Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stephen Hawking

In the Discover Article "Stephen Hawkings is Making His Comeback" I was confused about where the lede ended. It was capturing at first introducing the talk on "why we should go to space", but I also felt it was rather wordy. I would give this lede a 17 out of 20 for setting up a vivid image of what took place and keeping the reader's attention in an engaging and creative way. I would have appreciate the lede being less wordy and more organized instead of an ongoing paragraph. I felt the transitioning flowed quite well while telling a compelling and vivid story of Stephen Hawking. For content, I would give this article an 18/20.It explained the comeback, why he "left" and why it was so incredible that he was coming back. Explaining his adversity from health problems and how they helped him mold a better perspective was only a number of ways the reader becomes compelled to read more. I felt this was a GREAT job done! Although the quality of writing was good in style and originality, I did began to lose interest around the third page. At first I felt engaged by the writer's tone, and vivid pictures. It was like I was given a ticket to see Stephen Hawking myself; However, the continuous rambling of Quantum physics and comparisons to Einstein lost my interest. Perhaps Physics doesn't get my juices flowing, but the details and explanations fit accordingly and appropriately throughout the article. For providing a vivid image and details to ease the confusion, I would have to give a 18 out of 20 for clarity. Overall, I thought this was a well written article that taught a lot about Stephen Hawkins I was not previously aware of.

The Emerald Killer

They are dying. The beautiful trees that provide shade on many US streets, providing both beauty and shade are dying; and we have the invasive Emerald Ash Borer to thank. The infection has already arrived in Canada as well as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Wisconsin, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive species native to Asia. Its scientific name is Agrilus planipennis. The adult body is about 7.5mm to 13mm long, with a green metallic body. It is not known how EAB arrived in the US, but it is suspected that they came with ash wood in ships oversees to stabilize cargo or packing heavy consumer products. Since their arrival in Michigan, it has spread throughout North America killing 50 million Ash trees.

Green Ash and Black Ash trees are preffered by this green goblin. The White Ash trees are often next, and then Blue Ash, which show some resistance. The EAB does not only feed on sick trees, but healthy trees of all stature. I'm not necessarily sure how the EAB differentiates between other trees, but perhaps the trees just feel like home once the larvae has hatched.

Female EAB lay about 75 eggs, up to 300 from early May to mid-July. The Adults lay eggs in crevasses in the bark. When they hatch, the larvae burrow into the bark and eat the cambium and phloem. The death of the tree follows soon after within two years.

For more information on the EAB click here