Banana Sam, famed squirrel monkey, has died

Banana Sam gained international fame after vandals cut two holes in the mesh of his enclosure at the zoo Dec. 30, 2011 and took off with the animal. A $5,000 reward was offered for his return.

He was found two days later "shaking, hungry and cold" in a neighborhood near the zoo, officials said. His kidnappers were never found.

“The public’s response to his abduction, and now to his passing, has been heart-warming,” Corinne MacDonald, the zoo's curator of primates and carnivores, said in a statement Friday. “He was much loved throughout the city and beyond.”

Banana Sam had arrived at the zoo four years earlier with 20 other squirrel monkeys after a local research program ended, according to zoo officials.

[For the record, 8:40 p.m. Nov. 23: An earlier version of this post said Banana Sam "made headlines around the world in 2001." In fact, he made headlines in 2011.]

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Zoo goers learn about Native American culture | SILive.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Staten Islanders visiting the Zoo Saturday were in for a special Thanksgiving treat as they learned about the connection the animals have to Native American culture through song, dance and stories.
   
The Red Storm Drum & Dance Troupe presented a series of performances, stories and chants for the Staten Island Zoo's annual holiday celebration, Tomahawk Thanksgiving.
   
"Basically it is the significance of certain animals to us as far as our native totem animals, our spirit animals, our medicine animals, which is why they always like us to come and do a performance for the folks and also go around and explain what certain animals mean to our people," said Jerry Greyhawk with the troupe. "We're going to go around and explain their significance, not only ecologically and physically, but also to our people spiritually."
   
Several members of the troupe began the event by blessing the bald eagles near the front entrance of the Zoo using incense as onlookers learned about one of the most important animals in Native American culture.
   
"The eagle to us is a very important bird because we believe it carries our prayers to the creator, to the great spirit because they fly the highest, so it's a very reverent bird, which is why we wear its feathers on our regalia," Greyhawk explained.
   
Harold Knutsen of Tottenville brought his grandsons Daniel and Ryan to the Zoo to see the new leopard, and he ended up learning some new facts about Native American culture.
   
"I took them out on my day off," Knutsen said. "It was interesting to learn that they consider the eagle to be their spiritual link to god."
   
As the thunderous drum beat echoed throughout the Zoo and two troupe members performed a victory dance to honor warriors coming home from battle, Knutsen remarked how fascinating it is that Native Americans use song and dance as a form of prayer.

Tallest giraffe at Brevard Zoo euthanized

press release from the zoo.

11-year-old Duncan had been suffering from lameness in his front legs for more than two years and despite longterm treatment, his condition was getting worse.

Zoo staffers realized a more-aggressive treatment was necessary, but during Wednesday's session the sedatives failed in calming Duncan down and forced the veterinarians to cancel the treatment. Duncan left his restraining chute on his own but then fell to the ground.

Duncan tried and tried again to lift himself off the ground to no avail. Zoo officials came to Duncan's aid, trying for five hours to get him back on his hooves. It was then they realized the best course of action would be to euthanize Duncan.

Lincoln Park Zoo's Red Kangaroo Joey Pops Up To See The World For The First Time (PHOTOS)

Hey, baby!

After many months down under -- or rather, inside mum's pouch -- the Lincoln Park Zoo's red kangaroo joey has finally popped up to say hello to the world.

(Check out photos of the baby joey's peek-a-boo below.)

The joey, whose sex is yet to be determined, was the first-ever red kangaroo born at the Chicago zoo. The baby arrived in early May to first-time mom Anna, 7, and father Jacob, 5.

“Both parents are taking the birth in stride, or, I guess I should say, hop,” zoo curator Diane Mulkerin said in a statement. “Anna is a laid back mom and is going about her normal routine of napping, exercising, and eating plenty of leafy greens.”

Though the joey had heretofore been unseen by the outside world, zoo officials say such behavior is normal for the marsupials. Baby kangaroos are born weighing less than an ounce and remain nestled in their mother's pouch for the first several months of life. It's not until they're nearly a year old that baby kangaroos leave to hop on their own independent of their mother.

“This little roo has been very secretive so far," said Mulkerin. "Animal care staffers suspected the pregnancy in mid-spring and have been watching very closely ever since. At the end of July, they started seeing movement around mom’s abdomen, and at long last, the little one has finally begun to peek out of the pouch.”

Zoo officials say they will name the joey once the sex is determined in several more months.

Detroit Zoo to light up the night at Wild Lights opening celebration | Community

TAKE EASTBOUND SIGLER TO GRAFTON. AGAIN, THIS IS SOUTH OF CITY. Rhonda: THEY COME TO SEE THE ANIMALS AT THE DETROIT ZOO, FROM FEEDING THE VISITORS TO FEEDING THE ANIMALS. RIGOROUS QUALITY CONTROL TO MAKE SURE IT'S ALL HEALTHY. Rhonda: DID YOU EVER STOP AND THINK, WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RUN THIS PLACE? THINK OF IT AS ITS OWN SMALL CITY, THAT'S HOW WE OPERATE. Rhonda: WITH OVER A MILLION VISITORS AND 4,000 DIFFERENT ANIMALS, THE DETROIT ZOO HAS A LOT OF MOUTHS TO FEED AND NEEDS MEDICAL CARE FOR ITS RESIDENTS. SO THIS MORNING, WE TAKE YOU BEHIND THE SCENES TO SEE WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP IT ALL RUNNING FLAWLESSLY. LOOK AT THAT GORILLA GO! Rhonda: WHILE KIDS AND PARENTS WALK THE MILES OF PAVEMENT AT THE DETROIT ZOO ENJOYING THE ANIMALS AND SCENERY, THERE'S A BEVY OF ACTIVITY BEHIND THE SCENES. IT'S LIKE WE'RE RUNNING A REALLY BIG RESTAURANT. WE GET DELIVERIES A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK JUST OF PRODUCE. Rhonda: NOT FOR VISITORS. THAT CARROT AND OTHER FRUITS AND VEGGIES ARE FOR THE ANIMALS. FOR THE CHIMPS AND GORILLAS AND OTHER ANIMALS. EVERYTHING WE BUY IS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY, WE DON'T BUY SECONDS. Rhonda: AND ALSO FOR THE COMMISSARY. WE'RE ORDERING FOOD AND TESTING IT. WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ANIMALS NEED. Rhonda: SO WHAT DO THEY EAT? WE BUY THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF CRICKS KETS EVERY YEAR. Rhonda: FED TO LIZARDS, FROGS, AND SNAKES. BUT THE CRICKETS DON'T FEED THE HERBIVORES. THEY HAVE TO BUY HAY. AND FOR OTHER RESIDENTS, IT'S FISH. WE GET FROZEN FISH, HUGE DELIVERY, HAS TO GO THROUGH A LOT OF VERY RIGOROUS QUALITY CONTROLS. Rhonda: AND IF THEY TAKE THAT GOOD OF CARE FOR THE ANIMALS, YOU CAN BET THEY WANT THE VISITORS TO EAT WELL, TOO. PEOPLE WHO COME HERE CAN BE ASSURED OF A GOOD TASTING MEAL. Rhonda: FROM DIPPING DOTS TO AMERICAN CONEYS TO THE ARCTIC CAFE, THE ZOO SERVES UP 72,000 POUNDS OF FRIES, 43,000 BURGERS ANNUALLY. THAT'S A LOT OF FOOD! IT'S A LOT OF OTHER THINGS. A LOT OF TOILET PAPER. Rhonda: THAT'S 5.2 MILLION FEET OF TOILET PAPER, TO BE EXACT. THEN ADD TRASH AND RECYCLEABLES. THINK OF THE ZOO AND ITS OWN SMALL CITY. Rhonda: WITH EXCELLENT MEDICAL CARE. OUR CITY HAS A HOSPITAL. WE HAVE THREE DOCTORS, THREE MEDICAL TECHNICIANS. Rhonda: AND A FULLY STOCKED PHARMACY. MEDICATIONS FOR ARTHRITIS AND PAIN RELIEF. Rhonda: WITH 4,000 ANIMALS, IT'S A LOT OF PRESCRIPTIONS. TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY. . RHONDA: YOU KNOW, THE DETROIT ZOO IS A HUGE PIECE OF LAND. AND TO MAINTAIN 125 ACRES, THAT'S A LARGE ZOO FOR AN URBAN SETTING LIKE WE HAVE. BUT THE SKOO -- THE ZOO WAS ESTABLISHED BACK IN THE 1920s. Evrod: DID HE REALLY SAY THAT WAS A LOT OF TOILET PAPER? [LAUGHTER]

Computer Glitch Snarls San Francisco Bay Area Commute

SAN FRANCISCO—A computer malfunction early Friday caused an hours-long shutdown of the Bay Area Rapid Transit commuter rail system, leaving some passengers trapped in rail cars and snarling the area's morning commute.

The shutdown of the 104-mile, electrically powered system, one of the nation's largest by ridership, was the latest service...

Feds say Silk Road suspect’s computer shows he (thought he) plotted 6 murders | Ars Technica

friendlychemist needed $500,000, he said, to pay off his own drug suppliers, with whom he had fallen behind. On March 20, Dread Pirate Roberts wrote friendlychemist, asking to be put in touch with these suppliers. Someone named "redandwhite" messaged him on March 25, saying, "I was asked to contact you. We are the people Friendlychemist owes money to. What did you want to talk to us about?"

redandwhite, whose identity remains unknown, helped set up what Ulbricht allegedly believed would have been his second murder: specifically that of friendlychemist, who Ulbricht said lived in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. However, neither the FBI nor Canadian authorities have a record of a homicide taking place in that area during that time, which either means the deed was actually done in secret, or redandwhite scammed Dread Pirate Roberts.

According to American prosecutors, Ulbricht believed that he was communicating with a bona fide member of the Hell’s Angels, and he entered that fact in his daily work log, with no more flourish than he applied to other, more mundane, tasks.

Carnegie Mellon computer uses visual learning by analyzing millions of images to teach itself common sense



"What we have learned in the last 5-10 years of computer vision research is that the more data you have, the better computer vision becomes," Gupta said.

Some projects, such as ImageNet and Visipedia, have tried to compile this structured data with human assistance. But the scale of the Internet is so vast — Facebook alone holds more than 200 billion images — that the only hope to analyze it all is to teach computers to do it largely by themselves.

Shrivastava said NEIL can sometimes make erroneous assumptions that compound mistakes, so people need to be part of the process. A Google Image search, for instance, might convince NEIL that "pink" is just the name of a singer, rather than a color.

"People don't always know how or what to teach computers," he observed. "But humans are good at telling computers when they are wrong."

People also tell NEIL what categories of objects, scenes, etc., to search and analyze. But sometimes, what NEIL finds can surprise even the researchers. It can be anticipated, for instance, that a search for "apple" might return images of fruit as well as laptop computers. But Gupta and his landlubbing team had no idea that a search for F-18 would identify not only images of a fighter jet, but also of F18-class catamarans.

As its search proceeds, NEIL develops subcategories of objects – tricycles can be for kids, for adults and can be motorized, or cars come in a variety of brands and models. And it begins to notice associations – that zebras tend to be found in savannahs, for instance, and that stock trading floors are typically crowded.

NEIL is computationally intensive, the research team noted. The program runs on two clusters of computers that include 200 processing cores.

Club hub: Computer Science Girls

Of the 500 computer science undergraduates, 12 percent are female, and of those, about 4 percent will graduate, according to the Computer Science Department. To combat these startling statistics, computer science students have formed an organization.

Computer Science Girls, the brainchild of senior Estefannie Gutierrez de la Garza, aims to encourage girls to stay in the field by inviting successful women for inspirational talks and offering workshops to help them hone their skills.

“It’s a very male-dominated field, and I wanted to create something that was for girls as well, to create a platform for them to become successful and continue in computer science,” Gutierrez de la Garza said. “I noticed that, two years in, a lot of girls switch majors to (management information systems) or even bio, so our main purpose is to keep them in this field and become successful by inspiring them.”

Gutierrez de la Garza said even she has faced hardships.

“Guys are naturally competitive, so it becomes really competitive. Guys are like, ‘I already know this,’ and you’re like, ‘Maybe they do, maybe they don’t,’ but you feel like you’re already behind,” Guitierrez de la Garza said.

She was inspired to start CSGirls after reading about Anita Borg, the founder of The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, an organization that aims to increase the presence of women in technology. Gutierrez de la Garza felt something similar was needed at UH, and she was not alone.

“I was really looking for a place like this to join, because there’s no support for the girls,” said junior club member Rachel Madrigal. “It’s really hard to find somebody to relate to, and I think that’s why people would want this workshop.”

Madrigal started college in the Philippines, where she says a science-based course would have an equal number of men and women enrolled. She was shocked when she went to HCC and now UH to find otherwise. She says in a class of nearly 100, only four are women, including her.

CSGirls is the first UH computer science organization designed for women. It has grown to nearly 50 members and has gotten praise from UH professors and alumni.

The organization isn’t exclusive. They welcome all — undergraduates, graduates, non-computer science majors — interested in computer science. For example, Alex Jimenez, head of CSGirls public relations, is a male computer science senior who recognized the need for the organization. He went to Gutierrez de la Garza offering to help in any way.

“I believe in the fact that when there is more diversity in the field, you get to accomplish more,” Jimenez said. “Whenever you have female roles in a group, it just becomes a little bit more focused. Everyone becomes able to accomplish things easier, and it just becomes a better, friendly environment.”

Currently, CSGirls is preparing for Robotics with Aython, a workshop at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall, Room 550, where Jimenez will teach club members how to program Nao robots. Some other upcoming events will be another workshop with UH alumni Paul Decarlo from Microsoft, who on his last visit showed CSGirls how to make Window 8 apps, and an inspirational talk from Uma Ramamurthy, assistant professor and director of research informatics at Baylor College of Medicine.

How Diversity in Computer Programming Will Benefit Everyone | Rebecca Novak

Program or be Programmed, the creators of technology hold our futures in their code. Existing technology defines what we can do and how we interact -- one only has to note how Twitter, Facebook, and Buzzfeed have shaped how we consume and interact with news. New technologies define the parameters -- so to speak -- of everything.

Software developers create technology that matches their experience. We have endless iterations of technological solutions for the problems faced by the predominately white, wealthy, male elite -- in San Francisco, an individual with an iPhone and disposable income never has to wait for a cab, thanks to the proliferation of companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. However, the public transportation that serves the rest of the Bay Area remains notoriously unreliable.

Whether or not one believes that everyone can be a programmer, the fact remains that 90 percent of our high school students never even have the opportunity to learn, and a wildly disproportionate number of these students are female and Hispanic or African American. This extreme lack of diversity is not only unjust; it stagnates innovation.

By teaching all students computer science, we will build a future in which our technology creators are fueled by a diversity of experience and thought. This will result in powerful innovations that benefit a whole range of communities.

"Knowing how to code means that I can make a difference in my world in a way I never thought possible," says ScriptEd alumnus Earl Clifton. "I would never have learned that this was even a career option if I hadn't found ScriptEd."

Organizations like ScriptEd give students the resources, mentorship, and skills necessary to take control of their futures and become creators of technology.

We need to give every student the chance to become a programmer. Doing so will not only provide pathways to opportunity for underprivileged communities, it will build a diverse body of computer programmers who will create technology that will truly benefit everyone.

Lilibeth, who is graduating this year, plans to double major in computer science and women's studies. She is the first of her family to graduate from high school, let alone graduate from college. "I want to make sure that children can learn what they want, in spite of stereotypes," she says. Just think of what she might create.


December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week. On December 11, ScriptEd will host an Hour of Code event at Harlem Village Academies High School in New York City. On December 14, ScriptEd's students will put their programming skills to the test in ScriptEd's December Hackathon.

To learn more, go to

Assemble the $99 Kano DIY computer in minutes | Crave

After assembling it (which seems to take less than half an hour), users can create games like Pong and Snake, build the speaker, and modify Minecraft using Kano OS, a Linux-based programming interface.

Kano is designed to challenge closed computer devices and "to start creating with technology -- not just consuming it," the campaign page says.

The instruction books are available so far in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin, with more languages on the way since Kano is trying to be a global grassroots computing project.

Check out the vid below and see more details about Kano

Howard Stern's wife Beth and John Stamos attend animal rescue event | Mail Online

Mmdemimonde, West palm beach, United States, 18 hours ago

howard could underwrite the entire project yet continues to beg the fans for contributions. he's one of the wealthiest celebrities in the world yet continues to hawk a ridiculous calendar with pics featuring his wife(the animals are incidental). i'm totally committed to helping animals but projects like this are frivolous....and there are so many really deserving animal organizations who do the gritty unpublicized work that directly benefit animal's lives.