Thursday, June 30, 2011

Apple and RIM in Consortium Buying Nortel's Patent Portfolio - NYTimes.com

Apple and RIM in Consortium Buying Nortel's Patent Portfolio - NYTimes.com

Chávez Says Cancerous Tumor Was Removed in Cuba - NYTimes.com

Chávez Says Cancerous Tumor Was Removed in Cuba - NYTimes.com

Sciam: Climate Change

Editor's note: This article is the last of a three-part series by John Carey. Part 1, "Storm Warning: Extreme Weather Is a Product of Climate Change," was posted on June 28. Part 2, "Global Warming and the Science of Extreme Weather," was posted on June 29.

Extreme weather events have become both more common and more intense. And increasingly, scientists have been able to pin at least part of the blame on humankind's alteration of the climate. What's more, the growing success of this nascent science of climate attribution (finding the telltale fingerprints of climate change in extreme events) means that researchers have more confidence in their climate models—which predict that the future will be even more extreme.

Are we prepared for this future? Not yet. Indeed, the trend is in the other direction, especially in Washington, D.C., where a number of members of Congress even argue that climate change itself is a hoax.

Scientists hope that rigorously identifying climate change's contribution to individual extreme events can indeed wake people up to the threat. As the research advances, it should be possible to say that two extra inches (five centimeters) of rain poured down in a Midwestern storm because of greenhouse gases, or that a California heat wave was 10 times more likely to occur thanks to humans' impacts on climate. So researchers have set up rapid response teams to assess climate change's contribution to extreme events while the events are still fresh in people's minds. In addition, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is preparing a special report on extreme events and disasters, due out by the end of 2011. "It is important for us emphasize that climate change and its impacts are not off in the future, but are here and now," explained Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, during a briefing at United Nations climate talks in Cancún last December.

 

The message is beginning to sink in. The Russian government, for instance, used to doubt the existence of climate change, or argue that it might be beneficial for Russia. But now, government officials have realized that global warming will not bring a gradual and benign increase in temperatures. Instead, they're likely to see more crippling heat waves. As Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the Security Council of the Russian Federation last summer: "Everyone is talking about climate change now. Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions."

 
Doubts persist despite evidence

Among the U.S. public, the feeling is different. Opinion pollsand anecdotal reports show that most Americans do not perceive a threat from climate change. And a sizable number of Americans, including many newly elected members of Congress, do not even believe that climate change exists. Extreme weather? Just part of nature, they say. After all, disastrous floods and droughts go back to the days of Noah and Moses. Why should today's disasters be any different? Was the July 23, 2010, storm that spawned Les Scott's record hailstone evidence of a changing climate, for instance? "Not really," Scott says. "It was just another thunderstorm. We get awful bad blizzards that are a lot worse."

 

And yes, 22 of Maryland's 23 counties were declared natural disaster areas after record-setting heat and drought in 2010. "It was the worst corn crop I ever had," says fourth-generation farmer Earl "Buddy" Hance. But was it a harbinger of a more worrisome future? Probably not, says Hance, the state's secretary of agriculture. "As farmers we are skeptical, and we need to see a little more. And if it does turn out to be climate change, farmers would adapt." By then, adaptation could be really difficult, frets Minnesota organic farmer Jack Hedin, whose efforts to raise the alarm are "falling on deaf ears," he laments.

 

Many scientists share Hedin's worry. "The real honest message is that while there is debate about how much extreme weather climate change is inducing now, there is very little debate about its effect in the future," says Michael Wehner, staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and member of the lead author teams of the interagency U.S. Climate Change Science Program's Synthesis and Assessment reports on climate extremes. For instance, climate models predict that by 2050 Russia will have warmed up so much that every summer will be as warm as the disastrous heat wave it just experienced, says Richard Seager of Columbia University's Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory. In other words, many of today's extremes will become tomorrow's everyday reality. "Climate change will throw some significant hardballs at us," says Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. "There will be a lot of surprises that we are not adapted to."

 
A dusty future

One of the clearest pictures of this future is emerging for the U.S. Southwest and a similar meteorological zone that stretches across Italy, Greece and Turkey. Work by Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Seager and others predicts that these regions will get hotter and drier—and, perhaps more important, shows that the change has already begun. "The signal of a human influence on climate pops up in 1985, then marches on getting strong and stronger," Barnett says. By the middle of the 21st century, the models predict, the climate will be as dry as the seven-year long Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s or the damaging 1950s drought centered in California and Mexico, Seager says: "In the future the drought won't last just seven years. It will be the new norm."

 

That spells trouble. In the Southwest the main worry is water—water that makes cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas possible and that irrigates the enormously productive farms of California's Central Valley. Supplies are already tight. During the current 11-year dry spell, the demand for water from the vast Colorado River system, which provides water to 30 million people and irrigates four million acres (1.6 million hectares) of cropland, has exceeded the supply. The result: water levels in the giant Lake Mead reservoir dropped to a record low in October (before climbing one foot, or 30 centimeters, after torrential winter rains in California reduced the demand for Colorado River water). Climate change will just make the problem worse. "The challenge will be great," says Terry Fulp, deputy regional director of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region. "I rank climate change as probably my largest concern. When I'm out on my boat on Lake Mead, it's on my mind all the time."

 

The Southwest is just a snapshot of the challenges ahead. Imagine the potential peril to regions around the world, scientists say. "Our civilization is based on a stable base climate—it doesn't take very much change to raise hell," Scripps's Barnett says. And given the lag in the planet's response to the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, many of these changes are coming whether we like them or not. "It's sort of like that Kung Fu guy who said, 'I'm going to kick your head off now, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it,'" Barnett says.

 
Grassroots action

Although efforts to fight climate change are now stalled in Washington, many regions do see the threat and are taking action both to adapt to the future changes and to try to limit the amount of global warming itself. The Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region office, for instance, has developed a plan to make "manageable" cuts in the amounts of water that the river system supplies, which Fulp hopes will be enough to get the region through the next 15 years. In Canada, after experiencing eight extreme storms (of more than one-in-25-year intensity) between 1986 and 2006, Toronto has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade its sewer and storm water system for handling deluges. "Improved storm drains are the cornerstone of our climate adaptation policy," explains Michael D'Andrea, Toronto's director of water infrastructure management.

 

In Iowa, even without admitting that climate change is real, farmers are acting as if it is, spending millions of dollars to alter their practices. They are adding tile drainage to their fields to cope with increased floods, buying bigger machinery to move more quickly because their planting window has become shorter, planting a month earlier than they did 50 years ago, and sowing twice as many corn plants per acre to exploit the additional moisture, says Gene Takle, professor of meteorology at Iowa State University in Ames. "Iowa's floods are in your face—and in your basement—evidence that the climate has changed, and the farmers are adapting," he says.

 

Local officials have seen the connection, too. After the huge floods of 2008, the Iowa town of Cedar Falls passed an ordinance requiring that anyone who lives in the 500-year flood plain must have flood insurance—up from the previous 200-year flood requirement. State Sen. Robert Hogg wants to make the policy statewide. He also is pushing to restore wetlands that can help soak up floodwaters before they devastate cities. "Wetland restoration costs money, but it's cheaper than rebuilding Cedar Rapids," he says. "I like to say that dealing with climate change is not going to require the greatest sacrifices, but it is going to require the greatest foresight Americans have ever had."

 

Right now, that foresight is more myopia, many scientists worry. So when and how will people finally understand that far more is needed? It may require more flooded basements, more searing heat waves, more water shortages or crop failures, more devastating hurricanes or other examples of the increases in extreme weather that climate change will bring. "I don't want to root for bad things to happen, but that's what it will take," says one government scientist who asked not to be identified. Or as Nashville resident Rich Hays says about his own experience with the May 2010 deluge: "The flood was definitely a wake-up call. The question is: How many wake-up calls do we need?"

 

Reporting for this story was funded by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

 

 


Sciam

To the Limit - NYTimes.com

To the Limit - NYTimes.com

Catherine Lutz

Physics in 2011

Now that this blog is popular - with a little help from my friends - I continue with the Prolegonema for a Future Metaphysics.

I was talking today to a colleague about the sorry state of High Energy Theoretical Physics. More than thirty years , and many academic lives lost, Nature has not been kind to us. Not even the silly Higgs-Brout field has been found, after billions of dollars spent at Fermilab and CERN. This failure looks almost as dismal as the wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq, with the side show of Pakistan, where bin Laden hid in plain sight. Professor Lutz has estimated, together with a group of scholars that over three trillion dollars is the cost [link].

On the other hand, I am very optimist about the huge advances in understanding the Statistical Character of Our Universe. I expect other physicists to look into this direction, given that their quest failed so miserably. There is no Theory of Everything, it is more like a Theory of Nothing. I have no clue on the relevance of Calabi-Yau to the real world.

I do see however, that computer programs allow us to make more and more precise question to Nature.

We live in the Era of Information, and Mathematica is as good an instrument, as we had ever had.

The Cost of War at Home - Catharine Lutz : Josh Harvey : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

The Cost of War at Home - Catharine Lutz : Josh Harvey : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Ancient quasar can give clues to the dawn of the universe - TIME

Ancient quasar can give clues to the dawn of the universe - TIME

From the Beginning: Chavez has cancer! Is it showtime?

From the Beginning: Chavez has cancer! Is it showtime?

Our Extreme Future: Predicting and Coping with the Effects of a Changing Climate: Scientific American

Our Extreme Future: Predicting and Coping with the Effects of a Changing Climate: Scientific American

Wrong To Be Right: Krugman

Atrios is annoyed at David Wessel, and rightly so. I’d summarize Wessel’s column a bit differently: it’s roughly “Some people thought from the beginning that the stimulus should have been much bigger. Hahaha! Also, it turns out that the stimulus was too small, so we need some more.”

This is actually a fairly familiar thing from my years as a pundit: the surest way to get branded as not Serious is to figure things out too soon. To be considered credible on politics you have to have considered Bush a great leader, and not realized until Katrina that he was a disaster; to be considered credible on national security you have to have supported the Iraq War, and not realized until 2005 that it was a terrible mistake; to be credible on economics you have to have regarded Greenspan as a great mind, and not become disillusioned until 2007 or maybe 2008.

But something else struck me about Wessel’s piece: among the things he suggests to raise employment is passing more free trade agreements. Where did that come from?

The case for free trade is about microeconomics, about raising efficiency. There’s no particular reason to think that trade liberalization is good for fixing problems of inadequate demand. I mean, you learn in Econ 101 that aggregate spending is Y = C+I+G+X-M; that is, consumer spending, plus investment spending, plus government purchases, plus exports, minus imports. Trade liberalization raises X, but it also raises M. For any individual county it can go either way; for the world as a whole it’s a wash, since total exports equal total imports.

So why is trade liberalization an answer to our current problems? Because, says Wessel, it would shore up business confidence. Why, exactly?

The reason this struck me is that the need to reduce trade barriers is a central argument in that 1934 book by Lionel Robbins I blogged about the other day. And the same incoherence was present there.

For what it’s worth, by the way, the economies of Western Europe in the 1950s retained many of the protectionist measures introduced during the 1930s; capital controls, in particular, stayed in place for a long time. And they had full employment.


NYT

Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as in Jeopardy - NYTimes.com

Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as in Jeopardy - NYTimes.com

Geithner Considers Leaving Treasury Job - NYTimes.com

Geithner Considers Leaving Treasury Job - NYTimes.com

War?

Christian Parenti was today at DN! He  states  the UN prediction   of increased human mobility during this century. He calls for adaptation to this very likely situation. Here in Mexico I see what he is talking about: We are in a state of war in Guerrero. A high school teacher was kidnapped for a day, and let go for ransom to the tune of close to fifty thousand dollars.  He was singled out because he failed a student, related to the drug lords, that have taken over the town.

This is a five to six hour drive, from where I am sitting right now.

To the title question of this note, I answer:

Yes, there is war.

New Hit: Social Media in Universities



14 Fields in Desperate Need of Females

Fifty years ago, women may not have been able to picture the world as it is today. Women are no longer only allowed into a small number of fields and relegated to entry-level positions, but instead can rise to the top echelons of just about every career out there. Yet despite the great variety of options women enjoy when selecting a career, there are some fields where the gender ratio is still radically skewed. Many of these fields are actively looking to attract women and, as a college student, it may be wise to consider a career in some of them if they spark your interest. A wide range of career options and opportunities may be open to qualified women within them. Here we've chosen 14 of these fields, but they are truly just a sampling of the many fields where women can find new opportunities and pave the way for future workers.

  1. Agriculture: Farming, ranching and other forms of agriculture, like animal husbandry, have traditionally been male occupations in the United States (though women have played an integral role in tending farms since, well, agriculture has existed, and comprise about 41% of agriculturally workers globally) and still are today. Women only own 8.6% of farms, and while the number is growing, many of these farms are financially at risk – with over 80% reporting incomes of under $25,000. Traditional agricultural occupations, as well as those that are more high-tech, are in great need of female employees, making the field a smart choice for women interested in a science field with immediately practical applications.
  2. Forestry: When you think of forestry, you probably think of lumberjacks, mountain men, rough and tumble park rangers, and a dozen other masculine stereotypical figures — and there's probably a good reason for that. The first women were not admitted to the U.S. Forest Service until WWII, when lack of male applicants opened up more job opportunities. While today, many women hold a variety of positions within the forest service, the field is still largely male-dominated. Only 10% of the total 18,000 professional forester members of the Society of American Foresters are women, only 26% of the U.S. Forest Service staff are women, and less than 7% of the senior executive officers are women. With urban areas encroaching on wildlife and environmental issues at the forefront in many areas around the nation, the profession could use women who are passionate about protecting and preserving America's wild spaces.
  3. Electrician: Like many construction-related jobs, work as an electrician fails to attract many female applicants. Whether because of lingering gender prejudice or lack of recruiting women to the field, fewer than 2% of licensed electricians are women. While the job can be dangerous, it often pays well, and for women who would prefer to work with their hands it can be a highly rewarding career option. Master electrician and business owner Veronica Rose is one example, and is working hard to attract women to a field that many may never have considered as a possible option.
  4. Engineering: Women comprise just a little over 12% of the total engineering workforce and in some fields, like electrical engineering, that number drops to 8%. While many more women are pursuing careers in engineering today than in years past, nearly all fields of engineering are heavily male dominated– something a study by the National Research Council revealed might be a cause for why women were reluctant to enter engineering careers. Yet today, the hostile work environments and boys' clubs of engineering are largely a thing of the past, and women will find strong support and mentoring groups available to them. Despite the great push to bring women into engineering programs, few schools have female enrollment in engineering programs. Over 30%, something engineering groups, the government, and female engineering professionals are struggling to change.
  5. Mathematics: While the stereotype that women aren't good at math may not be true, it seems that many women might just believe it anyway. Women are heavily underrepresented in math-related fields, especially in academic positions at top universities. Of the over 300 tenured professors in top mathematics programs in America, only 16 are women. While that is quadruple the number in 1991, it's still a staggering disparity. Recent studies have shown, however, that many of the obstacles women may have faced in the past when pursuing a career in mathematics have been lessened. Women who have an interest in mathematics as career, whether at the college level or in a applied setting, shouldn't shy away from perusing one because of outdated gender stereotypes.
  6. Creative Directors : Far from the man's world depicted in Mad Men, advertising today is much more female-dominated, with women making up about 65.8% of the work force. Yet despite women making up the bulk of the employees in advertising, they rarely make it to the top of the field. Of the top 33 ad agencies in the U.S., only 4 have female creative directors. In fact, women only make up 3% of the creative directors at advertising agencies across the nation. Whether good old-fashioned sexism plays a role or something else is unclear, but more women are needed to help fill out the top ranks at ad agencies both in the US and abroad (where women comprise of even fewer, if that were possible, of the management positions).
  7. Aviation: Aside from pioneering woman Amelia Earhart, most people would be hard pressed to name a female pilot. Of the over 600,000 pilots in the United States, only about 6% are women, and only 3.85% of non-pilot aviation jobs are held by women. Women make up a very small percentage of employees in the industry, and are in high demand from many airlines and private companies who want to diversify their staff. While many flight departments are still plagued by sexism, women in aviation can expect to receive a great deal of support from the female aviation community and non-profit organizations.
  8. Fire and Emergency Services: It's been a hard-fought battle by many women to get acceptance as firefighters and emergency workers. Some believe that women shouldn't even be working in this field, as they can't match the upper body strength of men. It is perhaps these strong reactions that keep many women from even considering a career as a firefighter or rescue worker. As of 2008, women only make up only 3.7% percent of the first responders work force, or about 11,000 of the more than 350,000 people working in this field. Another staggering stat? Over half of metropolitan fire departments don't even have one female on staff.
  9. Law Enforcement: While women have taken on clerical or dispatch roles in law enforcement since the 1800's, the field has been and remains a male-dominated one. Today, women hold only 12% of law enforcement jobs nationwide and few make it into the top ranks, with only 1% of female law enforcement officers rising to the level of lieutenant or higher. Additionally, many female law enforcement officers report on-the-job harassment from male coworkers and sexual discrimination when applying to work in certain units. Despite these obstacles, the number of women in law enforcement is growing, and women with a passion for serving and protecting shouldn't let something as silly as sexism stand in their way from pursuing a rewarding career.
  10. Architecture: Architecture has long been a boys' club. Few women ever make into the ranks of notable architects, and many have failed to be given credit when they have contributed to great works. While many more women have risen in the ranks of architecture in recent years, women still make up only 13.3% of professional architects. With chauvinism still a major part of the architectural culture, it's no easy field to navigate, even for the most talented of female architects. Yet someone has to start breaking down that glass ceiling, and for those interested in entering the field, there is no better time than now to do it.
  11. Athletic Coaching: Ever notice how even women's teams have male coaches? Often, it's not a matter of preference, but of necessity, as there aren't enough qualified female coaches out there to fill available positions. Female coaches are becoming harder and harder to find, something that any woman with a passion for athletics should take note of. Part of the problem is that many women may not even consider coaching as a viable career option. But athletic directors like Janet Kittel at Syracuse University say it should be, as she and other professionals across the nation are itching to hire women to fill coaching positions.
  12. Information Technology: Women used to be a dominant force in computer science and IT, but the numbers are declining sharply, and professionals in the field are starting to take note. In 1996, women made up 42% of IT professionals, by 2004 that number had dropped to just 32%. The same goes for those pursuing a computer science degree, often the bachelors held by IT pros, with 37% of grads being women in 1985 and just 28% today. Despite the latest IT trends working with traditionally female skill sets, women are leaving the profession and companies are doing what they can to draw them back in.
  13. Chemistry: Chemistry may be a hard field for women to gain a foothold in, even in today's much less sexist and more accepting working world. It took over 40 years of fighting for women to be accepted in the Chemical Society, and while many male chemists supported their female counterparts, many were resentful of their encroachment on what had previously been a male-dominated profession. Today, women hold only about 12% of tenure and tenure-track professorships in chemistry even though over 40% of the PhDs awarded in the field were to females.
  14. Academia in the Sciences and Philosophy: Women are still a rarity in many parts of academia, holding few, if any professorial positions in certain departments. Among the least female-friendly? Physics (with only 5% of professor positions held by women), computer science, engineering, and philosophy. It may not be a matter of gender discrimination, however, as few women pursue higher-level degrees in these fields in the first place, with less than 20% of PhD students in physics being women, and just under 30% of philosophy PhDs. Many of these fields are reporting shortages of women and are looking to hire female professionals, whether in academia or other applications of the sciences and philosophy, making them attractive options for women who are interested in pursuing them.

20 Inspirational Quotes to Live your Life By

Wise men and women have provided us with records of some of their words. We can learn a lot by listening to, and heeding them.

Quotes by Women

  1. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
  3. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
  4. 4. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Quotes by Scientists

  1. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
  2. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
  3. “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein
  4. “I haven’t failed…I’ve found ten thousand ways that don’t work.” – Thomas Edison

Quotes by Spiritual Leaders

  1. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  2. “My life is my message.” – Gandhi
  3. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. – Sri Ram
  4. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – The Apostle Paul
  5. “History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.” – John Eliot

Quotes by Political Leaders

  1. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln
  2. “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
  3. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston S. Churchill
  4. “I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.” —William Penn

Quotes by Poets & Writers

  1. “Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” — Richard Bach
  2. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman
  3. “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Taken From Best Dating Sites

10 Politicians Who Used the Internet Well to Get Elected

Politicians are a cagey lot, well-versed in which way the wind blows. Today, the wind blows through the Internet, so use your computer cooling fans, because there is a lot of political hot air coming your way. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or a Huffington Post, the 2012 elections will see greater use of the Net than ever before. Some politicians use the Internet better than others do, and here are some of the best.

  1. Barack Obama – In the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama took a page from Howard Dean’s Internet playbook, and raised huge sums of money. He went beyond that, utilizing social networks like MySpace and Facebook to great advantage.
  2. Jerry Brown – Governor of California who engaged in spirited Internet campaign warfare with Republican candidate Meg Whitman. Both created numerous websites during the 2010 race, positive and negative, to woo various voting blocs.
  3. Deval Patrick – Patrick won the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, and utilize e-mail, networking sites and even YouTube to good effect.
  4. Andrew Cuomo – Governor of New York, Cuomo used the Internet to drum up funds, and, after he took office made an Internet-only ad for Congressional candidate Kathleen Hochul.
  5. Daniel Inouye – Has held elected office in Hawaii since 1959, and has transitioned from “old-school” campaign strategies to thoroughly modern 21st Century use of the Internet, so much so that he receives significant funding from Native American groups from all over the country.
  6. Ron Paul – Populist U.S. Member of Congress, Rep. Paul airs weekly live Internet webcasts, each of which features a specific topic.
  7. Harry Reid – The Senator from Nevada knew he was in for a dogfight with Tea Party activist Sharron Angle, and he hired a firm to give him the kind of Internet presence that President Barack Obama used so well in his 2008 campaign.
  8. Neil Abercrombie – Elected as Governor of Hawaii in 2010, Abercrombie is very active in social networking, and uses Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
  9. Lisa Murkowski – Senior Senator from Alaska, Murkowski is the first write-in candidate since Strom Thurmond to win a major election. She used the Internet extensively to get the word out about her campaign.
  10. John McCain – McCain, Senator from Arizona, used “astro turf” campaign methods (instant manufacturing of public support, ie., an ersatz grassroots approach) to offer “prizes” for spreading the online word about his official “talking points”. Prizes included things like autographed copies of his books, preferential seating at campaign events and a ride on his bus.

Taken From DSL Service

10 Traditional Newspapers that Successfully Moved Online

Where, oh where, have all the newspapers gone? Since the recession, which began in 2007, newsprint newspaper circulation and advertising revenue have declined at an alarming rate. Even the largest papers have cut back significantly, in terms of resources and personnel. To meet these continuing challenges newspapers have expanded their Internet presence, some to the point of abandoning newsprint altogether, as did The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in 2009. Listed here are some newspapers that have led the way in the transition to a digital world.

  1. The New York Times – The New York Times, whose famous motto reads “All the news that’s fit to print”, has had a viable online presence since 1995, and, today, boasts one of the most successful multi-media programs in the world.
  2. The Wall Street Journal – The nation’s most successful newspaper, in terms of circulation, The Wall Street Journal first hit the web, in 1996, with Wall Street Journal Online. Today, the paper has an integrated format, keeping it at the forefront of the journalism world.
  3. USA Today – First published in hard copy in 1988, the paper ranks just behind The Wall Street Journal in overall circulation, which counts 400,000 online subscriptions in those circulation numbers. USA Today has used the web since 1995, and is touted for its use of social networking.
  4. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer – After nearly 150 years in print, the Post-Intelligencer went to an online-only format in March, 2009, and now reaches over 200,000 people daily.
  5. The Washington Post – One of America’s leading newspapers since its inception, in 1877, and noted for its political reportage, the Post put out its first online copy in1996, and today is known for the distinct differences between newsprint and online content.
  6. The Denver Post – Active online, the Post offers a very interesting feature: when subscribers register with the online site, they also receive their own blog and photo gallery.
  7. Annarbor.com – An example of a hybrid-news format, annarbor.com replaced the Ann Arbor News in 2009, but still publishes a twice-weekly newsprint edition.
  8. Houston Chronicle – Largest of the Hearst newspapers, and one of the top-ten newspapers in national circulation (only one in the top-ten never to have won a Pulitzer Prize), the Chronicle‘s online edition is known for its innovative technology, including RSS (Really Simple Syndication), which gives almost instantaneous access to breaking news.
  9. The San Francisco Chronicle – SFGate.com, which is the online branch of the Chronicle,broke new ground, in 2010, when political cartoonist Mark Fiore won a Pulitzer Prize for his series of humorous and biting videos.
  10. The Minneapolis Star Tribune – Startribune.com is the online arm of the parent newsprint paper, and the web content is notable for its coverage of local and state news, which is featured, rather than national and international news. The interactive approach is quite popular in an area where people are very community-oriented.

The world continues to change, and journalism will need to continue to evolve as well.


Taken From Phone TV Internet

Public Workers Strike in Britain Over Pensions - NYTimes.com

Public Workers Strike in Britain Over Pensions - NYTimes.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Social Side of Reasoning - NYTimes.com

The Social Side of Reasoning - NYTimes.com

Democracy’s Cradle, Rocking the World - NYTimes.com

Democracy’s Cradle, Rocking the World - NYTimes.com

Stokes-Harrison Theorem

Taken from Harrison

2011 Women's World Cup - Norway-Equatorial Guinea-Brazil-Australia - NYTimes.com

2011 Women's World Cup - Norway-Equatorial Guinea-Brazil-Australia - NYTimes.com

2011 Women's World Cup - Brazil Defeats Australia, 1-0 - NYTimes.com

2011 Women's World Cup - Brazil Defeats Australia, 1-0 - NYTimes.com

Yet Again in Sudan - NYTimes.com

Yet Again in Sudan - NYTimes.com

Attack on Kabul Hotel Raises Security Concerns - NYTimes.com

Attack on Kabul Hotel Raises Security Concerns - NYTimes.com

The 100 Best Footballers of All Time | Bleacher Report

The 100 Best Footballers of All Time | Bleacher Report

Robert Fisk: Iran's war games go underground - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

Robert Fisk: Iran's war games go underground - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

Is Aaron Maté the Next Sharif Abdel Kouddous?

Today in Democracy Now! I saw Aaron taking to the streets of Athens. Then Sharif from Cairo. These kids are the Saturday Night Live equivalent of DN!

We have a factory of committed journalists from DN!

Great job Amy Goodman!

14 Marketing Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know


Most people aren’t likely to put a lot of thought into their dining experience. It’s as simple as visiting, eating, paying your check, and heading out. But under close scrutiny, there’s so much more at work, from specials to nutritional tricks, and menu engineering. Check out our collection of marketing secrets restaurants use, and you’ll be wiser next time you go out to eat.

  1. Specials aren’t so special: Less than fresh items may be hiding under sauces and soups on the specials menu. Although there are legitimate items like seasonal ingredients and new dishes on the specials menu, look at it with a wary eye.
  2. Homemade doesn’t mean house made: Desserts on the menu might be listed as homemade, but that doesn’t mean it’s made in-house. Instead, it could be homemade from a bakery miles away.
  3. The special drink we’re out of might just be too time consuming: Restaurants often market special frozen drinks, but your waiter may tell you that they’re out of it because it’s hard to make. Of course, they may suddenly find the ingredients if you decide you’d rather have water, not wanting to lose your drink on the bill.
  4. Low fat doesn’t mean healthy: Restaurants often advertise low fat items, but those same items can be loaded with calories and carbohydrates. For example, Applebee’s low-fat chicken quesadillas have 90 grams of carbohydrates and 742 calories.
  5. Restaurants practice menu engineering: The way restaurants list items and prices can influence how you order. For example, listing prices in the same font as descriptions and not adding a dollar sign can minimize the cost. High-markup items will take center stage at the upper right of the menu, where the eyes are naturally drawn.
  6. Your fish may not be what you think it is: Distributors and restaurants may mislabel fish, selling you a snapper but actually giving you tilapia. Additionally, endangered fish may be listed under a different name, like when restaurants sell "toro," actually giving you Chilean sea bass.
  7. Calorie counts aren’t always spot on: Many restaurants now list calories and other nutrition facts on their menus, which is nice for diners who are watching what they eat. But don’t rely carefully on this information, because it can be thrown off by differences in preparation and generous portions.
  8. The second-cheapest wine has the biggest markup: Restaurants know you don’t want to look like a cheapo and order the cheapest wine on the menu. So they mark up the second cheapest bottle of wine, knowing you’ll go for that one.
  9. They’ll still leave a space for a tip even if it’s included: Most restaurants automatically charge a tip for large parties, but there’s typically still a spot for you to leave one on the bill. Be careful not to double tip, unless you’d like to leave an additional tip for great service.
  10. All natural is anything: There is no FDA definition of "all natural." That means you can find artificial flavoring in "all natural chicken" and high fructose corn syrup in "all natural smoothies."
  11. The table next to you may be getting a better deal: Groupon, Restaurant.com, and other deal sites make dining out cheaper if you’re in the know. But restaurants will gladly charge loyal customers full price.
  12. Fruit can just be flavoring: Even if a fruit’s name is in the title of a dish or drink, there may not actually be fruit in it. Sometimes, it’s just a flavored corn syrup.
  13. They won’t tell you if they don’t like a dish: Servers can’t tell you if they don’t like a dish. If you ask about a dish and get a generic response, it’s probably not a favorite.
  14. Stay well within posted hours: Restaurants will stay open up to and sometimes past their advertised hours, but actually dining at that time isn’t always a great idea. Not only are servers not appreciative of last minute diners, the kitchen has often begun cleanup for the night, which means your food is being prepared with food that was prepped long ago, in ovens and fryers with the buildup of a whole night. Additionally, when there’s cooking and cleaning happening at the same time in the kitchen, your food may end up getting sprayed with kitchen cleaner.
Taken From Accounting Degree

Despite the bounty of information at its disposal, mainstream society still doesn’t exactly understand mental illness…

Despite the bounty of information at its disposal, mainstream society still doesn’t exactly understand mental illness…

Eating disorders especially end up on the receiving end of frequent stereotyping and misunderstanding — a very dangerous phenomenon, considering how they can quickly turn fatal when left unchecked. College students comprise the condition’s largest demographic, so educating both students and the society they inhabit is crucial for their health, happiness and safety. By no means should one take this article as anything even remotely approaching medical advice. Rather, use it as an introduction to a few facts about bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). From here, make further inquiries into the realities faced by sufferers and the people who love them. Making an effort to empathize with their plight might very well save lives someday.

  1. It’s not just women who suffer: Eating disorders are often stereotyped as the exclusive realm of the ladyfolk — a dangerous mindset preventing male victims from receiving necessary psychotherapy. In reality, between 1% and 7% of college-age men suffer from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder or EDNOS. But the numbers might actually sit higher than that, as stigmas unfairly painting the diseases as inherently feminine prevent them from admitting the problem and seeking out the mental help needed to survive.

  2. The staggering majority of female college students diet: Ninety-one percent in fact, regardless of whether or not they genuinely need to be concerned about their weight. Not all diets are eating disorders, nor do all eating disorders manifest themselves as extreme dieting. Such conditions don’t always necessarily stem from a desire to be thin, of course, but overlap does occur. Some cases — though in no way every — do begin life as obsessive dieting, so it is relevant to look at statistics reflecting this.

  3. College women are even more vulnerable to eating disorders than one would think: By this point, most people are aware that women between the ages of 17 and 24 are the most likely to be treated for and diagnosed with an eating disorder. In the general public, the statistic posits about 15% of this demographic suffers. But once college factors into the equation, it shoots up to 40%. Hardly surprising, considering the significant amount of stress involved — especially in cases where eating disorders manifest as a coping mechanism.

  4. It’s often comorbid with other disorders: In college and the real world alike, eating disorders rarely wreak havoc alone. Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS usually co-exist with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and/or compulsive issues. Oftentimes, the symptoms associated with these conditions are signs of something larger and more serious at play than just problems with diet and nutrition. Social stigmas against anything above a size 6 are only a very minute facet of a far more complex mental health problem.

  5. Relationships impact eating disorders: And not just those where one or more partners spout off abusive rhetoric about body shape and size, either. Individuals in unhealthy relationships, whether they be overly clingy or outright physically traumatic, run a much higher risk of suffering from eating disorders than their peers enjoying more stable ones. The depression and anxiety associated with such unfortunate arrangements can trigger these conditions as a means of calming and forgetting the issue at hand.

  6. Sexual assault and rape victims are more likely to develop eating disorders: This correlation exists outside of college campuses, however, but the demographic most vulnerable to eating disorders also happens to be more likely to end up sexually assaulted and raped. Thanks to an unforgiving society that shames and guilt trips female and male victims alike, anxiety and depression run rampant. So it makes sense that eating disorders would also plague them at a higher rate, as bulimia, anorexia and the like provide immediate (albeit unhealthy and nonviable) comfort for a persistent problem.

  7. Binging and purging may correlate with previous suicide attempts: At least one study suggests that eating disorder victims engaging in a binge-and-purge pattern are more likely to have previously attempted suicide. Those with anorexia are more likely to suffer from suicidal thoughts. Again, a broader study sheds considerable light on the experiences of a smaller demographic. Because of the staggering amount of college students crushed beneath eating disorders, it makes sense that many of them would suffer from the accompanying suicidal ideas and behaviors as well.

  8. Nutrition facts can actually trigger victims: Newsweek ran an article about eating disorders on campus in 2009, opening with a particularly poignant perspective most people — in college or otherwise — might never consider. For the eating disordered, seeing campuses publicly display nutrition facts run the risk of triggering trauma during the recovery period. Those whose conditions manifest themselves as obsessive dieting and calorie-counting are especially vulnerable, as exposure to such information reminds them of their destructive obsession. Harvard University removed calorie count cards from its dining halls out of respect for its disordered students.

  9. A staggering amount of victims vomit, resort to extreme diets and/or use laxatives: Whether suffering from bulimia, anorexia, EDNOS or some combination thereof, 38% of college students (both male and female) have forced vomiting, used laxatives and/or extreme vomiting in order to lose weight. Researchers think an increased emphasis on combating obesity might influence their harsh decisions, although plenty of other issues — such as the previously-mentioned depression, anxiety and sexual violence victimhood factor into it as well.

  10. A fringe eating disorder movement actively encourages the disease: Neither the Pro-Ana nor Pro-Mia movements typically go out and recruit members, but they do dangerously encourage disordered eating habits. Most — but not all — adherents are either in college or of college age, and the philosophy paints the truly horrifying disease as a lifestyle choice to be accepted rather than a mental illness to be treated. Communities both online and off trade "thinspiration" pictures, advice and encouragement for the fastest (and oftentimes most devastating) weight loss tips. It’s an extremely destructive mindset, one colleges must take more seriously and address more often.

  11. Binge eating disorder is a real thing: Most individuals and organizations typically think of bulimia and anorexia when the subject of eating disorders crop up. But binge eating disorder — an often overlooked member of the family — can also cause serious problems during the college years (and beyond). Stemming from the exact same anxiety, depression and stress as conditions seeking thinness, BED instead involves taking in too much food as a coping mechanism.

  12. Twenty is the most common age of onset: Around 86% of bulimics estimate they first experienced symptoms at age 20. Between the ages of 16 and 20, the number drops to 43%. By freshmen year, between 4.5% and 18% of female and .4% of male students start classes with a history of bulimia, compared to 1% for women with anorexia. Once again, the reasons behind why this happens are as varied as the victims themselves, though the dangers remain the same.

  13. Anorexia and bulimia kill more than people realize: Between 10% and 25% of anorexia patients die because of complications arising from the condition. The full recovery rate of eating disorders in general sits at a sadly low 60%, with 20% only partially coming back and 20% never healing at all — or making only negligible progress.

  14. Race might have an effect on how eating disorders manifest: Research published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders noted at least one difference in the way weight loss-related eating disorders occur in white and African-American female college students. Many members of the latter demographic typically struggled with real weight and size problems and suffered worse the more they absorbed themselves in mainstream society. Their Caucasian counterparts rarely experienced onset because of a preexisting weight condition. Both, however, frequently exhibited the signs and symptoms of depressive, anxiety or compulsive issues alongside their eating disorders.

  15. Online intervention might be a valid prevention option: For the harried, college-aged eating disordered, an online psychiatric regimen might very well pique their recovery. Developed at Stanford University, the online program sought out high-risk women — specifically, college-aged women — and effectively prevented many from slipping into anorexia, bulimia or EDNOS. Participants with a BMI at 25 or over did not develop any eating disorder symptoms after 2 years, compared to 11.9% of their peers. Amongst women already suffering the early stages, 14% ended up diagnosed with an eating disorder within 2 years, compared to 30% of nonparticipants. The program, consisting of reading materials, moderated discussions and daily journals, might very well fulfill a valuable role on college campuses and beyond.

Taken From Online Universities

50 Beach Reads That Won’t Melt Your Brain

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the American Flag

Each July Fourth, flags adorn America's neighborhoods, shopping malls, sporting events and early summer festivals, serving as reminders of our nation's enduring characteristics. The sight of the stars and stripes engenders patriotism, an appreciation for freedom, and thankfulness for prosperity and mobility, each of which we've worked so hard to maintain over the past 236 years. While you may know what the flag represents, you may not remember all of the facts behind it. After all, not all of us are smarter than a fifth grader. Here are 10 that are often forgotten, or were never learned in the first place.

  1. A 17-year-old high school student designed the modern flag for a school project: And initially only received a B- for his work — work that created our nation's foremost patriotic symbol. Bob Heft, who passed away in December 2009, designed it with 50 stars in 1958 as Alaska was gaining consideration for statehood and before Hawaii entered the discussion. His foresight was appreciated by Congress and President Eisenhower, who personally invited him to attend the ceremony adopting the flag, which was made official on July 4, 1960.
  2. The flag has changed 26 times since its creation: This is due to the steady growth of the U.S. from 1877, when the 13-star version was adopted, until the 50-star version became official as Hawaii was admitted as a state in 1960. In use for 50 years and counting, the current flag is the longest-running in U.S. history, followed by the 48-star flag (47 years), 15-star flag (23 years) and original 13-star flag (18 years). On nine occasions, a version of the flag only lasted one year, and on five occasions, a version lasted just two years. If the U.S. decided to adopt a few more states, the United States Army Institute of Heraldry has ready-designed flags with up to 56 stars.
  3. The flag had 15 stripes from 1795 to 1818: The induction of Vermont (1791) and Kentucky (1792) into the Union brought forth the need to symbolically incorporate them into the flag, and thus two additional stars and stripes were added, starting in May of the next year, after the passage of The Flag Act of 1794. In the more than two decades following the change, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi earned statehood, requiring their own representation. It didn't seem logical to continue adding stripes, so President James Monroe signed the Flag Act of 1818, stating there would be just 13 stripes, one representing each of the original colonies, and a star for each state.
  4. Only governors and the President can order the flag to be set at half-mast at government buildings: Another responsibility for the already busy executives, who can make the order as a sign of remembrance or when important government officials or other important figures pass away. Because federal law states that no flag can fly higher than the U.S. flag, every other flag — regardless of whether they're from states, cities or organizations — must fly below half-mast at the same time. Occasions in which flags fly at half-mast: Peace Officers Memorial Day, Armed Forced Day, Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and Patriot Day, and specified amounts of time during the deaths of current and former presidents, vice presidents, chief justices, and speakers of the House of Representatives, to name a few.
  5. "The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing:" That rule comes from United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 [8j], which includes several other strict rules specifying the proper treatment of the flag, including that it "should never be carried flat or horizontally, it "should never be used as a covering for a ceiling, it "should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise" (see below), and it "should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything." None, however, are more ignored than the following two:
  6. "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery:" But try telling the Olympic athletes, for example, who drape themselves with the flag after pulling off a big win. And, although wearing American flag-like shirts and similarly tacky apparel violates the code too, you would be wise to avoid sporting that stuff anyway, unless, of course, you're Apollo Creed and genuinely love livin' in America. There are always exceptions.
  7. "The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever:" Obviously, these laws are never enforced, as evidenced by the countless American flag-themed Memorial Day and Fourth of July advertisements we're accustomed to seeing during the early summer. Or how about campaign season, when flags adorn just about every piece of memorabilia handed out at campaign rallies? Sure, it's a bit over the top to bemoan such usage given that it's hardly anything new, but who can resist hating on slimy furniture salesmen and self-serving politicians?
  8. The U.S. Flag Store alone sold more than 6 million stick flags in 2010: Whether they're used in ads or not, flags are big business. The U.S. Flag Store stocks more than $3 million in flags, boasting that it has sold flags and accessories to more than one million customers, many of whom have been affiliated with local and state governments, veterans' organizations and Fortune 500 companies. Typically bought in bulk, stick flags are always in high demand due to their traditional presence at events such as Fourth of July celebrations and campaign rallies (see above), when essentially every person in attendance has one.
  9. You don't have to destroy a flag that has touched the ground: Contrary to popular belief, it's not that big of a deal if you accidentally drop your flag. If it's dirty, it can be cleaned so that it can quickly return to its previous place. It's not like the U.S Flag Store is behind some conspiracy to ensure flag sales remain high — as previously mentioned, that's not really a problem. It's your responsibility to determine if your flag is too old and ready for retirement. If you think it's no longer fit for display, the flag code states that "it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
  10. Currently there are six flags on the moon: It was a major symbolic victory for the U.S. to win the race to the moon, so it had to be commemorated in some manner. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, famously placed the first flag on the moon, a scene with which generations of Americans are familiar. Only one, of course, wasn't enough. With six flags scattered throughout the moon's surface, left by the members of each Apollo mission, there's no question about which country had the most accomplished space program during the era — including the engineers, who constructed a collapsible flagpole with a telescoping horizontal rod serving to keep the flag extending outward in the windless environment.

Taken From Best Online Colleges

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Donaldson and Harrison

Donaldson's Theorem states that there are infinite four dimensional manifolds.  In other words, one can define different derivatives in four dimensions. Physics needs, so we think, a unique four dimensional definition of derivative in a manifold. Now Harrison tells us, that not all currents can be made into differential Dirac chains and vice versa.

Long live female mathematicians!

This week my little niece, who was born in Salt Lake City, is the organizer of a mathematics school.

Go girl, go!

Primera Escuela de Verano de Matemáticas en Querétaro

Luis Eduardo Aute

Attackers Storm Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul - NYTimes.com

Attackers Storm Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul - NYTimes.com

Could it Be?

Discrete Differential Forms are used at the Caltech  Applied Geometry Lab. Could it be that a general theory of discrete-continuous transition is in their mist?

All I want to do, really, is to implement some of them in Mathematica.

From Harrison's paper:


A major task of mathematics today is to harmonize the continuous and the discrete,
to include them in one comprehensive mathematics, and to eliminate obscurity from
both.


E. T. Bell




Here you have another quote of Harrison's intriguing paper:

``Our paper shows that Whitney's intuition that "chains come first" proved to be correct [Whi57].''

Jenny Harrison

Wikipedia

Webpage

This woman solved a deep physical and mathematical problem. So it seems.

Read her paper arXiv

I am ill equipped to judge her mathematical contribution, but her mention of physical renormalization to solve the continuum problem, rings true to me.

Chile Moves Up School Vacations as Protests Rage - NYTimes.com

Chile Moves Up School Vacations as Protests Rage - NYTimes.com

Hadoop, Analytical Software, Finds Uses Beyond Search - NYTimes.com

Hadoop, Analytical Software, Finds Uses Beyond Search - NYTimes.com

MapReduce

Apache Hadoop takes top prize at Media Guardian Innovation Awards | Technology | guardian.co.uk

Apache Hadoop takes top prize at Media Guardian Innovation Awards | Technology | guardian.co.uk

Bought by Yahoo.

Hadoop

What happens when everybody comes and you use Open Source Software?

Then you use Hadoop.

Group of Attackers Storms Hotel in Afghan Capital - NYTimes.com

Group of Attackers Storms Hotel in Afghan Capital - NYTimes.com

Statistics and the World we Live In

I just started a Mathematica blog after the First Mathematica Workshop at the math department of the Autonomous University of Guerrero; it is written in both Spanish and English, because my audience is local, but there are no Mathematica products written in our language. Link [here].

I do not work for this company, but I believe that I have to keep on eye on its CEO, Stephen Wolfram. I have written a series of notes with the Mathematica label. I have a purpose with them; it is the following.

Since 1970 I have been doing Science, with the goal in mind to understand the Information Era we live in, and the discoveries that await us because of this. Steam engines, lead to Thermodynamics, and thus I believe that Information Technology will lead us to this century's Science as well. Wolfram already presented his principle of Computational Equivalence.

These notes are about method. Scientists have to add computational elements to the Method invented by Newton, and Galileo. Now we have Experimental, Computational, and Theoretical Science. This requires a new Scientific Method, I guess one should say, one that goes with Wolfram's New Kind of Science.

Mathematica 8 integrates probability and statistics to the main core kernel, this is telling.

We live in a Statistical Universe.

How the demise of a trusted adviser could bring down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

How the demise of a trusted adviser could bring down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

Family

Israel tried it, Russia tried it, Cuba tried it.

I feel close to my siblings, and I am grateful, that Mexico did not try it.

Yes, we all should be part of a bigger family; but it seems that nobody knows how to do that just yet.

Google Introduces Facebook Competitor, Emphasizing Privacy - NYTimes.com

Google Introduces Facebook Competitor, Emphasizing Privacy - NYTimes.com

Egypt 2011: Time Magazine

An entire generation of Egyptians had never known a time when Hosni Mubarak was not their president. After 30 years in the top spot, Mubarak received his first serious challenge on January 25, 2011 when more than one million protesters, fueled by political unrest, massive unemployment and social media, assembled in Tahrir (Liberation) Square. For the next two weeks they held their ground as pro-Mubarak forced attacked with rocks, tear gas and even a camel cavalry charge. Journalists continued to broadcast despite assaults and the world watched as Egyptian soldiers occupied the square. But rather than fire on their own countrymen, they kept the two sides at bay until Mubarak finally stepped down on February 11.



See all of TIME.com's coverage of the Arab Spring.

In Second Life One Can Fly!

I'm listening to Veronica at XEUAG, the Guerrero Autonomous University radio station. She is working with my friend Edgar in Second Life. They asked her why she is using Second Life for her senior paper.

In Second Life I can Fly!

Beautiful answer; Edgar has connected with her imagination. He is a poet, and Infrarealist. He lived part of his youth with Roberto Bolaño. That must've been a Third Life!

You can follow this radio station in Spanish here.

15 Best Apps for Improving Your Health

The world is a hypercompetitive place. First, you have to get into a good college. Then you have to work for a solid GPA so that you can land a valuable internship, which will enable you to get a steady job when you graduate. During the process, as you get a little older and a little less resilient health-wise, the stress begins to take its toll, particularly if you're in the real world and starting a family — the time to start researching the most cost-effective life insurance policy. Even as time becomes scarcer, you shouldn't fail to eat properly and exercise consistently. Thankfully, there are plenty of health-related apps on your iPhone or Droid allowing you to monitor such things on the go, giving you the ability to live well.

  1. miCoach (free) : Adidas offers a personal coach to track your daily workout regimen. With miCoach, avid runners can utilize their phones' GPS systems to create maps of their jogging routes. A real-time coach speaks in your ear in order to pace your workout, motivating you to comply with your plan so that you can continue to build speed and endurance.
  2. Instant Heart Rate: Using the same technique as medical pulse oximeters, Instant Heart Rate uses color changes on your fingertip to make a determination. No external hardware is needed, and it's considered the most accurate heart rate monitor app in the marketplace.
  3. Daily Ab Workout (free): Trying to sculpt those abs? Daily Ab Workout provides a daily five-minute ab routine for both men and women, with 10 exercises designed to build every major abdominal muscle. It comes equipped with a timer and a video of a certified personal trainer demonstrating the routine.
  4. Hundred Push Ups (free): Push ups are a surefire way to strengthen your upper body. The seemingly elusive goal of achieving 100 consecutively is made more possible by Hundred Push Ups, which offers a six-week training program requiring just 30 minutes per week.
  5. Jefit (free): Organize and track your workouts with Jefit on Android. Choose different workouts, keep logs, chart your body stats, keep a progress photo album and much, much more.
  6. All-in Fitness: iPhone users who fancy themselves as gym rats can take it a step further with All-in Fitness. More than 1 million people worldwide have downloaded this app for the live support from professional coaches, calorie counter, body tracker, pedometer, music player, and most importantly, 700 video clips featuring exercises for men and women and yoga poses.
  7. Secrets of Staying Healthy: This app is pretty self-explanatory. As the name indicates, it provides secrets of staying healthy, offering fitness advice and health tips along with relevant medical statistics. It kind of acts as a handheld fitness counselor.
  8. MyFitnessPal calories counter (free): Set daily goals with the MyFitnessPal calories counter. Track your intake and how many calories you burn during exercise to ensure that you're maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. Boasting "the largest food database of any Android calorie counter," it has more than 750,000 foods, so you'll never miss a beat.
  9. Weight Journal: Maintain your diet with Weight Journal, which charts your weight history, tracks your BMI and shows you what it'll take to reach your goal. The compilation and presentation of data relating to your progress serves as excellent motivation.
  10. Fooducate Grocery Scanner (free): Finding the healthiest foods at the grocery store is made easy with the Fooducate Grocery Scanner. Simply scan the barcode of the item in question, view its rating, read about its positives and negatives and compare it to potentially healthier items. The app's food database contains more than 160,000 products.
  11. Quick Meal (free): Android users can instantly find quick and easy recipes for healthy meals with Quick Meal. In just 15 or 30 minutes, you can have a tasty dish prepared from one of the nine different categories. If it's good, you can save it for future use.
  12. Pocket Yoga: As with dieting, maintaining a consistent yoga routine can be a challenge given your sometimes hectic schedule. But with Pocket Yoga, you'll always have an instructor ready to visually and verbally lead you through 27 different sessions. Each practice is logged so that you can track your progress.
  13. White Noise: A healthy mind and body require ample amounts of sleep. White Noise provides 40 ambient sounds — including the ocean, a rainstorm and a running stream — that make relaxing easier and sleep come faster. A sound shutoff timer ensures it doesn't play through the night and multiple alarms ensure you won't sleep through the morning.
  14. Web MD (free): Working out and eating right will keep the doctor away, but unexpected health issues do occur, so it's convenient to have Web MD at your fingertips to check symptoms, learn about conditions, get drug and treatment information, find the proper first aid treatments, and find local health listings. Most unique: it can identify prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.
  15. Symptom MD: Punch in your problem and Symptom MD will tell you if you need help or how you can properly treat it yourself. If you have kids who regularly collect bumps and bruises, then Pediatric SymptomMD is sure to be useful as well.

Taken From Best Colleges Online

10 Most Masterful Movie Scores of All Time

Lists like this are almost impossible to assemble (and not just because they could easily transform into a list that's nothing but John Williams scores). There have been so many wonderful film scores since the medium began that picking just 10 -- heck, picking just 100 -- is a horrible challenge. Let's acknowledge up front these scores are masterful but that they're hardly the only ones worth writing about; rather, they're 10 great examples of just how important is music is to film, and of how an unforgettable score can turn a movie into a pop-cultural landmark. You're probably familiar with the lot of them, which is the whole point. These are the scores that have made indelible marks on all of us.

  1. The Godfather: Trivia: composer Nino Rota actually used some of the motifs from this score in earlier works, including 1958's Fortunella and 1960's La Dolce Vita. But it was the soundtrack to 1972's The Godfather that made them truly popular, even if the fact of their prior use made the gangster epic's score ineligible for an Oscar. The lush, romantic theme had a distinctly old-world feel to it that meshed perfectly with producer Robert Evans' desire to make a film with such an authentic feel that he could "smell the spaghetti." The score wafts in and out at key moments, perhaps no more perfectly than when it appears in the closing moments as Michael Corleone ascends to the role of godfather.

  2. The Last of the Mohicans: Composer Trevor Jones initially worked up an electronic score for Michael Mann's historical epic of adventure and romance, but the music was given an orchestral rewrite toward the end of production. As a result, Randy Edelman came in and scored a few scenes while Jones was overhauling the project, and the two received co-credit for the final result. The acclaimed, gorgeous score is fueled by sweeping strings that complement the fantastic scenery. One of the most recognizable scores of the 1990s.

  3. Star Wars: You can hear the fanfare in your head right now. It's impossible not to. Writer-director George Lucas had originally planned to set the film to a variety of classical pieces, but composer John Williams brought in an original sound that set the film apart from everything else while still paying tribute to earlier scores. (The opening theme leans heavily on the score for Kings Row, a 1942 film with music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold.) Williams' work throughout the original trilogy was blockbuster stuff, and the rousing trumpets, swelling strings, and all-around excitement make it one of the most memorable scores of the 20th century.

  4. Psycho: Bernard Herrmann scored some of Alfred Hitchcock's biggest films, including Vertigo and North by Northwest, but even against those classics, his work on Psycho stands out. Who out there doesn't know about the stinging strings used in the shower scene? That reference is so popular that more people have probably made jokes about it than have seen the actual movie. Herrmann's score uses nothing but strings to convey menace and suspense over the course of the film, and it's among the many breathtaking scores he contributed to Hitchcock's thrillers.

  5. Raiders of the Lost Ark: This is the second time John Williams shows up on this list, and it's no accident, either: he's that good. His music here is appropriately brassy and big, with softer moments for Marion and Indy's relationship, but the standout piece is the theme, "The Raiders March." The tune became so popular, and so instantly recognizable, that Williams used it in the rest of the films in the series. (Though not even Williams' score could save the train wreck that was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.) The score was nominated for an Oscar but lost to another big contender from 1981 that's next on our list.

  6. Chariots of Fire: Most of the scores on this list rely on a timeless, orchestral feel, but the soundtrack to 1981's Chariots of Fire used electronic sounds and synths to create an of-the-moment feel. Composed by Vangelis, who also scored Blade Runner, the score for Chariots of Fire gorgeously captures the film's spirit of determination and freedom, especially in the iconic theme used in some of the running sequences. This is the music that captured the Oscar over John Williams' Raiders of the Lost Ark, and you can see why it was such a tough choice.

  7. Back to the Future: Alan Silvestri's score feels a little like John Williams Lite, but in a good way. The music is smart and hooky, relying on a few key themes that are remixed and repeated throughout until they feel like theme songs for the hero. The score hits all the right buttons: it's exciting without being bombastic, and it's poppy without being forgettable. Plus it ran throughout the sequels, making it some of the most popular and memorable music from the 1980s.

  8. Chinatown: Chinatown is a noir filtered through the disillusionment of the 1970s, and its score from Jerry Goldsmith is at once lush and haunting. The main title is a love theme revolving around a lonely horn and sad strings meandering back and forth, summing up the film's attitude of doomed love and twisted destiny. The music makes the movie feel straight out of the 1940s.

  9. Halloween: The Halloween score is as much an achievement in economy as in composing. Working with a limited budget, writer-director John Carpenter composed the creepy, repetitive theme himself and even played it in part of the film's soundtrack. The main theme is a spooky track in 5/4 time that clips along relentlessly with just a few simple piano notes, but it conveys just the right tone of dread as the viewer is thrust into a modern horror classic that gave rise to the slasher genre.

  10. Batman: Tim Burton's big-screen Batman was a pop culture explosion that wouldn't be rivaled until Christopher Nolan released his own Batman flicks 20 years down the road. The 1989 feature was actually a musical double-threat, releasing a soundtrack with songs by Prince and a score album from composer Danny Elfman. The Prince contributions are, let's say, less than stellar. But Elfman's score was phenomenal, a pulsing, iconic work that fit the grim tone of the Dark Knight perfectly. The theme was later used in Batman: The Animated Series, as well.


Taken From Online Degree

10 Well-Known Politicians Who’ve Worked in Academia

Politicians, even though many of them seem incredibly dumb, actually have a lot to offer. Once they've reached the pinnacle of their careers and their ambition and thirst for power has subsided, many choose to settle into fulfilling careers in academia, where they can share their immense knowledge of the world to young, captive audiences on a regular basis. Of course, because they still maintain busy schedules, not all of them are in the classroom every semester, hence the phrasing "who've worked in academia." Nevertheless, each of the former politicians listed below is either currently teaching or has recently taught, continuing their missions to change the world.

  1. Jimmy Carter, former president — Emory: A year after he left the presidency, Carter founded the aptly named Carter Center at Emory University, becoming a University Distinguished Professor. According to its website, it's "guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering," seeking "to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health." Most notably, the Center has been credited with eliminating more than 99 percent of cases of Guinea Worm Disease and monitoring elections in 33 countries since 1989. For his post-presidential work, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
  2. Al Gore, former vice president — Middle Tennessee State, Columbia, UCLA, Fisk: Since the result of the 2000 election, Gore has occupied his unwanted free time by working at four universities. At Middle Tennessee State, home of The Gore Research Center, he's taught the interdisciplinary course "Community Building: A Comprehensive Family Centered Approach." At Columbia, he taught the non-credit seminar "Covering National Affairs in the Information Age" in the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, designed for students studying national affairs reporting. He's also lectured at UCLA and Fisk, the latter of which experienced a significant increase in freshman enrollment the year after he joined the faculty.
  3. Madeline Albright, former secretary of state — Georgetown: Before she became the first female secretary of state and thus, at the time, the highest ranking woman in U.S. history, Albright studied Eastern European studies, cultivating her interest in world cultures and politics. Born in Prague, she had a strong interest in issues relating to Eastern Europe, which is why she played an essential role in American policy during the Kosovo War and Bosnian War. After the Clinton administration ended its two-term run in 2001, she returned to her alma mater as Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy, a position perfectly suited for her.
  4. Alberto Gonzalez, former attorney general — Texas Tech, Angelo State, Houston: The first Hispanic attorney general in U.S. history, appointed during the Bush administration, returned to his home state in 2009 to work in Texas Tech's Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, with the purpose of recruiting underrepresented and first-generation students. Using an abundance of knowledge collected from his own experiences, he teaches "Contemporary Issues in the Executive Branch" in the Department of Political Science. A graduate of Rice University in political science and Harvard Law School, the native Houstonian served as adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center before joining Governor George Bush's staff in the '90s.
  5. Julian Bond, former chairman of the NAACP — Virginia, American, Drexel, Harvard: One of the nation's most accomplished civil rights leaders, Bond began serving as a Georgia congressman after the passage of major civil rights legislation in the mid-'60s. He eventually elevated to chairman of the NAACP in 1998 after spending much of the '80s and '90s teaching at the University of Virginia, American University, Drexel University and Harvard University. Naturally, given his advocacy of issues that have long affected the African-American community, he's extensively written about the history of the civil rights movement and African-American culture, subjects he teaches at the University of Virginia.
  6. Arlen Specter, former senator (Pennsylvania) — Penn Law: With a 30-year Senate career under his belt, the longest in Pennsylvania history, Specter will be venturing back into the field of law at 80 years of age. In fall 2011, he'll begin serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, teaching "a course on the relationship between Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on separation of powers and the confirmation process," according to the Penn Law website. The Yale Law School graduate operated his own law practice, Specter & Katz, before running for senate in 1965.
  7. Bob Kerrey, former governor and senator (Nebraska) — The New School: Kerrey's long, distinguished resume includes a Medal of Honor from the Vietnam War, operating several businesses, and serving as the 35th governor of Nebraska and two terms as a senator from Nebraska. Since he left politics in 2001, he's been entrenched in academia, serving as The New School's seventh president from 2001 to 2010, during which he increased enrollment almost 50 percent, doubled the faculty and raised more than $110 million. His effective leadership has earned him the title of President Emeritus, a distinction bestowed upon him by the board of trustees in January 2011.
  8. David Boren, former governor (Oklahoma) — Oklahoma: Excluding head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, Boren has pretty much occupied every significant position in the state, including governor, senator and currently, president of the University of Oklahoma. Always one to value education, he graduated from Yale in the top one percent of his class, was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, and earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Under his leadership, OU has completed or begun $1 billion in on-campus construction projects and has initiated 20 new programs, including the establishment of an honors college — credentials that are difficult to beat by anyone in academia.
  9. Major Owens, former congressman (Brooklyn) — CUNY: As a representative of central Brooklyn from 1983 to 2007, Owens advocated issues important to progressives and the middle class. Unlike your typical stodgy politician, he never hesitated to express himself in an unorthodox manner, even composing rap songs in order to connect with younger, more urban demographics. It hasn't been documented whether or not he has used that communication method during lectures for the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy at The City University of New York, but, as you might imagine, it would be a welcome change from the average sleep-inducing classroom environment.
  10. Jose Maria Aznar, former prime minister of Spain — Georgetown: From the time he left office in 2004 to May 2011, Aznar served the role of Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown, teaching a course on political leadership and two seminars per semester in contemporary European politics and trans-Atlantic relationships. During his two terms as prime minister of Spain, the country's economy grew rapidly after the Euro was introduced, and he maintained a close relationship with the U.S., controversially supporting Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Taken From Online Certificate Programs

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