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What's behind our music tastes? Some common perceptions

November 20, 2014 - 8:08am
Metal heads, jazz purists and folkies may have more in common musically than you imagined. A new study sheds light on the shared ways in which humans perceive music.

What's behind our music tastes? Some common perceptions

November 20, 2014 - 7:19am
Metal heads, jazz purists and folkies may have more in common musically than you imagined. A new study sheds light on the shared ways in which humans perceive music.

TSRI researchers find how mutant gene can cause deafness

November 19, 2014 - 11:00pm
(Scripps Research Institute) Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered how one gene is essential to hearing, uncovering a cause of deafness and suggesting new avenues for therapies.

Within two years, a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions are likely to be priced

November 19, 2014 - 3:09pm

It often surprises people to hear that big companies like Exxon use a “shadow carbon price” when assessing future investment opportunities (in other words, they assume a price on carbon even where/when there isn’t one). After all, if you only pay attention to the headlines, it sounds like the big story on climate change is that nobody’s doing anything and we’re all doomed. Why would Exxon think carbon will be priced any time soon?

Well, it turns out that carbon is getting priced, not in the big, dramatic, simple way climate hawks would prefer, but incrementally, piecemeal, country-by-country, region-by-region, still inadequately but in a way that’s starting to add up.

The always-excellent folks at the Sightline Institute have done the world a favor by pulling all the world’s carbon pricing systems into one place. Here’s their awesome animated map:

Sightline Institute

As you can see, the big story (as usual) is China, which is planning on rolling out a nationwide cap-and-trade system in 2016. That system will instantly become the largest in the world, covering some 5,000 million metric tons worth of emissions, about 13 percent of the the world’s total. Once that’s in place, about a quarter of the world’s total carbon emissions will be priced. Not bad!

The next biggest systems after China’s are the EU’s and Japan’s. America’s — RGGI on the East Coast and California’s on the West Coast — are comparatively small, especially relative to total emissions in those areas.

How high are the prices on carbon? Sightline explains:

Prices range from $1 to $168 per ton, but most cluster between $10 and $30 per ton. For example, California’s price is currently around $13 per ton, and British Columbia’s price is currently around $28. The price outlier at $168 per ton is Sweden, where a high and persistent price has helped reduce pollution 13 percent in a decade. A carbon tax of $28 plus other policies have helped Ireland slash pollution more than 15 percent since 2008.

Sightline’s post contains a bunch more insights, including what sectors are most commonly covered (electricity and large industry), the variety of uses for carbon revenue, and the ways that various systems protect heavy-emitting industries. I particularly appreciate this point:

What’s better: a cap or a tax?

Wrong question. What matters are those pesky details. A well-designed tax can deliver the same benefits as a well-designed cap. Poor design can ruin either.

Exactly.

Anyway, check out Sightline’s post, and while you’re over there, give them some money. For such a comparatively small outfit, they are creating an enormous amount of value.


Filed under: Article, Climate & Energy

Timberlake becomes co-owner of audio tech company

November 19, 2014 - 7:28am
Justin Timberlake wants to make sure you have a 20/20 sound experience when you listen to music: He's now a co-owner of the audio technology company AfterMaster Audio Labs, Inc.

A phonetic key to prosociality and engagement

November 19, 2014 - 5:50am
(Phys.org) —People are more likely to help someone whose name ends with the "hard e" (/ē/) sound; women, in particular, prefer /ē/ sounds; and children's behavioral patterns seem to indicate that asking "Mommy?" for help gets better results than "Mom" or "Mother."

A novel method for identifying the body's 'noisiest' networks

November 19, 2014 - 5:00am
(Phys.org) —A team of scientists led by Yale University systems biologist and biomedical engineer Andre Levchenko has developed a novel method for mapping the biochemical variability, or "noise," in how human cells respond to chemical signals. The research, published Nov. 17 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, could be used to tailor drug delivery to a patient's individual cell responses and may have further implications for advances in semiconductor chip design.

Rare Southern Songbird Thrives in 'Biological Deserts': Pine Tree Farms

November 18, 2014 - 4:16pm
Swainson's warbler, a rare songbird, has weathered centuries of habitat loss and is now thriving in a surprising place: pine tree plantations in the southeastern U.S.

Spotify boosts staff numbers as streaming competition heats up

November 18, 2014 - 2:18pm
Spotify, the world's largest online music streaming service, plans to boost its staff numbers by a third, its co-founder and chief executive said Tuesday amid increasing competition from other technology companies.

Musicians show advantages in long-term memory

November 18, 2014 - 11:55am
Psychologists have demonstrated a link between musical training and long-term memory advantages.

Neuroscience of Taste: Chef's Creations Delight the Senses

November 18, 2014 - 6:18am
Whether it's a smell that reminds you of your mother's holiday apple pie, or the taste of an oyster that evokes the sights and sounds of the ocean, chef Bryan Voltaggio's cooking aims to transport people to a much-loved place or evoke a fond memory.

Sony takes hard look at streaming after Taylor Swift snub

November 18, 2014 - 4:36am
A Sony executive said Tuesday the firm was taking a hard look at music streaming services after pop star Taylor Swift yanked her songs from industry giant Spotify.

Musicians show advantages in long-term memory, UT Arlington research says

November 17, 2014 - 11:00pm
(University of Texas at Arlington) Research that a UT Arlington psychology professor is presenting at the Society for Neuroscience conference shows links between musical training and long-term memory advantages.

Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake Strikes Off New Zealand Coast

November 17, 2014 - 6:24pm

CBS San Francisco Connect With Us At KPIX 5 PROGRAM GUIDE: KPIX 5 TV Schedule WATCH: A Glimpse Inside The Working KPIX 5 Newsroom Breaking News Send news tips, video & photos, and video to the KPIX 5 [] CONNECT WITH KCBS Welcome to KCBS All News 740AM & 106.9FM on CBSSanFrancisco.com! LIKE KCBS Radio On Facebook: KCBS is the Bay Area's only all news station, serving listeners with local, national and world news around the clock, [] GISBORNE, New Zealand - A earthquake registering a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck near New Zealand on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's automated seismograph alert network. The quake struck an estimated 22 miles below the earth's surface.

Spotify joins with Uber to bring music to shared rides

November 17, 2014 - 3:56pm
The world's biggest music streaming service Spotify will team up with US car-sharing start-up Uber to offer users personalised music during their rides, the Swedish company said on Monday.

New Interactive Lab Opens to Study Music and the Brain

November 17, 2014 - 1:00pm
New lab opens to investigate the vibe between dancers, musicians and audience members

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Worldwide ship traffic up 300 percent since 1992

November 17, 2014 - 12:08pm
Maritime traffic on the world's oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, likely causing more water, air and noise pollution on the open seas, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic. The research used satellite data to estimate the number of vessels on the ocean every year between 1992 and 2012. The number of ships traversing the oceans grew by 60 percent between 1992 and 2002. Shipping traffic grew even faster during the second decade of the study, peaking at rate of increase of 10 percent per year in 2011.

Worldwide ship traffic up 300 percent since 1992

November 17, 2014 - 11:30am
Maritime traffic on the world's oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, likely causing more water, air and noise pollution on the open seas, according to a new study quantifying global ship traffic.

Converting data into knowledge

November 17, 2014 - 9:10am
When a movie-streaming service recommends a new film you might like, sometimes that recommendation becomes a new favorite; other times, the computer's suggestion really misses the mark. Yisong Yue, assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences, is interested in how systems like these can better "learn" from human behavior as they turn raw data into actionable knowledge—a concept called machine learning.

Scientists listen, wait for comet lander signals

November 15, 2014 - 4:24am
BERLIN (AP) -- The head of the European comet mission says scientists were listening for signals from the Philae lander Saturday morning, but think it is unlikely they will establish any kind of communication soon....