Monday, February 23, 2015

A list of predatory journals academics should avoid

Academic librarian Jeffrey Beall curates a helpful list of questionable (predatory 'standalone') journals. Academics should avoid publishing in these journals: LIST OF STANDALONE JOURNALS | Scholarly Open Access

The criteria for determining predatory journals are here.

Google tool for educators

Google offers some great free tools for educators: Google for Education: Google in your classroom

Google tools can be used to create and share documents, work on project, find and manage resources, etc.

Additionally, Google launched its 'Science Fair', in partnership with National Geographic, LEGO Education, Scientific American, and Virgin Galactic. They are asking students around the world one question: What will you try? Google science fair

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Preserving the world's seeds - The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Entrance to the Seed Vault

It sounds like an installation from an apocalyptic science fiction movie. In Spitsbergen (Norway) is an underground vault that stores samples of important plant seeds. The location was chosen because it lacked tectonic activity and had permafrost, which aids preservation. Its being 130 metres above sea level will keep the site dry even if the ice caps melt.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) officially opened on 26 February 2008. As of March 2013, the number of distinct samples has increased to 770,000 (out of approximately 1.5 million distinct seed samples of agricultural crops which are thought to exist).

Svalbard Global Seed Vault - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Designing the future: The Venus Project

The Venus Project, initiated by designer Jacque Fresco, offers a technology-centric approach to designing the future of humanity. It is an example of Technological Utopianism.

The Venus Project captivates with futuristic looking architecture and technology but it is not without criticism: The Venus Project Debunked or this video:

The Venus/Zeitgeist Project goes beyond architecture and technology and envisions a world without government, private ownership, or money where everybody lives in futuristic houses and all the work is done by robots. It is interesting that the project wants to 'design' the future but without having anybody in charge.