Archive for 2001

“Tidal Giant” Roamed Coastal Swamps of Ancient Africa

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 31, 2001   View Article

Researchers have unearthed fossils of what appears to have been the second largest known creature ever to walk on Earth. The dinosaur, named Paralititan stromeri weighed in at an estimated 75 tons and measured as long as 100 feet (30.5 meters).

It dwelled 94 million years ago in mangrove swamps that once covered what is now a remote desert area in western Egypt.

Multimedia Project Invites Discourse on Human Existence

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 23, 2001   View Article

Will the Internet change humanity? Why do we make music and art? Does sex have a future? What will tomorrow really be like? Questions such as these lack simple answers, but open discussion of them is vital to understanding the nature of human existence.

At least that’s the theory of Robert Kuhn, an investment banker with a Ph.D. in brain science from the University of California in Los Angeles and a passion to use communications technology for intellectual discourse, not to sell advertising.

High Demand for Tequila Puts Mexico’s Dry Forests at Risk

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 14, 2001   View Article

Since the late 1990s, tequila has moved to the front of the shelf as one of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks. Behind the scenes, however, the trend is threatening tropical dry forests of Mexico.

The key to preventing that may lie in a bottle of mezcal, a close cousin to tequila, which is produced in limited quantities and is gaining ground as new premium alcohol.

Penguin Decline in Antarctica Linked With Climate Change

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 9, 2001   View Article

Emperor penguins like it cold. Now, scientists have determined that the penguins’ susceptibility to climate change accounts for a dramatic decline in their number over the past half century.

Over the past 50 years, the population of Antarctic emperor penguins has declined by 50 percent. Using the longest series of data available, researchers have shown that an abnormally long warm spell in the Southern Ocean during the late 1970s contributed to a decline in the population of emperor penguins at Terre Adelie, Antarctica.

Scientist Journeys Into Caves for Clues to Extreme Life

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 30, 2001   View Article

Caving is a highbrow sport. It takes intellectual prowess in the disciplines of geology and hydrology to know how a cave forms, and thus how to identify where hidden passages lie, said Hazel Barton, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Barton should know. She started caving as a teenager and has become one of the world’s foremost cave cartographers. Today, she employs her uncanny ability to seek out caves as part of her work in studying extremophiles—organisms that thrive in environments where human life could not.

1993 Volcano Eruption Spews Books

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 13, 2001   View Article

High in the Andes the Earth’s crust shatters with a sonic boom and incandescent rocks sizzle through the air. Six scientists and three tourists perish instantly. Several others run for their lives. Firebombs pummel them. Flesh burns. Bones break. Wounds bleed.

The 1993 eruption of Colombia’s Galeras volcano was a disaster.

“No one predicted there would be an eruption,” said Stanley Williams, a professor of geology at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, whose firsthand account of the 1993 eruption, Surviving Galeras, was published this April.

Yachtsman Sails World To Save Seas

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 10, 2001   View Article

Sail around the world in record time. Win the coveted America’s Cup. Get knighted by the Queen of England. Successfully defend the cup in New Zealand. Retire from racing. Tap into the Internet. Take people on an Internet voyage to exotic locales. Compel them to love the environment.

Such is the life of Sir Peter Blake.

Aboard the Seamaster, a 118-foot (36-meter) aluminum-hulled vessel that has two 89-foot (27-meter) masts and twin 350 horsepower engines, Blake is on a mission to help protect life in, on, and around the waters of the world. He said he hopes people will follow his journey via the Internet on his Web site and television documentaries and be inspired to join the mission to save parts of the world that are key to the planet’s ecosystem.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach