Enlaces 2017//1//25 :

MicrosiervosYoutube: producción de químicos de baterías // Microsiervos: averiguar el patron de bloqueo del celular (y mientras más complejo mejor) usando video y un software de computer vision // MicrosiervosYoutube: juguetes para aprender a programar // ArsTechnica: traductor universal English in-English out que define textos por dominios y luego por contenidos, con fines militares (más)


Hazte Eco | Agencias | Madrid | Actualizado el 16/01/2017 a las 13:04 horas

Un grupo de patos evita que un lago se congele realizando turnos para nadar

Tal como se puede ver en el vídeo, un grupo de patos salvajes se turna para mantener un agujero en mitad del lago para evitar que, al menos esa zona, no se congele.
Los patos van realizano turnos para que constantemente haya varios patos nadando y, así, evitar que se congele y conseguir alimento para hacer frente a las bajar temperaturas del frío y largo invierno.

// via antena3 //

Last, week, under the cover of a media bliss-out except among Koch funded right-wing channels, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would effectively repeal future standard setting under every important environmental, public health, consumer protection, labor standards, occupational safety and civil rights law on the books.

The bill, called the REINS Act, requires that any future major regulation adopted by an Executive Agency — say a new toxic chemical standard required by the recently enacted Chemical Safety Act, or a new consumer protection rule about some innovative but untested kind of food additive — must be approved by a specific resolution in each House of Congress within 70 days to take effect.

To give a sense of the scale of this road-block, in 2015 there were 43 such major federal regulations passed to protect the public; among them were food safety regulations, the Clean Power Plan regulating pollution from electrical generating facilities, net neutrality rules protecting the internet from monopoly, restrictions on predatory lending and energy efficiency standards for appliances.

// via HuffingtonPost //



As Donald Trump was sworn into office as the new president of the US on Jan. 20, a group of around 60 programmers and scientists were gathered in the Department of Information Studies building at the University of California-Los Angeles, harvesting government data.
A spreadsheet detailed their targets: Webpages dedicated to the Department of Energy’s solar power initiative, Energy Information Administration data sets that compared fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and fuel cell research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to name a few out of hundreds.
Many of the programmers who showed up at UCLA for the event had day jobs as IT consultants or data managers at startups; others were undergrad computer science majors. The scientists in attendance, including ecologists, lab managers, and oceanographers, came from universities all over Southern California. A motley crew of data enthusiasts who assemble for projects like this is becoming something of a trend at universities across the country: Volunteer “data rescue” events in Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Michigan over the last few weeks have managed to scrape hundreds of thousands of pages off of EPA.gov, NASA.gov, DOE.gov, and whitehouse.gov, uploading them to the Internet Archive. Another is planned for early February at New York University.

via Quartz.

Círculos animales

2:53 19/01/2017
Patrones circulares en distintos lugares formados por confluctos entre plantas e insectos.

“All over the globe, plants are growing into strange, circular patterns / These crop circle patterns emerge when plants and bugs compete for resources.
(…) in the Namib Desert of Africa, they’re called “fairy circles;” in Brazil they’re dubbed “murundus,” and in North America they’re known as “Mima mounds.” In a recent paper for Nature, Princeton ecologist Corina E. Tarnita and her colleagues call them “landscapes of overdispersed (evenly spaced) elements.” All are regions where plants grow into such perfectly symmetrical, large-scale patterns that they seem unnatural.
(…) Two of the leading hypotheses involve plant cooperation and insect rivalries. In areas where water resources are scarce or irregular, plants are known to engage in “scale-dependent feedbacks,” where plants over a wide area grow into clusters rather than spreading out over a big area. The plant clumps limit their sizes to make the best use of water, and this strategy leads to reproductive success. It also might explain why we see patterns of plant growth that are characteristic of fairy circles and Mima mounds.
But some scientists who have studied the pattern say that more is going on. They argue that water resources in these areas are being divvied up by warring groups of termites who suctioned water out of the dry areas and relocated it to their mounds. Given that successful termite colonies tend to have territory sizes that are roughly comparable, this would explain why so many of these odd regions contain mounds as well as dry patches.
Tarnita and her colleagues’ paper in Nature suggests that we’re probably seeing an unusual interaction between plants and termites, both attempting to maintain access to water in dry areas. Using a computer model that accounted for both plant and insect life cycles, the researchers were able to reproduce the exact patterns we see in fairy circles. Speaking to the Washington Post’s Sarah Kaplan, Tarnita marveled, “It’s an amazing thing that you can get such clean, beautiful geometric patterns. Such tiny creatures doing their thing very locally every day end up producing these unbelievable large-scale patterns… To me, it’s mind-boggling that nature can do that.” Kaplan added that Princeton chemist Salvatore Torquato identified the fairy circle patterns as “hyperuniform,” a state often seen in substances whose semi-organized atomic structure puts them halfway between a crystal and a liquid.
Though we may not yet know for certain what kinds of interactions cause these eerily regular landscapes, Tarnita and her colleagues’ model brings us one step closer. They argue that we are just at the dawn of understanding ecological self-organization, partly because satellite imagery makes it easier to see features like fairy circles. But we’re only beginning to understand the way communities of lifeforms interact to produce such oddly partitioned environments.



17-9-2016 10:44
La tecnología como distracción a la degradación ambiental:

What all political and social thinking has finally been forced to face is, of course, the irreversible degradation of the environment by unrestrained industrial capitalism: the enormous fact of which science has been trying for fifty years to convince us, while technology provided us ever greater distractions from it. Every benefit industrialism and capitalism have brought us, every wonderful advance in knowledge and health and communication and comfort, casts the same fatal shadow. All we have, we have taken from the earth; and, taking with ever-increasing speed and greed, we now return little but what is sterile or poisoned.

Ursula Le Guinn sobre Murray Bookchin, en http://motherboard.vice.com/read/ursula-le-guin-future-of-the-left

13-9-2016 13:33
Capa de ozono:

En condiciones de la superficie terrestre dos átomos de oxígeno se combinan para formar oxígeno molecular, O2, que es el que respiramos. Sin embargo, en determinadas circunstancias, como las que provoca un rayo, tres átomos de oxígeno se unen débilmente para formar ozono. Este ozono en días calurosos puede combinarse con los gases de escape de los motores de combustión, creando las nubes de contaminación de las grandes ciudades. Sin embargo, en la parte alta de la atmósfera, el hecho de que esta molécula vibre con la frecuencia de los rayos ultravioletas hace que absorba (excitándose) y refleje parte de esta radiación de vuelta al espacio (al relajarse la molécula, emite en todas direcciones, incluidas la del espacio).
Desafortunadamente el desarrollo de los cloroflurocarbonos en los años treinta del siglo XX, ampliamente usados en la industria y en los hogares del mundo desarrollado en aerosoles y sistemas de refrigeración. Estas sustancias, tal y como se descubrió cincuenta años más tarde, cuando se emiten a la atmósfera alcanzan las capas superiores donde reaccionan con el ozono convirtiéndolo en oxígeno molecular, en una reacción en en la que el cloro actúa como catalizador y donde la energía la proporciona la ultravioleta. Un solo ion cloro es capaz de destruir miles de moléculas de ozono.
La desaparición de la capa de ozono, especialmente apreciable en los polos terrestres, originó un aumento de los cánceres de piel y de las cataratas oculares. Los cloroflurocarbonos se prohibieron en el año 2000, pero el cloro en la atmósfera emitido durante setenta años aún continuará ralentizando la restauración de la capa de ozono bastantes años más.

en http://culturacientifica.com/2016/09/13/visible-y-ultravioleta/