Unintended consequences: How authorship guidelines destroyed a relationship

It started as a simple email exchange over authorship. But it angered one researcher so much that it ended a 20-year collaboration. In January 2017, a chemist based in Mexico had finished writing a paper describing the structure of a molecule. Sylvain Bernès, at the Instituto de Física Luis Rivera Terrazas, asked his co-author—the head […]

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A U.S.-Mexico Border Wall: Bad News for Wildlife

0000-0002-8715-2896Jaguar. Photo: Cburnett, via WIkimedia Commons. Distributed under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license. In late January, the Trump administration announced plans to move forward on building a border wall along the southern border with Mexico. A cornerstone

How much the US imports from Mexico

Most goods imported from Mexico are untaxed under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Administration wants to tax those billions of dollars of goods coming in. David Yanofsky for Quartz plotted the imported products.

Quartz gathered import data from the US Census Bureau comprising 6,011 hierarchical product categories, the amount imported, and the tax collected. Every product the US buys at least $1 million worth from Mexico is shown below through the lens of the Harmonized System, the international standard for categorizing and taxing traded goods.

The x-axis shows the percentage of international imports for a product come from Mexico. The y-axis, as well as bubble size, shows how much the US spent in the year November 2015-2016. Color represents tax rate.

The hierarchical representation confused me at first. We typically see bubble plots charted on three dimensions from a flat, rectangular dataset. That is, there’s an x-value, a y-value, and a z-value (for bubble size), and each bubble represents a separate category. However, with this representation, each smaller circle is a subset of a larger circle.

For example, here’s the plot for avocados:

It’s a plot with five bubbles, which starts with the fruit and nuts category and goes down to a certified organic Hass avocados subcategory. So there’s the hierarchy, the x-y position, bubble size, and color. The color scale represents 0% to 20%, but only the really tiny bubbles fall in the high range, and at that point it’s hard to see what color it is.

I think it’s a good concept. But it might try to show too much at once.

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A Day in the Life of an Ammonite

Asteroceras_BWSeveral years ago, back when I was working as the lab and collections manager for the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George, Utah, we constructed a temporary exhibit with hundreds of ammonite shells

Pumas, Wolves, and Eagles, Oh My! Early Captive Carnivore Remains Found in Ancient Mexican Ruins

Fig-4From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, capturing and manipulating wild carnivores has long been a way for humans to demonstrate state or individual power. Historians and scientists alike have attempted to determine when

Pumas, Wolves, and Eagles, Oh My! Early Captive Carnivore Remains Found in Ancient Mexican Ruins

Fig-4From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, capturing and manipulating wild carnivores has long been a way for humans to demonstrate state or individual power. Historians and scientists alike have attempted to determine when

Dozens of visitors frolic in the water as seen through a palm…



Dozens of visitors frolic in the water as seen through a palm frond in Acapulco, Mexico, 1964.Photograph by Thomas Nebbia, National Geographic Creative

Rats! Snake mistake sinks paper

Check List, the “journal of species lists and distribution,” retracted a paper in February after the authors realized they hadn’t spotted a yellow-red rat snake in a strange range, but rather a green rat snake in its known home. Here’s the notice for “New distribution and elevation records for the snake Pseudelaphe flavirufa Cope, 1867 (Squamata: Colubridae) in Oaxaca, Mexico,” […]

Opens Roundup (May)

To help navigate the content in this issue of the roundup, here’s an index of the topics covered with links to the items below:

POLICY DEVELOPMENTS:

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Holiday lights decorate the sky, cathedral and streets of the…



Holiday lights decorate the sky, cathedral and streets of the zocalo in Mexico City, October 1961.Photograph by Kip Ross, National Geographic