June 23, 2013 |
JUNEAU, Alaska - I'd been told she'd had a little work done. Who can blame her? She was turning 50, and her life had been hard. The miles were starting to show. But after an $8-million update, she was as good as new and ready to celebrate - and I got to join the party. Meet the Malaspina: Fifty years ago she made the voyage that launched the Alaska Marine Highway System, a ferry network that opened the state's isolated coastal towns to tourism and gave residents easier access to the outside world.
May 31, 2013 |
Deforestaton is propeling fast changes in evolution, a study of the Brazilian rain forest suggests. Researchers found that in areas where populations of large-billed, fruit-eating birds, such as toucans, have been driven out because of deforestation, palm trees have evolved to produce smaller and less successful seeds. The Brazilian scientists collected more than 9,000 seeds from 22 palm populations in patches of rain forest that had been fragmented by coffee and sugar cane development during the 1800s.
January 15, 2013 |
New music in Manila is a too-little-looked-at phenomenon. We've been missing something. For a Monday Evening Concerts program, built around the U.S. premieres of works by two Philippine composers, Zipper Concert Hall became, in Jonas Baes' "Patangis-Buwaya," a rain forest. The sounds made by a quartet of low winds and whistles and stones handed out to the audience were so uncannily authentic that all that was said to be missing were the mosquitoes. But the big piece of the night, José Maceda's "Strata," proved an even more peculiar sonic and spiritual wonder.
November 4, 2012 |
TIKAL NATIONAL PARK, Guatemala - The woman in the shorts shrieked, grabbed her ankle and crumpled to the ground as though she'd been shot. And in a sense she had. "A bullet ant," surmised José Elias, our unflappable guide. "If they sting you, the pain will last 24 hours. Take care. " We left the stricken woman to her friends and plunged deeper into Guatemala's steamy jungle. Birds sang madly, chaotically. Emerald billed toucans alighted in the treetops. The spooky cry of a howler monkey echoed through the forest.
February 10, 2012 |
Deforestation and climate change may sound like familiar concerns to the modern ear. But a team of French scientists is arguing that even 3,000 years ago, humans may have played a role in transforming the Central African rain forest into the savannas we see today. As Bantu farmers expanded south and east into the rain forest in search of fertile agricultural land, they may have created savanna "corridors" that cut into the forest and helped turn that lush landscape into drier grassland, according to a study published online this week in the journal Science.
October 6, 2011 |
It's official: Barbie has broken up with Asia Pulp & Paper Co. Responding to a campaign by environmental activists at Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel Inc., maker of the famed Barbie doll line, announced Wednesday that it would stop buying paper and packaging that the environmental group has linked to rain forest destruction in Indonesia. The El Segundo company said it would tell suppliers to avoid wood fiber from companies "that are known to be involved in deforestation. " Among those companies, Greenpeace said in a statement, is Asia Pulp & Paper.