The Epic Boom and Bust of the Ostrich Feather Market

by Kelly Jensen Kelly Jensen Digital Collections Specialist, California Academy of Sciences, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. A fascinating tale of tulip-mania (but with feathers!), this five-minute Ignite talk reminds us all what happens when social behaviors rapidly change. Kelly Jensen: Hi, I’m Kelly Jensen. I’m …

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Why is it important to understand how elephants sleep?

Paul Manger, University of the Witwatersrand Humans and animals need to do several things to pass on their genes: eat, avoid being eaten, reproduce and sleep. Missing any of these biological imperatives leads to death. But when we’re asleep we can’t perform those other functions. One of modern science’s big mysteries, then, is: why do …

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Video: African Authors at 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book

Three African authors, all with roots in Nigeria (two living in the United States, the third a South African citizen), participated in a panel discussion at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville on March 24. The panel, called “Perspectives from Africa: Ndibe, Okupe, and Omotoso” and moderated by University of Virginia creative writing …

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Online tool explores climate action plans

By Baraka Rateng’ [NAIROBI] A new interactive online tool that helps countries to access and compare their priorities and ambitions related to climate action plans has been developed. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Explorer could contribute to the global climate action in the context of the UN climate negotiations, according to its developers. In 2013, …

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Ornamental plant in Kenya becomes invasive

By Verenardo Meeme     In this video, scientists explain the dangers of Opuntia stricta — an invasive cactus weed — covering large tracts of land in Kenya’s semi-arid Laikipia County, making lives of people, domestic animals as well as wildlife miserable, and efforts in place to tame its spread and adverse impacts. O. stricta, …

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