Saturday, 30 January 2010

Scientists Discover a New Form of Lightning

by David DeFranza

The lightning observed during the eruption of Mt. Redoubt in 2009, researchers have determined, is an entirely new variety. Using radio antennas, scientists noticed that the bolts were shorter, lasting only a few milliseconds, and much more frequent than typical lightning.

Stephen McNutt, a volcano seismologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks's Geophysical Institute, became interested in lightning during the 1992 Mt. Spurr eruption. While studying the seismic data from that event, he noticed strange spikes in the records. He explains that:

The seismometers were actually picking up lightning strikes...I knew that I had to reach out to the physicists studying lightning.

He teamed up with Ronald Thomas, a physicist and electrical engineer, and Sonja Behnke, a graduate student in atmospheric science. The group formulated a research plan and started waiting for the next eruption... read more story at

Sunday, 24 January 2010

How to Get Into Kayaking

By: Maeve Rich, Staff Writer

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to get into kayaking, you’re probably an adventurous, outdoorsy person. This is a good start to getting into kayaking, whether you’re interested in ocean kayaking or you want to go kayak camping. Here are some tips on how to get into kayaking as well as planning kayaking trips.

Before you run out and purchase a kayak, you should determine how often you plan on using it. If you’ve never kayaked but think you’re going to like it, consider just renting a kayak for your first few trips. Not only will this allow you to experiment with different sizes, it will also save you a bundle of money if you decide that kayaking is not for you. In fact, renting can be a good idea if you only plan on kayaking a couple times of year, and you go somewhere which has a kayak rental facility nearby, or it is relatively easy for you to rent a kayak from an outdoorsy store. If you decide that you will be kayaking often or will frequently be taking kayaking trips where renting will be inconvenient, then consider purchasing your kayak.

Next you should decide what type of kayaking you will do. Do you want to simply paddle around in a little flat water? Take your kayak down some rapids? Head out to the open ocean? Different bodies of water necessitate different types of kayaks. Do your research and figure out which kayak is best for you.

Once you have your kayak or know where you’ll be renting one from, it’s time to take a class. A class or better yet, a multi-class course is ideal for many reasons: it will teach you about the intricacies of kayak navigation, it will open you up to different kayaking experiences, and, not least of all, it will teach you about safety. Don’t jump into a kayak without getting some sort of education. A lot can go wrong and the results can be disastrous.

You have your kayak, you’ve taken your lesson. Now all there is to do is practice. Start out on a relatively calm body of water, and make sure you always have somebody with you. Work through the frustrating parts and be aware that muscle soreness is probably going to be a pretty big part of kayaking until you’re used to it. The more you kayak, the better you will get at the technique involved as well as developing the strength necessary for the sport.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

US Public Transit Riders Save $9,200 a Year Compared to Drivers

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York

It looks like public transportation is a better investment than we thought--the average American who takes public transit saves a staggering $9,240 a year. Which is, of course, a handsome chunk of change. The finding comes from a recent study by the American Public Transportation Association, which compiled the average costs of parking, gas, and tolls each year. They've come up with a comprehensive savings report that shows how much a rider saves in the 20 top cities for public transit... Read the full story on TreeHugger

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Tiger Woods must risk embarrassment and humiliation: Harmon

photo from Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Tiger Woods's former coach Butch Harmon believes the world number one must risk the humiliation and embarrassment of a full and frank news conference over his infidelities before he can get on with his life... full story at Reuters

"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Play Golf and Feed the Fish with Ecobioball

by Petz Scholtus, Barcelona, Spain on 01. 7.10
Travel & Nature (sports gear)

The Ecobioball is a 100% biodegradable, non-toxic golf ball that you can use to play real golf on the water, full swing! The use of plastic golf balls is illegal near water due to the waste it leaves behind. That's why the Spanish company has just launched an alternative golf ball, to be able to play golf on the sea without littering. Ecobioballs claims to be 100% safe for the flora and fauna of the sea, as it is fully biodegradable and non-toxic. Once the balls hit the water, they biodegrade in less than 48 hours, letting out the fish food they contain inside. Let's hope the fishes enjoy their meals! :: Albusgolf

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

What to Do About Stress,

by Craig Lock

Stress occurs when tension rises, as a person has difficulty in
adapting to extraordinary circumstances in life and has concerns
in meeting their personal expectations.

So we ALL get stressed at certain times in our lives.

The key is managing stress effectively.

Hope these tips may be helpful...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Who Says The Climate's Not Changing?

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

Two local blogs show two very different views of people using Toronto's waterfront. A hundred years ago, the biggest winter sport in town was iceboating; Torontoist shows wonderful pictures spanning 50 years of the sport. "For over one hundred years the glistening varnished bodies, black-enamelled skates, gleaming white sails and many-coloured flags flying from the stays and yards was an unforgettable sight against the blue ice and dazzling snow." Over at Read the full story on TreeHugger