Archive for September, 2017

Welcome to Zealandia, the Newest Continent

As published in GSA Today, Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent, this landmass broke off of Australia tens of millions of years ago and is now 94% underwater. (The part of the continent above the water is New Zealand.)  The authors of this article state that “The identification of Zealandia as a geological continent, rather than a collection of continental islands, fragments, and slices, more correctly represents the geology of this part of Earth.” (Abstract)

While the existence of this continent had been known for years( Zealandia was first named by Bruce Luyendyk in his Hypothesis for Cretaceous Rifting of East Gondwana caused by Subducted Slab Capture written in 1995), the first scientific expedition to explore this area has just finished its survey, and that is why this is now newsworthy.

The JOIDES Resolution is the name of the survey ship; it has a YouTube channel with brief videos highlighting some of the work involved with this expedition. You can also read blog entries at the vessel’s site. Additional information at The New York Times, The Guardian, Smithsonian, and National Geographic.

 

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Upcoming Cases Before the Supreme Court, October 2017 Term

This October 2017 term appears to be one full of important cases that will resonate down the years: cell phone privacy, district re-mapping, civil rights and free speech, etc. This CRS report –  Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases, September 19, 2017 – discusses the importance of four major cases and provides copious notes on these highlighted items as well as providing a table listing all the cases already approved. Another site with extensive coverage of this upcoming term is ScotusBlog, a real go-to site for me.

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Photos of Science Fiction Conventions

Before there was ComicCon, there were cons (science fiction conventions) dating back to the 1930s. Cosplay? That, too, appeared at science fiction conventions. Panels? Yep, sf cons as well. A goldmine of searchable photos, almost 6000 in total, from science fiction conventions from the 1960s and 1970s are now available. A great way to visually document the fanbase of sf as well as its authors.

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Books/Reports on Disaster Management

Recent events have certainly focused our attention on disasters and how we respond to them. To help provide guidance, the National Academies of Science have issued a topical list of freely accessible publications entitled Emergency Preparedness / Disaster Management Collection. Ranging from workshop reports on public health research during disasters to toolkits for crisis care standards, these timely documents will inform all first responders and other engaged populations of the necessary procedures to effectuate optimal measures in the provision of needed services.

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One of Science Fiction’s Greatest Magazines – Galaxy Magazine – Now Online for Free

Well do I remember subscribing to Galaxy; it eschewed the tech-heavy fiction of other pulps and concentrated on more “literary” offerings and stories that dealt with societal concerns. While this collection is not complete, it does offer almost 350 monthly issues. In its pages, you will find the first short rendition of what came to be one of Ray Bradbury’s most widely-read works – Fahrenheit 451 – here in the guise of the story “The Fireman“. All the giants in the field of science fiction appeared in Galaxy from Asimov to Simak to Brown to Sturgeon, the list is endless. And so are the vistas that these authors conjured up on a monthly basis. Here is a partial author listing.

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Another Groundbreaking Ceremony at NJCU’s West Campus

This ceremony heralded another step forward for the development of the West Campus; this building is planned to contain almost 150 apartments. Photos accompany this article.

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Online Primary Sources: “British Documents on the End of Empire”

This massive project was undertaken in light of the following:

“The main purpose of the British Documents on the End of Empire Project (BDEEP) is to publish documents from British official archives on the ending of colonial and associated rule and on the context in which this took place. In 1945, aside from the countries of present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma, Britain had over fifty formal dependencies; by the end of 1965 the total had been almost halved and by 1985 only a handful remained.”

Documents were culled from a vast array of official sources and provide insights into the transfer of power and the establishment of relations with former colonies.

The project was divided into three series: Series A approached this re-alignment thematically; Series B concentrates on specific countries; and Series C acts as an updated guide to the official records housed in various agencies. All the volumes contain hundreds of documents; at times, the tomes take some time to download. But it is worth the wait. In total, eighteen volumes were published between 1992 and 2006.

 

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