Wed November 7, 2012
The Salt

California Rejects Labeling Of Genetically Modified Food; Supporters Vow To Fight On

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 1:14 pm

Supporters of genetically modified food labeling rally last month at Los Angeles City Hall.

What a difference $46 million in TV ad spending can make.

At least that was the consensus in the wee hours of the morning at the Yes on Proposition 37 party, held at a performance art space in San Francisco's Mission District, even before the final votes were tallied.

Outspent many times over, "we couldn't get up on the air," organizer Stacy Malkan told The Salt when it appeared the measure was going down. "You need a certain saturation to have an impact."

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Tue November 6, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Protection From The Sea Is Possible, But Expensive

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 9:14 am

Residents of the Colonial Place neighborhood watch as heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy floods the Lafayette River in Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 28.
Rich-Joseph Facun Reuters/Landov

While New York City and other places along the Northeast coast are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they're also looking ahead to how they can prevent flooding in the future, when sea level rise will make the problem worse. They may be able to take some lessons from coastal Norfolk, Va., which is far ahead of most cities when it comes to flood protection.

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Tue November 6, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

An Empty Debate: Politics Without Science

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:11 am

Navy specialists repair a weather buoy collecting data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) off the Atlantic coast of Africa. President Richard Nixon, a Republican, created NOAA, one of our principal resources for understanding the Earth's climate.
Elizabeth Merriam U.S. Navy

Where is "science" this election season? It's everywhere and nowhere.

From the big race on down to local contests, we just haven't heard much talk about it during the campaign season that ends today. That's a pretty startling omission when you realize that almost all of the pressing, complex problems we face as a nation have roots in science and technology.

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Tue November 6, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Norfolk, Va., Puts Flooding Survival Plan To The Test

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

Motorists drive through standing water at an intersection flooded from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida in the Ocean View area of Norfolk, Va., in November 2009.
Steve Helber AP

Superstorm Sandy got officials in New York and New Jersey talking about how to prevent flooding in a time of global warming and sea level rise.

But the place on the East Coast that's most vulnerable to flooding is several hundred miles south, around Norfolk, Va. — and Norfolk has already spent many years studying how to survive the rising waters.

Scientists say what Norfolk has learned is especially important in light of new research showing that the coastline from North Carolina to Boston will experience even more sea level rise than other areas.

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Mon November 5, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Are You Responsible For The Outcome Of The Election?

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 11:44 am

A voter fills out a ballot Sunday in Jersey City, New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie ordered early-voting stations to stay open through the weekend.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

We've all heard arguments that go something like this: it's not rational to vote, because the probability that your vote will make a difference is vanishingly small. This idea is formalized as "the paradox of not voting," and follows from a simple application of rational-choice theory.

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Sun November 4, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is It Safe For Pre-Teen Girls To Run Long Distances Competitively?

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:22 pm

The two sisters, Kaytlynn and Heather Welsch, have competed in over 70 endurance events, including rugged 13-mile trail runs, triathlons, and half-marathons. They are earning national attention, even more for their youth than their impressive athletic performances: They are 12 and 10 years old.

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Sun November 4, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Weather On Other Planets

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:24 am

Sometimes it's good to see how other folks (or other planets) do it. Here are some websites that explain what the weather is like on other worlds in our solar system.

From hurricanes the size of a moon to the methane rains of Titan things can get pretty hairy out there.

JPL low level description

NASA site at a bit higher level.

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Sun November 4, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Levee Rebuilding Questioned After Sandy Breach

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 3:19 pm

A man crosses a flooded street in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Thursday in Little Ferry, N.J. Surprise coastal surge floods caused by the storm battered Little Ferry, Moonachie and some other towns along the Hackensack River in Bergen County, all areas unaccustomed to flooding.
Mike Groll AP

Every time a storm brings flooding to a large metropolitan area, there are calls to improve the levee systems that are designed to prevent flooding.

But there's a major problem with doing that. "We don't know where all of our levees are," says Samantha Medlock with the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

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Fri November 2, 2012
The Picture Show

Interactive: Slide To See Before And After Sandy

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 3:50 pm

Interactive images show the New Jersey coast before and after Hurricane Sandy.

There's been no shortage of before-and-after imagery portraying the coast in Sandy's wake. One of the more impressive ways to see the storm's impact is by exploring this map assembled by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

We took a few screen grabs of the destruction around Seaside Heights, N.J., to create these sliding previews — but you can see much more if you zoom in on NOAA's interactive map.

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Fri November 2, 2012

As Storm Recovery Continues, Looking To The Future

Communities along the East Coast are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, dealing with electric outages, flooded streets, damaged sewage plants and fractured transportation lines. Can cities rebuild stronger, more resilient infrastructure to weather the storms of the future?