an Interactive Virtual Earth

The EarthByte Group in the School of Geosciences of The University of Sydney is one of the world’s leading research groups for global and regional plate tectonic reconstructions and for studying the interplay between the deep earth and surface processes. They have provided GPlates which enables the interactive manipulation of plate-tectonic reconstructions and the visualization of geodata through geological time, and it facilitates interoperability of plate tectonic data and models with geodynamic computing services for applied and fundamental research purposes.

The 3D visualisations are powered by Cesium, an Open Source library for viewing globes and maps.

What that all means is you can click below and find ways to imagine the world in many different ways, from Pangea forward! If you are interested in geology or plate tectonics, you should take a look at these amazing visualizations.

http://portal.gplates.org/

Many views of earth! Wow! Play with it. It worked on my iPad, but it works better on a computer with a mouse! And some browsers work better than others. Read the side info!


” You will move in the direction of the people you associate with. You really want to associate with the people that are better than yourself.” – Warren Buffet


Parabon Genetic Study

The other day in a mail consolidator I am a member of, Ce Ce Moore left a request for volunteers to help the company she works for improve their system that generates estimated phenotype traits for their customers.

Do you want to help Parabon fight crime and advance science? If so, please consider joining the Snapshot DNA Phenotypic Trait and Ancestry Study. All you need is (1) an iPhone and (2) a little bit of uninterrupted time to complete the in-app instructions. If you have an existing genotype file from a consumer testing site (e.g., 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, etc.), you can donate it to the study too and elect to receive a free Snapshot DNA Ancestry Analysis report. To learn more visit: https://parabon-nanolabs.com/volunteer/. If you have any questions or don’t have an iPhone, please check out the FAQs linked on that page. For questions not answered in the FAQ’s please email: snapshot-research@parabon.com

The goal is to improve the algorithms overall using aggregated data from the participants, not to add to a genetic genealogy database to identify specific suspects through genealogy (please upload to GEDMatch and or FTDNA if you want to contribute in that way). A lot of questions about the Parabon Snapshot study are answered here:
https://parabon-nanolabs.com/volunteer/study-faq?fbclid=IwAR11EBfdN2zF2_SgPH1RagVynvZzdP8tKzhqA4H3y6Dz5j8YW1bzVNMnB0c#no-iphone

Ce Ce Moore
http://www.TheDNADetectives.com


Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough

The BBC set up an Skype interview between Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough.

It was late December, 2019.  She was 16, he was 93. You can hear the respect each has for the other. This isn’t a super bang speech, instead it is just interesting to listen to two of the most influential people of our time “saying hello”.

Click the link for an 8 minute listen: Greta and Attenborough.m4a
.

Greta’s father was interviewed by BBC the same day.

Click the link for about 9 minutes: Gretas Father.m4a


Silly Calendars

The link below points to a quite complete explanation of our silly calendars. The earth is tilted, spins on it axis, and goes around the sun every so often (about once a year). The trip around the sun is egg shaped (elliptical) which means that we get closer to the sun twice a year and farther away from the sun twice a year. The titled axis phenomena makes the hemispheres receive less or more sunlight (heat) twice a year causing seasons. The spinning causes what we call days.

On this ball that wobbles round and round lives creatures that like to keep track of things. They make lists and predictions and like to keep trains and planes running on schedule. For sure, young versions of these creatures are forced to sit together listening to old versions of these creatures talk when the sun “comes up”.

Sooo, a few of these creatures created calendars and forced the rest of the creatures to abide by their calendar. The problem is that they have not yet figured out how to fit a sliding scale into the discrete counting methods they use (hours, days, weeks, months, years). So they continue to adjust their calendars.

Hence —— the history of the calendar:

Calendars Explained

When will the next adjustment be made? Will you make the adjustment? Will you vote for daylight savings time abolishment? Will you accept the idea of kids being allowed to sleep a bit longer before they have to go to school?

Better yet, will you write the next essay in daylight or nightlight?

Our Jamie speaks out about the Climate Crisis

Climate activist Jamie Minden wrote an Op-Ed for the publication SanJoseInside Sept 18, 2019 which is linked here. Jamie is a local high school student, is an active member of the Sunrise Movement and was co-lead of the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike that occurred Sept 20, 2019. Following these links is the full text of her editorial.

GoTo SanJoseInside

Here is a link to a news bulletin by ABC News about the topic.

GoTo ABC News

“Hi, I’m Jamie Minden. I’ve been an environmental activist for a few years now, and it’s worked out pretty well for me. But most people who want to get involved (because they don’t want to live on a dying planet) have trouble knowing where to start in activism.

“I understand that the idea can be daunting. But rest assured: you don’t have to drop out of school, give up your job, stop wearing shoes or move to San Francisco to become a climate activist. You can if you want, of course, but you don’t have to.

“There are plenty of easy things you can do that can work around your schedule. Look up groups like Sunrise Movement, Youth Climate Strikes, 350.org, and Citizens Climate Lobby, and if there isn’t a group in your area, find a few friends and start one.

“If you’re not all that into community organizing, how about changing your lived environment into something more sustainable? Replace your gas-burning water heater with an electric one. Explain to your cousin that climate change doesn’t mean the end of snowstorms, it means that the global temperatures are rising at a pace that will eventually make many parts of the Earth uninhabitable.

“What about your workplace? Are there ways for you to steer your company in a more sustainable direction? Forbes predicts that the United States’ renewable energy business is worth $3 trillion. Why not cash in on a more sustainable future?

“The reality is that grassroots movements have been the cause of virtually all progress on the issue. Pardon my French, but most national governments haven’t done sh*t. So every bit of climate action you see—from recycling collection to the Green New Deal—is the direct result of the tireless work of scores of passionate climate activists. Just normal people like you and me who want to make a difference.

“To backtrack slightly, I want to recognize that communities of color have been shunted aside in all of this, too. People of color are disproportionately affected by ecological issues, and yet they have always been the unrecognized leaders of this fight.

“People of color defend endangered species from poachers, risk their lives to protect the rainforests, and are arrested in our very own country for protesting developments that threaten to destroy sacred landmarks.

“If you’re a person of color who wants to get involved in the climate movement, I want you to know that we hear you. Yeah, you might have to work a little harder to make your voice heard. I’m not going to sugar-coat it: this country has a history of environmental racism and a dishearteningly whitewashed climate movement. But that’s simply why your voice is more important than ever.

“Yeah, I’m a white girl, but I stand behind you. Groups like Sunrise and people like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stand behind you. Your voice is important. You deserve to be heard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

“We only have 11 years left, so let’s make them count. Let’s give it our all, and put up a good fight. Because once our emissions go past the tipping point, we cannot go back. Our chance is now. Every living person has a responsibility to do their part, no matter how small. Climate change will be the struggle that defines every generation alive today.

“While the “greatest generation” had to stand up and fight two world wars head on, we now have no choice but to play the cards we’ve been dealt, and fight for our futures. Look at this from a patriotic standpoint, and do your part for our country. Do your part for our world. I want you to join the climate protection movement.

“We hope to see you at our next strike at 2:45pm Friday as we fight for our future. Please visit svyouthclimatestrike.org for more information.”


Greta Thunberg at the U.N. in Sept 2019

Climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit in New York City on September 23, 2019. Here’s a YouTube of the speech, followed by the full transcript.

“My message is that we’ll be watching you.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

“You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

“Fifty percent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.
“So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

“To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.

“How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.

“There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

“We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

“Thank you.”