Archive for May, 2008

Crime wave at your doorstep?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

New York has crime. It has dropped precipitously since a couple decades back, but I have seen a couple scuffles a robbery, and a few high-speed car chases with my own eyes. I have seen cops using faux taxi cabs to head-off the suspects they were pursuing, 2 officers running out with guns drawn and literally jumping onto the hood, aiming through the windshield while yelling threats.

Like this one:

So, it is too bad that these typical mash-up portals log fewer than a couple hundred incidents:

and even something from The New York Times

Perhaps instead of advertising “If you see something, say something” and then congratulating themselves on “1,944 people said something” — a statistic with little consequence, it turns out — perhaps the NYPD should encourage more digital participation.

Ironically, hundreds upon hundreds of people no doubt sent pictures from their camera phones/ BlackBerry phones when the 41st street manhole cover blew its stack (My friend included. He went so far as to voluntarily send 2 videos and 9 photos.)

Gameboy® bricks

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

How much do you like the classic Nintendo® Gameboy® Portable Hand-Held Game Conlose? Enough to buy clay brick replicas of the original for your home garden to the tune of €10?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both of these questions, click here.

New chapter in a Whale of a story

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Do you know what is happening with the whaling industry these days? In terms of commercial operations, not much. In terms of research, crimes, and misdemeanors, the Japanese have been running a few outings in vessels in the last couple years.

It was headline news when they announced the launch of these missions in the name of science. Among their claimed investigative agenda items were memorable tasks including 4 points:

1. Estimation of biological parameters to improve the stock management of the Southern Hemisphere minke whale,
2. Examination of the role of whales in the Antarctic marine ecosystem,
3. Examination of the effect of environmental changes on cetaceans and,
4. Examination of the stock structure of the Southern Hemisphere minke whales to improve stock management.

The Japanese defend their activities as safe and sound (IRCW). Opponents and government agencies both have argues that solely non-lethal means of conducting research can and should be used. Instead, they are sometimes ignored in favor of a trusty, rusty harpoon. How else can you do a whale autopsy?

True to form, Greenpeace has been out on the high sees, poking around and literally getting in the way. Greenpeace has even been seen to ‘chase away’ Japanese vessels in the midst of a point-shoot-kill-capture operation (YouTube and The Guardian).

Thanks to covert operations, Greenpeace agents have intercepted a box of illegal whale meat — on of many such containers, each worth $several thousand — destined for the black market. To quote a recent Greenpeace call-to-action: “The best cuts of whale meat, used to make whale bacon, are smuggled into crew cabins, preserved in salt, and then shipped home in boxes marked “cardboard” or “salted stuff” to be sold on the black market.”

Kudos to Greenpeace undercover.

Notes from the Where 2.0 conference

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

I’m currently at Where 2.0 2008, where neogeographer entrepreneurs meet We 2.0 and I’ll post interesting talks, links as they come up.

Jack Dangermond of ESRI mentioned a cool application, which is a joint venture between The Nature Conservancy and U Washington that shows impacts on habitats and species over time as temperature increases and precipitation patterns change.

While I look for the site, take a look at Big Ideas in Conservation: Harnessing IT.