Stories tagged Facebook

Mountain climbing is dangerous. Mountain climbing on a volcanic mountain is extra dangerous. A team of mountain climbers in the Philippines found that out today, five with very tragic results.

Nov
03
2011

I have decided to participate in the "30 Days, 30 Questions" and in order to get answers from Friends & Family; I have decided to use Facebook. I didn't think I would get much of a response; but boy was I wrong!! Even after I posted the results from Day 1, people still continued to give me their answers! I even received comments back regarding the results and what they found interesting.
I am excited that I started this and decided to use Facebook as my "Friends & Family". It is like an experiment in itself, I am getting results I didn't expect!! This is fun and anyone else that is doing this assignment and has Facebook; I encourage you to try this method out. It is quite interesting (plus a great way to learn more about people you don't necessarily communicate with on a daily basis).

Feb
15
2011

May I have your attention, please?

(…Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?)

Very funny. But seriously, I’ve got breaking news!

The Institute on the Environment’s Dialogue Earth program is bursting into the online community. With their first press release, Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and blog, they’re drawing attention, and new supporters, every day. They've even been featured on The Line, SUNfiltered, The Daily Crowdsource, and Crowdsourcing.org.

Big things, folks. I’m telling ya: big things.

(Um, excuse me, KelsiDayle, but what is Dialogue Earth?)

Oh, gosh. I’m always getting ahead of myself. I’ll allow Dialogue Earth to explain for themselves:

“The Dialogue Earth™ team is working to increase public understanding on timely issues related to the environment by delivering engaging, trustworthy multimedia content to large, diverse audiences.”

Consider these three main ways people gather information about the environment:

  1. Personal experiences,
  2. Conversations with other people, and
  3. Media coverage.

Dialogue Earth is developing ways to monitor the ‘chatter’ from each information source.

For example, weather and gas price data sets allow Dialogue Earth to monitor these environmentally-relevant personal experiences.

Twitter provides the Dialogue Earth team with an intriguing sample of peoples’ conversations that have some connection to the environment. Dialogue Earth has developed a method of analyzing Tweets for sentiment through crowdsourcing.

Emerging or social medias, like blogs, are changing our understanding of what’s news, but there are still ways to understand the content, frames, sentiment, and assertions of stories. Dialogue Earth is working on developing a responsive and scalable method for so doing.

Eventually, Dialogue Earth hopes to help people process through the hot topics of the day, but for now Dialogue Earth is focusing on understanding what the big issues are and how people are communicating about them. Knowing these things first should help Dialogue Earth develop additional effective communication tools in the coming months. In fact, Dialogue Earth has already conducted their first experiment in crowdsourcing creative content via Tongal. Check out the winning science video on the topic of ocean acidification below:

Pretty great stuff, huh?

Nov
04
2009

Blue, blue, my ears are blue.: The blue morpho butterfly hears through ears on its wings.
Blue, blue, my ears are blue.: The blue morpho butterfly hears through ears on its wings.Courtesy William Warby

The blue morpho does. Scientists have found that this large butterfly of Central and South America has ears on its wings. These primitive ears can distinguish between the high-frequency sound of a bid singing, and the low-frequency sound of a bird flapping its wings. A singing bird is a sitting bird, and thus no threat to the morpho, but a flying bird could be attacking, and detecting those sounds tells the butterfly when to beat a slow, erratic retreat.

(Wait a minute…Blue Morpho…wasn’t he a character in Yellow Submarine Reloaded?)

Sep
22
2008

Don't do it, Narcissus: You can't fox around with your own reflection! And you shouldn't try!
Don't do it, Narcissus: You can't fox around with your own reflection! And you shouldn't try!Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
“Crazy,” I suppose, might be too strong a word. I generally reserve the “c-word” (not that one) for nighttime bicyclists and anyone who offers me any sort of advice at all. So instead we’ll say that Facebook is good for finding out which of your friends has a potentially harmful psychiatric condition.

Which condition? Well, we’re talking about Web 2.0, so what else could it be but… Narcissism!

Narcissism, for those of you behind on your isms, is a psychiatric condition characterized by a person who is overly self-centered and self-admiring. A narcissist is, more or less, someone a little too in love with themselves. Or way too in love with themselves—it’s a continuum. Narcissists will often use others for their own advantage, instead of focusing on fostering quality relationships. It’s ultimately harmful the associates of narcissists, as well as for the narcissist his- or herself.

The term “Narcissist” comes from an ancient Greek story about a really hot male supermodel named Narcissus. Narcissus was, as they say, fit, and he knew it, and he loved to spend time staring at himself. But this was before they had invented mirrors, so when Narcissus wanted to spend time staring at his face, instead of just the rest of his body, he’d have to go down to the stream to catch his own reflection. At some point, Narcissus found that just looking at his reflection no longer cranked his gears—he needed a little action. But, as the rest of us are no doubt aware, you can’t get any sugar from your own reflection, especially if it’s in the water. And so poor, hot Narcissus fell in and drowned his old self. Or maybe he didn’t drown, maybe he just got Giardia. Whatever. It wasn’t pretty. Such is the case with all narcissism.

So, anyway, a recent study suggests that Facebook profiles can be used to detect narcissism. The study found that people untrained in psychology could easily identify narcissism on profile pages, which is why these findings may not come as a huge surprise to you.

130 Facebook users were given personality questionnaires (to determine their degree of narcissism) and then their profiles were shown to untrained strangers. The viewers’ responses correlated strongly with the professional evaluation of the questionnaires.

So what did people look for in identifying narcissists? Three main things: a large number of “friends,” lots of displayed wallposts, and profile pictures that were more glamorous and self-promoting (as opposed to snapshots).

Narcissists, the study seems to demonstrate, use social networking sites like Facebook in the same way they use personal relationships: “for self-promotion with an emphasis on quantity over quality.” They have a large number of shallow friendships, and focus on self-promotion.

Also, because narcissists have a large number of online friends, you’re average non-narcissist is more likely to be “friends” with a narcissist on a social networking site than in real life (if you will).

So… which of your friends seems to fit the bill? Or, even better, do you? Or do you think that a hot profile picture, and lots of friends and wallposts aren’t good indicators of narcissim—would they give too many false positives and ignore true narcissists?

Defend yourselves or expose yourselves!

Nov
24
2007

Super-size me: We're used to seeing scorpions that were much smaller than humans. But the 400 million-year-old sea scorpion claw recently found in Germany translates into eight-foot long creatures that were predators of the sea.
Super-size me: We're used to seeing scorpions that were much smaller than humans. But the 400 million-year-old sea scorpion claw recently found in Germany translates into eight-foot long creatures that were predators of the sea.Courtesy Divinorum
If it were a from a crab or lobster, the world’s finest chefs and seafood connoisseurs would be doing back flips of joy.

But the 18-inch fossilized claw found a few years ago in Germany comes from what is believed to be the largest known scorpion, a sea creature that stretched eight feet long.

British researchers this week announced their findings of this Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, which lived about 400 million years ago.

This sea scorpion is about a yard longer than any previously found sea scorpion specimens and the researchers who found it think it was likely the main water predator of its era. The size of its claws would have allowed it to capture armored fish, other early vertebrates and arthropods and even small sea scorpions. They believe they were cannibalistic, eating members of their own species.

But over time, fish species evolved with stronger hunting characteristics, including jaws with mouth-filled teeth that were more effective than the sea scorpion’s claws. To survive, the sea scorpions down sized to be quicker and easier to hide. And over time, researchers believe, they began making forays on to land to be more competitive in the food chain.

Judging from the spindly legs of smaller sea scorpions from that same era, the giants would not have been strong and sturdy enough to carry themselves on land.

More details on Jaekelopterus rhenaniae can be found here.

Visitors to the Science Museum will name some of the falcon chicks. (Haven't seen them? Stop by the Mississippi River Gallery: you can use a scope to see the nest box on the stack of the High Bridge power plant, and you can see a live video feed from inside the box.) Vote for your favorite name!