Watch some free diving beneath ice for your daily dose of NOPE

Johanna Nordblad holds the world record for free diving under ice. This gorgeous film captures the beauty and danger. She can stay under for more than 6.5 minutes with no gear of any kind. Read the rest

Walking on a crystal-clear frozen lake

Lake Silvaplana has breathtaking views year-round, but in the winter there's another delightful experience to be had: walking on transparent ice that allows visitors to see all the way to the lakebed. Read the rest

Leaked FBI manual reveals agency targets innocents as informants, blackmails them into cooperating, can deport them afterwards

Today, The Intercept has published a minimally redacted version of a 2015 edition of the FBI's Confidential Human Source Policy Guide, along with a series of in-depth articles reporting on the document (including the FBI's confirmation of a conspiracy by white supremacists to infiltrate law enforcement agencies). Among the most explosive revelations are the ways in which the FBI coerces domestic and foreign informants. Read the rest

Timelapse of curly icicles being extruded from pipes

YouTuber KittyPouncer created this terrific timelapse video of curly icicles extruding from pipes. Here's how it happens: Read the rest

ICE agent arrested restaurateur on fake trafficking charges in exchange for free Korean food from rival

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Joohoon David Lee led a human trafficking investigation against the owners of a Las Vegas Korean supper club, while dining for free at a rival's club, running up bills of $1,000-$2,500/night which he never had to pay. Read the rest

Man shoots at frozen pond, bullet spins like a top

This never happens to me when I shoot at a frozen pond! Read the rest

Why you should be very concerned about Greenland's literal meltdown

“NASA-supported researchers have found that ice covering Greenland is melting faster than previously thought. The action is happening out of sight, below the surface.”

Read the rest

Why is Arctic ice melting so fast?

Right now, it's cold in the Arctic. Days are dark, and ice grows to cover the dark sea. Come summer, lengthening days and warming temperatures will reverse that process. This is the ebb and flow of the Arctic, a natural cycle.

However, over the past several decades we have seen summers melt more and more of the ice that forms during the cold winter months. As a result, more and more dark seawater is exposed to the light of day.

NASA researchers, using several instruments on three separate satellites, has been collecting data for 15 years to find out why the ice is melting, and to be able to predict trends in future ice formation and melting. They reported on this data at the 2014 American Geophysical Union annual meeting, saying that 15 years worth is the absolute minimum amount of information needed for them to begin making long-term predictions. Climate trends, as opposed to weather trends, are averaged over 30 years, so they are about halfway there at this point in time.

The project to observe the Arctic is part of NASA's Clouds and the Earths Radiant Energy Systems (CERES) mission. They measure the Earth's reflected solar radiation, emitted thermal infrared radiation, and all emitted and reflected radiation.

The results so far indicate that the Arctic is absorbing energy from the sun five percent faster now during the summer months than it was when they first began monitoring in 2000. This is important because the rest of the Earth is still absorbing energy at pretty much the same rate. Read the rest

MPAA and ICE admit they yanked an innocent man out of a movie for wearing Google Glass

Representatives of the MPAA and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency confirmed that they worked together to yank a Google Glass wearer out of a movie theater, detain him in a small room against his will, confiscate and inspect his electronics (including his phone) and coerce an interview out of him with legal threats. They believed, incorrectly, that their victim had been recording the movie with his gadget. The Google Glass set he wore had been fitted with prescription lenses and he was watching the movie through them because they corrected his vision.

The MPAA's and ICE's statements are bland and anodyne (ICE says that the interview was "voluntary," though the man's account contradicts this). Neither of them explain how it is that a movie theater employee can call an MPAA hotline, and how the MPAA can then command ICE law-enforcement officials to drop everything and rush down to a multiplex to roust a potential camcorderer and treat him like a presumptive criminal.

The problem for the MPAA of camcordering is that they would like to stagger the release of their films -- first to the theatrical exhibition channel, then to airplanes and hotel rooms, then to pay-per-view and streaming services and DVD, etc. This makes them more profitable, but only if they can keep each channel discrete. Lots of businesses struggle with their profit-maximization strategies, but only the MPAA gets to command the forces of federal law-enforcement in the service of their business-model, putting the cost of that strategy onto the tax-payer. Read the rest

When ice attacks

This incredible video shot at Izatys Resort at Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota shows an "ice shove," where currents, winds, or temperature differences push chunks of lake ice onto land like a drifting iceberg. (via karenstan, thanks Sean Ness!)

And here is a CNN story from last year about this phenomena destroying homes in the Minnesota region. (Thanks, Jason!) Read the rest

What Antarctica looks like under the ice

The ice sheet that covers Antarctica is almost two miles thick in some places. But the British Antarctic Survey is able to peek beneath the frozen surface with the help of satellites, lasers, and radar. Read the rest

You can go wading in the lake at the North Pole

Last week, Dean told you about the lake at the North Pole, a pool of melted ice captured on camera by the North Pole Environmental Observatory webcams.

At Climate Central, Andrew Freedman provides some really fascinating context that illustrates the changing nature of, well, nature ... and draws a big, heavy underline on how difficult it can be to make assumptions about what is and what isn't an effect of climate change. Arctic sea ice is melting in concert with rising global average temperatures, but (contrary to the knee-jerk assumption I made about this story) the lake at the North Pole may or may not have anything to do with that. In fact, little pools have been forming at the North Pole in summer for as long as we've been paying attention. They don't actually represent the total melting of ice, but rather a layer of slushy water that forms on top of solidly frozen ice — usually, you could wade out through them and never get more than waist-deep.

What's more, the picture above wasn't taken at the North Pole. That's because the North Pole Elemental Observatory — which sits on mobile ice — has moved far from the actual North Pole since its launch. So, there probably is a lake (more of a pond, really) at the North Pole, but it might not be caused by climate change. While this lake, which isn't at the North Pole, could well be part of the melting sea ice that climate change does cause. Read the rest

Snowflake electron microscope photos

Twisted Sifter has a great gallery of snowflake and ice crystal electron microscope photos. At this level of magnification, the ice looks like metal that has been machined by space aliens.

25 Microscopic Images of Snow Crystals Read the rest

Skull ice cube maker

For $12, Gama Go will sell you a mould that makes skull-shaped ice cubes. Not technically cubes, though, are they?

P.S. This reminded me that we require pyramid-shaped ice cubes (i.e. pyramids) for our illuminati parties. Unfortunately, all the molds available online seem to be floppy silicone ones with the tops flattened to be stable in the freezer or oven. This is clearly unacceptable -- does anyone make a nice hard plastic one with pointy tops? If not, we may have to kickstart this. Read the rest

De-frosting a building-sized refrigerator

Architects are turning an old cold storage facility into modern office buildings. But first, they have to thaw it out.

How snowflakes get their shapes

Some snowflakes are unique. Other's aren't. Chemistry is why.

Halloween greetings from Antarctica

Henry Kaiser is kind of our man on the inside in Antarctica. He works there every year as a film maker, turning science into movies. He sent this awesome Halloween greeting from underneath the sea ice.

Bonus: He also sent us a video taken at the same spot — only this has 100% fewer wacky masks and 100% more sea anemones. Read the rest

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