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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Al Gore advocates for gender equality, political action to slow climate change

Slowing climate change is neither inevitable nor impossible, former Vice President Al Gore said in a speech Tuesday night in New York City. Gore, who was launching his new book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis , said that he has "absolute conviction that we have all the tools to solve [several] climate crises."

In that light, one climate in peril may not sound like such a tall order, the Nobel Peace Prize (and Oscar and Grammy) winner may hope...

November 4, 2009 — Katherine Harmon

Wireless tech taking a toll on Earth science and astronomy

Nearly lost amidst the breathless anticipation of all things wireless—whether it's the latest smart phone, free Internet hot spot or GPS navigation system—is the potential impact these gadgets may have on scientific instruments that likewise need access to the electromagnetic spectrum...

November 3, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

TED MED: The power of the mind over the body

TED MED[www.tedmed.com] wrapped up with compelling personal stories that celebrated the power of the human mind to help the body endure or to reach physical achievements.

October 31, 2009 — Mariette DiChristina

Parachute failure before splashdown left Ares 1-X booster badly dinged

NASA's launch of the Ares 1-X test rocket Wednesday was a success—but, as it turns out, a qualified one. The rocket's first booster stage, which splashed down in the ocean as planned six minutes after launch, was found to be significantly dented when divers reached the mammoth cylinder to prep it for retrieval...

October 30, 2009 — John Matson

EPA tests porous pavement to combat contaminated rain runoff

In an effort to prevent polluted parking lot rain runoff from contaminating surrounding soil and underground water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it has launched decadelong test of permeable materials to find one that can filter out impurities in rainwater before it flows to its final destination...

October 30, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

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