Ocean conservationists (and fish) got some rare good news from Washington this week: President Obama created the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean.
The presidential proclamation – which does not require congressional approval – will expand the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, placing the area off-limits to commercial fishing and many other activities that can damage the environment.
And what’s good news for fish is good news for kitties, right? You can read more about the expansion of the marine reserve in this article from National Geographic with a follow-up about how the new rules for the area will be enforced.
Imagining Deep Time, an art exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, tackles the profound theme of “deep time,” the timescale not of human life but of trees, rivers, mountain ranges, even stars. The exhibition features works by 15 artists in a range of styles and media including painting, photography and sculpture. Curator JD Talasek says that the exhibition “explores the role of the artist in helping us imagine a concept outside the realm of human experience.”
The show runs until January 15. More information, including a downloadable catalog, is here.
It was a long week, wasn’t it, kittens? But we made it through.
Scientists have discovered a new kind of mushroomy, jellyfishy type thingie that nobody had ever studied before. A paper published this week in the journal PLOS ONE describes the discovery of the previously unknown creatures off the coast of Australia. Lead author Jean Just, of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, admitted “we don’t even know if they’re upside down.”
The animals are described as looking like floppy chanterelle mushrooms but feeling like dollops of gelatin. The two new species described in the study were officially named Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides. As yet, almost nothing is known about them, and only 18 specimens have been studied.
Mushroom Cat says “ohai” to his newly discovered cousins.
California has been experiencing drought conditions for over a year, and now geological monitoring stations show that the drying ground is actually rising up. According to this article by Sarah Zielinski in Smithsonian Magazine, “Measurements of these subtle movements, made using GPS instruments, suggest that the western United States is missing some 62 trillion gallons of water, enough to cover the entire region six inches deep.” Alarming news for farmers and thirsty kitties alike.