August 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
Lately it has been harder to find the beauty in the world. Then I remembered, I choose what I look at. So here is something beautiful I saw and wanted to share.
“Rachel Sussman is a time traveler. For the last few years, the American photographer has journeyed across the globe on a mission to bring back images of the world’s oldest living organisms.In her ongoing project, Sussman has traveled to the primal landscapes of southern Greenland, the timeless high-altitude Andean deserts of South America and even under the ocean.” Read the full story
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Update 9 September 2010:
“Rachel Sussman shows photographs of the world’s oldest continuously living organisms — from 2,000-year-old brain coral off Tobago’s coast to an “underground forest” in South Africa that has lived since before the dawn of agriculture.” -TED
Visit Rachel Sussman: photography to view her groundbreaking work on photographing the worlds oldest living organisms.
- How old is the oldest living thing on earth? [Constanze Hoffmann] (ecademy.com)
- U.s. Great Basin National Park in Nevada is Home to Oldest Trees and Mysterious Caves (trifter.com)
July 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
What? Oh, OK now I get it. I must admit I only clicked on this story by Deb Hodgkin because of the interesting title. I have in the past been accused of being a “Hippy” by people who did not know me. Of course once they got to know me they changed their opinion. I am not sure whether they changed their opinion about me or about hippies though. When I saw it was a post about breast-feeding, my first instinct was to move along. After all, my husband and I have no children and never will. Why do I care how long women breast feed. Then I realized that wasn’t really what the story was about. It is more about how we ‘skeptics’ deal with people we think are wrong, in online discussions. I think it builds nicely on Phil Plait‘s ‘Don’t be a Dick’ campaign. Has that become a campaign yet? I should work on a campaign poster. Damn AADD, Where was I? Oh yes. Please Read Deb’s Article.
“I’ve noticed an interesting pattern in discussions – it is almost always skeptics asking crunchies to prove their point of view. And why not, you may think, skepticism is about using evidence. But where is the evidence that shows kidneys are better than dialysis? What paper shows walking is better than wheelchairs? In other words, surely the natural option should be the starting point, and formula, cots, prams etc represent the intervention that has to prove itself. I’m not into living naturally – I’m very fond of my mattress and will happily believe anecdotes that electricity is a good thing – so I’m not assuming natural is best. But for true skepticism we need to look at the biases of the evidence, and they can be hard to detect if they match your own baggage. Don’t we need to step back and examine our own position, and question whether it is evidence or culture guiding us? For me, skepticism is about questioning, and the basis of that must be questioning my own position and beliefs. My skepticism must come from a place of humility.” Read full article on She Thought.
July 17, 2010 § 6 Comments
Ways YOU can help save the world from home without getting off your ass.
You may say “People should get off their ass to help!” My response is: Unfortunately, not all of us can. Whether they be physical, financial, social or just plain weird sometimes circumstances make us feel useless and trapped. Helping others is the best way to feel better about your own life. All of the examples I have listed below are free, easy, fun, educational and cool. You will soon forget started doing it to help others. In fact by doing these things you are really helping yourself.
- Join Zooniverse :
- Explore the Moon in unprecedented detail using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
- Help astronomers figure out how galaxies form and evolve by classifying their shape. Now with added Hubble galaxies.Help spot explosions on the Sun and track them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way.Help us to catch an exploding star – astronomers are ready to follow-up on your best candidates at telescopes around the world.
- How do galaxies merge? Help us find out by visiting Galaxy Zoo Mergers – Explore, Enhance, Evaluate.
- Join World Community Grid– Donate the power of your computer when it is turned on, but is idle, to projects that benefit humanity! They provide the secure software and system that does it all for free, and you become part of a community that is helping to change the world. Once you install the software, you will be participating in World Community Grid. It’s that simple!
- Once you have the software installed for Wold Community Grid, you can attach to other projects like: LHC@home is a volunteer computing program which enables you to contribute idle time on your computer to help physicists develop and exploit particle accelerators, such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.
- TIP: You can run SETI@home and LHC@home on the World Community Grid Platform but not vice versa. So sign up for Wold Community Grid first.
July 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
This is a ‘must see’ TED Talk. I almost had a brain-gasm I was so excited. It is so amazing to me still, that people I have never heard of know exactly what I have been trying to articulate. Once again I have to say to someone Thank you Matt Ridley for saying what I have been thinking but did not have the words to say.
At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It’s not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.
Ideas can only be shared if you have the freedom to share them. We have the First Amendment in the United States but do you use it to share ideas or to suppress ideas of people who don’t agree with you? Before you answer that question consider the speech Phil Plait gave at TAM8 called “Don’t Be A Dick”
July 12, 2010 § 8 Comments
Carl Safina is a prominent ecologist and marine conservationist and president of Blue Ocean Institute, an environmental organization based in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. He gave a TED Talk in June 2010 on the Gulf Oil Spill that was just posted today. I almost never get angry anymore, but this really got me going.
- BP Knew from the beginning of the disaster that nothing could be done to stop the oil from reaching the beaches and wet lands but instead of just saying so, they dragged their feet and fed the public BS.
- Those booms are a joke.
- BP refused to stop using chemical dispersant to hide the amount of oil that is in the water. Without the dispersant it would be easier to clean up. Now it is impossible.
- BP is not solely to blame for this. Where was the Government oversight? Who is the Government? That’s right. We are.
More about the Bluefin Tuna
The “Official” Government website Restore the Gulf
July 9, 2010 § Leave a comment
“BIG BANG BIG BOOM: Sorry, I could not embed the video. Click the link to the left.
an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life … and how it could probably end.
direction and animation by BLU
production and distribution by ARTSH.it
sountrack by ANDREA MARTIGNONI
many thanks to (in random order):
xm24 bologna, csoa mezzacanaja, ericailcane, robert rebotti, andrea bagni, paper resistance, studiocromie, rifrazioni festival, sasso passo, sibe, festival de cine experimental de maldonado (uruguay), gianluigi toccafondo, orilo, maria de brea, bs as stencil, run don’t walk, franco fasoli, modo infoshop, pietro and icone festival, doma, cesare romani, popup festival and all the blu’s family
June 16, 2010 § Leave a comment
This is what happens when you put scientists, engineers, and physicists in charge of a project instead of bureaucrats, accountants and lawyers. Aspirin and dental floss: Homespun high-energy physics.
This in a fantastic article that reaffirms my belief that not all of humanity is doomed to perish under a massive avalanche of debris caused by this age of consumerism.