Friday, April 10, 2015

Stuff to think about

If there was a description of perfect weather, it would be days like today.

  • How to Survive a Mega-Drought: Questions of drought ethics and etiquette answered
    California’s water-rights system is almost incomprehensibly complicated, but the result is that many farms that have depended for decades on an allotment of water from the state supply — their share of a public commodity — are now receiving nothing. Not a drop. Because there’s not enough to go around.
  • Scenes from the New American Dustbowl
    We meet in a little café and the two of them offer me a crash course in California Water 101. Even in non-drought years the logistics are complex. Snowpack runoff is captured in reservoirs. Rivers and lakes are dammed. Canals snake across the state. Some water is managed at the federal level, some at the state. There are 500 public water districts, each with local ordinances. There are senior water rights, junior rights, riparian rights.
  • Don't Think Open Access Is Important? It Might Have Prevented Much Of The Ebola Outbreak
    Part of the problem is that none of these articles were co-written by a Liberian scientist. The investigators collected their samples, returned home and published the startling results in European medical journals. Few Liberians were then trained in laboratory or epidemiological methods. Even today, downloading one of the papers would cost a physician here $45, about half a week’s salary.
  • Sheikh of the Skies
    Falconry essentially is the art of managing a falcon’s appetite, he said. “You’re standing here on the beach, when the falcon starts disappearing around the back of the hotel, you’ve now lost visual contact, your communication is gone, your mobile signal is gone. If the bird now sees a pigeon across the road, what’s stopping the bird from deciding to chase that pigeon? Nothing really, other than the bird’s loyalty to fly around the building and seek comfort in seeing Pete again. In an urban environment, the margin for error is huge, you’re radically increasing the possibility of something going wrong.”

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