WOLA: New Online Database by WOLA Tracks U.S. Assistance to Central America. “Today, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading advocacy and research organization, is launching a database tracking U.S. assistance to Central America. This searchable database is designed to help journalists, policymakers, and citizens gain a clearer understanding about where U.S. aid to Central America is going and what kinds of programs it’s supporting. It aims to make it easier to monitor and understand how the United States is implementing the U.S. Strategy for Central America, a multi-year plan launched in 2015 to help address the root causes of migration. Users can search for U.S. programs by year, category, recipient country, and funding account.”
Science Magazine: An integrated assessment of the vascular plant species of the Americas. “The cataloging of the vascular plants of the Americas has a centuries-long history, but it is only in recent decades that an overview of the entire flora has become possible. We present an integrated assessment of all known native species of vascular plants in the Americas. Twelve regional and national checklists, prepared over the past 25 years and including two large ongoing flora projects, were merged into a single list. Our publicly searchable checklist includes 124,993 species, 6227 genera, and 355 families, which correspond to 33% of the 383,671 vascular plant species known worldwide. In the past 25 years, the rate at which new species descriptions are added has averaged 744 annually for the Americas, and we can expect the total to reach about 150,000.”
Google Blog: The British Museum and Google Arts & Culture: Decoding the secrets of the ancient Maya. “In the 19th century, the explorer Alfred Maudslay set out to capture and preserve the stories the Maya of Central America, one of the largest and most successful indigenous cultures in the world, with more than 2000 years of rich and vibrant history. For decades, he travelled through the region carrying tons of equipment on mule trains through the jungle and created the first glass plate photographs and plaster casts of some of the most important ancient Maya art from the region. More than 100 years later, Google Arts & Culture and the British Museum are picking up where Maudslay left off. Now, visitors from around the world can explore the Maya’s rich heritage online and learn about their achievements in art, architecture, astronomy, mathematics and language.”
Jamaica Observer: Belize gov’t to clamp down on misuse of social media. “The Belize government is moving to clamp down on the misuse of social media and is establishing a taskforce to look at the issue of cyber laws, Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke has said.”
Now available: the Mesoamerican Ethnobotanical Database. “Having already demonstrated that ancient botanical remains could be collected from lowland tropical locations during excavations of prehistoric Maya sites in Belize, the team discovered that few resources existed to identify the family, genus or species of the specimens…. ‘Over the span of four years we identified, located and scanned more than 2,500 plant vouchers [plant samples mounted on 11-by-17-inch sheets of paper] representing more than 1,300 species from 148 plant families,’ [Jon] Hageman said of the tedious process.”
Kenyon College has put its field notes from Honduras archaeology excavations online. “Construction has destroyed more than 80 percent of the Honduran archaeological sites previously excavated by Kenyon anthropology students and faculty — but the records from those sites will live on at Digital Kenyon.”
The government of Costa Rica has put several recipe books online. Links to the books at the bottom of the page and now I’m hungry.