398px-Trees_near_CoggeshallWhat would happen if there were no longer any trees? Well, we could just make our own. Via AOL News:

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Or is it? If you’re not getting enough air, you might want to spend time sitting under a newly designed artificial tree that converts carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen.

In the modern world of urban pollution, we can’t seem to grow enough trees to naturally convert carbon dioxide into life-sustaining air — the process of photosynthesis — until now.

Researchers at New York’s Columbia University, working with Influx Studio in Paris, France, have designed a faux or artificial tree. It’s basically a machine fashioned to resemble a dragon blood tree, complete with wide branches and umbrellalike tops that are used as support for the large solar panels…

FrogPeter Fimrite writes in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Sheepish scientists refer to it as a tail, but the appendage dragging behind the male frog recently discovered in Mendocino County is no tail.

The little amphibian, known as a coastal tailed frog, is unique among frog and toad species for its comparatively magnificent, let’s call it, copulatory organ.

The unusual species was found recently for the first time in the 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest, farther south than it has ever been known to exist. Biologists say the 1- to 2-inch-long amphibian has a lot going for it, most notably its genitalia, which can get up to a quarter of the length of its body.

But it is less about size than it is motion, as they say. This stream-loving critter apparently wags his tail with admirable dexterity.

Earth As Seen From Apollo 17Via Discovery News:

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if current trends continue, Clay said.

René Schoemaker reports on PC World: Radiation from Wi-Fi networks is harmful to trees, causing significant variations in growth, as well as bleeding and fissures in the bark, according to a recent…

Interesting post from Jolie O’Dell on Mashable:
Oil Spill

We’re losing interest in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill just a few weeks after it became a big media topic — and long before we’ve even made a dent in cleaning up after this mess — if Internet search and discussion trends are to be believed.

An estimated 100 million gallons or more of oil have surged into the Gulf of Mexico. Spread by wind and underwater currents, the pollution has drifted toward coastal areas, coating wildlife and natural environments in thick layers of crude oil.

Yet on Twitter, Google, blogs and even YouTube, we’re already wrapping up our collective discussion of the oil spill and how to repair its damage.

Gulf Coasr Oil Spill ProjectionCyriaque Lamar posted on this interesting research from the University of Hawaii. Cyriaque Lamar writes:

Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa have created a simulation of the potential spread of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill over 360 days. Their hypothetical scenario? All sorts of bad.

Researchers at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) have created a model that charts the oil’s possible path over the course of approximately a year:

Thank the gods that someone found a use for all those “1000 HOURS FREE!” AOL discs I received in the ’90s in the mail. Kyle VanHemert writes on Gizmodo:

CDSea is the work of artist Bruce Munro, who put out the call for unused CDs only a few weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, they poured in by the thousands. But the work was inspired by a moment almost three decades ago, when Munro was in Sydney, Australia.

CD Sea

Robert Singer writes:

During the various stages of the energy extraction process, the globe of the earth suffers limitless pain at the area where the drilling occurs. It is gradually being depressurized and cooled internally, causing cycles of constriction, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation and searing pain as they use large drills to puncture pericardium and into the heart, sometimes as deep as 10,000 feet.

As the serum gets sucked from the sediment pores, the surrounding rocks shift positions to fill the newly vacated spaces, causing unbearable agony as the earth automatically contracts in size and goes badly out of shape resulting in a deep crushing pain.

“I Thirst.” “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.”(Psalm 22:15)

Then another agony begins when millions of barrels of vital bodily fluids are produced. This causes deep, crushing pain as the sac surrounding the bowels of the earth slowly fills with hydrocarbon soil and begins to compress the tectonic plates causing (shock) mini-seismic earthquakes.