Descanso Gardens’ rare collection of dinosaur-era plants

In 2014, La Canada Flintridge residents Katia and Frederick Elsea called the city’s Descanso Gardens with an odd proposal: would the famous horticultural center take their collection of over 180 rare cycads, a fern-like plant from the days of the dinosaurs? The garden said yes, and now those plants are part of Descanso Gardens’ Ancient …

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Death-Cap mushrooms pose a mortal danger, and they are prevalent in California

The recent deluge of rain from the atmospheric river has brought much-needed relief to the California water system, doing a lot to refill reservoirs. However, the rain has also raised concern over the rapid growth of amanita phalloides, also known as the death cap mushroom. The death cap accounts for nearly 50 percent of all …

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The Big One, Einstein in LA, Soundwalls, Owls saving wine, Upside-down sea mirrors, The deadliest fungus

Week of March 29, 2019 Geology and Earthquakes When is the Big One coming? It will, you know Lucy Jones is a seismologist, perhaps best known in and around California as the Earthquake Lady, or perhaps Dr. Earthquake. Jones’ 2018 book The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do …

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Oil rigs’ future, turning rigs into reefs, Lake Death Valley, Charles Darwin in California, Huge fossil discovery in LA

Marine Policy What to do with California’s dying oil rigs? A magnificent multimedia story by the Los Angeles Times looks at the fate of the Holly oil platform off the coast of Southern California. Oil rigs have long been a source of controversy in California, especially following the January 28, 1969 oil spill near Santa …

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Tubeworms, Deadly Mushrooms, 50,000 Underwater Golf Balls, Bye-bye Botts Dots, End of Recycling

Private science goes deep Fascinating work being done right now in the Gulf of California by Schmidt Ocean Institute. This is a private non-profit started by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, (Eric of Sun Microsystems and Google fame) and headquartered in Palo Alto, California. They are doing pioneering work in undersea exploration. Their current expedition takes …

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California’s volcano threat, “Lost” Atlantis, the newt’s journey, “Dude” Lawrence of Arabia, building against wildfire.

California’s volcano threat…take it seriously. A new report out from the U.S. Geological Survey documents something many of us already know: California is volcano country. Nevermind that we already face the potential for a massive earthquake sometime in the near future, but the report says the danger from a small- to moderate-sized volcanic eruption in …

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Exploring the ocean’s deepest depths, Cabo Pulmo, Great white shark genome, collapsing bluff, and thwarting cactus thieves

Brave new efforts to explore the ocean’s depths Only three people have ever been to the bottom of the ocean, and none of them were there for very long. In 1960, Swiss explorer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy lieutenant Don Walsh rode in the bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the …

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Sea of Shadows, Drones on the vine, landslide science, let’s talk earthquakes, Walter Munk.

Sea of Shadows takes on poaching in the Sea of Cortez One of the best documentary films at Sundance this year was the conservation epic Sea of Shadows, about poaching in the Sea of Cortez. Directed by Richard Ladkani (who also directed Ivory Game, about elephant poaching), and executive produced by Leonardo DeCaprio.   The film follows Mexican …

Read moreSea of Shadows, Drones on the vine, landslide science, let’s talk earthquakes, Walter Munk.

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