Tag Archives: Nature

Science Podcast: Rural U.S. Sanitation Crisis, Manta Rays & Magnetic Muons

The lack of adequate sanitation in parts of the rural US, and physicists reassess muons’ magnetism.

In this episode:

00:45 How failing sanitation infrastructure is causing a US public health crisis

In the US, huge numbers of people live without access to adequate sanitation. Environmental-health advocate Catherine Coleman Flowers tells us about her new book looking at the roots and consequences of this crisis, focusing on Lowndes County, Alabama, an area inhabited largely by poor Black people, where an estimated 90% of households have failing or inadequate waste-water systems.

Book review: Toilets – what will it take to fix them?

07:56 Research Highlights

Why adding new members to the team can spark ideas, and how manta rays remember the best spots for pampering.

Research Highlight: Want fresh results? Analysis of thousands of papers suggests trying new teammates

Research Highlight: What manta rays remember: the best spots to get spruced up

10:13 Reassessing muons’ magnetic moment

A decade ago, physicists measured the ‘magnetic moment’ of the subatomic muon, and found their value did not match what theory suggested. This puzzled researchers, and hinted at the existence of new physics. Now, a team has used a different method to recalculate the theoretical result and see if this discrepancy remains.

Research Article: Fodor et al.

Views: ‘Cherry Blossom Mountain Park’ – Japan

“Sunday Morning” takes us this spring Sunday to a setting known in English as “Cherry Blossom Mountain Park” outside Tokyo, home to some 10,000 cherry trees. Videographer: Jiro Akiba.

The aptly named Sakurayama Park, which translates to Cherry Blossom Mountain Park, has around 10,000 cherry trees. The park has around 7,000 Fuyuzakura cherry trees, which bloom in the winter and the spring, as well as around 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees which bloom in the spring. During the blooming periods, the park is lit up at night, giving it a surreal, fluffy appearance. Tea ceremony events are held in the daytime during peak viewing seasons.

Views: Faughan Valley, Northern Ireland (Video)

The Faughan Valley runs from the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains along the beautiful River Faughan to the outskirts of the city. Covering some 80 square miles, it has been identified as an area of strategic importance thanks to some precious natural features. The river and its tributaries have well-earned environmental designations in recognition of the huge variety of plants and animals. And pockets of precious ancient woodland – a habitat even rarer in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the UK – dot this famously scenic land.

Nature Views: ‘Cape Floral Kingdom, South Africa’

Filmed in the Cape Floral Kingdom, South Africa.

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004, the property is located at the south-western extremity of South Africa. It is one of the world’s great centres of terrestrial biodiversity. The extended property includes national parks, nature reserves, wilderness areas, State forests and mountain catchment areas. These elements add a significant number of endemic species associated with the Fynbos vegetation, a fine-leaved sclerophyllic shrubland adapted to both a Mediterranean climate and periodic fires, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region.

The concrete jungle and the rat race suck up our time and energy. Our lives revolve around paying bills and staring at a computer screen. We feel stressed and anxious, and we don’t know what’s wrong. What we are truly lacking is a connection with the wild world and its rhythms. Grant takes us out into the Cape Floral Kingdom, where we kick off our shoes and walk barefoot on the earth, touch the bark of a tree, watch a spider spin a web, listen to the birds singing in the branches above. We reawaken our senses. So no matter where you live, get out there and be wild every now and then. You’ll find connection again.

Featuring Grant Hine – Ecotherapist and Guide (www.zenguiding.com)

Nature Views: ‘Some Very Clever Insects’ – David Attenborough (BBC Video)

The natural world is full of colours. For us, they are a source of beauty, but for animals they are a tool for survival. David Attenborough reveals the extraordinary ways in which animals use colour: to win a mate, to fight off rivals and to warn enemies. Attenborough’s Life in Colour | Series 1 Episode 2 | BBC

Aerial Views: ‘Kazakhstan – Landscapes & Waters’ (4K)

Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia. Its largest metropolis, Almaty, is a long-standing trading hub whose landmarks include Ascension Cathedral, a tsarist-era Russian Orthodox church, and the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, displaying thousands of Kazakh artifacts.