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Archive By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Mammatus clouds and hail are signs of severe weather

Among the video footage of the Moore, Okla., tornado of May 20 available online now, some scenes shot while the twisters were touching down are disturbing. You see cars on the road and traffic patterns that look quite normal, except for the huge funnel approaching in the background.

June 23, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Proper drainage can prevent basement leaks

Boats leak from the bottom. But a house can leak from the top or the bottom.

June 15, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: North Georgia's summer pattern can vary

North Georgia's summer climate is often called "hot and humid." But that's not really accurate. There are times when it's warm and humid, and other times when it's hot and dry.

June 09, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: 9 students lost in tornado is too many

Among reports of the massive destruction that the May 20 tornado unleashed on the towns of Newcastle and Moore, Okla., some stories stand out as a message of encouragement. With a reported width of up to 2 miles, the massive twister destroyed two elementary schools. Nine children died at Plaza Towers Elementary.

June 01, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Train travel is a cleaner and safer option

May 17 was a day of odd contrasts. At Cornelia's beautiful old railroad station, three train enthusiasts were standing next to the track with top-quality cameras, waiting to take photos of the approaching northbound Norfolk Southern. The familiar mustang logo on the lead engine rolled by, followed by additional locomotives and a very long chain of flatbed cars carrying containers.

May 26, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Wind power is clean and cheap

California Highway 58, east of Bakersfield, presents some truly astounding sights. It's still a rare occurrence here in Georgia to see more than one wind turbine. At Tehachapi Pass on Cal. 58, there are 5,000 of them.

May 19, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Better weather radar is on horizon

Spirits were high but clouds hung low during graduation ceremonies on the Brenau campus a week ago. Commenting on the light rain that was falling, Brenau President Ed Schrader said, jokingly, "according to the weather radar on my computer, these rain clouds don't exist."

May 12, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Mulching vegetation better than burning

Our student volunteers were working hard last week, dragging huge piles of privet cuttings and other shrubs down the slope toward the power chipper. More helpers were bringing plant debris out of the bamboo forest, that unique environment at the end of the Brenau campus where bamboo, planted in the 1930s, has grown into huge trees.

May 05, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Underlying factors of sinkholes rare in Hall County

Driving through Hall County, you probably don't expect a huge hole to suddenly open up and swallow your car. But Florida residents are familiar with this scary phenomenon. It also happened in Chicago 10 days ago when the pavement buckled and three automobiles went down 10 feet into a gaping sinkhole.

April 28, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Best defense against twister is information

The all-American storm is in season again. No other country in the world has common outbreaks of tornadoes the way the United States does.

April 21, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Healthy food leads to better living

Living healthy begins with eating healthy food. Last week's "Farm To Table" workshop at Georgia Southern University demonstrated excellent ways in which chemicals-free fruits and vegetables can be produced in urban settings.

April 14, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Jet stream could bring more droughts

The sea ice in the Arctic is dwindling. NASA just posted images of a gigantic crack in the frozen cover.

April 07, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Cold spring here has been worse elsewhere

Spring season had a benign start in North Georgia with just a cold snap. Other parts of the world weren't as lucky.

March 31, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Nothing man can do to head off quakes

Earthquakes keep hitting inhabited areas on the planet, and they have nothing to do with human activities and carbon emissions, not even with the offshore oil drilling that my grandmother used to blame for all the destruction caused by quakes.

March 24, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: 2 women impact earth science studies

March is Women's History Month. It was 100 years ago this month that women marched in Washington, D.C., demanding equal voting rights. The suffragists' struggle resulted in the 19th Amendment, making the left out half of the population a full part of the political process.

March 17, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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Articles By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Protecting topsoil important key to plants, food production

The word "resources" comes up frequently in discussions about the environment. Among those, the importance of topsoil is often overlooked.

September 27, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: No mystique or magic accompanies equinox

The fall equinox is occurring Monday at 10:29 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

September 21, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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