You’ll never, ever see any of these species


Extinction is coming.

Though, in large part, it already has. On Monday, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published an exhaustive report on the planet’s accelerating extinction rate. The report — compiled over three years by 145 scientific authors with input from over 300 more — found that the modern extinction rate is the highest it’s been in human history, and is “tens to hundreds of times” higher than the normal rate of extinction over the last 10 million years. 

The toll from destroyed wilderness, exploiting critters for their horns and furs, accelerated climate change, and widespread pollution is easily apparent. Each year, scientists announce species that are gone forever. For an idea of just how grim Earth’s modern day human-caused extinction crisis already is, the report provided some historical perspective: 

At least 680 vertebrate species have been driven to extinction by human actions since the 16th century.

That’s well over 100 spined creatures per century. While vertebrates are not more important than the insects that comprise the base of the food chain and the vast swathes of Earth’s dying coral reefs, there are scores of creatures — some vividly colored, some large, some furry, some charismatic — that we won’t ever see again. 

Here are 10, of hundreds. 

1. Schomburgk’s deer

The taxidermy head of a Schomburgk's deer.

The taxidermy head of a Schomburgk’s deer.

Image: wikimedia commons / FunkMonk

The Schomburgk’s Deer, Rucervus schomburgki, once inhabited the plains of central Thailand. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists this deer as extinct. The last known individual was killed in 1938. 

2. Pinta giant tortoise

Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island tortoise.

Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island tortoise.

Image: MIke weston / wikiMedia commons

The last Pinta Island Galápagos tortoise, Lonesome George, died on June 24, 2012. The species, now listed as extinct, was exterminated by overhunting.

3. Falklands wolf

An 1890 illustration of a Falkland wolf.

An 1890 illustration of a Falkland wolf.

Image: John Gerrard Keulemans / Wikimedia commons

The Falkland wolf, discovered in 1690, died out in the 1870s when the last-known individual was killed. This canid is listed as extinct.

4. Bushwren

The extinct bushwren.

The extinct bushwren.

This mostly flightless New Zealand bird, Xenicus longipes, hasn’t been seen since 1972. The bird was likely consumed by introduced predators. It is listed as extinct

5. Saudi gazelle

An 1838 illustration of a Saudi gazelle.

An 1838 illustration of a Saudi gazelle.

Image: Biodiversity Heritage Library / P. Pourrat Frères, 1838 / Flickr CC by 2.0 

The Saudi gazelle, who once roamed the Arabian Peninsula, hasn’t been seen in decades. The ungulate is listed as extinct

6. Golden toad

The extinct golden toad.

The extinct golden toad.


The golden toad, Incilius periglenes, once hopped about its native Costa Rica. The conspicuous toad has not been documented for 30 years. It is listed as extinct

7. Oahu Akialoa

The extinct Oahu Akialoa.

The extinct Oahu Akialoa.

Image: John Gerrard Keulemans / Wikimedia Commons

Depleted forests and introduced disease wiped out this Hawaiian honeycreeper, last seen in 1837. The Oahu Akialoa is listed as extinct

8. The Great Auk

A wood engraving of a Great Auk from 1804.

A wood engraving of a Great Auk from 1804.

Image: Thomas Bewick / Wikimedia commons

Hunting eliminated the “northern penguin” in the mid-1800s. The species once inhabited a wide sprawl of the North Atlantic. It is listed as extinct

9. Bulldog rat

The Bulldog Rat.

The Bulldog Rat.

Image: Charles William Andrews / Wikimedia commons 

Not seen for well over a century, this profoundly fat Christmas Island mammal is listed as extinct

10. The dodo

A dodo skeleton.

A dodo skeleton.

Image: Matt Dunham / AP / REX / Shutterstock

Gone for over three centuries, the dodo (Raphus cucullatus) once lived on the island of Mauritius. The species was hunted by settlers and predated by invasive pigs until no more of the large-billed, flightless birds remained. The dodo is listed as extinct

To slow the historically unprecedented decline in species, the IPBES scientists conclude that “transformative change” is required to provide habitat for and responsible management of the species left. The report found that if nothing changes, a whopping 1 million of the planet’s 8 million species will likely become threatened within extinction, “many within decades.”

“More species are threatened with extinction than any time in human history,” wrote environmental scientist Thomas E. Lovejoy, about the landmark biodiversity report. 

from Mashable!

The world’s living creatures are disappearing at unprecedented rates — here’s what we stand to lose, according to a landmark UN report


snow leopard

The climate crisis his hitting Earth’s plants and animals with a one, two punch. breakdown has reached dire straits. As oceans heat up and surface temperatures rise (four of the last five years have been the warmest on record for the planet, other consequences of human activity are also altering the planet’s natural habitats on an unprecedented scale.

Yesterday, the United Nations released a summary of a report from its Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) that assesses the state of our planet’s biodiversity. The authors found that between 500,000 and 1 million plant and animals species face extinction, many within decades.

The report reiterates that there’s just one factor to blame for this troubling trend: us. Pollution, deforestation, and habitat loss due to farming and development have already "severely altered" 75% of all land and 40% of marine environments, it says. 

"Human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before," the authors wrote. 

Read More: Up to 1 million species are facing extinction. Without them, we could run out of food.

These alarming findings lend further credence to the notion that we’re in the midst of the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history — the sixth time global species have experienced a major collapse in numbers.

"Observing these declines in species abundance is sort of like reading obituaries," Hugh Possingham, chief scientist of The Nature Conservancy, told Business Insider.

Here’s what the world stands to lose in the coming decades, according to the UN report.

SEE ALSO: 17 signs we’re in the middle of a 6th mass extinction

There are an estimated 8 million animal and plant species on Earth (including 5.5 million insect species). Of those 8 million, up to 1 million are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

Source: IPBES

Human activity has already driven 680 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish species to extinction since the 1500s.

Source: IPBES

According to the report, the rate at which global species are now going extinct is "at least tens to hundreds of times higher" than the average rate over the last 10 million years.

Source: IPBES

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI

Ableton’s new CV Tools allow you to control modular gear from Live


An LFO and rhythm generator are among the 10 CV plugins coming to Live 10.1.

Ableton is adding a collection of Max for Live plugins to Live 10 Suite for controlling modular synths and CV gear.

CV Tools, which is available in beta now, features 10 plugins for Live 10.1 that generate or receive pitch, control, clock and trigger signals together with a compatible audio interface. They can be used to modulate synth voices in different ways, control tempo or set Live to follow the modular system clock, among other functions.

The 10 plugins include CV Instrument, which allows you to sequence your modular like an Ableton MIDI instrument, CV Triggers, for sending trigger signals to drum machines and modules, and CV Utility, which can send automation curves from Live to a modular setup.

As well as synchronization tools (CV Clock In and CV Clock Out), there’s a useful set of modulation plugins: CV In, which allows a modular system to modulate parameters in Live, CV Shaper for sending “flexible CV shapes” to your rig, an envelope follower and an LFO.

One of the most interesting plugins is the Rotating Rhythm Generator, a tool for experimenting with “modular-style beat and polyrhythm generation”. While it’s made for CV gear, it also sends MIDI, so can be used with Live’s Drum Racks or MIDI gear.

Ableton is a little late to the CV game: Bitwig Studio has offered native tools for modular integration for a few years now, as has NI’s Reaktor 6. Expert Sleepers’ Silent Way plugins are also a popular choice for Eurorack users who want to hook up their rig to a DAW. However, the inclusion of CV Tools in Live 10 Suite will probably help to broaden the appeal of Eurorack and other CV gear even further.

CV Tools is in beta now and can be accessed by signing up to the Live 10.1 beta. However, you’ll need a DC-coupled audio interface for sending and receiving CV signals to make use of it, such as Expert Sleepers’ ES-3 and ES-8, MOTU’s Ultralite 248 or 240, an RME Babyface or UAD Apollo Series.

There’s no date for Live 10.1’s full release, but when it arrives we can expect user wavetables as well as new EQ and delay devices alongside the new CV Tools suite.

Read next: How to build a modular synth – The ultimate Eurorack buyer’s guide

The post Ableton’s new CV Tools allow you to control modular gear from Live appeared first on FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music..

from FACT Magazine

New plastic material can be recycled again and again


We’re drowning in plastics. That’s why the world’s brightest minds are trying to find a way we can effectively deal with plastic waste and make sure we don’t add more in the coming years. Now, researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a plastic material that’s fully recyclable. It’s called poly(diketoenamine) or PDK, and it can be disassembled at a molecular level and then reassembled into another object with a different texture, color and shape again and again "without loss of performance or quality."

As Berkeley Lab explains, the fillers and chemicals used in plastic objects are usually tightly bound to monomers — molecules that join up to form large plastic molecules called polymers. These additives could lead to unexpected properties when mixing various plastics for recycling. That means items already made with recycled plastics might have to go straight to landfills.

Peter Christensen/ Berkeley Lab

Image: Peter Christensen/ Berkeley Lab

PDK monomers, however, can be completely separated from their additives simply by immersing the object in a highly acidic solution. "With PDKs, the immutable bonds of conventional plastics are replaced with reversible bonds that allow the plastic to be recycled more effectively," explained team leader Brett Helms. Objects made with the material can then be reshaped, recolored and upcycled again and again and again. A watchband could become part of a keyboard, which could then be used to make a phone case.

The researchers plan to continue working on PDKs to develop variants with a wide range of thermal and mechanical properties. That would allow the material to be used for textiles, foams, 3D-printed materials and other applications.

Source: Berkeley Lab

from Engadget