Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Archive for the category “It’s Nature’s Way”

Our Extinct Ancestors

Modern humans, or homo sapiens, are the only living species in their genus, but history teaches us that several other species of ancient humans have existed. Take the Denisovans, whose remains were found in a Siberian cave in 2008. Geneticists sequenced their genome and it was revealed they evolved from an unknown species with dark skin, brown eyes and brown hair, unlike their Neanderthal cousins. They are believed to have gone completely extinct. Hear about nine other mysterious extinct human species in this edition of Hybrid Librarian.

Climate Change Exaggeration

Raging fires, crippling drought and more powerful storms are the Obama Administration’s Three Horsemen of the Global Warming Apocalypse. Problem is, says economist Bjorn Lomborg, all three are rooted in exaggeration. “This does not mean that climate change is not an issue,” Lomborg says. “It means that exaggerating the threat concentrates resources in the wrong areas.” In the following edition of Prager University, Lomborg examines the key issues and reaches some surprising conclusions.

The Gift Of Doggies

Wild Bill turns his thoughts to a more domestic nature, wondering why Islam and some people could actually hate and abuse dogs. After all, aren’t they man’s best friend? “I truly believe that dogs are truly God’s four-legged goodwill ambassadors,” he says.

Biggest Animals on Earth

Although the dinosaurs disappeared nearly 60 million years ago, our planet is still home to some pretty large animals. Take the African Goliath Frog, the largest living frog on Earth weighing as much as 8 pounds and stretching up to 13 inches long. This is just one of the 20 biggest animals on Earth in this edition of Epic Wildlife.

Avoiding the Next Atlantis

With many of our cities lying along coasts and waterways and with sea levels projected to rise in the future, keeping these land masses from going under is a major concern. Emily Elert of Minute Earth says many nations have already devised quick fixes for the dilemma, such as “thirsty concrete,” which can absorb 600 liters of water per square liter and funneling it away, and floating homes.

Animals Key to Immortality

Want to live forever? The answers may be hidden in the animal kingdom, such as the life of lobsters. Unlike most animals, lobsters don’t get weaker and more vulnerable as they get older, they just get bigger. Find out why, and check out nine other animals who may hold the key to immortality in humans.

Why Leaves Change Color

Autumn can be called our transitional month, ushering in mild temperatures, the holidays and the magical transformation of our deciduous trees and shrubs. The splendor of gold- and russet-colored leaves as trees prepare to bare their branches, gives us a fall spectacle like no other, prompting Minute Earth host Henry Reich to say, “They are the world’s prettiest recycling plants.” But have you ever wondered why the leaves change color? Reich gives us a thorough scientific explanation.

Fossil Fuels to the Rescue

Every year on Earth Day we hear dire news on how the health of our planet is deteriorating with no real solutions readily available to solve the dilemma. Author and energy theorist Alex Epstein, founder and president of the Center for Industrial Progress, opines that we should spend more time reflecting on how human progress has made Mother Earth a better place to live. “The secret is energy,” Epstein says. “Specifically, energy derived from fossil fuels–oil, coal and natural gas.These fuels power machines that allow us to transform our naturally hazardous environment into a far healthier environment.” Epstein expanded his thoughts in a recent visit to Prager University.

The El Nino Phenomenon

Every so often, the waters of the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America get extraordinarily warm, producing trillions of joules of energy that wreak havoc with our weather. The phenomenon, of course, has come to be known as El Nino. Regions like the southwestern U.S., Mexico and South America are slammed with sometimes catastrophic rain, while other areas suffer through record drought. The phenomenon seemingly appears every two to seven years, but meteorologists still are handcuffed when it comes to accurately predicting its cycle. Host Joe Hanson takes a crack at explaining El Nino and why it remains so difficult to predict in this edition of “It’s Okay to be Smart” from PBS Digital Studios.

The First Animals On Land

More than 420 million years ago, ancient millipedes took their first steps onto land. Today, there are thousands of species of the myriapods (having many legs), many still unknown to science. Dr. Petra Sierwald, associate curator of The Field Museum in Chicago, arachnologist and millipede expert, is working to create a visual atlas to help with our understanding and identification of these creatures. Sierwald shared her ample knowledge of this mysterious animal with host Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop.

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