Archives for April 16, 2008

The White-necked Picathartes

A survey of the Western Area Peninsula Forest (WAPF) in Sierra Leone has discovered two new breeding colonies of the Vulnerable White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus, in addition to the 16 sites already known. The survey was part of a one-year project carried out by volunteers from the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL, BirdLife in…

Apparently, this did not used to be true. TV news viewers in the past did not pick their news station in a way that correlated with party affiliation in the US. But now, increasingly so, they do. This is from a study from the University of Georgia, Athens, based on data from the Pew Center…

Several thousand intelligent beings have surrounded two funny looking blue trees. On some planet. Elsewhere. [Image source] Back in the old days, when Carl Sagan was alive and at Harvard, there was an annual (or at least frequent) debate between Sagan and my adviser, Irv DeVore. The debate was about the possibility of intelligent life…

He was 90 and worked at MIT. From the MIT press release: Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist who tried to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts and wound up unleashing a scientific revolution called chaos theory, died April 16 of cancer at his home in Cambridge. He was 90.

There are so many lessons in this story it is hard to know where to start. First, don’t throw away data. Second, scientists do question their own dogma and in fact get rather excited about it. Third, Click and Clack (Car Talk) glossed their answer to a question the other day (sort of) … it…

Expelled Googled

At this moment (noonish central time, April 16th) if you type “Expelled” into a google search, the results in order are: 1: The expelled movie site. 2: Another page on the expelled movie dite 3: The wikipedia entry for Expelled 4: A blog by PZ Myers at Pharyngula for when he got expelled from Expelled…

Speaking at the first TED Conference in 1984, Nicholas Negroponte waxes prophetic on the converging fields of technology, entertainment and design. Years before anyone was using the word “convergence,” Negroponte was thinking about TV screens as the “electronic books of the future” and computers as the future of education. In excerpts from his 2-hour talk…