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William H. Calvin
Professor, Author, Lecturer (Brains, Evolution, Climate)
Professor, Author, Lecturer (Brains, Evolution, Climate)

William H.'s posts

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An excellent visualization of normal ocean circulation, showing the eddies and meanders.

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Here's the second of my new series of talks on human evolution. It shows how sharp tools were manufactured and used, the habitat of the African Rift Valley, Red Sea, Dead Sea, and on to Dmanisi, Georgia.

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Comments most welcome; I am writing a book using this series of lectures as a warm-up.

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It's the first of my series of talks on human evolution, repurposed for the web.

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Installing the new pendant system
Posted on September 23, 2016 by William Calvin
The concept of the new system is excellent: it uses triangulation to locate the pendant in 3D space. I do have a problem with how ugly the installation is:


Any Skyline prospect with some engineering background, visiting in search of an apartment, would probably flag that 24th floor hallway installation as an indication that unseen things might have also suffered from sloppy installation at Skyline; if reputation is important, things like this must be cleaned up. Dangling wires are also tempting to some passing adolescent whose fingers like to yank on things. No shock hazard, at least.

I notice that, of all the boxes I’ve spotted so far, none are oriented vertically as the instruction sheet recommends:

It also seems there is no call for using such a bulky transformer: the specs say the device draws 1.6 watts, about what a little white iphone charger cube uses. Their transformer draws 38 watts from the 110 volt socket (think 40 watt light bulb) and delivers 20 (the rest goes to heat, par for the course).

Part of the problem was probably judging this product from a brochure rather than visiting an actual installation and imagining such a thing in a resident’s living room: nowhere on the website do they show the complete installation, only the ivory box. Even when they sell the two as a package, no photo.

I’d recommend not paying the vendor until they clean up the installation wiring and paint the black transformer ivory. It pays to go visit an actual installation before ordering something this expensive.

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It appears that one Out of Africa group, between -80,000 and -50,000 years, managed to survive to serve as the ancestors of all non-Africans. For all earlier OOA groups, with one possible exception in New Guinea, it was the same fate as the Neanderthals.

Want to copy&paste from the New York Times app Today? Select All is a right-click option, but that gets you the entire daily download.

However, if you then clear the Selected text and go back to normal, you will find that you can select blocks of text and copy them. If it doesn't work, try View Source, then go back, try Select All again, clear the selection, and try again to select a block.

It would seem that the NYT wants to get advertising hits from a second party getting your emailed article recommendation, and so tries to keep you from merely sending a snippet by email. 
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