Photograph by Bobby Haas, National Geographic
A mosaic of tightly clustered rooftops decorates an aerial view of Lamu, Kenya, one of the oldest and best preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the old town of Lamu dates back to the 12th century and still boasts many traditional architectural styles of Swahili culture.
Major threats to the site include a proposed port project and infrastructure for the oil industry. The development "would result in unprecedented new levels of population growth and put strong pressures on both the cultural and natural values of the region," according to the Global Heritage Fund report.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Tiny New Frog
Photograph courtesy Piotr Naskrecki, Conservation International
A frog small enough to sit on a thumbnail rests on a leaf in Papua New Guinea's Muller Range in 2009.
This species "nearly eluded the RAP team altogether," as the scientists had to search the forest floor in pouring rain to trace the sound of the "soft, scratching, cricket-like" call, according to a Conservation International statement.
The frog and all its closest relatives are found only on the island of New Guinea.
Friday, October 01, 2010
First Truly Habitable Planet Discovered, Experts Say
Earthlike world in elusive "Goldilocks zone."
Illustration courtesy Lynette Cook
Published September 29, 2010
Astronomers studying a nearby star say they've found the first potentially habitable planet—likely a rocky place with an atmosphere, temperate regions, and crucially, liquid water, considered vital for life as we know it.
Other extrasolar planets have been called Earthlike, but, astronomer Paul Butler assured, "this is really the first Goldilocks planet"—not too hot, not too cold.
Orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 about every 37 days, the new planet, named Gliese 581g, is "just the right size and just at the right distance [from its star] to have liquid water on the surface," added Butler, of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., during an online press briefing today.
© 2008 Vishal V. Shah. All rights reserved. Contents of this web site reflect my personal work and is not representative of my employer.