Concrete surrounds us in our cities and stretches across the land in a vast network of highways. It’s so ubiquitous that most of us take it for granted, but many aren’t aware that concrete’s key ingredient, ordinary portland cement, is a major producer of greenhouse gases. (more…)
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Understanding the roots of a global, contagious spread of online information may help better predict political revolutions, consumer behavior, box office revenues, public policy debates, and even public health epidemics, a new study co-led by Yale University reveals. The model devised for this study, which identifies those roots and analyzes common patterns of dissemination on a global scale, even predicted the rise of “#Obamacare” as a global Twitter trend. The study appears in PLOS ONE.
Attempts to globally monitor the spread of online information have become increasingly difficult because of the explosive growth in the amount of information available and heightened concerns about personal privacy. To get a better understanding of social contagion, the team focused instead on smaller, local network structures, where messages are transmitted from individuals at the center and spread out rapidly to other individuals, who then retransmit them. (more…)