Vinay’s still at it (and thank goodness, too)!
Weather patterns shifting.
Dead-dry in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida.
Total saturation in Texas.
MARBLE FALLS, Texas – Constant downpours that have claimed 11 lives in the past 10 days are giving Texans in the central hill country little chance to recover…“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime,” said Mayor Raymond Whitman, 47, who has lived in Marble Falls his entire life… Whitman Branch Creek in Marble Falls, typically 2-3 feet wide, expanded to at least 100 feet. Several nearby buildings were flooded and several vehicles were swept down the creek. The odor of gas and diesel fuel was heavy in the air… Flooding washed out three bridges and tore off the back wall of the funeral home, Whitman said.
To increase awareness and the availability of environmental information, the IDIOM Media Watch on Climate Change provides a comprehensive and continuously updated account of media coverage on climate change and related issues. The portal aggregates, filters and visualizes environmental Web content from 150 Anglo-American news media sites… The vision of a Geospatial Web promotes the convergence of geographic information, Internet technology and social change. Taking a step towards this vision, the Media Watch on Climate Change uses automated content analysis to extract geospatial context and build a geotagged knowledge base. The interface provides various means to interactively access this knowledge base. It shows that geobrowsers are not only suited to explore geographic features, but can also render other types of imagery such as two-dimensional ‘Semantic Maps’ or three-dimensional Knowledge Planets.
…or, “a free directory of life”.
Biologist E. O. Wilson announced a “dream” that someone would fund the project during a TED speaking engagement in March 2007, a yearly forum in which luminary speakers are given the opportunity to ask for a “dream prize”. On 9 May 2007 that dream “came true” when five science foundations announced an initial $50 million dollar grant to get the project started.
According to the EOL, Wikipedia played a significant role in the vision to create the Encyclopedia:
“Wikipedia inspired us. Wikipedia accumulated about 1.5 million entries in English in its first four years. That gave us confidence that our tasks are manageable with current technology and social behaviour, although the expert community in a lot of the subjects for pages in Encyclopedia of Life may be only a handful of people. Wikipedia has also created some species pages, as have other groups. Encyclopedia of Life will, we hope, unite all such efforts and increase their value. The Wikimedia Foundation is a member of the Encyclopedia’s Institutional Council.”
EoL controls for authority… Wikispecies (or any wiki) could do that by controlling access to articles… restricting usernames, etc.
Just making notes here.
I was getting ready to send a friend some info on novelty theory, when I saw that Terence McKenna’s collection of rare books (slated for installation at the Esalen Institute) burned up a couple of months ago. What a library that would have been. It apparently contained many rare books and manuscripts, McKenna’s own personal notes and writings… a copy of Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books, a 1659 edition of Casaubon’s book on John Dee… good gracious.
And the fire started in the Quizno’s next door? The only news articles I can find on McKenna in 2007 is a NY Times review of a book about Esalen, and an Agrentinian story on cryptozoology. Was the entire collection destroyed? Did any of the scraps go to archivists in other libraries? I bet Ralph Abraham and Rupert Sheldrake would know. And Dennis McKenna, of course. It’s a shame… It’s like we’ve got less and less of him left.
Tractors are useful, dudes.
This is a count of working tractors per capita.
Tractors have a skewed distribution, which splits the regions of the world into two groups. The people living in the larger group of regions have an average of fewer than four tractors per thousand people. People living in the other group of regions have more than thirteen tractors per thousand people. Thus the rate of tractor ownership in one group of regions is at least three times higher than that in the other group of regions. The top ten territories for tractor ownership are all European, the bottom ten are mainly African.
They’ve got a ton of other useful demographic info visualizations, too.
Oh yes, he’s flashy. Is it nitpicky to pick on him for $200 haircuts?
Maybe it is.
But it ain’t nitpicking to say “Whoa, buddy!” to an additional $125 Billion against a budget that does not even intend to de-deficit itself…
Candidates, listen: Balance my budget, stop going to war in other hemispheres for the wrong reasons, and start funding education, high-tech industry, environmental cleanup, and sustainable energy production. Get me a good universal health-care plan if you can swing it, but don’t break the bank for that.
Candidates, listen: I will vote for the person who has the best plan to accomplish the aforementioned, whether he or she be a Democrat, Republican, or Other.
Now get out of the barber’s chair and get to work. Because, as yet, I remain unconvinced.
Google Tech Talks April 30, 2007 / ABSTRACT / World-renowned Science Fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling will outline his ideas for SPIMES, a form of ubiquitous computing that gives smarts and ‘searchabiliity’ to even the most mundane of physical products. Imagine losing your car keys and being able to search for them with Google Earth. This same paradigm will find you “wrangling” with product-lifecycle- management systems that do for physical objects what the iPod has done for music. These and other radical ideas are delivered in Sterling’s latest book`Shaping Things’. This concise book was written to inspire designers to visualize radical scenarios connecting information technology and sustainability in a new ecology of artifacts. Sterling suggests new connections between the virtual world and the physical world that will have you rethinking many of your assumptions about how we relate to products.
He will be joined by Scott Klinker, 3-D Designer-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI who leads a graduate design program known for giving form to experimental cultural ideas. Klinker’s own design work focuses on digital customization as industry shifts from mass production toward niche production in a networked society.
The presentation will include an invitation for Sterlling and Klinker/ Cranbrook to team-up with Google to create a short documentary film that would portray a speculative future of life with SPIMES. Distributed online, this short film would convey the look and feel of SPIME scenarios as a provocation for widespread industry discussion about the new potentials of ubiquitous, ambient, searchable, geolocative products.
PC World had:
…XO is not designed for modern office use, but for three universal traits that every kid has in common: learning, socializing and creating, Bender said.
That is why the XO’s desktop page shows a graphic map of WiFi signals up to 2 kilometers away, allowing all the XO laptops in a village to share drawings, notes, photographs, and musical compositions. The mesh of laptops could also share a single Internet connection, allowing them to use a distant ISP or a single schoolhouse server.