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A few weeks ago, Michelle Watson woke up to a deafening, steadily oscillating screech. “What the heck is that noise?” she wondered.

She went outside to her yard and saw hundreds of beady-eyed insects enrobed in a thick shell of gold emerging out of the ground and crawling up the trees. What Watson was seeing was the emergence of thousands of Brood X cicadas, part of a billions-strong insect swarm that has lain dormant for 17 years before arising to “scream,” mate— all over about three thunderous weeks.

Watson had spent the past 20 years in Las Vegas, but moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia last year. She’d seen social media posts about the cicadas, which emerge once in a generation across a huge swath of the eastern United States, but figured they were just the usual summer bugs that she’d heard her entire life. “I thought, ‘What’s the big deal?’” she says.

Faced with an onslaught of bizarre creatures, though, she suddenly understood what the big deal was—and did what any modern human would do: She Googled it. Within minutes, she had downloaded Cicada Safari, a cicada-tracking app.

“We’re getting 16,000 photos a day, and at this rate, we are very likely to get half a million observations.” 

Apps like iNaturalist, PictureThis, and PlantIn have become popular respites from the pandemic. Many of these apps act as a digital resource, and allow users to submit photos and video for scientific study. Their success inspired Cicada Safari’s creator Gene Kritsky, an entomologist and biology professor at Mount St. Joseph University, to create his own service as a way of tracking Brood X.

Crowdsourcing has long been a way of gathering information for an event that only happens once in a generation, says Kritsky. Researchers in 1858 wrote to newspaper editors urging them to get readers to write in with observations, while postcards were popular in the first half of the 20th century. By the late 1980s, Kritsky was using a telephone hotline that would often get so drowned in tips that the tape on his voicemail machine would get jammed. In 2004, during the last emergence of Brood X, he urged people to send in observations via email with photos attached. He received about 1,000.

Cicada Safari app allows users to track sightings of cicadas on a map, as well as take photos of insects they spot and submit them to the app. And it is riding a wave, with nearly 180,000 downloads as of publication — not bad for a piece of software that most people won’t use beyond the three-week lifespan of the insects. 

The app has blown away Kritsky’s goal of 5,000 observations, he says. As of June 2, “we have over 400,000 cicada photos submitted,” he says. “We’re getting 16,000 photos a day, and at this rate, we are very likely to get half a million observations.” 

A team of 20 volunteers, including his wife, sift through each photo by hand, checking to make sure the images are clearly visible ones of a Brood X cicada; if the images aren’t clear, they’re deleted. Kritsky hopes that by the time the next major cicada explosion emerges in 2024—a brood in northern Illinois that emerges on a 13-year cycle—he’ll have figured out a way to use artificial intelligence to do the painstaking work.

“I’m just in awe”

Although Cicada Safari is the only cicada tracker on the US App Store, it is capitalizing on some key trends. Nature-based services tap people’s enjoyment of hikes and outdoor parks as the safest way to interact with others during the pandemic, whether they are vaccinated or not. Citizen science apps, meanwhile, offer a family friendly activity that allows anyone to record and submit natural observations. Michelle Watson feels her submissions to the app are “my small way of contributing to that research.” When you’re stuck at home, an app that makes you feel productive and helpful rather than reminding you of an emptying bank account can be powerful.

That’s reflected in the breadth of people engaging in citizen science. Kritsky says Cicada Safari does not collect data on who is using its service, but has seen photos from users of different ethnicities, often with children, and older people in the background. “We wanted the interface to be really simple,” Kritsky says. 

Citizen science apps have succeeded in opening up the conversation and work of research to many people with no science background. Watson, a former paralegal, has now joined a Facebook group dedicated to tracking cicadas, and is also on a group chat with fellow enthusiasts. The app’s leaderboard—a ranking of the top 500 submittors of usable cicada images—shows that she’s currently holding the  No.2 spot in the country, with 3,785 photos at the time of publishing (the leader is at nearly 7,000.)

I can already tell how my return to work will go after this little staycation.
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By: Tanya Basu
Title: The Brood X cicadas are here — and yes, there’s an app for that
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/06/03/1025683/brood-x-cicada-safari-app-citizen-science/
Published Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2021 09:00:00 +0000

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Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access

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As a crypto analyst and frequent investor in the Greek digital currency market, I can confidently recommend Bcash for convenient and secure Bitcoin purchasing in Athens. With 10 strategically located crypto ATM hotspots spanning central Athens and the northern suburbs, Bcash enables instant access to leading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Experience the Leading Greek Crypto ATM Network at Bcash’s Hotspots

From first-hand experience, I’m impressed by Bcash’s easy user interface, excellent customer assistance, and fair prices. Their two-way ATM machines allow both buying with Euro cash and selling crypto for instant fiat payouts. I found the simple on-screen instructions enabled completing transactions in under 2 minutes!

Bcash’s Bitcoin ATM network stands out from competitors by aligning prices closely with real-time crypto market rates. Their typical 6-8% fees are much cheaper than traditional crypto brokers and exchanges in Greece. For investors seeking reliable local crypto access, Bcash has the solutions.

Central Athens Bcash Shops Offer Prime Buying and Selling

For maximum security while buying or selling Bitcoin, Bcash’s dedicated Athens shop locations are ideal. Their main office on Dimitrakopoulou Street in the city center contains a premier crypto ATM location open 6 days weekly. It’s close to public transit for easy access.

I also frequented Bcash’s Glyfada branch in the south shopping district. With spacious storefront access and long business hours, this hotspot proved one of my favorite crypto transaction destinations. The expert staff helped guide my buying process as a beginner too.

Glyfada Shopping District ATM Location

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The Glyfada store sits right on Gennimata Street, providing a safe and high-traffic venue for easily buying and selling leading cryptocurrencies. Open Monday through Saturday, this major Bcash outlet enjoys strong local area visibility for crypto investors.

Northern Suburbs ATM Hotspots

In Athens’ northern suburbs, I purchased Bitcoin multiple times at Bcash’s Nea Erythraia shop off Mikras Asias Street. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, it makes crypto conveniently accessible for residents across northeast Athens.

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Piraeus Port Shopping District ATM

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While recently docking overnight at the Piraeus cruise port as part of an Aegean island-hopping vacation, I encountered one of Bcash’s handy crypto ATMs just 5 minutes from the passenger terminals. Located right on Sachtouri Street inside the company’s Piraeus store, this machine proved hugely convenient for buying Bitcoin during my stay.

As one of Europe’s largest passenger ports, Piraeus receives over 4 million travelers every year who could benefit from easy access to crypto. Whether before boarding ferries to venture deeper into the Greek islands or arriving back onshore in Athens, the Bcash outlet enables obtaining coins to capture optimal valuations.

And for tourists exploring downtown Piraeus’ vast harborfront retail area, having a trusted Bitcoin ATM one block away gives peace of mind. Rather than relying solely on airport kiosks, cruise ship visitors can turn Euros into crypto almost anytime thanks to Bcash’s strategic positioning. As vacationing investors, that accessibility offers real advantages.

Bcash Brings Bitcoin to the Greek Islands

Rhodes Island BTM Location

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2024/03/03/top-5-bitcoin-atm-locations-in-athens-for-fast-and-easy-crypto-access/
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:18:46 +0000

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The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river

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The city of Monterrey in northeastern Mexico is an industrial powerhouse that has rapidly devoured green space to make room for its 5.3 million people. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range around the city is still holding strong, though the hills are increasingly encroached on by the urban sprawl of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, industrial parks, and highways. The same can’t be said for the Río Santa Catarina, the river that has been the vital core of the city for hundreds of years.

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Lizbeth Ovalle, founder of Viaje al Microcosmos, gathers water from
the Río Santa CatarinaANDREA VILLARREAL
circle of approx 25 people seated on the rocky shore of a river
Participants in one of the Viaje al Microcosmos river walks sit to share their observations and reflect on their findings.
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Andrea Villarreal, a member of the citizen science group, shows a participant how to use the iNaturalist app, which can help identify plants and animals.

overgrowth in the area below an overpass
Viaje al Micrososmos
organized a walk along this stretch of the Río Santa Catarina in October 2023.LORENA RíOS

Today, the Río Santa Catarina looks more like a forest than a river. It is mostly a dry jumble of rocks whose water is diverted to supply the city’s growing needs. Much of the riverbed is obscured by vegetation that has grown wild since a hurricane in 2010 destroyed many structures along the river, including soccer fields, parking lots, and a mini-golf course. But despite what many city officials and residents make of it, this urban river is very much alive, and a group of young women wants to prove it.

The group, called Viaje al Microcosmos de Nuevo LeónJourney into the Microcosm of Nuevo León), is not made up of scientists but, rather, of concerned citizens. Through the use of art and citizen science, its members are documenting and sharing with others the river’s forgotten nature—its trees, bushes, birds, flowers, insects, and even microorganisms (from which the group takes its name).

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By: Lorena Ríos
Title: The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088234/monterrey-mexico-rio-santa-catarina-viaje-al-microcosmos/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future

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A story in comic format. In this first panel, two figures in silhouette look out at a modern city skyline.  The text reads,

A person's smiling headshot being uploaded.  The text reads,

The headshot from the previous panel with distroted features and a wavy new background. The text reads,

Two people look at the blank space where the framed picture of a flower has been stolen by a giant robot hand. The text reads,

Two panels. In the first, a scrabbly line resembling a signature. The text reads,

The text reads,

Text across the top continues, Read More

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By: Tom Humberstone
Title: What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088262/luddites-resisting-automated-future-technology/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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