The Coral Triangle is a vast network of coral reefs that dot the waters surrounding the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. Also known as "the Amazon of the ocean," this expansive underwater ecosystem in Southeast Asia is a hotspot for marine biodiversity, hosting 30 percent of the world's coral reefs that span 2.3 million square miles (6 million square kilometers). From humpback whales to humphead wrasses, a wide variety of sea creatures survive and thrive along the reefs in the Coral Triangle. Biodiversity hotspot "If you go to a place in the Coral Triangle — like the Verde Island Passage or Bali — there's so much microhabitat diversity," said Luiz Rocha, a coral reef scientist at the California Academy of Sciences. "You can go 100 yards [90 meters] from one reef to another, and the reef composition will be completely different." The region is home to more than 500 species of reef-building corals, which have adapted … [Read more...] about What Is the Coral Triangle?
The stomach of a whale is bound to be pretty gross — all those giant intestines and immense amounts of blood — but now officials have found nearly 13 pounds (6 kilograms) of plastic trash in the stomach of a dead sperm whale that washed ashore on a beach in southern Indonesia late Monday (Nov. 19). The trash included more than 100 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops and hundreds of other pieces of plastic, WWF-Indonesia said in a Facebook statement. The 31-foot-long (9.5 meters) whale was in such an advanced state of decay by the time it washed up on the beach that it was impossible for researchers to determine if the enormous lump of plastic was what ultimately killed the animal. "Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful," Dwi Suprati, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF-Indonesia, told the Associated Press. [Whale Album: Giants of the Deep] Sperm whales (Physeter … [Read more...] about Found, Inside Dead Sperm Whale: 100 Plastic Cups, 4 Plastic Bottles, 25 Plastic Bags, 2 Flip-Flops
After nearly a year of waiting, Amazon and Microsoft this week brought Alexa to Windows 10 PCs and Cortana to Echo speakers. Overnight, the move delivered Cortana to millions of Echo speakers and Alexa to hundreds of millions of personal computers in the United States. The Echo line of smart speakers continues to enjoy the largest market share, and Windows 10 is installed on nearly 700 million computers. The partnership was made in recognition of the fact that we live in a multi-assistant world. “The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement when the partnership was announced last August. The idea makes sense. I’m ready for a world in which assistants feel more like … [Read more...] about AI Weekly: Alexa and Cortana may be working together, but the smartphone is still king
By William Axford Updated 7:33 pm, Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Now Playing: Bar staff at the Backyard Bar Stage and Grill in Waco removed a snake found in a ceiling fan at the restaurant on May 12, 2018 Media: Jayne Halcomb Patrons at the Backyard Bar Stage and Grill in Waco were in for a shock on Saturday when a snake was discovered coiled around a ceiling fan. "Only in Texas are you hanging at a bar, look up and a snake is a few feet above you wrapped around the ceiling fan," Wrote Jayne Halcomb on Facebook, who recorded staff taking down the snake. "God bless this guy!!" SNAKE WRANGLER: North Texas teacher wrangles snake that invaded elementary school Halcomb told Chron.com that a man sitting underneath the ceiling fan noticed the snake approximately two hours before the staff found it. She said the man thought it was a prop at first but then realized it was alive when he saw its head move. "The guy who pulled it down ended up getting a bite or two when he … [Read more...] about Watch: Snake removed after customers see it wrapped around a ceiling fan
By William Axford Updated 11:09 am, Tuesday, May 15, 2018 Now Playing: Laurie Schroeder, a fifth-grade teacher at Honey Grove Elementary School in Texas, caught a snake that made its way into the classroom on May 9, 2018. Media: Karon Cunningham, Houston Chronicle One north Texas teacher can officially add snake wrangler to her resume after securing a rogue reptile that made it into an elementary school. Laurie Schroeder, a fifth-grade math teacher at Honey Grove Elementary School in Honey Grove, was recorded by fellow teacher Karon Cunningham cornering a snake and disposing of it. Snakes are out again in Texas as temperatures rise The snake was killed for safety reasons. "We had just finished after school STAAR tutorials, so there were several students very close to the classroom," Cunningham told Chron.com. "After Googling it, we think it was a blue racer. Non-venomous, but will bite if it feels threatened. We didn't have any idea at the time though." … [Read more...] about North Texas teacher wrangles snake that invaded elementary school