Tags >> Science
Sep 10
2009

The Political Mind

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , politics , news , media , Ideas , history , government , education , Congress , author

Bruce Robinson

The political differences that divide progressives and conservatives run deeper than policies and opinions, says linguist and analyst George Lakoff, they are embedded deep within the brain itself.

UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff is primarily a linguist, and here he explains how that background leads to the political applications that form the basis of his current book, The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist’s Guide to Your Brain and its Politics.

 

George Lakoff(right)  will read from The Political Mind  at Copperfields Books in Montgomery Village Sunday afternoon, September 13th at 2 pm.

President Obama has been praised for actively re-entering the debate over health care reform with his address to Congress this week, but Lakoff says the administration is still bound by a policy-driven approach that stints on making an essential emotional connection with the American electorate.

 

 

Aug 16
2009

Invasive Snails

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , Science , research , ocean , Marin , food , fish , environment , coast , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

A complex interaction between native crabs and oysters and invasive Atlantic snails (seen at left)  is playing out beneath the waters of Tomales Bay.

 Dr. David Kimbro has studied the predatory effects of invasive Atlantic snails on native Olympia oysters in Tomales Bay. He explains how they arrived there more than a century ago.

 

 

There also native Pacific snails in Tomales Bay, but unlike their invasive (or as scientists say "introduced") Atlantic cousins (right), the local snails have learned how to safely coexist with the snail-eating red rock crabs (below). UC Davis biologist Ted Grosholtz explains.

 

The smaller, green European crab, another introduced species in Tomales Bay, can handle the less salty water in the shallow portions of the bay, but because they will eat a wider variety of foods, these crabs have not developed the same skills for preying on snails that the red rock crabs display.

 

Aug 03
2009

Prenatal Pollution

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , water , toxic , technology , speaker , Science , public safety , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , medicine , Marin , legislation , healthcare , Health , government , food , families , environment , education , drugs , disability , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , children , chemicals , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

Exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment begins early in life--even before birth.

  Ken Cook, President and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group, is a strong proponent for a Kids-Safe Chemical Act, to reduce children's exposure to toxics in the environment.

  

 Additional online resources from the Environmental Working Group  include the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides, and their Cosmetic Saftety database.

Click here to view Ken Cook's 20-minute video summary presentation on the 10 Americans  study.

The Environmental Working Group is also pressing for the creation of a human "toxome," similar to the genetic map known as the human genome, to identify where and how toxic chemicals affect the body's healthy biological processes.

 

 

Jul 19
2009

Invasive Weeds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma , Science , resources , nonprofit orgs , Napa , Marin , environment , coast , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Just as doctors move quickly to detect and treat infectious diseases before they can spread, botanists and habitat managers are teaming up to use the same approach against invasive weeds in the Bay Area.

 California Invasive Weeds Awareness Week (CIWAW)is July 20-26, 2009. This  an annual event that brings attention to the problems caused by invasive plants in California (such as the yellow star thistle, shown in flower at right), and to the work of local groups that work to protect our natural areas and rangelands. In 2004, the state legislature signed a proclamation declaring California Invasive Weeds Awareness Week to begin the third Monday of July each year.

Arundo dorax, above, spreading rapidly in the middle reach of the Russian River, and threatening to become established downstream as well.

Dan Gluesenkamp, is Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for the multiple preserves owned and managed by Audubon Canyon Ranch, explains that the basis methods employed by the BAEDN are those used by his and other, like-minded organizations, but scaled up to work on a regional basis.

 

Additionally, says Gluesenkamp, the new parternship is dedicated to operating in accordance with two key core principles.

 

 

Goals of the Bay Area Early Detection Network include:

  • Have effective detection efforts covering the nine counties.
  • Ensure that detections are supported with sufficient response funds to eradicate priority invaders while still cost-effective.
  • Increase effectiveness and strategic nature of invasive plant work in the region.
  • Involve and train citizen detection partners.
  • Realize a coordinated system of regional Early Detection networks across all California.

In Sonoma County, ludwigia is one of the most conspicuous invasive plants, growing agressively in the Laguna de Santa Rosa and in slow-moving portions of the Russian River, as seen in the foreground below.