23 July 2016

Volcanic Climate Change ~ Sulfate Evidence...

OpenMind shares 1816, the Year Without a Summer when...
"It snowed and froze in parts of Europe and North America. Crops were ruined, triggering the worst famine of the nineteenth century [and] became known as “the year without a summer,” a climatic anomaly that affected the northern hemisphere"
We now know this is at least partly due to the massive Tambora volcanic eruption.
"Evidence of the long range of the emissions from Tambora has been found in the high sulphur content in samples of polar ice from the time, says paleoclimatologist Robert Mulvaney of the British Antarctic Survey [...] “Very large eruptions (such as Tambora) can lift material very high in the atmosphere, and into the stratosphere,” explains Mulvaney. “Once in the stratosphere, the sulfur dioxide can oxidise into sulphuric acid, which is taken up by tiny water droplets to form a haze in the stratosphere that can reflect incident sunlight back away from the Earth, causing less light to penetrate through the atmosphere, and the Earth to cool.” This sulphuric acid circulating in the stratosphere is then detected in ice cores. In this way, scientists can estimate the volume of emissions from an eruption."
Here's the evidence showing it's happened at huge scale at least a couple times per century, so inquiring minds want to know "when's next"? https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/1816-the-year-without-a-summer/

History of Coups ~ Visualizations of Attempts...

WaPo's Adam Taylor shares dataset about political coups since the 1950s compiled by political scientists Jonathan Powell and Clayton Thyne. By "coup" they mean illegal and overt attempts by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive...
"Why did they have the first one? Coups also generally occur in disproportionately poor countries that suffer from other forms of political instability (such as protests and/or civil war). In recent years, there seems to be an increasing proportion of coups in new democracies, especially those that seem to already be backsliding toward authoritarianism. Ultimately, the legitimacy of the government is a crucial indicator."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/07/22/map-the-world-of-coups-since-1950/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/07/22/map-the-world-of-coups-since-1950/

04 July 2016

Independence Day ~ US Declaration of Secession

Thanks to FEE's David D'Amato for reminding us that July 4th...
"Independence Day, presents an opportunity to reflect upon the principles immortalized in the Declaration -- principles that, if taken seriously, hold the seeds of sweeping political transformation. The declaration is not only radically libertarian, but radically decentralist."

14 June 2016

WOVNS ~ Kickin Woven Textiles-on-Demand!

WOVNS is Kickstarting now to allow you to turn digital designs into custom short-run Jacquard-woven fabric!
"WOVNS is a platform that empowers everyone to create their own woven textiles. Unlike digital printing, weaving integrates a design into the very construction of the fabric, yielding a textile rich in both color and texture. WOVNS fabric is perfect for medium-weight apparel such as shorts, dresses, bags, and wraps, as well as home decor including upholstery, pillows, and throws. Or think of your own creative uses."

24 April 2016

En Pointe ~ Custom Surgery & Prosthesis Too!

Very cool to see young Gabi Shull dance again, overcoming knee cancer with novel ankle-as-knee transplant and custom dancing prosthetic! Thanks to John Farrier from Neatorama for spotting this!

23 April 2016

Utrecht Cycling City ~ BicycleDutch on NL's tops!

Mark Wagenbuur finishes up his series of videos on finalist candidates for Cycling City of the Netherlands with this piece on my favorite Dutch city, Utrecht!

16 April 2016

RISE ~ SF Exploring Human-Robot Relations...

Concept-trailer for RISE created by David Karlak...
"In the near future, sentient robots are targeted for elimination after they develop emotional symmetry to humans and a revolutionary war for their survival begins."

Saving Timbuktu's Treasures ~ Heritage Writings

in the WSJournal writes of The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda...
"Mr. Haidara knew that many of the works in the city’s repositories were ancient examples of the reasoned discourse and intellectual inquiry that the jihadists, with their intolerance and rigid views of Islam, wanted to destroy. The manuscripts, he thought, would inevitably become a target. [...] Mr. Haidara recruited his nephew, and they reached out to archivists, secretaries, Timbuktu tour guides and a half-dozen of Mr. Haidara’s relatives. The result was a heist worthy of “Ocean’s Eleven.” They bought metal and wooden trunks at a rate of between 50 and 80 a day, made more containers out of oil barrels and located safe houses around the city and beyond. They organized a small army of packers who worked silently in the dark and arranged for the trunks to be carried by donkey to their hiding places. [...] By the time French troops invaded the north in January 2013, the radicals had managed to destroy only 4,000 of Timbuktu’s nearly 400,000 ancient manuscripts. “If we hadn’t acted,” Mr. Haidara told me later, “I’m almost 100% certain that many, many others would have been burned.”