You are not Going to Believe This

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Eva Mendez, by Philipp von Ostau, Public Domain

There I was, sitting at the Beachcomber Restaurant on a Florida Beach last February, a month before the pandemic began, munching on fish and chips. I graciously let my date, my wife of many years, have the ocean view and sat with my back to the Atlantic surf. It was a picture-perfect day, the mid-70s, hazy sun, and not too crowded on the patio.

Our conversation was interesting and it was only our first of 10 days there so we were thrilled to be into the subtropical air and expecting a good stretch…

Climatologist says it will crush humanity like a bug

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The “ Blue Ocean Event,” or BOE, where for the first time in human history, virtually all of the ice will be melted from the Arctic seas, may happen as early as September of 2020. Climate Systems Specialist Paul Beckwith predicts the BOE, when less than 1 million square kilometers of ice is left will happen this year.

Wait, what? All of the ice gone from the Arctic? Of course, there is no landmass at the North Pole like there is at the South Pole with the continent of Antarctica. …

Intensified health problems in Texas and Florida

The record-setting dust cloud from the Sahara Desert that has been nicknamed, “The Godzilla Dust Storm” has traversed the Atlantic Ocean and is now depositing a cloud of dust over parts of Texas and the Gulf Coast.

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PM2.5 and PM10 pollution on June 25th-28th, 2020. Source: EPA

The Sahara Air Layer (SAL), as it is called by NOAA, is common during the summer months and some years can cover the lower 48 states. This particular cloud is one of the most widespread, intense, and dense dust cloud events observed in recent decades since they were first measured in 2002. This cloud will cause dangerous air pollution for a while and…

Abrupt climate change is a climate emergency

Throughout Earth’s history, changes in the jet stream have been vitally important for our weather and climate systems. The jet streams, as you remember from Earth Science class, are high-altitude 200-mile-per-hour air currents in the north and south hemispheres. They flow west to east, hundreds of miles wide on meandering paths.

The winds vary in location, speed, and waviness as they move around our spinning planet. …

Use these tips to flip the conversation

Climate action seems to be taking a back seat to public health and social issues right now. To look at the headlines, one might conclude that the media has forgotten all about the climate apocalypse in the midst of Covid fatigue. But the virus is part of a much bigger problem.

Pandemics and accelerated social problems are two of the many impacts of climate change, along with superstorms, floods, national security, food and water insecurity, economic decline, and extreme weather. If we want to keep climate action on the front burner we need to keep talking about it. …

One white man’s journey to greater awareness

A recent post on Craigslist asked a few questions that echo what some white men are feeling.

Are we all racist simply by virtue of being white?

Are all white men complicit in exploiting and oppressing blacks and women?

Do all white men need to commit mass suicide before activists are happy?

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Image from the Library of Congress

The “Black Lives Matter” and other protest messages are apparently getting under the skin of some white people. It is hard to miss the dialogue and the placards condemning white privilege and demanding justice. …

How not to be a bad teacher.

Blank Slates?

Like most new teachers, in college, I had completed a practicum and internship working with students and I was eager to be the sage on the stage, ready to fill those blank slates with knowledge. And some of the students in my first high school science classroom appeared at first to be just that: open minds that were ready to be molded to my specifications. But not so fast!

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

When I stopped talking about science and started tuning in to the individuals in my room all that changed. I found that no matter how well they seemed to…

How to get started with basic statistics

Mark Twain said, “There are liars, damn liars, and statistics.” Twain knew that it’s easy to manipulate data and use it to influence other people. Politicians do it every day. A savvy person can always frame numbers to their advantage to make a persuasive argument.

Here are a couple of things you should know first before you use statistics yourself, or rely on the statistics of others.

Sample Size

First, data with a large sample size is always more valid and reliable than data with a small sample size. Generally, if you are creating a survey, or using any kind…

A case study of building a first home

Building your own house is the foundation of the American dream. Not only does a home provide shelter but it provides equity for the future. Many people have not only created equity and built wealth but actually succeeded in getting rich by making wise real estate decisions. Where do you begin on the journey to build your own home?

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Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash.jpg

Make a Plan

If you are serious about building a house in the future, the first step is to make a plan. And as with most projects in life, gathering information goes hand-in-hand with making the plan. The first things you…

Common battlefield injuries in the 18th and 19th centuries included laceration wounds from bayonets, bullet wounds from grapeshot, and shrapnel wounds from cannon fire. Sailors suffered the same kinds of wounds on ships and sometimes much worse.

Horrible Wounds

Often, the force of cannonballs hitting oak and pine wood ships produced horrible splinter wounds. Ships’ rigging, sails, and masts could fall and crush those below. The raking fire of cannon canister loads, which consisted of metal shrapnel, nails, cans, and chains was designed for the purpose of shredding sails and rigging that would disable the ship’s mobility. …

Glenn Fay, Jr.

Author of Vermont’s Ebenezer Allen: Patriot, Commando and Emancipator by Arcadia/The History Press (July 2021), Photographer. EdD, UVM.

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