Huge Raven Pair Chilling
I used to think crows and ravens were the same thing - and then I saw a raven. These things are SO big.
(San Francisco, California - 7/2014)
Ike Signs the NASA Act -
Today in History
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Woot!
President Eisenhower Presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T. Keith Glennan as the first administrator for NASA and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator. Courtesty of NASA.
Cape Cod Canal Centennial!
The Cape Cod Canal first opened to limited traffic 100 years ago on July 29, 1914. Located at the base of Cape Cod where it joins the Massachusetts mainland, the canal runs 17.5 miles from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay and enables nautical traffic to cut at least 65 miles off the trip around the hazardous outer shore of the Cape.
Find more photos and records on the Cape Cod Canal →
Follow the National Archives at Boston on Facebook for more posts celebrating the Cape Cod Canal centennial!
look at these things
they’re like tiny
but instead of breathing fire they squeak and cuddle
and they have funny ears and noses
I mean really
bats are amazing
In the fifth picture, the bats have White-nose Syndrome. If you’d like to learn more about this disease decimating North American bat populations, check out these links:
In addition to being adorable, bats are critical in maintaining cave ecosystems, which house many other threatened species. They save the U.S. agricultural industry approximately 4 billion dollars in pest control every year, and reduce the need for toxic pesticides. In rainforests, these animals are important pollinators and seed dispersal agents that keep the forest regenerating.
If you want to help bats, read up about them, educate others, volunteer for bat organizations, or donate money to great charities like Bat Conservation International.
I hope everyone comes to love bats as much as I do!
Tropical Asian birds have a penchant for red and black—a proclivity that likely prompted jungle plants to sprout fruit in these colours, scientists said on Thursday. It has long been suspected that an abundance of red and black fleshy fruits in nature was partly inspired by a pigment preference of the keen-eyed birds that eat them and spread the seeds.
A team in China decided to test the theory by determining once and for all whether birds do have colour favourites. To eliminate possibly confounding influences of smell, shape or taste, the team manufactured artificial fruits from a mixture of apple, pear, banana, wheat and corn flour rolled into small balls and dyed black, red, yellow, green or blue using tasteless food colouring. They then put the fruit balls in front of different species of bulbul and barbet birds native to tropical Xishuangbanna in southwest China.
The birds, both wild-caught and hand-reared, were left to choose for themselves what they wanted to eat. All favoured red fruit, followed by black, the scientists found, and all avoided green ones, whose seeds in nature are generally dispersed by insects and other non-avian animals. The results were similar in experiments with real fruit.
"The preferences were constant over time, supporting the hypothesis that bird colour preferences are a contributing factor driving fruit colour evolution in tropical Asia," the team wrote in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.
Differences between male and female skulls.
Some of this stuff overlaps into ancestry as well but it’s a good quick guide
In GENERAL, males have more pronounced, robust cranial features. It is important to remember that there is a lot of overlap in reality, and many skulls are ambiguous or have a percentage of uncertainty!
Note also that the image shows the two skulls from slightly different angles (and possibly different lighting) that emphasize certain features more in one than the other.
View of Toledo by El Greco.
El Greco cultivated other genres more rarely…. His two landscapes, View of Toledo (c. 1610; New York, Met.) and View and Plan of Toledo (Toledo, Casa & Mus. El Greco), are also late works of c. 1610. In these El Greco is preoccupied with the means of representing what is perceived as well as an emblematic sense of the urban landscape and a zenithal projection of the city, a combination that was advanced in the representation of urban topography. It is possible that in Toledo and Madrid these works influenced interest in still-life and in landscape, genres that had, almost exclusively, been orientated towards a naturalistic type of formal structure.
From 'Greco, El [Theotokopoulos, Domenikos [Dominico; Dominikos; Menegos]]' in Grove Art Online on Oxford Art Online.
We’re examining inspiring landscapes this July on the Oxford Academic Tumblr.
Image credit: View of Toledo. El Greco. c.1599. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Public domain via WikiArt.
This weekend, Vice discovered an unusual, additional role for two FISC judges—stakeholder. According to 2013 financial disclosures obtained by the website, FISC Judge Susan Wright and FISC Judge Dennis Saylor each owned Verizon stock. Wright purchased (Scribd) $15,000 or less on October 22 and Saylor collected (Scribd) less than $1,000 from his stock in 2013. (As Vice notes, “the precise amount and value of each investment is unclear—like many government ethics disclosures, including those for federal lawmakers, investments amounts are revealed within certain ranges of value.)
There is an ethics law for federal judges that, among other things, requires judges to avoid cases where they have a financial stake or where they may act in bias. This scenario isn’t quite that clear-cut. While FISC absolutely ruled on situations involving Verizon, Vice points out FISC proceedings are ex parte. Telecoms may absolutely have a stake in these FISC rulings, but they aren’t an active party for the NSA requests FISC rules on.
The website pointed out that FISC judges in the past have also owned telecom stock, though Verizon is the only named telecom in the NSA leaks to comply so far. Vice’s requests for comment to the direct judges went unanswered as expected, but legal ethicists speaking to the site recommended the best solution is simply steering clear of such gray situations in the first place.