thebrainscoop:

The Brain Scoop: 
Year of the Passenger Pigeon

September 2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of the passenger pigeon’s extinction. How is it possible that the number of these pigeons - at once the most numerous species on the planet - could decrease from 3.7 billion individuals to 0 in just forty years? 

During the eradication of this species many people assumed the populations would somehow renew themselves. Conservation wasn’t on the minds of most people living in North America in the mid-19th century, and given the destructive potential of a few billion birds roosting in your backyard they weren’t exactly a hallmark species. 

Could we bring back the passenger pigeon? Newly developing technologies focused on de-extinction efforts could mean we potentially bring them back… but at what cost, and more importantly, where? Habitat destruction, climate change, and human impact means we’re losing innumerable ecosystems worldwide - it’s reported that by 2050 as many as 20-30% of all life on our planet today will be extinct

We’re living during this miraculous time of incredible technology where we’re more strongly connected with one another than ever before. We have tools, resources, and access to knowledge unprecedented in human history. It’s about time we tapped into our collective awareness and begin to think critically about our individual impacts. What can we do to live in tandem with our environment? What can you do?

ABOUT

Who is Amit?

Here’s a man who is obsessed with languages in more ways than one and who didn’t know any, other than English, until he turned 23. Amit Schandillia is the name and this website is his window to the passion called Spanish.

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I have been fiddling with Spanish ever since the turn of the millennium when my sleepy little village had little access to the burgeoning world of Internet. My first date with Spanish was one of the most unremarkable coincidence. I was at a local store selling used books at throwaway prices and happened to pick this horribly dog-eared book teaching Spanish “in 30 days”. 

More than a decade, one Latina fling, countless chats with some of the most wonderful men and women from both sides of the Atlantic, dozens of Spanish tomes, hundreds of experiments with several language-learning strategies, 5 day jobs, and two startups down the line, I am still very much in awe of the sheer command Spanish wields over almost a tenth of humanity! The richness of this language that is spoken in more than 20 countries is far from comprehensible in a single blog. After deciding to let go of my highly regimented 9-5 existence in the middle of 2012, I decided to pay a little tribute to the rich language. Until then, I had been working my butt off in almost half a dozen regular jobs, the last one for a billion-dollar American subprime mortgage conglomerate managing a brain-damaging team of over a thousand Associates, Team Leads, and Assistant Managers. A stable job, a reputable title, an enviable job-description, and a more-than-handsome paycheck, all had to make way for a higher calling one day. This blog is what came out of that higher calling. 

Today, Spanish is way more than just a language to me; it’s a way of life, a whole new universe of mesmerizing people, cultures, lifestyles, and possibilities. Spanish is beautiful. Beautiful because of the colorful people who speak this language. Beautiful because of the unique regional flavors it takes wherever it is spoken. This blog is my attempt to capture some aspects of this beauty and share them with as many lives as it can possibly touch. 

And What is Always Spanish?

Always Spanish was the logical next step after my first attempt at blogging in the fall of 2006. It was called Easiest Spanish and it started as a part-time hobby. The stuff was hilariously shabby, and amateur and the design was ridiculously lame for the serious blog it masqueraded as. Easiest Spanish was the result of an unemployment-related vacuum that was killing me both financially and socially. Anyways, Then came 2007 when I landed a good-enough job that paid my bills and kept me well-fed and I started drifting away from my blog. That was the end of what became my first ever attempt at blogging.

Fast forward to 2012. This time, it’s called Always Spanish and is, hopefully, a more serious avatar of Easiest Spanish. What’s different is that this time, it’s the work of a more matured and enlightened author who knows more about both blogging and Spanish than he did six years ago. 


Always Spanish attempts to discuss everything I learned out of my experiments with Spanish over the last several years. Unconventional learning methodologies, street Spanish, tips and tricks on fluency and Spanish acquisition, simple techniques for Spanish immersion, learning optimization, interesting cultural notes, and tidbits on the regional variations of Spanish. This publication is an exercise geared toward giving you a wholesome, most fulfilling experience adding a whole new dimension to your learning. This website talks about everything that worked for me and everything that didn’t. Always Spanish has some of the most natural yet unconventional tips for learners of Spanish and the articles posted here are set to revolutionize the way you approach Spanish as a learner.

This website raises questions on some of the most fundamental language-learning dogmas propagandized by academicians around the world! Be prepared to radically change the way you learn languages and be prepared to attain an enviable fluency in Spanish without cramming a single rule of grammar from that book! If this website were to be believed and so were the years of rock-solid research in this field by some of the most reputed linguists from around the globe, you can become fluent in Spanish (pretty much any language for that matter) just by watching movies and listening to music!

In short, while Always Spanish does not intend to replace your existing arsenal of Spanish-learning tools, it certainly serves to add a lot of passion, charm, and practical essence to your learning regimen. This is the site that you would ideally pick if you wish to acquire Spanish instead of just learn it. This is the site you would pick if you crave turning the ordeal of learning into the adventures of acquisition. 

Welcome to Always Spanish. May your experience with Spanish be pleasant and full of new learnings. May Spanish open doors of possibilities and endless opportunities for you. And may Always Spanish succeed in its mission to serve you as the best alternative learning resource in the Web. 

Wishing you luck!

naturepunk:

return-victorious:

rocketumbl:

How a Handgun Works: 1911 .45

GIBBS TAG YOUR PORN *fans self* 

Damn. Handy reference, educational, and very well-executed presentation. I like this. 

pizzzatime:

bestnatesmitheverzerostatereflexTangible Media - MIT’s Tangible Media is coming along nicely, ”Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace, but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that’s only the beginning.”

Track flights using Google’s homepage (or Google Earth).

Just enter the desired airline and flight number into Google’s search box and instantly see the arrival and departure times right in the results. Now you can keep up-to-date with any flight without having to constantly check the airline’s website.