Monday, April 27, 2015

World Bank climate change MOOC

This is called 'Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided' and is being hosted by Coursera. It is being well-presented by a selection of experts in the usual Coursera format.  It is not a difficult course especially if you are familiar with the topic. Plenty of discussion. Recommended.

I am still hoping to see more Caribbean participants - only a small handful so far.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Real time aurora

Many times there have been videos of aurora but often it is not clear how real they are - they may be speeded up or colour-enhanced. However, to quote from Universe Today, "here we get a look at the aurora as it looks in real time" and it is quite spectacular. Worth watching.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Too much tech for children?

According to an opinion piece in the New York Times:
"More technology in the classroom has long been a policy-making panacea. But mounting evidence shows that showering students, especially those from struggling families, with networked devices will not shrink the class divide in education. If anything, it will widen it."
Is this too negative - may be. Be we really have to look at the research and not just accept the very effective and motivating promotional hype coming from big tech companies whose main priority is simply to sell their services and hardware.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gecko breakfast

A gecko came for breakfast the other day - in fact it often comes if I leave my cereal bowl at the end of the table. Clearly they are able to learn from experience.

Looks like the same variety as mentioned previously.

If you look closely you can see its pink tongue (see second picture below).

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Civilisation is advancing!

It seems that, despite the impression made by the media, the world is getting to be a better place. This very interesting report in Slate says:
"The only sound way to appraise the state of the world is to count. How many violent acts has the world seen compared with the number of opportunities? And is that number going up or down? As Bill Clinton likes to say, “Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” We will see that the trend lines are more encouraging than a news junkie would guess."
After examining the statistics the report concludes:
"The world is not falling apart. The kinds of violence to which most people are vulnerable—homicide, rape, battering, child abuse—have been in steady decline in most of the world. Autocracy is giving way to democracy. Wars between states—by far the most destructive of all conflicts—are all but obsolete. The increase in the number and deadliness of civil wars since 2010 is circumscribed, puny in comparison with the decline that preceded it, and unlikely to escalate."