Showtime’s new series on climate change is a historic first

One example of climate change - a destroyed forest in the middle of an Indonesian national park

One example of climate change – a destroyed forest in the middle of an Indonesian national park

In the television industry, there are numerous “special” networks – those devoted to special broad topics. These include The History Channel and Animal Planet, among others. But until now there has never been even a series that focused on the biggest challenge humans ever faced – climate change.

Showtime has stepped into this gap with its new series Years of Living Dangerously.

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Legos with a purpose. They’ve moved beyond the playground

This Braille printer was built using Legos

This Braille printer was built using Legos

Legos aren’t just for playing with. They are being used in a surprising variety of ways, for some pretty amazing things.

I recently came across two that definitely have the “wow” factor.

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NASA cuts ties to Russia, jeapordizing our space travel

Traveling to and from the International Space Station will now be a big challenge for the U.S.

Traveling to and from the International Space Station will now be a big challenge for the U.S.

With the recent Russian annexation of the Crimea, its political ties to the U.S. have become strained, to say the least. Now word comes that NASA, our  preeminent federal space agency, has officially cut its ties with Russia and its space program.

This becomes highly problematic for the U.S. agency since we retired all our Space Shuttles in 2011 and have none at present to replace them. It’s going to take a few years yet for the new  Orion deep-space vehicle to be available and fully operational. And several private companies are still working on creating spacecraft to shuttle humans to the International Space Station.

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Man-made nesting boxes help local wood ducks thrive in northern California

Colorful wood ducks have come back from the brink of extinction thanks to our help photo by Dawn Beattie, flickr

Colorful wood ducks have come back from the brink of extinction thanks to our help. photo by Dawn Beattie, flickr

Throughout the local waterways of northern California – from the ACID canal to the Sacramento River – you’ll see ducks. North American Wood Ducks to be exact.

The only North American waterfowl that breed twice in the same season. over the years these colorful birds have faced hard times. With over hunting and loss of habitat, they came close to extinction in the early 20th century. An act of Congress – the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which ended unregulated hunting – and a 1937 program by the U.S. Biological Survey (now the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) to build artificial nesting structures have helped spur them to a dramatic recovery.

To learn more about these fascinating and colorful birds – with unique habits in the bird world – see http://bit.ly/ObeKd5..