the tundra of the northern Anabar Republic of Yakutia in Siberia. On a particularly brutal day, the temperature may drop to -76 degrees Fahrenheit. “Dolgan means ‘people who live close to water’ — or, in this case, ice. They live on icy white plains that stretch out as far as the eye can see,” says Nelson.

The herders move every few days to find enough lichen for their reindeer to eat. For maximum efficiency, the Dolgan put everything they need to carry with them — including their homes, which are called balok — on skis. They travel with more than 1,500 animals, including packs of herding dogs and herds of reindeer.

“We Dolgan have been the envy of many people. During perestroika in the 1990s, the reindeer herders were the only ones who were well-fed because the tundra always keeps providing,” says Roman Dimitruvik Tupirin, a 44-year-old Dolgan who was interviewed by Nelson and his team. “Now we’re fearful of losing our connection to nature because people are coming here to hunt for diamonds and oil.”


The Ngalop people, Bhutan

Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion in Bhutan — an estimated two-thirds to three-quarters of the population are adherents — so the Ngalop people hold a special place in their country. “Ngalop means ‘the first risen,’ and they are known as the people who brought Tibetan Buddhism to Bhutan when they migrated there in the ninth century,” says Nelson. The Ngalop live mainly in the northwest region of the country.

Shown are a group of Ngalop masked dancers. Symbolizing different deities, demons and animals, the masks are used when the Ngalop act out spiritual stories from their collective past. In this photo, they’re dressed for the annual Tshechu festival. “Religious gatherings such as the Tschechu festival are an important way to promote and share cultural heritage between the people from remote villages,” Nelson says. The temple complex seen on the left-hand side of the image is Paro Takstang or “The Tiger’s Nest.” Located more than 10,000 feet above sea level, it is is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan.


The Marquesan people, the Marquesas Islands, Polynesia

When Captain Cook and his crew arrived at the Marquesas Islands — a volcanic chain in the southern Pacific — in the late 1700s, they were struck by the appearance of the inhabitants. A crew member said they were “the most beautiful … people I ever beheld.” Unfortunately, Cook and co. (and subsequent European settlers) ended up bringing disease and conflict to the people they so admired. In a matter of years, the Marquesan population shrunk from 80,000 to 2,000 — today, the population of the 15 islands totals just over 9,000 people.

“The native inhabitants are known in the local language as Enanaa, meaning ‘people,’” says Nelson. “Traditionally, Marquesans wore clothing made of leaves and grasses that were decorated with animal teeth and beads. Today, their skirts are more likely to be made of cloth.”

Historically, Enanaa had no written alphabet, so tattoos are an important part of their identities. Shapes and symbols enable people to communicate their status and their genealogy. After a child is born, parents start saving money — by raising pigs and growing crops — to pay for their child’s tattoos in adulthood. Getting inked isn’t just a young person’s game; it’s a lifelong pursuit. Subsequent tattoos are earned as people accrue wealth and achieve higher status in their community. Today, even though many Marquesans speak and write French, tattoos are still an important part of their culture.


The Q’ero people, Peru

The Inca empire is believed to be the largest pre-European civilization in the Americas, numbering some 10 million. The Q’ero, shown here, are thought to be direct descendants of the Inca, and their 2,000 members live in and around the community of Qochamoqo, located in eastern Peru and perched over 14,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains.

Considered part of the Quechua population group — with whom they share a language — “the Q’ero are one of the most isolated Andean communities, moving with the seasons to live and work at various altitudes, growing potatoes, corn and bamboo,” says Nelson. “They are known for their weaving techniques, with which they make the colorful unkuña carrying cloths.” The cloth is made from a blend of alpaca, sheep and llama wool, and the fabrics’ designs communicate their people’s history and mythology.

Some of the Q’ero’s other traditions aren’t as visible. “We still believe there should always be equal exchange, a sacred reciprocity we call ayni: I do something for you today; you do something for me tomorrow,” says Fredy Flores Machacca, 30, the youngest-ever president of the Q’ero nation, to Nelson. Added Machacca, “We Q’eros live close to nature and we sleep close to the earth. I want to protect it like it protects us. That is ayni.”


The Muchimba people, Angola/Namibia

In recent times, the Kaokoveld Plateau in southern Africa has become known for rare minerals such as shattuckite and dioptase. Yet the culture of its native inhabitants — which includes the semi-nomadic Muchimba people — is similarly rich. They spend much of their time along the Cunene River, which is an important resource for them and their herds of cattle and goats, and live in dome-shaped houses made from sticks, clay, straw and cow dung.

Since water is so scarce, the Muchimba reserve it for livestock. To keep clean, says Nelson, “the women cover their skin and hair in a mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment known as otjize, which also protects them from the sun.” Additional bonus: Otjize acts as a moisturizer and insect repellant, too. Only the women wear it — not the men — and they use it in their hair as well. “We rub the wet [ochre] paste into our hair to make long braids. A few times a year, we wash it all out and redo it,” Mucathalepa Tchombo, a Muchimba woman, tells Nelson. “If there’s a special occasion coming up, we put on more ochre. It’s a kind of makeup.

The Kazakh people, Mongolia

Dalaikhan Boskay, the man shown here, is an eagle hunter and one of the Kazakhs, the largest ethnic minority group in Mongolia. The term doesn’t mean that he hunts down eagles; rather, he hunts red foxes, rabbits and wolves withthe assistance of these powerful birds of prey. His thick coat and hat are made from animal hides, fur and felt; whenever a Kazakh hunts and kills an animal, they are careful to use every piece of it — for utility and as a sign of respect to the creature.

The Kazakhs, who live in northwestern Mongolia, rely primarily on golden eagles. And while this kind of falconry was once the domain of men, the thousands-year-old tradition is open to change — women, girls and boys are now taking it up. People start training their eagles as fledglings, so human and bird develop an intense bond. “Hunters usually keep their eagles for around 10 years, which is about a third of their lifespan. We can feel when it’s time to give them back to the wild,” Boskay tells Nelson. “We only use female eagles, and it’s important to release them so they can have offspring and keep the natural balance.”


The Miao people, China

The mountainous province of Guizhou in southwest China is home to more than 50 minority groups. However, few of them still follow traditional customs, but among those who do are the Miao people (sometimes called the Hmong or Guizhou people). But the 7 million-strong Miao are not all the same — they’re split among distinct groups.

Shown is an 11-year-old girl, who is one of the Longhorn Miao. “They’re named for their impressive headpieces, which were originally made from the hair of their ancestors in order to keep them close,” says Nelson. “Nowadays most headpieces are made of wool. Their shape is derived from the oxen and water buffalo that play such an important part in their agricultural life.” To form that distinctive shape, wool is wrapped around a horn-shaped wooden comb. The headpieces are worn by the Miao during their spiritual rituals. Most Miao people are animists and believe that rocks, trees, rivers and human creations all possess their own spirits.

Watch Jimmy Nelson’s TED talk here:

About the author

Elian Silverman is a writer based in New York City who covers science and technology.


Can Scientists Predict Fire Tornadoes?  

Inside the effort to understand wildfire season’s scariest phenomena

December 1, 2019

AUTHOR   Jason M. Forthofer

Jason M. Forthofer is a firefighter and mechanical engineer at the U.S. Forest Service’s Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana. His research involves field, laboratory and computational studies of heat transfer and fluid flow related to wildland fires. Credit: Nick Higgins

In Brief

  • Fire tornadoes, vortices of fire with tornadolike wind speeds, are exceedingly rare but deadly. The Carr Fire tornado near Redding, Calif., killed up to four people.
  • Apart from fire itself, generation of a fire tornado requires a source of rotation in the atmosphere. The fire can concentrate this vorticity into a spinning tube of air and stand it up.
  • Scientists understand the physics of fire tornadoes rather well, but they cannot yet predict when and where one might appear.

As the plane began its descent into Medford, we dropped into the blanket of smoke that covered southwestern Oregon and northern California. It was late July 2018, and several major fires were burning in the region. I was en route to join a Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) team investigating a fatal incident that had taken place two days earlier. What the group leader told me over the phone had sent chills up my spine: “A firefighter has been killed in a fire tornado. His vehicle was thrown hundreds of feet across the ground.”

I, perhaps more than anyone, had known that this might happen someday. Ten years earlier I had gotten my first look at the aftermath of a fire tornado. The object, almost 1,000 feet in diameter, had moved out of the Indians Fire in California and overrun a group of firefighters. So strong was the wind that trying to get to safety felt like running through chest-deep water, one of the survivors told me. Fortunately, the men were standing on a paved two-lane highway, which probably saved their lives: had they been even 10 feet away and among the trees and grass, they would have died. When I reached the site, massive oak branches lay all around, and the ground had been scoured of pebbles.

The scene left me impressed and worried. A fire tornado could evidently harm firefighters taking refuge in areas usually thought to be safe. It had been a close call. Many of us had seen fire whirls, dust-devil-sized rotating columns of fire, and did not regard them as particularly dangerous. In contrast, fire tornadoes—which combine the destructive power of fire with that of winds as ferocious as in an actual tornado—were so rare as to be almost mythical. Even I, a firefighter since 1996 and a fire-behavior researcher for eight years, had heard of only one, from a story a veteran firefighter told me.

On returning to my home base at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana, I conducted a literature survey. It turned up reports, most rather sketchy, of several fire tornadoes that had occurred around the world in the near and distant past. So scant was the information on the subject that scientists did not even agree on what qualified as a fire tornado. Massive forest fires can generate so-called pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) clouds at high altitudes. These are ice-capped thunderclouds that condense from the moisture released above a fire—from the vegetation it consumed, from the water vapor in the atmosphere and as a by-product of combustion itself. A few researchers held that only those fire vortices that connect to overhead pyroCb clouds are true fire tornadoes. By that definition, only one had ever been documented, in a 2003 firestorm near Canberra, Australia. It had left a damage path almost 15 miles long.

That framework seemed far too restrictive to be of much use to firefighters, however. Using the working definition of a fire tornado as a fire whirl with tornadolike wind speeds, my colleague Bret Butler and I had gathered up whatever documentation we could find and consolidated it into firefighter-training manuals and classes. But now I found myself driving south toward the Carr Fire just outside Redding, Calif., to investigate the death of a firefighter in a fire tornado—a tragedy I had long sought to avert.

The Carr Fire Tornado

The site looked like a war zone. Neither the famous tornado researcher Josh Wurman, whom I had recruited for the investigation, nor I had ever seen anything like this. Entire blocks of homes had been leveled, with only the foundations remaining. Roofing and other debris littered the area, and vehicles had been rolled multiple times over the ground. Trees were uprooted or broken off, and flying particles of sand and rock had stripped them of their bark. Three power-line towers built of metal lattice, each roughly 100 feet tall, had been blown down, with one of them having been lifted off its base and carried 1,000 feet through the air. A 40-foot shipping container had been torn apart, and a steel pipe was wrapped around downed power poles.

We estimated that the winds could have reached 165 miles per hour, a speed that occurs in class 3 tornadoes on the Enhanced Fujita scale. (This scale rates tornadoes on a scale ranging from 0 to 5, with 5 indicating the fastest and most destructive winds.) In California, only two regular tornadoes of this strength had ever been recorded. Peak temperatures of the burning gases inside the fire tornado may have reached almost 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The object was more than 1,000 feet wide at its base and, according to radar imagery, three miles high. It lasted for at least 40 minutes, during which time it moved slowly across the ground, leaving a path of destruction nearly a mile long.

Burning boards arranged in a rough triangle allow air to swirl into the central area, where another fire gathers the rotation into a vortex. Forest or urban fires of certain shapes can similarly generate fire tornadoes. Credit: Spencer Lowell

Our team interviewed witnesses and collected video evidence in the hope of learning from the event. The fire tornado occurred on the evening of July 26, 2018, in the course of a forest fire covering thousands of acres northwest of Redding. So extensive and intense was the fire that it generated pyroCb clouds at altitudes higher than three miles. Suddenly, at around 5:30 P.M., the flames raced eastward, killing firefighting bulldozer operator Don Smith, as well as a civilian in his home. As the wildfire neared the outskirts of Redding, it spawned a number of fire whirls and threw embers more than a mile ahead of the fire and across the Sacramento River. These started several “spot,” or small, isolated fires near two subdivisions at the end of a dead-end road. An extremely chaotic scene unfolded as firefighters tried to evacuate homeowners and save houses even as their escape route was being cut off. People were literally running for their lives.

Redding firefighter Jeremy Stoke headed to the scene to help. Just as he was arriving, at about 7:30 P.M., the fire tornado formed over the road, trapping residents and firefighters at the subdivisions. It apparently caught Stoke on the road. He transmitted a mayday call on his radio before powerful winds rolled his truck multiple times; it eventually came to rest against a tree hundreds of feet away. Stoke was found hours later, dead from traumatic injuries.

Two Cal Fire vehicles being driven down the road had most of their windows blown out and were battered by flying debris. Strangely, one of the trucks was damaged mostly on the driver’s side and the other on the passenger side—even though they were only 150 feet apart and facing the same direction—indicating the rotating motion of the air. The occupants huddled on the floorboards to save themselves from projectiles. Three nearby bulldozers also had their windows blown out, with one operator getting glass in his eye and another receiving serious burns to his hands. A retired police officer who was driving out realized his truck bed was on fire and pulled over; he survived but sustained burns to his airways. Most tragically, on the outer edge of the revolving inferno two children and their great-grandmother perished inside their burned home.

In the Laboratory

What can we learn from an event like this? Can we predict when and where a fire tornado will occur so that we can evacuate residents and firefighters? What causes fire tornadoes? A first step toward answering these questions is to look back in history. In 1871 a town in Wisconsin was devastated by what was probably a fire tornado, judging by the massive amount of debris—which included a house—thrown around. In 1964 the Polo Fire in California spawned one that injured four people and destroyed two homes, a barn, three cars and an avocado orchard. One of the most horrific occurred during the World War II incendiary bombing of Hamburg, Germany: the resulting firestorm generated a fire tornado that, according to geographer Charles Ebert, was up to two miles wide and three miles tall. More than 40,000 civilians died in the conflagration.

Credit: Bryan Christie Design

This is what a lethal fire tornado looks like

Nov 21, 2019  Scientific American

Fire tornadoes are terrifying forces of nature. They’re rare, but as wildfires become bigger and more frequent, they may grow more common. Thankfully, scientists are getting closer to predicting when and where these lethal vortices will appear. Read the full story this hellish phenomenon: https://bit.ly/2O4xJIK

Category  Science & Technology

In 1923 a major earthquake sparked an urban fire in Tokyo. As it spread from building to building, residents evacuated to an open area between the structures. A large fire tornado formed over this area, killing an estimated 38,000 people in 15 minutes. For more than half a century the accepted explanation for this terrible event was that a regular tornado happened to form at the exact same time and location as the fire. But in the 1980s and 1990s engineers S. Soma and K. Saito of the University of Kentucky used historical records to construct a small-scale model of the actual fire, painstakingly reproducing its geometry and ambient winds. Their laboratory fire generated a vortex—proving that the original one was not a coincidence but was caused by the fire itself.

This research built on pioneering lab work conducted two decades earlier, when George Byram and Robert Martin of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station created small fire whirls at their facility in Macon, Ga. Their apparatus consisted of a small circular pool of burning alcohol surrounded by cylindrical walls with vertical slits, which forced drafts into the fire to enter in a rotating motion. Significantly, the resulting fire whirl caused the fuel to burn—and its energy to be released—up to three times faster than in a nonrotating fire. The rotating wind appears to have increased the rate of burning by pushing the flames down toward the surface of the alcohol, heating it up. Subsequent research has found the energy-release rate to be enhanced by up to seven times in such fires.

Something similar occurs in wildfire whirls and fire tornadoes. A heated piece of wood generates hundreds of different flammable gases, the further combustion of which yields flames. The strong horizontal, rotating winds in the fire tornado can force the flames down into the vegetation, causing it to burn more fiercely.

In 1967 Howard Emmons and Shuh-Jing Ying of Harvard University surrounded a stationary lab fire with a cylindrical wire screen that could be spun at various speeds, imparting rotation to the air flowing into the flames. The researchers measured the wind velocity and temperature distribution of the fire whirl thus generated, getting a glimpse into its inner workings. They found that, apart from fire itself, the formation of such a vortex requires a source of rotation and a mechanism to intensify it.

A fire tornado has essentially the same hydrodynamics. Significant vorticity often exists in the atmosphere—generated by wind curling around mountains or dragging along the ground or by variations in density and pressure. The fire itself carries out two other crucial functions: it concentrates the rotation and stands it up, so that a tight tube of air ends up spinning around a vertical axis.

First the hot air rising above the fire pulls in replacement air at the base, thereby gathering rotating air from the surroundings. Some of the vorticity might originally be around a horizontal axis, but once air is sucked up into the fire plume, its hot, buoyant upward stream causes the axis to tilt to a vertical orientation. Second, although the upwardly moving air starts out slow when it is near the ground, it heats up as the gases in it burn. The air pressure all around the vortex forces the hot, light air within the core upward. The accelerating air in the fire plume stretches the fire whirl or fire tornado vertically along its axis, reducing its diameter, much as pulling apart a clump of dough causes a long, thin neck to form. The reduced diameter drives the air to turn faster to conserve its angular momentum—the same effect seen when a spinning ice skater draws in his or her arms.

It appears that when a fire whirl or fire tornado moves over a burning area, it stretches to a considerable height and spins tight and fast, but when it moves over an already burned area, it spreads out and slows down into a diffuse cylinder of smoke. Sometimes the rotating object is so wide and slow that firefighters fail to perceive it. The direction of motion of the vortex across the ground depends on ambient winds and details of terrain in ways that we have yet to understand.

Emmons and Ying also found that fire vortices are remarkably efficient at conserving their rotational energy, which makes them (unfortunately) rather long-lived. The Indians Fire tornado, for example, lasted for about an hour. As the fire tornado spins up, two opposing forces in the radial direction strengthen: centrifugal force pulling a parcel of rotating air outward and, in opposition, low pressure in the core pulling it inward. The resulting balance limits the movement of air in the radial direction and therefore the loss of energy from the vortex. In contrast, nonrotating fires exchange roughly 10 times more energy with the surrounding atmosphere. This mechanism also makes fire whirls thinner and taller than nonrotating fires because with practically no air being drawn in, except at the base, less oxygen is available for combustion. Thus, some of the fuel gases must travel high up the core before they encounter sufficient oxygen to burn.

Just as dangerous, the towering column of hot, low-density gases induces very low pressure at the base of the whirl. Drag near the ground slows the rotation, reducing the centrifugal force pushing the air outward. Because the inward force generated by pressure remains the same, however, the wind near the ground streams into the fire tornado. It ends up acting like a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking air and, often, burning debris into the base, forcing it vertically up the core at extreme velocities and spitting it out from high up—unpredictably generating spot fires.

In the Field

Despite all this knowledge about the physics of fire tornadoes, we still cannot predict where and when one will occur. One thing is clear, however: given how rare fire tornadoes are even though a large, intensely burning fire always has the capacity to concentrate rotation, the essential factor for their appearance seems to be the presence of a strong source of rotation.

Corona fire in Yorba Linda, Calif., in November 2008 generated a flaming vortex—possibly a fire tornado—that threatened homes. Credit: David McNew Getty Images

We know from case studies, for example, that one of the likeliest locations for fire tornadoes to form is on the lee side of a mountain. Wind blowing around the mountain causes swirling motions on the downwind side, like water moving around a large rock in a river. A fire burning there can gather and stretch this rotation into a fire tornado. But matters are in fact more complicated: Fiery vortices can also show up on flat ground and in calm wind conditions. For example, a large fire whirl in Kansas was likely generated by a cold front that collided with warm ambient air as it passed over a fire in a field. And a 2007 study by Rui Zhou and Zi-Niu Wu of Tsinghua University in Beijing showed that multiple fires burning in certain specific configurations—which can happen when a fire throws embers ahead of itself, starting new fires—may even generate their own rotation by inducing jets of air to flow along the ground between them.

So where did the rotation that caused the deadly Carr Fire tornado come from? Given the several fire whirls that preceded the fire tornado, an abnormally high amount of rotation obviously existed in the area. On a hunch, I asked Natalie Wagenbrenner, a colleague at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, to run some specialized computer simulations of the weather that day. Her studies showed that cool, dense air from the Pacific Ocean was being pushed eastward and over the top of a mountain range west of Redding. This cool air was much heavier than the hot air in the Sacramento Valley: the Redding airport reported a peak temperature that day of 113 degrees F, a record. So gravity caused the air to accelerate as it moved down the slopes toward the valley, much like water flowing downhill. Oddly, these strong surface winds stopped abruptly—right where the fire tornado formed.

What happened to the wind? Finally, I realized that a hydraulic jump was occurring—the atmospheric equivalent of what happens to water when it flows down the spillway below a dam. When the fast-moving water hits the low-speed pool below, the surface of the water jumps upward, forming a breaking wave that stays in place and marks the boundary between the two flows. This region contains intense swirling motions. In much the same way, the cold, dense air speeding down the mountainside hit the slow-moving pool of air in the Sacramento Valley, most likely generating the powerful rotation that formed the Carr Fire tornado [see graphic above]. N. P. Lareau of the University of Nevada and his colleagues speculated in a 2018 paper that the pyroCb clouds overhead, which reached altitudes of up to seven miles even as the fire tornado formed, helped to stretch the vortex to a great height, thereby thinning it and spinning it up even more.

If wildfires continue to become more extensive, we may encounter such lethal objects more frequently. The silver lining is that lessons learned from studying them carefully might help prevent future tragedies. I am hopeful that further research into fire tornadoes, combined with advances in weather prediction and computing power, will, in the near future, give us the ability to issue fire tornado warnings—possibly saving lives.

Fire whirl is formed by rotating air drafting into a pan of burning alcohol at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Montana. Credit: Spencer Lowell

This article was originally published with the title “Fire Tornadoes” in Scientific American 321, 6, 60-67 (December 2019)

doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1219-60  View This Issue

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