The next time you’re delayed by rain or snow at an airport, consider this: It’s possible that an airplane actually caused the bad weather.
When aircraft fly though certain clouds, they can trigger a chain of events that causes precipitation for miles around, according to a study in the journal Science.
The idea for the study came in 2007, when a plane full of weather scientists flew through a very odd snowstorm near Denver International Airport.
ZURICH — While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
Cities including Vienna to Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic. Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded bypopular bike-sharing programs. Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges just for entering the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities have joined a national network of“environmental zones” where only cars with low carbon dioxide emissions may enter.
Likeminded cities welcome new shopping malls and apartment buildings but severely restrict the allowable number of parking spaces. On-street parking is vanishing. In recent years, even former car capitals like Munich have evolved into “walkers’ paradises,” said Lee Schipper, a senior research engineer at Stanford University who specializes in sustainable transportation.
Updated | 2:59 p.m. As my colleague Seth Mydans reports from Phnom Penh, four senior members of the Khmer Rouge appeared before a war-crimes tribunal in the Cambodian capital on Monday, charged with responsibility for policies that caused the death of as much as one-fourth of the population in the late 1970s.
One of those former leaders is Khieu Samphan, a 79-year-old economist with a doctorate from the Sorbonne, who was Cambodia’s nominal head of state when the Khmer Rouge implemented its plan to radically transform the country’s society and economy.
ldous Huxley is best remembered for his dystopian novel “Brave New World,” depicting a future conformist society in which happiness is mandated and medicated. Huxley, who was born into a family of British intellectuals, was already an established critical thinker when the book was published in 1932.
So he might seem like an unlikely candidate for going to the Southern California desert to take a hallucinogen like mescaline — but that’s exactly what he did.
Civilization is on a collision course. That’s the message Paul Gilding, the former head of Greenpeace International, is sounding in his new book, The Great Disruption.
The facts, as Gilding spells them out, are frightening. The United Nations predicts the world’s population will reach 9.3 billion by 2050 and humans are already using 140 percent of the Earth’s resources.
“What they are calculating is how much area of land and water we would need to sustain this economy as it is currently operating,” Gilding tells Rachel Martin, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered. “And to do that on a sustained basis would take 140 percent as much land and sea as there is on the Earth today. I mean, of course, like living on your credit card, that can’t be maintained and that bill is coming due.”
All over the world, fisheries are collapsing, deforestation is on the rise and food prices have spiked again.
But as alarming as this all may sound, Gilding looks at all this gloom and doom and sees opportunity.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don’t laugh.
It may be the hardest thing you ever do, for Michele Bachmann is almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics.
We’ve also got some news about hammocks. It turns out the gentle rocking motion makes people fall asleep faster, and they sleep more deeply. These findings could inspire new ways to help insomniacs, the researchers say.
In 1998, a deep freeze devastated the orange crop in California’s large, flat Central Valley and, according to photographer Matt Black, 10,000 people lost their jobs — many of them migrant workers. It was while photographing the aftermath that he came across something unexpected: the sound of Mixtec, a pre-Columbian indigenous dialect from Mexico.
Intrigued by this obscure language and culture, Black traveled to the source in Mexico — more than 10 times — to better understand who the Mixteca are and what they are doing in California. In his words:
Named the “Place of the Cloud People” by the Aztecs and home to one of the oldest pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas, the Mixteca have lost over a quarter-million people to migration, leaving scores of villages little more than ghost towns.
His project explores the many complex socioeconomic questions surrounding migration and leaves one wondering: Can small, isolated communities continue to exist in our modern world? Can identity live on in a ghost town? Can a culture itself emigrate?
Big Bill Broonzy was one of America’s most popular blues musicians — a father figure to many blues legends and an acknowledged influence on rockers such as Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend. Yet Broonzy’s life has remained something of a mystery until now. A new biography called I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy traces the musician’s path from the rural South to the South Side of Chicago. Author Bob Riesman’s decade of research has yielded some surprising results.
An emperor penguin that took a wrong turn and ended up 2,000 miles from home in New Zealand is facing a grim future. After experts saw that Happy Feet — as the penguin has been nicknamed — wasn’t moving very much, they moved it from Peka Peka beach to the Wellington Zoo.
As we’ve reported, Happy Feet is the first emperor penguin spotted in New Zealand since 1967.
Hokusai’s Great Wave
“I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy-three I have at least caught every aspect of nature–birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety. when I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life.”
News flash: Fox News is not fair and balanced. According to whom? The cable network’s star Sunday host, Chris Wallace.
Clips of the on-air duel between Wallace and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart on Fox News Sunday have been lighting up the Intertubes. In an interview, the Fox anchor repeatedly tried to out-wit the faux anchor and portray him as an ideologue pushing a liberal partisan agenda. But Stewart explained—over and over—that he’s a comedian. He noted that his overall agenda is “about absurdity and corruption… It’s anti-contrivance.” And he rejected Wallace’s attempt to portray the rest of the mainstream media as a bunch of covert liberal schemers. The MSM’s true bias, Stewart insisted, is “toward sensationalism, conflict, and laziness.”
A New Orleans pianist, vocalist, producer and songwriting legend — anda Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee — Allen Toussaint recently stopped by the KPLU/Jazz24 studios for a visit, taking us on a sweet and uplifting trip home with his music and anecdotes.
In the past, Toussaint has worked with artists such as Fats Domino, Lee Dorsey and Elvis Costello, to name a few. In this session, he performs three songs, including his hit “What Do You Want the Girl to Do?”
In Peru, remnants of the former pro-Maoist Shining Path rebel group are reorganizing along two different paths. One fueled by former Shining Path leaders is throwing off violence and trying to forge change in Peru through politics. But another Shining Path splinter group is involved in violent, narco-fueled organized crime.
London (CNN) – Marine life is under severe threat from global warming, pollution and habitat loss, with a high risk of “major extinctions” according to a panel of experts.
These are the conclusions of a distinguished group of marine scientists who met at Oxford University, England, in April to discuss the impact of human activity on the world’s oceans.
The meeting, led by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), examined the combined effects of pollution, acidification, ocean warming, over-fishing and depleting levels of oxygen in the water.
The panel found that oceanic conditions are similar to those of “previous major extinctions of species in Earth’s history,” and that we face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation.
A. O. Scott looks back at William Friedkin’s 1971 drama starring Gene Hackman.
Jon Stewart admits he voted for George H.W. Bush in 1988 and is disappointed in Obama–See Video Interview with Chris Wallace
Jon Stewart, the Comedy Central funnyman, said that even he couldn’t vote for Michael Dukakisin 1988 and instead pulled the lever for George H.W. Bush.
In a fiery interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday, Stewart was asked when he last voted for a Republican president. The award-winning host of “The Daily Show” said it was in 1988 when Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor, ran against Bush, who was vice president at the time.
Why Bush? “He seemed like a different — there was an integrity about him that I respected greatly,” Stewart said.
“And there’s something about tiny people in helmets,” he added, referring to the widely ridiculed image of Dukakis riding in a tank during a photo-op.
Wallace, the son of “60 Minutes” legend Mike Wallace, asked Stewart point-blank, “Are you disappointed in Barack Obama as president?
Stewart replied, “Yes, I think I am.”
Not too long ago, theorists fretted that the Internet was a place where anonymity thrived.
Now, it seems, it is the place where anonymity dies.
A commuter in the New York area who verbally tangled with a conductor last Tuesday — and defended herself by asking “Do you know what schools I’ve been to and how well-educated I am?” — was publicly identified after a fellow rider posted a cellphone video of the encounter on YouTube. The woman, who had gone to N.Y.U., was ridiculed by a cadre of bloggers, one of whom termed it the latest episode of “Name and Shame on the Web.”
Women who were online pen pals of former Representative Anthony D. Weiner similarly learned how quickly Internet users can sniff out all the details of a person’s online life. So did the men who set fire to cars and looted stores in the wake of Vancouver’s Stanley Cup defeat last week when they were identified, tagged by acquaintances online.
Director Chris Weitz is out with a movie about an illegal immigrant from Mexico who’s working as a gardener in Los Angeles, and trying to keep his son out of gang life. Weitz tells Renee Montagne that the people playing gang members in the movie used to belong to gangs.
It was never just about the saxophone. In more than three decades wielding his tenor sax with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, from its beginning in 1972 to his death at 69 on Saturday, Clarence Clemons was as much a symbol as a sideman.
Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen in 1999. Mr. Clemons’s presence declared that rock’s black heritage was shared, not plundered.
He played an essential role in Mr. Springsteen’s songs, particularly in the E Street Band’s first years. Mid-1970s songs like “Jungleland,” “Incident on 57th Street” and “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” stretched out like suites, and in their instrumental interludes Mr. Clemons’s saxophone parts testified to wordless yearning, to determined striving and to comical gumption. Even after Mr. Springsteen chose to write shorter, pop-structured songs, making concision his new discipline, Mr. Clemons held his place: as the honking foundation of “Hungry Heart” and the longed-for dance partner in “Dancing in the Dark.”
His meaty tone was the legacy of his main model, King Curtis, and of the countless lesser-known honkers, shouters and squealers who pumped out riffs and took eight-bar solos in 1940s and ’50s jump blues, R&B and doo-wop. His lung power forged the E Street Band’s most visceral connection with those African-American rock ’n’ roll roots, one that was already nostalgic even in the ’70s. Recently, when Mr. Clemons made a valedictory appearance in Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory,” his sound paid tribute to his own younger self from nearly 40 years ago.
On the cliffs surrounding Lake Buchanan in Central Texas, a white ring extends some 13 feet above the shoreline, marking where the water reaches when the lake is full. At nearby Lake Travis, staircases that once led to the water’s edge now end well above it.
These two lakes serve as key water sources for dozens of cities and hundreds of farmers, as well as for several power plants. With Texas gripped by drought, water levels have fallen sharply. Combined, the two lakes now hold 28 percent less water than their long-term average.
“This is scary,” said Janet Caylor, who owns two marinas on Lake Travis, the larger of the two lakes, and has had to move her docks as lake levels drop.
The current drought, drier than any other October-through-May stretch in Texas history, has heightened the stakes in an already contentious long-term planning battle over water from these lakes, which feed the lower Colorado River as it runs southeast to the Gulf of Mexico. It has pitted fast-growing cities like Austin, which depend on the water for drinking and recreation, against rice farmers near the Gulf, who need vast amounts of water for irrigation.
Lakeside residents and business owners like Ms. Caylor, frustrated by dropping water levels, want to keep the lakes as full as possible.
“I DON’T know what I was thinking.”
So said Anthony D. Weiner in a news conference moments after finally admitting that he had sent naughty photos of himself to women he had met on the Internet.
The married former congressman, who resigned on Thursday, 10 days after that confessional press conference, might not know what he had been thinking — but scientists have an idea or two.
Scholars were studied brain architecture and chemistry long before Mr. Weiner pinged photos of his unmentionables into cyberspace. And their research — some of it subject to dispute — suggests that physiology played a role in Mr. Weiner’s digital dalliances.
“Most people who get as far as he’s gotten are high-testosterone people,” said Helen Fisher, the biological anthropologist and a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the anthropology department at Rutgers. “Along with that ambition comes a high sex drive. Testosterone’s linked with both of them.”
According to some, seeking prominence is part of an inborn survival strategy.
SANTIAGO, Chile — A white gas mask hanging from her neck, Paula Bañados strode side by side with 30,000 other marchers through this capital one recent Friday, a determined look on her face.
Protesting last month in Santiago, Chile. Government approval of a plan for a dam in a pristine part of the country has brought thousands to the streets.
“Patagonia without dams!” Ms. Bañados, 19, shouted with the others, pumping a fist in the air.
“The government is saying we will be left without energy, but it’s a lie,” she said. “They are just trying to scare us. But we won’t be scared away, because we know we’re right.”