The Pipers of Fire Island

News Brief by Kip Hansen   The Piping Plover, a tiny little sea bird,  has been struggling to survive in modern times as beaches are developed for tourists with houses hugging the shorelines of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and the Great Lakes region, up into Canada.    In Florida, on Cocoa Beach, where…

Mad Dogs and Americans

News Brief by Kip Hansen   The U.S. CDC has issued one of its Vital Signs press releases that readers in the United States should be aware of, especially those living in more rural areas. In the classic of modern American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird, the father of  Scout, the narrator, Atticus Finch, a…

Buggy Weather Radar

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen   Weather radar is a wonderful thing — and many of us depend on it to know such important facts such as “When will that rainstorm hit my area?”. At sea, I used my on-board radar to detect the edges of rainfall and rain squalls, track them, and predict when…

Could Dengue Spread in a Warming World?

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen A new paper in nature microbiology makes the following statement: “Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that has spread throughout the tropical world over the past 60 years and now affects over half the world’s population. The geographical range of dengue is expected to further expand due to ongoing global…

Not Threatened By Climate Change: Bengal Tigers

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen   The Big Cats — lions, tigers, panthers, cougars, leopards —  have always fascinated and frightened mankind.  Tales of tigers and lions — once they have gotten a taste for human flesh — terrorizing villages as they search for another human to eat abound along with tales of the famous…

Fake Academe: Fined $ 50.1 Million

News Brief by Kip Hansen News Flash: “U.S. judge rules deceptive publisher should pay $50 million in damages”. Appearing yesterday in Science magazine online is the news that “A U.S. federal judge has ordered the OMICS International publishing group to pay $50.1 million in damages for deceiving thousands of authors who published in its journals…

Model-land, Butterflies and Hawkmoths

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen   Welcome to Model-Land, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!  “Model-land is a hypothetical world in which our simulations are perfect, an attractive fairy-tale state of mind in which optimizing a simulation invariably reflects desirable pathways in the real world.”  Here in Model-Land you’ll see fabulous “computational simulations and associated…