A new paper by Kate Clancy and colleagues came out in PLoS One this week, and it paints an alarming picture regarding field work: 64% of survey respondents had personally experienced sexual harassment and 21.7% had been sexually assaulted while doing field work. Those numbers are horrifying, and make it clear that this is a major problem.* As I said in this news piece on the new study, I’ve heard anecdotal reports of sexual harassment and assault in the field, but there was no way of knowing how big the problem was. I can’t say that I’m completely surprised by the numbers, but they’re still eye-opening and a wakeup call that this is a really important problem that needs to be addressed.
Absurd Creature of the Week: The Tiny Blood-Slurping Bird That Terrorizes the Galapagos | Science | WIRED
Watkins, though, wasn’t the only terror on the Galapagos. You see, Wolf Island, an often brutally dry rock in the archipelago, is ruled by vampires—hordes and hordes of tiny vampires. These are the so-called vampire finches, enterprising critters in a brutal environment that have figured out how to nip at the tail feathers of other birds until they draw blood, somehow without their victim putting up much of a fight. Even though they don’t sparkle or battle werewolves or whatever, they’re marvels among the many marvels that are the famed Darwin’s finches.
Robert Darnton, author of books, articles, and Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library at Harvard. Darnton joins host Jonathan Judaken to discuss the future of libraries, the printed press, and his project – the Digital Public Library of America, or D.P.L.A. – which he hopes will foster a culture of “Open Access” to help promote the free communication of knowledge and sharing of intellectual wealth in order to create this “digital commonwealth.”
So what are we going to learn from them, exactly? For one, Strayer thinks, that the ability is probably genetic to a large extent. You are either born with the neural architecture that allows you to overcome the usual multitasking challenges, or you aren’t. Already, with their admittedly limited sample, Strayer and his team have found that supertaskers exhibit different patterns of neural activation when multitasking than most of us. There is less activity in those frontal regions—the frontopolar prefrontal cortex, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the anterior cingulate cortex—that have been implicated in multitasking and executive control in the past. Supertasker brains, in other words, become less, not more, active with additional tasks: they are functioning more efficiently. “Their brains are doing something we can’t do,” Strayer says.
Good insights on how to improve the way we communicate to each other.
Explanation of recycling process starts at 8:03.
He argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, both in terms of the amount we produce each year and the total mass we’ve laid down. Concrete is the foundation (literally) for the massive expansion of urban areas of the past several decades, which has been a big factor in cutting the rate of extreme poverty in half since 1990. In 1950, the world made roughly as much steel as cement (a key ingredient in concrete); by 2010, steel production had grown by a factor of 8, but cement had gone up by a factor of 25. This animated GIF shows the dramatic transformation of Shanghai since 1987. Most of what you’re seeing in that picture is concrete, steel, and glass.
State of the World’s Forests 2014
According to this book, forests have a huge potential that can contribute to sustainable development and greener economies. However clear evidence of this potential is the lacking ingredient. This edition thus addresses this knowledge gap “by systematically gathering and analyzing available data on forests’ contributions to people’s livelihoods, food health, shelter, and energy needs”
In addition this report also suggests “ how information might be improved and policies adjusted so that the socioeconomic benefits from forests can be enhanced in the future.”
The report is available for download here in: Russian Arabic Spanish French Chinese
The Ebola outbreak that has killed hundreds of people in West Africa since it started in Guinea months ago has reached its second wave and is “totally out of control,” said an official for Doctors Without Borders.
As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number of cases at 362 — more than any other outbreak on record. Ebola is extremely deadly and this outbreak has killed 330 people, according to the World Health Organization.
via the Huffington Post
Skyscraper-Size Ice Structures Discovered Beneath Greenland Ice Sheet
Beneath the barren whiteness of Greenland, a mysterious world has popped into view. Using ice-penetrating radar, researchers have discovered ragged blocks of ice as tall as city skyscrapers and as wide as the island of Manhattan at the very bottom of the ice sheet.