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Friday, July 20, 2007

Missing Bees Mystery Solved? Asian Parasite Is Killing Western Bees

Look who's here again!!!Our disappearing honey bees. A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.

read more | digg story

New Media

The Economist interviews eminent voices on the emergence of new media such as blogs, wikis, and youtube.

  • The Long Tail - Chris Anderson April 20th 2006
    “When the tools are spread ubiquitously, talent will rise out, luck will rise out, and being in the right place at the right time will rise out, and suddenly you will see the content just emerging whether it meant to or not.”

    David Sifry, Technorati
    April 20th 2006
    “The people formerly known as your audience, or the people formerly known as consumers, are now participants in the process of building your brand.”

    Jerry Michalcki on Wikis April 20th 2006
    “Companies are tantalized by the prospects of blogs and wikis, terrified by the risks and potential negative outcomes of doing it wrong.”

    Paul Saffo on Blogs April 20th 2006
    “This is an age of electronic incunabula... It's a capital 'R' revolution.This is an age of electronic incunabula... It's a capital 'R' revolution.”

    Andreas Kluth, Intro April 20th 2006
    “In the participatory era, media will no longer be delivered one way from a media company to an audience...but by audience members to other audience members. The distinction between content creators and consuming audiences first gets blurry and then disappears completely...Instead of media being delivered as a sermon or lecture, it becomes a conversation among the people in the audience”

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Again on bees.

I've already written about disappearing honeybees, and possible causes for the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), prompted by articles in the NYTimes.

Now, there's a new one, where expert entomologists suggest that the whole thing may have been a little bit over-hyped.

  • What some scientists say is missing from the debate is historical context. “Every time there are these disappearances, the ills of the moment tend to be held accountable,” said May Berenbaum, who heads the entomology department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and led a National Academy of Sciences review of the status of North American bees and other pollinators that was published last year.

    “In the ’60s it was synthetic organic insecticides,” Dr. Berenbaum said. “In the ’70s it was Africanized bee genes. In the 19th century, there is a wonderful report about this resulting from a lack of moral fiber. Weak character was why they weren’t returning to the hives.”

The last bit is hilarious, yet it explain very well how scientist are normal people, and tend to involuntarily project their own prejudices upon the subject of study. Although I am still amused at the idea that someone may attribute moral fibre (or lack thereof) to bees or caterpillars.


here's a nice neologism, coined to define people who obsess about celebrities in the media.

I am not quite sure whether it's the merge of news and erotica, or neurotics (does this last one even exists in English? the spell checker doesn't seem to mind it).

Oh yes, credit where it's due, I came across it while Looming (that is, browsing The Loom). I will get back on the Oxford University Press blog again (and again and again and again), to discover some more about how words are selected to enter the dictionaries. I wonder if the process is different depending on the languages, with more structured languages taking more time to "accept" neologisms. And what about ideographic languages? If I am not mistaken there's many ways a gliph can be read aloud. so may be neologisms are easier to invent and harder to detect there, as long as you look only in written media.

intriguing... and googling for pictures of ideograms, I found something new by chance (from PubMed/Medline):

Jpn J Psychiatry Neurol. 1989 Jun;43(2):137-42.Related Articles, Links

Schizophrenic neologism versus aphasic neologism: characteristics in writings of Japanese schizophrenic patients.

Moriyama N, Nakao H.

Yahata Kosei Hospital, Kitakyushu, Japan.

Three cases of schizophrenia with ideographic neologisms in Japanese are presented and compared with aphasic neologisms reported in Japanese literature. Schizophrenic neologisms are different from aphasic neologisms in nature. The contrast becomes obvious when both are compared in Japanese writing based on the dual writing system of kanji (Chinese characters, ideogram) and kana (phonetic characters, syllabogram).

Publication Types:
PMID: 2477575 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ten thousands!!!

Expected number of hits in some minutes (I'm right now at 9999).

Surprisingly, it's taken much less than I expected.

Virtue of cross-linking with some of the bloggers in my roll, I believe, not certainly because of what I write.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for coming around.

this statement wouldn't be funny, if it weren't for irony

thanks to XKCD

and one more comic to laugh your brain out (if you have no brain, you won't catch it)

How do Creationists see hominid fossils?

It's what laelaps wonders about. I thought they just discarded them as more or less deformed humans - or apes, in the one we (erroneously) believe more 'primitives'.

Ugly animals have their place too.

So, go and have a look at many of them.

I am inserting this blog in my roll.


They're here already...

This cicada is even more impressive.

with my regards to those who took the pictures.

I apologize

for not posting more.

I'm back from conferencing round Europe, but work is heavy, and free-time at home is spent mostly setting up pieces of furniture and stuff. The little left is for my lady. And sometimes to sleep before the next day.

I'm reading a nice book (The Swarm) during commute time, when I am not trying to catch up with my PK studies and such. It's about the sea inhabitants (whales, jellyfishes, even worms and bacteria) rioting and getting rid of humans. It reads heavy and documentary, at times, and characters are a tad stereotypical, but what the hell, it's a good read. Although after three hunded pages still we have no clue on what is going on and the plot is getting stuck. We know some alien intelligence lurks in the darkness at the bottom of the oceans, but we are not even hinted about their nature or the scope of their actions. It gets kind of boring after a while. Science Fiction fans want to understand the alien, most of all. Not to watch it while it smashes to pieces human civilisation.

Interesting stuff though, especially in the technical bits. I didn't know there was so much methane in the oceans, or that there were plans to extract it (how naive am I?). Nor about the complex ecosystems living off it.

Clever Frog Uses Leaf as an Umbrella

probably fake, but very funny!!!

read more | digg story

Monday, July 16, 2007

Best Car Ad Ever?

Saw it when I was still in the UK.

Captn Slow!!!

Captain Slow has its own show