We are both huge history dorks here at Nullary Sources. So you’ll understand why I couldn’t resist linking to this. Ptak Science Books:
This interview of L.M. Cox was conducted by Elizabeth Doyle in San Angelo (Texas), in 1937 as part of the WPA (Worker’s Project Administration) effort to record American oral history. We know only this of Mr. Cox: “L.M. Cox of Brownwood, Texas was born in Benton County, Arkansas, in 1858 and came to Brownwood in 1880. He engaged in the ranching business for a number of years before retiring.” I’ve got a feeling that this last sentence would be something like “Joe Dimaggio played baseball for several years before retiring”, perhaps intentionally droll, perhaps not.
Worth clicking through for the second photo alone. I won’t spoil it.
The U.S. Army’s chief medical facility, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, retired its ceremonial flags on Wednesday, as it closes its historic facility after more than a century of treating wounded American fighters and presidents.
The complex in northwest Washington near the Maryland border shifts most of its operations in August and finally shuts its doors on September 15 as a part of a consolidation with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The new facility will be called the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will have campuses in Bethesda and Fort Belvoir, Va.
Ed Yong of Discover Magazine's Not Exactly Rocket Science blog:
The eleven specimens of Archaeopteryx are some of the most iconic and captivating fossils in existence. The fingers end in claws, the tail is long and bony, and the head – arched back in the throes of death – contains toothed jaws. But the splayed arms are lined with the faint but unmistakeable outlines of feathers. This was an animal halfway between a small flesh-eating dinosaur and a modern bird. In fact, Archaeopteryx is widely heralded as the first bird, occupying a pivotal position in the origins of this group.
But Xing Xu from Linyi University thinks that this first bird was nothing of the sort. The Chinese palaeontologist, who has found one fascinating dinosaur after another, has identified a new species called Xiaotingia that threatens to oust Archaeopteryx from its position.
By comparing Xiaotingia’s features with those of Archaeopteryx and other related birds and dinosaurs, Xu has drawn up a new family tree. In it, Archaeopteryx sits with Xiaotingia among the deinonychosaurs, a celebrity-filled group of small, predatory dinosaurs that includes Deinonychus and Velociraptor. The lineage that led to modern birds perches on a different branch of the tree.
This doesn’t change the fact that birds evolved from dinosaurs – it merely relegates Archaeopteryx to the sidelines of that process. In its place, species like Epidexipteryx and Epidendrosaurus take up the mantle of earliest birds. It is a tentative revision but a bold one (Xu himself admits that the new family tree is statistically weak). …
Meanwhile, others have noted that Archaeopteryx has many features that are only found among the deinonychosaurs. For example, they share a distinctive hip bone, and they both have a large hole above their noses (the “premaxillary fenestra”) that other birds and dinosaurs lack. Any many of the features that supposedly characterise Archaeopteryx and other birds, such as feathers, a wishbone and long powerful forearms, are also found in deinonychosaurs.
But Gerald Mayr, who studies fossil birds at Germany’s Sneckenburg Museum, is unimpressed with the new discovery. “I fear that it is a bit hyped and that the conclusions are not as novel as the authors claim,” he says. Mayr is one of several palaeontologists who think that the deinonychosaurs are actually birds themselves. According to him, they’re flightless members of a group that includes Archaeopteryx and modern birds, like smaller extinct versions of today’s ostriches and emus.
BBC Worldwide is launching its global iPlayer service on Thursday, via an iPad app that will be made available in 11 countries in Western Europe. The US, Canada and Australia will follow later this year, as part of what is intended to be a one-year pilot.
The service will offer a limited amount of content for free, supported by pre-roll ads and sponsorship, but its core business model is subscription, with users paying €6.99 (£6.14) a month or €49.99 a year. The 11 launch countries are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
A 63-year-old American man with a hernia plunged a butter knife into his abdomen to try to fix the problem, and later put a lit cigarette in the wound, according to police.
Police found the man lying naked on the porch of his apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in California Sunday night after his wife called to report his attempt at surgery, Glendale police spokesman Sergeant Tom Lorenz said.
"He actually impaled himself with the butter knife," Lorenz said. "He told his wife he was frustrated with this hernia, and he didn’t want to wait any longer for the medical procedure."
Police officers watched as the man, after pulling the knife out of his abdomen, put a lit cigarette into the wound, Lorenz said.
"I don’t know if it was an attempt to cauterize or anything," he said.
Browsing the Web, you find almost no Microsoft file formats. After 10 hours of browsing, I had not seen a single Word .DOC, AVI file, Windows .EXE (other than content viewers), or other Microsoft file format. I did see a great number of Quicktime files. All of the movie studios use them to offer film trailers. Apple benefited by having TCP support before we did and is working hard to build a browser built from OpenDoc components. Apple will push for OpenDoc protocols to be used on the Internet, and is already offering good server configurations. Apple’s strength in education gives them a much stronger presence on the Internet than their general market share would suggest.
Another popular file format on the Internet is PDF, the short name for Adobe Acrobat files. Even the IRS offers tax forms in PDF format. The limitations of HTML make it impossible to create forms or other documents with rich layout and PDF has become the standard alternative. For now, Acrobat files are really only useful if you print them out, but Adobe is investing heavily in this technology and we may see this change soon.
Acrobat and Quicktime are popular on the network because they are cross platform and the readers are free. Once a format gets established it is extremely difficult for another format to come along and even become equally popular.
A new competitor “born” on the Internet is Netscape. Their browser is dominant, with 70% usage share, allowing them to determine which network extensions will catch on. They are pursuing a multi-platform strategy where they move the key API into the client to commoditize the underlying operating system. They have attracted a number of public network operators to use their platform to offer information and directory services. We have to match and beat their offerings including working with MCI, newspapers, and other who are considering their products.
One scary possibility being discussed by Internet fans is whether they should get together and create something far less expensive than a PC which is powerful enough for Web browsing. This new platform would optimize for the datatypes on the Web. Gordon Bell and others approached Intel on this and decided Intel didn’t care about a low cost device so they started suggesting that General Magic or another operating system with a non-Intel chip is the best solution.
Bill Gates wrote this in 1995 in a memo to Microsoft execs. He also talks about the development of the internet and the technology behind it, as well as future plans for Microsoft to start being internet-aware. It’s long and fabulous and even has a “hotlist of Internet Web sites” at the end!
Horrifying story reported by Ian Mulgrew for Ars Technica about legal intimidation and abuse of power:
A week after his arrest and imprisonment, [Peter] Adekeye appeared before British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman, a six-year veteran of the province’s highest trial bench. Adekeye was described as a “sinister” figure of uncertain citizenship on the run from 97 charges of illegal computer hacking that carried a penalty of almost half-a-millennium in prison.
Canadian prosecutors said that, according to US Homeland Security, Adekeye slipped in and out of the US surreptitiously—and they could match up the dates of the offenses with dates he had unlawfully entered the country over a two-year period.
They made it sound like the crime of the century; in fact, throughout the specified time, Adekeye was living in America on a valid visa. And the heinous crime was accessing Cisco’s internal systems on several occasions with a Cisco employee’s permission.
As he stood in court for his first appearance, Adekeye couldn’t believe what he heard—his citizenship was disparaged, his achievements derided. Prosecutors portrayed him not as a successful computer executive and innovator but rather as a Nigerian scofflaw who was a serious flight risk with a checkered, fugitive’s past.
By then, he understood only too well how he had been pursued by Cisco. The Canadian authorities, however, and the judges who issued the arrest warrant and denied Adekeye bail, remained in the dark. They were unaware Adekeye’s alleged crimes were part of a bigger legal battle he was waging against the $7 billion computer firm.
As part of its response to his litigation, Cisco had accused Adekeye in a civil countersuit of using his former colleague’s computer credentials to obtain services worth “more than $14,000.” No one ever explained the “magic” of that number—whether it meant $15,000 or $1 million—even the judges couldn’t figure it out.
Cisco had pushed for Adekeye’s arrest, apparently as part of its litigation strategy to derail the damaging antitrust suit that Adekeye launched in December 2008. They allegedly wanted him kept in custody to pressure him into settling or withdrawing his suit; they succeeded in keeping him locked up for a month. Normally, on a case like this, a non-violent defendant without a criminal record who wasn’t considered a flight risk would have been out on bail in a day.
As a libertarian, Paul says he opposes federal disaster relief, but one of Paul’s staffers told me that his office has shepherded hundreds of FEMA claims, ensured the reconstruction of the county’s seawall, and won federal funding for an extensive beach nourishment project. Indeed, between 1999 and 2009 (the most recent year available), federal spending in Galveston County quadrupled to more than $4 billion. In 2009, the county received $14,707 per resident, topping average per capita federal spending in 46 of the 50 states. Paul earmarked some $60 million for projects in and around the city that year.
These local projects illustrate a central irony of Ron Paul’s career: Even as the 12-term congressman has become the Cassandra of governmental overreach, he has enabled a deepening dependence on the federal government at home. Paul, who last week announced that he will retire at the end of 2012, will on one hand be remembered as “Dr. No,” the politician who always voted “nay” on new spending, and on the other, as “a politician like all the rest,” as Galveston GOP precinct chair Josh Daniels described him to me last week, noting that Paul’s Janus-faced approach to federal spending “just doesn’t sit well with me.”
[Luis] Mendoza, who pitches for the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 18.
A deep drive by Memphis’s Tyler Greene glanced off the glove of leaping Storm Chaser left-fielder David Lough. The play was ruled a two-base error by the Redbirds’ official scorer, John Guinozzo, who decided after the game to change it to a double. He changed it back to an error a short time later.
"In rethinking it, he had changed it once shortly after the game, and then after giving it further consideration, went with his original ruling," Dwight Hall, the Pacific Coast League’s director of operations, said in a telephone interview today.
Memphis appealed to the league office, which made its ruling of a double last night. It said in a statement on its website that it acted “in consideration of language included in the Official Baseball Rules, and with the benefit of additional time to review the play, including video replay and accounts of the play.”
On the plus side I guess, Mendoza did pitch a no-hitter in 2009, so he does already have one.
The title of this piece by Elisabeth Bumiller for The New York Times is really “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” but that’s not quite accurate, as it won’t end for another sixty days:
President Obama formally certified on Friday that the American military is ready for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as Pentagon officials said that nearly two million service members had been trained in preparation for gay men and women serving openly in their ranks.
Enactment of the repeal will come in 60 days, on Sept. 20. The two-month waiting period is called for in the legislation passed late last year that ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the 17-year-old law that banned openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals from military service.
“As of Sept. 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. He signed the certification, along with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about 3:30 p.m. in the Oval Office.
The certification comes after an extended preparation period, sought by military leaders and Pentagon officials, many of whom were initially reluctant to end the policy in the middle of two wars. Pentagon officials said they would use the 60-day period to review the possibility of extending some limited health, housing and legal benefits to same-sex couples.
The 60-day period is in the legislation because of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, who as his price for supporting the bill in May 2010 demanded that the measure return to Congress for a two-month review period. It is unclear to what extent Congress will review the law and whether any hearings will be held.
Terrorism struck long-peaceful Norway on Friday when a bomb ripped open buildings including the prime minister’s office and a man dressed as a police officer opened fire at an island youth camp connected to the ruling party. At least seven people were killed in the blast and a witness said more than 20 died in the shootings on the nation’s worst outpouring of violence since World War II.
Andre Scheie told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that he saw “very many dead by the shore” of the camp on Utoya island, where the youth wing of the Labor Party was holding a summer camp for hundreds of youths. He said some victims were shot in the water after trying desperately to swim away. “There are about 20 to 25 dead,” he said.
Both ‘Ili and myself will be directing good vibes at Norway. I hope our readers are doing the same.
Six Republican presidential hopefuls traded tweets in the first presidential debate conducted through Twitter on Wednesday, outlining their agendas across the popular social media service.
In brief responses that buzzed across cyberspace, the GOP field challenged President Barack Obama’s approaches to the ongoing debate over the debt ceiling, job creation and the U.S. involvement in Libya. Republican candidates criticized Obama’s handling of the economy and efforts to reform health care, while using the medium to share links to introductory videos and websites.
"Obama failed. With ur help we can return the people’s voice to the WH, restore fiscal sanity & make Obama a 1 term president," said Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, reflecting the clipped jargon commonly found on Twitter.
While televised debates can lead to longwinded answers, the Twitter forum places a premium on being terse. Asked whether a president can create jobs without expanding the role of the federal government, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tweeted: “The federal govt kills jobs!” Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, responding to a question on whether the U.S. should have gone into Libya, tweeted: “Absolutely not” and then followed up: “Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya - Get out now!”
Addressing the economy, Georgia businessman Herman Cain told followers: “Government doesn’t create jobs. Businesses create jobs. Government needs to get out the way.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., offered a punchy economic plan: “Control spending. Put Americans back to work. Get back to a balanced budget as we did when I was Speaker.” Gingrich was one of several candidates to post a link to his introductory video and later invited followers with more questions to go to his Google+ Hangout on Wednesday evening.
No wait, I’m being told that this is was written by Ken Thomas for the Associated Press, and as such is a real piece by a real news agency covering a real thing that really happened.
The full consequences of a default or even the serious prospect of default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets.
So some folks have been pretty giddy about the re-emergence of this stuff: EVEN RONALD REAGAN UNDERSTOOD and all that. I admit that I laughed when I heard it. It’s a nice, self-contained zinger, something which the Democrats haven’t been terribly successful at putting together in our attentionless world.
Of course, since we live in the real world and not the univariate model the politics machine reduces us to, the actual budgeting situation of the 1980s was quite a bit more complex than that. Steve Kornacki of Salon wrote an excellent piece for their War Room blog which goes through the causes of the 1987 budget crisis, the political maneuvering, and how things eventually played out:
On Reagan’s watch, deficits had exploded, thanks mainly to his 1981 tax cuts (which slashed the top marginal rate for 70 to 28 percent) and to a massive increase increase in defense spending. From George Washington through Jimmy Carter, the country’s debt had never grown past $1 trillion, but in just Reagan’s first six years in office, it soared past $2 trillion, with no slowdown in sight. The deficit for fiscal year 1986 reached $220 billion.
It was against this backdrop that Congress decided to confront Reagan in 1987. The Supreme Court had just struck down a key enforcement provision of the 1985 Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law (which mandated annual cuts), so Congress came up with a new plan: They’d attach a provision to the next debt ceiling increase requiring that the deficit be reduced by a fixed amount over the next five years until it was zeroed out. First up would be a $23 billion cut from the deficit, to go into effect with the fiscal year that would start that fall. Under Congress’ plan, automatic budget cuts would be immediately triggered (half of them defense-related) if Reagan and Congress couldn’t agree on a plan of their own by November 20.
The important thing to remember here is that neither congressional party was nearly as ideologically cohesive in 1987 as it is today. The Democratic ranks were still littered with conservatives from the South and moderate (and even liberal) Republicans were not uncommon. The GOP’s Capitol Hill leaders — Bob Michel in the House and Bob Dole in the Senate — were both pragmatic, deficit-wary conservatives. That is, they were as alarmed by Reagan’s deficits as many Democrats were, and they weren’t averse to cutting a deal to address them, even if it meant raising taxes.
Because of the ideologically blurry lines between the parties, Congress’ vote on the debt ceiling plan truly was a bipartisan affair. In the House, Democrats supported it by a 125-111 margin, while Republicans supported it by a 105-65 spread. In the Senate, 31 Democrats voted yes, and so did 33 Republicans.
The Reagan White House reacted angrily, convinced that Congress was using the dual threat of a debt default (if Reagan vetoed the plan) and deep defense cuts (if Reagan signed the plan but then failed to reach an agreement with Congress on how to cut $23 billion from the deficit) to force the president into a tax hike — something he opposed with the adamance of today’s Republicans. Several of his aides urged him to veto it, and for several days he considered doing just that, until he finally relented and signed it. That is the backdrop for the video Democrats are now circulating.
Interesting piece by Myo-ja Ser for the Korea JoongAng Daily that covers photo manipulation, North Korea, and wire service operations:
The Associated Press has withdrawn a photo depicting flooding in North Korea, released recently by the reclusive communist country’s news service, claiming that signs of digital manipulation were detected.
The American news wire agency transmitted the photo to its members and customers on Saturday. “In this photo taken Friday, July 15, 2011, and released Saturday July 16, 2011, by the Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service, residents wade through a flooded street in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea said heavy rains flooded farmland, destroyed homes and caused some deaths,” the AP said in the caption.
The Korean Central News Agency is a state-run mouthpiece of the North.
The day after the photo’s release, the AP issued a “kill notice” to tell subscribers that AP decided to withdraw the photo and no longer stood by it.
“The content of this image has been digitally altered and does not accurately reflect the scene,” AP said in the kill notice. “No other version of the photo is available.”
I love the idea of the AP giving a KILL NOTICE. I’m imagining someone at a control panel hitting a giant red button that causes the lights to dim and klaxons to go off.
The linked piece includes the photo with the questionable parts highlighted. Do check it out.
Borzou Daragahi and Roula Hajjar reporting on an unfolding situation for the Los Angeles Times:
Syrian security forces allegedly killed at least 16 people in Syria’s third-largest city Tuesday amid allegations that the government of President Bashar Assad was attempting to bolster its widely challenged rule by intensifying the country’s sectarian tensions.
The shootings took place at a funeral procession for victims of the ongoing violence in the city of Homs, 80 miles north of Damascus. Chilling amateur-video footage posted to the Internet by activists showed panicked residents fleeing amid the roar of automatic weapons fire.
Coverage has died down quite a bit on the television machine, but there’s still a ton of unrest in the region from the Arab Spring.
Feel-good story as reported by the Los Angeles Wave:
The event — a foul-shooting contest for top academic students at Compton High School — was created with a simple premise: Organizers wanted to show the kids at Compton how to create community spirit with college scholarship money as the incentive.
Allan Geui won in front of a packed house.
Three months after winning the $40,000 top prize, Allan Guei donated all of his winnings to the seven other finalists.
Guei, a star player on the basketball team who is headed to Cal State Northridge on a full scholarship, said he felt the others could use the college cash more than he could. He wanted to give his classmates a chance to make their academic dreams come true, too.
“I’ve already been blessed so much and I know we’re living with a bad economy, so I know this money can really help my classmates,” he said in a release from the school. “It was the right decision.”
Education is the most important and most noble thing we can do as a society. This warms my heart.
Detectives are examining a computer, paperwork and a phone found in a bin near the riverside London home of Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International.
The Guardian has learned that a bag containing the items was found in an underground car park in the Design Centre at the exclusive Chelsea Harbour development on Monday afternoon.
The car park, under a shopping centre, is yards from the gated apartment block where Brooks lives with her husband, a former racehorse trainer and close friend of the prime minister David Cameron.
It is understood the bag was handed into security at around 3pm and that shortly afterwards, Brooks’s husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it.
Instead, it is understood that the security guard called the police. In less than half an hour, two marked police cars and an unmarked forensics car are said to have arrived at the scene.
In a press release, Ms. Ortiz’s office said that Mr. Swartz broke into a restricted area of M.I.T. and entered a computer wiring closet. Mr. Swartz apparently then accessed the M.I.T. computer network and stole millions of documents from JSTOR.
While I’ve done my share of screen scraping, the volume here is pretty outstanding. 4.8 million articles.
The part that immediately caught my attention was the bit about breaking in to the networking closet and leaving his laptop there. Seems crazy to me.
Why Swartz did any of this in the first place left is unclear. They mention twice that Swartz intended to distribute the articles on “various file-sharing sites”, but there’s no further discussion of how they arrived at that conclusion.
Phoenix police arrested a 61-year-old Colorado woman for allegedly grabbing the left breast of a Transportation Security Administration officer with both hands and “squeezing and twisting” it at Sky Harbor Airport.
Police say Yukari Mihamae refused to go through the TSA screening Thursday and began arguing with officers, which led to the alleged grope.
According to the police report, Mihamae is accused of grabbing TSA agent Barbara O’Toole’s “left breast through her clothing and squeezing and twisting it with both hands without the victim’s permission,” the New York Post reported.
I guess this is where you make a joke about how turnabout is fair play, but really, what the fuck is this.
Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.
On this day seventy years ago, Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak of fifty-six games came to an end. Kostya Kennedy wrote a piece for Sports Illustrated on the game:
The outs are famous now, two of them anyway: the plays by third baseman Ken Keltner, a gold glover had there been such a thing back then. Twice — in the first inning and again in the seventh — Keltner dived to his left, into foul ground, to glove hard ground balls down the line and take doubles away from DiMaggio. The plays at first base were bang-bang close and DiMaggio believed that the wet ground (it had rained heavily the night before) had slowed his stride, costing him.
Keltner played DiMaggio on the edge of the outfield grass. On either at-bat Joe could have dropped down a bunt and made it to first base at a trot. That was just not something he would do, not even with The Streak on the line. (“Is DiMaggio a good bunter?” Yanks manager Joe McCarthy was once asked. “We’ll never know,” he said.)
The next-longest streak in the major leagues belongs to Willie Keeler, who hit in forty-five straight games across the 1896 and 1897 seasons. That’s eleven fewer games. In the seventy years since the streak, only one person has broken forty games: Pete Rose hit in forty-four straight in 1978.
What’s reported a little less frequently is that, the day after his streak was broken, DiMaggio would start a sixteen-game streak. That means that he hit in seventy-two of seventy-three consecutive games. Jaw-dropping.
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.
That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.
"Maya," I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, "very nice to meet you."
Try reading the rest of the conversation she has with Maya but pretend that “Maya” is “Mark”.
Brooks’ arrest came only 48 hours before she, Rupert Murdoch and his son James were to be grilled by U.K. lawmakers investigating widespread lawbreaking at Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid. It also raises the possibility that Murdoch’s old friend Les Hinton, who resigned Friday as publisher of The Wall Street Journal, or his 38-year-old son and heir apparent, James, could be next.
KentuckyFC of The Physics arXiv Blog posted this summary of some optics work out of Cornell University:
Invisibility cloaks are the result of physicists’ newfound ability to distort electromagnetic fields in extreme ways. The idea is steer light around a volume of space so that anything inside this region is essentially invisible.
The effect has generated huge interest. The first invisibility cloaks worked only at microwave frequencies but in only a few years, physicists have found ways to create cloaks that work for visible light, for sound and for ocean waves. They’ve even designed illusion cloaks that can make one object look like another.
Today, Moti Fridman and buddies, at Cornell University in Ithaca, go a step further. These guys have designed and built a cloak that hides events in time.
The trick to building a temporal cloak is to place two time-lenses in series and then send a beam of light through them. The first compresses the light in time while the second decompresses it again.
But this leaves a gap. For short period, there is a kind of hole in time in which any event is unrecorded.
So to an observer, the light coming out of the second time-lens appears undistorted, as if no event has occurred.
The device has some limitations. The Cornell time cloak lasts only for 110 nanoseconds—that’s not long. And Fridman and co say the best it can achieve will be 120 microseconds.
During the period the cloaking effect is active, the cloaked area will appear to outside observers as it did before the cloaking began. Any events that happen during that time will simply not be able to be observed. So, if you walk around while being cloaked, someone will not be able to see you moving; they’ll only see you as you were at the moment the cloaking began. When the cloaking is finished, you’ll appear to instantaneously teleport to your current position.
There are important exceptions to confidentiality, namely where it conflicts with the clinician’s duty to warn or duty to protect. This includes instances of suicidal behavior or homicidal plans, child abuse, elder abuse and dependent adult abuse.
"What we found was unexpected," says Abe. The birds reacted to only one of the four jumbled versions, called SEQ2, as if they noticed it violated some rule of grammar, whereas the other three remixes didn’t. Almost 90 per cent of the birds tested responded in this way. "This indicates the existence of a specific rule in the sequential orderings of syllables in their songs, shared within the social community," Abe told New Scientist.
According to their experiment, it’s not an innate thing either — it’s a learned behavior. Pretty sweet.
What they found was that parents started making signature calls when the chicks were very young, providing a template that the chicks imitated and added their own flourishes to in order to create their names. The templates were learned, not innate: Chicks’ names were more similar to the names of the parents that raised them than to their biological parents’.
Honestly, I’m pretty bowled over by this. When I was a kid I raised cockatiels — including a breeding pair that had chicks. I wonder if they had names for each other that I didn’t know about.
Campaigners in Japan are asking people to grow sunflowers, said to help decontaminate radioactive soil, in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed March’s massive quake and tsunami.
Volunteers are being asked to grow sunflowers this year, then send the seeds to the stricken area where they will be planted next year to help get rid of radioactive contaminants in the plant’s fallout zone.