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Taking a look at balancing food, energy and economics

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest January’s public program by the Environmental Professionals Network will look at humanity’s balancing act: producing enough food and energy, improving economies and social conditions, and protecting the environment, all while facing climate change and, by 2050, possibly 2 billion more people on the planet.“They’re enormous challenges,” said the network’s coordinator, David Hanselmann, a lecturer in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.The network is a statewide professional group based in the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.The program, called “Adaptive, Resilient Land Management: Goals for the 21st Century,” is from 7:15 to 9:40 a.m. Jan. 26 in Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus.Speaking will be:* Allison Thomson, science and research director at Washington, D.C.-based Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. The alliance, according to its website, works “to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality and human well-being.”* Ernie Shea, president and CEO of Lutherville, Maryland-based Solutions from the Land and coordinator of its North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance. The alliance is helping farmers and foresters understand and adapt to climate change while maintaining their productivity.Moderating the discussion will be Fred Yoder, a corn, wheat and soybean farmer from Madison County, Ohio, and a past president of the National Corn Growers Association. In 2013, President Obama honored Yoder as a “Champion for Change” for his sustainability and climate change work.“Agricultural producers, other landowners and our broader society face enormous challenges and opportunities locally, nationally and globally,” Hanselmann said. “With little exaggeration, life itself hinges on our success in these matters.”Registration for the event is $10 and includes breakfast. The deadline to register is Jan. 22. Details and a link to register are at go.osu.edu/Jan2016EPN.Contact Hanselmann at hanselmann.3@osu.edu or 614-247-1908 for more information.Sponsoring the event are the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean Council, and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.last_img read more

Ten tips for newbies looking for their first geocache

first_imgSo you’ve heard about this “geocaching” thing for a while now, and you’ve finally signed up on Geocaching.com or through the Geocaching® app. You’ve done a search, selected a great cache to find, and now you’re within 30 feet of the cache. So, now what?Here are ten tips for newbies looking for their first geocache.1. Use your eyes, hands, and geo-sensesUse your eyes, hands, and geo-senses. Your GPS or smartphone will only get you within about 30 feet of the cache location. When you’re close, use your eyes, hands, and geo-senses to locate the cache.2. Look for something that seems out of placeLook for something that seems out of place. Cache containers come in all sizes, shapes, colors. Look in tree hollows, under park benches, inspect that oyster shell in the forest, and yes, look in that one spot you’re 100% positive is not the hiding place. Chances are, that’s exactly where the cache is.3. Geocaches are often disguisedGeocaches are often disguised as rocks, bricks, bird houses, or other everyday objects, so think outside the (ahem), cache-box.4. Think like a detectiveThink like a detective, “If I were a geocache, where would I hide?”5. Geocaches should never be buriedGeocaches should never be buried, but they won’t always be on the ground.6. Look high, look low, look aroundLook high, look low, look around. Leave no bench unsearched, no stone unturned.7. Respect your surroundingsRespect your surroundings. NEVER trample on flower beds, scale walls, or damage property trying to find the cache.8. Check the hintCheck the hint. Many cache pages offer hints that may help you figure out where to look.9. Check the latest activityCheck the latest activity. Recent logs from other geocachers may contain valuable information such as, “I had to lean ON THE FENCE to find this one!”10. Be patientBe patient. Developing your geo-senses takes time.One last tip: Always, always ALWAYS bring a pen!Remember every single geocacher started out as a brand new geocacher and had to learn the ropes. And just like getting to Carnegie Hall, geocaching takes practice, practice, practice. Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedThe evolution of geocachesNovember 19, 2019In “Learn”From flying planes to finding caches — Interview with cache owner CliptwingsJuly 12, 2019In “Interview”Five ways to mentor a new geocacherMarch 7, 2016In “Community”last_img read more

The Dirty Little Secret About the “Wisdom of the Crowds” – There is No Crowd

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit sarah perez Recent research by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) professor Vassilis Kostakos pokes a big hole in the prevailing wisdom that the “wisdom of crowds” is a trustworthy force on today’s web. His research focused on studying the voting patterns across several sites featuring user-generated reviews including Amazon, IMDb, and BookCrossing. The findings showed that a small group of users accounted for a large number of ratings. In other words, as many have already begun to suspect, small but powerful groups can easily distort what the “crowd” really thinks, leading online reviews to often end up appearing extremely positive or extremely negative. Small Groups, Big ImpactTo conduct the research, Kostakos worked with a large sample of online ratings. As MIT’s Technology Review reports, the researcher and his team studied hundreds of thousands of items and millions of votes across all three sites. In each and every case, they discovered that small numbers of users accounted for the largest number of ratings. For example, on Amazon, only 5% of active Amazon users ever cast votes on more than 10 products but a small handful of users voted on hundreds of items. Said Kostakos, “if you have two or three people voting 500 times, the results may not be representative of the community overall.” This is hardly the first time that the so-called “wisdom of the crowds” has been called into question. The term, which implies that a diverse collection of individuals makes more accurate decisions and predications than individuals or even experts, has been used in the past to describe how everything from Wikipedia to user-generated news sites like Digg.com offer better services than anything created by a smaller group could do. Of course, we now know that simply isn’t true. For one thing, Wikipedia isn’t written and edited by the “crowd” at all. In fact, 1% of Wikipedia users are responsible for half of the site’s edits. Even Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, has been quoted as saying that the site is really written by a community, “a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers.” And as for Digg.com, a site whose algorithm is constantly tweaked in attempts to democratize the votes of its users, it still remains a place where a handful of power users can make or break getting a news item to the site’s front page. Attempts to Address the Issue It’s not surprising then to discover that, when it comes to review sites, it’s again small groups that are in control there too. Some sites, including Amazon, attempt to address this discrepancy by allowing users to vote on the helpfulness of reviews – a much easier process than having to write a review yourself. Also, local business finder and recommendations site Yelp implemented ways for business owners to respond to what they feel are inaccurate reviews by way of an owner comments feature. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the small groups still remain in control of these so-called “popular opinion” features.According to the article, another professor at CMU, Niki Kittur, suggested that sites create new tools for transparency. For example, there should be an easy way to see a summary of a user’s contributions which would quickly reveal any bias. He also suggested removing overly positive and negative reviews.Earlier this year, we looked at another user-generated review site which attacked this problem from another angle. Lunch.com, a new Yelp competitor, uses something they call their “Similarity Network” which matches you to other site users who share your interests. That way, instead of looking at a list of reviews which could originate from anyone with an agenda or axe to grind, you’re focused on reviews from others like you. Still, there is yet to be a perfect solution to the problem. Perhaps it’s time we give up the idea that the “wisdom of the crowds” was ever a driving force behind any socialized, user-generated anything and realize that, just like in life, there will always be active participants as well as the passive passerbys. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#news#social networks#Social Web#Trends#web last_img read more

Striking medical students threatened with legal action

first_imgCalcutta Medical College and Hospital authorities have threatened to take legal action against the students on the ninth day of their hunger strike in the State capital’s premier medical institution.The acting principal of the college, Dr. Ramanuj Sinha, told the striking students on Wednesday that “legal actions will be initiated” if any of the students falls sick, claimed some students.“It is seriously unfortunate that the authorities are threatening us instead of addressing our grievances,” said Soumyadeep Roy, a third-year student.The ongoing protests are against the college authority’s decision to allocate an 11-storey boys’ hostel to newcomers when the senior students do not have proper accommodation.Four students had previously fallen seriously ill and had to be given medical attention. The students said that they will sit on a mass hunger strike soon.last_img read more