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

 

 

Continue reading White abalone going extinct under current program

Congress orders FAA to integrate drones into the U.S. aviation system

As the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prepares to let civilian unmanned aircraft operate in domestic airspace, universities including Embry-Riddle have created majors in flying and building drones. Enrollment is accelerating as students look for new opportunities in an aviation job market pummeled by airline bankruptcies.

The drone industry, estimated worldwide at $5.9 billion annually, will expand to $11.3 billion by 2021.

During the past 10 years, drones have become a vital military tool in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a platform to attack terrorists without risking pilots’ lives and giving ground troops a chance to see their opponents from the air.

Congress passed bills in December and February that ordered the FAA to create six test sites for flying unmanned aircraft alongside regular planes. The agency must also complete a plan for integrating unmanned flights into the aviation system by Sept. 30, 2015.

Unmanned aircraft could be used for photography, police surveillance and monitoring pipelines and power lines. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has special permission to use drones.

more at – Bloomberg

 

Here are a selection of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), used by the military. I suspect the first to be employed privately will be the helicopters for police surveillance.

A BQM-74E aerial drone is launched from the guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) during a live-fire exercise.
Global Hawk Drone.
First flown in 2002, the Boeing X-45A was the first modern UAV designed specifically for combat strike missions. The stealthy, swept-wing jet has fully retractable landing gear and a composite, fiber-reinforced epoxy skin. Its fuselage houses two internal weapons bays.
The U.S. Navy's Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) launches into its flight test program.
A Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is being attended to by three soldiers at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
A Northrop Grumman RQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) System.

 

// Photos – An Honorable German, Rennett Stowe, Cliff1066, Marion Doss, US Army Africa, & Marion Doss

// Thx to Kosso K

All of Major League Baseball is now on Pinterest

Despite its reputation as a female-dominated social network — or perhaps because of that? — every team in Major League Baseball is now actively using Pinterest.

All 30 MLB teams also have official pages on Google+ and officials blogs on Tumblr. And the league itself also has an official presence on all three social networks.

 

 

The league and all of its teams have already been active on Facebook and Twitter for some time now, but only recently expanded its collective social media footprint to Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr.

Some teams are already doing well for themselves on Pinterest. As I type this, the Milwaukee Brewers have attracted the biggest audience with its 906 followers. The team also has a substantial profile that currently counts 18 different boards.

via Marketing Land

 
And, my team, the Angels, has a not-too-shabby 131 followers with some great photos:

The college dropout bubble

Did you know that every year $4 billion is lost due to college dropouts?

The number comes from lost income and compounds every year with new dropouts adding to the roll call. It’s an interesting statistic that highlights a problem in education.

One that I call the college dropout bubble, but unlike most bubbles this works backwards. It’s a negative bubble:

Positive bubble – trade in which products are at inflated values.

Negative bubble – trade in which products are at deflated values.

I propose that a college education in this country has a deflated value. To the vast majority of Americans it just isn’t worth it. We can get 87% of our multi-lingual/racial/cultural people to get a high school education but, when it comes to college degrees we are at 39%.

There are more college dropouts (17%) than high school dropouts (13%)!!

That is a definitely a negative bubble and is probably impossible to explain. One could say it’s due to the skyrocketing costs of college, or just blame the cool kids for shunning school.

I do have a few topics that really annoy me and one happy-positive solution.

There are a ridiculous amount of students picking “catch-all” majors like business, history, and health. The vast majority of which are only doing so to check the box, “got a college degree…now I should go figure out what I want to do.”

Another issue is the “point the finger” problem in education. Where everyone blames everyone else for our losing ways. Even the movie Waiting For Superman spreads it around liberally. Of course, we usually skip over the parents as if they play a role in getting a kid into and through college.

Then there is billionaire investor Peter Thiel offering $100,000 for students under the age of 20 to dropout. His rationale being that the cost of college is in a bubble (a positive one). An interesting argument until you realize that he is talking about exclusive Ivy-League and other private schools that cost $50,000 a year. As if they haven’t ever been over-priced…

For the record the average tuition at public schools is $7,600 and at private schools is $38,700.

This by no means covers all the issues and I bet my readers have many of their own.

For a solution I think we should go old-school. Pick up something that has been lost in our reverence for money and unhappiness, a hobby.

It’s easy to explain, ironically, by looking at America’s two most successful dropouts: Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Both have a hidden truth. Before they achieved instant wealth they were nerds in high school. I know very revealing, but it’s true and they spent an absurd amount of time playing with computers.

What’s the difference between us and them. Well, when high school hit we all dropped our hobbies for chasing girls/boys and lots of drinking. Few of us were successful with the opposite sex, though, we like to think we did better than Bill and Mark.

I hope that one day our youth (aka my future children), are able to drink less and tinker more. Pick up some nerdy, DIY hobby and run with it. Like the other day I saw a fellow on the beach testing out a remote control surfer robot, future billionaire…

It comes down to..

spending your weekends at a comic convention

Or..

spending weekends working on the Jager

Photos by

bubble – HKD

comics – Kevin Dooley

jager – GadgetBubba

Do young Americans want to work?

As in, get a job?

Despite all the haranguing on our economy and jobs market, why aren’t we talking more about the massive labor imbalance in our country?

A recent Rutgers University survey of 571 Americans who graduated from college between 2006 and 2010 found that only 53% held full-time jobs. And yet, it’s not hard to understand why. In 2009, of the 1,601,000 bachelor’s degrees conferred, the greatest numbers fell into the fields of business (348,000); social sciences and history (169,000) and health sciences (120,000).

I had to look up health science and found this description:

The health sciences are concerned with the development of knowledge and programs related to health and well being. Health science is also concerned with the study of leisure and cultural phenomena.

And just so we’re all on the same page, social sciences include: anthropology, archaeology, communication, criminology, political science, sociology and psychology.

I’m going to refrain from commenting on the social and health science and history majors and instead take a moment to focus on business majors. You would think having a prevalence of business majors would be a positive for our economy, but we first need people who can actually make something before we need the people to market, sell and manage it.

We are missing the makers (engineers and scientists), the people who have the skills and knowledge to create something.

The fact is, there are jobs in this country. According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over three million job opportunities are unfilled in the United States right now, the highest level in three years. And yet, in that same period we have produced the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen in over two decades.

I was at my alma mater (James Madison University) a few months ago and caught up with a former professor in the college of Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) ; she told me that enrollment numbers in ISAT were the lowest they’ve ever been, even though these students are the most desirable and in demand by employers. Given the current economy and jobs market, I was a little shocked.

I’ll be honest here and say that when I was 17, college and majors didn’t consume my thoughts nearly as much as boys and field hockey. I went to JMU because it had the best field hockey program in the country. And my parents essentially chose my major for me. I was pretty ambivalent about what I wanted to do. There was lots that interested me (minus Accounting). At one point it was Law, another time English, I even considered Business. But my parents reasoned that I was good at math and science and the world needed more women in STEM, so I said sure, why not.

When I graduated, I had 15 job offers. Looking back, I’m certain my collegiate experience would have been a lot easier if I majored in something that didn’t require me to spend so much time in computer and science labs, but in this tech-centric day and age, I’m glad I left knowing how to program and build a website, amongst other things.

How many young Americans today think about employability? If you look at the degrees that are most likely to land a person a job, there seems to be a disconnect with the majors students are pursuing the most. Case in point,  in 2009, degrees in “parks, recreation, and leisure studies” saw a 43 percent increase. Yep, the things with budgets first to get cut in a recession are what students are flocking to.

I’m not saying people should neglect their true callings in life. In fact, I think the world benefits the most from the people who vigorously pursue their passions, including social psychology majors (who have the highest unemployability rate). But for those who aren’t so sure what path to pursue, wouldn’t it make sense to take a look around, at the state of the country, and consider majoring in something employable?

Incidentally, it seems the United States isn’t alone in its labor gap. A recent report from the British Chambers of Commerce reveals small businesses are frustrated at the quality of applicants, who they say can barely concentrate or add up. The report warns: ‘Too many people [are] coming out with fairly useless degrees in non-serious subjects.’

What’s a major worth?

Despite PayPal co-founder, Facebook funder, and venture capitalist Peter Thiel telling us we’re in an education bubble, a recent study and report by Georgetown University may suggest otherwise, with the bubble existing for only certain majors.

The Center on Education and the Workforce What’s It Worth report analyzes 171 majors in 15 categories. It tracks earnings by majors and provides key break-outs on questions of race and gender.

One key finding shows a 50% median salary difference for those obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree (Engineering, Computer Science, etc) versus a Bachelor of Arts degree (Humanities, Fine Arts, Psychology), with the former providing the highest median earnings.

The top 3 majors with the highest median earnings are: Petroleum Engineer ($120,000), Pharmacy/pharmaceutical Sciences ($105,000); Mathematics and Computer Sciences ($98,000). Lowest median salary majors include:  Counseling/Psychology ($29,000); Early Childhood Education ($36,000); Human Services and Community Organizations ($38,000); Social Work ($39,000).

Select findings can be found at: http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/whatsitworth-select.pdf

 

What's a major worth?

Despite PayPal co-founder, Facebook funder, and venture capitalist Peter Thiel telling us we’re in an education bubble, a recent study and report by Georgetown University may suggest otherwise, with the bubble existing for only certain majors.

The Center on Education and the Workforce What’s It Worth report analyzes 171 majors in 15 categories. It tracks earnings by majors and provides key break-outs on questions of race and gender.

One key finding shows a 50% median salary difference for those obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree (Engineering, Computer Science, etc) versus a Bachelor of Arts degree (Humanities, Fine Arts, Psychology), with the former providing the highest median earnings.

The top 3 majors with the highest median earnings are: Petroleum Engineer ($120,000), Pharmacy/pharmaceutical Sciences ($105,000); Mathematics and Computer Sciences ($98,000). Lowest median salary majors include:  Counseling/Psychology ($29,000); Early Childhood Education ($36,000); Human Services and Community Organizations ($38,000); Social Work ($39,000).

Select findings can be found at: http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/whatsitworth-select.pdf