Like many developing countries, Zambia does not have detailed forecasts, partly because weather stations are scarce. The density of stations in Africa is eight times lower than recommended by the World Meteorological Organization. Building out a network can be prohibitively expensive, with a single commercial weather station often costing $10,000 to $20,000, plus ongoing funding for maintenance and replacing worn-out parts.
To fill this need, UCAR and NCAR scientists have worked for years to come up with a weather station that is cheap and easy to fix, and can be adapted to the needs of the host country. The resulting stations are constructed out of plastic parts that are custom designed and can be run off a 3D printer, along with off-the-shelf sensors and a basic, credit card-sized computer developed for schoolchildren.
Total cost: about $300 per station. Best of all, the host country can easily print replacement parts.
"If you want a different kind of wind direction gauge or anemometer, or you just need to replace a broken part, you can just print it out yourself," said project co-lead Martin Steinson of UCAR. "Our role is to make this as accessible as possible. This is entirely conceived as an open-source project."
Despite concerted efforts, scientists have been unable to convince blue tangs to breed in captivity. That means that every blue tang, every Dory, sold has to be captured from the wild. And a surprisingly large number of those fish are captured with cyanide, new research shows.
Most of the 11 million fish sold in the U.S. aquarium trade come from coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific. In some places, like Hawaii and Australia, there are decent rules and enough enforcement of them that fish can be collected without too much harm to ecosystems. But in others, there aren’t enough laws or enforcers to prevent disturbing, destructive practices, such as fishing with explosives or cyanide.
Commentary on prices in current systems from Berkeley's Haas Energy Institute. For reference burning a gallon of gas releases about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. So divide these numbers by 50 to get a rough idea of how much this would tack onto a gallon of gas.
The first weeks after her son’s death, still shocked and grieving, Hockley and some of the other parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook began a “crash course” in the history of American gun laws and gun politics.
They learned that while assault weapons played a prominent part in many mass shootings, they play only a tiny role in America’s overall gun violence problem. The loophole-ridden 1994 federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, produced no clear evidence of reducing gun violence. An in-depth evaluation of the law concluded that the impact of even a more comprehensive ban would be “small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement”.
That was not a surprise to anyone who had been paying attention. In the early 1990s, even some gun control advocates criticized the push for an assault weapon ban as a “distraction” with little crime-fighting benefit. But the ban generated intense, visceral reactions from the public. A former Democratic staffer who helped craft the assault weapon ban said he had hoped passing it would give Democrats the political momentum they needed to pass the drier, more technical gun laws that might actually save more lives.
Instead, the push for a political victory backfired. President Bill Clinton later blamed the assault weapon ban for the 1994 midterm victories that allowed Republicans to take over both houses of Congress. Many prominent gun control groups have since moved away from an assault ban – “through hard, bitter experience”, said Matt Bennett, a gun policy expert who advised Sandy Hook Promise.
The story of how millions of Americans discovered the urge to carry weapons—to join, in effect, a self-appointed, well-armed, lightly trained militia—begins not in the Old West but in the nineteen-seventies. For most of American history, gun owners generally frowned on the idea. In 1934, the president of the National Rifle Association, Karl Frederick, testified to Congress, “I do not believe in the promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” In 1967, after a public protest by armed Black Panthers in Sacramento, Governor Ronald Reagan told reporters that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”
But the politics of guns and fear were changing. In 1972, Jeff Cooper, a firearms instructor and former marine, published “Principles of Personal Defense,” which became a classic among gun-rights activists and captured a generation’s anxieties. “Before World War II, one could stroll in the parks and streets of the city after dark with hardly any risk,” he wrote. But in “today’s world of permissive atrocity” it was time to reëxamine one’s interactions with fellow-citizens. He ticked off the names of high-profile killers, including Charles Manson, and wrote of their victims, “Their appalling ineptitude and timidity virtually assisted in their own murders.” Adapting a concept from the Marines, he urged civilian gun owners to assume a state of alertness that he called Condition Yellow. He wrote, “The one who fights back retains his dignity and his self-respect.”
Soon armed citizens acquired a political voice: in 1977, at the N.R.A.’s annual meeting, conservative activists led by Harlon Carter, a former chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrested control from leaders who had been focussed on rifle-training and recreation rather than on politics, and created the modern gun-rights movement. In 1987, the refashioned N.R.A. successfully lobbied lawmakers in Florida to relax the rules that required concealed-carry applicants to demonstrate “good cause” for a permit, such as a job transporting large quantities of cash.
We analyzed data on all firearms currently advertised at Armslist, and found that in the four days following the mass shooting in Orlando — from Sunday, June 12, through Wednesday, June 15 — 15,500 unique new listings for all types of firearms were posted to the site; 3,625 — or about 1 in 4 — were listed as semi-automatic weapons by the seller; more than 2,000 firearms were not categorized by weapon type.