Technology

Lady Bird, a Massive Machine Digs Out a Solution To DC Wastewater Woes

"A massive machine — longer than a football field — is munching away beneath Washington like a giant earthworm. Before it’s done, it will devour about 2 million cubic yards of soil that has been sitting under the city since the days of the dinosaurs."

Source: Wash Post, 02/21/2014

"Animals Bow to Their Mechanical Overlords"

"Several years ago, a group of American cockroaches discovered four strangers in their midst. A brief investigation revealed that the interlopers smelled like cockroaches, and so they were welcomed into the cockroach community. The newcomers weren’t content to just sit on the sidelines, however. Instead, they began to actively shape the group’s behavior. Nocturnal creatures, cockroaches normally avoid light. But when the intruders headed for a brighter shelter, the rest of the roaches followed."

Source: Nautilus, 02/14/2014

EWG Database Helps Public, Journos Find Drinking Water Threats

While EPA and local utilities make much data available online, the Environmental Working Group has compiled a tap water database that is much easier to use. It gathers data from the states as well as from EPA, and compiles city-by-city rankings of the best and worst drinking water quality. It also explains the health significance of contaminants and lists contaminants not regulated by EPA.

Fund for Environmental Journalism Announces Winter 2013 Grantees

Thanks to generous funding from the Grantham Foundation, and individual members and friends of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), we are pleased to announce grants totaling $12,500 to five journalism projects selected in SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism Winter 2013 grant cycle. Next application deadline: July 15, 2014. Pictured: FEJ grantee Douglas Haynes.

FAA Nixes Drones for Journos

Drones might count as new media — and certainly have journalistic uses in covering everything from prairie fires to chemical emergencies. The federal government, which devotes enormous technical resources to spying on its citizens, now says this is illegal. The Federal Aviation Administration issued the ruling, saying there was no grey area: hobbyists can legally fly video drones. But journalists can not. Image: Cade Cleavelin, a science/ag journalism senior at U of Missouri, demonstrates a DJY Phantom quadcopter at the 2013 SEJ Conference in Chattanooga, TN. © Roger Archibald.

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