Nature vs. Nurture: (Humans) Wired for Culture
someWebGeek (2566673) writes "In 'Culture not genes drives humans forward', PhysOrg notes that:
Evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading Professor, Mark Pagel, argues that our cultural influences are more important to our success as a species than our genes in his new book, 'Wired for Culture: The Natural History of Human Co-operation,' published this week.
'He (Pagel) says other animals are limited to living in the environment their genes adapt them to, for example wildebeest can't climb trees for fruit...'
Um, humans are genetically specialized to be behaviorally unspecialized thanks to massive amounts of associative, cortical fibers. Anybody note that it's our genes that "wire" us? Outmoded, absolutist, two-valued, "either/or" thinking strikes again."
Carbohydrate-Based Synthesis to Replace Petroleum Derived Hydrocarbons?
someWebGeek (2566673) writes "From PhysOrg's Taking biofuel from forest to highway, University of British Columbia biofuel expert, Jack Saddler, offers that:
we will become less dependent on fossil fuels and will become more dependent on fuels made from the sugars and chemicals found in plants.
Nothing too new there, i.e., the idea of biofuels eventually taking over from petroleum distillates. However, Saddler contends further that:
Similar to an oil refinery that processes crude oil to make thousands of supplementary products like plastics, dyes, paints, etc., the biorefinery would use leftover agricultural and forest material to make many of the same products, but from a sustainable and renewable resource.
I remember my organic chem instructor back in '81 telling us that eventually the textbooks would have to be rewritten. There would be no presumption of fractional distillation of thousands of basic compounds from petroleum, and the teaching emphasis would shift to synthesis from simple hydrocarbons. He noted that we'd all miss 'the good, ole days' when synthetic fibers, plastics, etc. were cheap...or even an economically viable option. I can live without rayon, but, dang, I'm gonna miss polyvinyl chloride!"
Owners of wikapedia.com and twtter.com spanked in UK
someWebGeek (2566673) writes "Amsterdam-based companies, R&D Media Europe and Una Valley BV, were each fined £100,000 pounds for typosquatting.
According to Paul Whiteing, the CEO of PhonepayPlus, the regulatory body for all premium rate phone-paid services in the UK:
These judgements send a clear message to providers that they cannot play on the public's trust in well-known websites to promote services.
Let's hope that £100,000 "spanking" stings enough to make it so."