Louisiana’s Swamp Defenders

Dean Wilson. (Photo: Emmett FitzGerald)

Once, cypress swamps covered hundreds of thousands of acres across the American South. Logging, oil and gas extraction and swamp drainage transformed the landscape. But over recent years, Dean Wilson has worked to protect the remaining cypress swamps of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin from illegal loggers and oil prospectors. Recently, the European biomass industry has set up shop in the state, and conservationists are concerned for the future.

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NY Hopes Practice Makes Perfect For Online Testing

Number two pencils may soon be a thing of the past for New York students. The state is moving toward giving annual standardized tests online instead of on paper, and they want schools to try online testing on a limited basis this year to work out the kinks. You might think middle school students would have no trouble with online tests, with all the time we spend online these days. But Chenango Valley technology director Sarah Latimer says it’s always a challenge to navigate a new piece of software. “Some of the math software questions might have a drag and drop component that students need to be able to use in order to be able to build an equation or write out their answer,” she says.

Behind the Scenes with Arthur & George on Masterpiece

Behind the Scenes: Martin Clunes, Charles Edwards, and the Arthur & George cast and creators explore the characters in the series, Arthur & George. Behind the Scenes: From costumes to set design, go behind the scenes of the series with the cast, creators, and star Martin Clunes. Photo Credit: Courtesy of (C) Neil Genower/Buffalo Pictures and MASTERPIECE for ITV and MASTERPIECE

Virus Fishing, Mantis Shrimp Boxing, and Carbon Cutting Bryozoans

(A peacock mantis shrimp. Photo by Jens Petersen/Wikimedia)
In this week’s Science Friday news roundup, Ed Yong, science writer for The Atlantic, talks about a new blood test that can fish out millions of human viruses at once, which, he writes, “should take a lot of the (educated) guesswork out of viral diagnosis.” Plus, mantis shrimp are heavy hitters, and gauge the strength of their foes in a fairly straightforward way—by punching each other, repeatedly. Then, a group of Antarctic bryozoans—or “moss animals”—seem to be flourishing as climate change contributes to sea ice melt. A new study inCurrent Biology found that the filter feeders, which chow down on phytoplankton, for example, are helping sequester carbon—effectively removing some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Douglas Main, a staff writer for Newsweek, talks about the good and the bad of these carbon-cutting bryozoans having a field day in the warming waters.

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Pell Grant Recipients Nearly As Likely To Succeed, At Certain Colleges

A new report from The Education Trust shows that low-income students who receive federal money for college finish school at almost the same rate as their higher-income peers – with one important caveat. The report compares six-year graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients with rates for students who do not receive the grants. According to the numbers, the school a student chooses makes all the difference. At the average college in the U.S., low-income students are just about as likely to graduate as their higher-income peers. The gap is only six percentage points.

Montour Falls, Circa 1863 | #tbt

Today’s vintage throwback Thursday photo shows Main Street in Montour Falls, New York circa 1863. The bridge over the canal that once cut through the center of town is visible in the foreground. The Montour House, built in 1853, is visible on the left side of the photo and the cupola of the Montour Falls Village Hall (formerly the Schuyler County Courthouse) can be seen on the right. In the background, overlooking the entire scene, is the towering 156 foot Shequaga Falls. Today, this area is known as the “Glorious T” and a mix of architectural styles can be seen in this National Historic District.

Jon Robin Baitz' "Other Desert Cities" comes to Chenango River Theatre

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Chenango River Theatre director Bill Lelbach talks about Jon Robin Baitz’ 2011 Broadway play “Other Desert Cities”.  A family with roots in Hollywood who has been drawn into the higher echelons of politics, but their counter-culture children threaten to scandalize that comfortable prominence by revealing a family secret. But even secrets can have hidden meanings.  Many of the cast members are local actors, but playing surprising roles. http://wskg.org/audio/desertcitiesmix.mp3

 

Photo courtesy Chenango River Theatre

Sci-Fi fans invade Binghamton

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The RoberCon Science Fiction convention is this weekend.  It’s a two-day event this year at the Roberson Museum and Science Center, with expanded gaming opportunities at Binghamton High School.  Marketing Director Jason Fiume took some time off from organizing the event to chat with us. http://wskg.org/audio/roberconmix.mp3

Photo courtesy Roberson Museum and Science Center

Early Learning and the Bottom Line | Web Extras

On August 18th, community members gathered for ‘Early Learning and the Bottom Line’, a summit held at WSKG Studios. The event addressed the economic impacts and benefits of early childhood education.  What is our community doing to create sustainable solutions that support families?  How can we strengthen our region by preparing children for success in education and career?  Special guests included keynote speaker Jenn O’Connor, New York State Director of ReadyNation and opening remarks were offered by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.