The National Zoo has teamed up with the band Portugal. The Man to create an “endangered song" - a song "manufactured to go extinct unless it’s reproduced."

It currently exists on just 400 polycarbonate records — symbolizing the ~400 Sumatran tigers left in the world.  Those records will degrade every time they are played until the song can no longer be heard.

"The song will go extinct unless it’s digitally produced. The Sumatran tiger will go extinct unless we take action."

400 people have received records, and they plan to digitize and share the song (and their conservation message).  It’s a clever awareness campaign - and I’m looking forward to hearing the song!

nprchives:

Today’s NPRchives comes from NPR Librarian Janel Kinlaw, who writes:

Earth Day, April 22, was started in 1970 channeling the energy of the anti-war protests from the previous decade.  On the 15th anniversary in 1985, Noah Adams interviewed Alden Meyer, who at the time was the executive director of Environmental Action the founding organization of Earth Day.  Here’s how Mr. Meyer described the first celebration:

“It was so big that it got away from the organizers here in Washington. They didn’t know half of what was going on until weeks after the event April 22 – the reports started trickling back just how big it had been.  They were just overwhelmed on how the thing just organized itself.”    

Happy Earth Day! (from the past)

(via npr)

Close-ups of butterfly wing scales! You should definitely click on these images to get the full detail.

I’ve paired each amazing close-up (by macro photographer Linden Gledhill) with an image of the corresponding butterfly or moth.  The featured lepidoptera* are (in order of appearance):

*Lepidoptera (the scientific order that includes moths and butterflies) means “scaly wing.” The scales get their color not from pigment - but from microscopic structures that manipulate light.

The great science youtube channel “Smarter Every Day” has two videos on this very subject that I highly recommend:

ICYMI! A rather shaky time lapse of last night’s blood moon taken from NASA’s live feed (recorded at the Griffith Observatory in LA).
And … for good measure - this now-irrelevant but still-ridiculous song:

ICYMI! A rather shaky time lapse of last night’s blood moon taken from NASA’s live feed (recorded at the Griffith Observatory in LA).

And … for good measure - this now-irrelevant but still-ridiculous song:

A musical reminder of tonight’s full lunar eclipse!

Tonight, for the first time since 2011, folks in North America will get the chance to see a total lunar eclipse.  It’s supposed to start in earnest around 2 a.m. on the East Coast (11 p.m. West Coast).

Unfortunately I think clouds will spoil the fun for me (and most people on the east coast). But I woke with this song stuck in my head and ended up recording it with my phone before I headed out for work. (My sincerest apologies to Bonnie Tyler).

You can find more detailed information about the eclipse here.

And if you miss it this time, good news: Another blood moon is forecast for October, and again next April.

The eclipse photo I use in the video was taken in 2011 by Fred Espenak (NASA Marshall Space Center).