Categorized | Reading

Interesting Reading

Posted on 26 January 2012 by Austin Yoder

Was going through a few papers today, and wanted to share with everyone out there. Well written and thought provoking.

Migrant Worker’s Rights in Qatar Leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Qatar can expect exponential growth in the migrant population during the run-up to the World Cup when infrastructure investments are expected to top $100 billion. Some estimates suggest up to one million additional workers will be needed to build the 12 stadiums, 70,000 new hotel roomsand a network of road and rail links planned for the footballextravaganza.
The Qatari government has announced plans to improveconditions for the migrant workers expected to flock in for the 2022 construction boom, including model housing com-plexes and tighter laws to prevent abuse. However, pressure will be on the world football body FIFA and the Western companies lining up for lucrative World Cup contracts toensure that workers are provided with decent working, wage and housing conditions.

Link. Hat tip to Aakash for the recommendation.

The Effect of Decreasing Electronic Storage Costs on Government Surveillance in Non/Authoritarian Countries

Within the next few years an important threshold will be crossed: For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders – every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner. Governments with a history of using all of the tools at their disposal to track and monitor their citizens will undoubtedly make full use of this capability once it becomes available.

Link.

Parasitic Flies Turning Honey Bees into Zombie Bees (Colony Collapse Disorder)

The science in the following article is definitely over my head, but Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, is one of the most important problems in modern agriculture out there. Did you know that 1/3 of the average American diet is composed of foods that couldn’t be produced without bee pollination? Seems like this goes a long way towards explaining the mysterious disappearance of bees, and subsequent failure of their hives.

In this paper, we show that A. borealis has a profound effect on parasitized honey bees, leading them to abandon their hives at night. We use an Arthropod Pathogen Microarray (APM) to detect pathogens that have been implicated in CCD that are associated with adult flies and larvae and to detect the presence of phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California’s Central Valley. Understanding causes of the hive abandonment behavior we document could explain symptoms associated with CCD. Further, knowledge of this parasite could help prevent its spread into regions of the world where naïve hosts may be easily susceptible to attack.

Link. Also – this seems reminiscent of zombie ants.

—–

Question of the Day

Reading anything cool lately? I always love getting reading recommendations, so please feel free to leave some in the comments section if you’ve got ‘em.