strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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The Next Big Thing #9: Turning Electricity Into Fuel

Posted by Richard Conniff on December 27, 2013

The big problem with solar and wind technologies is that they generate power only intermittently. That means they require batteries or compressed air methods to store power during peak production and make it available when production drops. But microorganisms that have evolved in some of the most extreme environments on Earth promise to handle this task more efficiently. In a pilot study at the Vienna University of  Technology, researchers have demonstrated that they can use the surplus electricity from renewable energy sources to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Then they feed the hydrogen to microorganisms, which convert it almost instantly into natural gas. That fuel is easily stored and can fire conventional generators when the solar and wind generators are idle.

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