Archive for June, 2013

Secrets of the sun

Finally got around to the PBS movie Secrets of the Sun but I have to say after reading “The Sun’s Heartbeat and Other Stories From the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet“  by Bob Berman, that maybe I already new all of it’s secrets. Still a good movie to watch and I would highly recommend it.

Or if you just want a brief overview of the sun, then check out the song (and video) by They Might Be Giants entitled “Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent)” . It’s where my kids first learned about the sun a few years back.

Shine on!


Green Librarian

Workin’ for a livin (planet)

Over the years, I’ve really only had one paying job (and one volunteer job) that were truly green jobs. The first one was my volunteer job working with Earth Day 1990 as the state student coordinator for Missouri and that was a blast! I’ve never had so much fun as when trying to coordinate what was going on across the state with high school and college students.

The other job followed on the heels of that job but it actually paid! I worked as a campus coordinator for the Missouri Public Interest Research Group or MoPIRG. Now that was a much tougher job but definitely well worth it. I truly hope I made a difference in the lives of a few of the students at St. Louis Community College at St. Louis and I know that they made a difference in my life.

Anyway, I came across these couple of articles on some really cool jobs in my kids Xplor magazine from the Missouri Department of Conservation. They include “Wild Jobs: Bat Counter” (in the June/July 2011 issue) and “Wild Jobs: Lizard Wrangler” (in the April/May 2012 issue). Not be be outdone however, we have this recent article which was entitled “You Can Apple to be a Professional Polar Bear Spotter” by Jess Zimmerman over at The Grist from earlier this year.



Green Librarian

Disappearing act of our coasts

So while we debate the reasons as to how we are getting there, the evidence as to what is happening continues to mount. One of the most obvious ones is how the coastlines are vanishing as the seas continue to rise. This article by Benjamin Strauss and Robert Kopp, “Rising Seas, Vanishing Coastlines” over at the New York Times, presents some of the possible scenarios.



Green Librarian

400 and counting

One subject to me that I’ve never been clear about is climate change or as it was known previously, global warming. That however was until  just recently when Bob Berman helped paint a clearer picture of it for me in his book “The Sun’s Heartbeat and Other Stories From the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet“. 

In his book he talks about carbon dioxide (a term I’m a little familiar with ) and how were getting close to this somewhat magic number of 400 ppm, a barrier in which we will probably break by 2016. Anyway, that got me to thinking how I remembered hearing about that number recently.

Well, apparently not a lot of other people were paying attention either as we find out in this article over at the New York Times by Justin Gillis entitled “Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestones, Raising Fears“. So even though Bob Berman talks about the four variables, including carbon dioxide, that affect the earths heat swings (along with the Sun’s irrandiance, volcanic dust, El Nino) , it’s seems that at the moment carbon dioxide has taken the lead in this race.

Not to be outdone however, NASA put together this video last month of the sun compiled over three years. The article is entitled “Sun’s Daily Life Captured in New Video” by Stephanie Pappas over at LiveScience.

Stay tuned!


Green Librarian



Every tree tells a story

As I have stated here many times, trees are one of my favorite gifts from nature. Two books that my kids use to love to read when they were younger were The Giving Tree and The Lorax. Each is a story that center around trees and so in honor of my kids and our trees, I give you this article by Kelsey Allen over at Mizzou Magazine (from the school where I received my Masters in Library Science) entitled “If Tress Could Talk“.



Green Librarian

One if by land, two if by sea

Unlike the original meaning of that phrase regarding the british, it seems like today the same can be said about how the next disaster that is approaching across the United States. Maybe one if by water or two if by fire. You could also add three for the wind?

Depending on where you live, it could be one or more. For those out west there is this article, “Wildfire Forces Evacuation of Thousands in Northern Los Angeles County” by Jennifer Preston over at The Lede, a New York Times blog.

While here in the midwest we have the overflowing Mighty Mississippi River.  For the latest on what it’s doing, check out “Rising Rivers Flooding Parts of St. Louis Area” over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Just tonight in fact, a levy broke over in Alton, Illinois.

Finally, in the south and again in the midwest, we have the heartbreaking story entitled “Chasing the Storm but Hoping not to Catch it” by Michael Schwirtz also in the New York Times. What’s even more disconcerting is that hurricane season is also just beginning.

Take care and be safe!


Green Librarian

Talking to the whales

So if the article “Arctic Sea Ice Melt Disrupts Weather Pattern” by Beck Oskin at LiveScience is true, then maybe we should be listening to the whales.

According to Douglass Main’s article “Enchanting Whale Songs, Stories of a Changing Arctic”, also over at LiveScience, maybe that’s what we should be doing. Apparently they have a lot to tell.



Green Librarian