Modeling Human:Environment Interaction

The last volume of Annals of the Association of American Geographers included a fascinating article titled “Exploring Complexity in a Human-Environment System: An Agent-Based Spatial model for Multidisciplinary and Multiscale Integration.” The research synthesized the work of an army of previous work in areas of GIS modeling, computer science, population dynamics and resource management. All told, the model was used to predict the destruction of habitat in a small province in China that is known for its biodiversity and as important Giant Panda habitat. You see, people living in the area harvest forest for their own use, which reduces habitat. So by looking at the wood fuel needs of people based on reproductive rates, in/out migration, access to electricity, and so forth, they were able to run this monstrous model to predict how certain behaviors would effect habitat loss.

While reading the article, I remembered a similar model being used for a seemingly less academic research project. But you never know when you’ll need to simulate a zombie infestation.

Bush’s iPod

The BBC is a great source for news. It’s also a great source for the kind of pop news that Britons like. Take for example Bush’s iPod reveals music tastes. Not only is the story completely not news worthy, its entirely fascinating. But what’s best is the excellent list of suggestions that readers have left at the end of the story.

On a completely unrelated note; after filling up the tank today and getting a $40 charge, I turned on the stereo to Audioslave’s Chris Cornell wailing “Burnin’ that gasoline.” Touché Chris, Touché.

Current Single Resident

Current Single Resident - click for larger version

Today’s mail included a fancy envelope addressed to the Current Single Resident. That must mean Barley. Although he’d just been to the dog park, and seems to have plenty of social interaction, he probably could use some romance in his life. So I filled out the form for him. One dog year equates to seven human years, right?

I’m not going to send it though. I don’t want to dilute the already challenging pool for my single friends.

Bronze in Frisbee Accuracy

I’m sad to report I wasn’t able to retain the Frisbee Accuracy title, but I did manage to place 3rd this time. It may not carry the same lofty title, but I still got a pair of movie tickets and a free sub sandwich.

Tooth Abrasive

It used to be that your dentist asked you which flavor of tooth polish you wanted when you went in for a cleaning. Flavor is somewhat misleading because it was really about which color of abrasive you wanted. They all tasted kind of like mint, kind of like blood. Or maybe that was just me becaues I had once again failed to floss to expectation.

Now my trips to the dentist are uneventful. No choice in flavor, but that’s fine. I hate making decisions at 8am in the morning.