Tag Archives: journal

The most travelled man on Earth…ever – Gunther Holtorf’s 23-year journey

This is an amazing journey Across Africa, Asia, South/North America, including North Korea and Cuba!

Watch it, you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going. - BBC News

The recession hits Harvard…with interesting changes – more money to undergrads, less to books

Harvard isn’t belt-tightening everywhere. Since 2007, its investment in financial aid to undergraduates has risen by more than 78%, which Harvard said is “significantly outpacing increases in tuition.” Undergraduate tuition for the 2012-13 year climbed 3.5% to $54,496.

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As it looks to economize, Harvard has turned some of its attention toward the more than $160 million it spends each year on its nearly 375 year-old library system, which holds 17 million volumes, and includes 73 separate libraries. Widener, the flagship library, alone has 57 miles of shelving.

Harvard is also changing its philosophy on owning books. The goal: Provide access to them rather than collecting each one, which can lead to costs for storage and preservation, a 2009 Harvard task-force report said. The library will extend partnerships to borrow from other libraries, and further digitize its own collection so it can share with others.

The university is finding it “increasingly painful” to manage academic-journal subscriptions, which annually cost it about $3.75 million, Harvard Provost Alan Garber said.

In a move watched throughout academia, Harvard in April urged its faculty members to publish in open-access journals. “Move the prestige to open access,” a memo said.

 

Keep reading: Wall Street Journal - Economy Tests Harvard

 

 

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White abalone going extinct under current program

Scientists from the federal fisheries lab in La Jolla have reported a serious decline of white abalone along the San Diego coastline, confirming some of the worst fears about the species as it slides toward extinction.

“In the absence of fishing, we hoped to see the population stabilize or increase,” said Kevin Stierhoff, a biologist at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and lead author of a new article in the journal Biological Conservation. “However, our latest assessment using data collected in 2008 and 2010 indicates that the white abalone population has continued to decline by approximately 78 percent over the last ten years.”

In 2001, white abalone became the first marine invertebrate listed under the Endangered Species Act. The mollusk was once abundant off the coasts of Baja and Southern California, thriving in waters 15 to 200 feet deep.

“The continuing decline 30 years after the last major commercial harvest demonstrates that the strategy of benign neglect, or allowing the population to recover without intervention, has clearly failed,” the research study said.

 

Keep reading: U-T San Diego - White abalone slide toward extinction

 

 

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Our brains can brake a car faster than our feet

If you’ve ever had to slam on the brakes to prevent an accident, you know that the time it takes to get your foot to that pedal can seem like an eternity. Now, German researchers aim to cut that reaction time by getting drivers’ brain waves to help stop the car. Their findings appear in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

When you’re behind the wheel, or doing anything physical, your brain knows what it wants you to do before your body swings into action. Most times, this minor delay between thinking and doing is no big deal. But when you’re moving at 60 miles an hour and the car in front of you stops short, every fraction of a second counts.

Researchers recorded how quickly volunteers reacted when the lead vehicle in a driving simulator suddenly hit the brakes. Sensors monitored the subjects’ brain activity. Turns out drivers knew they needed to slow down more than a tenth of a second before they tap the brakes.

That might not seem like much, but if cars could read minds, they could stop 12 feet sooner at highway speeds. Which could mean the difference between a scare and a smash.

Listen to the podcast version of this storyBrain Brakes Car Faster Than Foot

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Life Expectancy rises 0.9 years for whites, 2 years for blacks

A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, based on data from 2008, shows a few interesting changes.

  • African-americans are catching up in terms of long life, though still behind.
  • Both white men and women increased their average life expectancy by 0.9 years.
  • African-american men increased theirs by 2 years and women by 1.8 years.

See the graph below.

 

 

The strange thing for me (a white male), in that 5 year period my own life expectancy rose nearly a year. If that continues, doing a little math, I can expect to live for 85-87 years (on average). That’s pretty cool.

 

More info - Life expectancy gap narrows between blacks, whites

An angry math blog sparked a scientific revolution

It began with a frustrated blogpost by a distinguished mathematician. Tim Gowers and his colleagues had been grumbling among themselves for several years about the rising costs of academic journals.

They, like many other academics, were upset that the work produced by their peers, and funded largely by taxpayers, sat behind the paywalls of private publishing houses that charged UK universities hundreds of millions of pounds a year for the privilege of access.

So, in January this year, Gowers wrote an article on his blog declaring that he would henceforth decline to submit to or review papers for any academic journal published by Elsevier, the largest publisher of scientific journals in the world.

He was not expecting what happened next. Thousands of people read the post and hundreds left supportive comments. Within a day, one of his readers had set up a website, The Cost of Knowledge, which allowed academics to register their protest against Elsevier.

The site now has almost 9,000 signatories, all of whom have committed themselves to refuse to either peer review, submit to or undertake editorial work for Elsevier journals. “I wasn’t expecting it to make such a splash,” says Gowers. “At first I was taken aback by how quickly this thing blew up.”

keep readingAcademic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution

Since the recession began in 2006 – blogging has exploded, growing 500%

Do you ever wonder how many millions of people, before the days of the internet, kept journals?

Do you think the numbers would compare to the millions who are now blogging, tweeting, and social networking…

On to the real story:

Millions More Bloggers and Blog Readers

Here is another interesting fact about the recession. Since it began in 2006, the number of blogs in the world has risen from 36 million to 173 million. That is a near 5x growth.

Do you think that has any relation the recession or is just a correlation?

That same data shows that 2x as many people blog on social networks as compared to traditional blog websites. So perhaps the rapid growth is due to the rise of social networks?

Ah, well the data shows that the majority of bloggers are women, half of whom are moms. Another 20% of bloggers are fathers. Something about parenting drives a person to blog…

More stats at neilsenwire