Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren land on the moon: July 20, 1969. As Neil Armstrong took humanity’s first step onto the Moon he said:
Posts about USA
The Eagle Has Landed
Mountain Lions Returning to the Midwest USA for the First Time in a Century
Things started to turn around for the cougar in the 1960s and 70s when, one by one, the bounties were rescinded and states made the animals a managed-game species. Today they are classified as game species in most states and a “specially protected mammal” in California. This allowed their populations first to grow and then to expand their territories.
Cougars are generalist predators, so LaRue says they can select any habitat with enough prey. They have also been shown to walk hundreds of kilometers in search of new habitat. “They have no problem traveling through cornfields or prairies for long distances if they have to,” she says. But cornfields and prairies aren’t suitable habitat for the cougars to settle in. She says they require forest cover, rugged terrain and dispersal corridors (typically rivers) that allow easy migration for both the cats and their prey.
Mountain Lions are very cool animals. So like our pets but with a size that means they can kill us, if they want. They are not much risk to us though. Occasionally there are attacks (now that the numbers of cougars are growing) but an extremely small number.
Backyard Wildlife: Mountain Lion
Sadly this isn’t my backyard. I would love to see a mountain lion like this. So close. A real wild mountain lion. And I am safe.
H-index Rank for Countries: for Science Publications
The SCImago Journal and Country Rank provides journal and country scientific indicators. As stated in previous posts, these types of rankings have limitations but they are also interesting. The table shows the top 6 countries by h-index and then some others I chose to list (the top 6 repeat from my post in 2008 – Country H-index Rank for Science Publications). The h-index provides a numeric indication of scientific production and significance (by looking at the citations given papers by other papers). Read more about the h-index (Hirsh index).
|Country||h-index||h-index (2007)||% of World
|Additional countries of interest|
|21) South Korea||258||161||.7%||2,710,566|
Related: Top Countries for Science and Math Education: Finland, Hong Kong and Korea – Worldwide Science and Engineering Doctoral Degree Data – Top 15 Manufacturing Countries in 2009 – Science and Engineering Doctoral Degrees Worldwide – Ranking Universities Worldwide (2008) – Government Debt as Percentage of GDP 1990-2009: USA, Japan, Germany, China…
Poor Results on Evolution and Big Bang Questions Omitted From NSF Report
Evolution, Big Bang Polls Omitted From NSF Report by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
The USA continues to lag far behind the rest of the world in this basic science understanding. Similar to how we lag in other science and mathematical education. Nearly Half of Adults in the USA Don’t Know How Long it Takes the Earth to Circle the Sun.
I completely agree. People have the right to their opinions. But those opinions which are related to scientific knowledge (whether it is about evolution, the origin of the universe, cancer, the speed of light, polio vaccinations, multi-factorial designed experiments, magnetic fields, chemical catalysts, the effectiveness of antibiotics against viral infections, electricity, optics, bioaccumulation, etc.) are part of their scientific literacy. You can certainly believe antibiotics are affective against viral infections but that is an indication you are scientifically illiterate on that topic.
President Obama Speaks on Getting Students Excited About Science and Engineering
The President announces the “Educate to Innovate” initiative, a campaign to get students excited about pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Quotes from President Obama from his speech – (see webcast above):
“As President, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering.”
“Now the hard truth is that for decades we’ve been losing ground. One assessment shows American 15-year-olds now rank 21st in science and 25th in math when compared to their peers around the world.”
“And today, I’m announcing that we’re going to have an annual science fair at the White House with the winners of national competitions in science and technology. If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you’ve produced the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too. Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models, and here at the White House we’re going to lead by example. We’re going to show young people how cool science can be.”
“improving education in math and science is about producing engineers and researchers and scientists and innovators who are going to help transform our economy and our lives for the better.”
Related: 2008 Intel Science Talent Search – Report on K-12 Science Education in USA – Fun k-12 Science and Engineering Learning – Science Education in the 21st Century – High School Inventor Teams @ MIT – Engineering Education Program for k-12 – 76 Nobel Laureates in Science Endorse Obama – Lego Learning
Re-engineering the Food System for Better Health
Obesity is widespread due to our national-scale system of food production and distribution, which surrounds children – especially lower-income children – with high-calorie products…
90 percent of American food is processed – according to the United States Department of Agriculture – meaning it has been mixed with ingredients, often acting as preservatives, that can make food fattening.
Now, in another report finished this October after meetings with food-industry leaders, the MIT and Columbia researchers propose a solution: America should increase its regional food consumption.
Only 1 to 2 percent of all food consumed in the United States today is locally produced. But the MIT and Columbia team, which includes urban planners and architects, believes widespread adoption of some modest projects could change that, by increasing regional food production and distribution.
To help production, the group advocates widespread adoption of small-scale innovations such as “lawn to farm” conversions in urban and suburban areas, and the “10 x 10 project,” an effort to develop vegetable plots in schools and community centers. Lawns require more equipment, labor and fuel than industrial farming nationwide, yet produce no goods. But many vegetables, including lettuce, cucumbers and peppers, can be grown efficiently in small plots.
As Albright sees it, the effort to produce healthier foods “fits right in with the health-care reform effort right now because chronic diseases are so costly for the nation.” America currently spends $14 billion annually treating childhood obesity, and $147 billion treating all forms of obesity.
Good stuff. We need to improve health in the USA. The current system is unhealthy and needs to be improved. The public good from improving the health of society is huge (both in terms of individual happiness and economic benefits).
Related: Rethinking the Food Production System – Study Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. – Active Amish Avoid Obesity – Obesity Epidemic Explained – Another Strike Against Cola
Energy Secretary Steve Chu Speaks On Funding Science Research
Energy Secretary Steve Chu (and Nobel Laureate) speaks with Google CEO Eric Schmidt about science research. One of the things Steve Chu is doing is funding high risk experiments that have great potential. This is something that is often said should be done but then people resort to safe investments in research. Taking these risks is a very good idea.
This is another example the remarkable way Google operates. The CEO actually understands science and the public good. Google also provides a huge amount of great material online in the form of webcasts of those speaking at Google. Google behaves like a company run by engineers. Other companies have engineers in positions of power but behave like companies run by any MBAs (whether they are lawyers, accountants, marketers or engineers).
Related: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – Scientists and Engineers in Congress – Eric Schmidt on Google, Education and Economics – Larry Page on How to Change the World – Diplomacy and Science Research – Google Investing Huge Sums in Renewable Energy and is Hiring
2008 National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation
The winners of the 2008 National Medals of Science, and National Medals of Technology and Innovation, have been announced. The recipients will receive the awards a White House ceremony in October.
“These scientists, engineers and inventors are national icons, embodying the very best of American ingenuity and inspiring a new generation of thinkers and innovators,” President Obama said. “Their extraordinary achievements strengthen our nation every day – not just intellectually and technologically but also economically, by helping create new industries and opportunities that others before them could never have imagined.”
National Medal of Science
Dr. Berni Alder, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA
Dr. Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health, MD
Dr. Joanna Fowler, Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY
Dr. Elaine Fuchs, The Rockefeller University, NY
Dr. James Gunn, Princeton University, NJ
Dr. Rudolf Kalman, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
Dr. Michael Posner, University of Oregon, OR
Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
Dr. J. Craig Venter, J. Craig Venter Institute, MD & CA
National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Dr. Forrest M. Bird, Percussionaire Corp., ID
Dr. Esther Sans Takeuchi, University at Buffalo, SUNY, NY
Team: Dr. John E. Warnock and Dr. Charles M. Geschke (Adobe Systems Inc., CA)
Company: IBM Corporation, NY
Global Installed Wind Power Now Over 1.5% of Global Electricity Demand
Globally 27,339 MW of capacity were added in 2008, bringing the total to 121,188 MW, a 29% increase. The graph shows the top 10 producers (with the exceptions of Denmark and Portugal) and includes Japan (which is 13th).
In 2007, Europe had for 61% of installed capacity and the USA 18%. At the end of 2008 Europe had 55% of installed capacity, North America 23%, Asia 20%, Australia 1.5%, Latin America .6% and Africa .5%. Country shares of global capacity at the end of 2008: USA 21%, Germany 20%, Spain 14%, China 10%, India 8% (those 5 countries account for 73% of global capacity).
USA capacity grew 50% in 2008, moving it into the global lead for the first time in a decade. China grew 107%, the 3rd year in a row it more than doubled capacity.
Related: Wind Power Provided Over 1% of Global Electricity in 2007 – USA Wind Power Installed Capacity 1981 to 2005 – Wind Power has the Potential to Produce 20% of Electricity by 2030 – Top 12 Manufacturing Countries in 2007