Rivers wash otters out of homes

A Somerset wildlife charity takes in a record number of otters this winter as higher than normal river levels have threatened their habitat.

See original: Earth | Earth News Rivers wash otters out of homes

Obama Refuses to Sign International Ban on Landmines [The Primate Diaries]

What do the following countries have in common?

Bahrain, Burma, China, Iran, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan

If your answer is that they're some of the most corrupt, authoritarian nations in the world you'd be correct. If you associated them with significant human rights abuses, you would also be spot on. If you learned that they also reject the international convention that bans landmines, chances are you would not be surprised. Joining them, however, is none other than the United States.

In a recent press conference, State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly explained that the Obama administration will be continuing the Bush policy of rejecting the ban because "we would not be able to meet our national defense needs, nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we sign this convention" (see video and transcript below).

Also joining the United States in rejecting the ban, which more than 150 other nations have already signed, is Israel. Both of these countries have also refused to ban cluster munitions (bombs that explode to release hundreds of tiny bomblets, many of which fail to explode on impact).

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Obama Refuses to Sign International Ban on Landmines [The Primate Diaries]

Cover article in Nature Chemistry


A research team from the University of Calgary and the NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (Ottawa) has published a cover article in Nature Chemistry

J.A. Hurd, R. Vaidhyanathan, V. Thangadurai, C.I. Ratcliffe, I.L. Moudrakovski and G.K.H. Shimizu, "Proton Conduction at 150°C in a Nanoporous Metal-Organic Framework," Nature Chemistry 1 (2009) 705-710. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.402

"Materials built from metal centres and organic ligands have traditionally attracted attention for their channels' host–guest properties. Now, controlling the occupancy of the channels by guest molecules has resulted in a framework that conducts protons under anhydrous conditions and acts as a gas-tight membrane, offering a promising approach to fuel-cell electrolytes."

Solid-state NMR spectroscopy was instrumental in this research.

The paper is also accompanied by the Nature's commentary:

Hiroshi Kitagawa, "Metal–organic frameworks: Transported into fuel cells," Nature Chemistry 1 (2009) 689-690. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.454

See original: Canadian NMR News Cover article in Nature Chemistry

Jan Pronk on Putting Climate Change agreements into action.wmv

Interview with Jan Pronk, on "Putting Climate Change agreements into action" Jan Pronk is former Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment (1998 2002) and former Minister for Development Co-operation (1989 1994) of The Netherlands. Pronk was also the Chairman 6th Conference of Parties UN Convention on Climate Change (2000-2001) and Special Envoy Secretary General United Nations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2001-2003). He is a Special Advisor to the Earth ...
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@Cameron: Te, te, DATUM lauda-a-a-mus. re: http://ff.im/cwkxQ

EvoMRI: @Cameron: Te, te, DATUM laude-a-a-mus. re: http://ff.im/cwkxQ

See original: Twitter @Cameron: Te, te, DATUM lauda-a-a-mus. re: http://ff.im/cwkxQ

Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry Released - Download it now!

Sugar Labs has released Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry - the platform agnostic version of the Sugar Learning Platform. Sugar is in use by over one-million children around the world,

Blueberry Updates

This latest version of Sugar offers simpler navigation, improved wireless networking, streamlined updating of Activities for children, easier keyboard configuration, better Gnash support for Adobe Flash content, and more. New Activities such as Physics and OOo4Kids join updated favorites such as Browse and Read, suitable for reading e-books.

See original: One Laptop Per Child News Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry Released - Download it now!

The "climategate" virus spreads [The Island of Doubt]

I use the term "climategate" reluctantly because the stolen climatology email story has little in common with Watergate. Those who would deny the physical reality of climate change seem to have latched onto the meme, however, and it is my sad news to report that the essence of the meme, if not that particular label, is spreading further than I originally feared. The latest casualty is Canada's Globe and Mail.

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select The "climategate" virus spreads [The Island of Doubt]

Maurice Strong thoughts on Climate Change

Interview with Maurice Strong, former Secretary General of the 92 Earth Summit and Earth Charter Commissioner, on Climate Change. By Mirian Vilela, Earth Charter International. September 2009
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@jsnsndr Cool - a science blog for patting scientists on the shoulder when deserved (unlike press releases). Much needed for newcomers.

EvoMRI: @jsnsndr Cool - a science blog for patting scientists on the shoulder when deserved (unlike press releases). Much needed for newcomers.

See original: Twitter @jsnsndr Cool - a science blog for patting scientists on the shoulder when deserved (unlike press releases). Much needed for newcomers.

Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry Released - Download it now!

Sugar Labs has released Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry - the platform agnostic version of the Sugar Learning Platform. Sugar is in use by over one-million children around the world,

Blueberry Updates

This latest version of Sugar offers simpler navigation, improved wireless networking, streamlined updating of Activities for children, easier keyboard configuration, better Gnash support for Adobe Flash content, and more. New Activities such as Physics and OOo4Kids join updated favorites such as Browse and Read, suitable for reading e-books.

See original: One Laptop Per Child News Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry Released - Download it now!