Daily Archives: June 10, 2008

Interesting Behavior by a Bald Eagle

The following is a description supplied by Amanda of an event she observed two weekends back at The Lake in North/Central Minnesota:

There appeared to be an animal acting strangely on the surface of the water. On further inspection, it turned out to be a bald eagle moving across the surface using its wings like oars. This went on for at least a minute or two. Eventually, the eagle dragged itself in a similar manner onto shore where it stood around for a while, and shortly thereafter made its way up the slope by several feet. Closer inspection with binoculars indicated that the eagle was now eating a fish (probably).It appears that the eagle had grabbed a fish with its talons, but the fish was too big to lift up out of the water. So the bird crawled across the water with the fish in tow. Probably.

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Technology Tools

Participate in Sourceforge.net’s 2008 Community Choice Awards. Sourceforge, along with Freshmeat, is a central repository for OpenSource community driven software projects. When installing software on your Linux box, you are better off using the built in software for installation and not downloading stuff from Sourceforge or Freshmeat, until you know what you are doing. But these are great sites to browse and/or search for software you need. Or want.Here’s a few other software related tidbits: Continue reading Technology Tools

Cooperating Robofish Set To Take Over Oceans, Lakes

In the world of underwater robots, this is a team of pioneers. While most ocean robots require periodic communication with scientist or satellite intermediaries to share information, these can work cooperatively communicating only with each other.Over the past five years Kristi Morgansen, a UW assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, has built three Robofish that communicate with one another underwater. Recently at the International Federation of Automatic Control’s Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles, she presented results showing that the robots had successfully completed their first major test. The robots were programmed to either all swim in one direction or all swim in different directions, basic tasks that can provide the building blocks for coordinated group movement. This success in indoor test tanks will eventually provide the basis for ocean-going systems to better explore remote ocean environments.”Underwater robots don’t need oxygen. The only reason they come up to the surface right now is for communication,” Morgansen said.Her robots would not need to come to the surface until their task was complete. They could cooperatively track moving targets underwater, such as groups of whales or spreading plumes of pollution, or explore caves, go underneath ice-covered waters, or into) dangerous environments where surfacing might not be possible. Schools of robots would be able to work together to do things that one could not do alone, such as tracking large herds of animals or mapping expanses of pollution that can grow and change shape.

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New Global Warming Film by Randy Olson

The film we’ve all been waiting for … Randy Olson (of Flock of Dodos fame) has produced a new film called Sizzle. In the film Olson uses the approach he used in Dodos to address the global warming issue. I have not seen the film but hope to review it soon.Mean time, here’s the press release in full: Continue reading New Global Warming Film by Randy Olson

Obama Likes Edward’s Heath Care

Check this out:

Obama’s speech in Raleigh launching his economy tour is underway, and towards the end, during a discussion of health care, he drops a surprise aside that wasn’t in the speech’s prepared remarks:

“By the way, I’m going to be partnering with Elizabeth Edwards, we’re going to be figuring all this out.”


[Anybody know where I got this? It just was sitting there open on my computer … I’d like to give a ‘hat tip’ …. Maybe Obama has been poking around in my basement again….] Continue reading Obama Likes Edward’s Heath Care