The Madidi titi, a species of South American monkey, was mentioned in the book. From Wikipedia:
Rather than choosing a name themselves, [British biologist Robert] Wallace, his team, and WCS auctioned off the naming rights to raise funds for FUNDESNAP (Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas), the nonprofit organization that maintains Madidi National Park. The online casino GoldenPalace.com, one of over a dozen bidders, paid US$650,000 to have the species named after them.
Over the New Year’s weekend, a pair of spacecraft the size of washing machines are set to enter orbit around it in the latest lunar mission. Their job is to measure the uneven gravity field and determine what lies beneath - straight down to the core.
Once in orbit, the spacecraft will spend the next two months flying in formation and chasing one another around the moon until they are about 35 miles above the surface with an average separation of 124 miles. Data collection won’t begin until March.
As the probes circle the moon, regional changes in the lunar gravity field will cause them to speed up or slow down. This in turn will change the distance between them. Radio signals transmitted by the spacecraft will measure the slight distance gaps, allowing researchers to map the underlying gravity field.
It’s not a manned mission, but hey, science still rules.
Kelly Thompson’s list of “13 fantastic female creators in comics that you should be watching, reading, and supporting.” Some really great looking stuff on this list — warm up your credit cards, everybody.
Santa-tracking volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado said they fielded about 102,000 telephone queries on his progress beginning early Saturday, breaking the previous mark of 80,000.
All well and good, but why did they start tracking Santa in the first place? I only realized I didn’t know the answer to this question when she gave it later in the article:
The North American Aerospace Defense Command has been telling children about Santa’s whereabouts every year since 1955. That was the year a Colorado Springs newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa on a hot line, but the number had a typo, and dozens of kids wound up talking to the Continental Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor.
The officers on duty played along and began sharing reports on Santa’s progress. Tracking Santa is now a tradition at NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canada command that monitors the North American skies and seas from a control center at the Peterson base.
"There’s a very distinct feeling in the episode of, ‘What is this movie that we’ve discovered?’" said Ben Solovey, a 26-year-old Florida State film school grad who’s behind Manos: The Restoration, a project to repair an original 16mm workprint of Manos. "Even though there’s these long stretches where they’re not making jokes, it doesn’t matter. It feels like you’re watching a film from another planet."
Sir Patrick Stewart and his son Daniel on the Nerdist podcast. Well worth your time. I was most struck by how, apparently, even when in his late 40s / early 50s on the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Sir Patrick was still growing and changing and learning not only as an actor but just as a human as well. Really inspiring stuff.
Don’t ask me how I acquired this CD, because I don’t remember at all. Don’t have any of the original packaging, just the disc in a blank jewel case. But, since I have it, I was cranking carols at 1:00 AM the other day. You know, like most people do.
I hit this piece and did a double take when it started off with a four-part round in the strings. Did you know you could do that with “The First Noël”? I had no idea you could do that.
A 9-year-old autistic boy who misbehaved at school was stuffed into a duffel bag and the drawstring pulled tight, according to his mother, who said she found him wiggling inside as a teacher’s aide stood by.
Why the hell would you do this. Like, what possible rationale could there be for
At a meeting with school district officials, the bag was described as a “therapy bag,” Baker said, though she wasn’t clear exactly what that meant. She said her son would sometimes be asked to roll over a bag filled with balls as a form of therapy, but she didn’t know her son was being placed in the bag. She said school officials told her it was not the first time they had put him in the bag.
Nominating “therapy bag” as euphemism of the year ‘011.
In the 70 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, a dramatic photo of female firefighters has been published many times in magazines, history books and online as a depiction of action on Dec. 7, 1941. We published it this past week on msnbc.com. Now, with the help of our readers, we’ve located one of the women, who says the photo was definitely not taken on that day.
Really awesome piece involving crowdsourcing, personal history, and politics.
Overall, the birds performed about as well as the rhesus monkeys had in the original experiment. Both species are certainly capable of learning a simple mathematical rule, then using that rule in a more abstract sense to handle new values.
This is not only a fucking hilarious story, it makes an important point about feminism: “this is not a situation of the men holding us back - we are holding ourselves back because we don’t want to step forward if it is icky and muddy.”
So as part of my new Quora board1 “Hip Hop on Quora”, wherein I am sarcastic about the weird stuff people post on Quora about hip hop and rap, I stumbled upon the following audio file.
I found it on this bizarre-looking Canibus fansite while researching Canibus’s beef with LL Cool J back in the ‘90’s. I wasn’t super familiar with the details before, but the beef itself seems to be pretty standard — some mediocre tracks fired back and forth, etc.2
But somehow they have an MP33 of a 12 minute phone call between Canibus and LL. It sounds, well, it doesn’t sound dangerous. I’ll leave it at that. Just listen.
They’re basically like mini-tumblrs embedded in Quora. Kinda cool. ↩
After only one listen, LL’s “The Ripper Strikes Back” wins out over Canibus’s “2nd Round K.O.”, hands down. Not surprising. ↩
Yes. 20% of US women will be raped or suffer attempted rape at some point in their life. Compare that with the similar statistic for men — 1.4% — and you may begin to see that there’s something to this whole feminism blah blah patriarchy blah blah rape culture buzzing noise that I keep making.
Baseball’s new labor contract includes more video replay, the chance for a longer All-Star break and a small, but likely welcome perk for players: the chance to get a private room instead of a roommate during spring training.
… for players thinking about selling ads on their bodies, MLB has thought ahead. The agreement says “no player may have any visible markings or logos tattooed on his body” as part of the uniform regulations.
"Just trying to head something off at the pass," said Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations.
“The Smithsonian, specially on the ethnological side, was a pleasant place to browse in. Every nation, like every individual, walks in a vain show—else it could not live with itself—but I never got over the wonder of a people who, having extirpated the aboriginals of their continent more completely than any modern race had ever done, honestly believed that they were a godly little New England community, setting examples to brutal mankind.”—Rudyard Kipling delivering a sick burn in his autobiography, Something of Myself. Yes, Rudyard “The White Man’s Burden" Kipling.
New experiments show rats demonstrating compassion and helping other rodents. It’s a trait some scientists thought was reserved only for humans and higher primates.
In repeated tests, rats freed another trapped rat in their cage, even when yummy chocolate served as a tempting distraction. Twenty-three of the 30 rats opened the trap by pushing in a door. The rats could have gobbled the chocolate before freeing their partners, but often didn’t, choosing to help and share the goodies.
"Basically they told us (freeing another rat) is as important as eating chocolate," said study author Peggy Mason of the University of Chicago. "That’s a very striking thing."
In some cases, the rats first took the chocolate chips out of a container, but didn’t eat them, then freed the other rat and shared “almost as if they were serving them chocolate,” Mason said. The research is reported in Thursday’s journal Science.
In 2006, scientists announced a provocative finding: a retrovirus called XMRV, closely related to a known virus from mice, was associated with cases of prostate cancer. But other labs, using different sets of patients, found no evidence of a viral infection. Before the controversy could be sorted out, another research group published a 2009 paper containing an even more intriguing claim. XMRV, it said, was associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a disorder that some had claimed was purely psychosomatic.
Reaction came quickly. The CFS community, viewing a viral cause as a validation of their malady, embraced the finding. One author of the XMRV/CFS paper, Judy Mikovits, landed a position as research director of a private foundation dedicated to CFS. A company associated with the foundation started offering tests for infections.
Then the story took a strange turn. A long chain of events led not only to the collapse of the XMRV hypothesis, but it landed Mikovits in jail—and brought death threats upon some of the researchers who debunked her ideas.
What follows is a long and fascinating story that shows (1) yes, scientists can falsify data and otherwise act unethically, and (2) despite this, the scientific system still works.
Octavio Dotel is on the verge of an unusual record.
Dotel has reached an agreement with the Detroit Tigers on a one-year deal, with a team option for 2013. When he takes the mound for the Tigers next season, the right-handed reliever will be playing for a record 13th major league franchise.
Brent Bambury, CBC News, on brain-damaged congresswoman Gabby Giffords’s experience with melodic intonation therapy:
One of the therapies that Morrow tried with Giffords is called melodic intonation therapy. It’s an intensive program that was developed after researchers noticed that patients with severe aphasia (the loss of the ability to speak) could sing words and phrases they could no longer speak.
In the ABC TV show last week with Giffords, Morrow is seen working with the congresswoman. trying to get her to say the word “light.”
Giffords can’t vocalize it and she’s clearly frustrated. Then, moments later, as Morrow sings the spiritual This Little Light of Mine, Giffords chimes in forcefully, perfectly forming the word.
Tattooed mummies in ancient Egypt, Crusaders who branded their foreheads with crosses, and New Zealand’s inked Maori warriors were fodder for an unusual conference at a Vatican university Tuesday on the role of tattoos in shaping identity.
"Into the Skin: identity, symbols and history of permanent body marks" was the brainchild of a Christian arts association and Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, an unlikely expert in the field given Judaism’s prohibition of tattooing and the painful role that tattooed serial numbers played in the Holocaust.
No commentary, this is just neat. The rest of the article is actually pretty informative.
John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun got his hands on a development version of Amanita Design’s upcoming game Botanicula and oh man I want this thing when is it coming out come on is it 2012 yet how about now
Demian Bulwa & Henry K. Lee for the San Francisco Chronicle:
One of the zany experiments staged by the “Mythbusters” television show nearly turned into a suburban tragedy Tuesday afternoon in Dublin when the crew fired a homemade cannon toward huge containers of water at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb disposal range.
The cantaloupe-sized cannonball missed the water, tore through a cinder-block wall, skipped off a hillside and flew some 700 yards east, right into the Tassajara Creek neighborhood, where children were returning home from school at 4:15 p.m., authorities said.
There, the 6-inch projectile bounced in front of a home on quiet Cassata Place, ripped through the front door, raced up the stairs and blasted through a bedroom, where a man, woman and child slept through it all - only awakening because of plaster dust.
And it did more damage after that. Unbelievably, no one was hurt.
Turn-of-the-century teetotaler Carry A. Nation began her campaign against drinking by busting up saloons in Kansas, which to this day has some of the strictest liquor laws in the country. But even in the town where her legacy is enshrined, the influence of the hatchet-wielding crusader is waning.
Residents in Medicine Lodge, where Nation lived for about a decade in the late 1800s and early 1900s and the site of the Carry Nation Home Museum, approved a measure this week to allow Sunday liquor sales for the first time at least since Prohibition.
The vote, which the county certified Friday, allows the sale of beer and liquor on all Sundays except Easter. In November 2010, voters in Barber County, where Medicine Lodge is located, also voted to legalize liquor by the drink in bars and restaurants.
Pfizer has devised discounts and incentives for patients, insurers and companies that process prescriptions that will, at least for the next six months, make the brand name drug about as cheap as or cheaper than the generics. Pfizer also has spent tens of millions of dollars this year on marketing to keep patients on Lipitor, which loses patent protection Wednesday.
Typically, brand-name drugs get one or two generic competitors initially, priced about 25 percent lower. Six months later, other generic companies are allowed to jump in and the price drops up to 80 percent.
About 90 percent of the branded drug’s sales ultimately vanish, as insured patients seeking a lower copayment switch over and most pharmacies automatically substitute a generic for a brand name.
As scientists struggle to find a vaccine to prevent infection with the AIDS virus, a study in mice suggests hope for a new approach — one that doctors now want to test in people.
The treated mice in the study appeared to have 100 percent protection against HIV. That doesn’t mean the strategy will work in people. But several experts were impressed.
Researchers reported the new results in mice online Wednesday in the journal Nature. They hope to test the approach in people in a couple of years. Another research team reported similar success in monkeys in 2009 and hopes to start human tests even sooner.
Lawyers representing convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan argue in newly filed court documents that a bullet was switched in evidence at his trial and new forensic details show he is innocent of the 1968 killing of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
In the latest of many appeals filed on behalf of Sirhan, the attorneys are seeking to overturn his conviction. They repeated a previous assertion and presented reports from experts who said Sirhan was programmed through hypnosis to fire shots as a diversion for the real killer.