A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘bees

[PHOTO] Sunflower with bee, Dupont Street

Sunflower with bee (1) #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #flowers #sunflower #yellow #insects #bee

Sunflower with bee (2) #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #flowers #sunflower #yellow #insects #bee

Written by Randy McDonald

August 27, 2019 at 9:30 am

[URBAN NOTE] Five notes about smart animals: bees, wolves/dogs, cetaceans, Denisovans, Neanderthals

  • The Conversation notes how urban beekeepers can play a key role in saving bees from extinction.
  • Motherboard looks at the comparative intelligence, and generosity, of wolves versus their domesticated dog counterparts.
  • National Geographic looks at how marine mammals, particularly cetaceans, have been used in different militaries.
  • Smithsonian Magazine looks at how recent studies have demonstrated the diversity among Denisovan populations.
  • Smithsonian Magazine looks at the new consensus about the remarkable capabilities of Neanderthals.

[NEWS] Five science links: global warming, bees, Balsillie, backups, Neanderthals

  • New estimates suggest the costs of global warming will be in the tens of trillions of dollars, with warmer countries taking a particularly big hit. Motherboard reports.
  • Indigenous bumblebee populations in Canada are fast approaching extinction, with a certainty of major negative environmental effects. CBC reports.
  • MacLean’s reports on the return to prominence of Jim Balsillie, this time not so much as a tech mogul as a sort off tech skeptic.
  • This Motherboard article makes a somewhat far-fetched argument that Game of Thrones demonstrates the need for human civilization to have backups.
  • The Conversation reports on the recent discovery, in Serbia by a joint Serbian-Canadian team, of a Neanderthal tooth, and what this discovery means for our understanding of the deep past of humanity.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Architectuul features a photo essay made by Evan Panagopoulos in the course of a hurried three-hour visit to the Socialist Modernist and modern highlights of 20th century Kiev architecture.
  • Bad Astrronomer Phil Plait notes how the latest planet found in the Kepler-47 circumbinary system evokes Tatooine.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at tide and radiation, and their impacts on potential habitability, in the TRAPPIST-1 system.
  • Citizen Science Salon looks at how the TV show Cyberchase can help get young people interested in science and math.
  • Crooked Timber mourns historian David Brion Davis.
  • The Crux looks at how the HMS Challenger pioneered the study of the deeps of the oceans, with that ship’s survey of the Mariana Trench.
  • D-Brief looks at how a snowball chamber using supercooled water can be used to hunt for dark matter.
  • Earther shares photos of the heartbreaking and artificial devastation of the Amazonian rainforest of Brazil.
  • Gizmodo shares a beautiful Hubble photograph of the southern Crab Nebula.
  • Information is Beautiful shares a reworked version of the Julia Galef illustration of the San Francisco area meme space.
  • io9 notes that, fresh from being Thor, Jane Foster is set to become a Valkyrie in a new comic.
  • JSTOR Daily explains the Victorian fondness for leeches, in medicine and in popular culture.
  • Language Hat links to an interview with linguist Amina Mettouchi, a specialist in Berber languages.
  • Language Log shares the report of a one-time Jewish refugee on changing language use in Shanghai, in the 1940s and now.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the horror of self-appointed militias capturing supposed undocumented migrants in the southwestern US.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the circumstances in which volunteer militaries can outperform conscript militaries.
  • At the NYR Daily, Christopher Benfey reports on the surprisingly intense connection between bees and mourning.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw, responding to Israel Folau, considers free expression and employment.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares a guest post from Barney Magrath on the surprisingly cheap adaptations needed to make an iPhone suitable for astrophotography.
  • Peter Rukavina reports on the hotly-contested PEI provincial election of 1966.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains what the discovery of helium hydride actually means.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little praises the Jill Lepore US history These Truths for its comprehensiveness.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on the growing divergences in demographics between different post-Soviet countries.
  • Arnold Zwicky starts with another Peeps creation and moves on from there.

[NEWS] Seven links about animal intelligence: orangutans, chimpanzees, humpback whales, fish, bees

  • Orangutans are smart enough to talk about things not immediately present, D-Brief notes.
  • The Crux notes that chimpanzees apparently have not developed small talk.
  • The remarkable evolution of the songs of humpback whales over time looks a lot like the evolution of pop culture among humans, I think. D-Brief reports.
  • Vox notes how, in many ways, trying to understand and communicate with humpback whales is so close to SETI.
  • This article at The Conversation looks at a recent adoption of a narwhal into a group of belugas. What does it mean about these species’ social relationships?
  • Gizmodo notes that, recently, the species of fish known as the cleaner wrasse passed the mirror test for self-awareness. What does this mean about fish intelligence? What does this mean about the test?
  • Honeybees, it turns out, can add and subtract. Motherboard reports.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Hamilton, Boston, Valencia, Moscow, Hyderabad

  • Ridership on the Hamilton Street Railway is growing but still below projected numbers. Global News reports.
  • Residents of the Lincolnshire city of Boston, one of the most pro-Brexit in the United Kingdom, fear Brexit might not happen. Global News reports.
  • CityLab notes how the Spanish city of Valencia is doing its best to keep local bee populations thriving.
  • Deutsche Welle takes a look at how residents of one village once on the fringes of Moscow have found their environment transformed by massive urbanization.
  • Guardian Cities takes a look at the central position played by “Tollywood”, the Telugu-speaking film industry’s hub, in the fate of a globalizing Hyderabad.

[META] Eight new news sources

It’s time to add new links and news sources to my blogroll, ones reflecting my interests.

  • CityLab is a great news source looking at different urban phenomena within individual cities and uniting cities. CityLab hosts Sam Weber’s article looking at the many problems facing North Korean defectors as they try to assimilate into ultra-sophisticated Seoul.
  • The Conversation CA hosts Stephen Scherer’s article explaining the importance of sequencing the genomes of Canadian animals.
  • The Discourse is a new Canadian media start-up promising in-depth coverage on Canadian issues. Before the recent Ontario election, they started a hashtag, #GTADiscourse, to see what people in the GTA underserved by the media were concerned about.
  • The Guardian Cities takes a look at urban issues around the world. I liked this Mireille Silcoff article explaining the import of 1 July to the inhabitants of Montréal: It’s moving day!
  • Steve Benjamins hosts Village, a new subscriber-only newsletter focusing on Toronto. I liked this article about a Seaton Village beekeeper, here.
  • The venerable hard-left Canadian news site Rabble has plenty of thought-provoking articles, like Barâa Arar’s essay explaining their fear of what a Doug Ford government in Ontario might do.
  • American queer magazine Them has plenty of great articles. I liked this one confirming that Tessa Thompson, Valkyrie in Thor and Janelle Monáe’s rumoured girlfriend, is out as bi.
  • Toronto website and discussion forum Urban Toronto reports on a massive mural set to grace the Parkside Student Residences at Jarvis and Carlton.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers the challenges and the prospects of laser SETI.
  • Citizen Science Salon reports on a couple who have done their best to keep their bee numbers up.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Milo’s book, contrary to Milo’s claims, has performed very badly indeed in the UK, among other places.
  • Language Log features a poetic digression by Victor Mair on Chinese characters for words like “plum” and “wine.”
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money suggests that moderate Republicans in Congress might not be all that.
  • The LRB Blog considers Nice at, and after, the time of last year’s terrorist attacks.
  • Marginal Revolution features Tyler Cowen’s description of his writing processes.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews Toronto gay photographer Dylan Rosser.
  • Unicorn Booty looks back at the history of the queercore movement–gay punk, as a first approximation.
  • Vintage Space links to an article explaining why there was neither an Apollo 2 nor an Apollo 3.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests the Russian state is undermining various once-allied Russian nationalist movements.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams remembers Ben Finney, this time from the angle of a man with an interest in space colonization.
  • Crooked Timber wonders what will happen to the Anglo-American tradition of liberalism.
  • Dangerous Minds imagines the VHS tapes of Logan and Stranger Things.
  • Far Outliers notes the Soviet twist on Siberian exile.
  • Inkfish notes that Detroit is unique among cities in being a good place for bumblebees. Is it the vacant lots?
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if modern Germany really is a laboratory for innovative politics.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at 19th century writer José Maria de Eça de Queirós, the “Proust of Portugal”.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw updates his readers on his writing projects.
  • Torontoist reports on how Avi Lewis and Cheri DiNovo have advocated for the NDP’s Leap Manifesto.

[LINK] “Watch How Bees Teach Each Other to Solve Problems”

National Geographic‘s Brian Clark Howard describes a new study that demonstrates how bees, that epitome of a swarm intelligence, learn.

Bee see, bee do. At least that’s the conclusion of research published earlier this month, showing that bumblebees learn to solve problems by watching each other.

In the first study of its kind in insects, scientists constructed experiments that challenged bees to pull strings in order to access rewards of nectar. It’s a technique that has long been used to test cognition in various vertebrates, but hadn’t yet been tried with insects.

[. . .]

The first step was proving that bees could learn to solve a simple problem. But what’s more interesting is that other bees that hadn’t encountered the problem before picked up the ability to solve it more quickly when they had a chance to watch a trainer bee that had already figured out the puzzle.

Further, that knowledge was shown to spread from bee to bee throughout a colony, even if the first bee that figured out the trick died.

The scientists hoped their study would shed light on a bigger picture: how social learning spreads through a population. That might even have implications for the evolutionary roots of culture in human beings, they noted.

The study in question is available here.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm