Tag Archives: National Geographic

Watch a Green Comet Streak Across the Sky for Christmas

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Comet Lovejoy
Comet Lovejoy

Andrew Fazekas for National Geographic

Watch a Green Comet Streak Across the Sky for Christmas
Comet Lovejoy is brightening faster than expected, putting on a show you can see for yourself this holiday season.

Just in time for the holidays, the skies are serving up a special cosmic gift: a brightening comet that may not have been in our part of the solar system for nearly 12,000 years. Continue reading

Build a Boma

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First posted May 21, 2014

Build a Boma
Build a Boma

From National Geographic’s Build a Boma campaign

In East Africa, livestock is the livelihood of many communities. When lions and other big cats kill livestock, people often kill the cats in retaliation—and the problem is growing worse. There are just over 30,000 lions left in the wild. The best way to prevent any more of these big cats from being killed is to prevent the conflict. And that’s where you come in. Continue reading

Food Ark

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July 2011

“A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply—but we must take steps to save them.”

Food Arcs Conservationist Cary Fowler - Photo Jim Richardson
Food Arc's Conservationist Cary Fowler - Photo Jim Richardson

Conservationist Cary Fowler holds two vials of peas. The sleek structure behind him holds the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which he founded in Norway to help stop the mass extinction of crops that threatens our future food supply.

By Charles Siebert
Photograph by Jim Richardson

“Six miles outside the town of Decorah, Iowa, an 890-acre stretch of rolling fields and woods called Heritage Farm is letting its crops go to seed. It seems counterintuitive, but then everything about this farm stands in stark contrast to the surrounding acres of neatly rowed corn and soybean fields that typify modern agriculture. Heritage Farm is devoted to collecting rather than growing seeds. It is home to the Seed Savers Exchange, one of the largest nongovernment-owned seed banks in the United States.”

“In 1975 Diane Ott Whealy was bequeathed the seedlings of two heirloom plant varieties that her great grandfather had brought to America from Bavaria in 1870: Grandpa Ott’s morning glory and his German Pink tomato. Wanting to preserve such unique varieties, Diane and her husband, Kent, decided to establish a place where people could store and trade the seeds of their own past. The exchange now has more than 13,000 members and keeps in its walk-in coolers, freezers, and root cellars the seeds of many thousands of heirloom varieties. The farm grows a glorious profusion of select vegetables, herbs, and flowers around an old red barn that is covered in Grandpa Ott’s stunningly deep purple morning glory blossoms.”

“Each year our members list their seeds in this,” Diane Ott Whealy says, handing over a copy of the Seed Savers Exchange 2010 Yearbook. It is as thick as a big-city telephone directory, with page after page of exotic beans, garlic, potatoes, peppers, apples, pears, and plums—each with its own name, personal history, and distinct essence. There’s an apple known as Beautiful Arcade, a “yellow fruit splashed with red”; one named Prairie Spy, described as “precocious”; another dubbed Sops of Wine that dates back to the Middle Ages. There’s an Estonian Yellow Cherry tomato obtained from “an elderly Russian lady” in Tallinn, a bean found by archaeologists searching for pygmy elephant fossils in New Mexico, a Persian Star garlic from “a bazaar in Samarkand.”
More from National Geographic

From the comments forum of Hines.Blogspot.Com:
THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2011 10:17:00 AM CDT
Paul Heald said…
“except for the fact that the RAFI study Siebert relies upon has been discredited and recent studies show an increase in crop diversity in the twentieth century and his apple data is completely incorrect . . . to see the raw numbers that he misses check out: “Crop Diversity Report Card for the Twentieth Century: Diversity Bust or Diversity Boom?” at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1462917 and “Apple Diversity Report Card” at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1543336.”

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“Spring Has Sprung! The Grass Has Riz! I Wonder Where The Flowers Is?”

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Pink Daisies
Pink Daisies

“Spring Has Sprung! The Grass Has Riz! I Wonder Where The Flowers Is?” That great comedian/gourmand: Jughead, of Archie Comic Book fame, “said” that a long time ago on paper.

Appropriate for the First Day of Spring, that old dormant “poem” springs up again with a new life.
Connect with the Official Archie Comic’s Website…

“Definition of Spring”
“Spring is one of the four temperate seasons. Spring marks the transition from winter into summer.”
“According to the astronomical definition, spring begins on the Vernal Equinox (usually March 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, and September 22 in the Southern Hemisphere), and lasts until the summer solstice (usually June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere and December 21 in the Southern Hemisphere). In 2009, Spring fell on March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere. According to this definition, therefore, the day called Midsummer’s Day in some traditions is the first day of Summer. Meteorologists generally define the beginning of spring as March 21 in the Northern Hemisphere and September 21 in the Southern Hemisphere.” read more from Wikipedia…

“Vernal Equinox 2009: Facts on the First Day of Spring” John Roach for National Geographic News Updated March 19, 2009.
“In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins at 7:44 a.m. ET on Friday, March 20, 2009—the vernal equinox, or spring equinox [ (see vernal equinox pictures). ]
“But don’t be fooled by the old rumor that on the vernal equinox the length of day is exactly equal to the length of night.” read more from NationalGeographic.Com

Happy first day of Spring to YOU!
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