You can’t hack the stars 

You’re probably familiar with GPS as the handy tool to find your way to a new restaurant, or to make sure you don’t end up in the middle of nowhere on a road trip. But its uses are widespread, from farming and mining to banking to weather forecasting, as well as being crucial to security and military operations. Our GPS system is a space-based navigation system made up of 24 satellites in geostationary orbits, sending signals down to GPS enabled devices to help determine precise locations and times. 

But both natural phenomena and deliberate attacks pose real threats to these satellites and the way we use them: massive solar flares could disrupt their signals, jamming devices could block GPS devices on the ground, and electromagnetic pulses could shut off the power of a military vessel or aircraft. If you’re in the middle of the ocean or high over enemy territory, losing your navigation system would be a huge problem. That’s why the US Navy have gone back to basics and decided to train their new personnel in a traditional navigation technique known as celestial navigation. 

Celestial navigation is an ancient skill, used for most of human history by sailors and explorers who guided their ships based on the stars. It’s a bit more time consuming and unwieldy than GPS, but it works - it basically involves finding the positions of the stars in the sky and then comparing them to an almanac of compiled measurements for various locations. A few calculations later, and voila, the position of your ship can be triangulated to within a few kilometres - no computers of satellites required. This is much less accurate to the few metres precision that GPS gives us, but in a back up, it’s pretty damn handy. 

After cutting it out of the curriculum more than a decade ago, the US Naval Academy have now fully reintroduced celestial navigation as a course - and the graduation class of 2017 will be the first in over a decade to graduate with such traditional navigation skills. 

After all, malicious forces could potentially bring down GPS systems, but they can’t change the position of the stars in the sky.


You may have heard stories of people hunting down Pokémon on their office desks, in hospital rooms, and even in bathrooms. One teenage girl even found a dead body while looking for Pokémon. And police in Missouri claimed that four suspected robbers lured in victims with the possibility of Pokémon.

The smartphone app Pokemon Go is taking over the country, and these charts above prove it. 

Read more: Pokemon Go was destined to go viral. These charts explain why.


ATTENTION: We have a hot take on Pokemon Go!



People have been posting Lure Modules at Pokemon Stops at night and have been robbing people! I don’t blame the app in any way but please remember to be safe and always be sure of your surroundings! Never go out alone and try to do your going in the daytime! Ok PSA ended! Have fun with Pokemon Go guys because I know I am!

so pokemon go has been out for a few days and it’s hard to supress a sigh at the number of headlines re: people munting themselves whilst staring at their phones and walking. 

The problem is, you really don’t want to miss anything important whilst out on the streets playing, which is understandable. However, it’s dangerous to become engrossed in and distracted by the game, and it’s easy to reduce the amount of time you spend watching your screen during gameplay on foot. The two main attractions ingame are PokeStops/Gyms and wild Pokemon. Some tips for eliminating the need to divert your attention:

1. PLAN YOUR GYMS AND POKESTOPS AHEAD OF TIME. One of the corporations behind PoGo is Niantic Labs. Niantic is responsible for the gps side of things in the game. They are responsible for another similar game: Ingress. This is essentially GPS capture-the-flag and revolves around monuments and public sites in the real world.

From my experience of the game so far, Niantic appears to have copypasted Ingress location data in such a way that almost every Ingress ‘portal’ is either a Gym or a PokeStop ingame. Conveniently for us, every portal is mapped out on the Ingress Intel Map, powered by Google. This map is free to access if you have an Ingress account. I’d advise that you download Ingress, sign up with your Google account, and make use of the intel map to familiarise yourselves with significant places in the areas in which you’d usually play PoGo. Personally, I find this vastly reduces the frequency at which I have to check my screen for upcoming gyms and PokeStops, and helps me stay alert.

2. FINDING WILD POKEMON IS A PROCESS OF TRIAL AND ERROR. When you’re on the lookout for Pokemon indicated in the ‘nearby’ screen, walk 40m in one direction before checking your phone. If the number of steps displayed for your target has changed, either continue in the same direction or retrace your steps and start over. Don’t stop in the middle of a pedestrian crossing or footpath, find a building to lean against - otherwise, trust me, you’ll end up hurt or yelled at. When you’re close don’t bother checking your phone, stow it in your pocket and have vibration turned on

tl;dr: minimise the amount you’re not focussing on your surroundings by finding a Niantic map of pokestops and gyms and switching on vibrations for wild pokemon alerts.

use your common sense and stay safe


[TRIGNAL] 愛しさのコントラスト (The Contrast of Loving) Live at Kirafes 2015 (with Eng Subs)

Hello everyone!

Today we’d like to introduce us and our newest project; a translation blog dedicated to Eguchi Takuya!

The Giraffe Protection Squad is run by Erynn, Trish, Nikki and Laure and we hope you enjoy our translations.

First up is a performance unlike most featuring Trignal in a rather sexy setting.

Please do not share our translations outside of tumblr, or claim as your own.
River restoration by dam removal: Enhancing connectivity at watershed scales

Dam removals shows promise restoring ecosystems! From the very excellent open source science journal, Elementa.

The prolonged history of industrialization, flood control, and hydropower production has led to the construction of 80,000 dams across the U.S. generating significant hydrologic, ecological, and social adjustments.

With the increased ecological attention on re-establishing riverine connectivity, dam removal is becoming an important part of large-scale river restoration nationally, especially in New England, due to its early European settlement and history of waterpower-based industry.

To capture the broader dimensions of dam removal, we constructed a GIS database of all inventoried dams in New England irrespective of size and reservoir volume to document the magnitude of fragmentation. We compared the characteristics of these existing dams to the attributes of all removed dams over the last ~25 years.

Our results reveal that the National Inventory of Dams significantly underestimates the actual number of dams (4,000 compared to >14,000). To combat the effects of these ecological barriers, dam removal in New England has been robust with 127 dams having been removed between ca. 1990–2013. These removed dams range in size, with the largest number (30%) ranging between 2–4 m high, but 22% of the removed dams were between 4–6 m. They are not isolated to small drainage basins: most drained watersheds between 100–1,000 km2.

Regionally, dam removal has re-connected ~3% (3,770 river km) of the regional river network although primarily through a few select dams where abundant barrier-free river lengths occur, suggesting that a more strategic removal approach has the opportunity to enhance the magnitude and rate of river re-connection.

Given the regional-scale restoration of forest cover and water quality over the past century, dam removal offers a significant opportunity to capitalize on these efforts, providing watershed scale restoration and enhancing watershed resilience in the face of significant regional and global anthropogenic changes. Read the rest at, Elementa