Category "Public Health"
March 29, 2006
MidWest Haze Cam
The sky looked really hazy driving in to work today. I was surprised that our local Air Quality Index (AQI) wasn't elevated above "moderate" when I checked the MPCA web site. The AQI is a composite score based on ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particles (PM2.5).
But I found out at MPCA's site that there's an even better way to get a sense of local air quality -- the MidWest Hazecam. The site has live camera shots and fine particle and ozone data for many big cities in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes states. You can also link to it through the EPA's AIRNow site, which gives national forecasts for air quality along with several public health resources. And it's got several great maps. Did you know the U.S. Forest Service has air quality images? Here's one for the Boundary Waters.
March 8, 2006
Truth stranger than fiction: Hirsute crustacean
There are weird and wondrous creatures dwelling in the depths of the sea. BBC News today had this story of a lobster/crab-like creature living along the deep thermal vents of the South Pacific. A crustacean so unique -- with silky hairs along its arms -- that a whole new taxonomic family name was created for it. This creature has been dubbed Kiwa hirsuta. According to the article, Kiwa is "the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology," and the hirsuta refers to it's hirsute quality.
• In the picture, this creature looks like one of those long-armed toy monkeys -- a rally lobster in the making?
• Goddess of crustaceans, eh?