The people of India’s northeastern states face discrimination in other parts of the country, which has been known to turn deadly. Even when it doesn’t, the effects can make life almost unbearable for them.
Nido Taniam, from India’s northeastern state Arunachal Pradesh, was a student of Lovely Professional University in Punjab. He was on holiday in Delhi when he stopped at Lajpat Nagar market to ask for directions on January 30. Shopkeepers thrashed him and next day he died of injuries.
The death spurred outrage and widespread protests against continued racial attacks on those with Chinese looks.
"This is no random hooliganism. It is racism because we look physically different," Binalakshami Nepram, an activist, told DW. For years, people from the northeast have complained about racist slurs, jokes, assaults on the streets and harassments by landlords and employers.
By far and away the greatest name for a university of all time.
Proof this isn’t a joke.
Remote Scottish island runs on green ‘Eiggtricity’, dw.de
The Scottish island of Eigg is one of the world’s first islands to power itself exclusively with renewable energy. Locals say the change has boosted their quality of life, and that their energy bills are dropping.
Can mini scorpions save the dying bee?, dw.de
Many scientists believe that the varroa mite is one of the main causes for the recent mass deaths of bee populations around the world, a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The varroa is a small parasite, also known as the vampire mite. It sucks blood from bees and their larvae. In doing so, it transports bacteria, fungus and pathogens to the bees.
Experts estimate that Central Europe now has twenty-five percent fewer bees in comparison to thirty years ago, while in the US populations have declined by around a third.
Bees are important for maintaining biodiversity, especially in their role pollinating flowering crops. Losing them could result in a shortage of fruit and vegetables as well as threaten crops that are important for feeding livestock, such as alfalfa for instance.
Up until now, beekeepers have used chemicals such as formic acid in their fight against the varroa mite. But Torben Schiffer believes that the chemicals harm the bees themselves.
Watching the book scorpions at work through a microscope is like observing a gruesome battle. The animals quickly approach the varroa mites, grab them with their large pincers and paralyse them with poison. They then drain their prey with their mandibles while already creeping towards their next victim at the same time.
Back in 1951 the Austrian zoologist, Max Beier, documented symbiotic relationships between bees and book scorpions from which both organisms would benefit. The bees are cleaned of parasites while the book scorpions have plenty to feed on. Nowadays however, few beekeepers know about the small brown animals.
Torben Schiffer believes that the arachnids were driven out by chemicals originally designed to fight varroa mites. Another problem, he believes, is that many beekeepers use beehives made from plastic, which don’t provide a suitable habitat. “You’ve got to have wooden hives in order to have a micro-fauna,” Schiffer told DW. “The babies of the book scorpions need to have very small prey animals and they are found in natural materials like wood or hay.”
However, some experts view Schiffer’s findings with scepticism. They question whether book scorpions really are a viable answer to the varroa problem. “It’s very impressive to see how the book scorpion attacks varroa mites under lab conditions”, said Peter Rosenkranz, an expert on the varroa mite at the University of Hohenheim. “But in order to make a real impact, it won’t be sufficient to kill off a few individual mites.” Between spring and autumn varroa mite populations can grow by a factor of fifty or more, Rosenkranz explains.
"The mites have to be put under permanent pressure," he told DW. "Based on the existing data, I doubt that book scorpions would be able to do this."
According to Peter Rosenkranz, independent scientific research on the book scorpion is needed to determine its effectiveness against varroa infestations.
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA) - Resource for Crime Writers
REBLOGGING THIS FOR ABSOLUTELY LEGAL AND NON-CREEPY REASONS
Coming soon to a scaremongering tabloid headline near you…. The Y10K Problem.
The Year 10,000 problem (also known as the Y10K problem or the deca-millennium bug) is the class of all potential software bugs that would emerge when the need to express years with five digits arises. (Wikipedia)
Fortunately, Brian Eno, (yes, that one) and some of his mates are charging to the rescue. They’ve set up the Long Now Foundation to make sure mankind is ready.
The Long Now Foundation, established in ‘01996’, is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in San Francisco that seeks to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. It aims to provide a counterpoint to what it views as today’s “faster/cheaper” mindset and to promote “slower/better” thinking. The Long Now Foundation hopes to “creatively foster responsibility” in the framework of the next 10,000 years, and so uses 5-digit dates to address the Year 10,000 problem (e.g., by writing “02014” rather than “2014”).
I think I need to set up ‘The Even Longer Now Foundation’ to combat the very worrying Y100K problem.
But I’ll let the Y1M Problem slide for now though. That’s aaaages away.
With the heartbleed bug forcing us to change many of of our passwords, I think it’s appropriate to bring back this comic.
Yes!! Hate the standard sheep rules of enforcing 8 digits including caps, numbers and punctuation.
Passphrases are so much better. Some easily memorable suggestions off the top of my head:
- magpie novel trapdoor block
- funny table horrible sweetcorn
- make blanka scrabble guru
- red llama punched cubans
- maps hungry at royal anger
(Blue lines are coastilnes according to the Portolan chart, red lines are actual coastlines.)
Portolan Charts ‘Too Accurate’ to be Medieval, Strange Maps (Big Think)
Portolan charts, it was always assumed, were compiled by medieval European mapmakers from contemporary sources. A Dutch doctoral dissertation now disproves this: these nautical charts are impossibly accurate, not just for medieval Europe, also for other likely sources, the Byzantines and the Arabs. So who made them – and when?
Mystery has always shrouded the sudden emergence, seemingly ex nihilo, of portolan charts. The oldest known example emerged in Pisa around 1290, without any obvious antecedents. This Carta Pisana kickstarted a tradition of amazingly accurate sea charts almost up to modern standards, although as with most other portolans, that accuracy was mainly limited to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
A typical portolan chart showed coastal contours and the location of harbours and ports, ignoring virtually all inland features. It would be criss-crossed by straight lines, connecting opposite shores by any of the 32 directions of the mariner’s compass, thus facilitating navigation.
After popping up in Italy, portolans became coveted possessions in the seafaring nations of Spain and Portugal, where they ranked as state secrets.
Little or nothing is known of their origins and production, so the working hypothesis among cartographic historians was that portolans were somehow gathered together from the knowledge of medieval European sailors, possibly enhanced with older knowledge from Byzantine or Arab sources.
That hypothesis has now been disproven by Roelof Nicolai, a Dutch geodetic scientist who on 3 March obtained his doctorate degree from Utrecht University for a dissertation titled A Critical Review of the Hypothesis of a Medieval Origin for Portolan Charts.
In it, Nicolai puts forth the theory that portolan charts were made using techniques that were not at all available to medieval Europeans. So they must have copied them from unknown older sources – in all likelihood while failing to grasp how accurate those maps really were.
Nicolai demonstrates that portolans achieved their accuracy by using what seems like an early version of the Mercator Projection – almost three centuries early. Only in 1569 would the Flemish cartographer introduce his mathematical method of projecting spherical data onto a flat surface that would prove crucial to navigation (straight lines on the map equal straight lines at sea).
So who was the producer of this anachronistic accuracy? Nicolai only points to the likely source of the maps: Constantinople. “But it is highly unlikely that they were produced there as well. As far as we can tell, the Byzantines really didn’t add much to the scientific knowledge inherited from the Classical Age. They only acted as a repository for ancient Greek and Arabic knowledge. And why would the Byzantines even try to chart English and French coastlines? Those were way beyond their sphere of interest”.
Could portolans have an Arabic background? After all, the Arabs were keen astronomers and navigators, giving us the nautical rank of admiral (from ‘Amir al Bahr’, ruler of the sea). But Nicolai contends the accuracy of the portolans transcends the Arabs’ navigational ability of the time. And what we know of Roman and Greek scientific knowledge, for that matter.
“Perhaps we should re-evaluate what we think was the state of science in Antiquity”, says Nicolai. “As long as this doesn’t generate any speculation on so-called lost civilisations. As far as these portolans are concerned, we’ll just have to think our way back step by step”.
Read the full article here: Portolan Charts ‘Too Accurate’ to be Medieval
Small animals such as squirrels and mice will eat the shed antlers of deer because they are rich in minerals such as calcium.
I have published several articles about how we need to find more intelligent solutions to payments online. In the physical world, it is a simple as just handing over some pieces of paper, or just swiping a credit card. But online we are faced with overly complicated checkout pages, with so many steps that one would think companies tried to stop people from buying.
Lots of interesting entrepreneurial possibilities open up if we can crack this.
London from space at night.
Amazing how the Thames and M25 stand out.
This is a long read, as they say, but pretty thoughtful and compelling to followers of this Tumblr, I suspect. It asks, in essence, if the problem we face “is not that [we] value material things too much – but that [we don’t] truly value them enough?”The challenge is to cherish our possessions enough to care about where they came from, who made them, what will happen to them in the future In recent years, a range of voices from science, philosophy, political activism and the arts have begun to suggest exactly that, coalescing into a movement that can ground us ever more mindfully in the material world. The ‘new materialism’, as it was dubbed in a report by the New Economics Foundation in 2012, challenges us to love our possessions not less but more – to cherish them enough to care about where they came from, who made them, what will happen to them in the future.
Really worth the read.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at a court ruling overturning his government’s ban on Twitter. Meanwhile, a separate court has issued a similar verdict against a block of YouTube.
Good to see the Turkish courts standing up to Erdogan. This is a big decade for Turkey - they’re in a (perennially) interesting position located where they are, and economically they’re bouncing along very nicely.
I just hope they don’t miss their opportunity and lapse into being just another bullying autocracy. The Turks should boot this guy out as soon as they can.