Tags >> research
Dec 01
2009

Project Censored Changes

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , war , research , protest , poverty , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , media , justice , journalism , international , Ideas , government , finances , environment , education , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

The 2010 edition of Project Censored’s annual list of important but undercovered news stories is out as usual, while behind the scenes, there’s been a changing of the guard.

One measure of the growth that Project Censored has experienced over the past 33 years, Frymer offers, is the huge increase in the number of stories that are now being nominated for their consideration each year. So even the list of finalists is longer now.

It’s always hard to pick a favorite, but new Project Censored Director Ben Frymer (left) admits to a particular fondness for one of the current top 25 stories, in part because it came from an atypical source.

 In fact, he couldn’t pick just one. Frymer has some other favorites from the list, too.

You can see all 25 of this year's top stories on the Project Censored website, as well as review the lists from past years.

 

The book release party for the 2010 Project Censored publication will be held at the Santa Rosa Oddfellows Hall on Saturday, Dec. 5, beginning at 6 pm. see full details here.

 

 

Nov 23
2009

Blue Whale Death

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , technology , research , protest , policy , ocean , news , legislation , government , fish , environment , employment , coast , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

A month after a blue whale was killed by the propellers of a survey ship off the coast near Fort Bragg, some big questions remain, among them, how did this happen, and could it have been prevented?

The crew of the Pacific Star only became aware of their ship’s deadly encounter with the blue whale when its propeller stopped, reports Shelia Semans, the sea floor mapping project manager for the Ocean Protection Council and the Coastal Conservancy. But that moment was quickly fatal for the whale, a conclusion that was confirmed by examinations of its beached body.

 

Steve Sullivan, an outspoken critic of the mapping project, contends the participating ships have failed to comply with applicable regulations governing sonar surveying, because their sponsoring organizations have disregarded those rules.

Sheila Semans counters that the type of sonar used by the navy and other large vessels in commercial shipping lanes is markedly different than the sonar technology used in sea floor mapping in shallow coastal waters.

This video shows the size of the whale carcass, soon after it washed ashore Oct. 20, a little south of Fort Bragg. The rectangular section of skin and blubber that is missing above the tail was removed by scientists studying the dead animal. The fatal wounds are on the underside, not visible to the camera.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU5IpIL-M0s 300x300]

Nov 19
2009

"Misled by the Map"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , speaker , Sonoma County , research , literacy , international , Ideas , history , events , education

Bruce Robinson

A map such as this  is a way of organizing the world into distinctly defined nations. But the lines on a map can and often do differ from what is true in the physical and political world that map attempts to represent.

Many of the lines on international maps—especially the straight ones—were a creation of colonial convenience, explains Stanford geography professor Martin  Lewis, but have proved to have remarkable staying power.

Borders clearly define national borders on paper, says Martin Lewis, but the country in question may not actually control all that territory.

See the map of Somalia, below, for another example.

Lewis has distilled these ideas into a paper he's titled Misled By The Map, which you can read here:   

That's  also the title of the talk that professor  Lewis will present to the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County onThursday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 pm at Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa. To see a full-length video presentation of Lewis speaking on "Misled by the Map," click here.

The map below shows the difficulty in representing a politically volatile area, such as Somalia, an area now "governed" by multiple regional entities, as shown in the color key.  Note the disclaimer at the bottom.

Nov 10
2009

Ancient Maps

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma County , Science , research , nonprofit orgs , media , literacy , international , Ideas , history , events , education , arts

Bruce Robinson

Western Civilization’s understanding of the size and shape of planet earth can be traced through the maps and atlases that were published three to five  hundred years ago.

Even before Columbus made his first westward voyage, it was generally accepted that the world was round, says map collector Henry Wendt (left). But the size of the globe was thought to be much smaller than it actually is.

 

The earliest printed maps are not just a record of growing cartographic understanding of the world, explains map collector Henry Wendt. They also document the powerful influence of the Church in the European view and understanding of that world.

The exhibit drawn from Wendt's collection, Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps 1472-1700, continues through January 17, 2010 at the Sonoma County Museum.

 

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