“In terms of speed and the breadth of material now accessible to anyone in the world, this is really revolutionary,” says audio curator Greg Budney (2010 NPR interview), describing a major milestone just achieved by the Macaulay Library archive at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. All archived analog recordings in the collection, going back to 1929, have now been digitized and can be heard at www.MacaulayLibrary.org.
The fantastic Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers two ways to identify that bird you saw, if you were bird watching in North America, with Merlin. You can download the free app for Android or iPhone and go through a series of prompts to ID that bird, or upload a photo from your desktop, note where and when you took the photo, tag the tip of the beak, the eye and the tail of the bird and like magic (and with use of the eBird database), you can learn about the birds you see.
"Thanks to Cornell University researchers, the world can now predict how fast a zombie outbreak would spread from a single undead person. Using data from the 2010 U.S. census and the SIR model, an epidemiological tool that can project the progress of actual infectious diseases, the scientists created "large-scale exact stochastic dynamical simulation" of a such an outbreak. Their findings were to be presented Thursday to the august American Physical Society. [more inside]
#TechTuesday – 5 Amazing Female Engineers That Time Forgot - "There have always been extraordinary women in STEM… it just wasn’t called that in the 1800s." [more inside]
Minnesota Birdsong: An interactive poster Cute interface with birdsong content provided by the always amazing Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Old school Hip Hop photographer, Joe Conzo, captured the emerging art and culture of Hip Hop in the South Bronx during the late 70's and early 80's. Conzo's photo archive has made its home at the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, whose mission is "to collect and make accessible the historical artifacts of Hip Hop culture and to ensure their preservation for future generations." Now Scream! is the Collection's first comprehensive exhibition. It runs from April 4, 2013 to February 4, 2014. Conzo's work is part of the exhibition as well. [more inside]
NestWatch offers all kinds of interesting information about birds and their nests with beautiful pictures of the birds, their nests, clutches, broods, and fledglings. An example: the Indigo Bunting. Each page about a particular bird includes their often beautiful songs and sounds. There is a related Flickr NestWatchers site, as well as an extensive community with links about places for bird watching in each state. It's part of the fabulously encyclopedic website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with its own rich archive of superbly organized recordings and videos at the Macaulay Library. [more inside]
Campbell-award winning science fiction writer Jay Lake has cancer. His prognosis at this point is not good, but there is a distant hope - cancer genome sequencing. This is an expensive process, so the science fiction community got together and held a fundraiser, volunteering "Acts of Whimsy" as rewards for various monetary goals. The results were whimsical indeed. [more inside]
For years, rumors have swirled about a picture of Richard Fariña and Thomas Pynchon dueling in a cemetery. We heard about this rumor, dug around, and found that the picture is hidden in plain site on the Internet.
He's responsible for the deliciously relaxed and understated guitar work you remember from Rainy Night in Georgia and the driving chukka chukka whipsnap that propelled Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady, as well as her version of Spanish Harlem. And he's lent his masterful musical sense to many, many other tunes from artists as diverse as Ringo Starr, Archie Shepp, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis and Paul Simon. Guitarist Cornell Dupree has died at age 68. Primarily a studio musician, Dupree was more often heard than seen, but you can catch some glimpses of his Southern-fried six-string artistry on this live version of King Curtis' Memphis Soul Stew.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has set up web cams next to red-tailed hawk and great blue heron nests near campus, with around-the-clock live streaming video. Greatest hits so far include a newly-hatched hawk being fed, and an evening owl attack on the female heron. More exciting than Cornell's recent stinky corpse flower cam. (Note: the gristly thing in the hawk nest is a pigeon killed yesterday that they've been feeding to the hatchling, so trigger warning if dead things upset you.)
The inside story of how The Cornell-Technion Partnership won the bid to bring applied sciences to New York City. Will it make NYC the next Silicon Valley? [more inside]
This is a special collection of problems that were given to select applicants during oral entrance exams to the math department of Moscow State University. These problems were designed to prevent Jews and other undesirables from getting a passing grade. (via Hacker News)
The Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors, the Union Des Écrivaines et des Écrivains Québécois (UNEQ) along with 8 individual authors (including Fay Weldon) has sued the university consortium HathiTrust over its plans to allow internal institutional access to book scans that HathiTrust members received from Google which HathiTrust believes to be orphaned works. As usual, MeFi's own James Grimmelmann has the best analysis of the suit.
Saturday August 27 Bill Nye dedicated a solar noon clock he designed. The clock is embedded in the facade of Rhodes Hall. At Solar Noon, when the Sun culminates, that is, reaches its highest point in the sky, the sun-shaped feature will light up. It is the marrying of mechanical and electrical engineering with astronomy. What could be better?
Is that review a fake? A new paper from Cornell researchers proposes an algorithm for sussing out fake reviews from websites. Here's a summary of tell-tale signs.
"The first and greatest American Surrealist, Joseph Cornell is best known for his boxes. The best of his mysterious assemblages of dime-store tchochkes and paper ephemera in little hand-made cabinets perfectly realize the elusive sublime at the heart of Surrealism, while avoiding the juvenile theatrics of his European colleagues. However, Cornell was also one of the most original and accomplished filmmakers to emerge from the Surrealist movement, and one of the most peculiar. Just as the ascetic and introverted Cornell himself held Surrealism at arms length, borrowing only those elements that suited his interests and temperament, his films superficially resemble those made by other Surrealists, they are in truth sui generis. Only a handful of his contemporaries understood the genius of films like his Rose Hobart — an unfortunate situation exacerbated by Cornell's own obstinate resistance to public screenings. No one made films even remotely similar to Cornell's for almost thirty years, and even now the perfect opacity of his montage remains unrivalled." Jack's Dream :: Cotillion / The Midnight Party :: By Night with Torch and Spear :: Centuries of June :: more
Last March, Lisa Grunwald published a novel, which explores the fascinating and popular University classes that used practice babies borrowed from orphanages in practice houses to teach young home economics majors the science of motherhood. Doris Mitchell recalls her experience as a practice mother. [more inside]
Renowned theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed gave a series of five Messenger lectures on "The Future of Fundamental Physics" at Cornell University two weeks ago. 1 3 4 5 [more inside]
Luna Commons is a database of sixteen free digital image collections built using Luna Imaging's Insight software. And there's a lot of cool stuff, well over a hundred thousand images all available for download in good resolution. Here are some of the collections featured: Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection, The Farber Gravestones Collection, Maps of Africa, Cornell Political Americana Collection and the The Estate Collection of art by HIV+ artists. The advanced search allows you to search across all collection, for example seeing everything across all collections about animals or New York or your birthyear. Whatever you look for, it's gonna bring up a boatload of interesting images.
Style Guide for the Sorority Girl Cornell sorority members have been playing fashion police. A set of "style guidelines," roughly 6 pages long, was recently leaked onto the web. It insisted members consistently get manicured, pedicured, cut, colored and waxed and boasted austere fashion and beauty rules. [more inside]
Roxanne Shanté, considered by some to be a queen of hip hop, got Warner Music to pay for her PhD in psychology. Except, a Slate investigation says it never happened. [more inside]
"I can see the audience tonight, so I can see also from the size of it that there must many of you here who are not thoroughly familiar with physics, and also a number that are not too versed in mathematics- and I don't doubt that there are some who know neither physics nor mathematics very well. That puts a considerable challenge on a speaker who is going to speak on the relation of physics and mathematics- a challenge which I, however, will not accept: I published the title of the talk in clear and precise language, and didn't make it sound like it was something it wasn't- it's the relation of physics and mathematics - and if you find that in some spots it assumes some minor knowledge of physics or mathematics, I cannot help it. It was named." The Feynman Messenger series at Cornell has been made available online for the first time thanks to Bill Gates.
The Cornell Historical Math Monographs archive has a great many famous papers, including works by De Morgan, Hamilton, Descartes (warning: French) and of course Lewis Carroll. [more inside]
Our project is a fart intensity detector which ranks fart magnitude on a scale from 0-9 according to sound, temperature, and gas concentrations. Two Cornell EE students built a Fart Intensity Detection Station as a final project for Introduction to Microcontroller Programming. [more inside]
Because there are so many birds around the world, and because they often look very similar, you likely need a field guide to help you figure out what bird is in your backyard. Well, just in time for spring, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has redesigned their wonderful All About Birds site and they can help you with building your skills. Don't forget to bring your checklist!
"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice, is described by Penguin Press as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow. [more inside]
He holds a degree in jam-making. His stepmother is a former stripper by the name of Kandy Caine. He once appeared in a Backstreet Boys video. He's Senator Julian Polonius Foley Marcos DeWiki III, and he's running for President. (more) (via)
Maybe you saw Minesweeper: The Movie. It's typical of Elephant Larry' s sweet, savvy sketch comedy. If you like the parody preview genre, don't miss out on Gummi Bears: The Movie. If you don't, try the short film "Baby, Fix That Fusebox!" or perhaps Tall Cop, Short Cop, which is directed by none other than John Landis. My personal favorites are WHIT Radio and the audio (and stage) sketch Francophone. And guess what? If you live in LA, you can see them for free tonight at the Comedy Central Stage.
In 1999, at the age of 93, legendary theoretical physicist Hans Bethe delivered three lectures on quantum theory to his neighbors at the Kendal of Ithaca retirement community (near Cornell University).
RavenViewer. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers free sound analysis software that allows you to simultaneously listen to and watch spectograms of animal communication, such as the uncanny mimicry of a lovesick Satin Bowerbird or the chilling call of the Common Loon. If birds aren't your bag, there's lots of other animal sounds (and stunning video) to explore.
Joseph Cornell was enamored with ballerinas and starlets, the subject of many of his celebrated boxes. "He handed them, personally, to his most loved ballerinas. And they were almost uniformly sent back. He was rejected, laughed at, and, in one unfortunate case, tackled." Anecdotes about Cornell and his muses, via robot wisdom. [more]
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a great source for all kinds of information on our feathered friends. The bird identification section is particular useful. There are also NestCams.
Quantum physics made relatively simple. Personal and historical perspectives of Hans Bethe, who has died at 98.
Bridging the rift. A joint Israeli/Jordanian biological research centre straddling the border between the two nations is set to become operational in the near future. Scientists from Cornell and Stanford are involved as well. See what it'll look like (big PDF), and learn why studies of biosalinity and other forms of extreme biology are important.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you for your musical enjoyment: Intelligent MIDI Sequencing with Hamster Control
Art In A Box! : Modern artist Joseph Cornell made a name for himself by creating minature collaged works in boxes back in the 1930s when collage was still a relatively new art form. While his works and life story are often romanticized, the fact remains that he was both incredibly creative and incredibly strange. Certainly one of American Art's finest. (see old mefi post from 9/02)
Sustainable oil? Over the past few years there's been a growing theory that oil is not created from the decaying remains of ancient biological life but is in fact a product of the Earth's geological processes and that the current estimated oil reserves may be off by a factor of 100. This theory was made popular by Thomas Gold at Cornell way back in 1992 and has led to much more recent research (warning: heavy scientific conent) which supports the theory.
Sea-creatures in glass. In the late 19th Century, Dresden-based glass-artist Leopold Blaschka, together with his son, Rudolf, made scores of beautiful and intricate glass models of marine invertebrates. [First link via an e-mail from Alex Vaughan.]