Boing Boing 

What happens when wells run dry in California's drought?

Filmmaker Katherine Espejo has been documenting how the increasingly grim drought is affecting her home town in Central California, focusing on parts of East Porterville, where some wells have begun running dry.

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Watch this trippy animated interview with Reggie Watts

From our friends at California Sunday, this beautiful animated interview with comedian/musician Reggie Watts. Animation by Drew Tyndell.

"California Inspires Me" (California Sunday)

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California drought: State orders historic water cuts for farmers

Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is seen next to farm fields in Fresno [Reuters]


Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is seen next to farm fields in Fresno [Reuters]

For the first time in almost 40 years, California state regulators have told over 100 growers and irrigation districts they must dipping into drought-starved rivers and streams in California's Central Valley.

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California is sinking as it sucks remaining water out of underground aquifers

Nearly everyone in the US depends on food crops grown in California, so farmers must continue to pull what little water remains in underground aquifers. This is causing the state to actually sink. It's been sinking for decades, but the problem is getting worse. Reveal News writes, "Last summer, scientists recorded the worst sinking in at least 50 years. This summer, all-time records are expected across the state as thousands of miles of land in the Central Valley and elsewhere sink."

As a result, the "sinking is starting to destroy bridges, crack irrigation canals and twist highways across the state, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."

Joseph Poland of the U.S. Geological Survey used a utility pole to document where a farmer would have been standing in 1925, 1955 and where Poland was then standing in 1977 after land in the San Joaquin Valley had sunk nearly 30 feet. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey


Joseph Poland of the U.S. Geological Survey used a utility pole to document where a farmer would have been standing in 1925, 1955 and where Poland was then standing in 1977 after land in the San Joaquin Valley had sunk nearly 30 feet. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Amazing sea floor maps reveal California's offshore depths

Offshore-and-Onshore-Geology-and-Geomorphology,-Offshore-of-San-Francisco-Map-Area,-California
Offshore and Onshore Geology and Geomorphology Offshore of San Francisco

The California Seafloor Mapping Program is the most extensive of its kind, initiated in 2008 and bearing fruit in a series of beautiful maps.

The CSMP has collected bathymetry (underwater topography) and backscatter data (providing insight into the geologic makeup of the seafloor) that are being turned into habitat and geologic base maps for all of California's State Waters (mean high water line out to three nautical miles). Although the CSMP was originally developed to support the design and monitoring of marine reserves through the Marine Life Protection Act, accurate statewide mapping of the seafloor has also contributed significantly to these efforts

Betsy Mason reports on the sensational underwater geography that the maps reveal. It's not just pretty: it will save lives.

This kind of information is critical because the magnitude of an earthquake is determined by the length of a fault that ruptures. Longer faults are capable of bigger quakes. If two smaller faults that were thought to be separate are actually connected, they could potentially rupture together to cause a bigger earthquake than previously thought. Discoveries of that sort could even change the USGS’s seismic hazard forecast for California.

cData Integration and Visualization, Offshore of San Francisco Map.

dartnellData Integration and Visualization, Offshore of San Francisco Map (detail)

detailAcoustic Backscatter, Offshore of San Francisco Map Area

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Benthic Habitats

tomalesMassive granitic seafloor outcrop extends north and west from Tomales Point.

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Benthic Habitats off Tomales Point

Check out California Seafloor Mapping Programthe rest of the maps, though be warned they are USDA Grade A CPU-roasting epic multilayer PDFs.

Bottled water: the ultimate throwback to feudal selfishness


Sure, you're boycotting Nestle for draining California's drought-stricken aquifers for bottled water, but why stop there?

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Solving San Francisco's housing crisis with narrow, human-scale streets


The Narrow Streets SF site tries to imagine what San Francisco would be like with streets redesigned for humans instead of cars, allowing the space clawed back from the roads to be used for more housing.

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Don't argue about vaccination with Rob Schneider if you value your sanity

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez made the mistake of returning actor Rob Schneider's deranged anti-vaxx phonecalls and lived to tell the tale: "That is 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back arguing that vaccines don't cause autism with Deuce Bigalow, male gigolo."

Radical Brownies: girls of color push social justice, not cookies


Oakland's troop of Radical Brownies are girls of color, aged 8-12, who learn about the Black Panthers and Brown Berets, and who campaign for body-acceptance and an end to police violence.

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Gingerbread Enterprise


Blackmarket Bakery sends us, "a gingerbread recreation of the Starship Enterprise from 'Star Trek,' created by us and on display at our store in Costa Mesa, CA."

FBI seizes LA school district's Ipad purchasing docs


It's not clear what they're investigating, but the DoJ subpoenaed everything related to the $70M program to give Ipads to all 650K kids in the district.

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Inviting all Eco-Futurists to Bioneers, Oct 17-19/Marin, with Kim Stanley Robinson


Josh writes, "Boing Boing readers and Eco-Futurists are invited to the 25th Annual Bioneers Summit Conference in Marin, CA, October 17-19. Enter BOING4BIONEERS at check out for an exclusive 25% discount!"

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California's incipient dustbowl: photos of a drought


If the before-and-after drought pics of Getty's Justin Sullivan don't make you gasp aloud, you're made of sterner stuff than I; above, Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville (now); below, 2011.

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UC Riverside's world-class science fiction library under threat

Science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, a professor at UC Riverside, sounds the alarm about a change in management at the Eaton Science Fiction Collection, the largest public science fiction and fantasy in the world.

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Photo series: California trailer park

6 Fine art photographer David Waldorf photographed the residents of a trailer park in Sonoma, California.

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SDCC: Map of San Diego's surveillance network


Dave Maass sez, "If you're going to San Diego Comic-Con, you might want to dodge the cameras on this map if you're not in costume."

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California Highway Patrol seize medical records of woman beaten by cop

It's a damning turn of events in the horrible saga; after one of its officers was caught on video repeatedly smashing a homeless woman in the face, the force went to a psychiatric ward and seized her medical records.

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