links for 2010-10-13

  • Help scientists recover worldwide weather observations made by Royal Navy ships around the time of World War I. These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and improve a database of weather extremes. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and the stories of the people on board.
  • Sharing the road is a two-way street: Cyclists must obey road rules as well as drivers. However, because cyclists have so little protection around them, it's up to drivers to ensure their safety on a shared roadway. A collision that would be a fender bender for another car could be a fatality for a cyclist.

    Below, Wired's Autopia blog offers some suggestions for drivers to share the road with cyclists.

    (tags: bike transport)
  • There's something eerie about weeds – their speed, their ingenuity, their almost supernatural resourcefulness. "Shape-shifters," Richard Mabey calls them. Many of the most successful species will slide up a size or down a shade of colour if it helps ensure their survival for another generation. They'll also adapt to an astonishing level of abuse and rough treatment – the harder the better, in fact. Plantain likes to be trodden underfoot. Danish scurvy-grass thrives on the salty turbulence of motorway central reservations. Buddleia relishes vertical surfaces with no apparent soil at all: walls, car park concrete, railway bridges. Dandelions joyride in the windscreen grilles of cars and sycamores sprout in chimney pots. If it wasn't for the fact that they're plants, it would be tempting to wonder whether they have a sense of humour.
    (tags: plants)