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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,236

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Interesting Art on the National Mall

For ‘out of many, one’ — the english translation of e pluribus unum — cuban american artist jorge rodríguez-gerada has amassed dozens of photographs of people taken in washington, D.C. to form a single composite portrait. the land art is set temporarily on the national mall — covering a surface of 6 acres — and is viewable from the newly reopened washington monument, as an interactive walk-through experience and via satellite. approximately 2,000 tons of sand, 800 tons of soil, 10,000 wooden pegs and 8 miles of string comprise the monumental installation, with the sand and dirt tilled back into the soil the national mall, following its temporary exhibition.



An FBI informant led hacks against 30 countries—now we know which ones

By Dell Cameron on October 01, 2014

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant targeted more than two dozen countries in a series of high-profile cyberattacks in 2012. The names of many of those countries have remained secret, under seal by a court order—until now.

A cache of leaked IRC chat logs and other documents obtained by the Daily Dot reveals the 30 countries—including U.S. partners, such as the United Kingdom and Australia—tied to cyberattacks carried out under the direction of Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known as Sabu, who served as an FBI informant at the time of the attacks.

The actual attacks were carried out by highly skilled hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, who broke into countless international websites identified by his partner, Monsegur. At the time, Hammond was unaware that Monsegur was working as an FBI informant. Hammond was arrested in March 2012 on charges based largely on information provided by Monsegur.

Amassed by federal agents with direct access to communications between Anonymous hacktivists, the private correspondence of Hammond and Monsegur, cofounder of hacktivist crew LulzSec, reveals the facilities of the AntiSec hacking group, who, under the FBI’s constant surveillance, launched successive cyberattacks against foreign government networks.



Tweet study reveals what people in the Middle East really think about the U.S.

By Benjamin Plackett on October 01, 2014

We could argue the pros and cons of U.S. air strikes against Islamic State terrorists until we’re blue in the face. But new research shows the people of Syria and Iraq are unlikely to thank us for carrying them out—even if they’re terrified of what comes with Islamic State rule.

By studying more than 2.2 million tweets posted from the Middle East, researchers from Princeton and Harvard have gauged public opinion in the region during the major news events of the last few years.

The researchers, who presented their findings at the recent American Political Science Association’s annual meeting, concluded that citizens of Arab countries don’t have an inherent hatred of Americans, but rather a deep distrust of any U.S. military intervention—oh, and they dislike Iranian intervention even more.

“A lot of the data we have on anti-Americanism is traditionally based on opinion polls,” says David Romney from Harvard University, who was involved with the study. Unfortunately, he says, these polls are often inaccurate.



Luckovich Toon- Last!


Santa Barbara aftermath: how California is breaking new ground on gun control

By Daniel Wood, Staff writer

LOS ANGELES — Four months after a mentally unbalanced student went on a shooting rampage – killing six and injuring 13 next to the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus in May – California has taken the national lead in gun control with two new laws allowing temporary seizure of guns from those who courts have decided are a threat to others or themselves.

With one of the laws, signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, the state becomes the first in the country to allow close relatives to request that a judge order that firearms be removed from someone who may pose a threat.

Several legal analysts say the laws neatly walk the tightrope between the constitutional right to bear arms and public safety. Gun rights advocates, however, say they trample on Californians’ civil liberties and deny the accused due process.



Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest








Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- War, Made in America, Sold to the World

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Hole in Security

Pollution linked to lethal sea turtle tumors

Pollution in urban and farm runoff in Hawaii is causing tumors in endangered sea turtles, a new study finds.

The study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed open-access journal PeerJ, shows that nitrogen in the runoff ends up in algae that the turtles eat, promoting the formation of tumors on the animals' eyes, flippers and internal organs.

Scientists at Duke University, the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted the study to better understand the causes behind the tumor-forming disease Fibropapillomatosis, which is the leading known cause of death in green turtles, said Kyle Van Houtan, adjunct associate professor at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

"We're drawing direct lines from human nutrient inputs to the reef ecosystem, and how it affects wildlife," said Van Houtan, who is also a scientist in NOAA's Turtle Research Program.



Add dolphins to the list of magnetosensitive animals

Add dolphins to the list of magnetosensitive animals, French researchers say. Dolphins are indeed sensitive to magnetic stimuli, as they behave differently when swimming near magnetized objects. So says Dorothee Kremers and her colleagues at Ethos unit of the Université de Rennes in France, in a study in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften -- The Science of Nature. Their research, conducted in the delphinarium of Planète Sauvage in France, provides experimental behavioral proof that these marine animals are magneto receptive.

Magnetoreception implies the ability to perceive a magnetic field. It is supposed to play an important role in how some land and aquatic species orientate and navigate themselves. Some observations of the migration routes of free-ranging cetaceans, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises, and their stranding sites suggested that they may also be sensitive to geomagnetic fields.

Because experimental evidence in this regard has been lacking, Kremers and her colleagues set out to study the behavior of six bottlenose dolphins in the delphinarium of Planète Sauvage in Port-Saint-Père. This outdoor facility consists of four pools, covering 2,000 m² of water surface. They watched the animals' spontaneous reaction to a barrel containing a strongly magnetized block or a demagnetized one. Except from this characteristic, the blocks were identical in form and density. The barrels were therefore indistinguishable as far as echolocation was concerned, the method by which dolphins locate objects by bouncing sound waves off them.

During the experimental sessions, the animals were free to swim in and out of the pool where the barrel was installed. All six dolphins were studied simultaneously, while all group members were free to interact at any time with the barrel during a given session. The person who was assigned the job to place the barrels in the pools did not know whether it was magnetized or not. This was also true for the person who analyzed the videos showing how the various dolphins reacted to the barrels.


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