24 March 2013

How I See It

I've found that pictures don't always match reality. This is especially true when it comes to using the images in bird field guides to identify a species I've see in the wild.

Many times, I've struggled over identification because the bird I saw seemed to have significant differences from the ones in the book. Now, I think I know why: The still images on the page capture the birds from an ideal perspective, unobscured with key identifiers in plain view, while the real-world encounter is usually brief and from a tricky angle.

As this entry from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Round Robin blog suggests, help is on the way for bird-watchers. Birder and photographer Richard Crossley is taking a new approach to bird guides by providing many images of each species from different angles and distances against a more natural backdrop. The pictures even present the species at different stages of its life.

Guides like this represent a great advance in bird identification. I wonder if e-books will be able to take it further by including motion.

22 March 2013

Stepping up Our Game

When it comes to the health of the environment, you have to play to win, and more and more sports teams are embracing that idea.

Partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council, many leagues and teams, including the Pacific Northwest members of the Green Sports Alliance, are working to minimize their environmental impact. Check out the following video about the NRDC's 2013 game changers for environmental stewardship (that's "The Natural," Robert Redford, narrating):

As a sports fan and environmentalist, it makes me happy to see these teams helping advance the ball on environmental sustainability.

19 March 2013

Drop it Like it's Hot

Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." However, when it comes to the truth about global warming, remembering (or at least, having access to) key pieces of information is crucial to countering deniers.

Luckily, a new Web site called Reality Drop identifies deniers' claims and provides the scientific evidence that refutes them. Reality Drop comes from The Climate Reality Project, which was founded by Al Gore. For more information about it, click here. It looks like a great resource for the truth about global warming.