Category: News

I love how paranoid people get over stories like this. Nothing like a bit of tech-gossip to get the blood of geeks boiling. This was posted a few hours ago and already has about 80 comments. Made my morning.

However, within certain parameters, it’s a move that could make sense for Facebook, which is what makes the scenario so attractive I guess.


New London Architecture and the London Communications Agency have compiled a visual guide (pdf) to public bodies, councils, ministries etc that run our city and the relationships between them.

In light of the government’s proposal of a Decentralisation and Localism Bill, which aims to “devolve greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods and give local communities control over housing and planning decisions”, NLA and the LCA have put together this guide that makes clear the relationships between our governing bodies for reasons of accountability and transparency, with a view to considering their merit within the framework of the Bill. The guide is accompanied by a glossary that provides general, as well as contact, information for each of those bodies.

Scientists believe that an ecological experiment by Charles Darwin and Joseph Hooker might hold the key to the colonisation of Mars.

Ascension was an arid island, buffeted by dry trade winds from southern Africa. Devoid of trees at the time of Darwin and Hooker’s visits, the little rain that did fall quickly evaporated away. Its existence depends entirely on what geologists call the mid-Atlantic ridge. This is a chain of underwater volcanoes formed as the ocean is wrenched apart.

Egged on by Darwin, in 1847 Hooker advised the Royal Navy to set in motion an elaborate plan. With the help of Kew Gardens – where Hooker’s father was director – shipments of trees were to be sent to Ascension.

The idea was breathtakingly simple. Trees would capture more rain, reduce evaporation and create rich, loamy soils. The “cinder” would become a garden.

So, beginning in 1850 and continuing year after year, ships started to come. Each deposited a motley assortment of plants from botanical gardens in Europe, South Africa and Argentina.

Soon, on the highest peak at 859m (2,817ft), great changes were afoot. By the late 1870s, eucalyptus, Norfolk Island pine, bamboo, and banana had all run riot.

Dr Wilkinson describes the vegetation of “Green Mountain” – as the highest peak is now known – as a “cloud forest”. The trees capture sea mist, creating a damp oasis amid the aridity.

(via BBc News)

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