In 1854, a French anatomist named Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire established La Societé Zoologique d’Acclimatation, the first acclimatization society, headquartered in the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, where he held a senior position. By 1860, the society had over 2,500 members, including diplomats, scientists, foreign heads of state, and military men. In another forty years, there were over fifty societies around the world, swapping species everywhere from Algiers to Tasmania. Some transplants died quickly, while others thrived, with European rabbits multiplying like, well, rabbits in Australia, European starlings taking down planes and ruining crops in the United States, while the English now battle American grey squirrels (previously). [via Presurfer] [more inside]
Postcards From Google Earth: "I collect Google Earth images. I discovered them by accident, these particularly strange snapshots, where the illusion of a seamless and accurate representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. I was Google Earth-ing, when I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down." [more inside]
The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
Odd Crop Prices Defy Economics. For finance and economics geeks: Could a drugstore sell two identical tubes of toothpaste, and charge 50 cents more for one of them? Of course not. But, in effect, exactly that has been happening, repeatedly and mysteriously, in trading that sets prices for corn, soybeans and wheat — three of America’s biggest crops and, lately, popular targets for investors pouring into the volatile commodities market. The curious thing is that these price anomalies should be ripe for arbitrage. There should be no gap between the price of say, wheat in the cash market and the wheat futures contract on the day the contract expires.
The 38th annual conference on Anomalous Phenomena is just around the corner. Or, if you're in Europe, there's Unconvention 2004 in just a few weeks. Forteans are the spiritual descendents of Charles Fort, free-thinkers with a sense of humour, open-minded skeptics (as opposed to these guys).
What The Hell Is THIS All About? WTF? Is Fusion Anomaly a crazy encyclopedia? A warped search engine? A mind control machine? What's up with the entities, the flavors, the words and all the other stuff? Who's doing it? And why? Please advise. All instances of the famous MetaFilter detective work would be greatly appreciated.