Tuesday, September 30, 2014
"For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried."
That's the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.
Once the world's fourth-largest lake, the Aral Sea has been broken apart and drying out since the 1950s and '60s, when the Soviet Union diverted two rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, to provide irrigation for farms. Another factor in this year's decline, experts say, is a drop in rain and snow levels in the lake's watershed. npr
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth.
Researchers have clear visual evidence of Europa’s icy crust expanding. However, they could not find areas where the old crust was destroyed to make room for the new. While examining Europa images taken by NASA’s Galileo orbiter in the early 2000s, planetary geologists Simon Kattenhorn, of the University of Idaho, Moscow, and Louise Prockter, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, discovered some unusual geological boundaries.
"We have been puzzled for years as to how all this new terrain could be formed, but we couldn’t figure out how it was accommodated," said Prockter. "We finally think we’ve found the answer."
Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that Earth’s outer layer is made up of plates or blocks that move, which accounts for why mountain and volcanoes form and earthquakes happen…
(read more: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Don’t let those floppy “ears” fool you!
The California sea hare (Aplysia californica) can release a slimy cloud of irritating purplish ink to confuse or distract hungry predators.
Learn more about this sizable sea slug
Learn more about this sizable sea slug
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
the US and Somalia are the only two to not sign the treaty
"38 countries now have agreed that corporal punishment of children, including spanking,
violates children's human rights. And they have banned spanking altogether, both in homes
and in schools" npr
The Convention deals with the child-specific needs and rights. It requires that states act in the best interests of the child. This approach is different from the common law approach found in many countries that had previously treated children as possessions or chattels, ownership of which was sometimes argued over in family disputes.
In many jurisdictions, properly implementing the Convention requires an overhaul of child custody and guardianship laws, or, at the very least, a creative approach within the existing laws. The Convention acknowledges that every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his or her own name and identity, to be raised by his or her parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.
The Convention obliges states to allow parents to exercise their parental responsibilities. The Convention also acknowledges that children have the right to express their opinions and to have those opinions heard and acted upon when appropriate, to be protected from abuse or exploitation, and to have their privacy protected, and it requires that their lives not be subject to excessive interference.
The Convention also obliges signatory states to provide separate legal representation for a child in any judicial dispute concerning their care and asks that the child's viewpoint be heard in such cases.
The Convention forbids capital punishment for children. In its General Comment 8 (2006) the Committee on the Rights of the Child stated that there was an "obligation of all state parties to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and all other cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children". Article 19 of the Convention states that state parties must "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence", but it makes no reference to corporal punishment. The Committee's interpretation on this point has also been explicitly rejected by several state parties to the Convention, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
"Compared to the history of Earth, a salt marsh resembles a gorgeous butterfly. After emerging from the cocoon, it extends its wings under the morning sun, rises in the sky during the day, and when the night falls, it folds its wings and dies."