Displaying 11 - 20 of 100 entries.

Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book

  • Posted on October 14, 2017 at 3:18 am

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


Contents

  • 1 On addiction and getting sober
  • 2 On the Turcottes and his mother
  • 3 On his work
  • 4 On the response to his work from addicts
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On the gay community
  • 7 On his new book, A Wolf at the Table, a memoir about his father
  • 8 On women’s breasts and tattoos
  • 9 On losing his hair
  • 10 Sources
Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book
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Glencore announces Tahmoor mine in New South Wales to close

  • Posted on October 14, 2017 at 2:47 am

Friday, June 3, 2016

Swiss mining company Glencore announced yesterday the closure of its coal mine in Tahmoor, New South Wales, Australia. The mine is to be closed by early 2019, pointing to the downturn of coal prices in global markets.

Glencore stated, “The decision has been made as a result of continued low prices in global coal markets, which has meant the economic return from reserves still available at Tahmoor are not sufficient to warrant the investment required to mine them”.

The closure will result in a loss of 350 jobs according to the company, who said they are consulting with the employees.

The mine is not the only operation impacted by the fall of global coal and commodity prices. The Australian arm of mining magnate Peabody Energy has reported losses of almost A$3 billion in 2015. According to latest financial reports for Peabody subsidiary Peabody Australia Holdco lodged via Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the company earned a net loss of A$2.7 billion — after a loss of A$1.2 billion in 2014. Accountants at Peabody Australia have warned the mine might not be able to continue operating, with the market persistently weak since December.

Despite low coal and commodity prices, both the major political parties have been supportive of coal mines. While appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Coalition MP Steve Ciobo confirmed party support of coal mines. In response to an audience member question, concerning what policies the panellists had planned to combat job and economic loses in Queensland after the mining boom, Ciobo stated the Coalition government supports Adani’s new Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin — as an example of “transitioning” the state’s economy.

Labor MP Terri Butler said although she doesn’t personally support Adani’s Carmichael project, the state Labor government “didn’t have much discretion” surrounding its approval. Meanwhile, Greens party leader Richard Di Natale criticised responses from the panellists claiming the “great tragedy” is both major parties support of coal mines such as Carmichael.

“If you care about tourism you don’t open up a whopping great big coal mine and fuel catastrophic global warming”, said Di Natale.

Di Natale accused both major parties of being deceitful in “slashing” both the target of and agency funding for renewable energy, leaving no plan to realize the investment potential of the renewable sector.

Glencore announces Tahmoor mine in New South Wales to close
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News briefs:May 26, 2006

  • Posted on October 14, 2017 at 2:36 am

The time is 17:00 (UTC) on May 26th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Shots fired on Capitol Hill
    • 1.2 U.S. Senate passes immigration reform bill
    • 1.3 Melbourne – Adelaide train services disrupted into next week following fatal crash
    • 1.4 Australian troops land in East Timor
    • 1.5 Science minister visits Australia’s newest nuclear reactor, receives nuclear power report
    • 1.6 BitTorrent index sues MPAA
    • 1.7 Hundred million dollar New Zealand drug bust
    • 1.8 Left parties:Don’t let U.S meddle in India’s internal affairs
  • 2 Closing statements
News briefs:May 26, 2006
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Cataract Clinics In Arizona Are The Finest In Usa}

  • Posted on October 14, 2017 at 2:20 am

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Submitted by: Smart Web

Although USA is an enormous country, Arizona is still considered to simply be the most excellent in sector of offering the eye care solutions to patients. Not just from further states in USA but people from throughout the planet visit the cataract clinics in Arizona for undergoing the simplest eye care solution. While cataract is not thought as a great harm nowadays, people do not wish taking chances and wish undergoing the surgery from the finest possible cataract clinic in Arizona. Below are a few of the reasons which made such clinics the most excellent. Contact to Moretsky Cassidy Vision Correction for eye cataract surgery, eye specialist by the best doctors and surgeons in Phoenix, Arizona (AZ). Dr. Moretsky and Dr. Cassidy, both world-class eye surgeons, believe in treating their patients as individuals in their cataract clinic.

Reasons why cataract clinics in Arizona is the finest

1. It is needless to declare, but such clinics, particularly the cataract clinics in Phoenix offer the finest eye care solutions. They offer the treatment with up-to-the-minute machines and medicines. You would be finding all sorts of likely treatments for eye cataract in Phoenix, ranging from the long-established techniques to Laser cure. From preoperative processes to the postoperative measures, such clinics offer complete solutions to patients.

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2. Almost every clinic for eye Cataract in AZ makes use of the ophthalmologists as well as eye surgeons having top qualification as well as reputation. Thus, the patients feel more secure while being treated by any of such qualified doctors. Besides doctors, the added staffs of such clinics for eye Cataract in Arizona are fairly well-behaved as well.

3. Besides cataract surgery, the greater number of the clinics offers all added sorts of eye care solutions, which is why such clinics are very special. On the patient being diagnosed with any added type of eye disease except for cataract, he/she is not required to visit any added clinic. Besides, you would be finding all added sorts of facilities such as medicine stores/shops, eye glass / contact lens stores/shops inside the campuses.

4. The Arizona eye clinics use the most excellent of technology to offer the top services to patients. You are able to book a meeting with the doctor via phones or via the authorized website of such clinics. For showing the test results to doctors, there is not need to go to the clinic once more. You are able to simply scan the reports and mail them to the clinic. The doctors would be checking them and getting back ASAP. Eye Cataract clinic in Arizona. Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly damaged then destroyed. Dr. Moretsky and Dr. Cassidy, both world-class eye surgeons, believe in treating their patients as individuals in their cataract clinic.

5. A few of the Arizona clinics have made it their duty to produce the young age group ophthalmologists as well as eye surgeons together with offering the quality service. You would be seeing numerous adolescent interns working in such clinics under the supervision of reputed doctors. At Moretsky Cassidy Vision Correction and eye cataract clinic skilled cataract surgeons provides cataract surgery in Arizona (AZ). Dr. Moretsky and Dr. Cassidy, both world-class eye surgeons, believe in treating their patients as individuals in their cataract clinic.

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New Zealand dog saves five children; receives international attention

  • Posted on October 14, 2017 at 2:03 am

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A small, “nicely trained” Jack Russell Terrier gave his life to help save a group of five children from two aggressive pitbulls last Sunday in Manaia, Taranaki, New Zealand.

The dog named George is being described as a hero, gathering a huge amount of international media interest in the process.

The dog suffered massive injuries that the vet had never seen to that extent before, which resulted in 69-year-old Alan Gay, the dog’s owner, allowing George to be put down. He now regrets this decision.

The two pitbulls rushed at the group of children that George was following to the dairy, including a four-year-old. George then started barking loudly at the pair of dogs, and put himself between the dogs and the children. Mr Gay told Fox News, “If it wasn’t for George, those kids would have copped it.”

Despite having received offers of new dogs, Mr Gay has said that he will wait a while before getting another Jack Russell Terrier, as he is afraid it could happen again.

It is also believed that the two attacking dogs, which have been destroyed, were bred to be aggressive, including being fed the drug methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “P” in New Zealand.

Mr Gay has said that Manaia has had a problem with stray dogs before, but he never expected that George would become a victim.

One story ran in USA Today, which prompted over 120 comments, and one reader to personally call Alan Gay expressing their condolences.

Responding to the huge amount of media interest, Mr Gay said, “This really surprises me, and it’s marvellous. I never expected this … I’m surprised it got around the world as it did.” He says he has been getting a huge amount of phone calls from the media and the public. “The phone has been going since about half past seven this morning. Every time I hang up it rings again. It’s worn out; I might have to get a new one.”

New Zealand dog saves five children; receives international attention
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Death toll in Indonesian tsunami continues to rise

  • Posted on October 14, 2017 at 2:01 am

Saturday, July 22, 2006

More than 650 people have now died after a tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Java on Monday afternoon. In the past few days, around 100 dead bodies have been recovered, and it is estimated that over 300 people are still missing. An underwater earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 triggered the deadly wave which ravaged a 200km stretch of Java’s southern coast.

Thousands of people are continuing to camp in the hills. They are too apprehensive to return home due to fears of another tsunami, but according to Reuters, health officials are worried about the threat of disease among those who are still in refuge. “The risk of catching diseases is there because they live in an open area with limited tents and water,” said Rustan Pakaya, from the health ministry’s crisis centre. He added that people were being given injections to protect them from diseases like measles, tetanus and cholera.

Areas worst hit, like the small town of Pangandaran, are beginning to return to normal, and many businesses there have begun to open up again. “The market and many shops are already open today and although they are not operating fully, things are slowly returning to normal,” district spokesman Wasdi bin Umri told AFP.

Yesterday, Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono toured Pangandaran and met people who were staying in a temporary camp. The Indonesian government has been criticised for failing to inform residents living on the coast that a tsunami was looming. After the underwater earthquake was detected, US and Japanese agencies issued warning notices, but the government has admitted it was unable to transmit the bulletins to coastal areas. Speaking yesterday, Mr Yudhoyono vowed to hasten efforts to build an early warning system planned after the 2004 Asian tsunami. “We want to expedite efforts to get infrastructure for the tsunami warning system in place,” AP quoted him as saying. “I will work with parliament to get the budget”.

Death toll in Indonesian tsunami continues to rise
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Encyclopædia Britannica fights back against Wikipedia, soon to let users edit contents

  • Posted on October 13, 2017 at 3:25 am

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Encyclopædia Britannica (EB), the authoritative reference book first published in 1768, is planning to let readers edit its entries, Jorge Cauz, its president said Friday, as it battles to keep pace with online Internet encyclopedia projects like Wikipedia.

Starting next week, readers, visitors and contributing experts to EB’s free, online version, Britannica.com, will be allowed to submit proposed changes and contributions to Britannica editors, who will then review the edits and make the necessary alterations. This move is meant to let readers help keep the reference work up-to-date by collaboration.

In expanding and maintaining entries online, users whose editorial suggestions are accepted and published entirely or in part will be credited by name in the section of the article that lists contributors.

The new website features will be available on the site within the next twenty-four hours. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Cauz is promising a 20-minute turnover on these edits, but that number could go up dramatically if the company cannot anticipate a large influx of edits at once.”

Britannica, however, explained that it would not allow a Wikipedia form of editing which allows a wide range of users to make contributions. EB’s novel user choice will include enrollment of experts in a reward scheme and invitation of selected readers to contribute. Several readers will also be allowed to use Britannica materials to contribute their own articles that will be featured on the site.

“We are not abdicating our responsibility as publishers or burying it under the now-fashionable ‘wisdom of the crowds’,” wrote Jorge Cauz in his blog. “We believe that the creation and documentation of knowledge is a collaborative process but not a democratic one,” Cauz noted, explaining further that “these experts would sit alongside the encyclopaedia entries and the official material would carry a ‘Britannica Checked’ stamp, to distinguish it from the user-generated content.”

Cauz also announced the unveiling by Britannica of a beta (trial) version of what will become the finished Britannica Online website, which will include a re-design and the addition of web-based tools for readers and users to upload their own reference materials. The new features that Britannica will roll out over the next six months also include an article rating system and a comprehensive list of contributors by subject area.

Articles developed by Britannica’s own editors also appear in the printed volumes, which are published every two years, though material created by what Cauz called their “community of scholars” will only appear online.

“Wikipedia contributes to the spread of information and many people are happy with it as their only source of reference, as are many people happy to eat McDonald’s every day,” said Cauz, who discussed differences between Britannica and Wikipedia features of online editing. “That’s the last thing we want to be. We are a different type of animal, catering to a different type of crowd,” he added.

Cauz said the company will retain its staff of about 100 full-time editors and over 4,000 expert contributors. “I think the future is likely going to be that in every media segment there has to be a symbiotic relationship between editor and reader,” said Cauz, adding that each article will have a detailed history showing changes and who made them, as in Wikipedia. In 1933, Britannica became the first encyclopaedia to introduce a “continuous revision” policy, with continuous reprinting such that every article is updated on a regular schedule.

Unlike Wikipedia, which allows anonymous edits through a user’s IP address being logged, Britannica’s new features strictly require contributors or users to register, revealing their real names and addresses, prior to modifying or creating their own articles. Contributions from non-academic users will sit in a separate section.

A new or changed feature called “Suggest Edit” button will allow readers of a particular article to suggest information clarification, post questions to contributors or add to the existing text, subject to Britannica editors’ approval. “What we are trying to do is shifting … to a much more proactive role for the user and reader where the reader is not only going to learn from reading the article but by modifying the article and – importantly – by maybe creating his own content or her own content,” wrote Cauz.

Cauz faulted Google for setting Wikipedia higher in pagerank than Britannica. He explained that, in EB, new efforts to participate in online collaboration of encyclopedic content are deemed by recognizing experts as a requirement in order to achieve objectivity and high quality. During his tenure, officials from Britannica have become outspoken in their criticism of Wikipedia articles’ contents.

Britannica already has an established reputation for accurate content. Wikipedia is merely a starting point, with research to be taken with a pinch of salt.

In July 2006, Cauz personally entered the fray in an interview in New Yorker Magazine, in which he stated that Wikipedia had “decline(d) into a hulking, mediocre mass of uneven, unreliable, and, many times, unreadable articles” and that “Wikipedia is to Britannica as American Idol is to the Juilliard School.”

The 241-year-old publication, Encyclopædia Britannica, is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by a privately held company, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., and is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still in print. The Britannica articles are directed at educated adult readers. First published between 1768 and 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland, it quickly grew in popularity and size, with its third edition in 1801 reaching over 21 volumes.

Britannica’s latest 15th edition has a unique three-part structure: a 12-volume Micropædia of short articles (generally having fewer than 750 words), a 17-volume Macropædia of long articles (having from two to 310 pages) and a single Propædia volume created to give a hierarchical outline of human knowledge. The Micropædia is devised for quick fact-checking and as a door to the Macropædia.

At present, Britannica offers optical disc, online and mobile versions. The Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 DVD has over 55 million words and just over 100,000 articles, including 73,645 regular Britannica articles. The Encyclopædia Britannica Online website has more than 120,000 articles and is updated regularly. EB’s virtual space was founded in 1994 and contains articles comprised of over 46 million words.

In February 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. said that it was working with AskMeNow to launch a mobile encyclopedia, to enable users to send questions via text messages. Replies would then be forwarded by AskMenow based on Britannicas’ articles.

As Britannica is a business, the company needed to charge, and Web access to the archives cost $70 a year. In April 2008, “Britannica Webshare,” a version of the online Encyclopaedia Britannica has been available for free, but only for Web publishers. The simple process requires signing up, giving a site URL, a description, and approval by the company. “This program is intended for people who publish with some regularity on the Internet, be they bloggers, webmasters, or writers. We reserve the right to deny participation to anyone who in our judgment doesn’t qualify,” said TechCrunch.

In June 2008, Britannica announced an initiative to facilitate collaboration between online expert and amateur scholarly contributors for Britannica’s on-line content (in the spirit of a wiki), with editorial oversight from Britannica staff. According to its statement titled “Britannica’s New Site: More Participation, Collaboration from Experts and Readers,” approved contributions would be credited, though contributing automatically grants Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. perpetual, irrevocable license to those contributions.

PC World has, however, reported that it became clear how steep of a climb Britannica faces. “Wikipedia received a massive 97 percent share of the online encyclopedia market or visits U.S. Web surfers made to online encyclopedias last week,” Web monitoring company Hitwise said Friday. “MSN Encarta was second with 1.27 percent of visits, followed by Encyclopedia.com (0.76 percent), Fact Monster (0.72 percent) and, in fifth place, Britannica.com (0.57 percent). Britannica.com’s share of U.S. visits dropped 53 percent last month compared with December 2007,” Hitwise added.

While Britannica.com has 1.5 million visitors per day, Wikipedia attracts about six million, The Times reported. Hitwise also said that as of last week, Wikipedia ranked the 13th-most-visited site on the Web overall, while Britannica.com was 2,349th. The essential difference is Wikipedia does not charge any fee, while Britannica.com requires a paid subscription for access of some contents. Britannica, however, is issuing a “Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Edition” – the £40 2009 DVD edition of its famous print encyclopaedia.

“One of the big questions still on the table is whether Britannica will open its content or maintain its premium membership paid wall. In order to compete with Wikipedia in the Google [search results], Britannica needs to build up inbound links. If content is locked up behind the paid content walls, people will be much more likely to link to other websites with free content — such as that available on Wikipedia,” Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins noted.

Wikipedia, a not-for-profit collaborative online encyclopedia, in its Wikipedia Foundation’s recent drive for public donations, had aimed to raise $US6 million over the course of six months. On January 1, “it had met the target, from more than 125,000 donors,” said Wikipedia head honcho and co-founder Jimmy Wales. He has invoked Wikipedia’s “free-culture movement”, and its mission “to bring free knowledge to the planet, free of charge and free of advertising”.

“Wikipedia is the new frontier of human knowledge,” wrote Anonymous, donating $US100. American Patrick Culligan left another comment, saying, “Accurate information is what enables society to act in the appropriate way in which we can change the world. History cannot be left for the winners to write.” Another said: “Wikipedia is one of those ‘big ideas’ which will change our world for the better.”

After Encyclopedia Britannica’s announcement that it is introducing a more open editing system, web 2.0 giant Wikipedia has considered attempts to move away from its free and open editing system. Academics, scholars and others have long criticized the writing principles fostered by Wikipedia amid vandals having often changed Wikipedia entries resulting to erroneous reports.

Now, for the first time, the online encyclopedia has considered restricting the edits that users can make. The system known internally as “Flagged Revisions,” has been sparked off by inaccurate changes after a Wikipedia user “Gfdjklsdgiojksdkf” and an anonymous editor respectively edited articles to say that both U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Carlyle Byrd had died. The errors were caught and duly corrected after about five minutes, but they were up long enough for the Washington Post, among other media outlets, to notice.

In just the latest incidents in a long and rich history of vandalism since its 2001 launch, Vernon Kay and Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, among others, have also been falsely reported as dead on Wikipedia. Wiki means “fast” in Hawaiian and it certainly is, even amid subtle vandalism, since anyone can amend its 2.7m entries. Wikipedia has long struggled with such prankery, and has ever since worked closely with its community to overcome it without adopting harsh protections.

We want people to be able to participate, but we have a tool available now that is consistent with higher quality.

As Wikipedia itself acknowledges, “Allowing anyone to edit Wikipedia means that it is more easily vandalized or susceptible to unchecked information, which requires removal.” In the proposed process, only registered or reliable users could have their material or edits immediately appear to the general public visiting Wikipedia. Other contributors’ edits or changes will first be reviewed, signed off, or “flagged” by reliable users.

“This nonsense would have been 100 percent prevented by Flagged Revisions,” said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales under the header “Why I Am Asking Flagged Revisions Be Turned On Now,” on his user page. “[Instances of misinformation] could […] have been prevented by protection or semi-protection, but [..] [many are] breaking news [stories] and we want people to be able to participate (so protection is out) and even to participate in good faith for the first time ever (so semi-protection is out),” explained Wales who calls for monitoring to prevent false entries.

Wales said that a poll revealed 60 percent of Wikipedians favored the new proposal and that it would be a “time limited test.” He noted that the delay should be less than the German Wikipedia allowed: “less than 1 week, hopefully a lot less, because we will only be using it on a subset of articles, the boundaries of which can be adjusted over time to manage the backlog.”

Wales issued a statement requesting implementation of the extension: “To the Wikimedia Foundation: per the poll of the English Wikipedia community and upon my personal recommendation, please turn on the flagged revisions feature as approved in the poll.” But the community response was further debate.

As of February 2, his request hasn’t been implemented.

Apparently the Wikipedia German edition has been using a form of the Flagged Revisions system since May as a test case. It has, however, led to a delay of up to three weeks in getting some new articles and edits published, for critics have said that the system is very labor intensive and comments can take weeks to appear. Wales, however, pointed out that the system he was proposing was only for biographies of living people. Wikipedia has provided comprehensive and up-to-minute entries on the Virginia Tech massacre in April 2007 and the Mumbai terrorist attacks this past November as the events were still taking place.

While some participants in the debate have argued that the rule change is unnecessary, some have described it in terms of an ethical imperative. As one administrator wrote: “In the vast majority of cases, a Wikipedia article on an individual will be the very highest-ranking search engine result when a search is conducted on the name of that person. This affects the lives of the people we write about on a daily basis. To suggest that Wikipedia does not have profound obligations to do its best to keep these articles free of defamatory, gossipy and privacy-invading material is to suggest that we are without obligation to consider the real-world impacts of our actions and the work we are doing.”

Anything that makes Wikipedia more accurate can only be advantageous

Others have argued that practical considerations should prevent a change that could result in a large backlog of unreviewed edits. “Flagged revisions will suffocate under its own weight,” claimed administrator DragonflySixtyseven. Still other Wikipedian editors further argue that the current system works just fine.

Some consider the split could ultimately threaten the future of the dominant online encyclopedia. “The big issue is that while we have majority support, we don’t have consensus, and that’s the way we have always made our decisions,” Jake Wartenberg user and member of RC patrol chimed in. “A lot of editors are becoming disenchanted with the project; we are losing them all the time,” he added. By way of reply, amidst the embarrassing debacle, Mr. Wales has reached out to help and offered a compromise, inviting the opposition to submit alternative suggestions until the 29th of January.

“Implementing this functionality is really a volunteer community decision. We know the discussion about flagged revs is still taking place on English Wikipedia, but at this stage, it appears the majority of the community are behind this decision. As that discussion unfolds, we’ll have a better sense of the timing,” Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation, in a rejoinder, wrote in his e-mail message, explaining the status of the proposed restriction.

“Now seems an excellent time for Wikipedia to pause and take stock. It has proved the surprising wisdom of crowds as well as their utter idiocy. Its challenge now is to harness the enthusiasm of those volunteers while becoming a more reliable, better written source. And at some point, surely, its founders might want to turn it into a commercial venture. As Samuel Johnson almost said: “No one but a blockhead ever edited, excepted for money,” said Iain Hollingshead, a British freelance journalist and novelist.

“The suggestion of increased moderation on Wikipedia would divide the community. The site has built its reputation on being ‘the encyclopedia that anyone can edit’. It’s less radical to be ‘the encyclopedia that anyone can edit as long as their edits are approved by a trusted Wikipedian’ but that’s what co-founder Jimmy Wales has suggested. Wikipedia’s openness is its strength,” said Shane Richmond of The Daily Telegraph, asking, “is it most valuable feature its openness or its accuracy?”

Wales’ position is that “I consider our BLP issue to be so important that I think it is actually unethical to not use a tool which holds great promise for helping with the problem, now that it has been successfully tested elsewhere. Anyone who would like to see this tool not go into practice needs to start by convincing people that either (a) it is OK for the BLP vandalism problem to continue or (b) there is a better way to solve it.”

Encyclopædia Britannica fights back against Wikipedia, soon to let users edit contents
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India’s ruling Congress party leads in three key state polls

  • Posted on October 13, 2017 at 3:04 am

Thursday, October 22, 2009

India’s ruling Congress Party-led alliance scored victories in elections held in three states to choose local governments. The results will boost the Congress Party, as it re-emerges as the country’s major political force. The results from the elections, which were held last week, began to come in on Thursday.

The party and its allies scored clear wins in two states: the western state of Maharashtra and the northeastern Arunachal Pradesh state. In the northern Haryana state, it emerged as the largest party, but failed to secure a majority. The largest and most influential of these states is Maharashtra state, an industrialized region which is home to India’s financial capital, Mumbai.

“The government has worked in the last five years, and I feel that is the reason why we have been able to achieve this success,” said Ashok Chavan, the state’s Chief Minister. “People have shown confidence, placing us in a position to form a government.”

The Congress and its ally are currently ahead in 145 out of 288 seats in the Maharashtra state. If they manage to obtain those seats, it would enable them create a government without the help of other parties.

According to election commission figures, the main opposition alliance, consisting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, were leading in around ninety seats in the Maharashtra state.

This is the second time this year that the Congress Party has emerged victorious in key polls. Five months ago, the party scored a victory in national elections over the BJP.

Thursday’s results have widely been seen as another major vote of confidence for the party, and its national leadership. Political analysts have suggested that this will help the national government, as it presses ahead with its policies, which include economic reforms.

Professor of History at Delhi University and political analyst Mahesh Rangarajan said that the Congress Party’s winning streak showed its reemergence as a major political force. “It is continuing to retain its hold on large and very popular states, so it is in the process of re-emerging as the pivot of the Indian political system,” he said.

“Overall, this does indicate the secular shift of the voters towards the Congress as a party that can combine stability with inclusive growth. That trend which was clear in the recent general elections continues in the winter of 2009.”

After dominating Indian politics for decades, the Congress Party began to decline in the mid-1990’s as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power. However, the BJP’s series of losses in recent elections have considerably weakened it.

India’s ruling Congress party leads in three key state polls
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Wikinews interviews Paúl M. Velazco about new yellow-shouldered bat species

  • Posted on October 13, 2017 at 2:31 am

Monday, April 21, 2014

Scientists at Chicago’s Field Museum and New York’s American Museum of Natural History have discovered three new species of yellow-shouldered bats, genus Sturnira, in the Neotropics. On Wednesday open-access journal ZooKeys published their paper on two of the new species, Sturnira bakeri and Sturnira burtonlimi. The two new species were previously confused with S. ludovici, and S. lilium and S. luisi, respectively. With the discovery, genus Sturnira now has the most species of any genus in family Phyllostomidae, the leaf-nosed bats.

Species S. bakeri was named after Dr. Robert J. Baker, who “has made enormous contributions to our [Authors of the ZooKey paper] understanding of bats, particularly to the evolution of Neotropical phyllostomids”; and S. burtonlimi after Dr. Burton K. Lim, who “collected the type series of this species and has made many other important collections throughout the Neotropics and beyond”, the authors noted in the paper.

Within the New World tropics, the distribution range of the genus, the new species’ known living areas are in Costa Rica and Panama for S. burtonlimi, and Western Ecuador for S. bakeri. The researchers identified differences between different specimens, including those in their teeth, skull shapes, and DNA sequences.

Wikinews interviewed one of the chiropterologists, Paúl M. Velazco of the American Museum of Natural History, about the study.

((Wikinews)) The Sturnira genus now has 22 species, over 1.5 times larger than it was a year ago (14 species). Who contributed to this change? Did you participate throughout the entire process, or only the discovery of the last 2 species?

Paúl M. Velazco: The last Mammal Species of the World (Simmons, 2005) recognized 14 species for Sturnira. Since then three new species have been described [S. sorianoi Sánchez-Hernández et al., 2005; S. koopmanhilli McCarthy et al., 2006; and S. perla Jarrín-V. and Kunz, 2011] and one subspecies was elevated to the species level (S. hondurensis) by Gardner (2008). This brought the number of species of Sturnira to 18 by 2011. Along with my coauthor Bruce Patterson, we generated the most comprehensive phylogeny of the genus. For this we sequenced two nuclear and three mitochondrial genes from the liver or muscle tissue that had been frozen or preserved from each bat specimen, isolating nearly 5,000 base pairs of DNA. These sequences were obtained from specimens we have collected in the past (38) and from tissues we borrowed from different natural history collections. We published this phylogeny last year in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Results of this study found that two subspecies of Sturnira lilium should be recognized as valid species (S. parvidens and S. paulsoni). Additionally we found three new species, two of them described in the ZooKeys paper. The third one hopefully will be published later this year.

((WN)) The genus is called Sturnira Gray in the paper. I’ve not seen extra adjectives in genus names, before. What is the context for such name?

PMV: Usually in papers that deal with taxonomy and nomenclature, the first time that a genus or species is mentioned in text is accompanied by the authority that describes that taxon. In the case of Sturnira, it was Gray in 1842 that named the genus.

((WN)) What caused your initial interest in the question in the genus? When did you become interested?

PMV: I have been studying bats for the past eighteen years and I am especially interested in the family Phyllostomidae that is endemic to the Neotropics. This family includes more than 160 species. It is the most diverse family of bats in the Neotropics, which together exhibits more variation in morphological features and feeding ecology than any other family-level group of mammals. Phyllostomid bats exploit an unusually diverse array of feeding habits including sanguivory, insectivory, carnivory, omnivory, nectarivory, pollennivory, and frugivory. Because of all mentioned before, phyllostomids are a really interesting group to work with. Sturnira and Platyrrhinus are members of this family.

((WN)) The paper mentions that the genus is now the most speciose genus in the Neotropical family Phyllostomidae. What genus did it beat? How many species does it include?

PMV: The other genus with the most species in the family is Platyrrhinus. Currently, it has 20 species, but soon it will increase to 21. Along with another colleague, Burton Lim, we have a paper in press describing a new species based on molecular and morphological data from the Guianan Shield.

((WN)) What equipment did you use?

PMV: For the ZooKeys paper, we examined several specimens under the stereoscope. The molecular phylogeny gave us the separation between species, from there our job was to focus on finding morphological differences between these groups.

((WN)) Did you conduct field study to identify the species’ habits? If so, where and how did you do that?

PMV: I have done fieldwork in Belize and Peru, and my coauthor did field work in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, where we collected several specimens of Sturnira (including the third species that has not been described yet). But the two species that were described in the ZooKeys paper are based on specimens collected by our colleagues Dr. Robert Baker from Texas Tech University and Dr. Burton Lim from the Royal Ontario Museum.

((WN)) How do you isolate of the living area of the new species from the living area of the old species?

PMV: We used the phylogeny of Velazco and Patterson 2013 (Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution) as a framework for this.

((WN)) How long did the study take? What has been the most time-consuming activity?

PMV: It took almost a year. The most time consuming part was spending several hours behind the stereoscope looking for the diagnostic characters.

((WN)) Who participated in the study? What were their roles?

PMV: Dr. Bruce Patterson from the [American] Museum of Natural History and I. I was the one in charge of finding the diagnostic characters and together we both worked on the manuscript.

((WN)) Who do you collaborate with internationally about your study?

PMV: For this study I collaborated directly with Dr. Bruce Patterson from the Field Museum of Natural History, but studies like this cannot be completed without the contribution of scientific collections. We used specimens from the American Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Louisiana State University, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional de San Marcos, Museo de Zoología of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, Royal Ontario Museum, Texas Tech University, and the National Museum of Natural History.

((WN)) What future research do you plan?

PMV: To keep doing what I love, which is going to the field, working at collections, and collaborating with the wonderful collaborators I have, all of this is an effort to try to understand bat diversity and evolution in the Neotropics, especially why phyllostomid bats are so successful at this. There is still much to discover, and hopefully we could, in time, implement conservation actions for species that have small distributions.

Wikinews interviews Paúl M. Velazco about new yellow-shouldered bat species
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Dental Implant: An Alternative To Missing Teeth}

  • Posted on October 13, 2017 at 2:20 am

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Dental Implant: An Alternative to Missing Teeth

by

Farid Noie

Are you missing a permanent tooth? Do you have gaps in your smile? Do you wear dentures and experience some of the following problems:

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Feeling or looking older for your age

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