A survey of the Western Area Peninsula Forest (WAPF) in Sierra Leone has discovered two new breeding colonies of the Vulnerable White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus, in addition to the 16 sites already known.The survey was part of a one-year project carried out by volunteers from the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL, BirdLife in Sierra Leone), the University of Sierra Leone, and the government’s Forestry Division, with help from local communities.
Apparently, this did not used to be true. TV news viewers in the past did not pick their news station in a way that correlated with party affiliation in the US. But now, increasingly so, they do.This is from a study from the University of Georgia, Athens, based on data from the Pew Center for the People and the Press from 1998 to 2006. In 1998, Fox News was watched byt 18 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans. But in 2006, 26 percent of Republicans watched Fox, compared to 19 percent of Democrats.What I want to know is, why are these Democrats still watching Fox News?The rest of the findings, from a UGA press release: Continue reading TV News Audiences Are Split Along Party Lines
Several thousand intelligent beings have surrounded two funny looking blue trees. On some planet. Elsewhere. [Image source] Back in the old days, when Carl Sagan was alive and at Harvard, there was an annual (or at least frequent) debate between Sagan and my adviser, Irv DeVore. The debate was about the possibility of intelligent life having evolved on other planets.You already know Sagan’s argument: There are billions and billions of Galaxies, each with billions and billions of stars, so there are billions and billions and billions and billions of stars. Even if the probability of planets forming around a star is low, and of an earth like planet being one of them, and being at the right distance from the star, etc. etc. etc. there are still going to be a very large number of worlds amenable to the origin of life, and some of those, the evolution of complex life, and some of those will give rise to intelligent life, and some of them will ask the same question we are asking now and seek to explore the possibility of life on other planets.Then, I guess we get together in a coffee shop on Alpha Centauri and talk about it. Continue reading Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
He was 90 and worked at MIT. From the MIT press release:
Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist who tried to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts and wound up unleashing a scientific revolution called chaos theory, died April 16 of cancer at his home in Cambridge. He was 90.
There are so many lessons in this story it is hard to know where to start. First, don’t throw away data. Second, scientists do question their own dogma and in fact get rather excited about it. Third, Click and Clack (Car Talk) glossed their answer to a question the other day (sort of) … it turns out that running the heater in your convertible does affect the entire planet. A little.
Speaking at the first TED Conference in 1984, Nicholas Negroponte waxes prophetic on the converging fields of technology, entertainment and design. Years before anyone was using the word “convergence,” Negroponte was thinking about TV screens as the “electronic books of the future” and computers as the future of education. In excerpts from his 2-hour talk (this was before TED’s 18-minute time limit), he foreshadowed CD-ROMs, web interfaces, service kiosks, the touchscreen interface of the iPhone, and his own One Laptop per Child project. Oh, and there’s also a fascinating project called Lip Service, which, well, let’s just say it’s still ahead of us …