Help Us Find These 1970s AT&T Engineers

In this 1975 AT&T film, five female AT&T engineers are profiled. The film starts with male attitudes towards women working as engineers. There are no surprises there -- the men seem completely opposed to the notion of a woman being an engineer, and many seem to find the idea of a woman working at all a little weird. Things have changed a bit since the Seventies; some of the best engineers I work with are women, though there is certainly still a huge gender gap in engineering.

The twenty-minute film goes on to profile five women who worked at AT&T (well, in the Bell System) in the 1970s. What's most interesting, though, is that AT&T apparently cannot locate any of these five -- they (and I) would like to ask followup questions and learn how things have changed since 1975. I think our readers must have some connection to these five women -- we know engineers and scientists around the world; we must be able to find these folks -- can you help us find them? They are: Carol Latimer at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, Jerri Jackson in the Carolinas, Bev Miles in Colorado, Sharon Fujitani in the Midwest, and Tony Leach in the Pacific Northwest.

From the film's description:

A counterpart to a Bell System film from 1974 called "The Engineer", this film profiles females engineers working in Bell Labs. Filmed in 1975, this film served double-duty as a recruitment film for female engineering students, and was also shown in high schools and colleges. Five women in the Bell System are profiled: Carol Latimer at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, Jerri Jackson in the Carolinas, Bev Miles in Colorado, Sharon Fujitani in the Midwest, and Tony Leach in the Pacific Northwest.

We've tried to track down all of these women today to get their impressions of the film, but couldn't find any of them. ...

Do You Know These Engineers?

If so, leave a comment -- I can email you privately to follow up. If you help us find one or more of these women, I promise I'll write a detailed followup article and/or video. If Tony Leach is still in Portland, I'll go interview her in person!

Watch an Antarctic Minke Whale Feed in a First-of-Its-Kind Video

New research from the World Wildlife Fund is giving us a rare glimpse into the world of the mysterious minke whale. The WWF worked with Australian Antarctic researchers to tag minke whales with cameras for the first time, watching where and how the animals feed.

The camera attaches to the whale's body with suction cups. In the case of the video below, the camera accidentally slid down the side of the minke whale's body, providing an unexpected look at the way its throat moves as it feeds.

Minke whales are one of the smallest baleen whales, but they're still pretty substantial animals, growing 30 to 35 feet long and weighing up to 20,000 pounds. Unlike other baleen whales, though, they're small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like within sea ice, a helpful adaptation for living in Antarctic waters. They feed by lunging through the sea, gulping huge amounts of water along with krill and small fish, and then filtering the mix through their baleen.

The WWF video shows just how quickly the minke can process this treat-laden water. The whale could lunge, process, and lunge again every 10 seconds. "He was like a Pac-Man continuously feeding," Ari Friedlaender, the lead scientist on the project, described in a press statement.

The video research, conducted under the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership, is part of WWF's efforts to protect critical feeding areas for whales in the region.

If that's not enough whale for you, you can also watch the full 13-minute research video below:

AI Could Help Scientists Detect Earthquakes More Effectively

Thanks in part to the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, earthquakes are becoming more frequent in the U.S. Even though it doesn't fall on a fault line, Oklahoma, where gas and oil drilling activity doubled between 2010 and 2013, is now a major earthquake hot spot. As our landscape shifts (literally), our earthquake-detecting technology must evolve to keep up with it. Now, a team of researchers is changing the game with a new system that uses AI to identify seismic activity, Futurism reports.

The team, led by deep learning researcher Thibaut Perol, published the study detailing their new neural network in the journal Science Advances. Dubbed ConvNetQuake, it uses an algorithm to analyze the measurements of ground movements, a.k.a. seismograms, and determines which are small earthquakes and which are just noise. Seismic noise describes the vibrations that are almost constantly running through the ground, either due to wind, traffic, or other activity at surface level. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between noise and legitimate quakes, which is why most detection methods focus on medium and large earthquakes instead of smaller ones.

But better understanding natural and manmade earthquakes means studying them at every level. With ConvNetQuake, that could soon become a reality. After testing the system in Oklahoma, the team reports it detected 17 times more earthquakes than what was recorded by the Oklahoma Geological Survey earthquake catalog.

That level of performance is more than just good news for seismologists studying quakes caused by humans. The technology could be built into current earthquake detection methods set up to alert the public to dangerous disasters. California alone is home to 400 seismic stations waiting for "The Big One." On a smaller scale, there's an app that uses a smartphone's accelerometers to detect tremors and alert the user directly. If earthquake detection methods could sense big earthquakes right as they were beginning using AI, that could afford people more potentially life-saving moments to prepare.

[h/t Futurism]


More from mental floss studios