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Where in the World Are the Adjunct Unions?

Since its launch last year, the Service Employees International Union's Adjunct Action campaign—an attempt to collectivize part-time professors in major metropolitan areas—seems to have built up some real momentum. It's grabbed its fair share of headlines, and despite a few hiccups, the national union can now tout its success by saying that it has organized more than 21,000 contingent faculty members so far.

But as the broader adjunct-unionization movement continues to expand nationwide, it’s increasingly difficult to keep tabs on what’s happening at every institution. So we’ve decided to help out.

Below you’ll find a map of every institution that has filed a petition for union election, along with a summary of those results. Click on the colored markers—or the pie charts, which will zoom you in further—to see who voted favorably, who voted not-so-favorably, and who’s still in the thick of organizing. We’ll work to keep the map updated as news is announced. If you notice an institution is missing from our archive, let us know.



Sunday's Non Sequitur- The Right to Bear Arms

Breathtaking Photos of the Tower of London Adorned with 888,246 Ceramic Poppies to Commemorate WWI

To honor the centennial of Britain’s beginnings in World War I, a pair of artist teamed up to work on an incredible installation, which you can see in these stunning photographs.

Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the display was put together by artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper, and when it’s all said and done it will consist of 888,246 red ceramic poppies surrounding the dry moat of the Tower of London. Each of the individual flowers represents a British or Colonial Military fatality.

The construction of the piece is being done by a number of volunteers over the course of the summer and is already well on its way to completion. The final flower will symbolically be set in its resting place on November 11th, Remembrance Day for the Commonwealth.

Below are images released by the Historic Royal Palaces showing the breathtaking display in progress:



Low testosterone could be what made us civilized humans

No, this isn’t some jab at dudes. According to a study published in Current Anthropology, our transition into modern civilization might have coincided with our species’ drop in testosterone.

The hormone, associated with both biologically male characteristics and aggression, makes skulls grow those heavy brows we associate with our evolutionary ancestors. Lead author Robert Cieri, a graduate student of biology at the University of Utah, said in a news release that a study of 1,400 modern and ancient skulls provided insight into how these changes might have overlapped with cultural shifts.

While the modern human — species Homo sapiens — appears in the fossil record around 200,000 years ago, evidence of the kind of “modernity” we associate with our species (like advanced tools and symbolic artifacts) took an additional 150,000 years to appear.

The key, the researchers claim, could be found in the feminized skulls that became more prevalent around that time. A rounder face in humans is associated with less testosterone, and less testosterone can mean better cooperation between individuals. Less head clubbing and more community building, basically.


Weird Supernova May Blow Away Star Explosion Theories

Light from a radioactive metal forged inside a supernova blast could prompt a rethink of how some star explosions occur.

The supernova SN 2014J is located 11.4 million light-years from Earth in the galaxy M82. Astronomers used the European Space Agency's International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) spacecraft to examine the star explosion's light spectrum in the gamma-ray bands and saw elements that shouldn't have been there — suggesting that widely accepted models of how such events happen might be incomplete.

Scientists with the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany made the supernova discovery.

A strange supernova

SN 2014J is a type Ia supernova. Type Ia supernovas occur in binary systems with two stars in orbits so close that the stars exchange mass. As the more massive star of the pair ages it evolves into a white dwarf, a star that is the size of Earth but has up to 1.4 times the mass of the sun. The companion star's outer envelope gets pulled to the tiny, but very dense, dwarf's surface.



Scientists Discover Massive Species Of Extinct Penguin

Palaeeudyptes klekowskii. The bones pictured here were previously published in C.A. Hospitaleche & M. Reguero, Geobios 2014

Colossal penguin bones from the extinct species Palaeeudyptes klekowskii have been discovered on an island in the Antarctic Peninsula. According to a new study published in Comptes Rendus Palevol last week, these newly uncovered bones belonged to a 2-meter-long behemoth, the tallest and heaviest penguin ever described.

Thomas Huxley discovered a genus of giant extinct penguins named Palaeeudyptes back in 1859, and four species have since been identified. Palaeeudyptes klekowskii, described in 1990, is the biggest of the genus, and it lived 37 to 40 million years ago. This was "a wonderful time for penguins, when 10 to 14 species lived together along the Antarctic coast," Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche from Museo de La Plata in Argentina tells New Scientist.

Penguins today range wildly in size, from the 40-centimeter (1.3-foot) little blue penguin to the 116-centimeter (3.8-foot) emperor penguin. But if you throw in extinct penguins, the range gets much, much wider. The tiniest penguin is Eretiscus tonni from Patagonia, about 35 centimeters (1.1 feet) in length and 0.94 kilograms (2 pounds) of body mass. And until now, the biggest penguin species on record was Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi, at 166.3 centimeters long (5.5 feet) and weighing 82.8 kilograms (182 pounds).

In this new work, Hospitaleche describes two new Palaeeudyptes klekowskii bones of “striking dimensions.” The tarsometatarsus (a long bone in the leg formed by the fusion of tarsal and metatarsal structures) and a fragmented humerus (the forelimb, or its wing) were collected at a Late Eocene site on Seymour Island in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/scientists-discover-massive-species-extinct-penguin

ALMA Finds Double Star with Weird and Wild Planet-forming Discs

Artist’s impression of the discs around the young stars HK Tauri A and B

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found wildly misaligned planet-forming gas discs around the two young stars in the binary system HK Tauri. These new ALMA observations provide the clearest picture ever of protoplanetary discs in a double star. The new result also helps to explain why so many exoplanets — unlike the planets in the Solar System — came to have strange, eccentric or inclined orbits. The results will appear in the journal Nature on 31 July 2014.

Unlike our solitary Sun, most stars form in binary pairs — two stars that are in orbit around each other. Binary stars are very common, but they pose a number of questions, including how and where planets form in such complex environments.

“ALMA has now given us the best view yet of a binary star system sporting protoplanetary discs — and we find that the discs are mutually misaligned!” said Eric Jensen, an astronomer at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, USA.

The two stars in the HK Tauri system, which is located about 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus (The Bull), are less than five million years old and separated by about 58 billion kilometres — this is 13 times the distance of Neptune from the Sun.

This image of the binary system HK Tauri combines visible light and infrared data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope with new data from ALMA



We have the science to build an Ebola vaccine. So why hasn't it happened?

by Sarah Kliff

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest in history, with more than 500 dead and hundreds more infected. The particular virus in this outbreak, known as the Zaire ebolavirus, is the deadliest type of the disease; it has killed 79 percent of those infected in previous outbreaks.

This isn't how an Ebola outbreak has to work. Researchers have devoted lots of time to building a vaccine that could stop the disease altogether — and according to Daniel Bausch, a Tulane professor who researches Ebola and other infectious diseases, they're making really significant progress.

Bausch says that the obstacle to developing an Ebola vaccine isn't the science; researchers have actually made really great strides in figuring out how to fight back against Ebola and the Marburg virus, a similar disease.

"We now have a couple of different vaccine platforms that have shown to be protective with non-human primates," says Bausch, who has received awards for his work containing disease outbreaks in Uganda. He is currently stationed in Lima, Peru, as the director of the emerging infections department of Naval Medical Research Unit 6.



Toon: John Boehner: Speaker at Law

Libyan unrest "much worse" than 2011 war

Libya is descending into a civil war spiral that is "much worse" than the NATO-backed war that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, residents fleeing the country said Saturday.

"We have gone through (war) before, with Gaddafi, but now it's much worse," Paraskevi Athineou, a Greek woman living in Libya, told AFP.

"Chaos reigns. There is no government, we have no food, no fuel, no water, no electricity for hours on end," she said.

Athineou was part of a group of 186 people evacuated from Tripoli by a Greek navy frigate which reached the port of Piraeus early on Saturday.

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