September 27, 2016

See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Vulcan Aerospace
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Ebola Program
  • Smart City Challenge
  • Seattle Art Fair
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  •  

    Paul G. Allen


    Genomic regions that set humans apart from other primates carry many autism-linked mutations

    India New England News

    Small regions of the genome where humans have diverged from chimpanzees contain a variety of mutations implicated in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, report Harvard Medical School researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital.

    Published online Sept. 22 in Cell, the genomic analysis—the most comprehensive of its kind to date—opens a new approach to understanding both cognitive/behavioral disorders and the still-mysterious genetic changes that made human language, culture and civilization possible…

     


    To Produce Biopharmaceuticals On Demand, Just Add Water, MIT Study

    Biospace

    To Produce Biopharmaceuticals On Demand, Just Add WaterResearchers at MIT and other institutions have created tiny freeze-dried pellets that include all of the molecular machinery needed to translate DNA into proteins, which could form the basis for on-demand production of drugs and vaccines.

    The pellets, which contain dozens of enzymes and other molecules extracted from cells, can be stored for an extended period of time at room temperature. Upon the addition of water and freeze-dried DNA, the pellets begin producing proteins encoded by the DNA…

     


    Chembio Awarded Grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture to Develop Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test for Bovine Tuberculosis

    Daily Times Leader

    Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMI), a leader in point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, today announced that the Company has been awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a POC diagnostic test for bovine tuberculosis (TB). The $600,000 grant is managed by the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), a federal agency within the USDA.

    Under the two-year grant, Chembio will use its patented DPP® technology to undertake to develop a simple, rapid, accurate and cost-effective test for bovine TB in cattle. The DPP® BovidTB Assay will be designed to provide results within 20 minutes, thereby significantly improving on the time-consuming, tedious and inadequate diagnostic methods currently in use. The DPP® BovidTB Assay will be developed in collaboration with National Animal Disease Center (NADC) and Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). Chembio is uniquely qualified to develop the DPP® BovidTB Assay, as it has previously developed the DPP® VetTB Assay for captive and farmed cervids, which is currently commercialized and specified in the USDA Veterinary Services guidance document. The Company’s manufacturing facility is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and licensed by the USDA…

     

    Vulcan Aerospace


    Unpopular truths about space settlement

    The Space Review

    Are you eager to see humanity colonize the Moon and Mars? Does it really matter to you? If so, how do you feel about these eight statements about space settlement? Which can you now accept, and which do you still reject?

    The US government will never pay for space settlement, because, even if Congress wanted to, the taxpayers wouldn’t allow it…

     


    Vulcan Aerospace leader steps down

    Seattle Times

    Chuck Beames, who headed Seattle-based Vulcan Aerospace for the past two and a half years, has left the company.

    He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by Jean Floyd, head of the company’s Stratolaunch project, which is building a giant space launch airplane in the Mojave desert…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    Report Confirms Grim Outlook For Elephants

    Capital FM

    Elephant populations in Africa have declined by around 111,000 over the past 10 years according to a new study.

    The African Elephant Status report says that poaching is the main driver of the fall, the worst losses in 25 years.

    However the authors say that long-term issues such as the loss of habitat also pose a significant threat…

     


    Best to legalise the ivory trade – or not?

    IOL

    Declining elephant populations in Africa are coming under the spotlight during the climate conference CoP17 Cites under way at the Sandton Convention Centre.

    NGOs have spent enormous amounts of money on highlighting the problem with the ivory trade, while some governments are lobbying to make it legal…

     

    Ebola Program


    UMass Medical School Announces $250 Million Campaign

    Advance Healthcare Network

    Chancellor Michael F. Collins announced the public phase of a $250 million comprehensive campaign to support UMass Medical School’s ongoing pursuit of excellence and to shape advances in biomedical research, education, and community and global engagement well into the 21st century.

    Pathways of Promise is the largest fundraising effort since the school was founded in 1962 and represents an unprecedented opportunity for supporters, private-sector partners and granting organizations to celebrate and strengthen the school’s ability to fulfill its mission of advancing the health and well-being of the people of the commonwealth and the world, according to a press release from UMass…

     

    Smart City Challenge


    Mayor Adler quietly earns honor for Disruptive Leaders

    Statesman

    “Disruptive” isn’t often used to describe Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a man whose voice is so soft that city staffers have given him a special clip-on microphone to use at City Council meetings.

    But the mayor’s efforts to address Austin’s deeply rooted economic inequalities recently earned him a spot on a list of 25 Disruptive Leaders who will be honored on Tuesday by Living Cities, an organization that works to improve the economic well-being for low-income people…

     


    White House Announces $80 Million in New Smart Cities Investment

    IOT Evolution

    It is Smart Cities Week here in the U.S. and to kick it off, the White House this morning announced $80 million new federal dollars to go toward its Smart Cities Initiative, which launched a year ago.

    “If we can reconceive of our government so that the interactions and the interplay between private sector, nonprofits, and government are opened up, and we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there’s no problem that we face in this country that is not soluble.” said President Barack Obama in a White House fact sheet released September 26…

     


    Announcing Over $80 million in New Federal Investment and a Doubling of Participating Communities in the White House Smart Cities Initiative

    4 Traders

    ‘If we can reconceive of our government so that the interactions and the interplay between private sector, nonprofits, and government are opened up, and we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there’s no problem that we face in this country that is not soluble.’ – President Barack Obama

    With nearly two-thirds of Americans living in urban settings, many of our fundamental challenges-from climate change to equitable growth to improved health-will require our cities to be laboratories for innovation. The rapid pace of technological change, from the rise of data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and ubiquitous sensor networks to autonomous vehicles, holds significant promise for addressing core local challenges…

     

    Seattle Art Fair


    The Ultimate Guide to the Texas Contemporary Art Fair: New York Ownership Embraces Houston’s Messy Vitality

    Paper City

    Texas Contemporary Fair blows back into town this week for three days and one night, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. In a half dozen years since New York-based Art Market launched the Texas Contemporary in Houston — their other fairs include Miami Project and the Seattle Art Fair, the latter produced in tandem with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — the Fair has distinguished itself with works appealing to top collectors within the contemporary arena.

    Don’t expect the pristine polish of the Dallas Art Fair; this Fair has a vibe more suited for Houston — a messy vitality (remember year one’s Andy Coolquitt explosion in the aisles?) and a more expansive, diverse collecting focus (because our town’s mega collectors are not ruled by a cadre of New York art advisors). Philanthropic couple John and Becca Cason Thrash return to chair Opening Night…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    Seahawks rout 49ers

    The Daily World

    Russell Wilson’s now out of legs to injure.

    He’s now finally missed game time because of being hurt.

    Yet through a sprained right ankle and now a new, sprained left knee, Seattle’s most relentlessly standing icon since the Space Needle vows to play on…

     

    Portland Trail Blazers


    Blazers Want More

    Portland Tribune

    Monday was Media Day at Moda Center, with President/general manager Neil Olshey, coach Terry Stotts and most of the 18 players on the Trail Blazers’ training-camp roster addressing reporters with their views on the upcoming season.

    A look at what was discussed:

    • Portland entered the 2015-16 season predicted to be near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Vegas odds had them in the neighborhood of 26 victories. The Blazers far exceeded expectations, finishing fifth in the West with a 44-38 record and beating the Los Angeles Clippers before being eliminated by Golden State in the second round of the playoffs…

    September 26, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Vulcan Productions
  • Allen Institute for Brain Science
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Paul G. Allen


    To furnish biopharmaceuticals on demand, only supplement water

    Health Medicine Network

    The pellets, that enclose dozens of enzymes and other molecules extracted from cells, can be stored for an extended duration of time during room temperature. Upon a further of H2O and freeze-dried DNA, a pellets start producing proteins encoded by a DNA.

    “It’s a modular complement that can be automatic to make what we need, on a spot,” says James Collins, a Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). “You could have hundreds of opposite DNA pellets we can supplement in a field.”…

     


    Foundations Launch Initiative to Support Homeless Students in Washington State

    Philanthropy News Digest

    The Raikes Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a partnership aimed at helping help thirty-five thousand homeless students in Washington secure the support and stability they need to thrive.

    Working with the Paul G. Allen Family and Campion foundations, the foundations will commit more than $1.8 million in support of the Schoolhouse Washington initiative, which will identify and fund innovative approaches that address the needs of homeless students, their families, and their schools. Administered by Non-profits Building Changes and Columbia Legal Services, the initiative will focus initially on schools and service providers in King County. Building Changes also will partner with Columbia Legal Service to advocate across the state for effective student homelessness policies…

     

    Vulcan Productions


    Big Google campus in South Lake Union approved

    The Columbian

    Google’s massive expansion into South Lake Union has been quickly approved, paving the way for Seattle’s newest marquee tech campus to begin construction soon.

    The city’s design review board last week unanimously signed off on the last chunk of the project just south of the shores of Lake Union between Valley and Mercer streets. The approval came with no major changes, aside from some design tweaks, since the project was unveiled in March. The developers recently released new renderings depicting people riding bicycles, petting dogs and frolicking in the grass near the campus…

     

    Allen Institute for Brain Science


    Lectures will explore mysteries of the brain

    The Daily News

    If you are reading this sentence, then you are conscious. In fact, we are conscious unless we are in a deep sleep, coma, anesthetized or suffering from a medical condition such as a stroke, brain injury or another condition that disrupts our normal brain function. When we are conscious we can think, talk, make plans and engage in all kinds of human activities. But what is consciousness?

    We know that our brains are essential to our conscious life, that our bodies and the environment influence and impact our consciousness…

     

    Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence


    Google shows up late in crowded digital-assistant field

    Daily Herald Business Ledger

    Google unleashed its digital assistant for the first time, arriving late to the intensifying race among the largest technology companies to create a more personal and lucrative way for computers to interact with humans.

    The Google Assistant uses artificial intelligence tools, such as voice recognition and natural-language processing, to answer questions and satisfy other requests delivered verbally and in formats such as text messages. The first incarnation is as a digital buddy inside Google’s new Allo messaging app, which the Alphabet Inc. unit unveiled Wednesday. The assistant will also appear inside Google’s Home internet-connected speaker — expected next month — in new Android smartphones and in devices such as cars and watches made by other companies, Google executive Nick Fox said…

     


    Robots: Lifesavers or Terminators?

    WYFF 4

    Machines are rapidly learning to think on their own, but will the robot revolution lead to a modern utopia — or an apocalypse?

    Government officials say autonomous vehicles will make transportation safer, more accessible, more efficient and cleaner and last week, the Department of Transportation released guidelines for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles, which detail how the vehicles should perform, and include a model for state policies…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    New Survey of Africa’s Elephants Reveals Catastrophic Declines

    Global Travel Industry News

    Africa’s elephant population has declined by 110 000 in the last 10 years, mainly due to poaching according to a new report presented by African Elephant Specialist Group.

    Africa now only has 415 000 elephants based on population estimates from a wide range of sources – including data from the pan-African survey on savanna elephants by the Great Elephant Census…

     


    EU puts African elephants in jeopardy

    SA Breaking News

    The first act of the EU as a full member of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), may well jeopardise the future of African elephants.

    At the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17)which opens in Johannesburg on Saturday 24 September, the European Union will not vote as individual member states but as a bloc which, according to a decision taken the European Commission on 1st July, means they will oppose a total ban on international trade in ivory. This decision strangely contradicts a resolution by the European Parliament itself on the 15th September to put all elephants on CITES Appendix I…

     


    Elephants in peril

    IOL

    The first act of the EU as a full member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), may well jeopardise the future of African elephants.

    At the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17), which opened in Johannesburg on Saturday, the EU will not vote as individual member states, but as a bloc which, according to a decision taken the European Commission on July 1, means they will oppose a total ban on international trade in ivory…

     


    Worst Status In 25 Years: African Elephants Suffer Major Decline In Population

    Tech Times

    The population of African elephants has suffered a major decline in the last decade, indicating a grim outlook for the species, a new study suggests.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed that the total elephant population in Africa experienced a decline of 111,000 in the last ten years…

     


    African elephant population tumbles but some countries want to lift the ivory ban

    Brisbane Times

    The number of elephants in Africa has dropped by 111,000 in 10 years to just 415,000 today. The 20 per cent drop between 2006 and 2015 is because of a surge in ivory poaching, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a report.

    Swiss-based IUCN is regarded as the most authoritative source on wild fauna populations and the report’s release at a UN conference on the global wildlife trade will lend a sense of urgency as some countries seek to keep the global ivory trade shut while others want to reopen it…

     


    Poaching behind worst African elephant losses in 25 years

    Global Travel Industry News

    Africa’s overall elephant population has seen the worst declines in 25 years, mainly due to poaching over the past ten years – according to IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report launched today at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    The report is an authoritative source of knowledge about the numbers and distribution of African elephant populations across their 37 range states in sub-Saharan Africa…

     


    Fifty elephants killed each day for last decade, study says amid key talks on ivory trade

    The Telegraph

    in just 10 years to only 415,000 today, according to a study published on Sunday as global experts met in Johannesburg to discuss whether to lift the ban on the ivory trade.

    The Pan-African survey, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, found that 50 elephants were killed each day since 2006 and laid the blame squarely on poachers seeking their precious tusks for sale mainly to Asian markets…

     


    New Elephant Estimate Documents Major Decline

    National Geographic

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature released its 2016 African Elephant Status Report this morning, and the results are sobering: Africa has approximately 415,000 elephants, a net decline of more than 110,000 from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2015.

    This status report attempts to establish a continent-wide estimate of elephant numbers in Africa and show where population changes are happening. This newest report is based on 275 surveys of individual elephant populations across Africa, including data from the Great Elephant Census, a major wildlife survey conducted over several years to determine the number of savannah elephants left in Africa. Unlike the Great Elephant Census, the status report includes estimates for the forest elephant populations of Western and central Africa as well as elephants in Namibia…

     


    New report confirms grim outlook for elephants

    Soko Lako

    The African Elephant Status report says that poaching is the main driver of the fall, the worst losses in 25 years.

    However the authors say that long-term issues such as the loss of habitat also pose a significant threat.

    The report has been presented at the Cites meeting which is considering new proposals on elephant protection…

     


    Poaching behind worst African elephant losses in 25 years – IUCN report

    ICUN

    Africa’s overall elephant population has seen the worst declines in 25 years, mainly due to poaching over the past ten years – according to IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report launched today at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.Africa’s overall elephant population has seen the worst declines in 25 years, mainly due to poaching – according to IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report launched today at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    The report is an authoritative source of knowledge about the numbers and distribution of African elephant populations across their 37 range states in sub-Saharan Africa…

     


    Bangkok Residents March to Ban Ivory as Key Wildlife Talks Begin

    Latin American Herald Tribune

    Hundreds of people in the Thai capital took part on Saturday in a protest march against the ivory and rhino horn trade, one of a series of marches taking place around the globe to express collective support for the defense of wildlife.

    “I want to grow up in a world with rhinos in the wild, not in a museum,” read a sign carried by a small child, while another wielded a placard stating, “Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for ivory” as they traipsed through central Bangkok’s Lumpini Park during the two-hour march, which convened at 9 a.m. local time (0200 GMT)…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    Graham’s return to relevance; Baldwin rolls on, meets with Kaepernick

    The News Tribune

    Jimmy Graham laughed while talking postgame to Seahawks owner Paul Allen.

    Then the $40 million tight end walked from the center of the locker room at CenturyLink Field through a door into a side room off-limits to the media. He was still in full uniform and pads…

     


    Wilson injures knee on Baldwin’s, Michael’s career days but says he’s OK

    Bellingham Herald

    Seattle Reduced to a slower, more reachable quarterback by his sprained ankle, Russell Wilson now had his left knee crumple under him.

    San Francisco’s Eli Harold grabbed the back of his shoulder pads and yanked down Seattle’s franchise cornerstone onto his left leg. And all of the Pacific Northwest gasped.

    “My heart dropped,” Seahawks No. 1 wide receiver Doug Baldwin said…

     


    Jimmy Graham shows he’s back in Seattle’s romp of 49ers

    Federal News Radio

    Jimmy Graham’s statement about his most productive game since suffering a major knee injury was left to what he did on the field, all of it coming in one impressive half on Sunday.

    “He’s a phenomenal athlete and it’s going to be cool to see him develop more so in our offense this year,” Seattle tight end Luke Willson said.

    Less than a year after suffering a torn patellar tendon in his right knee, Graham was back to being a focal point for Seattle…

     


    Seahawks QB Russell Wilson sprains knee, leaves game vs. 49ers

    Seattle Pi

    Russell Wilson was brought down with an illegal horse-collar tackle and twisted his left knee awkwardly during Sunday’s third quarter against the 49ers, causing the Seahawks quarterback to momentarily crumple to the turf.

    Wilson’s set to have an MRI on what coach Pete Carroll labeled “a little bit of a (left) knee sprain,” an injury Wilson tried to downplay after the Seahawks 37-18 win over the 49ers at CenturyLink Field…

    September 23, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Vulcan Inc.
  • Vulcan Aerospace
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Smart City Challenge
  • EMP Museum
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Paul G. Allen


    Philanthropy’s Part in a Flurry of Global Ocean Protection Commitments

    Inside Philanthropy

    In the past two years, we’ve written often about all the action around saving the oceans, including the many new billionaire philanthropists who’ve joined this cause.

    One place where this action comes together is the Our Ocean conference, which has become a focal point for sweeping new marine initiatives by governments, nonprofits, and foundations alike. In the third such event held last week in D.C., participants announced 136 initiatives to protect ocean areas, manage fisheries, clean up pollution, and pursue other priorities, collectively valued at more than $5.2 billion (that’s all commitments, with philanthropy just one piece). That’s more than the dollar value assigned to the first two years combined, bringing the total to $9.2 billion worth of commitments…

     

    Vulcan Inc.


    OPIC, Microsoft to support Mawingu Networks in Kenya

    Telecom Paper

    The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, has announced a commitment and first disbursement to Mawingu Networks, a provider of solar-powered wireless Internet across rural Kenya. OPIC has committed to financing a USD 4.1 million loan. Mawingu Networks was able to establish its current operating model using an initial grant in 2013 from Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

    They received equity funding from angel investor Jim Forster, Paul G Allen’s Vulcan, and Microsoft, two years after the first phase of support. Using a network of solar-powered “nomadic” wireless internet stations, Mawingu provides last mile connectivity in areas that cannot economically access the internet…

     

    Vulcan Aerospace


    Peter Diamandis started the latest space race, not Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos

    Financial Review

    Elon Musk’s rocket-building company SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s similar Blue Origins have grabbed the headlines in the space race.

    But there is a fascinating backstory about how the private space industry came into being. It is the tale of a renegade entrepreneur, Peter Diamandis, who founded the XPrize Foundation to encourage rocket-building in order to find a way into space himself…

     


    Sail On, Sail On, Sailor

    News Reality

    The following blog post originally appeared on EcoWatch.com. “Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step,” said Jeff Bezos, unveiling this week his space travel company Blue Origin’s giant rocket named after Astronaut John Glenn. Of course there is also billionaire entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace. Dream big, that’s the spirit! The final frontier with limitless possibilities. Our boys and their toys. Great fun!…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    ‘When Charlotte turns 25, they will be gone’: Prince William urges leaders to crush the illegal wildlife trade that will wipe out African elephants in his children’s lifetime

    Daily Mail

    The Duke of Cambridge made a plea for leaders to stamp out the devastating ivory trade that is set to destroy the African elephant population before his children are even out of their 20s.

    Prince William delivered the keynote address at Tusk’s Time for Change event at the Shard, London, today, and drew on his own family to illustrate how quickly the animals are being killed for their tusks…

     


    Critical reflections on elephant conservation, CITES and the benefits of legalising trade of Africa’s white gold

    News 24

    The 2016 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference is only two days away, and today (22 September), on international Elephant Appreciation Day, it is appropriate to take stock of some challenges and developments with regards to elephant conservation and anti-poaching programmes.

    One of the most contentious debates at CITES this year will be around legalising trade on ivory – Africa’s white gold…

     


    Members of Congress urge US delegation to support permanent ban on the ivory trade

    Global Travel News Agency

    Fifty-four members from both houses of the US House of Representatives sent a letter today to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, urging the United States to vocally and strongly support the highest level of protections for African elephants at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    The letter, initiated by Representative Don Beyer (Democrat for Virginia), specifically calls on the US delegation to support an African-led proposal to list all elephants under Appendix I…

     


    Namibia: Battle Lines Drawn Over Ivory Trade

    All Africa

    The African Elephant Coalition (AEC), in a decisive move to reverse the poaching menace facing African elephants, will advocate a permanent ban on international trade in ivory at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) which opens on Saturday 24 September in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    The AEC comprises 29 African countries representing 70% of African elephant range states…

     


    Threat to Africa’s elephants a headache for CoP17

    Ama Bhungane

    The 17th Cites conference (CoP17) begins this week in Johannesburg against the sombre background of a 30% crash in African savanna elephant numbers in just seven years, mainly because of poaching driven by Far Eastern syndicates. Conservationists also worry that ivory poaching is moving through southern Zambia towards Botswana’s Okavanga Delta, location of the world’s largest elephant herds.

    The Great Elephant Census, funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G Allen’s company Vulcan, was released in March. It found there were 352 271 savanna elephants still in the wild, a loss of 144 000, representing an 8% annual rate of decline between 2007 and 2014. During the 1930s there were 15-million wild savanna elephants in Africa…

     


    European Union puts African elephants in jeopardy

    Bulawayo 24

    The first act of the EU as a full member of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), may well jeopardise the future of African elephants.

    At the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17)which opens in Johannesburg on Saturday 24 September, the European Union will not vote as individual member states but as a bloc which, according to a decision taken the European Commission on 1st July, means they will oppose a total ban on international trade in ivory. This decision strangely contradicts a resolution by the European Parliament itself on the 15th September to put all elephants on CITES Appendix I…

     


    Prince William calls for strong CITES move on ivory trade, despite UK’s limp stance

    News Hub

    In a live satellite feed from London to invited audiences in Johannesburg and Toyko ahead of the major Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which opens on Saturday 24 September in Johannesburg, Prince William said that the world has a chance to make a stand and “that it is no longer acceptable to buy and sell ivory.”

    Speaking to invited audiences via satellite link in Johannesburg and Tokyo that included dignitaries such as CITES Secretary General, John Scanlon, British Environment Minister, Andrea Leadsom and Ex-Foreign Secretary for the UK, William Hague, Prince William said “the opportunity that CITES presents will not come around again for another 3 years, I sincerely hope the parties will be able to unite around this unmistakable message to the world.”…

     


    Seattle elephant advocates join global march on eve of crucial conservation meeting in Africa

    Seattle Times

    With funding for high-profile projects like the Great Elephant Census, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has boosted Seattle’s standing in the world of international wildlife conservation.

    But it’s not just local billionaires taking action on behalf of creatures that live on the other side of the planet…

     


    Op-Ed: Calls for greater protection for African elephants could re-open international ivory trade

    Daily Maverick

    But an international ban is in place. It is the cornerstone of global efforts to save elephants and must be strictly maintained. Measures to stop the poachers and traffickers and close down domestic ivory markets have to be strengthened. But there is no way to make the ban stronger on paper – it can only be enhanced through effective enforcement.

    Some countries and conservation organisations dispute this. With around 20,000-30,000 elephants being poached across Africa each year, they are pushing hard for the large elephant populations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to be upgraded to Appendix I of CITES in line with the rest of the continent’s elephants, arguing that this would provide them with the highest level of protection…

     


    Born Free urges world leaders to step up the pressure on ivory markets at CITES

    Environment Guru

    Today, on World Rhino Day, international wildlife charities, Born Free Foundation & Born Free USA, have called on world leaders to step up the pressure on ivory markets, as public and political pressure mounts.

    The call follows UK Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom’s plans announced yesterday for a ban on sales of modern day ivory (less than 70 years old) in the UK, as well as a high-profile speech by HRH The Duke of Cambridge earlier today, in which he called for a tightening of the rules in trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn…

     


    World Rhino Day: Yego locks horns with illegal trade in wildlife

    The Star

    World javelin champion Julius Yego on Thursday joined Kenyans to celebrate World Rhino Day.

    “I’m standing up for rhinos to make people understand we can’t keep killing them,” Yego said in a statement to newsrooms.

    Yego is a silver medalist in Javelin at Rio Olympics and nicknamed YouTube Man for learning to throw by watching videos online…

     


    Prince William Urges Leaders To Take On Illegal Ivory Trade: ‘When Charlotte Turns 25, They Will Be Gone’

    ET Canada

    Prince William is urging leaders to wipe out the illegal trade of ivory that is set to kill off Africa’s elephant population before Prince George and Princess Charlotte hit their twenties.

    The Royal made the plea while addressing the attendees at Tusk’s Time for Change event in London on Thursday…

     


    Namibia elephant hunter: ‘We do it because we love them’

    Sun FM

    A professional hunter and his client broke down in tears after needing seven shots to kill an elephant they had spent four days tracking.

    Sky News joined Jofie Lamprecht on a trophy hunt in the north of Namibia after two years of trying to get permission.

    His American client had paid for permits to hunt in three conservancies in the Zambezi Region – over woodland savannah with some open flood plains as well as thick forest near the Chobe river…

     

    Smart City Challenge


    City Information Modeling

    Architecture Engineering Construction

    Now that building information modeling (BIM) has been firmly established in the AEC industry for the design, construction, and operation of individual buildings, and infrastructure modeling (also referred to as “BIM for infrastructure”) is starting to gain some traction for the design, construction, and operation of infrastructure (see the AECbytes archived article, “Extending BIM to Infrastructure”), we are also seeing some movement towards applying the intelligent modeling concept to the next broader level of human habitation, the city. While there is no agreed-upon terminology yet to refer to the concept of modeling cities, we will refer to it here as “city information modeling” or CIM…

     

    EMP Museum


    Four area museums offering free admission Saturday, Sept. 24

    Bellingham Herald

    Four museums in Whatcom and Skagit counties and several other Puget Sound-area institutions are participating in the annual nationwide Museum Day Live! event offering free admission Saturday, Sept. 24.

    It’s sponsored every September by Smithsonian magazine, in the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington, D.C…

     


    A star is born – Nelson designer delights at WOW

    New Zealand Herald

    Do you have the imagination to design for another world?

    For Nelson artist Gillian Saunders, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes”. Fourteen years after she first entered the World of WearableArt Awards – winning a number of category prizes along the way – Saunders has taken home the main prize…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    Seahawks Announce Fan Activities For 49ers Game

    Seahawks.com

    The Seattle Seahawks announced today activities for Sunday, September 25 game vs. the San Francisco 49ers. All gates and American Family Insurance Touchdown City, located in the CenturyLink Field Event Center, open at 10 a.m. and kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. The game is presented by Washington’s Lottery who will distribute green and blue “crazy hair” upon entry while supplies last.

    The Seahawks will celebrate the NFL PLAY 60 campaign by recognizing Olympians who medaled at the recent Olympic Summer Games in Rio with direct ties to the State of Washington during an on-field halftime ceremony. Throughout the game, the team will share highlights from local Play 60 programs and events and tips to stay active for 60 minutes a day. Olympians participating include the following:…

    September 22, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
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  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
  • Great Elephant Census
  • EMP Museum
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  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Paul G. Allen


    Tired of waiting, Ferguson wants ban on assault weapon sales

    Herald Net

    Attorney General Bob Ferguson insists politics isn’t driving his call for a ban on the sale of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons in the 2017 legislative session.

    It is impatience, and frustration, at a trail of tragedy that in the past year wound through an office celebration in San Bernardino, a night club in Orlando and, in July, a house party in Mukilteo…

     


    Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s $3 billion effort aims to rid world of major diseases by end of century

    Washington Post

    Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, on Wednesday announced a $3 billion effort to accelerate scientific research with the wildly ambitious goal of “curing all disease in our children’s lifetime.”

    The many components of the initiative include creating universal technology “tools” based on both traditional science and engineering on which all researchers can build, including a map of all cell types, a way to continuously monitor blood for early signs of illness, and a chip that can diagnose all diseases (or at least many of them)…

     

    Vulcan Inc.


    OPIC and Microsoft Commit to Support Wireless Internet Expansion in Kenya

    All Africa

    The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today announced commitment and first disbursement to Mawingu Networks, a provider of solar-powered wireless Internet across rural Kenya. OPIC committed to financing a $4.1 million loan. Mawingu Networks was able to establish their current operating model using an initial grant in 2013 from Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). They received equity funding from Angel Investor Jim Forster, Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., and Microsoft Corporation two years after their first phase of support…

     


    The importance of unlikely allies in pandemic response

    Devex

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was unlike anything the world had faced, so it demanded an approach that went beyond the “traditional insular ways” of the United Nations, according to the man who coordinated the U.N. response, Tony Banbury.

    Banbury, now the chief philanthropy officer at Vulcan Inc. in Seattle, remembered how he slashed red tape and broke the norms of interagency process…

     


    City on course to add 330 electric vehicles by 2020

    Austin Monitor

    The city of Austin’s vehicle fleet appears likely to see a large infusion of electric vehicles in the coming years, as part of the city’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. The target of Austin Energy and the fleet operations department is to add 330 plug-in electric vehicles by 2020, with acquisitions beginning in 2017 if City Council approves of a proposal set to go before the city’s mobility committee on Oct. 5.

    No decision has been made yet on what make and model the vehicles will be, though in Monday’s presentation to the Electric Utility Commission, Karl Popham, manager of electric vehicles and emerging technologies for Austin Energy, said the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are the two most popular models, aside from higher-priced Tesla models. The city will acquire the electric vehicles through a municipal lease program that will act in many ways like an outright purchase, with the city taking ownership for $1 after the three-year lease term…

     

    Vulcan Capital


    This Startup Has Brought Off-Grid Solar to 65 Million People

    Fortune

    Decade-old startup d.light has sold solar-powered lanterns and lights to millions of customers in off-grid rural areas like Sub-Saharan Africa.

    But now the company, founded by two Stanford entrepreneurs, is shifting its focus to grow its business of selling larger, more powerful solar panels and solar-powered gear like radios and fans. Their complete home solar product can hold its own against a traditional power grid connection and a local electronics store, but for a fraction of the cost…

     

    Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence


    Google uses Assistant to square up to Siri in AI arms race

    Financial Times

    Google’s big bet on computers that can teach themselves is about to face its most significant examination.

    “Machine learning” has brought artificial intelligence (AI) back into the technology mainstream which, for Google, means using its computing resources to analyse mountains of data to identify patterns and make predictions, from calculating the adverts users are likely to find most relevant to whether a digital image shows a cat or a dog…

     


    Google shows up late in crowded AI-based digital-assistant field

    Chicago Tribune

    Google unleashed its digital assistant for the first time, arriving late to the intensifying race among the largest technology companies to create a more personal and lucrative way for computers to interact with humans.

    The Google Assistant uses artificial intelligence tools, such as voice recognition and natural-language processing, to answer questions and satisfy other requests delivered verbally and in formats such as text messages. The first incarnation is as a digital buddy inside Google’s new Allo messaging app, which the Alphabet Inc. unit unveiled Wednesday. The assistant will also appear inside Google’s Home internet-connected speaker — expected next month — in new Android smartphones and in devices such as cars and watches made by other companies, Google executive Nick Fox said…

     


    New Google Assistant to Enter e-Commerce World

    Power Retail

    Google Assistant has arrived a bit later amongst the competition, to create a more personal and lucrative way for humans and computers to interact.

    Google’s new virtual assistant, uses artificial intelligence tools, including voice recognition and natural-language processing, to answer questions and deliver various tasks…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    Britain can lead the way in helping to save elephants

    The Telegraph

    We lose an elephant every fifteen minutes. Their population has fallen by almost a third since 2007. Whichever way you put the numbers, the decline in Africa’s elephants over the last nine years is utterly shocking. The Great Elephant Census, published in August, found only 352,271 Savannah elephants across the 8 countries surveyed. This alarming decline is the direct result of rising demand for ivory.

    In recent years, I have visited Kenya and South Africa; the shocking sight and stench of recently magnificent elephants and rhinos turned into horrendous rotting carcasses, swarming with clouds of flies still disgusts me…

     


    Investigating The Violent And Corrupt World Of Elephant Poaching

    Huffington Post

    This week the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, will begin in Johannesburg, South Africa (24th September to 5th October). High on the agenda this year will be the alarming decrease in the number of African elephants, which is due to the rise of ivory poaching and threatens to wipe out the species entirely over the next decade. With poaching at such high levels, the conference will be a critical game-changer in rescuing what is left of the savannah elephants.

    The recent results from the Great Elephant Census has identified that 30% of Africa’s elephants have disappeared in the last seven years. At the current rate of decline, half the continent’s remaining elephants will have vanished in just nine years…

     


    Battle lines drawn over ivory trade

    The Namibian

    The AEC comprises 29 African countries representing 70% of African elephant range states.

    Standing in opposition are three southern African range states – Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – calling for Cites rules to be relaxed, allowing ivory to be traded legally on a global scale in the future as it was until 1989…

     


    World powers to decide fate of African elephant as global ban on ivory expires

    The Independent

    On Saturday, the international community will meet in South Africa to decide the future of elephant conservation, with an international ban on sales of ivory poised to expire next year.

    There are some who argue that, like the war on drugs, the war on poaching has failed. A block of southern African countries, where elephant populations are currently thriving, argue that ending the blanket ban would allow them to put the money raised into conservation…

     


    On Eve of CITES Conference, 54 Members of Congress Urge US Delegation to Protect African Elephants from Poaching

    Animal Welfare Institute

    Fifty-four members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter today to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, urging the United States to vocally and strongly support the highest level of protections for African elephants at the upcoming triennial Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    The letter, initiated by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), specifically calls on the US delegation to support an Appendix I listings for all African elephants. Appendix I affords the highest standard of international protection and would prohibit all commercial ivory trade. Currently, elephants in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are classified under Appendix II, thereby facilitating the sale of ivory around the world…\\\

     

    EMP Museum


    Here’s A Thing You Didn’t Know About Nirvana

    Huffington Post

    After finishing the recording sessions for “Nevermind,” Kurt Cobain of Nirvana returned to his Olympia, Washington, home to find his things were on the curb. The landlord had evicted him for not paying rent, forcing Cobain to start sleeping in his 1963 Plymouth Valiant. That wasn’t the first time Cobain had to use his car as a home, but it would be the last.

    “Nevermind” would go on to sell 30 million copies, an outcome that was far from expected when the album debuted on Sept. 24, 1991…

     

    Portland Trail Blazers


    PK80: 16-Team College Hoops Event Held in Honor of Phil Knight in 2017

    ESPN Media Zone

    The creation of PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational, a 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball tournament honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday, will take place over Thanksgiving week in 2017 from Portland, Ore. One of the largest regular-season tournaments in college basketball history, sporting a field featuring some of the top schools in the nation, will be played Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26, from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

    Participating schools include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    No cheap seats in Seattle: Highest in NFL

    Q13 Fox

    Paul Allen is considered the richest owner in the NFL, and his franchise, the Seahawks, cost the most to watch in their home stadium.

    According to Vividseats.com, which surveys ticket prices for the 32 teams, Seattle’s median ticket price is $372. That’s $17 ahead of New England, which is second…

     


    This Week In Defense: The Seahawks did a lot of good, but not enough against the Rams

    Field Gulls

    Every year since Pete Carroll arrived in 2010, these weeks have been interesting. Any game with the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks has seen two types of people talking themselves into the game. On one hand you have the folks that say:“Hey, the Rams aren’t that good, this should be easy.”

    Usually they still acknowledge the difficulties of the past five seasons in which the Seahawks have found themselves with four wins and five losses in nine tries against the Rams. The hope they drink from is gathered from a spring of bad quarterbacks that Los Angeles has been stuck with, from Kellen Clemens to Austin Davis and now Case Keenum…

    September 21, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
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  • Allen Institute for Brain Science
  • Allen Institute for Cell Science
  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Smart City Challenge
  • Paul G. Allen


    Press Releases: Our Ocean 2016 Commitments

    Africa Newswire

    Participants in the third Our Ocean conference, held September 15-16 in Washington, D.C., announced over 136 new initiatives on marine conservation and protection valued at more than $5.24 billion, as well as new commitments on the protection of almost four million square kilometers (over 1.5 million square miles) of the ocean.

    To date the three Our Ocean conferences have generated commitments valued at over $9.2 billion to protect our ocean and committed to protect 9.9 million square kilometers (3.8 million square miles) of ocean – an area the size of the United States. The commitments focus on the key ocean issues of our time: marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean…

     

    Vulcan Real Estate


    Preserving the integrity of our built environment — an international comparison

    Queen Anne News

    My visit last month to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, helps address important questions about architectural integrity and preservation particularly as façadism gains favor in Seattle. Both Paul Allen’s classic example of façadism at his eponymous institute at 615 Westlake between Mercer and Valley Streets, or the struggle to preserve the Space Needle have recently shown, Seattle folks and Queen Anne neighbors alike are just beginning to grapple with the issues.

    Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic states. Along with Lithuania and Latvia, it has had a long history of occupations by Danes, Russians, Swedes, Germans and just about all the conquering peoples of northern Europe including the Vikings. Tallinn, across from Helsinki on the Strait of Finland, has a few excavated bits of Viking history in its museums. More dramatically though, it has real examples of 13th, 14th and 15th century buildings surviving in appropriate contexts exactly where they were first built…

     

    Vulcan Aerospace


    Sail On, Sail On, Sailor

    Just Means

    This piece originally appeared on Capital Institute’s Future of Finance blog.

    “Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step,” said Jeff Bezos, unveiling this week his space travel company Blue Origin’s giant rocket named after Astronaut John Glenn…

     

    Vulcan Capital


    This Startup Has Brought Off-Grid Solar to 65 Million People

    Fortune

    Decade-old startup d.light has sold solar-powered lanterns and lights to millions of customers in off-grid rural areas like Sub-Saharan Africa.

    But now the company, founded by two Stanford entrepreneurs, is shifting its focus to grow its business of selling larger, more powerful solar panels and solar-powered gear like radios and fans. Their complete home solar product can hold its own against a traditional power grid connection and a local electronics store, but for a fraction of the cost…

     

    Vulcan Productions


    Gunpowder & Sky acquires FilmBuff

    Screen Daily

    The recently launched Los Angeles-based content creator said on Tuesday it has bought FilmBuff, the pioneering New York-based sales and distribution company.

    FilmBuff is rebranded as Gunpowder & Sky Distribution and will operate from Los Angeles and New York under executive vice-president of distribution Janet Brown, former FilmBuff CEO…

     


    “We the Voters” filmmakers look to energize the electorate

    CBS News

    A slew of filmmakers want to get young voters engaged in the election before it’s too late.

    Morgan Spurlock and Paul Allen follow up 2014’s informative and entertaining series “We the Economy“ with “We the Voters,” a collection of 20 short films produced in conjunction with NY-based Show of Force aimed at engaging young voters about all things election-related just in time for November…

     


    Gunpowder & Sky acquires distributor FilmBuff

    Real Screen

    Digital studio Gunpowder & Sky has acquired independent content sales and distribution company FilmBuff.

    Under the deal, FilmBuff will be rebranded Gunpowder & Sky Distribution and continue to be led by CEO Janet Brown (pictured), who becomes EVP of distribution…

     


    Gunpowder & Sky Acquires FilmBuff Indie Film Distributor

    Variety

    Gunpowder & Sky, the digital content studio launched by Van Toffler and backed by AT&T and Chernin Group, has acquired independent content sales and distribution company FilmBuff.

    Financial terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. New York-based FilmBuff, founded in 2008, has been an early mover in digital distribution and has expanded into digital-first content in recent years. FilmBuff will be rebranded as Gunpowder & Sky Distribution, and will be led by FilmBuff CEO Janet Brown in her new role as executive VP of distribution…

     

    Allen Institute for Brain Science


    Human brain map gets a bold new update

    Signs of the Times

    Most of us think little of hopping on Google Maps to look at everything from a bird’s-eye view of an entire continent to an on-the-ground view of a specific street, all carefully labeled. Thanks to a digital atlas published this week, the same is now possible with the human brain.

    Ed Lein and colleagues at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle have created a comprehensive, open-access digital atlas of the human brain, which was published this week in The Journal of Comparative Neurology…

     

    Allen Institute for Cell Science


    Microsoft’s “Biological Computing” Lab Aims To Fight Diseases By Reprogramming Cells

    Fast Company

    Microsoft’s researchers don’t talk about “curing” cancer. Instead, they are aiming to “solve” it.

    The technology behemoth is best known for its operating systems and business software, and since 2014, under CEO Satya Nadella, it’s focused much of its energy on plotting a future for mainstay products such as Windows and Office. But the company has also quietly built up a presence in medical research. In Cambridge, U.K., it has 150 scientists and software developers working on a wide variety of projects at its little-known “biological computation” unit, which includes a newly installed wet lab. The company says its eventual goal is to make cells into living computers that could someday be programmed—and even reprogrammed—to treat diseases like cancer. In the near term, it is building computer-modeling tools to assist pharma companies in drug discovery and development…

     

    Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence


    An ‘Interview’ With Google’s New Digital Assistant

    Bloomberg

    Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit introduced a new digital assistant Wednesday. Bloomberg News put the system through its paces by asking questions, some of which were suggested by AI experts including Oren Etzioni, head of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Other questions were suggested by Google’s Allo messaging service, through which the interview took place. Edited excerpts follow.

    Bloomberg: What can you do?…

     


    Ruben Ortega Joins Pinterest as Engineering Director, Seattle Head

    Adweek

    Pinterest Tuesday named a new engineering director and head of its Seattle office: Ruben Ortega.

    Ortega has held senior engineering positions with Nordstrom, Google and Amazon, and he also served as chief technology officer for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence…

     


    ​Pinterest hires Seattle leader with deep local ties

    Puget Sound Business Journal

    Pinterest has hired Ruben Ortega as engineering director to head the San Francisco-based social media company’s recently opened Seattle office.

    Ortega was formerly chief technology officer of Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), vice president of technology at Seattle-based Nordstrom, engineering director at Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, and director of Seattle-based Amazon’s Mechanical Turk unit. He will report to Pinterest Head of Engineering Li Fan…

     


    ​Pinterest hires a head of engineering for its new Seattle office

    Tech Crunch

    While there’s plenty of talent in the San Francisco Bay Area — where Pinterest’s main office is over at 5th and Brannan in San Francisco — it can be very costly to find and recruit that talent. And there’s a lot outside of San Francisco as well.

    One city, in particular, that Pinterest has turned its eyes to is Seattle. Last month, it opened an engineering office in the city, and today it said it has hired its first head of engineering, Ruben Ortega, who was most recently the CTO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and an engineering executive at Nordstrom and Google prior to that…

     


    Google Shows Up Late in Crowded AI-Based Digital-Assistant Field

    Bloomberg

    Google unleashed its digital assistant for the first time, arriving late to the intensifying race among the largest technology companies to create a more personal and lucrative way for computers to interact with humans.

    The Google Assistant uses artificial intelligence tools, such as voice recognition and natural-language processing, to answer questions and satisfy other requests delivered verbally and in formats such as text messages. The first incarnation is as a digital buddy inside Google’s new Allo messaging app, which the Alphabet Inc. unit unveiled Wednesday. The assistant will also appear inside Google’s Home internet-connected speaker — expected next month — in new Android smartphones and in devices such as cars and watches made by other companies, Google executive Nick Fox said…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    Britain can lead the way in helping to save elephants

    The Telegraph

    We lose an elephant every fifteen minutes. Their population has fallen by almost a third since 2007. Whichever way you put the numbers, the decline in Africa’s elephants over the last nine years is utterly shocking. The Great Elephant Census, published in August, found only 352,271 Savannah elephants across the 8 countries surveyed. This alarming decline is the direct result of rising demand for ivory.

    In recent years, I have visited Kenya and South Africa; the shocking sight and stench of recently magnificent elephants and rhinos turned into horrendous rotting carcasses, swarming with clouds of flies still disgusts me…

     


    Investigating The Violent And Corrupt World Of Elephant Poaching

    Huffington Post

    This week the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, will begin in Johannesburg, South Africa (24th September to 5th October). High on the agenda this year will be the alarming decrease in the number of African elephants, which is due to the rise of ivory poaching and threatens to wipe out the species entirely over the next decade. With poaching at such high levels, the conference will be a critical game-changer in rescuing what is left of the savannah elephants.

    The recent results from the Great Elephant Census has identified that 30% of Africa’s elephants have disappeared in the last seven years. At the current rate of decline, half the continent’s remaining elephants will have vanished in just nine years…

     

    Smart City Challenge


    Federal Automated Vehicles Policy: Frequently Asked Questions

    U.S. Department of Transportation

    Today, Secretary Foxx announced USDOT’s Federal Automated Vehicles Policy – new guidance that establishes a framework for the safe, effective incorporation of automated vehicle technology.

    We’ve developed this FAQ along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address some common questions about the Policy and automated vehicles (AVs) in general…

     


    Regulators unveil policy on automated vehicles

    Auto Remarketing

    While consumer sentiment for these type of units remains soft, the Department of Transportation on Tuesday unveiled a Federal Automated Vehicles Policy aimed at guiding the testing and deployment of automated vehicles.

    Automated vehicles, which can take over some or all of the driving task, are purported to have the potential to prevent human-error car crashes, reduce transportation costs, reduce road congestion and carbon emissions, and increase mobility for the elderly and those with disabilities…

     


    New federal policy for autonomous vehicles revealed

    Fleet Owner

    The Obama Administration unveiled its new Federal Automated Vehicles Policy today, which is designed in its words to “help facilitate the responsible introduction” of autonomous vehicles to “make transportation safer, cleaner, more accessible, and more efficient.”

    The administration said in a statement that the primary focus for this new policy is on highly automated vehicles, or HAVs, in which the vehicle can take full control of the driving task in at least some circumstances…

    September 20, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Vulcan Real Estate
  • Vulcan Aerospace
  • Allen Institute for Brain Science
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Smart City Challenge
  • EMP Museum
  • Paul G. Allen


    Billionaire donors push Washington ballot measure fund to $3.5 million

    Guns.com

    Gun control PACs and wealthy donors have bankrolled a push to add a voter referendum on Washington state’s Extreme Risk Protection Order to the ballot this November.

    The byzantine 21-page proposal, I-1491, would establish protection orders in the state to allow families and law enforcement to ask the courts to issue a temporary restriction on an individual’s gun rights…

     

    Vulcan Real Estate


    Inside Job: Asian Plaza Plans Upend Gentrification Narrativeby Ana Sofia Knauf

    The Stranger

    Capitol Hill isn’t the only Seattle neighborhood where developers are displacing beloved and iconic small businesses.

    “We don’t know what our future is going to be,” said Tam Nguyen, co-owner of Tamarind Tree, a Vietnamese restaurant in Little Saigon on the edge of Chinatown-International District.

    Nguyen and his three siblings immigrated to Washington from Vietnam in 1980. To stay connected to their culture, they opened Tamarind Tree in the heart of Little Saigon in 2004. The restaurant, which the Nguyen siblings founded in honor of their parents’ restaurant back home, focuses on traditional preparations of classic Vietnamese dishes…

     

    Vulcan Aerospace


    The renegade whose dream started the latest space race

    Washington Post

    Elon Musk’s rocket-building company SpaceX and Jeffrey P. Bezos’s similar Blue Origins have grabbed the headlines in the space race. But there is a fascinating backstory about how the private space industry came into being. It is the tale of a renegade entrepreneur, Peter Diamandis, who founded the XPrize Foundation to encourage rocket-building in order to find a way into space himself.

    Journalist Julian Guthrie tells the story in a new book, “How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight” (Penguin, Sept. 20, 2016). It reads like a thriller — and reveals many secrets. (Full disclosure, Diamandis recruited me in 2011 to be head of academics at a futuristic think tank.)…

     


    What is happening with Stratolaunch?

    Behind the Black

    Doug Messier at his website Parabolic Arc today asks some pertinent questions about Stratolaunch and their seeming inability to settle on the rocket that will be launched from the giant plane they are building.

    After going through SpaceX and Orbital ATK, the company talked to anyone and everyone with a rocket engine or an idea for one. They must have hit pay dirt with someone. [emphasis in original]…

     

    Allen Institute for Brain Science


    Allen Institute re-maps the brain

    King 5

    The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released the highest resolution atlas of the human brain to date.

    The Allen Human Brain Reference Atlas was recently published in an issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology. It updates that map and even identifies and clarifies new brain regions…

     


    Browse the brain one cell at a time in the most detailed atlas ever made

    ZME Science

    The new Allen Brain Atlas combines neuroimaging and detailed cell studies to create the most detailed ever map of the brain.

    One of the biggest hurdles neuroscientists face today is the incredible complexity of the organ. Because so many different parts come together to make it work (and because so many of those parts are so tiny) there isn’t an exact template of where each piece starts and where it finishes. But now, after a five-year-long effort, Ed Lein and his colleagues from the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle have put together a comprehensive, open-access digital atlas of the human brain — think of it as the Google map of the brain, complete with markers and street-view…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    African elephants could go extinct within 12 years

    New York Post

    African elephants could go extinct within 12 years, data from a new survey shows.

    The Denver Post reports that anti-trafficking officials from 12 African nations confirmed the grim outlook for the survival of elephants, rhinos and other wildlife last week at a workshop in Denver and Washington, DC. The officials are ramping up efforts to avert extinctions with more cooperation across borders, but new data shows that poachers aren’t slowing down…

     

    Smart City Challenge


    White House to release policy encouraging safe introduction of automated vehicles

    Click on Detroit

    The White House announced Monday night it will release a new Federal Automated Vehicles Policy to help ensure the safe and responsible introduction of automated cars.

    A statement released by officials said the policy is designed to make the cars safer, cleaner, more accessible and more efficient…

     


    The Feds Just Got Real About Self-Driving Cars (It’s About Time)

    Wired

    Even a year ago, the idea of autonomous cars roaming American streets seemed farfetched, and automakers were claiming to be focused on “stepping stone,” incremental technology.

    That has changed. Carmakers are deploying robots, and federal regulators in charge of how humans drive are finally catching up. Today, US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced guidelines that define a new approach to regulating—and encouraging—self-driving cars…

     

    EMP Museum


    Under 21? No Problem, You Can Still Dance If You Want To

    The Stranger

    If you’re not yet 21, don’t despair: You still have many nightlife options. Several traditional venues and clubs recognize the attraction of holding all-ages events, and why not? Building customer loyalty at an early age only benefits them. If you want to stay informed about all-ages shows, check The Stranger’s online calendar daily, and if you’re on Facebook, you should think about joining the Seattle DIY Shows! group for on-the-downlow intel.

    As recently as 2007 in our Back to School issue, Stranger music editor Eric Grandy lamented the dearth of options for underage music lovers. Things have improved on this front in both established venues and underground, off-the-grid spaces, art galleries, record stores, and the reemergence of Washington Hall. Even Frye Art Museum has opened up to the idea of hosting music events. Keep your eyes and ears open, kid; many sonic riches await you…

     


    Elementary-school teacher from Quincy named 2017 Washington Teacher of the Year

    Seattle Times

    Camille Jones, an elementary-school teacher from Quincy, Grant County, was named the 2017 Washington state Teacher of the Year in a ceremony Monday at the EMP Museum in Seattle.

    She is the first winner since 2015 from outside the Puget Sound area. Two years ago, Seattle teacher Lyon Terry won the honor, and last year, it was Nathan Bowling, a high-school teacher from Tacoma…

    September 19, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
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  • Allen Institute for Brain Science
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Seattle Art Fair
  • EMP Museum
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Paul G. Allen


    Microsoft And Linux — A Song Of Mice And Ire

    Fossbytes

    George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones (the complete series titled A Song of Ice and Fire) is one of the most popular television shows to have aired in the last decade, and it’s no wonder, it has all the makings of an excellent drama, love, war, betrayal, and vengeance (full disclosure, I haven’t read the books, but I have enjoyed the show). Although, when you examine things a little more thoroughly, you notice that the notions are not so fantastical at all and the themes are all too familiar.

    For the last thirty years the commercial software arena has been so fast-paced and legally vicious that it could make an industry veteran cry; it takes a real hero to fight to the top without engaging in the scandalous practices that pervade the industry, and a hero is just what we’ve found…

     


    What a Dive into Saving the Oceans Tells Us About a Top Tech Philanthropist

    Inside Philanthropy

    Nowadays, it seems you haven’t truly arrived as a mega-philanthropist until you make a big oceans grant. That moment has come for Marc and Lynne Benioff, but with a characteristically unique take.

    Ocean protection is a consistently hot subject among big givers in this new Gilded Age, with a steady stream of top donors making massive gifts or starting new marine programs. We’ve watched as people like Jim and Marilyn Simons, Hansjorg Wyss, Ray Dalio, Paul Allen and Mike Bloomberg followed the leads of old school tech money funders like Moore and Packard in giving to oceans causes…

     


    Our Ocean 2016 Commitments

    Imperial Valley News

    Participants in the third Our Ocean conference, held September 15-16 in Washington, D.C., announced over 136 new initiatives on marine conservation and protection valued at more than $5.24 billion, as well as new commitments on the protection of almost four million square kilometers (over 1.5 million square miles) of the ocean.

    To date the three Our Ocean conferences have generated commitments valued at over $9.2 billion to protect our ocean and committed to protect 9.9 million square kilometers (3.8 million square miles) of ocean – an area the size of the United States. The commitments focus on the key ocean issues of our time: marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean…

     

    Vulcan Aerospace


    Blue Origin’s Giant Rocket Plans to Take Millions Into Space, But Should It?

    Ecowatch

    “Our vision is millions of people living and working in space and New Glenn is a very important step,” said Jeff Bezos, unveiling this week his space travel company Blue Origin’s giant rocket named after Astronaut John Glenn.

    Of course there is also billionaire entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace. Dream big, that’s the spirit! The final frontier with limitless possibilities. Our boys and their toys. Great fun!…

     


    ‘How to Make a Spaceship’ Takes on the Birth of the Second Space Age

    Wall Street Journal

    If you admire those who aim really high, “How to Make a Spaceship” belongs on your bookshelf. It’s the story of a small group of eccentric engineers and aviators who pursued the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million reward for the first privately built flying machine to take a person into space, land safely and repeat the feat within two weeks. Breathtakingly expensive government efforts have put people in space. Could a few dreamers and free spirits do the same, working out of their garages?…

     


    Space race redux: Despite SpaceX setback, a wave of Southern California rocket-makers capitalize on new economy

    Daily Breeze

    When SpaceX’s pioneering Falcon 9 rocket exploded into a roiling fireball and billowing black smoke at Cape Canaveral earlier this month, the gut-wrenching failure was broadcast across the world as it happened.

    It was only the Hawthorne-based company’s second disaster in about 30 flights — a respectable record for rocket makers. But the loss stunned those watching the 15-story spacecraft break apart like Legos and melt into the launch pad, badly damaging the complex SpaceX leases from the U.S. Air Force…

     

    Allen Institute for Brain Science


    Allen Institute publishes highest resolution map of the entire human brain to date

    India Times

    The Allen Institute for Brain Science has published the highest resolution atlas of the human brain to date in a stand-alone issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology. This digital human brain atlas allows researchers to investigate the structural basis of human brain function.

    “To understand the human brain, we need to have a detailed description of its underlying structure,” says Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “Human brain atlases have long lagged behind atlases of the brain of worms, flies or mice, both in terms of spatial resolution and in terms of completeness due to technical limitations related to the enormous size and complexity of the human brain. This large-scale focused effort aimed to create a large resource combining different data types at high resolution, and use these data to generate a comprehensive mapping of brain regions.”…

     


    Human Brain Map Gets a Bold New Update

    Scientific American

    Most of us think little of hopping on Google Maps to look at everything from a bird’s-eye view of an entire continent to an on-the-ground view of a specific street, all carefully labeled. Thanks to a digital atlas published this week, the same is now possible with the human brain.
    Ed Lein and colleagues at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle have created a comprehensive, open-access digital atlas of the human brain, which was published this week in The Journal of Comparative Neurology…

     


    Scientists Unveil a New Map of the Brain With Unrivaled Resolution

    Futurism

    Even with our growing knowledge of the cosmos, we are relatively clueless about how our own brains function. That’s why making neurological maps is such an important exercise — it allows us to see the structural basis of how our brains work.

    The Allen Institute for Brain Science has just created one of the best maps ever. The Seattle-based organization published a comprehensive, high-resolution atlas of the entire human brain…

     


    Scientists ‘pickle’ and map a fly’s brain for the first time

    Engadget

    Sure, fully mapping the human brain is impressive, but think about it: our thinking muscle is pretty big. Not to be outdone by this week’s advances from the Allen Institute, scientists from Japan’s Tokai University have made a 3D model of the neurons in a fruit fly’s brain. Think about that for a bit. Exactly; it’s tiny. Okay, ready to read some more? Cool.

    As MIT Technology Review tells it, the scientists had to “pickle a fly brain in silver dye, bombard it with x-rays and then measure the way the x-rays are scattered in various directions.” The silver dye is the key here because when it’s attacked with x-rays, it illustrates neural pathways. It’s a process called x-ray tomography…

     


    Scientists unveil the most comprehensive map of human brain

    PanArmenian

    Ask a neurologist — as far as brains go, humanity has one of the largest and most complex thinking muscles on the planet. That’s why researchers have never really had a good atlas of the human brain’s underlying structure. According to the Allen Institute, documentation on the model of the human brain is so outdated, that it’s still commonplace for scientists to reference mappings from almost a century ago. Well, at least it was: the Institute has just published what it says is the highest resolution atlas of the human brain, one it hopes will become a new standard resource for brain researchers, Engadget said…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    Wildlife enforcers mobilize to try to save elephants

    Denver Post

    African elephants could go extinct within 12 years, the latest survey shows — an accelerating decline reflected in a grim trend here at the U.S. government’s warehouse for confiscated animal parts: the size of tusks is shrinking.

    Key anti-trafficking officials from a dozen hard-hit African nations confirmed the bleak prospects for survival of elephants, rhinos and other imperiled wildlife this past week at an unprecedented workshop in Denver and Washington, D.C. The 54 law enforcers from Africa — and U.S. counterparts — are ramping up efforts to avert extinctions by collaborating more across borders…

     


    What can we expect from SA at CoP 17?

    Rand Daily Mail

    With a huge range of pressing issues to be addressed this year, many concerns are pertinent to South Africa. From pangolins and parrots, to lions, elephants and rhino, it is hoped that there will be enough time to cover all of them in sufficient detail.

    CITES — the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora — attempts to protect species against over-exploitation through international trade. Referring to global conservation agencies such as IUCN for recommendations, CITES’ decisions are based on accepted proposals to make amendments to trade regulations on threatened species…

     


    Duke of Cambridge steps up pressure for British ban on ivory sales

    The Telegraph

    The Duke of Cambridge will intensify pressure on politicians to ban the sale of ivory this week, as senior Tories demand Theresa May acts now to protect elephants and rhinos.

    The Duke will make a speech to be broadcast around the world on Thursday, demonstrating his determination to help save endangered African wildlife…

     

    Seattle Art Fair


    A Higher Level of Art

    Dope

    Banksy. Warhol. Basquiat. Chihuly. In the art world, these names command attention and even higher prices for their one-of-a-kind work. To view one of their works in person can lead a person to wild amazement, a frenzy of inspiration and bring forth an art collector’s mentality.

    DOPE Magazine had the wonderful opportunity during the first weekend of August 2016 in Seattle to attend and enjoy the city’s largest art event, the second annual Seattle Art Fair presented by AIG. The Seattle Art Fair featured over 80 prominent, worldwide art galleries and brought them under one roof, where one not only had the opportunity to peruse through amazing artworks, but to also purchase if they so pleased…

     

    EMP Museum


    A fire-breathing ‘beast’ takes over the EMP Museum

    Crosscut

    At seven tons, 11 feet tall, and with twin flame cannons that shoot massive fireballs, the eight-legged Walking Beast looks like something the bad guy in a Mad Max film would ride. Created over three years by Martin Montesano of the Moltensteelman Studio in Salem, Oregon, the hulking vehicle is just one of the inventions heading to Seattle’s EMP Museum this weekend.

    The museum’s Mini Maker Faire, running on Saturday and Sunday, brings together makers of all ages for a supremely elaborate “Show and Tell,” featuring everything from robotics to woodworking to 3D printing…

     


    10 places in the USA that every music lover should visit

    The Telegraph

    The USA is a country in thrall to music. Over the past century (and a bit), it has watched the heady ascents of numerous stars – from B B King and Louis Armstrong through to Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry and Nirvana – in genres as diverse as blues, jazz, folk and rock.

    So where to go to find echoes of your heroes? In truth, each American state has some sort of musical tale to tell. But you could certainly start your search in one of these 10 cities…

     


    Capital High’s McKay finalist for state’s top teacher award

    The Olympian

    Capital High School’s Carol McKay says her goal is to help students learn more than just mathematics in her classroom.

    “I’m also trying to teach them other life skills, like being a leader, how to speak in front of each other, how to take risks when they’re not 100 percent confident,” she said…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    Review determines no wrongdoing by Dr. Richard Ellenbogen

    ESPN

    A University of Washington neurosurgeon who co-chairs the NFL’s concussion committee did not interfere in the awarding of a $16 million government grant to a league critic, a university panel reported Friday.

    The four-person panel, which was drawn from the UW School of Medicine, was charged with investigating allegations that Dr. Richard Ellenbogen was part of an NFL campaign last year to prevent the National Institutes of Health from awarding the grant to a group led by Robert Stern, a researcher at Boston University…

     


    Should the Rams be the Seahawks’ arch-rival?

    KOMO

    The Seattle Seahawks travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the City of Angels for the first time since 1988. With apologies to the city of St. Louis, that’s a good thing.
    Sure, Rams owner Stan Kroenke may not have engaged in a good faith effort to keep the team in The Gateway City, stringing along a fan base that supported the team through a lot of lean years in addition to the two Super Bowl appearances — and one championship — during the “Greatest Show on Turf” era…

    September 16, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Vulcan Inc.
  • Vulcan Real Estate
  • Allen Institute for Brain Science
  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Smart City Challenge
  • EMP Museum
  • Paul G. Allen


    Daily News Roundup: 10 Schools to Share $100 Milllion From Powell Jobs Venture

    Chronicle of Philanthropy

    Laurene Powell Jobs Group Awards $100 Million in School-Reform Contest: The XQ Institute chaired by the Silicon Valley billionaire announced the winners Wednesday in its Super School Project, a competition for proposals to rethink high school education, reports The New York Times. Ten schools from across the country will get $10 million each to implement reforms such as operating without standard class periods and programs for students who are homeless or in foster care. Russlynn Ali, XQ’s chief executive, said the institute doubled the initial $50 million commitment for the contest after receiving far more applications than expected. Read more about Laurene Powell Jobs and other women to watch in philanthropy in a Chronicle special report…

     

    Vulcan Inc.


    Rezoning Seattle: ‘Uprising’ against density may be underway

    Seattle Pi

    Rezoning every neighborhood in Seattle — based on Monday’s University District announcement — is going to be a battle every step of the way.

    Seattle Mayor Ed Murray took the podium Monday in front of the University Heights community center to announce plans to “upzone” parts of the University District…

     


    Ocean conservation starts — but doesn’t stop — with communities

    Devex

    Sri Lanka was the first country to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove trees.

    The wetlands of the tropics, mangroves serve as nurseries to fish that will go on to populate coral reefs, protect villages from tsunamis and hurricanes, and contribute to communities’ livelihoods. With their branching roots that arch into coastal waters, these trees are also vital in the fight against climate change. Scientists have found that mangrove forests sequester three to five times more carbon than other forests. Mangrove conservation can offer a big return on investment, but only if those investments generate the right kind of buy-in…

     

    Vulcan Real Estate


    Central District Businesses Are Beginning to Recover from 23rd Avenue Construction, but Face New Challenges

    The Stranger

    After more than a year of headache-inducing construction, life is beginning to return to normal for some businesses on 23rd Avenue South and Jackson Street.

    “We were ‘fortunate,’ if you want to call it that,” says Kimberly Melegrito, owner of WGM Jeweler & Co., a watch repair and jewelry store in the Central District, which sits just off of 23rd Avenue and Jackson Street. She and her husband, Wenceslao, opened their store in 2001 after moving out of a spot around the corner in the Promenade 23 strip mall, where they first opened in 1992…

     

    Allen Institute for Brain Science


    Allen Institute Publishes Highest Resolution Map of the Entire Human Brain to Date

    Biospace

    The Allen Institute for Brain Science has published the highest resolution atlas of the human brain to date in a stand-alone issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology. This digital human brain atlas allows researchers to investigate the structural basis of human brain function.

    “To understand the human brain, we need to have a detailed description of its underlying structure,” says Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “Human brain atlases have long lagged behind atlases of the brain of worms, flies or mice, both in terms of spatial resolution and in terms of completeness due to technical limitations related to the enormous size and complexity of the human brain. This large-scale focused effort aimed to create a large resource combining different data types at high resolution, and use these data to generate a comprehensive mapping of brain regions.”…

     

    Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence


    Need Some AI? Yeah, There’s a Marketplace for That

    Wired

    Diego Oppenheimer is worried that the Googles and the Facebooks will dominate the world of artificial intelligence.

    It’s a legitimate worry. Elon Musk and Sam Altman are worried about the same thing. That’s why they created a startup called OpenAI. In recent years, Google and Facebook have snapped up so many researchers at the heart of the deep learning movement, an AI movement that’s rapidly reinventing everything from speech recognition to security. So, Musk and Altman grabbed several top AI researchers from Google and Facebook and vowed to share their work with the world at large…

     


    Will Robots One Day Run Our Lives?

    Seattle Mag

    The possibility that robots might one day run our lives has long been a fantasy and a fear. As a forward-looking tech-obsessed city, it should be no surprise that we’re right in the middle of inventing a future that features automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. Seattle stalwarts like Boeing, Paul Allen and Amazon are in the middle of it all. This is also a place where many people are thinking, although perhaps not hard enough, about the consequences of these technologies, which look to be huge.

    Our history with robotic technology goes way back. In 1928, Seattleites met what was probably the first robot to visit the city, an automaton credited with being among the first that could perform real tasks. Its name was Televox, made by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Corporation. It was on display for several days in the Lloyd Building, where reporters and other influentials could meet “him” firsthand…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    African Elephant Population Is In Drastic Decline

    Town-Crier Online

    Little is more pleasing to me than going to a zoo, and topping that list is the appreciation of the elephants, big and small. Now we are discovering that the African elephant population shrunk some 30 percent from 2007 to 2014!

    Unfortunately, because of poaching, elephant numbers are being decimated by some four to eight percent a year. “This makes no sense on any level… moral, economic or political,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, the deputy executive director for the United Nations Environment Program…

     


    Malawi NGOs happy with vote to end domestic ivory trade

    Nyasa Times

    The move came at the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Congress held in Hawaii, US, and was backed by a majority of state and NGO members, including all organisations represented from Malawi.

    This was despite opposition from South Africa, Namibia and Japan who argued that domestic markets should instead be better regulated…

     


    Elephants in Greater Danger Than Previously Thought

    Council on Foreign Relations

    This is a guest post by Allen Grane, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

    On August 31, The Great Elephant Census announced disturbing news: the African savannah elephant population is approximately 350,000, down from about 470,000, The study showed a 30 percent decline in the population between 2007 and 2014. This represents an 8 percent annual decrease in savannah elephant numbers, largely due to poaching…

     

    Smart City Challenge


    U.S. Department of Transportation and Columbus Hold Smart City Challenge Kick Off Meeting

    Free Press Release

    The City of Columbus wrapped up a two-day kick-off with the United States Department of Transportation, representatives from federal, state and city government, philanthropy, universities, NGO’s and the private sector on Tuesday. These parties are united around the single goal of solving Columbus’ transportation challenges using technology and innovation. This meeting comes on the heels of receiving the U.S. DOT’s fully executed Smart City Challenge Demonstration Cooperative Agreement on August 30. This agreement authorizes the City to begin planning and implementing its “SmartColumbus” vision for the $40 million grant.

    “Since winning the Smart City Challenge, we have been working closely with our public and private partners to get this work underway,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This kick-off marks the first step in what is going to be a learning experience for all of us – and one we are eager to share with the world.”…

     

    EMP Museum


    Star Trek in Seattle

    Doctor’s Review

    Star Trek aired its first-series episode 50 years ago on September 8, 1966. Called “The Man Trap,” the show featured a shapeshifting alien whose goal was to extract salt from human bodies. The show placed first in its 8:30pm time slot; reviewers criticized the level of violence, but praised the acting. The EMP Museum in Seattle is commemorating the event with Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds, on now through February 2017. More than 100 artifacts and props are on view, including set pieces from the original series: Captain Kirk’s command chair and the navigation console; one of only two phasers still in existence; costumes for Kirk, Spock, Uhura and McCoy. The exhibit also explores the show’s cultural impact and ethical themes: creator Gene Roddenberry used alien worlds, interspecies conflicts and sci-fi premises to make statements about war, racism and politics. Adults US$30 (US$27 online); students US$27; kids five to 17 US$21…

     


    Seattle Mini Maker Faire

    Seattle Met

    If they build it, we will come. There’s great creative innovation to be found in those tinkering on a small, personal scale. EMP Museum’s Seattle Mini Maker Faire brings together over 120 makers from around the country to show off their creations in the fields of 3D printing, rocketry, interactive art, coding, robotics, and much more. Where else are you going to find a joystick-controlled couch on wheels, 3D photography, steampunk magic, and mech robot vehicles all under one roof?…

    September 15, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Vulcan Inc.
  • Vulcan Productions
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Paul G. Allen


    Saving the Seattle Cinerama: Paul Allen’s Gift to Movie Lovers

    Something Else Reviews

    On September 9, the Seattle Cinerama launched its 70mm Film Festival for 2016, running through September 19. (Selections and end date subject to change without notice; visit the Facebook 70mm event page for updates.) This festival is an opportunity for audiences to view classic films in a first-class theater that provides comfort, convenience, and stellar projection and sound. While the quality of the theater is beyond reproach, the festival’s lineup has been criticized — primarily on social media, where many have questioned why certain films are chosen (often repeated between festivals) and other less screened titles aren’t…

     


    Is this the end for the Bullingdon Club?

    The Guardian

    The departure of that tough non-quitter David Cameron has put into sharp focus a moment of exquisite agony for us all. Oxford University’s legendary Bullingdon Club is reportedly in danger of being wound down for good. The membership of this undergraduates’ drinking society – renowned for expensive tailcoats and trashing country pubs while adorably chanting “Buller, Buller, Buller” – is down from 30 to just two. With no new members, it could simply disappear…

     


    Technology: Selfies in space

    Nature

    On 4 October 2004, US test pilot Brian Binnie flew a winged wonder to space and back. The rocket-powered SpaceShipOne won a US$10-million prize for becoming the first commercial spaceplane — a breakthrough meant to herald the birth of the space-tourism industry. A decade later, its successor SpaceShipTwo broke apart during a test flight. Co-pilot Michael Alsbury had made a control error, and was killed as a result. The nascent business of take-a-selfie-in-space seemed as far from reality as ever…

     


    Washington philanthropies commit $1.86M for homeless students

    Herald Net

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Raikes Foundation today announced a new partnership to help Washington’s 35,000 homeless students find the support and stability they need to thrive. The two foundations have joined with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Campion Foundation to collectively commit $1.86 million to the effort, known as Schoolhouse Washington. Non-profits Building Changes and Columbia Legal Services will lead the partnership’s work to fund and advocate for innovative approaches that support students experiencing homelessness, their families, and their schools…

     


    Pilot project to help Seattle school’s homeless families find housing

    Seattle Times

    Families at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School who are homeless or lack stable housing will be the first to get assistance this year from a new effort aimed at increasing academic success for students by providing them a reliable place to live.

    The Home from School pilot program, a partnership of the city of Seattle, Seattle Housing Authority and Seattle Public Schools, will start with families at Bailey Gatzert and may expand to other schools, Mayor Ed Murray announced Wednesday. Nearly a fifth of all students at the Central District school experience some form of homelessness…

     

    Vulcan Inc.


    Can Yesler Terrace’s tiny tech superheroes survive a neighborhood overhaul?

    Seattle Globalist

    An after-school technology club at Yesler Community Center is struggling to survive the massive redevelopment project currently overhauling the neighborhood.

    The Big-Brained Superheroes Club in Yesler Terrace became more than just a place for students to do homework, and evolved into a neighborhood STEM club where kids use “real-life superpowers” to solve science and technology problems and build “a kinder, nerdier, more imaginative world.”…

    Vulcan Productions


    ‘We the Voters’ Digital Initiative Announces Distribution Partners, Releases Trailer

    Hollywood Reporter

    Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, Show of Force and Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets have announced distribution partners for We the Voters: 20 Films for the People, a nonpartisan digital slate of 20 short films “designed to inform, inspire and activate voters nationwide with fresh perspectives on the subjects of democracy, elections and governance in the lead-up to the 2016 elections.”

    The digital initiative features comedies, documentaries and animated shorts that show how U.S. democracy works and encourage Americans to make informed choices and show up to vote…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    To preserve elephants in the wild, stop buying ivory

    Washington Post

    The Sept. 6 editorial “End the appetite for ivory” correctly said that the world’s plummeting elephant population is a direct result of our misguided desire to own ivory. As the Great Elephant Census shows, if we don’t act now, elephants won’t be alive in the wild for much longer. Because governments alone cannot solve this problem, President Obama called for a whole-society National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. The U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance is helping to lead the response, working with a unique coalition of nonprofit organizations, companies, foundations and the U.S. government to close off markets and reduce the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife products in the United States. And we are working closely with our nonprofit members to organize demand reduction efforts across the country…

     


    Hundreds of Nations Call for an End to the Ivory Trade

    Care 2

    As the debate surrounding how to stop the poaching crisis that threatens the future survival of Africa’s iconic elephants continues, hundreds of nations have come together for a landmark vote to end the global trade in ivory.

    At the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, which ended over the weekend, a majority of the 217 member countries voted to pass a motion banning all domestic ivory markets…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    Lions increase in value, but trail most of NFL

    Crain’s Detroit Business

    The Detroit Lions are worth $1.65 billion, which represents a $210 million year-over-year increase in value but still ranks the team as the second-to-last in worth in the 32-team National Football League, according to the annual estimates released Wednesday by Forbes.com.

    The only team estimated to be worth less than Detroit are the Buffalo Bills at $1.5 billion…

     


    The NFL’s Richest Owners 2016

    Forbes

    The values of American pro sports teams have been skyrocketing in recent years, making them one of the best places for the rich to park their money. And nothing in pro sports has kept up with the NFL, which blows away the competition in league revenues (expected to pass $13 billion this year) and team values: The average team is now worth $2.34 billion, which is up 22% from last year and double what the average team was worth just three years ago…

    September 14, 2016

    See below for:

  • Paul G. Allen
  • Stratolaunch
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Smart City Challenge
  • EMP Museum
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Paul G. Allen


    XPRIZE’s and Singularity’s Peter Diamandis on the emerging world of ‘haves and super-haves’

    Silicon Valley Business Journal

    Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, acknowledges the negative consequences for many people from advancing technologies, but he is convinced mankind will still be better off as we become a “world of haves and super-haves.”

    The XPRIZE Foundation is best known for its $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight, won in 2004 by a team led by Burt Rutan and backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen…

     

    Stratolaunch


    Blue Origin’s Huge New Rocket Heats Up Billionaire Space Rivalry

    Space

    The competition between billionaire space entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos has reached new heights.

    On Monday (Sept. 12), Bezos announced that his company Blue Origin is developing a family of heavy-lift rockets known as New Glenn, after John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. With a maximum height of 313 feet (95 meters), New Glenn will be taller than the 230-foot (70 m) Falcon Heavy, which Musk’s SpaceX is building…

     

    Great Elephant Census


    Clock is ticking

    IOL

    As the countdown begins to the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) for Cites, which starts in Johannesburg on September 24, conservationists question the relevance of the issues at stake and what one can expect from the hosts, South Africa.

    With a huge range of pressing issues to be addressed this year, many concerns are pertinent to South Africa. From pangolins and parrots, to lions, elephants and rhino, it is hoped there will be enough time to cover all of them in sufficient detail…

     


    Fewer African elephants left

    Daily Trust

    A new study carried out by the Great Elephant Census (GEC) to count all the African savannah elephants shows that there are fewer African elephants left.

    The study, which was led by elephant ecologist and founder of Elephants Without Borders (EWB), Mike Chase, reported in a journal,PeerJ, disclosed that Africa’s savannah elephant population had been devastated, with just 352,271 animals in the countries surveyed, far lower than previous estimates. The report stated that between 2007 and 2014, the number of Africa’s elephants plummeted by at least 30% or 144,000 elephants…

     


    Born Free welcomes IUCN call for countries to ban domestic elephant ivory trade

    Modern Ghana

    International wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation, has welcomed a motion passed at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress encouraging governments globally to close their domestic markets for elephant ivory as a matter of urgency.

    Welcoming the IUCN’s motion, Born Free Foundation’s President and CEO, Will Travers OBE, said: “The world’s foremost conservation body has taken a bold and hugely important step in efforts to save elephants from almost certain extinction. While not legally binding, the opinion of the IUCN is widely respected by governments, and should go a long way to persuading those that are dragging their heels to join the United States, China, France and others and bring their domestic trade in ivory to a permanent end. We cannot trade our way out of the crisis facing elephants and we’re running out of time. Only by making it clear that ivory trade will not be tolerated anywhere in the world can we bring the devastating poaching crisis to an end and provide a secure future for elephants.”…

     


    Greed for ivory is killing a great animal

    Sentinel Source

    The results of a two-year air and land survey of Africa’s savannah elephants released last week revealed that the population had dropped by 30 percent in seven years.

    Measured in the 18 countries that contain most of the population, the study counted 352,271 elephants remaining, an astonishing drop of 144,000 from 2007 to 2014. Called the Great Elephant Census, it was underwritten by the family foundation of Paul G. Allen, the Microsoft cofounder…

     


    What can we expect from SA at CoP 17?

    SA Breaking News

    As the count down begins to the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) for CITES, which commences in Johannesburg on 24 September, conservationists question the relevance of the issues at stake and what one can expect from the hosts: South Africa.

    With a huge range of pressing issues to be addressed this year, many concerns are pertinent to South Africa. From pangolins and parrots, to lions, elephants and rhino, it is hoped that there will be enough time to cover all of them in sufficient detail…

     

    Smart City Challenge


    San Francisco and UC Berkeley to push on with smart transit

    Read Write

    San Francisco is using the momentum from its failed Smart City Challenge bid to carry on developing smart transportation initiatives.

    According to the University of California, Berkeley website, the school is continuing its smart city collaboration with the city of San Francisco.

    This collaboration was initially established for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge which Columbus, Ohio won this summer. Columbus city leaders have said that they plan to spend some of their $50 million winnings from the Smart City Challenge to develop an autonomous “truck platoon” capable of driving in urban areas…

     

    EMP Museum


    Nintendo Gives Us All a Taste of This Year’s Nindies@Night PAX Event

    Taable Note

    One of the pleasing progressions in this generation of hardware has been Nintendo’s increasingly open and supportive stance towards indie developers, particularly those producing rather high quality efforts that earn the term ‘Nindie’. There are always improvements to be made, but we’ve seen the big N support Humble Bundles, put Nindie games in Nintendo Directs and front and centre at E3, and generally preach the good word about download games.

    Nintendo of America continued doing that, for its part, at PAX West last week; part of that was the Nindies@Night event in Seattle’s impressive EMP Museum. There’s now a rather nice official video that shows off the event and a number of games, particularly those in this month’s ‘Summer Jam’ promotion…

     

    Seattle Seahawks


    Local barbecue sauce to be used at Seahawks’ stadium

    KOB 4

    What does it take to sell your food at a NFL stadium? Just ask Joe Powdrell of Mr. Powdrell’s Barbeque House in Albuquerque.

    This weekend he was invited to Washington for the Seattle Seahawks opening game Sunday where the team’s owner, Paul Allen, hopes to sell Powdrell’s New Mexican Barbeque flavor…