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Bente Lilja ByeRSS Feed of this column.

Earth science expert and astrophysicist writes about Earth observation, geodesy, climate change, geohazards, water cycle and other science related topics.

Today I do research and provide... Read More »

Plastiki  is made out of – you guessed it – plastic. Plastiki, the plastic bottle version of Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki  , was carried from San Francisco to Sydney on a conveyor belt....and wind

I remember when water bottles were introduced on the Norwegian market. It was the most stupid idea I had ever heard of and could not imagine how anybody would be willing to loose their money on this bound to fail business project. Obviously I was wrong. Even in a clean country like Norway where fresh water is abundant everywhere there was a market for bottled water. Go figure.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is nothing but a plain disaster. It was of course a topic at ESA's Living Planet Symposium in Bergen this week, where use of satellites to help mitigate this environmental - and economic - disaster was on the agenda. But this is not about the science nor the politics of the oil spill.

Satellites are being used to look at practically everything you can think of. Well, maybe not. But if you take a single subject like ice, it is amazing how many ways you can look at it with a surprisingly large number of satellites.

A random visit to a session or two here at the ESA Living Planet Symposium in Bergen show a small selection of ways to look at ice from space.

Sea Ice. Courtesy ESA
ESA and friends are celebrating the success of the Living Planet program in Bergen Norway this week. It cannot be described as anything but a success actually, with a number of new advanced and innovative Earth observation satellites in orbit performing not only on target, but exceeding expectations.

Cryosat-2 by ESA
In most cultures, mothers are allowed to be proud of their off-spring, aren't they? In any case, I am about to brag shamelessly - and beyond - about my son Eilev (19).

My son, who one beautiful day this spring decided he wanted to learn how to play the piano. Nothing particular about that part of the story. But just wait till you hear the rest. As discussed in social and blog media (check out master of Science 2.0 Hank Campbell's thoughts at, the younger generation devourer information with a pace never seen before, leaving us slightly older completely amazed at best, and rather condemning at worst.