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Blog Posts by Subject: Earth Sciences

Pleading Planet: Review of the film Koyaanisqatsi

The first time I saw the film Koyaanisqatsi I was a college student rambling around on an aimless Saturday night. A campus hall was screening it for free, so I ducked inside, my curiosity piqued.  I remember thinking, “Koyaanisqatsi? What does that mean?” With an “oh well” shrug, I settled into one of the classroom’s half-desk chairs as the lights dimmed to black. When the film ended and the lights shone, I was changed.

Scored with the haunting music of

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A Fight on the River

The mountains are rolling and green, hawks glide on invisible wind currents, endlessly circling gracefully above. On occasion a bald eagle soars powerfully across the sky; deer are a common sight along the river’s edge. The Delaware River is the dividing line between Pennsylvania and New York in this area. The river winds circuitously as it makes its way south to the coastal waters far below. The slow moving water of the Delaware creates a mirror image of the mountains and sky above. The Delaware River is clear and provides a magical window to the life and terrain below its sparkling 

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Sea Change: A Review

Many are drawn to Selkie Island. Few know why.

The whirlwind of events that brought sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant to the island, away from her sensible summer plans in New York City, are unlikely but they make enough sense. Her mother has inherited a house that needs to be gone through and emptied. Logical enough. And so much more realistic than any fairytale happy ending.

But Selkie Island is a messy place that quickly blurs the lines between past and present and, more startling for Miranda, between reality and legend. Lore about mythical creatures and her own 

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The Brown Pelican: Reluctant Heroine of the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster

The Brown Pelican (Pelcanus Occidentalis) is described on many web sites as one of seven or eight species of pelicans with a wing span over 7 feet...

It is the smallest of all the pelicans. One of the features that make this brown bird so distinctive is its large bill; when resting, the neck bends in two places. Standing out from the pack, the Brown Pelican dives directly into the water, beak first, for its food. The habitant of the Brown Pelican is along coastal waterways.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology captured the sights and sound of the

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Swept Away

The waves build, barrel in and crash. It is an endless cycle. One after another waves give beach lovers true pleasure. It is the relentless rhythm of the in and out of the water, accompanied by the sound of the waves tumbling in that lulls the wave watcher into a opiate like pleasure, truly a natural high. The sight and sound is addictive.

The beauty of the ocean, is in its seemingly 

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The Dump

Yesterday...

...and today!

OK, so this is the thing about which just about all Staten Islanders, no matter what their background or politics, have over the years been least proud. The Fresh Kills Landfill (or as we used to call it, “the dump,”) closed on March 22, 2001, certainly in part as a reward from then mayor Rudy Giuliani to Staten Island for its political support.

The dump opened up in 1948 and was supposed to be temporary. It grew to be by most accounts the largest garbage dump in the world.

I had the pleasure(?!) of 

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