Passion for Life- Indy Connections
Indy Connections Home | Young Indy Home
Passion for Life

Below are current event articles that relate to events, topics, and people found in Passion for Life.


Climate Change Felt in Deep Waters of Antarctica

Smithsonian.com
3/3/2014

In 1974, just a couple years after the launch of the first Landsat satellite, scientists noticed something odd in the Weddell Sea near Antarctica. There was a large ice-free area, called a polynya, in the middle of the ice pack. The polynya, which covered an area as large as New Zealand, reappeared in the winters of 1975 and 1976 but has not been seen since.

Read the Full Article

Congo’s Civil Wars Took A Toll On Its Forests

Smithsonian.com
2/26/2014

War and civil strife have beset Congo since the African nation’s independence in 1960. That conflict has included two civil wars—in 1996-1997 and 1998-2003—and even now rebel groups continue to plague parts of the country. Millions were killed, and millions more were forced from their homes. These internally displaced persons numbered 3.4 million at their maximum in 2003, but approximately 2.7 million have yet to return due to ongoing violence, mostly in the eastern part of the country.

Read the Full Article

It's Time to Accept That Elephants, Like Us, Are Empathetic Beings

Nationalgeographic.com
2/21/2014

Elephants, we all know, are in peril. We humans are waging what amounts to a war against them because they have something we want and cannot make on our own: ivory. Earlier this month, we learned that the West African country of Gabon has lost more than half its elephants—11,000—in the last ten years alone. People are shooting, poisoning, and spearing the animals at such a rate across the continent that some scientists already consider them "ecologically extinct." There are now fewer than 500,000 wild African elephants—maybe no more than half that number—and barely 32,000 Asian elephants.

Read the Full Article

How the Monuments Men Saved Italy’s Treasures

Smithsonian.com
1/15/2014

Swam through the sea a crescent of sunwashed white houses, lavender hillsides and rust red roofs, and a high campanile whose bells, soft across the water, stole to the mental ear. No country in the world has, for me, the breathtaking beauty of Italy.” It was the fall of 1943. A couple of months earlier, the Sicilian landings of July 10 had marked the beginning of the Allied Italian campaign. The two British officers, who had met and become instant friends during the recently concluded push to drive the Germans from North Africa, were assigned to the Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories (AMGOT), which took over control of Italy as the country was being liberated by the Allies. Edward “Teddy” Croft-Murray, who in civilian life was a curator of prints and drawings at the British Museum in London, belonged to the small Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) unit inside AMGOT. Its task—dramatized in George Clooney’s new film, The Monuments Men, celebrating the unit’s exploits—would be to safeguard landmarks and works of art from war damage. Croft-Murray had, Fielden wrote in his memoirs, a “twinkling eye in a large face which was attached to the most untidy imaginable body...the Ancient Monument he called himself. God be praised, I said, for someone like this.”

Read the Full Article

Introducing a Special Report on Energy

Smithsonian.com
5/25/2013

In a world hungry for power, a new wealth of innovation hopes to keep the engine of industry running for the foreseeable future.

Read the Full Article

Five Innovative Technologies that Bring Energy to the Developing World

Smithsonian.com
5/2/2013

In the wealthy world, improving the energy system generally means increasing the central supply of reliable, inexpensive and environmentally-friendly power and distributing it through the power grid. Across most of the planet, though, simply providing new energy sources to the millions who are without electricity and depend on burning wood or kerosene for heat and light would open up new opportunities.

Read the Full Article

New Study Examines San Joaquin Valley, Home to America’s Dirtiest Air

Smithsonian.com
3/8/2013

If you had to guess what part of the the U.S. has the very worst air pollution–where winds and topography conspire with fumes from gasoline-chugging vehicles to create an aerial cesspool–places like Los Angeles, Atlanta and as of late, Salt Lake City, would probably pop to mind. The reality may come as a bit of a surprise. According to the Environmental Protection agency, California’s bucolic San Joaquin Valley is “home of the worst air quality in the country.” Not coincidentally, the San Joaquin Valley is also the most productive agricultural region in the world and the top dairy-producing region in the country. Heavy duty-diesel trucks constantly buzz through the valley, emitting 14 tons of the greenhouse gas ozone daily, and animal feed spews a whopping 25 tons of ozone per day as it ferments, according to a 2010 study. In addition, hot summertime temperatures encourage ground-level ozone to form, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Pollution also streams down from the Bay Area, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east help to trap all of these pollutants near the valley floor. Particulate matter that creates the thick greyish-brown smog hanging over the valley is of paramount concern–it’s been linked to heart disease, childhood asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Read the Full Article

Parched Middle East Faces Severe Water Crisis

Smithsonian.com
2/15/2013

Climate change, believed to have contributed to the decline of the Ottoman Empire (PDF) when drought forced villagers into a nomadic life in the late 16th century, is once again having an adverse affect on the Middle East. Precipitation has dropped off and temperatures have climbed for the past 40 years, with conditions growing especially severe in the last decade. A 2012 Yale study (PDF) showed that a drought from 2007 to 2010 so seriously stunted agriculture in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins that hundreds of thousands of people fled Iran, eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

Read the Full Article

14 Pygmy Elephants Die Mysteriously in Borneo

Nationalgeographic.com
1/31/2013

Fourteen endangered Borneo pygmy elephants have recently been found dead in a Malaysian forest, presenting a mystery for wildlife officials and conservationists. The recent deaths highlight the vulnerable status of the species, which now numbers about 1,500 animals. Scientists don't know how many pygmy elephants previously existed on the island, although it's likely the population wasn't much higher than it is today, said Barney Long, head of Asian species conservation at WWF-US. This week Malaysian authorities discovered a group of elephant carcasses close together in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve, located in the northeastern corner of Borneo (map), a Southeast Asian island shared by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Read the Full Article

Water Demand for Energy to Double by 2035

Nationalgeographic.com
1/30/2013

The amount of fresh water consumed for world energy production is on track to double within the next 25 years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects. And even though fracking—high-pressure hydraulic fracturing of underground rock formations for natural gas and oil—might grab headlines, IEA sees its future impact as relatively small. By far the largest strain on future water resources from the energy system, according to IEA's forecast, would be due to two lesser noted, but profound trends in the energy world: soaring coal-fired electricity, and the ramping up of biofuel production

Read the Full Article

The History of the Teddy Bear: From Wet and Angry to Soft and Cuddly

Smithsonian.com
12/12/2012

Boxed and wrapped in paper and bows, teddy bears have been placed lovingly underneath Christmas trees for generations, to the delight of tots and toddlers around the world. But the teddy bear is an American original: Its story begins with a holiday vacation taken by President Theodore Roosevelt. By the spring of 1902, the United Mine Workers of America were on strike, seeking shorter workdays and higher wages from a coal industry that was suffering from oversupply and low profits. The mine owners had welcomed the strike because they could not legally shut down production; it gave them a way to save on wages while driving up demand and prices.

Read the Full Article

The Ozone Problem is Back – And Worse Than Ever

Smithsonian.com
12/2/2012

“Bull!” said Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at MIT. Jim Anderson of Harvard University was showing him some weird data he had collected. Since 2001, Anderson and his team had been studying powerful thunderstorms by packing instruments into repurposed spy planes and B-57 bombers, among the only planes capable of flying into the storms “without having their wings ripped off,” Anderson said. To his puzzlement, the instruments detected surprisingly high concentrations of water molecules in the stratosphere, the usually drier-than-dust uppermost layer of the atmosphere. They found the water over thunderstorms above Florida, and they found it over thunderstorms in Oklahoma—water as out of place as a dolphin in the Sahara.

Read the Full Article

Confirmed: Both Antarctica and Greenland Are Losing Ice

Smithsonian.com
11/29/2012

Over the past few years, one of the most difficult pieces of evidence to fit into the climate change puzzle has been ice melt. Although the amount of ice covering the Arctic has clearly decreased over time, climate change skeptics have pointed to inconsistent findings on Antarctic ice as proof that the atmosphere isn’t really warming.

Read the Full Article

Geronimo’s Appeal to Theodore Roosevelt

Smithsonian.com
11/9/2012

When he was born he had such a sleepy disposition his parents named him Goyahkla—He Who Yawns. He lived the life of an Apache tribesman in relative quiet for three decades, until he led a trading expedition from the Mogollon Mountains south into Mexico in 1858. He left the Apache camp to do some business in Casa Grandes and returned to find that Mexican soldiers had slaughtered the women and children who had been left behind, including his wife, mother and three small children. “I stood until all had passed, hardly knowing what I would do,” he would recall. “I had no weapon, nor did I hardly wish to fight, neither did I contemplate recovering the bodies of my loved ones, for that was forbidden. I did not pray, nor did I resolve to do anything in particular, for I had no purpose left.”

Read the Full Article

The Speech That Saved Teddy Roosevelt’s Life

Smithsonian.com
11/1/2012

On October 14, 1912, just after eight o’clock in the evening, Theodore Roosevelt stepped out of the Hotel Gilpatrick in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and into an open car waiting to take him to an auditorium where he would deliver a campaign speech. Although he was worn out and his voice nearly gone, he was still pushing hard to win an unprecedented third term in the White House. He had left politics in 1909, when his presidency ended. But his disappointment in the performance of William Howard Taft, his chosen successor, was so great that in 1912 he formed the National Progressive Party (better known as the Bull Moose Party). He was running against Taft and the Republicans, the Democrats’ Woodrow Wilson and the Socialist ticket headed by Eugene Debs.

Read the Full Article

High Levels of Plastic and Debris Found in Waters off of Antarctica

Smithsonian.com
10/3/2012

A little over two years ago, marine researchers set sail aboard the French schooner Tara as part of a plan to create the first comprehensive global picture of plankton ecosystems. By the time the journey concluded earlier this year, they had observed roughly 1 million previously unidentified species of plankton, giving an unprecedented window into the diversity of marine life at the most basic level of the food chain.

Read the Full Article

Scenes From a Changing Planet

Smithsonian.com
8/3/2012

For 40 years Landsat satellites have been circling the Earth, taking pictures from roughly 440 miles above us. Each loop lasts about 99 minutes and it takes about 16 days to capture the entire planet. Which means that Landsats have been recording, in 16-day intervals, the ebb and flow of our relationship with the planet since the early 1970s. It’s been, as they say in the relationship business, a rough stretch, but for most of it, only scientists have been paying much attention. These were people tracking the explosion of cities or the scarring of rainforests or the melting of glaciers. As for the rest of us, well, we may have been aware that things were changing, and not for the better, but we had little sense of the scale or pace of change.

Read the Full Article

Climate Change Could Erode Ozone Layer Over U.S.

Smithsonian.com
7/27/2012

For the past 25 years, it seemed that we’d pretty much solved the ozone problem. In the 1970s and 80s, people around the world grew increasingly alarmed as research revealed that chemicals we were producing—such as CFCs, used in refrigeration— had started destroying the crucial ozone layer, high up in the atmopshere, that protects us from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. In response, world governments came together to sign the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which phased out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals. The concentration of these chemicals in the atmosphere leveled off within a decade.

Read the Full Article

"Shocking" Greenland Ice Melt: Global Warming or Just Heat Wave?

Nationalgeographic.com
7/25/2012

After just a few days of intense melting this month, nearly the entire of the surface of Greenland's massive ice sheet had turned to slush, NASA images show—the fastest thaw rate since satellites began keeping score 30 years ago. It may be tempting to link the event to global warming, but scientists say such melts might occur every 150 years. If such rapid thaws become common, though, they could add to already rising seas, experts say.

Read the Full Article

The Tallest, Strongest and Most Iconic Trees in the World

Smithsonian.com
7/5/2012

Last week I wrote about the cork trees of the Iberian Peninsula, those great, handsome figures so emblematic of the interior plains of Portugal and Spain. But further abroad are many more trees of great stature and symbolic value—trees that inspire, trees that make us stare, trees that provide and trees that bring to their respective landscapes spirit and grandeur. Here a few of the most celebrated, most famous and most outlandish trees of the Earth.

Read the Full Article

How Trees Defined America

Smithsonian.com
6/14/2012

According to historian Eric Rutkow, the United States would not be the country we know today without the vast forests that provided the growing nation with timber, paper and other resources—and eventually inspired our environmental consciousness. In his recently published book American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation, Rutkow traces the history of the United States through our trees, from the mighty elm in the heart of Boston that would become the Liberty Tree, to California’s giant conifers, which inspired an early generation of conservationists.

Read the Full Article

The Devastating Costs of the Amazon Gold Rush

Smithsonian.com
2/15/2012

It’s a few hours before dawn in the Peruvian rainforest, and five bare light bulbs hang from a wire above a 40-foot-deep pit. Gold miners, operating illegally, have worked in this chasm since 11 a.m. yesterday. Standing waist-deep in muddy water, they chew coca leaves to stave off exhaustion and hunger.

Read the Full Article

Before and After: Cleaning up Our Cities

Smithsonian.com
3/21/2011

Around the world, cities plagued by smog have tried to clear up the skies among the skyscrapers. Discover their successes by comparing photos from before and after changes were made by local governments.

Read the Full Article

Why Are Birds Falling From the Sky?

Nationalgeographic.com
1/6/2011

A mysterious rain of thousands of dead birds darkened New Year's Eve in Arkansas, and this week similar reports streamed in from Louisiana, Sweden, and elsewhere. (See pictures of the Arkansas bird die-off.) But the in-air bird deaths aren't due to some apocalyptic plague or insidious experiment they happen all the time, scientists say. The recent buzz, it seems, was mainly hatched by media hype.

Read the Full Article

Arcimboldo's Feast for the Eyes

Smithsonian.com
1/3/2011

The job of a renaissance court portraitist was to produce likenesses of his sovereigns to display at the palace and give to foreign dignitaries or prospective brides. It went without saying the portraits should be flattering. Yet, in 1590, Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted his royal patron, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, as a heap of fruits and vegetables (opposite). With pea pod eyelids and a gourd for a forehead, he looks less like a king than a crudit-platter.

Read the Full Article

A Plague of Pigs in Texas

Smithsonian.com
1/3/2011

About 50 miles east of Waco, Texas, a 70-acre field is cratered with holes up to five feet wide and three feet deep. The roots below a huge oak tree shading a creek have been dug out and exposed. Grass has been trampled into paths. Where the grass has been stripped, saplings crowd out the pecan trees that provide food for deer, opossums and other wildlife. A farmer wanting to cut his hay could barely run a tractor through here. There's no mistaking what has happened - this field has gone to the hogs.

Read the Full Article

Devastation From Above

Smithsonian.com
1/3/2011

J. Henry Fair was stumped. He couldn't figure out how to photograph whatever might be hiding behind the walls and fences of industrial plants. Then, on a cross-country flight about 15 years ago, he looked out the window and saw a series of cooling towers poking through a low-lying fog. "Just get a plane!" he recalls thinking.

Read the Full Article

Fate of the Cave Bear

Smithsonian.com
12/2/2010

Herv Bocherens says his colleagues find his research methods a little "crude." He dissolves 30,000-year-old animal bones in hydrochloric acid strong enough to burn through metal, soaks the bone solution in lye, cooks it at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and freeze-dries it until what's left is a speck of powder weighing less than one one-hundredth of an ounce. The method may be harsh, but the yield is precious the chemical biography of a cave bear.

Read the Full Article

Harry Potter Is Hurting Owls in India?

Discovery.com
11/5/2010

Harry Potter, the boy wizard from the famous movie and novel series, is causing India's owl population to decline, suggests India's environment minister Jairam Ramesh. According to a BBC report, Ramesh believes the dwindling owl population in India is due, in part, to parents gifting their kids with owls after the children hear about Harry Potter's favorite pet, Hedwig.

Read the Full Article

Painting of Henry VIII's 'Lost' Palace For Sale

Discovery.com
11/4/2010

It was among Henry VIII's grandest undertakings: a castle to outshine the castle of his rival, King Francois I of France. And so it was named "Nonsuch," as in no other palace could ever equal its magnificence. But, after taking eight years to construct, the Nonsuch Palace would end up standing for less than 150 years. In the 1680s, the grand estate fell into disrepair and was lost to history.

Read the Full Article

The Woman Who Brought Van Gogh to the World

Smithsonian.com
11/2/2010

When Vincent van Gogh tragically killed himself in 1890, many of the works that would later gain him posthumous fame and fortune were barely dry. In the last ten weeks of his life, which he spent in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, Van Gogh experienced a period of unprecedented productivity, often painting an entire canvas in a day. Van Gogh in Auvers: His Last Days, a new book written by Wouter van der Veen and Peter Knapp, compiles the paintings Van Gogh produced during that time, interspersed with correspondence and information about the artist later in his life.

Read the Full Article

The Colorado River Runs Dry

Smithsonian.com
10/5/2010

From its source high in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado River channels water south nearly 1,500 miles, over falls, through deserts and canyons, to the lush wetlands of a vast delta in Mexico and into the Gulf of California. That is, it did so for six million years.

Read the Full Article

EcoCenter Air

Smithsonian.com
6/1/2010

In December 1952, a deadly smog settled over London. Trapped by cooler air above, the dirty cloud enveloped the city for four days. Rich with soot from factories and low-quality home-burned coal, the Great Smog, as it came to be known, caused some 12,000 deaths that winter.

Read the Full Article

Saving the World's Most Endangered Sea Turtle

Smithsonian.com
5/1/2010

Cape Cod Bay churns as a frigid gust flicks froth into the air and the surf claws at the beach. I find a tangle of black seaweed on the sand, lift a handful of the wet mess and glimpse the lines of a shell. I grab more seaweed and uncover what Ive been searching for: a Kemps ridley turtle, a member of the worlds most endangered species of sea turtle.

Read the Full Article

Air Pollution as Seen From the Skies

Smithsonian.com
4/20/2010

Chinese cities have some of the worst air quality in the world. Much of the countrys electricity comes from burning coal, which releases millions of tons per year of sulfur dioxide and particulates into the air.

Read the Full Article

Lessons From The Past: Research Examines How Past Communities Coped With Climate Change

Sciencedaily.com
5/29/2009

Research led by the University of Leicester suggests people today and in future generations should look to the past in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. The dangers of rising sea levels, crop failures and extreme weather were all faced by our ancestors who learnt to adapt and survive in the face of climate change.

Read the Full Article

Whats the Deal about New Deal Art?

Smithsonian.com
5/20/2009

Sweeping a long arm in an arc around the walls of a new exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, deputy chief curator George Gurney fires off a string of locales. This is Seattle, Washington, he says. This is St. Paul, Minnesota. Thats Peterborough, New Hampshire. He continues through New England to Pennsylvania, California and New Mexico.

Read the Full Article

Global Warming and Tropical Cyclones: a Vicious Cycle?

Discovery.com
5/14/2009

Global warming can change storm patterns. In turn, storms might help fuel global warming. A new study suggests that tropical cyclones shoot water high into the atmosphere. The result may be a small but significant contribution to the greenhouse effect.

Read the Full Article

The Nature of the Fiscal World

Conservationmagazine.org
5/1/2009

As economic prospects turn grim, conservationists are locked in a familiar, highly polarized debate over the downturns potential costs. On one side are those who believe the recession may trigger dramatic environmental setbacks because only wealthy, growing nations are willing and able to fund conservation initiatives.

Read the Full Article

Antarctic ice nearly size of N.Y. City breaks up

MSNBC.com
4/29/2009

New satellite images from the European Space Agency show massive amounts of ice are breaking away from an ice shelf on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, researchers said Wednesday.

Read the Full Article

Man's Greatest Crimes Against the Earth, in Pictures

Discovermagazine.com
4/8/2009

Click the link below to see some rather impacting pictures of how humans abuse the earth.

Read the Full Article

Rare elephants shot dead in Indonesian jungles

MSNBC.com
3/31/2009

Two Sumatran elephants used to patrol protected forests were killed with single shots to the head each, Indonesian wildlife officials said Tuesday. The carcasses were found near their rangers' camp.

Read the Full Article

Land conversion contributed to 1930s drought. Could it happen again?

Conservationmagazine.org
3/18/2009

In the 1920s, farmers conquered the Midwests great prairie plains, turning them into the amber waves of grain we know them as today. But the change did not come without consequences. Research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that large-scale land conversion was the tipping point that turned a regular La Nina-style drought cycle into an environmental catastrophe.

Read the Full Article

Whatever Happened To... Acid Rain?

Discovermagazine.com
3/13/2009

At the end of the last century, a great environmental crisis came from above in the form of acid rain. As the precipitation killed lakes and streams, alarming studies reported massive die-offs of trees and fish. A 1984 Congressional report estimated that acid rain caused the premature death of about 50,000 people in the United States and Canada. But in the last decade, acid rain has all but fallen off the radar. So is the threat really over, or just in hiding?

Read the Full Article



Back to Top | Indy Connections Home | Young Indy Home
Passion for Life