A Pleasure to Burn

Ever heard of Elsevier? It’s a scientific/medical publishing company that eagerly funded legislation designed to deny Americans access to biomedical research that their tax dollars paid to produce. According to the Cost of Knowledge, Elsevier:

  • charges exorbitantly high prices for its journals
  • sells journals in very large “bundles,” so libraries must buy a large set with many unwanted journals, or none at all–making enormous profits by exploiting essential titles, at the expense of other journals
  • supports measures such as SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act

WIRED‘s Science blogger David Dobbs reports that Elsevier’s consuming desire to corner the scientific/medical journal market has ignited and fanned the flames of massive support for an open science movement. That’s hot!

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It’s All Happening at the Zoo

Feeling a little earthbound? Don’t worry. Things are looking up. Put your worries aside and see what’s going on in the mega-galactic menagerie of planets, moons, and all other manner of astronomical objects. Rocket past your blues with a visit the projects at the Zooniverse. When you do, you’ll find real science online! Help with labs or with projects like Moon Zoo or Galaxy Zoo.

Invasive Speciessssssss

Burmese Python

BBC News reports on a study showing that Burmese pythons are probably the cause of a rapid decline of some mammals in the Florida Everglades. There is now a federal ban on the importation of large snakes. Florida already requires microchip implant of exotic snakes. The number of Pythons in the Everglades is estimated to be in the thousands.

Yikes!

Florida is not the only state with invasive species. Visit the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force site and learn what you can do to help. You can also collect data for the What’s Invasive project using your Android or iPhone.

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Viral Kindness?

Random Acts of Kindness WeekEver wonder how or why sarcasm and snarkiness get so much attention our culture? When was the last time someone was kind to you in a quiet but genuinely profound way? Even more important, when was the last time you willingly went out of your way to be kind to another?

What if most–not all, mind you, just most–of the basically good people walking on the surface of this planet decided to make kindness an accepted cultural norm.

What if most people tried, at least once a day, to do someone a kind turn.

What if most people did this consistently, making a chain of days linked by gracefully kind acts? What if that chain extended weeks, months, and years in time?

Do you think it can happen?

It can.

Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 13th – 19th) is quickly approaching. Now is a perfect time to exercise your compassion and proclivity toward doing good. It’s easy: be kind and be kind consistently.

Help others.

Need some inspiration? Start by visiting Storytellers for Good. The site explores how people are making a difference in the world. These folks do it. So can you.