Unconnected interesting items.

Nearly Extinct Tree gets new lease, Elephants invade South America, Python on Wall Street.

There is a species of tree in New Zealand that has only one individual in the wild. They thought it was a female, but it turns out that there are individuals (among those cultivated by gardeners) that seem to have some kind of male parts anyway, and it is possible now to re-establish the species in the wild. Originally, the tree, Pennantia baylisiana, was nearly wiped out because of goats released into their previously goat-free habitat. Keep an eye on this story. Interesting things may develop. More here.

Elephants may have invaded South America (from North America) earlier than thought. Check it out. Go have a look at Laelaps post on it. I just got a copy of the paper and will be posting on it in more detail soon. Interesting stuff.

The American Security and Exchange Commissions (they’re the ones who get to tell the banks what to do) is calling for the use of a program for keeping track of boring but important banking stuff. It is called the Waterfall Computer Program. “By running the waterfall computer program in combination with other internally-developed or commercially available vendor interest rate, prepayment, default and loss-given-default models, cash flow engines, or computational services, investors bla bla bla”

The point is that the program is written in the famous OpenSource langauge Python. “The SEC chose Python specifically because it is open source and available freely to anyone. Its status as an interpreted language is also in line with the SEC’s rule to keep executable code off of EDGAR for security reasons.” (see Linux Mag for the story)