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What Seagulls Can Teach Us About Ecosystems

seagullsSeagulls, they’re everywhere, am I right? Like pigeons, it may be hard for New Yorkers to see them as “wildlife” when they act like such annoying scavengers so much of the time. And because they’re what are known as “opportunistic carnivores”, they tend to hang around the species that provides the most food opportunities- humans.

But actually we can learn a lot from seagulls, and especially how they’re affected by our behavior.

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Congestion Pricing Is Back, But Is It Better Than Ever?

bkbridgetrafficRemember the congestion pricing plan that was floated by the Bloomberg administration back in 2008? It had its critics and it had its flaws, and it ultimately died a death in the State Assembly, in no small part thanks to Sheldon Silver’s opposition. But it is a new day, a new administration, and Move NY has proposed a new congestion pricing plan (read the full plan here).

Things have changed a lot in the past seven years, obviously. But have they changed enough to transform our transportation system?

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Happy Chinese New Year of the Sheep, Goat or Ram

chinesenewyearDid you know that today marks the beginning of the largest annual human migration? Today, the Lunar New Year celebrations begin for Chinese populations all over the world, and in China alone, 2.8 million people who live away from home will travel across China to visit their families for the beginning of the fifteen day holiday. All together, one sixth of the world’s total population will be celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. Or Goat. Or Ram.

And this year, Chinese media is encouraging people to consider the environment when planning their celebrations.

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Happy 270th Birthday to Alessandro Volta, Inventor of the Electric Battery

avolta270Happy 270th birthday to Italian physicist Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian physicist and inventor of the first chemical-electric battery, known as “the Voltaic pile”. And now you also know where the word “voltaic”, as in “photovoltaic” which means “electricity from light”.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a fan, and Volta was invited by the Emperor to demonstrate the battery at the Institute of France.

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Honor African-Americans’ Contributions to STEM Disciplines for Black History Month

gwcarver2STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are more important than ever in today’s contemporary world of tech, but women and minority populations are still grievously underrepresented in these fields. But for hundreds of years now. African Americans have been making incredible contributions as inventors, scientists and engineers.

So do you recognize the scientist in the picture?

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