organization:university of texas at austin

  • #Caspian_Sea evaporating as temperatures rise, study finds
    http://news.agu.org/press-release/caspian-sea-evaporating-as-temperatures-rise-study-finds
    http://sites.agu.org/files/2017/08/The-Caspian-Sea-from-Space.jpg

    Earth’s largest inland body of water has been slowly evaporating for the past two decades due to rising temperatures associated with climate change, a new study finds.

    Water levels in the Caspian Sea dropped nearly 7 centimeters (3 inches) per year from 1996 to 2015, or nearly 1.5 meters (5 feet) total, according to the new study. The current Caspian Sea level is only about 1 meter (3 feet) above the historic low level it reached in the late 1970s.

    Increased evaporation over the Caspian Sea has been linked to increased surface air temperatures. According to the data from the study, the average yearly surface temperature over the Caspian Sea rose by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between the two time frames studied, 1979-1995 and 1996-2015. These rising temperatures are likely a result of climate change, according to the study’s authors.

    Evaporation brought about by warming temperatures appears to be the primary cause of the current drop in sea level and the decline will likely continue as the planet warms, according to the study’s authors.

    From our point of view as geoscientists, it’s an interesting place because it’s possible to construct a sort of budget for the total amount of water that’s there,” said Clark Wilson, a geophysicist with the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and co-author of the new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. “The real control that causes it to go up and down over long periods of time is really most likely the evaporation, which is almost completely dominated by temperature.

    #Mer_Caspienne

  • Data Exploration and Storytelling : Finding Stories in Data with Exploratory Analysis and Visualization

    http://journalismcourses.org/DES17.html

    Un mooc sur la datavisualisation. Je me suis inscrit, pour voir...

    Welcome to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Data Exploration and Storytelling: Finding Stories in Data with Exploratory Analysis and Visualization,” offered by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. This is a free course open to anyone from anywhere in the world interested in data-journalism. Instructors Alberto Cairo and Heather Krause will teach how to extract journalistic stories from data using visualization, exploratory data analysis and other techniques. Learn more details below about this program and if you have any questions, please contact us at knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu.

    #datavisualisation #visualisation #sémiologie #mooc #atelier_cartographique

  • AI can recognise your face even if you’re pixelated

    “Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Cornell Tech say that they’ve trained a piece of software that can undermine the privacy benefits of standard content-masking techniques like blurring and pixelation by learning to read or see what’s meant to be hidden in images—anything from a blurred house number to a pixelated human face in the background of a photo.”

    https://www.wired.com/2016/09/machine-learning-can-identify-pixelated-faces-researchers-show/?mbid=social_fb

    The researchers were able to defeat three privacy protection technologies, starting with YouTube’s proprietary blur tool. YouTube allows uploaders to select objects or figures that they want to blur, but the team used their attack to identify obfuscated faces in videos. In another example of their method, the researchers attacked pixelation (also called mosaicing). To generate different levels of pixelation, they used their own implementation of a standard mosaicing technique that the researchers say is found in Photoshop and other commons programs. And finally, they attacked a tool called Privacy Preserving Photo Sharing (P3), which encrypts identifying data in JPEG photos so humans can’t see the overall image, while leaving other data components in the clear so computers can still do things with the files like compress them.

    #surveillance
    #privacy
    #anonymity
    #AI #IA #machine_learning #neural_network

    • Trump’s Border Wall Could Impact an Astonishing 10,000 Species

      The list, put together by a team led by Dr. Gerardo J. Ceballos González of National Autonomous University of Mexico, includes 42 species of amphibians, 160 reptiles, 452 bird species and 187 mammals. Well-known species in the region include the jaguar, Sonoran pronghorn, North American river otter and black bear.


      http://therevelator.org/trump-border-wall-10000-species

    • Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?

      The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has seen many countries rush to construct border security fencing to divert or control the flow of people. This follows a trend of border fence construction across Eurasia during the post-9/11 era. This development has gone largely unnoticed by conservation biologists during an era in which, ironically, transboundary cooperation has emerged as a conservation paradigm. These fences represent a major threat to wildlife because they can cause mortality, obstruct access to seasonally important resources, and reduce effective population size. We summarise the extent of the issue and propose concrete mitigation measures.

      http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002483
      #faune #Europe #Europe_centrale #Europe_de_l'Est #cartographie #visualisation

    • Rewriting biological history: Trump border wall puts wildlife at risk

      Mexican conservationists are alarmed over Trump’s wall, with the loss of connectivity threatening already stressed bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, bears and other animals.
      About one-third of the border, roughly 700 miles, already has fencing; President Trump has been pushing a controversial plan to fence the remainder.
      A wall running the entire nearly 2,000-mile frontier from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, conservationists warn, would be catastrophic for borderland ecosystems and many wildlife species, undoing years of environmental cooperation between the two countries to protect animals that must move freely or die.
      The wall is currently a key bargaining chip, and a sticking point, in ongoing immigration legislation negotiations taking place this week in Congress. Also expected this week: a federal court ruling on whether the administration can legally waive environmental laws to expedite border wall construction.


      https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/rewriting-biological-history-trump-border-wall-puts-wildlife-at-risk
      #bisons

    • A Land Divided

      The national debate about border security doesn’t often dwell on the natural environment, but hundreds of miles of public lands, including six national parks, sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. What will happen to these lands — and the wildlife and plants they protect — if a wall or additional fences and barriers are built along the frontier?


      https://www.npca.org/articles/1770-a-land-divided
      #parcs_nationaux

    • R ULES C OMMITTEE P RINT 115–66 T EXT OF THE H OUSE A MENDMENT TO THE S ENATE A MENDMENT TO H.R. 1625

      US spending bill requires “an analysis, following consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, of the environmental impacts, including on wildlife, of the construction and placement of physical barriers” (p 677)

      http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/BILLS-115SAHR1625-RCP115-66.pdf
      Extrait partagé par Reece Jones sur twitter
      https://twitter.com/reecejhawaii/status/977304504700780544

    • Activists Vow Fight as Congress Funds Portions of Border Wall

      Last week Congress voted to appropriate some monies to build new fortifications along the United States–Mexico border, but border activists in the Rio Grande Valley say the fight against President Donald Trump’s border wall is far from over.

      The nearly $1.6 billion in border wall funding included in the omnibus spending bill that Trump signed Friday provides for the construction of some 33 miles of new walls, all in Texas’s ecologically important Rio Grande Valley. Those walls will tear through communities, farms and ranchland, historic sites, and thousands of acres of protected wildlife habitat, while creating flooding risks on both sides of the border. But far from admitting defeat, border activists have already begun mapping out next steps to pressure Congress to slow down or even halt the wall’s construction.

      https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/activists-vow-fight-congress-funds-portions-border-wall

    • State attorney general, environmental group to appeal decision on Trump’s border wall

      A ruling by a San Diego federal judge allowing construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall to go ahead will be appealed by two entities that opposed it, including the state Attorney General.

      Both the Center for Biological Diversity and Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed formal notices of appeal on Monday seeking to reverse a decision in February from U.S District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. The judge ruled that the Trump administration did not abuse its discretion in waiving environmental laws in its rush to begin border wall projects along the southwest border.

      The center had said after the ruling it would appeal, and Becerra also hinted the state would seek appellate court review at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

      The notices declare an intent to appeal. They do not outline arguments to be made on appeal or why each group believe that Curiel got it wrong.

      In a prepared statement Becerra said, “When we said that a medieval wall along the U.S.-Mexico border does not belong in the 21st century, we meant it. There are environmental and public health laws in place, and we continue to believe that the Trump Administration is violating those laws. We will not stand idly by. We are committed to protecting our people, our values and our economy from federal overreach.”

      The lawsuits challenged a law that allowed the federal government not to comply with environmental and other laws and regulations when building border security projects. They argued the law was outdated and Congress never intended for it to be an open-ended waiver for all border projects, and contended it violated constitutional provisions of separation of powers and states’ rights.

      In his decision Curiel said both that the law was constitutional and it gave the Department of Homeland Security wide latitude over border security.

      Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said in response to the Curiel ruling that the administration was pleased DHS “can continue this important work vital to our nation’s interest.”

      “Border security is paramount to stemming the flow of illegal immigration that contributes to rising violent crime and to the drug crisis, and undermines national security,” O’Malley said.

      http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-border-appeal-20180409-story.html

    • Les murs n’arrêtent pas que les humains

      Des États-Unis à la Malaisie, en passant par Israël ou la Hongrie, les hommes construisent de multiples murs pour contraindre les déplacements de nos semblables. N’oublions pas, explique l’auteur de cette tribune, que nous ne sommes pas les seuls à habiter la Terre et donc à pâtir de ces barrières.

      La #forêt_de_Bialowieza a quelque chose de mythique et de sacré. Âgée de plus de 8.000 ans, elle est la dernière forêt primaire d’Europe. S’étalant sur 150.000 hectares entre la Pologne et la Biélorussie, inaccessible aux visiteurs sans guide assermenté, elle constitue un sanctuaire d’espèces témoignant de la richesse des mondes anciens. Le bison d’Europe y vit encore de manière naturelle, côtoyant élans, cerfs, loups, lynx, etc.

      En 1981, à l’époque du rideau de fer, l’URSS a décidé de clôturer la frontière entre la Pologne et la Biélorussie, coupant à travers cette forêt et séparant en deux la dernière population de bisons d’Europe (environ 500 individus de part et d’autre). Cette clôture est symboliquement forte, car elle témoigne de la coupure existentielle (« ontologique », diraient les philosophes) que les humains se sont imposée vis-à-vis des autres êtres vivants. Ces derniers semblent ne pas exister à nos yeux.

      Mais cette séparation est plus que symbolique, elle est concrète. Les murs dressés par l’espèce humaine représentent une menace importante et sous-estimée pour de nombreux êtres vivants non humains.
      Murs de béton, de pierre, de boue, de sable ou de brique, de barbelés, de grilles en acier ou de clôtures électrifiées

      On en trouve surtout aux frontières : entre les États-Unis et le Mexique, la Corée du Nord et du Sud, Israël et la Cisjordanie, la Malaisie et la Thaïlande, l’Inde et le Pakistan, l’Iran et l’Irak, la Chine et la Mongolie, le Botswana et le Zimbabwe, etc. Ils prennent la forme de murs de béton, de pierre, de boue, de sable ou de brique, de barbelés, de grilles en acier ou de clôtures électrifiées, et viennent accompagnés de routes, de casernes, de lumières et de bruits. Leur nombre a considérablement augmenté depuis les attentats du 11 septembre 2001. Par exemple en Eurasie (sans le Moyen-Orient), il existe aujourd’hui plus de 30.000 km de murs, grillages et barbelés aux frontières.

      Ces murs affectent évidemment les populations humaines en brisant les trajectoires personnelles de millions de personnes. Ils affectent aussi les autres espèces [1]. À Białowieża, par exemple, la séparation a empêché les flux génétiques (et a donc fragilisé) des populations de bisons, d’ours, de loups et de lynx. Pire, 25 ans après la destruction du rideau de fer entre l’Allemagne et la République tchèque, les jeunes cerfs (qui n’avaient jamais vu de clôtures) ne traversaient toujours pas la frontière [2].

      En mai 2018 paraissait dans la revue Bioscience un article cosigné par dix-huit grands noms de l’étude et de la protection de la biodiversité (dont Edward O. Wilson) et signé par 2.500 scientifiques, qui alertait sur les « conséquences inattendues mais importantes » de ces murs frontaliers sur la biodiversité [3]. Ce cri d’alarme n’est pas le premier [4], mais il résume bien l’état des lieux de la recherche, et aussi l’état de préoccupation des chercheurs.
      Lorsque les habitats se fragmentent, les territoires des populations se réduisent

      Les murs nuisent à la biodiversité de plusieurs façons. Premièrement, ils peuvent blesser ou tuer des animaux directement, quand ils s’emmêlent dans les fils barbelés, sont électrocutés ou marchent sur des mines antipersonnelles.

      Deuxièmement, ils fragmentent et dégradent les habitats. Par exemple la frontière de 3.200 km entre le Mexique et les États-Unis traverse les aires de répartition géographique de 1.506 espèces natives (parmi lesquelles 1.077 espèces animales) dont 62 sont sur la liste des espèces en danger. Le mur menace cinq régions particulièrement riches en biodiversité (on les nomme « hotspots ») qui retiennent presque tous les efforts de conservation et de « réensauvagement » (rewilding). Lorsque les habitats se fragmentent, les territoires des populations se réduisent, et le nombre d’espèces présentes sur ces petites surfaces se réduit plus que proportionnellement, rendant ainsi les populations plus vulnérables, par exemple aux variations climatiques. Les clôtures frontalières contribuent aussi à accroître la mortalité de la faune sauvage en facilitant la tâche des braconniers, en perturbant les migrations et la reproduction, et en empêchant l’accès à la nourriture et à l’eau. Par exemple, le mouton bighorn (une espèce en danger) migrait naturellement entre la Californie et le Mexique mais ne peut aujourd’hui plus accéder aux points d’eau et aux sites de naissance qu’il avait l’habitude de fréquenter.

      Troisièmement, ces murs annulent les effets bénéfiques des millions de dollars investis dans la recherche et les mesures de conservation de la biodiversité. Les scientifiques témoignent aussi du fait qu’ils sont souvent l’objet d’intimidations, de harcèlements ou de ralentissements volontaires de la part des officiers responsables de la sécurité des frontières.

      Enfin, quatrièmement, les politiques de sécurité mises en place récemment font passer les lois environnementales au deuxième plan, quand elles ne sont pas simplement bafouées ou oubliées.
      Des centaines de kilomètres de clôtures de sécurité aux frontières extérieures et intérieures de l’UE

      Le double phénomène migrations/clôtures n’est pas prêt de s’arrêter. En 2015, un afflux exceptionnel d’êtres humains fuyant leurs pays en direction de l’Europe a conduit plusieurs États membres à réintroduire ou renforcer les contrôles aux frontières, notamment par la construction rapide de centaines de kilomètres de clôtures de sécurité aux frontières extérieures et intérieures de l’UE. Le réchauffement climatique et l’épuisement des ressources seront dans les années à venir des causes majeures de guerres, d’épidémies et de famines, forçant toujours plus d’humains à migrer. Les animaux seront aussi de la partie, comme en témoigne la progression vers le nord des moustiques tigres, qui charrient avec eux des maladies qui n’existaient plus dans nos régions, ou encore l’observation du loup en Belgique en mars 2018 pour la troisième fois depuis des siècles…

      Les accords entre pays membres de l’Union européenne au sujet des migrations humaines seront-ils mis en place à temps ? Résisteront-ils aux changements et aux catastrophes à venir ? Quel poids aura la « #Convention_des_espèces_migrantes » (censée réguler le flux des animaux) face aux migrations humaines ?

      En septembre 2017, un bison d’Europe a été aperçu en Allemagne. C’était la première fois depuis 250 ans qu’un représentant sauvage de cette espèce traversait spontanément la frontière allemande. Il a été abattu par la police.

      https://reporterre.net/Les-murs-n-arretent-pas-que-les-humains
      #Bialowieza

    • Les murs de séparation nuisent aussi à la #faune et la #flore

      3419 migrants sont décédés en Méditerranée en tentant de rejoindre Malte ou l’Italie. C’est ce que révèle un rapport du Haut commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés publié le 10 décembre. Il y a les barrières naturelles, et les murs artificiels. Pendant deux mois, le web-documentaire Connected Walls s’attaque aux murs de séparation entre quatre continents : le mur entre l’Amérique du Nord et l’Amérique latine incarné par les grillages entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique, celui entre l’Europe et l’Afrique incarné par les barbelés qui séparent les enclaves espagnoles du Maroc. Tous les 10 jours, Connected Walls publie un nouveau documentaire de cinq minutes sur une thématique choisie par les internautes. Cette semaine, ils ont sélectionné la thématique « animal ».

      Cette semaine, sur Connected-Walls,Valeria Fernandez (USA) et Fidel Enriquez (Mexico) ont suivi John Ladd dont la famille possède un ranch dans l’Arizona, à la frontière mexicaine, depuis cinq générations. Depuis la construction du mur frontalier en 2007, les choses ont changé pour lui et pour les animaux.

      De leur côté, Irene Gutierrez (Espagne) et Youssef Drissi (Maroc) ont rencontré Adam Camara, un jeune de Guinée Équatoriale qui a tenté de traverser plusieurs fois le détroit entre le Maroc et l’Espagne. Lors de sa dernière tentative, il a reçu l’aide d’un mystérieux ami.
      Pour chaque thématique, un partenaire associatif a carte blanche pour rédiger une tribune. Celle-ci a été rédigée par Dan Millis, de l’organisation écologiste Sierra Club :

      « Les animaux se moquent bien des frontières politiques. Le jaguar de Sonora n’a pas de passeport, et le canard morillon cancane avec le même accent, qu’il soit à Ceuta ou dans la forêt de Jbel Moussa. Les murs et les barrières ont cependant un impact considérable sur la faune et la flore. Par exemple, les rennes de l’ancienne Tchécoslovaquie ne franchissent jamais la ligne de l’ancien Rideau de Fer, alors même que cette barrière a disparu depuis 25 ans et qu’aucun des rennes vivant aujourd’hui ne l’a jamais connue. Les quelques 1000 kilomètres de barrières et de murs séparant les États-Unis et le Mexique détruisent et fragmentent l’habitat sauvage, en bloquant les couloirs de migration essentiels à la survie de nombreuses espèces. Une étude réalisée grâce à des caméras installées au niveau des refuges et des zones de vie naturellement fréquentés par la faune en Arizona a montré que des animaux comme le puma et le coati sont bloqués par les murs des frontières, alors que les humains ne le sont pas. »


      https://www.bastamag.net/Connected-Walls-le-webdocumentaire-4545
      #wildelife

    • Border Fences and their Impacts on Large Carnivores, Large Herbivores and Biodiversity: An International Wildlife Law Perspective

      Fences, walls and other barriers are proliferating along international borders on a global scale. These border fences not only affect people, but can also have unintended but important consequences for wildlife, inter alia by curtailing migrations and other movements, by fragmenting populations and by causing direct mortality, for instance through entanglement. Large carnivores and large herbivores are especially vulnerable to these impacts. This article analyses the various impacts of border fences on wildlife around the world from a law and policy perspective, focusing on international wildlife law in particular. Relevant provisions from a range of global and regional legal instruments are identified and analysed, with special attention for the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species and the European Union Habitats Directive.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/reel.12169

    • Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?

      The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has seen many countries rush to construct border security fencing to divert or control the flow of people. This follows a trend of border fence construction across Eurasia during the post-9/11 era. This development has gone largely unnoticed by conservation biologists during an era in which, ironically, transboundary cooperation has emerged as a conservation paradigm. These fences represent a major threat to wildlife because they can cause mortality, obstruct access to seasonally important resources, and reduce effective population size. We summarise the extent of the issue and propose concrete mitigation measures.


      https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002483

    • Butterfly Preserve On The Border Threatened By Trump’s Wall

      The National Butterfly Center, a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden in South Texas, provides a habitat for more than 100 species of butterflies.

      It also sits directly in the path of the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.

      The federal spending bill approved in September includes $1.6 billion in 2019 for construction of the wall. In October, the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver to 28 laws protecting public lands, wildlife and the environment to clear the way for construction to proceed.

      https://www.npr.org/2018/11/01/660671247/butterfly-preserve-on-the-border-threatened-by-trumps-wall
      #papillons

    • Wildlife advocates, local indigenous tribes protest preparations for new border wall construction

      The federal government this week began moving bulldozers and construction vehicles to the Texas border with Mexico to begin building a new six-mile section of border wall — the first new wall under President Donald Trump, administration officials confirmed Tuesday.

      The move immediately triggered angry protests by a local butterfly sanctuary — The National Butterfly Center — and local indigenous tribes who oppose the wall and say construction will damage natural habitats. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the wall will run through land owned by federal government. The dispute came amid an administration claim that a caravan of 2,000 migrants had arrived in northern Mexico along the Texas border.

      “We’re a recognized tribe and no one’s going to tell us who we are especially some idiots in Washington,” said Juan Mancias of the indigenous peoples’ tribe Carrizo-Comecrudo, who led protests on Monday. “We’re the original people of this land. We haven’t forgot our ancestors.”

      So far, the Trump administration has upgraded only existing fencing along the border. The president has called for some $5 billion for new wall construction, and Democrats have refused, resulting in a budget dispute that shut down the government for five weeks.

      This latest Texas project relies on previously appropriated money and won’t require further congressional approval. Construction plans for the Rio Grande Valley, just south of McAllen, Texas, call for six to 14 miles of new concrete wall topped with 18-foot vertical steel bars.

      Last year, Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen waived a variety environmental restrictions, including parts of the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts, to prepare for construction in the area. Construction on the Rio Grande Valley project is expected to start in the coming weeks.

      Marianna Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, remains a staunch advocate against the border wall. She met this week with authorities who she said wants to buy the center’s land for wall construction.

      She traveled to Washington last month to explain the environmental damage that would be caused by the construction in testimony on Capitol Hill.

      “The bulldozers will roll into the lower Rio Grande Valley wildlife conservation corridor, eliminating thousands of trees during spring nesting season for hundreds of species of migratory raptors and songbirds,” Wright told the House Natural Resources Committee.

      When asked by ABC News what message she has for people who aren’t there to see the impact of the new border wall, Wright paused, searching for words to express her frustration.

      “I would drive my truck over them, over their property, through their fence,” she said.

      DHS continues to cite national security concerns as the reason for building the border wall, with Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen saying in a statement Tuesday that migrants in the new caravan that had arrived at the Texas border would try to cross over illegally.

      “Such caravans are the result of Congress’s inexcusable failure to fully fund a needed physical barrier and unwillingness to fix outdated laws that act as an enormous magnet for illegal aliens,” Nielsen said in a statement.

      The last so-called caravan that caused alarm for the administration resulted in thousands of migrants taking shelter in the Mexican city of Tijuana. Just across the border from San Diego, many waited several weeks for the chance to enter the U.S.

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wildlife-advocates-local-indigenous-tribes-protest-preparations-border/story?id=60859814
      #résistance #peuples_autochtones #Carrizo-Comecrudo #McAllen #Texas

    • As Work Begins on Trump’s Border Wall, a Key Wildlife Refuge Is at Risk

      Construction is underway on a stretch of President Trump’s border wall cutting through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Biologists warn the steel wall will disrupt carefully preserved habitat critical for the survival of ocelot, jaguarundi, and other threatened species.

      As Tiffany Kersten descends from a levee into a verdant forest that stretches to the Rio Grande more than a mile away, she spots a bird skimming the treetops: a red-tailed hawk. Later, other birds — great blue herons, egrets — take flight from the edge of an oxbow lake. This subtropical woodland is one of the last remnants of tamaulipan brushland — a dense tangle of Texas ebony, mesquite, retama, and prickly pear whose U.S. range is now confined to scattered fragments in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. The ecosystem harbors an astonishing array of indigenous wildlife: ocelot, jaguarundi, Texas tortoise, and bobcat, as well as tropical and subtropical birds in a rainbow of colors, the blue bunting and green jay among them.

      But the stretch of tamaulipan scrub Kersten is exploring, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, won’t be around much longer. About 15 feet from the forest edge, Kersten — a board member of a local conservation group — spots red ribbons tied to tree branches on both sides of the trail. Soon, an excavator will uproot those trees to make way for a 140-foot-wide access road and an 18-foot-high wall atop the levee, all part of the Trump administration’s plan to barricade as much of the Texas/Mexico border as possible. On Valentine’s Day, two days before I visited the border, crews began clearing a path for the road, and soon the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will plant a cement foundation in the levee and top it with a steel bollard barrier.

      This construction is the first project under a plan to build 33 miles of new wall along the levee in South Texas, with $641 million in funding that Trump requested and Congress authorized last year. That 33-mile stretch, cutting through some of the most unique and endangered habitat in the United States, will be joined by an additional 55 miles of wall under a funding bill Trump signed February 15 that allocates another $1.375 billion for wall construction. The same day, Trump also issued a national emergency declaration authorizing another $6 billion for border walls. That declaration could give the administration the power to override a no-wall zone Congress created in three protected areas around the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

      Since the mid-20th century, ranches, oil fields, and housing tracts have consumed 97 percent of the tamaulipan brushland.

      Since the mid-20th century, ranches, farms, oil fields, subdivisions, and shopping centers have consumed 97 percent of the tamaulipan brushland habitat at ground zero of this new spate of border wall construction. That loss led Congress to create the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the 1970s and spurred a 30-year-effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation organizations, and private landowners to protect the remaining pockets of tamaulipan brushland and restore some of what has been lost. The Fish and Wildlife Service has purchased 10,000 acres of cropland and converted it back into tamaulipan woodlands; it hopes to replant another 30,000 acres. The refuge, now totaling 98,000 acres, has been likened to a string of pearls, with connected jewels of old-growth and restored habitat adorning the 300-mile lower Rio Grande Valley.

      Into this carefully rebuilt wildlife corridor now comes the disruption of a flurry of new border wall construction. Scientists and conservationists across Texas warn that it could unravel decades of work to protect the tamaulipan brushland and the wildlife it harbors. “This is the only place in the world you can find this habitat,” says Kersten, a board member of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, a non-profit group that works closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the corridor program. “And only 3 percent of this habitat is remaining.”

      For all its efforts to turn cropland into federally protected habitat, the Fish and Wildlife Service finds itself with little recourse to safeguard it, precisely because it is federal property. The easiest place for the federal government to begin its new wave of border wall construction is the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which includes the picturesque La Parida Banco tract, where I joined Kersten. Under a 2005 law, the Department of Homeland Security can waive the environmental reviews that federal agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Service typically conduct for projects that could alter federally protected lands.

      The tract Kersten and I visited is one of four adjacent “pearls” in the wildlife corridor — long , roughly rectangular parcels stretching from an entrance road to the river. From west to east they are the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s La Parida Banco tract, the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, the refuge’s El Morillo Banco tract, and the privately owned National Butterfly Center. A levee runs through all four properties, and the first sections of fence to be built atop it would cut off access to trails and habitat in the refuge tracts. Citizens and local and state officials have successfully fought to keep the fence from crossing the National Butterfly Center, the Bentsen-Rio Grande state park, and the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge farther downstream — at least for now. If Trump’s national emergency declaration survives court challenges, the border barriers could even be extended into these holdouts.

      When the wall and access road are completed at La Parida Banco, a crucial piece of intact native habitat will become isolated between the wall and the river. Species that either rely on the river for water or migrate across it will find pathways they’ve traversed for thousands of years blocked.

      While biologists are concerned about the impacts of the wall all along the U.S.-Mexico border, the uniqueness of South Texas’ ecosystems make it an especially troublesome place to erect an 18-foot fence, they say. The 300-mile wildlife corridor in South Texas, where the temperate and the tropical intermingle, is home to an astounding concentration of flora and fauna: 17 threatened or endangered species, including the jaguarundi and ocelot; more than 530 species of birds; 330 butterfly species, about 40 percent of all those in the U.S.; and 1,200 types of plants. It’s one of the most biodiverse places on the continent.

      `There will be no concern for plants, endangered species [and] no consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service,’ says a biologist.

      “This is a dry land, and when you have dry land, your diversity is near the water,” says Norma Fowler, a biologist with the University of Texas at Austin who studies the tamaulipan brushland ecosystem. She co-authored an article published last year in the scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment warning of the consequences of the new wall for the region’s singular ecosystems and wildlife. Since the wall can’t be built in the river, it’s going up a mile or more north of it in some areas, placing both the riparian habitat right along the river and the tamaulipan thornscrub on higher ground at risk.

      “Both of those habitats have been fragmented, and there’s not much left,” Fowler says. “Some of it is lovingly restored from fields to the appropriate wild vegetation. But because they’ve waived every environmental law there is, there will be no concern for plants, endangered species. There will be no consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service.”

      When the wall rises, the barrier and the new patrol road alongside it will cut an unusually wide 140-foot swath to improve visibility through the dense brush. In her article, Fowler estimated that construction of the border wall would destroy 4.8 to 7.3 acres of habitat per mile of barrier. The fence will also cut off access to the river and habitat on the Mexican side of the border for many animals. Including bobcats, ocelot, jaguarundi, and javelina. Some slower-moving species, like the Texas tortoise, could be caught in floods that would swell against the wall.

      If new walls must be built along the Rio Grande, Fowler says, the Department of Homeland Security should construct them in a way that causes the least harm to wildlife and plants. That would include limiting the footprint of the access roads and other infrastructure, designing barriers with gaps wide enough for animals to pass through, and using electronic sensors instead of physical barriers wherever possible.

      One of the most at-risk species is the ocelot, a small jaguar-like cat that historically roamed throughout Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Arizona, but that numbers only about 80 today. The sole breeding population left in the U.S. is in South Texas, and it is wholly dependent on the dense shrubland in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that the wall will bisect. Some species could be wiped out altogether: The few sites where Physaria thamnophila, a native wildflower, still grows are directly in the path of the wall, Fowler says.

      With 1,254 miles of border — all following the languid, meandering course of the Rio Grande — Texas has far more of the United States’ 1,933-mile southern boundary than any other state, yet it has the fewest miles of existing fence. That’s because much of the Texas border is private riverfront land. The first major push to barricade the Texas border, by the George W. Bush administration, encountered opposition from landowners who balked at what they saw as lowball purchase offers and the use of eminent domain to take their property. (Years later, some of those lawsuits are still pending.) Federal land managers also put up a fight.

      Natural areas already bisected by a Bush-era fence offer a preview of the potential fate of the Rio Grande wildlife refuge.

      When Ken Merritt — who oversaw the federal South Texas Refuge Complex, which includes the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana, and the Laguna Atascosa refuge near where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico — questioned the wisdom of a barrier through Santa Ana during the Bush administration, he was forced out of his job.

      “I was getting a lot of pressure,” says Merritt, who still lives in the valley and is retired. “But it just didn’t fit. We were trying to connect lands to create a whole corridor all along the valley, and we knew walls were very much against that.”

      Natural areas already bisected by the Bush-era fence offer a preview of the potential fate of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. A few miles downstream from the La Parida tract, the Hidalgo Pumphouse and Birding Center, which anchors the southern end of the tiny town of Hidalgo, now looks out at a stretch of steel bollard fence atop a concrete wall embedded in the levee.

      On a recent Monday morning, a few tourists milled about the gardens behind the pumphouse, listening to the birds — curve-billed thrashers, green monk parakeets, kiskadee flycatchers — and enjoying the view from the observation deck. Curious about the wall, all of them eventually walk up to it and peek through the four-inch gaps between the steel slats. On the other side lies another pearl: a 900-acre riverside piece of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge called the Hidalgo Bend tract. It was once a popular spot with birders drawn to its ferruginous Pygmy owls, elf owls, and other wildlife. But since the wall went up in 2009, few birders visit anymore.

      At The Nature Conservancy’s Sabal Palm Preserve, a 557-acre piece of the wildlife corridor near the Gulf of Mexico, a wall installed in 2009 cuts through one of the last stands of sabal palm forest in the Rio Grande Valley. Laura Huffman, regional director for The Nature Conservancy, worries that the more walls erected on the border, the less hope there is of completing the wildlife corridor.

      Kersten and others remain unconvinced that the danger on the border justifies a wall. She believes that sensors and more Border Patrol agents are more effective deterrents to drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. Earlier on the day we met, Kersten was part of a group of 100 or so protestors who marched from the parking lot at nearby Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park to the adjacent National Butterfly Center, holding signs that read “No Border Wall” and “Solidarity Across Borders.” One placard listed the more than two dozen environmental and cultural laws that the Trump administration waived to expedite the fence. Among them: the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires environmental analysis before federal projects can begin; the Endangered Species Act; the Clean Water Act; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act; the National Historic Preservation Act; and the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.

      Even as the wall goes up in the refuge, preparations for this year’s restoration projects are moving ahead. Betty Perez, whose family has lived in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for generations, is one of several landowners who grow seedlings for replanting on refuge lands each year. At her ranch, about a 45-minute drive northwest of the La Parida Banco tract, she’s beginning to collect seeds to grow this year’s native shrub crop: coyotillo, in the buckthorn family; yucca; Texas persimmon.

      Next to a shed in her backyard sit rows of seedlings-to-be in white tubes. To Perez, the delicate green shoots hold a promise: In a few years, these tiny plants will become new habitat for jaguarundi, for ocelot, for green jays, for blue herons. Despite the new walls, the wildlife corridor project will go on, she says, in the spaces in between.

      https://e360.yale.edu/features/as-work-begins-on-trumps-border-wall-a-key-wildlife-refuge-is-at-risk

    • Border Wall Rising In #Arizona, Raises Concerns Among Conservationists, Native Tribes

      Construction has begun on President Trump’s border wall between Arizona and Mexico, and conservationists are furious. The massive barrier will skirt one of the most beloved protected areas in the Southwest — Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, recognized by the United Nations as an international biosphere reserve.

      On a recent drive along the borderline, a crew was transplanting tall saguaro cactus out of the construction zone.

      “There may be misconceptions that we are on a construction site and just not caring for the environment,” intones a voice on a video released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project. “We are relocating saguaro, organ pipe, ocotillo...”

      But a half-mile away, a big yellow bulldozer was scraping the desert clean and mowing down cactus columns that were likely older than the young man operating the dozer.

      Customs and Border Protection later said 110 desert plants have been relocated, and unhealthy ones get bulldozed.

      This scene illustrates why environmentalists are deeply skeptical of the government’s plans. They fear that as CBP and the Defense Department race to meet the president’s deadline of 450 miles of wall by Election Day 2020, they will plow through one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions of the continental United States.

      The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has warned that the wall, with its bright lights, human activity and impermeable barrier, could negatively impact 23 endangered and at-risk species, including the Sonoran pronghorn antelope. And the National Park Service says construction could destroy 22 archaeological sites. Yet, for this stretch of western desert, the government has waived 41 federal environmental laws to expedite construction.

      “This is a wall to fulfill a campaign promise. It’s really clear. And that’s what makes so many of us so angry. It’s being done so fast outside the rule of law and we know it’ll have an incredible impact,” says Kevin Dahl, Arizona representative for the National Parks Conservation Association. He sits beside a serene, spring-fed pond fringed by cattails, and dive-bombed by dragonflies. It is called Quitobaquito Springs, and it’s located on the southern edge of the #Organ_Pipe_Cactus_National_Monument.

      A biologist peers into a rivulet that feeds this oasis in the middle of the Sonoran desert.

      “These guys are very tiny, maybe half the size of a sesame seed. Those are the Quitobaquito tryonia. And there are literally thousands in here,” says Jeff Sorensen, wildlife specialist supervisor with Arizona Game and Fish Department. He’s an expert on this tiny snail, which is one of three species — along with a mud turtle and a pupfish — whose entire universe is this wetland.

      The springs have been used for 16,000 years by Native Americans, followed by Spanish explorers, traders and farmers.

      But the pond is a stone’s throw from the international border, and the path of the wall. Conservationists fear workers will drill water wells to make concrete, and lower the water table which has been dropping for years.

      “We do have concerns,” Sorensen continues. “Our species that are at this site rely on water just like everything else here in the desert southwest. And to take that water away from them means less of a home.”

      The Trump administration is building 63 miles of wall in the Tucson Sector, to replace outdated pedestrian fences and vehicle barriers. CBP says this stretch of desert is a busy drug- and human-trafficking corridor. In 2019, the Tucson sector had 63,490 apprehensions and seized more than 61,900 pounds of illegal narcotics. The Defense Department is paying Southwest Valley Constructors, of Albuquerque, N.M., to erect 18- to 30-foot-tall, concrete-filled steel bollards, along with security lights and an all-weather patrol road. It will cost $10.3 million a mile.

      The rampart is going up in the Roosevelt Reservation, a 60-foot-wide strip of federal land that runs along the U.S. side of the border in New Mexico, Arizona and California. It was established in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

      Congress refused to authorize money for construction of the wall in Arizona. Under Trump’s national emergency declaration, the Defense Department has reprogrammed counterdrug funding to build the border wall.

      In responses to questions from NPR, CBP says contractors will not drill for water within five miles of Quitobaquito Springs. The agency says it is coordinating with the National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife and other stakeholders to identify sensitive areas “to develop avoidance or mitigation measures to eliminate or reduce impacts to the environment.” Additionally, CBP is preparing an Environmental Stewardship Plan for the construction project.

      Critics are not appeased.

      “There is a whole new level of recklessness we’re seeing under Trump. We thought Bush was bad, but this is a whole other order of magnitude,” says Laiken Jordahl, a former national park ranger and now borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity.

      There was an outcry, too, back in the late 2000s when President George W. Bush built the first generation of bollard wall. Those barriers topped out at 18 feet. The structures rising southwest of Tucson are as tall as a two-story building. They look like they could hold back a herd of T-rexes.

      The Trump administration is using the same Real ID Act of 2005 that empowered President George W. Bush to build his border wall without heeding environmental protections. But the pace of waivers is quickening under Trump’s aggressive construction timeline. Under Bush, the Department of Homeland Security issued five waiver proclamations. Under Trump, DHS has issued 15 waivers that exempt the contractors from a total of 51 different laws, ranging from the Clean Water Act to the Archeological Resources Protection Act to the Wild Horse and Burro Act.

      “The waivers allow them to bypass a lot of red tape and waive the public input process,” says Kenneth Madsen, a geography professor at Ohio State University at Newark who monitors border wall waivers. “It allows them to avoid getting bogged down in court cases that might slow down their ability to construct border barriers along the nation’s edges.”

      The most important law that CBP is able to sidestep is the National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA—known as the Magna Carta of federal environmental laws. It requires a detailed environmental assessment of any “federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” NEPA covers most large federal construction projects, such as dams, bridges, highways, and waterway projects.

      Considering the construction of 450 miles of steel barriers on the nation’s southern boundary, “There is no question that NEPA would require preparation of an environmental impact statement, with significant input from the public, from affected communities, tribal governments, land owners, and land managers throughout the process. And it is outrageous that a project of this magnitude is getting a complete exemption from NEPA and all the other laws,” says Dinah Bear. She served as general counsel for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality for 24 years under four presidents.

      To some border residents, barriers — regardless how controversial — are the best way to stop illegal activity.

      “I support Donald Trump 100%. If you’re going to build a wall, build it!” declares rancher John Ladd.

      His family has bred cattle in Arizona since it was a territory. Their ranch backs up to the Mexican border near the town of Naco. The surrounding mountains purple at dusk, as a bull and his harem of cows munch gramma grass.

      Time was when the Ladd ranch was overrun by people crossing the border illegally. They stole things and cut fences and left trash in the pastures. Then in 2016, at the end of the Obama years, CBP built a fence, continuing what Bush started.

      Ladd reserves judgment on the propriety of a wall through a federally protected wilderness. But for his ranch, walls worked.

      “When this 18-foot wall went in, it was obvious that immigrants quit coming through here,” he says. “It was an immediate improvement with the security of our border as well as our houses.”

      Other border neighbors feel differently.

      The vast Tohono O’odham Nation — nearly as big as Connecticut — shares 62 miles with Mexico. The tribe vehemently opposes the border wall. Several thousand tribal members live south of the border, and are permitted to pass back and forth using tribal IDs.

      Already, border barriers are encroaching on the reservation from the east and west. While there is currently no funding to wall off the Arizona Tohono O’odham lands from Mexico, tribal members fear CBP could change its mind at any time.

      “We have lived in this area forever,” says Tribal Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. “And so a full-blown 30-foot wall would make it that much difficult for our tribal citizens in Mexico and in the U.S. to be able to actively participate with family gatherings, with ceremonial gatherings.”

      Traditions are important to the Antone family. The father, son and daughter recently joined other tribal members walking westward along State Highway 86, which runs through the reservation. They were on a pilgrimage for St. Francis.

      Genae Antone, 18, stopped to talk about another rite of passage. Young Tohono O’odham men run a roundtrip of 300 miles from the reservation, across the border, to the salt flats at Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

      “The salt run, for the men, that’s really important for us as Tohono O’odham. For the men to run all the way to the water to get salt,” she said. “Some people go and get seashells. So I don’t really necessarily think it (the border wall) is a good idea.”

      The Antone family — carrying a feathered walking stick, a statue of the virgin, and an American flag — then continued on its pilgrimage.

      https://www.npr.org/2019/10/13/769444262/border-wall-rising-in-arizona-raises-concerns-among-conservationists-native-tri
      #cactus

  • 5-decade study reveals fallout from spanking kids - CBS News
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/5-decade-study-reveals-fallout-from-spanking-kids

    Spanking a child leads to bad behaviors, not the better manners some parents may think a smack on the bottom will elicit, a new study suggests.

    Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan analyzed 75 studies involving more than 150,000 children that spanned 50 years.

    This is a wide swath of children and the findings are incredibly consistent,” study author Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff told CBS News. “This shows there is a correlation between spanking and negative outcomes and absolutely no correlation between spanking and positive outcomes.

    Spanking doesn’t make kids behave better right away and it leads to worse behavior in the long run, said Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. And spanked kids are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial.

    #fessée #méta-analyse

    • résumé de l’article original (payant)

      Spanking and Child Outcomes: Old Controversies and New Meta-Analyses.
      Gershoff, Elizabeth T.; Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew
      Journal of Family Psychology, Apr 7 , 2016, No Pagination Specified.
      http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=search.displayRecord

      Abstract
      Whether spanking is helpful or harmful to children continues to be the source of considerable debate among both researchers and the public. This article addresses 2 persistent issues, namely whether effect sizes for spanking are distinct from those for physical abuse, and whether effect sizes for spanking are robust to study design differences. Meta-analyses focused specifically on spanking were conducted on a total of 111 unique effect sizes representing 160,927 children. Thirteen of 17 mean effect sizes were significantly different from zero and all indicated a link between spanking and increased risk for detrimental child outcomes. Effect sizes did not substantially differ between spanking and physical abuse or by study design characteristics.
      (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

  • The Surveillance of Blackness: From the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to Contemporary Surveillance Technologies
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35086-the-surveillance-of-blackness-from-the-slave-trade-to-the-police

    as Simone Browne, a professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, demonstrates in her new book Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, we can trace the emergence of surveillance technologies and practices back much further, to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

    You have a large push into affective computing technologies, the kind of machine reading of emotions being used at airports, for example, in Israel, which monitor people for blood pressure, for sweat and for changes in their voice, and then assign a threat category or score to them.

    These kinds of affective computing technologies amp up the role of affect, which, as we know, is something that is socially constructed.

    This gets us to think about: Who gets marked as “angry” prior to any reaction? Again, this harkens back to the controlling images of the “angry Black woman” and the “threatening Black man.” Patricia Hill Collins’ “controlling images” is one of the foundational concepts that continues within sociology and Black feminist theory. It is about social control and the ways in which Black women’s various ways of being become surveilled and stereotyped as a form of social control.

    #surveillance #algorithme #lumière #racisme


  • Je commence un fil sur la « Plaque de Pioneer ». Merci d’avance à tous pour vos contributions !
    Et on commence par Wikipédia, avec deux articles :
    Plaque de Pioneer
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaque_de_Pioneer

    La plaque de Pioneer est une plaque métallique embarquée à bord de deux sondes spatiales lancées en 1972 et 1973, Pioneer 10 et Pioneer 11, sur laquelle un message pictural de l’humanité est gravé à destination d’éventuels êtres extraterrestres : un homme et une femme représentés nus, ainsi que plusieurs symboles fournissant des informations sur l’origine des sondes.

    Il s’agit en fait d’une sorte de « bouteille à la mer interstellaire », les chances pour qu’elle soit retrouvée étant extrêmement faibles.

    Les sondes Pioneer furent les premiers objets construits par des humains à quitter le système solaire. Les plaques sont attachées aux sondes de manière à être protégées de l’érosion des poussières interstellaires ; si bien que la NASA s’attend à ce que la plaque (et la sonde elle-même) survive plus longtemps que la Terre et le Soleil.

    Un message plus détaillé et évolué, le Voyager Golden Record, est embarqué sous la forme d’un disque vidéonumérique par les sondes Voyager, lancées en 1977.

    Le Voyager Golden Record
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record

    Le Voyager Golden Record est un disque embarqué à bord des deux sondes spatiales Voyager, lancées en 1977. Ce disque de 12 pouces contient des sons et des images sélectionnés pour dresser un portrait de la diversité de la vie et de la culture sur Terre, et est destiné à d’éventuels êtres extraterrestres qui pourraient le trouver.

    Tout comme son précurseur la plaque de Pioneer, il s’agit d’une « bouteille à la mer interstellaire », les chances pour que ces disques soient retrouvés étant extrêmement faibles. De plus, s’ils l’étaient, ce serait dans un futur très lointain : les sondes Voyager ne se retrouveront pas à moins de 1,7 année-lumière d’une autre étoile avant 40 000 ans. Donc, plus qu’une tentative sérieuse de communication avec des extraterrestres, ces disques ont un sens symbolique.

    Sur le couvercle du vidéodisque est gravé le schéma explicatif du mode de lecture ainsi que les symboles inscrits sur la plaque de Pioneer. Le disque lui-même comprend de nombreuses informations sur la Terre et ses habitants, allant des enregistrements de bruits d’animaux et de cris de nourrisson, jusqu’au bruit du vent, du tonnerre, ou d’un marteau-piqueur. Sont aussi compris les enregistrements du mot « Bonjour » dans une multitude de langues, des extraits de textes littéraires et de musique classique et moderne.

    Une source d’uranium 238 (choisi pour sa période radioactive de l’ordre de 4,5 milliards d’années) est également embarquée à bord des sondes, permettant de déterminer le temps écoulé depuis le lancement par datation radioactive.

    The Voyager Interstellar Record
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rat2vEMojeM&feature=youtu.be&list=PLA5Z0m2JKyVJUgkMG08WP8KsAvLrjfkj


    Avec plus précisément le titre The Sounds of Earth : https://soundcloud.com/brainpicker/the-sounds-of-earth-the-golden

    Et les images envoyées dans l’espace.
    116 Images of the Voyager Golden Record – a Message for Extraterrestrial Life
    http://webodysseum.com/art/116-images-of-the-voyager-golden-record

    #Plaque_de_pioneer
    #Voyager_Golden_Record
    #Pioneer_10
    #Pioneer_11
    #Sounds_of_Earth
    #Epistémologie
    #Histoire_des_Sciences
    #STS
    #Esthétique

    • http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-010-1451-9_11
      On the Critique of Scientific Reason de P. K. Feyerabend
      Dans une note :

      Carl Sagan, surely one of the most imaginative scientists alive warns us not to unduly restrict the possibilities of life, and he mentions various types of ‘chauvinism’ (oxygen-chauvinism: if a planet has no oxygen, then it is uninhabitable; temperature chauvinism: low temperatures such as those on Jupiter and high temperatures such as those on Venus make life impossible; carbon chauvinism: all biological systems are constructed of carbon compounds) which he regards as unwarranted (The Cosmic Connection, New York 1975, Ch. 6). He writes (page 179): “It is not a question of whether we are emotionally prepared in the long run to confront a message from the stars. It is whether we can develop a sense that beings with quite different evolutionary histories, beings who may look far different from us, even ‘monstrous’ may, nevertheless, be worthy of friendship and reverence, brotherhood and trust”. Still, in discussing the question whether the message on the plaque of Pioneer 10 will be comprehensible to extraterrestrial beings he says that “it is written in the only language we share with the recipients: science” (18; cf. p. 217: messages to extraterrestrial beings “will be based upon commonalities between the transmitting and the receiving civilization. Those commonalities are, of course, not any spoken or written language or any common, instinctual encoding in our genetic materials, but rather what we truly share in common — the universe around us, science and mathematics.”) In times of stress this belief in science and its temporary results may become a veritable maniac-making people disregard their lives for what they think to be the truth. Cf. Medvedev’s account of the Lysenko case.

      #Plaque_de_pioneer
      #Relativisme
      #Feyerabend
      #Épistémologie

    • Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan
      Saturday, December 07, 1985

      Lloyd Moss talks to Pulitzer-Prize-winning astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan and his wife, author Ann Druyan, about their ten-year collaboration and their upcoming book, Comet. They discuss the Voyager Interstellar Record Project and the collection of culture and music that was curated for it. They discuss the five musical selections which were culled from the twenty-seven works used in the Voyager project.

    • Et un projet similaire de la même veine, plus récent (2012)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EchoStar_XVI

      The Creative Time was launched with EchoStar XVI into outer space an archival disc created by artist Trevor Paglen called The Last Pictures. Made of ultra-archival materials, the disc is expected to orbit the Earth for billions of years affixed to the exterior of the communications satellite. A silicon disc has one hundred photographs selected to represent modern human history.

      http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-last-pictures-launches-with-echostar-xvi-satellite
      The Last Pictures launches with EchoStar XVI satellite

      http://creativetime.org/projects/the-last-pictures

      Since 1963, more than eight hundred spacecraft have been launched into geosynchronous orbit, forming a man-made ring of satellites around the Earth. These satellites are destined to become the longest-lasting artifacts of human civilization, quietly floating through space long after every trace of humanity has disappeared from the planet.
      Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures is a project that marks one of these spacecraft with a visual record of our contemporary historical moment. Paglen spent five years interviewing scientists, artists, anthropologists, and philosophers to consider what such a cultural mark should be. Working with materials scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Paglen developed an artifact designed to last billions of years—an ultra-archival disc, micro-etched with one hundred photographs and encased in a gold-plated shell. In Fall 2012, the communications satellite EchoStar XVI will launch into geostationary orbit with the disc mounted to its anti-earth deck. While the satellite’s broadcast images are as fleeting as the light-speed radio waves they travel on, The Last Pictures will remain in outer space slowly circling the Earth until the Earth itself is no more.

      #Echostar
      #The_Last_Pictures

    • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.gate3.inist.fr/doi/10.1002/2013EO400004/pdf
      Nick Sagan Reflects on Voyager 1 and the Golden Record

      © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
      Eos
      , Vol. 94, No. 40, 1 October 2013
      Nick Sagan Reflects on Voyager 1
      and the Golden Record
      When scientists confirmed on 12 September that NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft had entered
      interstellar space (
      Eos, 94
      (39), 339, doi:10.1002/ 2013EO390003), the probe was acknowledged
      as the first human- made object to travel into that realm. The probe and its twin, Voyager 2, each
      carry a 12-inch gold- plated copper disk, known as the Golden Record.
      The Golden Record is a time capsule containing images, music, and sounds from planet
      Earth that were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by the late astronomer Carl Sagan.
      The Golden Record includes greetings to the universe in 55 different languages. The greeting in
      English was recorded by then 6-year-old Nick Sagan, son of Carl Sagan and NASA Pioneer
      spacecraft plaque artist Linda Salzman.
      When it was confirmed that Voyager 1 had entered interstellar space,
      Eos
      contacted Nick
      Sagan, now 43 and a writer and producer, for his comments.

    • La Nasa met en ligne les messages de Voyager aux extraterrestres
      http://rue89.nouvelobs.com/rue89-culture/2015/08/04/les-messages-voyager-extraterrestres-mis-ligne-nasa-260603

      [C]omme le faisait remarquer l’un des membres du comité réuni par Sagan :
      « Les chances que la plaque soit vue par un seul extraterrestre sont infinitésimales. Par contre, elle sera vue par des milliards de Terriens. Sa vraie fonction est donc d’en appeler à l’esprit humain et d’œuvrer à son expansion, et de faire de l’idée d’un contact avec une intelligence extraterrestre une expansion désirable de l’humanité. »

  • #Dialectes #arabes
    https://amagidow.pythonanywhere.com

    Using this website

    In the website’s current state, users with no account may use all of the data visualization tools. The only current public dataset is a collection of demonstrative data that were originally published in Magidow, Alexander. 2013.Towards a Sociohistorical Reconstruction of Pre-Islamic Arabic Dialect Diversity Ph.D. dissertation: University of Texas at Austin (available here). We anticipate adding more public data soon.

    There are four main data visualization tools. In the map and list views, you can view all the publicly available data simply by pressing the search button. For more narrrow searches, follow the instructions on the page. In the paradigm view, you can select as many dialects as you want to visualize entire paradigms. Of course, if no data is available, nothing will show up in these paradigms. In the ’cross-search’ view, you can do an ’implicational’ type search, where you look at dialects which have a particular form, and see what other forms are found in those same dialects.

    If you are interested in obtaining a user account in order to enter your own data, please see the section on contributing below.

    cc @gonzo

  • A New Study Charts the Emotions of Every Room in an ’Ideal’ Home - CityLab
    http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/06/charting-the-emotions-of-every-room-in-the-house/394619

    A research trio led by psychologist Lindsay Graham of the University of Texas at Austin gave 200 people a list of 18 possible rooms in an “ideal” home, then asked them to pick two ambiance descriptions that fit the room best. (The exact question: “As you enter each of the following spaces, what are the most important emotions or perceptions you would like to evoke within yourself and others?”) Participants could choose from a prepared list of 29 words, or write-in their own.

    #emotions

  • National Institute of Corrections Library‏ « MasterAdrian’s Weblog
    http://masteradrian.com/2012/10/30/national-institute-of-corrections-library%e2%80%8f

    National Institute of Corrections Library‏
    October 30, 2012
    Unlocking the Truth: Real Stories About the Trial and Incarceration of Youth as Adults in Virginia (2010)
    10/29/2012 06:45 PM EDT
    “JustChildren advocates [have] repeatedly received requests from policymakers and others around the state for the “real” stories of how the practice of trying and incarcerating youth as adults impacts youth, families, and communities. In an effort to deliver on these requests and to tell the untold and often overlooked stories of these youth, JustChildren has compiled this report” (p. 3). What makes this publication so unique is that affected parties, be they youth, family, friends, or justice professionals, can make personal observations about the problems inherent in the system. Sections of this report include: introduction; a timeline of youth transfer in Virginia; methodology; what was learned; problems associated with reentry; safety concerns; variation in local practice; unfair plea bargaining power; and conclusion. SOURCE: Legal Aid Justice Center. JustChildren (Charlottesville, VA). Authored by Duvall, Kate.
    Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System in Texas (2011)
    10/29/2012 06:43 PM EDT
    “The common assumption is that certified juveniles [juveniles 14 and older who have committed felony offenses and are transferred to the adult criminal justice system] are the “worst of the worst,” repeat, violent offenders who are beyond the rehabilitation offered by the juvenile justice system. But is this assumption in fact true? This report examines all available Texas data with respect to certified juveniles and compares them to the population of juveniles who receive determinate sentences and are placed in TYC [the Texas Youth Commission which is part of Texas’ juvenile justice system]. It also compares the significant differences in programming and services for the two populations of juvenile offenders” (p. xi). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; overview; findings according to numbers of adult certification cases vs. juvenile determinate sentence populations, characteristics of the groups, disposition and sentencing outcomes, and placements and programming; discussion; and recommendations. Research shows that certified youth are not “the worst of the worst”—only those committing heinous crimes, for example 17% committing homicide. SOURCE: University of Texas at Austin. Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (Austin, TX). Authored by Deitch, Michele.
    Fact Sheets (2012)
    10/29/2012 06:42 PM EDT
    These fact sheets show how much harm is inflicted on youth prosecuted in adult courts. Twenty-three items are organized according to: key statistics about youth crime (Key Facts—Youth in the Justice System, Chart of Youth Arrests, and Chart of Declining Juvenile Crime Rates and Age-Specific Arrest Rates; youth tried as adults (How a Youth Ends Up in the Adult Justice System, Teen Brains Are Not Fully Developed, Adolescent Brain Development, Comparison of the Juvenile System to the Adult System, Education Needs of Youth in the Justice System, Youth Have Lifelong Barriers to Employment, Young Children in the Adult System, International Consensus Against Trying Youth As Adults, and Transfer Laws Did Not Cause Crime Decline; studies on recidivism (Prosecuting Youth in the Adult System Leads to More Crime, Not Less, Summary of Transfer Research Studies, Fact Sheet on OJJDP Transfer Bulletin, and Fact Sheet on CDC Study; dangers of housing youth in adult facilities (Key Facts–Youth in Adult Jails and Prisons, Why Youth Facilities Are Better Than Adult Facilities, Youth Housed in Adult Jails and Prisons, and Fact Sheet on CFYJ Report – Jailing Juveniles); and racial and ethnic disparities (Disproportionate Impact on Youth of Color, Impact on African-American Youth, Impact on Latino Youth, and Impact on Native American Youth. SOURCE: Campaign for Youth Justice (Washington, DC).
    Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails (2012)
    10/29/2012 06:28 PM EDT
    “This report aims to provide a clearer picture of the conditions for certified juveniles [juveniles transferred to the adult criminal justice system for trial] in county jails based on the findings of this survey. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of how certified juveniles are housed in county jails in Texas, and the challenges faced by jail administrators when they confine certified youth. This information should help inform juvenile boards … and can also inform policy makers, state and county agencies, and advocates in future discussions about the most appropriate way to manage the confinement of certified juveniles” (p. ix). Five parts follow an executive summary: introduction; background; survey findings for number of certified juveniles in county jails, length of stay in county jails, housing, contact with adults, out-of-cell time, educational programming, and rehabilitative programming; discussion of survey findings; and recommendations. Many certified youth come in contact with adults when they are not being held in long-term isolation. SOURCE: University of Texas at Austin. Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (Austin, TX). Authored by Deitch, Michele; Galbraith, Anna Lipton; Pollock, Jordan.

  • Regnerus Scandal: Researcher Lying, Not Independent From Anti-Gay Funders | The New Civil Rights Movement
    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/regnerus-scandal-researcher-lying-not-independent-from-anti-gay-funders/news/2012/10/07/50176

    Regnerus Scandal: Researcher Lying, Not Independent From Anti-Gay Funders

    by Scott Rose on October 7, 2012

    in Analysis,Bigotry Watch,News,Scott Rose

    WHAT THIS INVOLVES

    A study booby-trapped against gay parents.

    The booby-trapped study is serving as a basis for National Organization for Marriage anti-gay attack ads all over the country.

    The hoax study was perpetrated by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin (UT).

    The most outrageously defamatory of its false findings is that children of gay parents experience dramatically high levels of sex abuse.

    Regnerus’s chief funding agency is the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute.

    NOM officials have a long history of conflating homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood.

    Nothing can so potently hate-and-fear-monger voters into voting against gay rights, quite like telling them that homosexuals sexually molest children.

    REGNERUS DID NOT CONDUCT THE STUDY INDEPENDENTLY OF HIS FUNDERS’ ANTI-GAY POLITICAL GOALS FOR IT

    The study design began in 2010.

    IRS documents show that Regnerus’s study specifically is a project of Witherspoon’s Program for Family, Marriage and Democracy.

    In 2010, when the Regnerus study was in its design phase, W. Bradford Wilcox was director of that Witherspoon program.

    Wilcox, who is against contraception, sees social research as a “vindication of Christian moral teaching.”

    Wilcox has confessed that in 2010, he was involved in the design of the Regnerus study.

    Wilcox’s confession was forced into the open by accumulating evidence of scientific misconduct connected to the study, its publication, and Wilcox himself.

    However, Wilcox, Regnerus, and Witherspoon president Luis Tellez — who is a NOM board member — are attempting to deny that Wilcox was acting as a Witherspoon agent when he collaborated with Regnerus on study design in 2010.

    Even in his confession, Wilcox attempts to deny that he ever engaged with Regnerus about the study in any official Witherspoon capacity.

    Wilcox alleges that his title of “Director of the Program for Family, Marriage and Democracy” was an “honorific.”

    SOCIOLOGISTS SAY THAT WILCOX IS LYING

    Philip Cohen, Ph.D. is Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology at the University of Maryland’s Population Research Center. In a comment under Wilcox’s confession, Cohen said:

    “I find this description not credible. I do not think any reasonable auditor or ethical agency would subscribe to the idea that the “director” of an organization was not and [sic] “officer” of it.”

    Dr. Andrew J. Perrin is a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also considers that Wilcox is not being truthful:

    “Brad Wilcox’s affiliation with Witherspoon is all over the place, attached to his name in numerous websites, flyers, talk titles, etc., and so it was certainly incumbent upon both Regnerus and Wilcox to recognize the conflict of interest, and it would not have required any significant investigation to note that conflict. If, in fact, Wilcox was one of the peer reviewers of the article, as has been the subject of conjecture, that’s obviously a further conflict.” Dr. Perrin continues: “the idea that this web of associations doesn’t constitute a serious conflict of interest in the publication of the article just doesn’t pass the smell test. The most reasonable explanation, given what we know, is that Wilcox, Regnerus, and others in their circle colluded to make an end run around serious academic review in order to get seriously flawed information into the public eye.” (Bolding added).

    Witherspoon, meanwhile, has been desperately attempting to scrub its sites of all evidence of Wilcox’s associations with the Witherspoon Institute.

    Wilcox, however, as noted by the sociologist Dr. Perrin, constantly used his Witherspoon Institute affiliation as a resume booster. To see abundant evidence of Wilcox’s affiliations with the Witherspoon Institute, go here.

    FRESH DOCUMENTATION SHOWS THAT WILCOX IS LYING

    Fresh evidence demonstrates conclusively that Wilcox was indeed working as a Witherspoon official when he collaborated with Regnerus on study design.

    Here is that evidence:

    At the University of Virginia, Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project. Regnerus’s published study says that a “leading family researcher” from the University of Virginia was on Regnerus’s study design team.

    This reporter sent an Open Records Act request to Regnerus’s University of Texas, asking for one very specific sort of documentation only. I asked only for Regnerus study consulting contracts that were 1) for study design; and 2) made for anybody from the University of Virginia.

    On October 4, 2012, I received a letter from UT. The letter states that the university has no documents responsive to my request. What that means, is that when Witherspoon program director Brad Wilcox collaborated with Regnerus on study design, he did so as a Witherspoon agent — as a Witherspoon Program Director — not as an independent contractor through Regnerus’s university.

    WHY THIS MATTERS SO MUCH

    Regnerus and his funders booby-trapped the study against gays for political reasons.

    Regnerus and his funders are actively and deliberately seeking to mislead the public into believing that Regnerus conducted his study independently of his funders’ anti-gay-rights political goals for the study.

    Witherspoon tells that deliberate lie in Question 13 of the stand-alone site it created to promote the Regnerus study.

    Regnerus tells that lie right in his published study. Regnerus has written “No funding agency representatives were consulted about research design, survey contents, analyses or conclusions.”

    Yet, very, very obviously, when Wilcox was Witherspoon’s Director of the Program on Family, Marriage and Democracy, he was a Regnerus study “funding agency representative.”

    Regnerus clearly is lying.

    WITHERSPOON, REGNERUS, AND THE STUDY “PLANNING GRANT”

    Witherspoon did not just arrange for Regnerus to have his full $785,000 in study funding, and then tell him to do whatever he wanted with it.

    Rather, as per Regnerus’s C.V. downloadable from his author’s website, Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant before giving him his full study funding.

    That means that Witherspoon had to approve Regnerus’s study plan, before it would give him his full study funding.

    In the period of the Witherspoon planning grant, Regnerus collaborated with Witherspoon’s Wilcox on study design.

    REGNERUS, WILCOX, AND CHILD SEX ABUSE

    Regnerus says that his study answers this question:

    “Do the children of gay and lesbian parents look comparable to those of their heterosexual counterparts?”

    Regnerus’s study methodology, though, did not truly allow for studying children of gay and lesbian parents.

    The majority of Regnerus’s study subjects — as per his own admission in his study — were products of opposite-sex couples who later separated, with one parent going on to have a same-sex relationship.

    In asking about childhood sex abuse, Regnerus asked his young adult respondents if “a parent or other adult caregiver” ever sexually victimized them.

    The result thus is un-interpretable. The respondent’s heterosexual parent, or a babysitter, or a priest could have committed the alleged sexual victimization.

    Yet, in their anti-gay attack ads based on the Regnerus study, NOM attributes the alleged child sex abuse exclusively to gay parents. Regnerus himself has done that on national television.

    Regnerus alleges that 23% of his study’s children of “lesbian mothers” were sexually victimized as children.

    Past studies of lesbian mothers have consistently found low rates of child sex abuse. The second highest rate for child sex abuse in Regnerus’s study is step-families, at 12% just over half that for lesbian mothers.

    Regnerus’s “finding” has no credibility. Other of Regnerus’s reported results are just plainly absurd. In any event, it is impossible to say who committed the alleged sex abuse, and therefore, connecting it to lesbian mothers in any way is defamatory.

    To connect a mother to sex abuse of her child, in the public mind, with no knowledge of whether the mother ever abused her child, is as despicable as blaming a rape victim for getting raped.

    The numbers seen in Regnerus’s published study are not the same as those in the data files given to him by Knowledge Networks, the company that administered his study’s surveys.

    Rather, Regnerus applied weights and controls and used other tools to adjust the number.

    To know the correct weights and controls to use, a sociologist must be certain of the percent which the minority he is studying constitutes within the general population.

    Regnerus only vaguely described “lesbian mother” or “gay father.” If his respondents said that a parent had ever had “a same-sex romantic relationship,” Regnerus counted them as having either a “lesbian mother” or a “gay father.”

    However, there is simply no way to know what percent of the general population has a parent who has ever had “a same-sex romantic relationship.”

    That is what one would need to know, in order to be able to apply a correct “weight” or “control” to Regnerus’s raw data.

    It is absolutely true, that neither Regnerus nor anybody else knows the correct weights to use for Regnerus’s very vaguely defined, so-called “lesbian mothers” and/or “gay fathers.”

    In sum that means; 1) that in applying weights and controls and other strategies to his raw data; 2) Regnerus and Wilcox were free to play around with theoretical population percents representing children of; 3) a parent who has ever had a “same-sex romantic relationship,” 4) moving the study’s “finding” number up or down, according to the result that Regnerus and Wilcox most wanted to be able to report to the public.

    I directly asked Regnerus to explain to me how he derived his reported finding — that “23% of lesbian mothers’ children are sexually victimized” — from his raw data.

    Regnerus refused to answer.

    A sociologist who had behaved honestly with his study’s numbers should have no hesitations about explaining how he derived his reported numbers from his data.

    DOES REGNERUS’S REFUSAL TO ANSWER THE QUESTION IMPLY GUILT?

    Regnerus very willingly gives lengthy, rambling interviews to right wing religious publications, but refuses to respond to simple, direct, science-based inquiries about his study.

    Subsequently, I made an Open Records Act request to UT, asking for all of the Regnerus study’s data analyses communications between Regnerus and Wilcox.

    In reaction to that request, UT sent the Texas Attorney General a letter, asking for exemptions to my document request.

    The UT letter told the Texas Attorney General that Wilcox was involved with both data collection and data analyses on the Regnerus study.

    So, Wilcox was involved in collaborating with Regnerus during many stages of the study, including 1) when the vague way of defining gay parents was settled on; 2) when the vague question about child sex abuse was formulated; 3) when the data was collected, and 4) when the data was analyzed.

    It can almost seem funny, that Regnerus claims to have “found” that out of every 2,988 Americans aged 18 to 39, six-hundred and twenty have never once in their lives masturbated.

    As obviously untrue as that is, though, Regnerus and his NOM-linked funders and NOM itself are using his equally ridiculous, maliciously invented sex abuse “findings” to demonize gay people and to hate-and-fear-monger voters into voting against gay rights.

    REGNERUS IS NOT EVEN MAKING A PRETENSE OF INDEPENDENCE FROM HIS FUNDERS

    On November 3, 2012, Regnerus and Witherspoon’s Ana Samuel — a hateful anti-gay bigot — will be appearing together to discuss the study at an event sponsored by a Witherspoon/NOM affiliate, the so-called Love and Fidelity Network.

    Love and Fidelity has its office space inside Witherspoon’s building on the Princeton campus. NOM/Witherspoon’s Robert P. George, and Witherspoon/NOM’s Luis Tellez, as well as NOM’s Maggie Gallagher are on the “Love and Fidelity” advisory board.

    Also appearing to discuss the study with Regnerus and his funding agency representative Ana Samuel will be Robert Oscar Lopez, who appears to fit into the documented NOM strategy for getting children of gay parents to denounce their own parents to the public.

    Regnerus recruited Lopez off the internet, and Lopez’s gay-bashing essay subsequently was published on Witherspoon’s “Public Discourse.”

    At the time Lopez’s essay appeared in “Public Discourse,” Brad Wilcox was listed on the roster of the “Public Discourse” editorial board.

    After I reported that fact, Witherspoon scrubbed Wilcox’s name off its editorial board roster. Witherspoon previously has been caught scrubbing incriminating, Regnerus-related evidence from its websites.

    CONCLUSION

    Regnerus, the Witherspoon Institute, and Brad Wilcox all are very deliberately lying to the public,in hopes of misleading the public into believing that Regnerus conducted his study independently of his funders’ anti-gay-rights political goals for it.

    Regnerus did not conduct his study independently of his funders’ anti-gay-rights political goals for it.

    Regnerus very actively continues to promote his study with his anti-gay-rights funding agency representatives, while refusing to take any science-based questions about his study from the non-anti-gay-bigot media.

    New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.