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robertogreco : via:vruba   66

10,000 ["How to Send a Message 10,000 Years into the Future."]
"This is The Ray Cat Solution:

1. Engineer cats that change colour in response to radiation.

2. Create the culture/legend/history that if your cat changes colour, you should move some place else."



"In the 1980's, a curious project was proposed by two scientists : why not creating a breed of radioactive cats that would change colors when they are next to nuclear waste?

OFFICIAL SELECTION Pariscience 2015 - International Science Film Festival -- This film is on free access - if you like it or if you feel it should be seen, feel free to share it.

THE RAY CAT SOLUTION
Philosophers Françoise Bastide and Paolo Fabbri were part of the Human Interference Task Force, employed by the US Department of Energy and Bechtel Corp at the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in 1981. Their solution consisted of two steps:

Engineer a cat that changes colour in response to radiation.

Create a culture around this cat, such that if your cat changes colour, you should move someplace else.

This requires a combination of scientific work in biology as well as social sciences and art, and there are many questions to consider:

• How do we actually engineer this cat?
• What are some of the scientific challenges?
• How do we create this culture?
• What types of art are more effective?

and much more..."



"WHAT DOES THE RAY CAT MEAN FOR YOU?
This project is as multi-faceted as it can be. Everyone's expertise and opinions are welcome and encouraged. We are here to challenge each other, ask questions, learn and share knowledge and perspectives with eachother.

SCIENCE
How do we engineer a colour change in response to radiation?
Where do we start and what are the challenges?

ART & DESIGN
How do we send a message 10,000 years into the future?
What types of projects do we need to do in order to create this culture?

POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY
How is science funded?
What are the regulations and current perspectives on this type of project?
Should ray cats be allowed to exist?"



"SHARE, DISCUSS, CREATE, INVENT
This isn't a project. It is a movement. It doesn't have a particular direction, nor is it meant to. We are starting out with a blank canvas, and many directions we could go. The movement exists simply from those who choose to visit it and contribute.

We encourage creativity, and discussion. Question each other's ideas, inspire new ones, think out of the box and listen to what people have to say. Every mistake made and every question asked is progress.

This movement and process is bigger than the cats. This page also exists as a challenge to artists, scientists and anyone. How provocative are your ideas? Does this project have any less or perhaps more meaning than yours? Are your ideas truly creative and innovative?

There are many questions to answer, and even more questions to ask. We are in our first few years of another ten thousand. If nothing else, we at least have some time.

CONTACT US
Feeling inspired? Want to start a project? Not sure how you can contribute? Write to us at:

info@brico.bio "
cats  bioluminescence  biology  bioengineering  multispecies  radiation  via:vruba  pets  françoisebastide  paolofabbri  color  art  design  science  future 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Is "Show Don't Tell" a Universal Truth or a Colonial Relic? | Literary Hub
"In his essay “The Storyteller” (1936), cultural critic Walter Benjamin mourns the death of oral and communal storytelling, taken over in modern history by the novel, the “birthplace of the solitary reader,” and information technology with a rise in capitalism. Yet, what Benjamin posits as the organic evolution of oral, communal practices of storytelling into modern modes of storytelling, consumed by a reader in “privacy,” is in fact, the understanding of a Western history of storytelling as a universal one. As Maggie Awadalla and Paul March-Russell suggest in the introduction to their anthology The Postcolonial Short Story (2012), many non-Western countries did not transition “organically” from oral to written storytelling with a rise in capitalism. For many formerly or currently colonized spaces like South Asia, Africa, Caribbean, American South and Native America, there has always existed a rich, vibrant tradition of oral storytelling, one that was marginalized, often violently, through an imposition of an allegedly modern, white Western language and culture. In their study, Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (1998), Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin defend “orality” not as a cultural precondition that morphed into a more advanced written culture, but orality as a counterpart to writing, where both co-exist, complement and transform each other constantly. This coexistence of oral and written modes of storytelling continues to thrive in postcolonial spaces, including those of Asia and Africa.

In her now-canonical essay “Characteristics of Negro Expression” (1934), Zora Neale Hurston makes a strong case for the use of vernacular—especially dialect and rhythm—in Black writing. In his story collection, Creole Folktales (1988) and equally canonical co-authored essay, “In Praise of Creoleness” (1989), Patrick Chamoiseau offers a manifesto for Caribbean storytelling that aims to free itself of French colonial gaze by transforming Martinican-French literature through a militant use of Creole. And while not through cultural theories or essays, contemporary writers like Salman Rushdie, Vikram Chandra, Roxane Gay, Junot Díaz, and Edwidge Danticat, among others, bring a strong, self-conscious vernacular in their stories. Their fiction questions not only an allegedly mainstream Euro-American storytelling marked by narrative brevity and an economy of words, as lauded by Edgar Allan Poe, John Barth and Francine Prose in their critical writing, but also the dominance of visuality in many fiction writing workshops with their show-don’t-tell credo, bolstered by our cinematic and digital age with its preference for images over sounds."



"James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Sandra Cisneros, Gish Jen, Tiphanie Yanique, ZZ Packer, Rajesh Parameswaran—the list of contemporary writing affirming oral and aural alternatives over a sight-based focus of storytelling is long. And I haven’t even gotten started with poetry-in-color, including an aesthetic legacy of rhythm in writing spawned by Papa Césaire and the Négritude movement. What I’ve explored above is a brief sampler on a multifaceted use of orality that challenges the boundaries of a more standard Euro-American literary English with its emphasis on brevity, clarity, and good grammar. In playing persistently with language, sounds and syntax, multiethnic fiction does not shy away from “writing in scenes,” however, it does dethrone the reign of eyesight to stress the importance of other senses in fiction, and hearing in particular.

That said, the use of vernacular or dialect is far from unique to non-Western writers writing within or outside the West. Time and again, major writers across the world have challenged the status quo of a hegemonic language by using the vernacular in different ways. I’m thinking here of Shakespeare and Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s linguistic innovation within English and French respectively, and of pioneering poets like Kabir who used the vernacular in Bhakti poetry to challenge the rule of Sanskrit in medieval South Asian literature.

And yet, the examples of multiethnic fiction I’ve shared above have all been published in the last couple of decades, following complex literary and historic changes that include mid-20th century’s wave of decolonization that swept the “third world,” the Civil Rights Movement in the US, the institutionalization of Ethnic Studies in the American Academy, and the literary canon wars that followed. This recent, layered, global history has led to a higher visibility of non-white, non-Western voices in the Western metropolitan publication scenes of New York, London and Paris. The content within contemporary multiethnic fiction often talks of identity, home and displacement; they ask questions like who has power and voice and who gets marginalized or silenced, these ideas fleshed out obsessively in stories through plot, theme, form, language, or a combination.

Orality within fiction that is deliberately engaging with power dynamics between the West and non-West—as evident in the title of Rushdie’s story collection East, West—thus becomes more than just a stylistic device or virtuosity with craft. The shift in sensory focus within multiethnic fiction from images to sounds holds a mirror to our contemporary, complex literary history, guiding the reader further to ways in which these stories maybe constructed, read, or deconstructed. Orality here becomes a political stance, an ideological move reminding the reader over and again that what we consume as universal in story craft, literary history, or aesthetic taste is anything but universal."
orality  oraltradition  visual  via:vruba  2018  storytelling  walterbenjamin  culture  tradition  namratapoddar  globalsouth  maggieawadalla  paulmarch-russell  billashcroft  garethgriffiths  helentiffin  vernacular  zoranealehurston  creole  creoleness  folktales  writing  salmanrushdie  vikramchandra  junotdíaz  edwidgedanticat  edgarallanpoe  johnbarth  fancineprose  criticalwriting  howwewrite  literacy  multiliteracies  dialect  rhythm  patrickchamoiseau  caribbean  africa  asia  colonialism  english  alicewalker  imperialism  gishjen  jamesbaldwin  tonimorrison  tiphanieyanique  zzpacker  showdon'ttell  sandracisneros  roxanegay  ajeshparameswaran  négritude  papacésaire  haiti  aural  oral  sight  brevity  clarity  grammar  fiction  aimécésaire  martinique  léopoldsédarsenghor  léondamas  postcolonialism  louis-ferdinandceline  latinamerica  indigenous  canon 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Overleaf: Real-time Collaborative Writing and Publishing Tools with Integrated PDF Preview
"Overleaf is an online LaTeX and Rich Text collaborative writing and publishing tool that makes the whole process of writing, editing and publishing scientific documents much quicker and easier."
onlinetoolkit  collaboration  writing  latex  texteditors  googledocs  editing  via:vruba 
april 2018 by robertogreco
coelasquid: castleships: Okay I’m only gonna...
[original post by @castleships]

"Okay I’m only gonna say this once and preface this with the fact that I am Eyak and I probably do not want to hear your opinion on the Pharah skins Raindancer/Thunderbird. This is a really soul baring post so I’m not so sure about people reblogging it, if you do just try to be respective and remember this isn’t a go-ahead to go and appropriate all native cultures.

They’re pretty damn clearly based on Pacific Northwest tribal cultures. The ones I can pick out being Eyak/Tlingit/Haida/Tsimshian, but we often get grouped together so that doesn’t surprise me. There are many more, but I don’t claim familiarity with all tribes and I can’t say if their art styles and myths were used.

For your comparison a little sample of the tribe’s artistic styles just to get the point across:

[two images, one of traditional art, the other of the Overwatch characters ]

And I really have to get something off my chest people. I don’t have a problem with these skins, in fact I adore them. Please just chill with me for a second while I explain.

The biggest issue I see here is people (who usually arn’t ndn, let alone from pac nw tribes) yelling about cultural appropriation. Which good! I’m glad people are on guard for it! But it’s entirely possible that Pharah’s father was Eyak/Tlingit/Haida/Tsimshian or from another closely related Pacific Northwest tribe, so we can’t really call that yet. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was.

Most importantly, speaking as an Eyak. Which is all I can do despite Tlingit/Haida/Tsimshian being so closely related, our tribe’s relationship with cultural appropriation is uh, not exactly the norm.

The last Eyak fluent speaker died in 2008, her name was Chief Marie Smith Jones and she was also the last full-blooded Eyak on Earth. The very last. Please appropriate Eyak culture. It’s the only way it’s going to survive. There’s less than 500 of us remaining, and we’re scattered more and more every year. Families I grew up with in Alaska converted to Catholicism. The military took my family across the globe and left us an entire continent away. The language I learned at the dinner table in 1998 now almost exclusively exists on those cassette tapes my white father recorded that night and in reconstructive attempts from a French academic that studied our language from halfway across the globe.

It sucks shit guys, it really does.

When I first saw the Thunderbird skin I cried, I cried for an hour. Because Overwatch is huge. It will live on for years if not decades. And there’s Pharah with her hair in braids I haven’t seen my mother wear in over a decade. Wearing the colors that remind me of a home I no longer have. Embodying a mythic figure that I trusted to protect me during Y2K and sought out constellations in the sky for.

So before you spew vitriol about how racist it is that they did that. Just kind of chill out and think about different perspectives for a moment. If you really want to help us? Consider taking a poke about http://www.eyakpeople.com/ and taking a look at our language revitalization project! It’s pretty fun and you could even learn a language out of it.

AwA’ahdah (Thank You)"

[the extension by @coelasquid via reblog]

"I just wanted to reblog this because it’s something I think about a lot in terms of how viewing cultural appropriation in a very black and white binary has the end result of making white supremacy stronger than ever. By treating different arts and cultures like that plastic-wrapped grandma furniture no one’s allowed to sit on because it needs to remain perfectly preserved, white culture and art becomes the only one people feel as though they can safely engage in. I absolutely know this is done from the very conscientious place of trying to prevent the dominant culture from taking things they like and running off with them like Jack Skellington, but when it’s taken in extremely pass/fail terms it makes it very difficult for people to celebrate their OWN cultures.

Of course the best answer is “let people tell their own stories and make their own art” but I have been told by several people from a number of different backgrounds that this hostility toward anything resembling cultural exchange by audiences assuming everyone behind the scenes is white makes them afraid to engage in their OWN culture in any public way for fear of being told they’re getting it wrong. I see this happen fairly regularly in a number of creative fields, television, fashion, art, even cosplay. The number of times I see cosplayers accused of “lying about their race” when they try to dress up like a character who IS supposed to be the same background as them every con season is staggering.

This is very anecdotal but just to look at it from another perspective, I personally am not native but I’m from a very Cree community. A significant number of my friends growing up were native and Métis, our school offered Cree as a second language, we had a Cree choir, Native studies was a mandatory class to get a diploma from our school division. As far back as 5th grade, traditional craftwork was a part of social studies when we were learning about different native nations across Canada. This included beadwork, like looms and embroidery on moccasins. I’m sure the intent was probably to make historically accurate designs, but being 11 year olds we all realized pretty quick it was like pixel art and we could write words and make little pictures, and everyone was working on their beading looms making patterns they designed themselves for months after the unit that required it ended. This was a group of kids, native and non-native alike, engaging in something they were taught in an educational context long after they were required to because they found a way to enjoy it in a contemporary manner that made it fun for them. That kind of thing was encouraged from us a lot, I remember a juried art show for our school division actively encouraging all of the students to focus more on native art and techniques if they planned on entering.

I remember experiencing a bit of a culture shock when I moved out of Northern Canada for the first time and experienced a white friend criticizing a Haida-inspired piece we saw in the hall at our art school for not being “accurate enough”. I was extremely confused because as, a 17 year old raised in Northern Canada my entire life, I’d never experienced that kind of criticism of engaging with native art in a modern, contemporary way before. I just kept thinking “You have no idea who made this! How do you expect modern Native people to enjoy making their own art if you’re going to criticize it for not being held up to a textbook standard?”

Obviously now that I’m more worldly and educated in what society is like outside of Northern Canada I understand the nuance of the situation and the different perspectives that people have informed by their own experiences, but It’s also important to remember that if you turn white culture into the only one people feel allowed to engage with in a fun contemporary manner, it will always remain dominant. This is of course not to say “cultural appropriation is made up, do whatever you want” or anything like that, just that it’s a very multi-dimensional issue to consider."
appropriation  culture  tumblr  overwatch  videogames  games  gaming  nativeamericans  pacificnorthwestnatives  via:vruba  eyak  tlingit  haida  tsimshian  complexity  whiteness  whitesupremacy 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Astrometry.net
"If you have astronomical imaging of the sky with celestial coordinates you do not know—or do not trust—then Astrometry.net is for you. Input an image and we'll give you back astrometric calibration meta-data, plus lists of known objects falling inside the field of view.

We have built this astrometric calibration service to create correct, standards-compliant astrometric meta-data for every useful astronomical image ever taken, past and future, in any state of archival disarray. We hope this will help organize, annotate and make searchable all the world's astronomical information."
astronomy  photography  space  via:vruba  images 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Tay Ho Restaurant & Bar
"​At Tay Ho we specialize in fresh hand-rolled steamed rice noodles, called "Banh Cuon". This is a traditional Northern Vietnamese street food not served in most restaurants.

Join Mama Ho (aka Chef Anna) and Denise (Tay Ho's owner) as they explore the exceptional cuisine of Vietnam in the best Vietnamese restaurant Oakland has to offer using local farm fresh ingredients."
restaurants  food  oakland  via:vruba  vietnamese 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Office dog | Mapbox
"We’re looking for an office dog who loves to cuddle and accept back rubs to join the Mapbox team. You’ll be joining a seasoned team of Mapbox dogs that are excited to smell you. You’ll help us start every day by happily jogging towards us as we enter the office.

You should have some experience in laying in the sun. We’ll help you get accustomed to the office by providing you with treats and walks around the neighborhood.

This role is based in either our Washington, DC. or San Francisco office.

Qualities we’re looking for

• Exercises loyalty. You’ll visit the office at least once a week and get excited when it’s a three dog day at Mapbox.

• Knows when to use a barking voice. You’ll bark if someone is at the door and know that one bark is enough.

• Exhibits compassion. You know the team works hard and cannot pet you all day long, so you’ll jump into a lap or curl around our feet.

To apply

Please have your human apply for a position at Mapbox. We have a variety of positions from sales and business to engineering and support. We’d love to hear how your human can help us build the future of mapping.

(And once your human joins the team, we’ll automatically accept your application!)"
animals  pets  multispecies  companions  dogs  mapbox  via:vruba  2016  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations 
february 2016 by robertogreco
When San Diego Hired a Rainmaker a Century Ago, It Poured | JSTOR Daily
"Critics claimed Hatfield was a huckster who merely benefited from coincidence. As Spence pointed out, many so-called rainmakers “were little more than gamblers, betting their time and what reputation they may have had that rain would fall while or after they commenced their machinations.” By working only in the midst of dry spells, Hatfield could improve his odds of timing an impending rainfall. Indeed, Hatfield likely profited from his keen knowledge of meteorology and close examination of weather records. Knowing when storm fronts were imminent, he could target cities in advance of the rain and claim success when moisture fell from the skies.

Others saw Hatfield as a forerunner of modern-day cloud-seeding, in which chemicals such as dry ice and silver iodide—perhaps among those used by Hatfield—are introduced into cloud banks to foster the formation of ice crystals and raindrops. These chemicals provide particles around which water vapor can condense and eventually fall as rain once the droplets reach a sufficient size. The condensation process generates its own heat, which causes air to rise and fosters the growth of additional rain clouds.

While Hatfield relied on the ascension of chemical vapors into the skies, rainmaking went airborne with the advent of the aircraft. The U.S. Army Air Service began experiments to determine if rain could be produced from electrified sand in 1921; however, the modern science of rainmaking truly began in 1947 with Project Cirrus, a joint venture of General Electric and the U.S. military under the direction of Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir that seeded clouds with dry ice. “The results of Project Cirrus gave scientific credence to the mystic works of such pioneer rainmakers as California’s now famous Charles Hatfield,” wrote Donald D. Stark in the California Law Review.

A century after Hatfield’s exploits, the science of rainmaking and the effectiveness of cloud-seeding remain points of contention, as Virginia Simms wrote in a 2010 article in The International Lawyer. Even so, cloud-seeding is on the rise. A 2014 report from the World Meteorological Organization found that 52 countries had active cloud-seeding programs, up from 47 the previous year, and 39 weather-modification programs were in place west of the Mississippi River.

Even after its experience in 1915, San Diego continued to be seduced by the hope offered by rainmakers. Incredibly, in 1961, the city council considered hiring Edmond Jeffery, who promised he could make it rain 40 inches in 40 days for a fee of $8,000. This time, with memories of “Hatfield’s Flood” still echoing in their minds, San Diego’s councilors refused the offer."
sandiego  california  drought  history  charleshatfield  rain  water  via:vruba  1915  1961  edmondjeffery  cloudseeding 
december 2015 by robertogreco
There are way more gifted kids from disadvantaged backgrounds than we usually find - Vox
"Gifted and talented programs at most school districts that have them disproportionately feature kids from higher-income families. There are a lot of factors behind that, but new research from David Card and Laura Giuliano, who studied "one of the largest and most diverse" school districts in the nation (the actual district is anonymized), shows that a fairly simple administrative tweak can greatly close the gap.

Depressingly, however, the research also shows that even though the tweak was extremely successful, it was abandoned rapidly in the face of budgetary pressure, and all the gains for low-income kids have since been erased.

The rise and fall of low-income gifted kids

The basic story is that the district in question used to rely on an informal referral process wherein teachers would get certain first- and second-grade kids tested for admission to the gifted and talent program. Then the pool of recommended kids was narrowed by IQ testing as well as by evaluations for motivation, creativity, and adaptability. The district offered free IQ testing, but affluent parents also could (and did) pay for private psychologists to administer extra tests to kids whose parents wanted them to try again if they fell short.

[chart]

The result, as you might expect, was a huge gap in the socioeconomic status of the admitted students.

Then, starting in 2006, the district changed the system. In addition to the informal referrals, it gave all second-graders an aptitude test and pushed everyone who met certain thresholds on to the next level of screening. This resulted in a small increase in the number of affluent students who qualified as gifted and talented and a large increase in the number of low-income G&T students. And it was all achieved without any relaxation in G&T standards. The number of Hispanic students increased by 130 percent and the number of black students by 80 percent.

A huge triumph!

But then it all unraveled in subsequent years. Universal screening meant conducting more IQ tests, and the extra 1,300 annual tests required money for overtime. When the recession hit, the school district starting cutting back overtime, and enrollment in the G&T program started to fall. In 2011, to save money, it eliminated universal screening entirely and went back to the old system that had systematically undercounted promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The result? Promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds are now just as undercounted as they were back in 2005, before the reform."
education  schools  gifted  inequality  race  poverty  bias  2015  giftedandtalented  via:vruba  publicschools 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Thank a Simple Excel Error For Austerity Economics
"You know the much-ballyhooed theory that high national debt always correlates to crappy economic growth? The one that's trotted out on a regular basis by politicians arguing for austerity budgets and sequestration? Well, according to new findings, the study that austerity proponents cite more than any other is based on an Excel error. A big one.

The glitchy data comes from a hallmark study on debt, Growth in a Time of Debt, from 2010. Since it was published, it's become a favorite of people like Paul Ryan, who mentioned it frequently during the Romney campaign. But a new meta-analysis of the study's original Excel spreadsheet, by three UMASS economists, uncovered several errors, including the selective omission of data, an undiscussed weighting system, and an error in the Excel spreadsheet that excluded five countries. As the Rortybomb blog explains (and to clarify an earlier version of this post), correcting for the omission, weighting, and Excel mistake shows that countries with a debt-to-GDP ratio over 90 percent have an average growth rate of 2.2 percent, not -.1 percent as the original paper concluded. This suggests that while debt and growth are related, the correlation is weaker than previously assumed. "We will redouble our efforts to avoid such errors in the future," responded the scientists in a Wall Street Journal post today.

Of course, it's not like politicians were basing their ideas on the paper alone—in reality, these kinds of studies are used to post-rationalize prior beliefs about the economy. More importantly, Paul Krugman points out that there are plenty of instances where countries boomed during high debt periods, as well as plenty of examples of countries slogging through depressions with tons of debt. In other words, it's a more complex issue than simple causation.

You can't really blame Excel for the error—the data should've been reviewed back when the paper was published. Still, there are plenty of other examples of mistakes like this leading to major inaccuracies. The moral of the story? Double check your sources before making decisions that affect the global economy."
via:vruba  economics  excel  data  austerity  policy  politics 
october 2015 by robertogreco
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: List: 25 Words Your Kindergartner Must Know Before First Grade.
"1. your
2. parents
3. are
4. taking
5. this
6. way
7. too
8. seriously
9. their
10. aggressive
11. and
12. goal-focused
13. parenting
14. style
15. will
16. isolate
17. and
18. minimize
19. their
20. ability
21. to
22. parent
23. you
24. effectively
25. puppy"
children  humor  parenting  davidtate  via:vruba 
october 2015 by robertogreco
A Matter of Perspective | somethingaboutmaps
"Today I wanted to share with you a little project of mine from a few months ago, which may best be described by the question: What happens if you take the shoreline of a lake, cut it, and unfurl it?"
maps  mapping  math  mathematics  geography  python  via:vruba  cartography  danielhuffman 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster - Map - NYTimes.com
"Weather disasters and quakes: who’s most at risk? The analysis below, by Sperling’s Best Places, a publisher of city rankings, is an attempt to assess a combination of those risks in 379 American metro areas. Risks for twisters and hurricanes (including storms from hurricane remnants) are based on historical data showing where storms occurred. Earthquake risks are based on United States Geological Survey assessments and take into account the relative infrequency of quakes, compared with weather events and floods. Additional hazards included in this analysis: flooding, drought, hail and other extreme weather."
2011  via:vruba  maps  mapping  disasters  naturaldisasters  nature  usgs  earhquakes 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Into the Okavango 2015
"The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s last great wetland wildernesses. Although the Delta has been awarded UNESCO WHS Status its catchments in the highlands of Angola are still unprotected and largely unexplored. Starting in May a team of Ba’Yei, scientists, engineers and adventurers will journey a 1000 miles down the Cuito River, finding new species, exploring new ground, and taking the pulse of this mighty river that brings life-giving water to the Jewel of the Kalahari.

This site displays data which is uploaded daily, via satellite, by the expedition team. Data is also available through a public API, allowing anyone to remix, analyze or visualize the collected information."
okavango  africa  maps  dataviz  data  wildreness  angola  via:vruba 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Sub Prime Kristol Meltdown - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
"I remember back in the late ’90s when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia, came to deliver a guest lecture to an economic philosophy class I was taking. It was a great lecture, made more so by the fact that the class was only about ten or twelve students and we got got ask all kinds of questions and got a lot of great, provocative answers. Anyhow, Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol back either during the first Bush administration. The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon’s domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at The White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at UPenn and the Kennedy School of Government. With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. “I oppose it”, Irving replied. “It subverts meritocracy.”"

[via https://twitter.com/elongreen/status/598146600058368000
via https://twitter.com/vruba/status/608293036699688960 ]
via:vruba  2008  billkristol  irvingkristol  privilege  affirmitiveaction  connections  irakatznelson  republicans  georghwbush  danquayle  meritocracy 
june 2015 by robertogreco
New York is a livable place -- who knew? - LA Times
[“In the LA Times, I write about New York the way The New York Times writes about LA: http://lat.ms/1cXsfdYhttps://twitter.com/annfriedman/status/598840262710796288 ]

"Southern Californians are overcoming their fears of subway germs, and reversing the American directive to go west. They're finding that New York is more than a capitalist prison that runs on the fumes of the finance industry and nostalgia for CBGB. It now offers many of the lifestyle amenities that their hometown has boasted for decades.

Not too long ago, Angelenos thought of New York as a veritable food desert; as recently as the 1990s, poppy-seed bagels were considered the lone culinary standout. These days, however, New Yorkers can sidle up to the juice bar 3 Roots in Greenpoint for liquid kale and wheatgrass, or stop by Sun in Bloom in Park Slope for a raw-food lunch.

Nikka Graff Lanzarone, an Angeleno who moved to New York after college, has even discovered an In-N-Out Burger replacement called Shake Shack. She notes that it's a close, if more expensive, second to her childhood favorite.

Perhaps most shocking to Californians who haven't traveled east in a while: America's largest metropolis has finally acquired some Mexican restaurants. It's possible to book a table at Cosme, a trendy establishment whose head chef relocated from Mexico City, just a few weeks in advance.

The freezing winters are an adjustment, of course. But transplants are finding that, with so many takeout options, they don't actually have to brave the outdoors at all; they can just stay in their apartments from December to February.

And once the weather warms up, they can live almost as they did back home in Los Angeles: Their stoops and fire escapes are perfect for getting that summer glow. For the wilderness-minded former Angeleno who misses hiking through the sage-dusted hills of Griffith Park, Central Park and Prospect Park are flatter alternatives.

During Mayor Michael Bloomberg's tenure, it even became possible to stroll along a “greenway” hugging the Hudson River, which many say compares favorably to the Los Angeles River."
nyc  losangeles  annfriedman  via:vruba  humor  culture 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Watch: Satellite time lapse reveals humanity's global footprint - Vox
"[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNQ9z_Eb-Jc ]

In the 1970s, some forward-thinking NASA scientists put an Earth-observing satellite into orbit. At an altitude of 570 miles, it photographed the entire planet every 18 days, circling Earth 14 times a day and sending the data back to ground stations.

Forty years later, this satellite and its successors have created the longest continuous record of our planet's surface. By stringing the images together, NASA and the US Geological Survey have shown how rapidly and how profoundly humans are changing the face of Earth.

[gif]

In this time lapse showing the massive growth of Las Vegas, vegetation appears red because the images were partially gathered through infrared sensors. Golf courses and lawns jump out, foretelling the city's water scarcity problems. Off of Lake Mead an artificial lake appears in the 1990s, and developments form alongside it. This is Lake Las Vegas, where Celine Dion lives.

Check out the video above to see what 40 years of satellite imagery reveal about humanity's global footprint.

Read more: 15 before-and-after images that show how we're transforming the planet"
satelliteimagery  via:vruba  anthropocene  nasa  geology  geography  2015  energy  defoestation  envionment  earth  urbansprawl  wateruse  aralsea  lasvegas  brazil  brasil  climatechange  wyoming 
may 2015 by robertogreco
U.S. npr podcast affected voice - Clyp
"All my favourite US podcasts are being ruined by this universally adopted affectation. Planet money, This American Life, Radiolab, Startup.. Why? Why would you do this? Please stop. It's so boring."

[Update 24 Oct 2015:

See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/fashion/npr-voice-has-taken-over-the-airwaves.html ]
npr  affectation  radio  2015  via:vruba  radiolab  thisamericanlife  speech  voice  narration 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Image of a Country ["Canada's Flag Debate"]
"Canada was only two years away from celebrating the centennial anniversary of its founding as a nation when Parliament finally agreed upon the design for a distinctive Canadian flag. The debate concerning a flag had been a recurring theme in Canadian politics since the late 1800s and became a particularly emotional, explosive issue for the government of Wiliam Lyon Mackenzie King in 1925; so much so that twenty years later he still shied away from any firm action on adopting a new design. It was not until Lester Pearson assumed power in 1963 that another Prime Minister would seriously confront the issue of creating a distinctive Canadian flag. In the debate that ensued, many feared the country would be torn apart."
via:vruba  canada  flags  symbols  history 
february 2015 by robertogreco
[1004.4704] Homophily and Contagion Are Generically Confounded in Observational Social Network Studies
"We consider processes on social networks that can potentially involve three factors: homophily, or the formation of social ties due to matching individual traits; social contagion, also known as social influence; and the causal effect of an individual's covariates on their behavior or other measurable responses. We show that, generically, all of these are confounded with each other. Distinguishing them from one another requires strong assumptions on the parametrization of the social process or on the adequacy of the covariates used (or both). In particular we demonstrate, with simple examples, that asymmetries in regression coefficients cannot identify causal effects, and that very simple models of imitation (a form of social contagion) can produce substantial correlations between an individual's enduring traits and their choices, even when there is no intrinsic affinity between them. We also suggest some possible constructive responses to these results."

[See also: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328971/ ]
homophily  contagion  via:vruba  networks  2010  cosmarhillashalizi  andrewthomas  social  socialties  socialcontagion  affinity 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Saving the Colorado River Delta, One Habitat at a Time
"It served as a critical stopover point for hundreds of migratory bird species and the winter or permanent home of dozens of species of waterbirds, including 75 percent of the world's endangered Yuma clapper rails, said Hinojosa Huerta. Local communities relied on its rich natural resources—until the Colorado's final dams went up in the 1960s, and the delta turned into desert.


Before 2004, conservationists were prevented—by Mexico's National Water Law and binational treaty—from "wasting" Colorado River water on the environment. But 17 years of negotiations by Hinojosa Huerta and others has led to agreements between the U.S. and Mexico that have paved the way for restoration.


Under a 2012 agreement known as Minute 319, the delta is to receive 158,088 acre-feet (195 million cubic meters) of water by 2017, when the agreement expires. Although that's less than one percent of the river's pre-dam flow, it will have a meaningful impact on wildlife, said Hinojosa Huerta."
via:vruba  coloradoriver  coloradoriverdelta  rivers  mexico  us  2014  biodiversity  nature  wildlife  california  arizona 
january 2015 by robertogreco
▶ One-On-One Conversations: Ingrid Burrington and James Bridle by EyebeamNYC
[Description from: http://eyebeam.org/events/eyebeam-artists-one-on-one-james-bridle-and-ingrid-burrington ]

"The first in this series features James Bridle and Ingrid Burrington, discussing "The Black Chamber". As technology advances and becomes increasingly networked and integrated with our daily lives, it tends towards a greater invisibility, a seamlessness and an unreadability. From the Cipher Bureau to Room 641A, from the datacenter to the iPhone, from the drone command module to the shipping container, the black boxes of the network litter the contemporary landscape. Unable to see inside them, we construct fantasies about their use, develop new ways of thinking about them, and attempt to probe them through techniques legal, technical, and magical. Eyebeam Residents Ingrid Burrington and James Bridle will explore the aesthetic and imaginative space of the black box, and outline some of their own practices for approaching them."
ingridburrington  jamesbridle  via:vruba  invisibility  visibility  blackboxes  datacenters  infrastructure  technology  magic  unreadability  landscape  urban  urbanism  architecture  2014  wizards  daemons 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Texas in Africa: show me the data
"In other words, it's much more complicated than just the mineral trade. Which is why the argument that shutting down the mines will end all of this violence is fundamentally flawed. It is, quite frankly, based on incorrect assumptions and a lack of rigorously-analyzed evidence.

An all-encompassing focus on the mineral trade won't end violence in the eastern DRC. Assuming that it were even possible to track the Congo's minerals from source to market and that it would be possible shut down the militarized mineral trade (and, given the limits of technology and oversight, those are two mighty big assumptions), would the loss of income really force these armed groups to the negotiating table? These forces are already well-accustomed to terrorizing local populations to obtain the necessities of life. Would their behavior really change if they lost this income stream? I'm not sure. And, we must remember, there's the tiny problem of external financing of these armed groups (especially the FDLR) that the international community has until very recently completely ignored.

Then there's the lingering detail of the 1 million+ people who depend on the mineral trade for their livelihoods. Any program to shut down the mines have to take their employment into account. As Harrison Mitchell and Nicholas Garrett continue to point out, legitimizing the mineral trade is a far better idea than shutting it down.

I do not know a single scholar of the Congo who buys into the "cell phones cause rape" thesis. We all understand that the situation there is far too complex to be reduced by the activists to a simple resource war that could be solved if we just pressure Congress to stop the conflict mineral trade (How many of you are willing to give up your mobile phones to stand in solidarity with Congolese women? Keep in mind that there aren't any conflict-free cell phones.).

This doesn't mean that minerals don't matter. But the militarized mineral trade is a symptom of the disease of state failure, not the root cause of violence. Even setting aside all of the logistical issues with certification, controlling supply chains, taking physical control of the mines, developing the technology necessary to track minerals, finding livelihoods for newly unemployed miners, and creating a degree of consumer consciousness that's stronger than the desire for an iPhone, the violence won't end. It won't. There's no entity capable of stopping it.

Treating one symptom rarely cures a disease. We all want the people of the Congo to live productive, peaceful lives that are free from the constant threat of violence. We all agree that the eastern DRC is in many ways the linchpin for regional stability. But until there is serious security-sector reform, the Congolese government can actually control its territory, tax, and pay its soldiers, and the regional dynamics that drive much of the conflict over land, citizenship rights, and Rwanda's role in the region are settled, armed groups and civilians will continue to commit horrific acts of violence, simply because they can. "Doing something" about the mineral trade won't change that fact.

Policymakers would do well to focus less on oversimplified solutions to extraordinarily complex problems, and to instead turn their attention to giving the people of the DRC what they deserve and need: peace, public order, and a chance to make life better. That will require a long-term, sustained effort that doesn't pretend the peacekeepers only need to stay another six months or a year. It will require negotiating with unsavory non-state actors. It will require honest assessments of regional actors' territorial and sphere-of-influence ambitions. It will require the recognition of corruption in all its many varied forms, and of the need to directly target aid to its beneficiaries.

Above all else, it will require policies that are based on facts, not assumptions. The stakes are too high not to pursue policies that are data-driven and have a reasonable chance of success.

Then again, maybe it's easier to oversimplify things."
via:vruba  2009  lauraseay  congo  mining  violence  rape  economics  policy  politics  complexity  oversimplification 
october 2014 by robertogreco
CTRL – Z – Lessons From Herons
"Earlier in the trip we had gone to the Jamestown S’Klallam carving shed and wondered at the size of logs that were waiting to be carved into totem poles- huge logs, 700 or 800 years old, the woodcarver had said, but they were only half as big around as this stump.

We can free the Elwha and its salmon, but we can’t know what it would have looked like if we had never dammed it. And we’ll never have that tree back, and in a hundred years, there may well be tame elk and black bears at the Olympic Game Farm, or a population of feral yaks on the Olympic Peninsula."
olympicpeninsula  sequim  elwha  elwhariver  anthropocence  olympicgamefarm  jamestowns'klallam  dams  nature  time  animals  wildlife  salmon  via:vruba  rivers  rewilding  washingtonstate 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Guerilla Grafters
"The [Guerrilla Grafters] graft fruit bearing branches onto non-fruit bearing, ornamental fruit trees. Over time, delicious, nutritious fruit is made available to urban residents through these grafts. We aim to prove that a culture of care can be cultivated from the ground up. We aim to turn city streets into food forests, and unravel civilization one branch at a time."
food  fruit  via:vruba 
september 2014 by robertogreco
The Rhetoric of the Hyperlink
"The hyperlink is the most elemental of the bundle of ideas that we call the Web. If the  bit is the quark of information, the hyperlink is the hydrogen molecule. It shapes the microstructure of information today.  Surprisingly though, it is nearly as mysterious now as it was back in July 1945, when Vannevar Bush first proposed the idea in his Atlantic Monthly article, As We May Think. July 4th will mark the second anniversary of Ribbonfarm (I started on July 4th, 2007), and to celebrate, I am going to tell you everything I’ve learned so far about the hyperlink. That is the lens through which I tend to look at more traditional macro-level blog-introspection topics, such as “how to make money blogging,” and “will blogs replace newspapers?” So with a “Happy Second Birthday, Ribbonfarm!” and a “Happy 64th Birthday, Hyperlink,” let’s go explore the hyperlink."
hypertext  hyperlinks  venkateshrao  2009  via:vruba  internet  web  writing  linking 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Beyond the border: the US's deadly immigration crisis | World | The Guardian
"Texas has become the deadliest state in the US for undocumented immigrants. In 2012, 271 migrants died while crossing through Texas, surpassing Arizona as the nation's most dangerous entry point. The majority of those deaths didn't occur at the Texas-Mexico border but in rural Brooks County, 70 miles north of the Rio Grande, where the US Border Patrol has a checkpoint. To circumvent the checkpoint, migrants must leave the highway and hike through the rugged ranchlands. Hundreds die each year on the trek, most from heat stroke. This four-part series looks at the lives impacted by the humanitarian crisis."
border  borders  us  mexico  texas  centralamerica  death  2014  via:vruba  riogrande  riobravo  brookscounty 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Science Studio
"The Weight of Mountains

Here’s a short film by a children’s book illustrator about “the processes by which mountains are created and eventually destroyed, based upon the work of British geographer L. Dudley Stamp.” It’s eye-meltingly gorgeous and starkly scientific. The tone is meditative and incantatory, turning geological terms into epic poetry. If you’ve ever wanted to read John McPhee’s “Annals of the Former World” but only have 11 minutes, watch this."

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/87651855

"This is a short film about the processes by which mountains are created and eventually destroyed. It is based upon the work of British geographer L. Dudley Stamp, and was shot in Iceland.

Physical geography and geology is an enormous and fascinating subject, and this film only touches upon the surface of the discipline. For those who wish to further advance their knowledge in this field, additional reading and research is recommended.

The film was created as part of The Weight of Mountains filmmaker residency program. For more information please visit twom.is/

Animation courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio" ]
via:vruba  2014  johnpablus  ldudleystamp  mountains  earth  science  earthscience  landscape  geology  film  scale  height  geography  history  naturalhistory  oceans  atmosphere  platemovement  platetectonics  sun  frost  eathering  wind  weather  erosion  glaciers  ice  rain  water  denudation  nature  gravity  johnmcphee 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Old School Color Cycling with HTML5 | EffectGames.com
"Anyone remember Color cycling from the 90s? This was a technology often used in 8-bit video games of the era, to achieve interesting visual effects by cycling (shifting) the color palette. Back then video cards could only render 256 colors at a time, so a palette of selected colors was used. But the programmer could change this palette at will, and all the onscreen colors would instantly change to match. It was fast, and took virtually no memory. Thus began the era of color cycling.

Most games used the technique to animate water, fire or other environmental effects. Unfortunately, more often than not this looked terrible, because the artist simply drew the scene once, picked some colors to be animated and set them to cycle. While this technically qualified as "color cycling", it looked more like a bad acid trip. For an example, just look at the water in this game.

However, there was one graphic artist who took the technique to a whole new level, and produced absolutely breathtaking color cycling scenes. Mark J. Ferrari, who also illustrated all the original backgrounds for LucasArts Loom, and some for The Secret of Monkey Island, invented his own unique ways of using color cycling for envrironmental effects that you really have to see to believe. These include rain, snow, ocean waves, moving fog, clouds, smoke, waterfalls, streams, lakes, and more. And all these effects are achieved without any layers or alpha channels -- just one single flat image with one 256 color palette.

Unfortunately the art of color cycling died out in the late 90s, giving way to newer technologies like 3D rendering and full 32-bit "true color" games. However, 2D pixel graphics of old are making a comeback in recent years, with mobile devices and web games. I thought now would be the time to reintroduce color cycling, using open web technologies like the HTML5 Canvas element.

This demo is an implementation of a full 8-bit color cycling engine, rendered into an HTML5 Canvas in real-time. I am using 35 of Mark's original 640x480 pixel masterpieces which you can explore, and I added some ambient environmental soundtracks to match. Please enjoy, and the source code is free for you to use in your own projects (download links at the bottom of the article)."

[See also: http://www.effectgames.com/demos/canvascycle/ ]
animation  graphics  html5  javascript  colorcycling  via:vruba  canvas  8bit 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Trees That Miss The Mammoths | American Forests
"Trees that once depended on animals like the wooly mammoth for survival have managed to adapt and survive in the modern world."



"Warning: Reading this article may cause a whiplash-inducing paradigm shift. You will no longer view wild areas the same way. Your concepts of “pristine wilderness” and “the balance of nature” will be forever compromised. You may even start to see ghosts.

Consider the fruit of the Osage-orange, named after the Osage Indians associated with its range. In the fall, Osage-orange trees hang heavy with bright green, bumpy spheres the size of softballs, full of seeds and an unpalatable milky latex. They soon fall to the ground, where they rot, unused, unless a child decides to test their ballistic properties.

Trees that make such fleshy fruits do so to entice animals to eat them, along with the seeds they contain. The seeds pass through the animal and are deposited, with natural fertilizer, away from the shade and roots of the parent tree where they are more likely to germinate. But no native animal eats Osage-orange fruits. So, what are they for? The same question could be asked of the large seed pods of the honeylocust and the Kentucky coffeetree.

To answer these questions and solve the “riddle of the rotting fruit,” we first need to go to Costa Rica. That is where tropical ecologist Dan Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania noticed that the fruits of a mid-sized tree in the pea family called Cassia grandis were generally scorned by the native animals, but gobbled up by introduced horses and cattle. Janzen, who received the Crafoord Prize (ecology’s version of the Nobel) for his work on the co-evolution of plants and animals, had the idea that the seeds of Cassia grandis, and about 40 other large-fruited Costa Rican trees, were adapted to be dispersed by large mammals that are now extinct. He teamed up with Paul Martin, a paleoecologist at the University of Arizona, to develop the concept of ecological anachronisms.

An anachronism is something that is chronologically out of place: a typewriter or floppy disc in a modern office. Leather helmets at the Super Bowl. Or, hopefully, the internal combustion engine in the near future. An ecological anachronism is an adaptation that is chronologically out of place, making its purpose more or less obsolete. A tree with big fruits to attract huge mammals as dispersers of its seeds is anachronistic in a world of relatively small mammals.

In the case of Cassia grandis, Janzen and Martin figured that the foot-long woody seed pods were eaten for their sweet pulp by giant ground sloths and elephant-like gomphotheres. These multi-ton animals had such big gullets that they didn’t need to chew a lot, so most of the seeds passed through the animals unharmed and ready to propagate more Cassia grandis trees. However, the gomphotheres and giant groundsloths disappeared about 13,000 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age of the Pleistocene.

Gomphotheres and ground-sloths? The Ice Age? What, you may be wondering, do they have to do with Osage-oranges, honeylocusts, and coffeetrees today?"



"Now let’s return to the forlorn fruit of the Osage orange. Nothing today eats it. Once it drops from the tree, all of them on a given tree practically in unison, the only way it moves is to roll downhill or float in flood waters. Why would you evolve such an over-engineered, energetically expensive fruit if gravity and water are your only dispersers, and you like to grow on higher ground? You wouldn’t. Unless you expected it to be eaten by mammoths or ground-sloths.

According to my field guide, Osage-orange has a limited natural range in the Red River region of east-central Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and adjacent Arkansas. Indians used to travel hundreds of miles for the wood, prized as the finest for making bows. Then European settlers planted it widely as living fences, taking advantage of the tree’s ability to spread via shoots from lateral roots. But Osage-orange persisted, and became widely naturalized long after the invention of barbed wire rendered them useless to farmers. The tree can now be found in 39 states and Ontario. If Osage-orange does so well elsewhere, why was it restricted to such a small area?

The answer likely lies in the disappearance of its primary disperser. Without mammoths, groundsloths, and other megafauna to transport its seeds uphill, the range of the species gradually shrank to the Red River region. In fact, fossils tell us that Osage-orange was much more widespread and diverse before the megafaunal extinctions. Back then, Osage-oranges could be found north up to Ontario, and there were seven, not just one, species in the Osage-orange genus, Maclura."



"Today, the evidence of human impact is all around us, but now we know that even the most pristine of wilderness areas have many missing pieces. We’ve learned to see the ghosts of the lost megafauna in the rotting fruit, poor dispersal, and useless thorns of Osage-orange, Kentucky coffeetree, honeylocust, and others. But what are we still missing?"



"The first Americans could not have known they were causing extinctions, and they could not have understood the implications. But we no longer have such an excuse. As Aldo Leopold has advised, “The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the pieces.” We have tinkered, lost some of the most important pieces, and tried to put many where they don’t belong. That we will continue to tinker there is no doubt. Everything will depend on how intelligently we do it. And that will depend, in part, on our ability to see the ghosts that haunt our trees."

[See also: http://scientopia.org/blogs/guestblog/2012/09/25/forgotten-fruits-or-megafaunal-dispersal-syndrome-and-the-case-of-the-missing-herbivores/ ]
ecology  evolution  via:vruba  whitbronaugh  animals  plants  mammoths  extinction  trees  mastadons  giantgroundsloths  anachronisms  iceage  pleistocene 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Slow Life on Vimeo
""Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.

Learn more about what you see in my post: notes-from-dreamworlds.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/slow-life.html

This clip, as well as stock footage, is available in 4k resolution. Make sure you watch it on a large screen! You won't be able to appreciate this clip or see individual cells moving in a sponge on a smartphone. If you have a full-HD screen, when you enter full-screen mode, please press on "view actual size" next to the HD icon to improve sharpness.

To make this little clip I took 150000 shots. Why so many? Because macro photography involves shallow depth of field. To extend it, I used focus stacking. Each frame of the video is actually a stack that consists of 3-12 shots where in-focus areas are merged. Just the intro and last scene are regular real-time footage. One frame required about 10 minutes of processing time (raw conversion + stacking). Unfortunately, the success rate was very low due to copious technical challenges and I spent almost 9 long months just to learn how to make these kinds of videos and understand how to work with these delicate creatures.

I am glad that I abandoned the idea of making this clip in 3D (with two cameras) - very few people have 3D screens and it doubles processing time.

Gear:
- Canon 7D (died at the beginning of the project as I had overused it in my research), Canon 5d Mkiii (90% of footage is done with it)
- Canon MP-E 65 mm lens
- adjustable custom-spectrum lamps (3 different models)
- several motorized stages including StackShot for focus stacking
- multiple computers to process thousands of 22+ Mpx raw images and perform focus stacking (an old laptop died on that mission after 3 weeks of continuous processing).

Edited in Sony Vegas, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Zerene Stacker, and Helicon Focus.
Music: Atmostra III by Cedric Baravaglio, Jonathan Ochmann and Zdravko Djordjevic.

Visit my website to see more cool stuff: microworldsphotography.com
(consideration to buy a print from my website or to use the tip jar below the video is always welcome)

Inquiries/licensing/press: find my contact details here: microworldsphotography.com/About

Please do not share this clip to promote or endorse marine aquarium industry. I simply want people to admire life, but not to be told to buy stuff, especially poses captive animals
More about using my videos:
microworldsphotography.com/Image-Use/Video-Use-and-Licensing "
slow  nature  time  scale  biology  timelapse  via:vruba 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Wendell Berry: Letter to Wes Jackson… | UKIAH BLOG
"From WENDELL BERRY
Home Economics (1982)

[This evening, August 3rd, will be our second First Friday of Neighbors Reading at Mulligan Books downtown Ukiah, 6-7pm. We share favorite passages from favorite books around topics of community, transition, resilience, or anything else, as part of the second semester of Mendo Free Skool. We video the readings for Community TV and invite your participation. I will be reading from one of my favorite authors, Wendell Berry... passages from an essay The Family Farm, from his book Home Economics. What follows is the opening essay from that book... -DS]

Dear Wes,

I want to try to complete the thought about “randomness” that I was working on when we talked the other day.

The Hans Jenny paragraph that started me off is the last one on page twenty-one of The Soil Resource:
Raindrops that pass in random fashion through an imaginary plane above the forest canopy are intercepted by leaves and twigs and channeled into distinctive vert space patterns of through-drip, crown-drip, and stem flow. The soil surface, as receiver, transmits the “rain message” downward, but as the subsoils lack a power source to mold a flow design, the water tends to leave the ecosystem as it entered it, in randomized fashion.

My question is: Does “random” in this (or any) context describe a verifiable condition or a limit of perception?

My answer is: It describes a limit of perception. This is, of course, not a scientist’s answer, but it may be that anybody’s answer would be unscientific. My answer is based on the belief that pattern is verifiable by limited information, whereas the information required to verify randomness is unlimited. As I think you said when we talked, what is perceived as random within a given limit may be seen as part of a pattern within a wider limit.

If this is so then Dr. Jenny, for accuracy’s sake, should have said that rainwater moves from mystery through pattern back into mystery.

If “mystery” is a necessary (that is, honest) term in such a description, then the modern scientific program has not altered the ancient perception of the human condition a jot. If, in using the word “random,” scientists only mean “random so far as we can tell,” then we are back at about the Book of Job. Some truth meets the eye; some does not. We are up against mystery. To call this mystery “randomness” or “chance” or a “fluke” is to take charge of it on behalf of those who do not respect pattern. To call the unknown “random” is to plant the flag by which to colonize and exploit the known. (A result that our friend Dr. Jenny, of course, did not propose and would not condone.)

To call the unknown by its right name, “mystery,” is to suggest that we had better respect the possibility of a larger, unseen pattern that can be damaged or destroyed and, with it, the smaller patterns.

This respecting of mystery obviously has something or other to do with religion, and we moderns have defended ourselves against it by turning it over to religion specialists, who take advantage of our indifference by claiming to know a lot about it.

What impresses me about it, however is the insistent practicality implicit in it. If we are up against mystery, then we dare act only on the most modest assumptions. The modern scientific program has held that we must act on the basis of knowledge, which, because its effects are so manifestly large, we have assumed to be ample. But if we are up against mystery, then knowledge is relatively small, and the ancient program is the right one: Act on the basis of ignorance. Acting on the basis of ignorance, paradoxically, requires one to know things, remember things— for instance, that failure is possible, that error is possible, that second chances are desirable (so don’t risk everything on the first chance), and so on.

What I think you and I and a few others are working on is a definition of agriculture as up against mystery and ignorance-based. I think we think that this is its necessary definition, just as I think we think that several kinds of ruin are the necessary result of an agriculture defined as knowledge-based and up against randomness. Such an agriculture conforms exactly to what the ancient program, or programs, understood as evil or hubris. Both the Greeks and the Hebrews told us to watch out for humans who assume that they make all the patterns."

[via Charlie's newsletter 6, 5 http://tinyletter.com/vruba/letters/6-5-hills ]
wendellberry  via:vruba  1982  mystery  science  random  patterns  patternsensing  zoominginandout  religion  belief  myth  myths  information  perspective  perception  modernism  indifference  ignorance  local  global  knowledge 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Some Tui Tui stamps.
"Tui Tui is a member-nation of the International Council of Independent States, and is under the benevolent rule of Co-Tyees Dogfish and Dragonfly. The first stamps that KDPN printed for Tui Tui are the 1988 Year of Food series, shown on the right. These were printed with a Heidelberg platen press by letterpress process, as were the Occussi-Ambeno 20th birthday issue, and the Mevu 20th birthday set. The 1990 Penny Black set was printed using an English-made Adana press on white gloss art paper with shiny gum and perf 12."

[via Charlie's newsletter 6, 5 http://tinyletter.com/vruba/letters/6-5-hills ]
via:vruba  micronations  washingtonstate  seattle 
march 2014 by robertogreco
GSAXcess®
"NASA is offering Space Program 'Artifacts' and 'Special Items' for use or display in your science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) themed program. Learn more about each of these two programs below and click on the respective icon to see what is available and make a request."
via:vruba  science  nasa  schools  classideas  schoolideas  free  space  artifacts 
february 2014 by robertogreco
A Friend Visits my Slotin Notes - Just Wrought
"And just like that, Thia Stephan Hyde was making plans to  pay my notes a visit.  All that day she updated me with emails and pictures  from her time with my darlings. At the end of it she sent me the following lovely email, which she has graciously allowed me post. Reading it felt like an injection of light straight into my worn-out artist’s heart."



"There is a sub-genre of theatre people who are absolute full-on theatre geeks. We are the ones who revel not only in the delight and the accolades of the performances themselves, but who glory in the research that leads up to the live show. Theatre geeks don’t think of it as “homework”, theatre geeks actually get off on endless hours of dramaturgy, historical research and literary cross-referencing, and GO off on intellectual tangents that may not have any direct correlation with any actual decision put into the work of rehearsal or performance. . . though I insist that you never, ever know what tiny tidbit of historical backstory or arcane research may lead to a tiny choice that lifts a performance from serviceable to inspired.

Anyway, when playwright Paul Mullin mentioned on Face Book that he wondered if someone in New York might have a chance to go visit some materials he had loaned to the Library for the Performing Arts here in town, I was an instantly enthusiastic volunteer! (and I am already registered as a researcher at said library, because – why? I am a theatre geek. You got it.)"



"About 25 minutes later, the boxes arrived, very officially delivered on a cart, signed out from the page who brought them to the librarian, and then signed out again from him to me. I was told to turn in my pen, as only pencils are allowed at the desks, and was told that yes, I could take photos of the material. But I could only have one box at a time, and could only remove one folder at a time from each box. Where to start, where to start? I guessed that “Box 1” was the earliest of the papers (Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!), and I started with the “generative notes” folder, which was fascinating. Truly, from just a few scribbled words on a few pages (the very first said: “The relationship of horror and happiness”) through longer philosophical paragraphs and charts of dramatis personae and timelines through feedback from early draft read-throughs, I got to see the “birth” of a play."



"And SO much more. Honestly, I found almost every scribble compelling.

Moving on to other folders, I found out:

That Paul’s own father had been a physicist. (I never knew this.)

That a fellow named Thomas Keenan who was associated with Los Alamos after the fact thought the play contained a “disturbing amount of non-pertinent philosophy and mental meandering”. (Paul pointed out that of course THAT is of what a play consists. . . Hamlet, for example)

That a CD was being rushed to “Anzide’s”, which tickled me because I adore Jim Anzide, and got to work with him in a Circle X production of a play written by another favorite of mine, Tom Jacobson.

That Louis Slotin was not covered by insurance and that the US Government haggled and dragged its heels over compensating his family and returning his belongings to them. And that though they didn’t want to do so at first, eventually the government decided that it would be good to give sick leave pay to the other scientists for the days they had been hospitalized, as it had “been determined advisable in order to ensure confidence on the part of employees . . . who may perform similar operations or experiments in the future.” Sigh.

That I had forgotten how we all used to live by the FAX machine! The faxes, the faxes, the piles of FAXES!"
via:vruba  libraries  research  names  naming  references  paulmullin  thiastephenhyde  2013  writing  science  theater  metadata  meta  geeks  theatergeeks  intertextuality  howwework  howwelearn  facebook  fandom  losalamos  notes  notetaking  time  memory 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Mild-Mannered Revolutionary • What if there was a documentary that treated all...
"What if there was a documentary that treated all service jobs like we treat sex work?

"Nellie wakes at five am to wait in the freezing cold for the bus to her job at a daycare center.

There her boss will emotionally manipulate her into staying at work when she’s sick,  

angry parents will blame their children’s misbehavior on her,

she will have to hunch over the toilet to scrub poop out of cloth diapers with nothing but a thin paper mask to protect her from the fecal matter flying through the air.

She steels herself before walking inside, preparing for a day of utter dehumanization. But Nellie didn’t choose this life.

This is the chilling world of Survival Child Care.”"
via:vruba  servicework  serviceworkers  labor  2013  work  economics  society 
december 2013 by robertogreco
▶ Nelson Mandela's Speech. - YouTube
"The day he got out, he could have rested, or showboated. But he gave a measured speech full of practicalities:" —Charlie Loyd https://twitter.com/vruba/status/408718995919888384
nelsonmandela  via:vruba  southafrica  apartheid  leadership  reconciliation  1990  grace  restraint 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Marinexplore - The Ocean's Big Data Platform
"Marinexplore.org is the easiest way to explore, discover, and share public ocean data."
community  data  marine  oceans  via:vruba  maps  mapping 
october 2013 by robertogreco
A Quick Guide to Earth Explorer for Landsat 8 : Elegant Figures : Blogs
"The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now Landsat 8, and that means images are now public (woohoo!). NASA handed control of the satellite to the USGS yesterday (May 30, 2013), and calibrated imagery is available through the Earth Explorer. Unfortunately, the Earth Explorer interface is a bit of a pain, so I’ve put together a guide to make it easier.

First, go to the Earth Explorer site: earthexplorer.usgs.gov

You can search, but not order data, without logging in—so register if you don’t have an account (don’t worry, it’s instant and free), or log in if you do. …"

[Charlie processes with: http://www.mapbox.com/blog/processing-landsat-8/ ]
landsat  landsat8  howto  tutorial  earthexplorer  via:vruba  2013 
august 2013 by robertogreco
AP News: UN selects unarmed surveillance drone for Congo
"The United Nations has selected its first unarmed surveillance drone, an Italian-made plane that will be tried out by peacekeepers in eastern Congo.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Thursday the world body's peacekeeping department chose an unmanned aerial vehicle produced by SELES ES, known as the Falco, which is "capable of carrying a range of payloads including several types of high-resolution sensors."

In January, the U.N. Security Council gave approval for the trial use of unarmed drones for eastern Congo. It's also given peacekeepers an unprecedented offensive mandate to attack rebels.

Nesirky said deployment of the medium-altitude, medium-endurance drone is planned in the coming weeks.

He said it will allow U.N. peacekeepers, especially in eastern Congo, "to monitor the movements of armed groups and protect the civilian population more efficiently.""
drones  droneproject  2013  via:vruba  congo  un 
august 2013 by robertogreco
THE DAVID FOSTER WALLACE AUDIO PROJECT | Audio archive of interviews with, profiles of, readings by, and eulogies to David Foster Wallace.
"This collection of David Foster Wallace recordings was originally collected by Ryan Walsh in early 2009. This website was built and is maintained by Jordyn Bonds.

While these files might exist elsewhere on the web we hope that archiving them here will serve as a useful redundancy. Included herein you’ll find various recordings under the following category headings:

• Interviews & Profiles
• Readings
• Eulogies & Remembrances
• ‘Brief Interviews’ Staged Readings

I have tried to include everything I came across in my (hopefully) exhaustive search that was not currently for sale elsewhere. Namely this excluded the ‘Consider The Lobster’ audiobook, the ‘McCain’s Promise’ audiobook, the ‘This Is Water’ audiobook read by Amy Wallace, the ‘This Is Water’ original recording, and the
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men audiobook. These are worthwhile and essential pieces of out-loud David Foster Wallace (even though ‘McCain’s Promise’ is read by someone else) and I highly recommend you obtain them.

The elements that are here should be easily identifiable by information which will be attached to the MP3′s. If you’re unsure of what any certain file is, or what its source was, drop me a line. I hope to post all of the audio files’ source pages eventually but I don’t have that all gathered together just yet. My apologies for that.

I’ve found that listening to large chunks of the project in a concentrated period of time has the ability to transform the most mundane road trip or massive cleaning project into a compelling, thoughtful adventure.

Lastly, if you would like to press legal charges against me for something in this collection that is copyrighted I would be sad and disappointed to hear from you but nonetheless appropriately responsive.

If you can find any DFW-Audio artifacts that aren’t included here I’d love to hear them. Please feel free to email me any leads or MP3′s. Send here: ryan@hallelujahthehills.com

Thank you and please enjoy,
Ryan"
davidfosterwallace  audio  via:vruba 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Unambitious Loser With Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives In Hometown | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
"Longtime acquaintances confirmed to reporters this week that local man Michael Husmer, an unambitious 29-year-old loser who leads an enjoyable and fulfilling life, still lives in his hometown and has no desire to leave.

Claiming that the aimless slouch has never resided more than two hours from his parents and still hangs out with friends from high school, sources close to Husmer reported that the man, who has meaningful, lasting personal relationships and a healthy work-life balance, is an unmotivated washout who’s perfectly comfortable being a nobody for the rest of his life."
success  life  via:vruba  2013  theonion  humor  failure  well-being  happiness  living  relationships  ambition  belonging  identity  place 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Edit GeoJSON
"A little site to edit GeoJSON, a good geospatial format.

Like the rest of things I do, edit geojson is open source and you can (and should!) help make it better.

Protips: hit cmd-s or ctrl-s to save your drawing.

Uses Leaflet.draw for the hard parts and Gist for storage."
geojson  via:vruba  maps  mapping  onlinetoolkit  tools  geography  data 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Grocery store geography
"There's a grocery store just about everywhere you go in the United States, because, well, we gotta eat. They look similar in that they sell produce on one side, meat in the back, and snacks and soda on the side opposite the produce. Magazines and small candies are carefully situated at eye-level by the cash registers. There's usually a deli counter and prepared foods near the bread section. And yet, despite the generic format and layout, these stores can remind us of places and specific periods of our lives."
geography  via:vruba  2013  maps  mapping  retail  grocerystores 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 85% « ACEs Too High
[Update 2014: Reminded of this article by another: "School ditches rules and loses bullies"
http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/school-ditches-rules-and-loses-bullies-5807957 ]

"THE FIRST TIME THAT principal Jim Sporleder tried the New Approach to Student Discipline at Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, he was blown away. Because it worked. In fact, it worked so well that he never went back to the Old Approach to Student Discipline. This is how it went down:

A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension. Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly:

“Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?” He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?”

The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot out of school. But he was NOT ready for kindness. The armor-plated


defenses melt like ice under a blowtorch and the words pour out: “My dad’s an alcoholic. He’s promised me things my whole life and never keeps those promises.” The waterfall of words that go deep into his home life, which is no piece of breeze, end with this sentence: “I shouldn’t have blown up at the teacher.”

Whoa.

And then he goes back to the teacher and apologizes. Without prompting from Sporleder.

“The kid still got a consequence,” explains Sporleder – but he wasn’t sent home, a place where there wasn’t anyone who cares much about what he does or doesn’t do. He went to ISS — in-school suspension, a quiet, comforting room where he can talk about anything with the attending teacher, catch up on his homework, or just sit and think about how maybe he could do things differently next time.

Before the words “namby-pamby”, “weenie”, or “not the way they did things in my day” start flowing across your lips, take a look at these numbers:"



"Severe and chronic trauma (such as living with an alcoholic parent, or watching in terror as your mom gets beat up) causes toxic stress in kids. Toxic stress damages kid’s brains. When trauma launches kids into flight, fight or fright mode, they cannot learn. It is physiologically impossible."



"Rule No. 1: Take nothing a raging kid says personally. Really. Act like a duck: let the words roll off your back like drops of water.

Rule No. 2: Don’t mirror the kid’s behavior. Take a deep breath. Wait for the storm to pass, and then ask something along the lines of: “Are you okay? Did something happen to you that’s bothering you? Do you want to talk about it?”"
via:vruba  culture  discipline  education  psychology  2012  trauma  schools  schooling  zerotolerance 
june 2013 by robertogreco
OpenStreetMap + MapBox | MapBox
"OpenStreetMap is constantly improved in real time by thousands of volunteers around the world. Here's what they're doing now."
maps  live  editing  mapbox  osm  openstreetmap  mapping  realtime  via:vruba 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Decoding The City: Infrastructural Graffiti | Design Decoded
"Cities around the world are covered in spray-painted hieroglyphics and cryptic designations scrawled on public surfaces; unintelligible tags and arcane signs intended to communicate messages to a specialized audience with a trained eye. Such markings are so prevalent that they just blend into the urban patina of dirt and disrepair and go largely unnoticed. I’m not talking about illegal graffiti. Rather, the officially sanctioned infrastructural “tagging” employed by public works departments around the country.

You’ve probably seen these markings on streets and sidewalks. Multi-colored lines, arrows and diamonds denoting the presence of some subterranean infrastructure or encode instruction for construction or maintenance workers. A secret language that temporarily manifests the invisible systems that power our world. Recently, Columbia’s Studio-X blog shared the decoder ring that unlocks these secret messages:"
codes  hieroglyphics  annotation  streets  cities  urban  urbanism  symbols  messages  via:vruba 
april 2013 by robertogreco
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
"The Upper Midwest’s third-largest compendium of the outer spatters of the emotional palette. Its mission is to harpoon, bag and tag wild sorrows, then release them back into the subconscious.

Yes, each of these definitions is completely made up. Give feedback, tell me about your day, or suggest ideas for obscure sorrows:

JOHN KOENIG is a freelance graphic designer who currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His writing has been acclaimed by New York Magazine, Washington Post Express, John Green, Jason Kottke and the guys from Radiolab."
humor  language  words  sorrows  via:vruba  emotions  dictionary  johnkoenig  via:jenlowe  dictionaries 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Wired 7.01: The Revenge of the Intuitive
"The trouble begins with a design philosophy that equates "more options" with "greater freedom." Designers struggle endlessly with a problem that is almost nonexistent for users: "How do we pack the maximum number of options into the minimum space and price?" In my experience, the instruments and tools that endure (because they are loved by their users) have limited options.

Software options proliferate extremely easily, too easily in fact, because too many options create tools that can't ever be used intuitively. Intuitive actions confine the detail work to a dedicated part of the brain, leaving the rest of one's mind free to respond with attention and sensitivity to the changing texture of the moment. With tools, we crave intimacy. This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users - when given a choice - prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can't have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else.

Indeed familiarity breeds content. When you use familiar tools, you draw upon a long cultural conversation - a whole shared history of usage - as your backdrop, as the canvas to juxtapose your work. The deeper and more widely shared the conversation, the more subtle its inflections can be.

This is the revenge of traditional media. Even the "weaknesses" or the limits of these tools become part of the vocabulary of culture. I'm thinking of such stuff as Marshall guitar amps and black-and-white film - what was once thought most undesirable about these tools became their cherished trademark."

"Since so much of our experience is mediated in some way or another, we have deep sensitivities to the signatures of different media. Artists play with these sensitivities, digesting the new and shifting the old. In the end, the characteristic forms of a tool's or medium's distortion, of its weakness and limitations, become sources of emotional meaning and intimacy.

Although designers continue to dream of "transparency" - technologies that just do their job without making their presence felt - both creators and audiences actually like technologies with "personality." A personality is something with which you can have a relationship. Which is why people return to pencils, violins, and the same three guitar chords."
howwework  thetoolsweuse  intuition  intuitive  via:vruba  1999  familiarity  limitations  mediation  experience  toolmaking  features  featurecreep  options  freedom  seams  distortion  software  design  creativity  technology  culture  tools  constraints  tradition  art  intimacy  brianeno  music  seamlessness 
november 2012 by robertogreco
There's Only One Thing To Do When The Internet Calls You Fat
"Somehow, Lindy West has made me feel bad for her tormenters. I mean, not really bad. Not oh-but-they're-really-actually-nice-people bad. But still, bad enough that I pity them. They may be able to hurt her by being mean online, but they'll never be as awesome and funny as she is. And anyone who isn't as funny as Lindy West deserves pity.

At :45, you'll laugh with her. At 2:40, you'll feel for her. And at 9:02, you'll admire her compassion, even for the people who try so hard to hurt her."
humor  betterperson  via:vruba  2012  commenting  web  internet  compassion  blogging  blogs  lindywest  empathy 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Creepy Sneak Peak - Just Wrought
Peep on @justwrought’s drafts of his consciousness play:
via:vruba 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Critical Mess Collecting
"The most intriguing thing is how a collection like Michael's gets built," Reese said, by way of explaining the practical ramifications of the critical-mess theory.  "When you start on something like this, you say, O.K., here is a genre, here is a field. And I'm just going to buy it, whatever it is that I'm collecting -- signs from homeless people, imprints froom before 1801.  You don't start with a theory about what you're trying to do.  You don't begin by saying, 'I'm trying to prove x.' You build a big pile. Once you get a big enough pile together -- the critical mess -- you're able to draw conclusions about it.  You see patterns.  You might see that this one lithographer in Philadelphia does all the scientific works.  You start to see that certain early printers were much better than other printers. You start to see that homeless people in the South put together wordier signs than people in the North because people in the South like to read billboards, so they'll slow down and read the sign.  People who have the greatest intuitive feel for physical objects start from a relationship with the objects and then acquire the scholarship, instead of the other way around. The way to become a connoisseur is to work in the entire spectrum of what's available -- from utter crap to fabulous stuff. If you're going to spend your time looking only at the best, you're not going to have a critical eye."
messiness  criticalmess  criticalmesses  pattenrecognition  patterns  via:vruba  collecting  working  collections  michaelzinman  cv  howwework  howwelearn  learning  divingin  starting  startingsomewhere  piles  criticaleye 
june 2012 by robertogreco

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