When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


Dear Readers: Have You Yelled At Me Recently? Thank You!

Dec 6, 2012
Originally published on December 7, 2012 10:24 am

Dear Readers,

If you've yelled at me, corrected me, contested me, or what the heck, even offered a nice remark on something I've written this last year at 13.7 on human evolution or animal welfare, gender issues or vegetarian diets, thank you.

I recently expressed my gratitude for your engagement to a roomful of anthropologists, and so it's only right that you should hear it too.

In San Francisco last month, at the 2012 American Anthropological Association conference, I gave a paper called "Co-Constructing Knowledge Through Blogging Anthropology." Thanks to session organizers Matt Durington and Sam Collins, I had the chance to present my thoughts alongside those of other anthropologists concerned with "Sharing anthropology: theorizing anthropological research in the age of social media."

As a card-carrying academic, I injected a bit of jargon into the talk — it's a badge of my tribe, after all. So I spoke about how bloggers, editors and readers interact in a dynamic web of engagement, and to make that point invoked anthropologist Gregory Bateson and his theories of interconnected organisms. I gave shout-outs to other bloggers from whom I've learned so much—primarily my 13.7 colleagues, but also bloggers Jason Antrosio, Kate Clancy and Matt Shipman.

But the primary point was this: it's in the back-and-forth comments forum where my blogging comes alive.

One of my goals is to embrace the reality that no single blog post can be the final word, and to make that a positive rather than a negative dimension of my writing. I aim to be an unafraid blogger. As I said in San Francisco:

By unafraid, I mean this: Being a blogger who listens as well as informs, who can be corrected as well as correcting, who sees the potential for knowledge co-construction in the space between the blogger and the audience. The comments forum sits at the very heart of this paper, because it represents the public and wild edge of our engagement with our readers.

And it's there, I went on to say, where the good stuff happens.

Sure, trolls drop in sometimes, people who post only to inflame the discussion according to their own agenda, a situation that does require vigilance. But this is a small problem at 13.7. I don't want to expend too much energy on trolls, either week-by-week in the comments forum or today in this post.

Because the fact is that I learn from my readers — and equally important, it's evident that you learn from each other. In my conference paper, I offered evidence of these claims. Sometimes, the posts that don't go viral — the ones that don't shine in the numbers game of page-views or Facebook shares — become little worlds of fascinating discussion and thus succeed on an entirely different scale. Take my post from September about the science and ethics behind study of the bonobo and gorilla "language apes". Compared to, say, a big flashy post like the first one I wrote in February about Richard Dawkins, which netted over 800 comments, the "language apes" post was a quiet little thing. But check out the discussion! It led to this comment from a reader:

Just a quick thank you, not on the article, but more because of the responses. I have learned more about this from [the back-and-forth in the comments] than in the article itself. This subject raises a lot of complex and difficult questions, none of which can be answered in one article.

And there you have my theme articulated beautifully! The blogger-reader connection is where things happen. And I do thank you for it.



You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

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