Measuring Miniscule Movement with Massive Potential

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Eulerian Video Magnification : Impressive Potential. The applications for this technology are abundant and likely to blanket multiple industries and  disciplines (anything from medicine, to civil engineering, criminal justice, military technology, disaster mitigation, climate change, biology……….). Keep an eye on this.

Yay for open source data.


White House moves to make federally funded research open to the public

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

“A bipartisan bill introduced last week, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, would force the public release of journal articles within six months of publication” (Washington Post).  This act has been noted and discussed repeatedly in the past few days, but the potential move toward transparency and a more egalitarian spread of knowledge is something that we should all get behind.  The precedent for such a move was set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2007 when they imposed a policy to ensure that all  papers arising from NIH-funded research would be free and accessible within a year of publication. It’s exciting to see that other agencies may soon follow suit. Making government-funded research publicly accessible seems–in retrospect–like an obvious policy, but it still hasn’t been passed. Keep an eye on the progress of this act and encourage it along if you can. As the Post article points out, NSF-funded research alone (e.g. in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, social sciences)  produces somewhere between 25,000 to 40,000 publications a year–including research by Nobel laureates and winners of the National Medal of Science; wouldn’t you like free access to that? And as an added perk, this policy would aim to make archive searching easier and quicker (a task that shouldn’t be hard, considering the dismal state of some imposed search strategies at the moment).

February 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Justice in Conflict

Imagine candidates in a presidential debate arguing over who should end up at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Bizarre, right? Well, imagine no more; that is exactly what happened in Nairobi earlier this week when Kenya’s presidential candidates squared off in a debate that, in many respects, looked similar to when leadership hopefuls in the US square off.

But there was one striking difference: the conversation. Almost half an hour of the debate focused on the allegations against Uhuru Kenyatta who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in the 2007-08 post-election violence that ravaged Kenya.

The key question in the debate – and on everyone’s mind leading up to the March election – was what would happen if Kenyatta, as an ICC indictee charged with crimes against humanity, were to be elected. Kenyatta is scheduled to stand trial in The Hague just days after…

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February 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Rachel Strohm

A couple of quick hits around African urbanisation:

  • Via Matt Jones of Moved 2 Monrovia, I found this graph from October’s Economist on GDP and urbanisation in Africa.  Does Liberia reflect the impact of the civil war?  I don’t have strong priors on whether war might increase or decrease urbanization rates, and a quick Google Scholar search didn’t turn up any recent research.  Then again, Zimbabwe and Madagascar see the same direction of change, and their political conflicts have been much less violent than Liberia’s.

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