NASA has made all of their published research available to the public by launching a free database called PubSpace!
The decision to create PubSpace came from a request that was made by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy back in 2013. It was part of the offices “Open Science” initiative, working to increase the public’s access to government-funded research.
You can search the PubSpace database for whatever you’re interested in… there’s research in there ranging from exercise routines in space to the prospects for life on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. There are over 1,000 research articles in the database and the number is always growing as new research is released.
“At NASA, we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio of scientific and technical publications,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman. “Through open access and innovation, we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air, and space.”
Though this is more open than NASA has ever been before, there are still limits. While all NASA-funded authors and co-authors are required to submit copies of their research to PubSpace within one year of publication, certain information that might compromise national security or personal privacy will be excluded.
Even with these limitations, the database is expected to help all scientists! “Making our research data easier to access will greatly magnify the impact of our research,” says Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist. “As scientists and engineers, we work by building upon a foundation laid by others.”
Birds colliding with turbine blades is one of the negative effects of onshore wind farm. But a 9-year study at Norways Smøla Wind Farm has found that bird strikes can be decreased up to 70% simply by painting one blade of a wind turbine black!
Scientists believe this reduces what they call “motion smear,” allowing the birds to see the rotating blades. A single black blade may give the birds enough time to pivot and change course, avoiding impact.
A small furry marsupial that once roamed the grassy plains on Australia’s mainland has been brought back from the brink of extinction!
The Eastern Barred Bandicoot called the grassy plains of Victoria “home” until they were completely wiped out by non-native foxes, feral cats, and habitat destruction. By 1989, there were just 150 bandicoots left in the region, mostly living in rusted-out cars at a rubbish (garbage) dump.
Now, after 30 years of conservation efforts, the number of Eastern Barred Bandicoots has jumped from just 150 to nearly 1,500! This is the first time that Australia has changed the status of an animal from “extinct in the wild” to “endangered”.
Conservation teams have created several predator-free sites for the bandicoots – some fenced and others protected by trained dogs – as well as moving some bandicoots to fox-free islands. Conservation teams are “100% confident” that the Eastern Barred Bandicoots are now secure in the wild!
There are about 20 known species of bandicoots in Australia and New Guinea, several of which are classified as endangered or extinct.
Poland’s female javelin thrower, Maria Andrejczyk, won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics but she has a heart of GOLD!
Maria, a bone cancer survivor herself, auctioned off her silver medal from this year’s Olympic games to help raise money for 8-month Miloszek Malysa, who is suffering from a heart defect. Malysa’s family needed to raise funds of 1.5 million zlotys, equalling about $385,000, to travel to California so he could undergo surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. In an interview, Maria said that winning the silver medal brought her enormous happiness and that she wanted to pass that happiness onto a young child who could use some.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Maria said. “A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children.”
Maria announced in August that the winner of the auction was Żabka, a Polish convenience store chain, with a $125,000 bid. “It is with the greatest pleasure that ŻABKA, a little, big store chain, I give you my medal, which for me is a symbol of struggle, faith and the pursuit of dreams despite many adversities,” she wrote on Facebook.
Żabka later said that it would still pay the $125,000, but that Maria could keep her Olympic medal. “We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian, so we decided to support the collection of funds for the benefit of Miloszek Malysa,” the company said in a statement. “We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria, who showed how great of a champion she is.”
Did you know that in Canada it’s illegal to hold whales and dolphins in captivity? We had no idea but this is amazing!
Celebrating with our friends in Canada who worked hard to pass the “Free Willy” Bill S-203, outlawing captive breeding and the display and trade of whales and dolphins.
The “Free Willy” bill is named after the 1993 movie with the same title – a story about a boy who frees a killer whale from captivity in an amusement park. The new law makes it illegal to hold a whale, dolphin or porpoise captive, punishable by fines up to $150,000 USD.
World Rhino Day is a day of awareness for all five rhino species and the work that’s being done to save them. Since 2011, World Rhino Day has been celebrated internationally on September 22 –this year is the 10th anniversary!
Rhinos have walked the earth for more than 500 million years. According to the International Rhino Foundation, at the start of the 20th century, there were over 500,000 rhinos living in the wild. By 1970, the worldwide population had fallen to just 70,000, and today the number of rhinos surviving in the wild is only about 28,000.
Currently, 4 of the 5 rhino species are threatened with extinction. Of those 4 species, 3 are critically endangered which means they could go extinct within our lifetime.
Head over to the International Rhino Foundation’s website to learn all about World Rhino Day, grab yourself a limited edition t-shirt, and learn how you can support their incredibly important ongoing conservation efforts.
Credit: International Rhino Foundation (Rhinos.org)
On October 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th, 2021, 9-year-old Rose Taylor will be walking 21.7 miles along the Northern Line in London, England to raise money for the UK charity, Trees for Cities.
Over the last 25 years, Trees for Cities has worked to improve lives on an international scale by revitalizing forgotten spaces, creating healthier environments and getting people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy foods.
With over 140,000 volunteers, Trees for Cities has planted over 1 million new trees since 1993 – and Rose is determined to help!
Mr. Lawrence Brooks, the oldest known WW2 veteran from New Orleans, is celebrating his 112th birthday!
Last weekend, the National WW2 Museum organized a drive-by party at Mr. Brooks’ New Orleans home to celebrate his service and wish him the happiest of birthdays.
Born in Norwood, Louisiana in 1909, Mr. Brooks has lived in New Orleans since 1929. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1940 and served as a private in the Army’s 91st Engineer Battalion, building infrastructure such as bridges, roads, and airstrips in New Guinea and the Philippines.
The National WW2 Museum has previously hosted birthday parties for Mr. Brooks, although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the events to shift to drive-through celebrations the last 2 years.
The cruelty-free movement continues to thrive as Mexico becomes the 41st nation to ban animal testing for cosmetics!
Once enacted, Mexico’s new law also bans the manufacture, import and marketing of cosmetics tested on animals elsewhere in the world. With the addition of Mexico, 41 countries have banned such testing. Also, seven states in the U.S. (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada and Virginia) have passed laws prohibiting the sale of animal-tested cosmetics and 10 states in Brazil have also enacted bans. Mexico’s Senate vote was unanimous.
Fourteen absolutely adorable black-and-white Magellanic penguins returned to Argentina’s Atlantic coast after being rehabilitated from a variety of ailments, including malnutrition, hypothermia and dehydration.
If this isn’t just the sweetest happy ending, I don’t know what is!