Five Ways the International Space Station’s National Lab Enables Commercial Research

A growing number of commercial partners use the International Space Station National Lab. With that growth, we will see more discoveries in fundamental and applied research that could improve life on the ground.

Space Station astronaut Kate Rubins was the first person to sequence DNA in microgravity.

Since 2011, when we engaged the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab, CASIS has partnered with academic researchers, other government organizations, startups and major commercial companies to take advantage of the unique microgravity lab. Today, more than 50 percent of CASIS’ experiments on the station represent commercial research.

Here’s a look at five ways the ISS National Lab is enabling new opportunities for commercial research in space.

1. Supporting Commercial Life Sciences Research

One of the main areas of focus for us in the early origins of the space station program was life sciences, and it is still a major priority today. Studying the effects of microgravity on astronauts provides insight into human physiology, and how it evolves or erodes in space. CASIS took this knowledge and began robust outreach to the pharmaceutical community, which could now take advantage of the microgravity environment on the ISS National Lab to develop and enhance therapies for patients on Earth. Companies such as Merck, Eli Lilly & Company, and Novartis have sent several experiments to the station, including investigations aimed at studying diseases such as osteoporosis, and examining ways to enhance drug tablets for increased potency to help patients on Earth. These companies are trailblazers for many other life science companies that are looking at how the ISS National Lab can advance their research efforts.

2. Enabling Commercial Investigations in Material and Physical Sciences

Over the past few years, CASIS and the ISS National Lab also have seen a major push toward material and physical sciences research by companies interested in enhancing their products for consumers. Examples range from Proctor and Gamble’s investigation aimed at increasing the longevity of daily household products, to Milliken’s flame-retardant textile investigation to improve protective clothing for individuals in harm’s way, and companies looking to enhance materials for household appliances. Additionally, CASIS has been working with a variety of companies to improve remote sensing capabilities in order to better monitor our oceans, predict harmful algal blooms, and ultimately, to better understand our planet from a vantage point roughly 250 miles above Earth.

3. Supporting Startup Companies Interested in Microgravity Research 

CASIS has funded a variety of investigations with small startup companies (in particular through seed funding and grant funding from partnerships and funded solicitations) to leverage the ISS National Lab for both research and test-validation model experiments. CASIS and The Boeing Company recently partnered with MassChallenge, the largest startup accelerator in the world, to fund three startup companies to conduct microgravity research.

4. Enabling Validation of Low-Earth Orbit Business Models 

The ISS National Lab helps validate low-Earth orbit business models. Companies such as NanoRacks, Space Tango, Made In Space, Techshot, and Controlled Dynamics either have been funded by CASIS or have sent instruments to the ISS National Lab that the research community can use, and that open new channels for inquiry. This has allowed the companies that operate these facilities to validate their business models, while also building for the future beyond station.

5. Demonstrating the Commercial Value of Space-based Research

We have been a key partner in working with CASIS to demonstrate to American businesses the value of conducting research in space. Through outreach events such as our Destination Station, where representatives from the International Space Station Program Science Office and CASIS select cities with several major companies and meet with the companies to discuss how they could benefit from space-based research. Over the past few years, this outreach has proven to be a terrific example of building awareness on the benefits of microgravity research.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

Drive east from Washington and eventually you run smack into the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, the massive estuary that stretches from the mouth of the Susquehanna River at Maryland’s northern tip and empties into the Atlantic 200 miles away near Norfolk, Va.

The Chesapeake is home to oysters, clams, and famous Maryland blue crab. It’s the largest estuary in the United States. And for a long time, it was one of the most polluted.

Decades of runoff from grassy suburban yards and farm fields as far north as New York state, plus sewage and other waste dumped by the hundreds of gallons, made the Chesapeake so dirty that by 1983, the crab population had plummeted to just 2 percent of what Capt. John Smith saw when he explored the bay in the 1600s.

For years, people tried to clean it up. States and the federal government spent millions of dollars. The first effort began in 1983 — officially launched by President Ronald Reagan in his 1984 State of the Union Address.

And each time, the cleanup efforts failed. The bay’s health wasn’t getting much better.

By 2009, when the Chesapeake Bay Foundation sued the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to get the EPA to do more to clean up the bay, the Chesapeake’s dead zone was so big it often covered a cubic mile in the summer.

Dead zones form when the water becomes too concentrated with nitrogen and phosphorus — allowing algal blooms to grow and block out sunlight from reaching beneath the water and causing populations of fish and crabs to plummet.

Then, last summer, scientists recorded no dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay. And wildlife was returning, too. The EPA’s new plan seemed to be working.

“When I first heard that spawning sturgeon were back in the bay, my reaction was, ‘Yes! We can get this done,’” says Will Baker, the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s president. “It’s really exciting. You give nature half a chance and she will produce every single time.”

Chesapeake Bay Dead Zones Are Fading, But Proposed EPA Cuts Threaten Success

Photo: Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR


Prompto’s Photos, chronologically - 44/?

Glitchy Shenanigans Edition!

First I had Noctis become invisible. only for Prompto to do it instead. Then the boats. Then at one point, everyone but Prompto had the sneak +100.

After sleeping at the Leville they were back to normal, but Altissia’s waters had developed an algal bloom that made fish very easy to see.

carnovalesque  asked:

Hi Najia! I read your poetry book a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it! I write prose but have never been able to write poetry, and I was wondering, when you write poems, do you tend to churn out a crappy Draft Zero and then go back and revise heavily? Or do you have a different writing process?

thank you!

  1. I start with a scrap (an idea, a phrase that I like, an interesting image). when something like this comes into my head I’ll make a note of it on my phone or in a “scraps” document on my laptop. for this poem, that scrap was “a clogged drain / sending back its rubbish / in a backwash of [word I hadn’t decided on yet] / like coagulated pearls.” for “extremophile” it was “glowing like glass, / repugnant with ash, / a thing that would break / if you handled it / at all.”
  2. ruminate on this phrase until it grows into something bigger–until you can add more to it, or figure out what you want to say with it, or even combine it with other scraps. for example I wrote the poem “cruor” by writing the scrap “but blood will out. / and blood will out. / and blood will out / and out / and out,” and then, months later, writing the scrap “neither stain nor contagion / but the very innermost / guts / of the thing— / the thick, dark, / sure roots of it,” seeing that they fit in well together (both talking about “blood” as a metaphor for race), and writing the rest of the poem around them.
  3. be patient! sometimes I sit on scraps for a long time before figuring out what I want to do with them (though of course this process is perforce expedited right now because it’s napowrimo). my first question is always, “does this bit want to be at the beginning, middle, or end of a poem? does it have a ring of finality to it? is it a good opening? or does it need both an introduction and a closing to be added?” and then “what is it saying? what mood / tone / emphasis does it have? what can I use this to say?” and I sort of write a poem around it like forming a pearl around an irritant.
  4. don’t be afraid to revise heavily! maybe where you first tried to go with this poem isn’t working out–go back to the drawing board. maybe this scrap that you thought would work at the end of a poem actually fits better in the middle of what you ended up writing (this is what happened with “cruor”). sometimes I end up cutting the original image that I wrote the poem around out of the poem entirely!! it breaks my heart but if omitting something makes for a better poem, then omitted it must be. I’ll also change the order of things–”an Arabian sonnet” started with the rhyming couplet “dense, fizzing tufts of green like algal blooms— / as sleepy as the downy crowns of mushrooms” and throughout the course of writing it, I ended up switching the rhyme scheme from a Petrarchan sonnet, to a Shakespearean sonnet, to a series of rhymed couplets, before I figured out what I wanted to do. each one of these changes involved switching a lot of lines and even stanzas around. this also necessitated changing “dense” to “in,” and I was sad to lose that image but it was syntactically necessary. I was very proud when that one finally came together, lmao.
  5. so that’s what I do to get a first draft. then I read over the poem closely about 1600 times and probably end up paring it down a lot! I cut any word that doesn’t add anything, or anything that can be inferred from the rest of the poem. I change or cut any word that’s not pulling its weight, and change stock expressions and cliches unless they’re adding something. I’ll sometimes cut entire stanzas–there’s nothing I hate more than when a poem overstays its welcome. I look at every word and ask “is this the right word here? is it saying what I need it to say? is there a reason for it to be here? would something else serve me better?” if you’re writing in a metered form you can also ask yourself if you’re using the meter well–if your deviations from it mean something, if it means something when you stick to it (as in Sonnets for the Sickly where the very regular meter of “wake and doze and wake by turns in restless fits and halts” mimics the action that it’s describing, and, contrarily, the meter is often less regular than usual during points of high emotion in the poem, such as the beginning of the fourth sonnet.) I’ll often put words that aren’t quite right in (parentheses) so that I can come back to them later. I like every word in my poems to say at least one thing but preferably two or three. thesauruses are your friend but make sure that you know the exact meaning of any word that you’re getting from them!! here’s an example of the result of this process.
  6. I’ll also change punctuation, line spacing, stanza order, and wording back and forth about 20 times at this stage, sometimes leaving it and coming back to it later, before I’m sure that I have everything just the way I want it. 

this is just one process out of many (I’m sure many people figure out what they want to say first and then find the language to fit it, rather than working backwards like this) but that’s what I do!

anonymous asked:

I don't understand how vegan doesnt harm life on earth? Plants die? Your causing deforestation for your farming needs? If you care so much about animals why are you allowing their homes to be torn down because your hungry? Your causing more damage than needed. You eating a steak is one cow Out of millions But you eating a tropical fruit kills thousands of animals natural habitat. You vegetarians and vegans are the reason half our oxygen will be depleted, your breathing and your habits .js

First of all, what you need to understand is that just by you being human you’re impacting negatively this planet and its ecosystem. Being vegan just means that you’re trying to minimize the harm we inflict upon this planet and its earthlings. 

Now, let’s break this down: 

Your causing deforestation for your farming needs?

Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:

  • Vegan: 1/6th acre
  • Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
  • Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan

“If you care so much about animals why are you allowing their homes to be torn down because your hungry? Your causing more damage than needed. You eating a steak is one cow Out of millions But you eating a tropical fruit kills thousands of animals natural habitat. ”

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.

Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction.  Animal agriculture is responsible of 51% of the entire gas emissions that are affecting the planet, raising the temperature levels. Understand that the animal agriculture uses a lot of fresh water for animals that are going to be killed just for a stake.

One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce – the equivalent of 2 months worth of showers. No matter how they were raised, it doesn’t matter if they were grass fed or if they were in a factory farm.

It takes 1000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.

“You vegetarians and vegans are the reason half our oxygen will be depleted, your breathing and your habits .”

As vegans we actually:

Reduce global warming

  • Global warming poses one of the most serious threats to the global environment ever faced in human history. Yet by focusing entirely on carbon dioxide emissions, major environmental organizations have failed to account for published data showing that other gasses are the main culprits behind the global warming we see today. As a result, they are overlooking the fact that the single most important step an individual can take to reduce global warming [faster than any other means] is to adopt a vegetarian diet.1
  • In its 2006 report, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gasses than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.2

Avoid excessive CO2 production

  • According to the UN Report, when emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases.3

Reduce methane/nitrous oxide production

  • Cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the total methane (23 times as warming as CO2) generated by human activity.4 With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority
  • The livestock industry generates 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.5
  • The livestock industry also generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 300 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.6
  • In addition to having the advantage of immediately reducing global warming, shifting away from methane-emitting food sources is much easier than cutting carbon dioxide7:
  • First, greenhouse gas reductions through a vegetarian diet are limitless. In principle, even 100% reduction could be achieved with little negative impact. In contrast, similar cuts in carbon dioxide are impossible without devastating effects on the economy. Even the most ambitious carbon dioxide reduction strategies fall short of cutting emissions by half.
  • Second, a shift in diet can lower greenhouse gas emissions much more quickly than shifts away from the fossil fuel burning technologies that emit carbon dioxide. The turnover rate for most ruminant farm animals is one or two years, which means that decreases in meat consumption would result in an almost immediate drop in methane emissions. The turnover rate for cars and power plants, on the other hand, can be decades. Even if cheap, zero-emission fuel sources were available today, they would take many years to build and slowly replace the massive infrastructure our economy depends upon today.
  • Similarly, unlike carbon dioxide which can remain in the air for more than a century, methane cycles out of the atmosphere in just eight years. Therefore, lower methane emissions translate to cooling of the earth quickly.

Save large amounts of water

  • Estimates of the water required to produce a kilo of beef vary, from 13,000 liters8 up to 100,000 liters9. Whichever figure you use, the damage is plain when you consider that the water required to produce a kilo of wheat is somewhere between 1,000-2,000 liters.

Avoid further pollution of our streams/rivers/oceans

  • Pollution of our waterways is caused by animal waste, antibiotics and hormones entering the water cycle alongside chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers, and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.
  • Manure, or waste water containing manure, severely harms river and stream ecosystems. Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population of the United States. Since factory farms don’t have sewage treatment systems as our cities and towns do, this concentrated slop ends up polluting our water, destroying our topsoil, and contaminating our air.10
  • Once factory farm pollutants—including nitrogen, phosphorus, antibiotics, and pesticides—reach the waterways they cause a great deal of damage to aquatic and human life. Algal blooms are a particular problem, blocking waterways, using up oxygen as they decompose and killing the natural populations of fish.11
  • • In large amounts, animal waste can present major problems to the waterways and their surrounding environment. More than 2 billion tons of animal manure was produced worldwide during the late 1990s. Assuming average nitrogen content of around 5%, this makes 100 million tons of nitrogen12 finding its way into our water system.

Reduce destruction of topsoil & tropical rainforest

  • Thirty percent of the earth’s entire land surface—a massive 70% of all agricultural land—is used for rearing farmed animals. Much of this is grazing land that otherwise would host natural habitats such as valuable rainforests. And, of the entire world’s land suitable for growing crops that would otherwise directly feed humans, a third of it is used to produce feed for farmed animals.13
  • Livestock farming can lead to overgrazing causing soil erosion, desertification and deforestation14. Twenty percent of the world’s grazing land has already been designated as degraded due to the rearing of animals for their meat.15
  • Livestock production is responsible for 70% of deforestation in the Amazon region of Latin America, where rainforests are being cleared to create new pastures.16
  • Deforestation increases greenhouse gas emissions by releasing carbon previously stored in the trees. It is also a major driver in the loss of biodiversity – a pressing concern when one considers the fact that just a few species of livestock now account for about 20% of total terrestrial animal biomass.17

Reduce destruction of wildlife habitats & endangered species

  • The livestock industry is responsible for widespread deforestation and cultivation of vast tracks of land. Wide-spread cultivation of the land ruins animals’ natural habitat and forces millions of them to be evicted from their homes each year, causing long-term harm to our wildlife.

Reduce use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals

  • Farmed animals and fish are fed a wide variety of drugs to fatten them faster and to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them. These drugs enter the human food chain through direct consumption or through pollution of our waterways.
  • The effect on humans of consuming low levels of these drugs during a lifetime is unknown but could be serious. Antibiotics given to farmed animals include penicillin, erythromycin, and inorganic arsenic (the most toxic form of arsenic).
  • Antibiotics contain significant amounts of the most carcinogenic form of arsenic. USDA researchers have found that “…eating two ounces of chicken per day—the equivalent of a third to a half of a boneless breast—exposes a consumer to 3 to 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic, the element’s most toxic form.” Daily exposure to low doses of arsenic can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments in humans. 18
  • Antibiotics reduce the amount of bacteria in animals’ intestines and preventing infection, to which crowded, stressed animals are predisposed. Routine antibiotic use leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, thereby reducing antibiotics’ effectiveness when treating people suffering from food poisoning or other infectious diseases. 19
  • Farmers give hormones to animals to increase growth and productivity. Widely used in the United States, these hormones are known to cause several types of cancer and reproductive dysfunction in humans.20 While U.S. farmers claim that using hormones to promote growth is safe, the European Union has prohibited this practice since 1995.21
  • Fish farming contributes directly to the pollution of our waterways:
  • Large numbers of fish kept long-term in a single location produces a significant amount of feces concentrated in a small location, which can enter local waterways.
  • Because of parasite problems, some aquaculture operators frequently use strong antibiotic drugs to keep the fish alive. Many fish still die prematurely at rates of up to 30%.22 The residual presence of these drugs in human food products has become controversial because the use of antibiotics in food production is thought to increase the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in human diseases.
  • These drugs enter the food chain through direct consumption of the farmed fish itself and through the highly concentrated feces deposits that contaminate water supplies. Reports indicate that Scottish salmon farms alone have breached pollution limits more than 400 times in the past 3 years.23

Reduce ecological footprint

  • By choosing a vegetarian diet instead of one loaded with animal products, individuals can dramatically reduce the amount of land, water, and oil resources that they consume and the amount of pollution they otherwise might cause. Of course, reducing one’s ecological footprint should also mean causing less harm to the Earth’s non-human inhabitants. By switching to a vegetarian diet, each person can save more than 100 animals each year from the horrific cruelty of the meat industry24.

Help ensure environmental sustainability

  • There were approximately 6.5 billion people living on earth in 20052526 , and as the world’s population continues to grow, our requirement for food will also increase. Worldwide food production requires 30% of the total soil available, 20% of fossil fuel energy and a major part of the fresh water flow27. Raising cattle is one of the most damaging components of agriculture28. In addition to their gaseous emissions and manure products, it causes the most environmental damage of any non-human species through over-grazing, soil erosion, desertification and tropical deforestation. Studies on world food security estimate that an affluent diet containing meat requires up to 3 times as many resources as a vegetarian diet29.
  • Global production of meat has increased dramatically from 130 million tones in the late 1970s to 230 million tones in the year 200030. Meat is now the single largest source of animal protein in all affluent nations31 and demand for animal flesh is expected to more than double by the year 205032. In order to meet this growing appetite, animals will no doubt be reared more intensively and cheaply with factory farming and aquaculture (fish farming) causing further pollution, water demand and land usage. If nothing is done, the environmental impact of meat production can only increase.
  • Adopting a vegetarian diet is an important tool to achieve environmental sustainability.

So, yeah, maybe you should re-evaluate your life choices; I mean, if you’re truly concerned about everything you mentioned, then adopt a plant-based diet and be coherent. Actions speak louder than words. 


Keep reading

an Arabian sonnet

you might as well demand I stop the dew
as ask me to explain the heft and hue
of teeming life that chokes the water through—
that close, slow-budding love that grew for you

in mounding cowslips dripping in the gloom—
in reeds and rushes rustling up their plumes—
in fizzing tufts of green like algal blooms—
as sleepy as the downy crowns of mushrooms—

spore-flourishing with cap and stem and stalk—
ubiquitous and soft and white as chalk—
my body the marshland, my heart the loch

that bore you, host-like, as you blew. don’t fall
to reasoning love’s exuberant sprawl—
might as well ask life why it thrives at all!

The seven other seas

1. The first of the seven other seas is initially difficult to distinguish from the more commonplace seas near its entrance, which some say is in the North Pacific. Navigation, however, is almost impossible. One can usually tell that one has entered the first other sea by the complete malfunction of GPS, compasses, celestial navigation, etc. at the same time. At night the stars are blurry smears across the sky. Generally the advice to those who have entered an other sea is to get out as quickly as possible, so the navigational problems pose a grave difficulty and few people have come back from the first other sea. Because it is near the North Pacific Gyre, great washes of plastic are sometimes seen near the entrance and this can be a way to navigate out. The nature of its actual hazards is rather vague. Some speak of just escaping the rising of unusually violent storms; others of drifts of fog they felt compelled to avoid. One must assume those who did not make it back learned somewhat more.

2. The water of the second sea is sweet and cherry-scented. It falls in extravagant waterfalls from steep, rocky islands thick with stinging plants (maybe there is some kind of fruit-based filtering system within?). Needless to say, the sweet water is clogged with vast algal blooms and the sort of extraordinary insectile forms one might expect near-infinite sugar to attract. The sky over the second sea is a thick, luminous yellow, as if a ferocious sun were doing battle with an enormous cloud bank. It is an awful place. Those who have come back from it are generally not fond of cherries.

3. The water in this sea seems to become thicker as one ventures further in. It grinds together like ice, although the weather is only moderately cool. Sailing into it is incredibly perilous and should only be undertaken for short distances and with a reinforced hull. There are many tales of ships who have entered unknowingly and their unfortunate ends. Needless to say, a swimmer could not last long in the milling waters, half-transformed to stone. They say if you could get through the transition zone this sea would be walkable on, and maybe it does not count as a sea at that point, even if one can still over the centuries feel the movements of great stone whales below.

4. There is no light here; no sun or moon or stars and (as far as we know) no phosphorescent seaweeds of the like. One can bring one’s own light sources, of course, but so far none have shown anything but a black, brackish sea against a black sky. The longest a boat has stayed here and returned is an hour. Depth soundings have yet to reveal evidence of a sea bed.

5. There is a perpetual smell of peat on the air; much more than the occasional small islands could produce. This is perhaps the friendliest of the seven other seas and there are some travellers who claim to have stayed here for weeks with little ill-effect. It is still notable that maybe one in three of those who have been in fail to come out. Therefore there must be some hazard, even if we are unable to say what it is.

6. We do not know anyone who has been to the sixth sea. Some say that it was invented to make sure that there were seven other seas and not six. Alternatively the entrance may be very remote or very small, or its waters peculiarly hostile.  

7. It is a shallow sea, and can be waded in in places. The sun shines very hot on its nearer parts, which are windless and smell strongly of the thick red seaweed that grows there. It is not known how far this sea stretches, though no-one has found an end of any sort other than a few lonely sandbanks. But one cannot sail here other than in tiny rowboats or punts, so it is hard to travel far. There have been explorers who were determined to prove that some miraculous feature existed, somewhere deep beyond the bland inner reaches of this sea. We waved them off, and we have not seen them since. I suppose if they found their utopia they might have stayed, and be still living.

Algal bloom in the Baltic Sea

As the spring warms the sea and life reawakes after the winter, algal blooms (sometimes overfed by nutrient runoff from over fertilised fields) form, often creating beautiful patterns, but the deep green swirls of this one in the Baltic has an almost surreal cosmic air, resembling some nebula out in deep space or a serious attack of aurora borealis… until one minds the track of the boat ploughing through from the top centre of the photo towards the bottom left. What a beautiful world!


Image credit: ESA

The Red Tide

The appearance of a red is never a good thing. People dread these tides because not only does it look like some horrific biblical omen, it smells terrible and causes schools of fish to choke and die. But what is a red tide and what causes them?

A red tide is an algal bloom. It consists of a type of algae called dinoflagellates.

The bloom occurs when conditions are optimal for the algae. This means the temperatures are perfect, salinity is at good levels, and there is an excess of nutrients. These extra nutrients are usually from agricultural runoff (fertilizers washing into the ocean). The algae is in such excess that it chokes fishes gills causing mass deaths. Shellfish like clams and mussels are filter feeders and will become contaminated by the algae making them toxic to eat. There is no way to control an algal bloom, we just have to wait for the conditions that caused it to return to normal levels (usually this means all of the excess nutrients getting used up)and the algae to die.

Because of the mortality and contamination the bloom causes it has very bad effects on local economies. Some blooms can also give off gases that can cause nausea in the people near it, also making it unsafe to swim in which in turn effects the tourism in these areas. Work is being done to reaserch these blooms to forecast when and where they will occur (like the weather) so that people can prepare for the effects it has.

Now I want to be very clear on one thing: NOT ALL ALGAL BLOOMS ARE HARMFUL. Often they are helpful: they provide extra food for larger organisms that we fish for and eat. The difference between a harmful algal bloom and a non-harmful one is dependent on the type of algae that is blooming.

Algal Bloom is a new  indie band who was off with a slow start but its slowly picking up on the music charts with their fresh happy hardcore tunes.

(from right to left)

Chaeto the Leafy Sea Dragon: The band’s composer and master of the synth, he may not be able to breathe fire but his passion burns with the strength of 1000 suns.

Coral the Sea Angel: the second vocalist of the group, dont be fooled by her seemingly innocent look, as she actually hides a fiery personality, she’s also able to play the keytar like no other.

Vallis the Vampire Squid: the main vocalist and leader of the group, depiste her intimidating look, she’s actually very friendly and works hard to keep her band happy, there’s nothing she wants more than inspirite young inklings to give their best both in and outside the battlefield.

Marimo the Manta Ray: the drummer and youngest member of the group, whose lack of size is compensated by his seemingly endless energy and cheerfulness, this mischievous little folk tends to get a little carried away when playing and sometimes ends up breaking his drumset, but for some reason its just impossible to get mad at him.

Yes I made my own splatoon fictional band sue me.

Cow pee and toxic algal blooms: Yes, they are connected

Biologists at Rocky Mountain National Park are connecting the dots between unprecedented algal blooms in park lakes and nitrogen pollution. Here’s how it works.

1. Cows eat greens in pastures, which have a LOT of fertilizer applied to them.

2. They pee and poop, naturally. But the nitrogen-containing ammonia in their urine can transform into an airborne particulate called ammonium nitrate. 

3. This little particle floats in the air and, under certain wind conditions, gets carried north, where it can fall on the park when it rains or snows.

Originally posted by rivermusic

4. This leads to excess nitrogen in the park ecosystem, which enables invasive plants to thrive, harms native trees, and acidifies rivers and lakes. 

Originally posted by cinemagraphcity

These wind systems only happen a dozen or so times a year. Some farmers in the region have signed up for a program that warns them of a northward front. This gives them the chance to change their practices that contribute to nitrogen pollution—maybe they wait to turn their compost or do it a day early. Scientists say there hasn’t been a decrease in nitrogen levels in the park since the program started, but there hasn’t been an increase either—and that’s progress.  

I asked people to send in / tweet #ScienceValentines and man did they deliver. Here’s a few from around the internets:

Are you an ionized halogen? Because I’m positive we should bond.
- Flirting With Psychology

Our bond is so strong, it don’t need oxytocin.
We’re woven together like a corpus callosum.
The love we impart, though it’s felt in our heart,
Is more of a limbic-type notion.
- Joe Hanson, host of It’s Okay To Be Smart

I dig you like Curiosity digs Mars.
- Bobak Ferdowski, Systems Engineer at NASA JPL via Science Friday

Is it just the negative delta H, or is it getting hot in here?
- Debbie Mitchell’s student

You are the transcription enhancer of my love exons.
- Jason Anthony Tetro, @JATetro

A mathematician from Rye
Said please be the X to my y.
Simultaneous equations
Unlike conversations
Are not just Pi in the Sky
- Alison Richards, my radio editor

Boy, are you a prairie chicken? ‘cuz you’re making my heart go boom-boom.
- Emily Graslie, host of thebrainscoop

May our atomic orbitals overlap for I would love to bond with you. Be my valence valentine.
- my friend’s grandpa

You’re so hot, you make the Triassic seem like the Quaternary!
- Erik Hankin, via the American Geophysical Union

If we were bacteria under selective antibiotic pressure – I’d totally give you my plasmid.
- @twisteddoodles

My love for you is like dark matter: you can’t see it but it’s always there.
Symmetry Magazine (more here)

And many of the floral pigment variety:

Roses are red, Violets are [read the rest of this article for $35.95]
- Sylvain Deville, @DevilleSy

Betelgeuse is red
Rigel is blue
You’re Siriusly hot and
I’m starstruck by you.
- Chella Quint, @chellaquint

Exhaust plumes are red
Bright skies are blue
If you were a barge
I’d land my 1st stage on you
- @ROCKETDRAG Do you get this one? If not, click here.

Harmful algal blooms are red
Mussels are blue
During this romantic seaside escape
Lets not get paralytic shellfish poisoning
- Alice Anderson, @alicechristinea

Here’s my favorite effort:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Most poems rhyme
- Hischak’s student, @NBCphysics

Claire`s Annual Rant on Job Applications

1. Have a professional email address. Seriously, set one up that has your name or initials or some such combination on gmail or use your school address. Do not apply for a job and list your ‘ponyluv4ever’ or ‘castiel69’ email. It’s not professional and it makes you look immature.

2. Your cover letter should be 1 page long. ONE. I do not want to read a 3 page soliloquy on your life story. Tell me what qualifies you for the job, especially if your resume reads a bit weak compared to what the position lays out for requirements.

3. Don’t be arrogant. Confident? Yes. Enthusiastic? Yes. That you feel your background/education/volunteer experience makes you a good fit? Absolutely. But don’t be pompous or say that you’re a perfect candidate or that I should “look no further” or that you think you should get the highest paid slot of the 3 I’m filling, because I am the one that knows what the position needs and it makes you come off like an ass.

4. Handwriting matters! If you are filling out an application by hand make it NEAT and LEGIBLE. I’m not going to spend an hour trying to decipher your chicken scratch. Plus, if I’m hiring for a job that involves things like field notes or data sheets or what-have-you where things need to be readable you’ve pretty much eliminated yourself from the running.

5. Grammar and spelling matter. I spend hours reading cover letters, resumes, and applications, often with a whole group of colleagues and yes, you will be judged for it. A mistake or 3- no big deal. An application rampant with errors? Reads to me like you didn’t really care and aren’t particularly invested in the job. Spellcheck is your friend. Google is your friend, especially for more obscure or scientific terms or just to triple check you are listing a technique or acronym correctly. It doesn’t come across well if you have numerous typos. If you are dyslexic or English isn’t your first language or just in general HAVE SOMEONE PROOF READ FOR YOU.

6. Avoid unusual fonts and stationary and clipart and alla that jazz. That heavier paper? Jams up in the copier. That fancy font you use to make your name on your resume look like it’s out of a medieval text? It’s a PITA to read. Keep things simple and tidy and clear.

7. Get your application in ON TIME and, this is a big one, FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. I have zero pity if you email a week after a posting closes, after it was up for 6 weeks, and want to know if you can still send in an application. Maybe you can, but I’ll be looking at everyone who got theirs in on time first and yours probably never. Additionally, if you are supposed to send in an application, resume, and cover letter? SEND IN ALL OF THEM. I don’t want to have to track you down if your resume is great and nag you to send the other parts we need- hiring is a huge time suck already and missing components may bump you down or off my list.

8. Be responsive! Check your email and voicemail. If you get an interview offer, get back to me ASAP- even if you are declining I would really like to know, because juggling interviews around your schedule, my schedule, whoever else might be in on the interview schedule, and room availability is HARD. I KNOW you got that email, unless you are out at sea or off on a desert island (and if you are going to be hard to contact PUT THAT IN YOUR COVER LETTER) dawdling for days after you get an invite is rude and irritating. Heck, just a quick note to acknowledge you got the email and are interested and need a few days to figure out availability is fine.

9. I may just Google you, or see if you have Facebook, or look for you on LinkedIn to see if it matches your resume. So please be careful about your internet and social media presence. Check your privacy settings- you can keep all your weird shit for Friends Only. Don’t have an inappropriate profile picture. Don’t have sexist or racist or disgusting posts visible on your wall (ideally, don’t have them anywhere).

10. Be able to actually talk about what you put on your resume. And be honest… because I do know what I’m talking about and will suss out your BS pretty easily. Don’t put down you have extensive experience in using water chemistry meters and then it turns out you really just took them out of a box once during lab. Don’t list details of a course on current issues in the Great Lakes and not know anything about algal blooms. Don’t say you can ID common Midwestern invasive plants and utterly fail to ID any of them on the picture quiz.