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dplyr, (mc)lapply, for-loop and speed

scottishsnow | 18 February, 2018
I was at EdinbR on Friday evening and David Robinson's talk prompted some excellent discussions, not least with Isla and Gergana. One topic was on dplyr and lapply. I started using R in 2012, just before dplyr came to prominence and so I seem to have one foot in base and the other in the tidyverse. Ambitiously aiming for the best of both worlds!
Categories: Computing; open source; R;

Kumimanu biceae: A new species of Giant Penguins from the Late Palaeocene of Otago, New Zealand.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 February, 2018
Penguins, Sphenisciformes, first appeared in the Palaeocene of New Zealand, and subsequently spread around the Southern Hemisphere, reaching Antarctica, South America, Africa, and the Galapagos Islands. While typically associated with cool climates today, Penguins probably reached their most diverse during the warm greenhouse climates of the Oligocene and Eocene, when a number of giant species (species significantly larger than modern Emperor Penguins, Aptenodytes forsteri) are known from New Zealand and Antarctica.
Categories: Biodiversity; Birds; Marine Biology; New Zealand; Ornithology; Otago; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeocene; Palaeontology; Penguins; South Island; Sphenisciformes; Taxonomy;

Transition to Seismology Scouting

State of the Planet | 18 February, 2018
As we finished scouting and installing the GPS stations, we started to assist the seismology team in getting permission to install there instruments in Tea Estates....
Categories: Earth Sciences; General Earth Institute; Natural Disasters; Asia; Developing Countries; Earthquakes; Geohazards in Bangladesh; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory;

Epinnula pacifica: A new species of Snake Mackeral from the Pacific Ocean.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 February, 2018
Snake Mackeral, Gempylidae, are large (up to 2 m) Perciform Fish, similar in appearance to Baracuda, and with similar predatory habits. The Domine, Epinnula magistralis, is a slender, metre-long Snake Mackeral first described from the Caribbean in the mid nineteenth century. These Fish are found at depths of greater than 150 m, and are seldom caught, implying low population densities, with less than a dozen specimens from the Caribbean and Pacific currently known in museum and university collections.
Categories: Biodiversity; Bony Fish; Caribbean; Gempylidae; Hawai'i; Ichthyology; Japan; Marine Biology; New Zealand; Pacific Ocean; Perciform Fish; Snake Mackeral; Taiwan; Taxonomy;

LNG comes to Boston, a harbinger of the future?

Resource Insights | 18 February, 2018
The most curious natural gas story of the year so far comes out of Boston and seems to have echoes of a deepening Russia-related scandal in Washington. A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker bearing natural gas produced in part in Russia delivered its cargo to the Boston area for insertion into the natural gas pipeline system there. Apparently, the Russian company that supplied some of the gas may fall under U.S. sanctions against the financing and importation of Russian goods.
Categories: None

Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake in Oaxaca State, Mexico.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 February, 2018
The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake at a depth of 24.7 km, approximately 37 km to the northeast of the town of Pinotepa de Don Luis in Oaxaca State, Mexico, slightly before 5.40 pm local time (slightly before 11.40 pm GMT) on Friday 16 February. This event was felt across much of southern and central Mexico, as well as in southern parts of neighbouring Guatemala, and is reported to have caused damage to about 50 buildings and injured at least two people. While the Earthquake did not cause any direct fatalities, two people are known to have died when a helicopter that had made a flight over the effected area crashed on landing at a damaged heliport in Jalisco State.
Categories: Air Travel; Cocos Plate; Earthquakes; Geohazards; Mexico; Middle American Trench; North America; North American Plate; Oaxaca State; Subductive Plate Margin;


Open Mind | 18 February, 2018
It seems that Sheldon Walker's main disagreement with the danger of global warming isn't about whether or not it's happening, or whether or not it's man-made. He isn't convinced that the consequences will be as harmful as is often claimed. ...
Categories: Global Warming;

Leopard killed by police officer in Uttar Pradesh.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 February, 2018
A Leopard has died after being shot by a police officer in the village of Aurangabad Khalsa near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India, on Saturday 17 February 2018. Police had been aiding forestry officials in attempts to capture the animal, which had been living in unused concrete sewage pipes close to the village for at least two days, and which had injured several villagers in confrontations. The officer had reportedly tried to intervene where the Leopard attacked a local woman, and was forced to fire on it when it turned on him.
Categories: Big Cats; Biodiversity; conservation; Felidae; India; Law Enforcement; Leopards; Mammals; South Asia; Uttar Pradesh;

Missing man found dead at Montana mine.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 February, 2018
A Montana man missing since late January 2018 has been found dead at an old mine near Butte in Silver Bow County. Frank Piazzola, who was last seen on 28 January, was found dead at the foot of the gallows head frame (structure above a mineshaft that supports a lift hoist) at the Anselmo Mine Yard. The investigating coroner believes he fell to his death, and plans to carry out toxicology tests on his body.
Categories: Deep Pit Mining; Health and Safety; Mining; Montana; North America; Silver Bow County; Tourism; US;

Avalanche kills skier near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Sciency Thoughts | 18 February, 2018
A skier has died in an avalanche near Jackson Hole in Teton County, Wyoming, on Saturday 17 February 2018. The skier, identified as Alexander Marra, 30, of Orrem in Utah, was caught in the avalanche in the Rock Springs Canyon in the Teton Mountains above the town, at about 11.30 am local time and died instantly. Another skier who was with Mr Mara at the time of the incident was unhurt.
Categories: Avalanche; Health and Safety; North America; Snow; Teton County; Teton Mountains; Tourism; US; Wyoming;

Chrysiptera burtjonesi: A new species of Damselfish from the Solomon Islands.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 February, 2018
Damselfish, Pomacentridae, are small, often brightly coloured Perciform Fish found predominantly around tropical reefs and shores, though there are a few temperate and even freshwater species. They are often highly territorial, with males and females having separate territories, and the females leaving their territories briefly to lay eggs in the territories of the males, who then fertilise and brood the eggs and raise the young.
Categories: Biodiversity; Bony Fish; Damselfish; Ichthyology; Marine Biology; Pacific Ocean; Perciform Fish; Pomacentridae; Solomon Islands; Taxonomy;

Asteroid 2018 CH2 passes the Earth.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 February, 2018
Asteroid 2018 CH2 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 787 000 km (2.05 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.53% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun), at about 5.50 pm GMT on Monday 12 February 2018. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would not have presented a significant threat. 2018 CH2 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 4-15 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 4-15 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid) in the atmosphere between 43 and 26 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.
Categories: 2018 CH2; Apollo Group Asteroids; Near Earth Asteroids; Solar System;

Lassa Fever kills fifty seven in Nigeria.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 February, 2018
Fifty seven people have died in an outbreak of Lassa Fever (a form of hemorrhagic fever, similar too, but not as severe as, Ebola) in southern Nigeria between 1 December 2017 and 11 February 2017, according to the Nigerian Centre For Disease Control. A total of 615 suspected cases have been reported, with 193 of these confirmed by laboratory tests. Four of the known deaths are of health workers, with another seven such professionals having fallen in and been confirmed to have the disease. The World Health Organisation has also recorded cases of the disease in Benin and Sierra Leone this year, and several other West African nations are making preparations for outbreaks of the disease, which is endemic to the region.
Categories: Africa; Arendavirida; Benin; Biodiversity; Epidemiology; Lassa Fever; Nigeria; RNA Viruses; Sierra Leone; Viruses; West Africa;

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in safe mode

Red Planet Report | 17 February, 2018
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), at Mars since 2006, put itself into a precautionary standby mode on Feb. 15 in response to sensing an unexpectedly low battery voltage. The orbiter is solar-powered but relies on a pair of nickel-hydrogen b...
Categories: Reports; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA;

Three Case Studies in Re-wilding: Models and Methods for Other Cities to Consider

The Nature of Cities | 17 February, 2018
Re-wilding is a new area of interest in landscape architecture concerned with making landscapes that are as close to the original ecology of a place as possible. Not limited to only planting installations, re-wilded landscapes can also exist to attract, reconstitute and/or re-introduce wildlife to heighten biodiversity. Given the emergence of environmental issues at the ... Continue reading Three Case Studies in Re-wilding: Models and Methods for Other Cities to Consider '
Categories: Art & Awareness; Essay; Place & Design; Urban Environmental Education Review; Architecture; Biodiversity; Biophilia; Conservation; Design; Ecosystem services; Education/Knowledge/Learning; Experiencing Nature; Landscape; Livability; North America; Parks; Water; Wetlands/Rivers/Streams; What is urban nature?; Wildlife People Interactions;

British Colombia avalache victim dies in hospital.

Sciency Thoughts | 17 February, 2018
A 36-year-old man has died in hospital in Calgary, Alberta, after being caught in an avalanche near Golden in British Colombia on Friday 9 February 2018. The as yet unnamed victim was buried under 3 metres of snow then dug out by witnesses to the event in the Hospital Creek area, which is popular with snowmobiling enthusiasts, and airlifted to the hospital due to the severity of his injuries, but could not be saved and died on 16 February.
Categories: Avalanche; British Columbia; Canada; North America; Rocky Mountains;

5,000 days on Mars

Red Planet Report | 16 February, 2018
The Sun will rise on NASA's solar-powered Mars rover Opportunity for the 5,000th time on Saturday, sending rays of energy to a golf-cart-size robotic field geologist that continues to provide revelations about the Red Planet. "Five thousand sols ...
Categories: Reports; Cape Byron; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; Perseverance Valley;

Chemical Cocktails Confound Phosphorus Management

Terra Central | 16 February, 2018
Edge of field pump station lifts and discharges subsurface drain tile water to roadside ditch in Monroe County, Michigan, 2017 (author)..
Categories: Agriculture; Hydrology; Land Use; Policy; Rivers; Soil function and values; Soil's Role in the Environment; Uncategorized; Water Quality; 4R Nutrient Stewardship; biosolids; eutrophication; glyphosate; harmful algae blooms; Lake Erie; phosphonates; Phosphorus in the environment; runoff; Severity Index;

A Plant Friend Most Would Pass By

Green leaves and red stems just above center are the plant of interest."When I discovered a new plant, I sat down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and hear what it had to tell." John Muir, in Explorations in the Great Tuolumne Cañon, 1873.
Categories: Boechera; phytogeography; rare plants; rockcress; Wind River Mountains; Wyoming botany;

HiRISE: Stranger (crater) things

Red Planet Report | 16 February, 2018
Stranger (crater) things. Could this deposit at the bottom of an impact crater be a relic of glacial features? Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; periglacial processes; periglacial terrain; rock glaciers; Tyrrhena Terra; University of Arizona;

FY 2018 Spending Closer to Finish Line, FY 2019 Process Begins

Speaking of Geoscience | 16 February, 2018
by Kasey White, Director for Geoscience Policy, Geological Society of America
Categories: Public Policy;

Non Bare Earth Lidar

Lidar (light detecting and ranging) is a landscape reading tool that I use whenever the imagery is available. I have frequently posted lidar derived imagery. The ability to have bare earth imagery with accurate elevation has been a huge change for geologists. But the non bare earth imagery is also a powerful tool.  
Categories: geology;

THEMIS: Chaotic debris in Tithonium Chasma

Red Planet Report | 16 February, 2018
THEMIS Image of the Day, February 16, 2018. In this VIS image of Tithonium Chasma both sides of the chasma are visible. In this narrow and deep part of the chasma exist both large, chaotic block landslide deposits with smaller ... Continue reading ...
Categories: Reports; Arizona State University; ASU; canyons; landslides; layers; Mars Odyssey; mass wasting; NASA; tectonics; THEMIS; THEMIS Image of the Day; Thermal Emission Imaging System; Tithonium Chasma; Valles Marineris;

Opportunity: ‘Stone stripes’ and other surprises

Red Planet Report | 16 February, 2018
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity keeps providing surprises about the Red Planet, most recently with observations of possible "rock stripes." The ground texture seen in recent images from the rover resembles a smudged version of very di...
Categories: Reports; Cape Byron; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity; periglacial processes; Perseverance Valley; rock stripes; stone stripes;

The Mass Transit Man

State of the Planet | 16 February, 2018
Thomas Abdallah, adjunct professor at Columbia University, is working to make the NYC subway system more sustainable....
Categories: Sustainability; Urbanization; mass transit; Master of Science in Sustainability Management program; public transportation;

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