This skeleton truck was
dug up created by Jitish Kallat.
This skeleton truck was
dug up created by Jitish Kallat.
There’s no reality gap. There’s no reality gap. There’s no reality gap.
I love this parody of the famous Shepard Fairey Obama poster by Mike Rosulek.
To make way for modern tech terms such as BlackBerry, blog, voicemail and broadband, the latest edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary has opted to drop terms pertaining to old nature. No longer can a child check this dictionary and learn more about the blackberry, dandelion, acorn, heron, otter, magpie, sycamore, or willow.
According to Vineeta Gupta, who heads children’s dictionaries at Oxford University Press, changes in the world are responsible for changes in the book. “When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance,” she said. “That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed.”
The 10,000 words and phrases in the junior dictionary were selected using several criteria, including how often words would be used by young children.
It is a home to crawlers, virusses, search engines, gamers, spammers, chatters, twitters, bloggers, worms and spiders. If calling it alive goes too far, it’s still safe to say that the internet forms a nature of its own. Would the new American president have won the elections if he had ignored its tentacles? How many people would be out of a job if it seized to exist? Internet’s garden is blooming like never seen before, yet some people only enjoy gardens without the weeds.
Article by Michael Bristow, published at news.bbc.co.uk.
China is using an increasing number of paid “internet commentators” in a sophisticated attempt to control public opinion. These commentators are used by government departments to scour the internet for bad news – and then negate it. They post comments on websites and forums that spin bad news into good in an attempt to shape public opinion. Read more »
Controlling hurricanes could save lots of lives and dollars. According to a study published in by climate physicist Daniel Rosenfeld, adding dust to Hurricane Katrina’s base could have weakened the storm and sent it spinning away from New Orleans.
However, few scientists believe these new ideas will be tried outside the computer lab anytime soon. The problem isn’t the science. It’s the lawyers. A manipulated storm could destroy towns that otherwise might not have been hit – leading to legal liability issues regardless whether the storm was weakened, or pushed away from a major city. Even if ‘Hurricane Control’ technology would be robust, who decides where to direct a storm?
‘Hurricane Control’ perfectly illustrates how the cultivation of old nature leads to unexpected new menace: The natural disaster ceases to exist, but it is replaced by a political threat.
Now that the scientific papers are published, conspiracy theories are expected to follow soon. Let’s face it: the idea that Hurricane Katrina was secretly guided away from Florida towards New Orleans is rather tempting if you look at the pictures of its path.
I want to emphasize that I do not believe this theory holds; scientist just aren’t far enough. However this newspaper story (pdf), in which one of the hurricane scientists describes how in one early experiment, lawyers advised them to keep silent about their cloud-seeding activities after a storm with which they had been tinkering swerved and battered South Carolina, is rather disturbing to say the least.
Will ‘natural disasters’ soon be exclusively for the poor and powerless?
The Maldives, a chain of islands off the coast of India is taking the possibility of disappearance into account. This little piece of paradise is so low above sea level that it might be flooded due to the effects of climate change. That’s why the Maldive government is looking for new land to start a new country. I would suggest the moon, Antarctica or Greenland. Or maybe the Dutch can help? I kinda like that OSX screensaver… Via treehugger (what’s in a name) »
Why not use the human body to grow products for the medical industry? The designer Michael Burton envisions Future Farm where the body is used as a farm to cultivate clinical and pharmaceutical products with bio and nanotechnology.
Contrary to popular belief, global warming is not simply a bad thing: there are winners and losers. While low-lying countries, like Bangladesh, are expected to suffer extensively from rising temperatures and sea-levels, countries situated at the top of the Northern Hemisphere, like Canada and Russia, might gain enormous regions of pristine exploitable farming ground, as temperatures rise.
Contrary to popular belief, global warming is not a natural disaster: it is a political disaster. The countries that cause the global warming effect, aren’t necessary the countries who suffer the consequences. National political agenda’s hardly align with their globally felt consequences.
Imagine the effects of global warming were fair. The visualization above shows a distorted world map, in which the landmass of countries is scaled according the amount with which they’ve reduced carbon emissions between 1980-2000. Life would be so simple, if polluting countries would simply disappear into the ocean.
TERRACINA, Italy: Before Michele Assunto hauls in his fishing net from the banks of a reed-lined canal here, he uses a pole to push the garbage out of the way. “They really need to clean this up,” he growls. (Photograph: Claudio Palmisano).
Today, The International Herald Tribune published this article about Alan Berger, a landscape architecture professor at MIT who offers us an interesting view on dealing with heavily polluted areas in Latina, Italy.
‘The solution has to be as artificial as the place.’ Read more »
European biologists have constructed a genetic map of Europe showing the relations between its various populations.
The right part of the map shows the location in Europe where each of the sampled populations live. The left part shows the genetic relationship between these 23 populations. The area assigned to each population represents the amount of genetic variation in it.
The genetic map of Europe bears a clear structural similarity to the geographic map. However it also clearly identifies two genetic barriers within Europe. Read more »
Will Wright’s hugely successful games SimCity and The Sims let players shape the structure of urban areas and the lives of virtual humans; his upcoming game, Spore, lets them control the universe.
Although it is just a game, the young gamers of today may grow up to be the bioengineers of tomorrow. If Spore has any influence whatsoever, we foresee an utterly comical genetic future.
“Eat the View” is a campaign to plant healthy, edible landscapes in high-impact, high visibility places, whether it’s the “First Lawn” or the lawn in front of your child’s school.
Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardens International (a nonprofit organization in Maine, US, that promotes kitchen gardening and sustainable local food systems) hopes to convince the next president to make a small vegetable garden on the 19 acres of grass surrounding the White House.
Too much carbon emissions warming up the planet? No problem: just bring the stuff back to where you got it from in the first place. Experts have been advising to bury carbon dioxide (CO2) for some time now and the technologies are maturing rapidly. Within Europe, the Dutch are seeking to take the lead and become the carbon collector for north West Europe.
Rotterdam – the Netherlands second largest city, home to Europe’s biggest port and a major hub for oil, coal and biofuels – is counting on plans to capture and store CO2 in old gas fields so it can pursue industrial development and also meet ambitious targets to cut emissions by 2025.
Green bubbles? Yes, they seem to be everywhere nowadays. But for a change we aren’t talking about those greenish marketing bubbles of the flourishing sustainability cult. According to the Chlorophile Collective we soon we will all be driving on algue.
“Algae use photosynthesis to transform this otherwise destructive waste CO2 into oxygen, compostable biomass to build soil, and a variety of other useful byproducts, including bioplastics and sustainable biofuels such as ethanol, butanol and even biodiesel.”
A seemingly much better ‘green’ technology than creating biofuel from crops, of which the growing arguably causes more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels. Now lets hope the possible-future mass production of gigantic algue-fields will not take away too much light from all those other lovely and worthwhile creatures inhabiting the oceans.
The sun always shines
on TV in China.
“At this summer’s Beijing Olympics, China puts a 50-year experiment to the test: Officials are betting weather modification can keep the sun shining on the Games. Despite shaky science, the government is confident (not for the first time) that man can beat nature. Whatever their chances, there’s plenty at stake—because all that development and urban renewal won’t look so good beneath a curtain of smog.”
Last year Google invested four million in 23andme, a commercial research center that maps out your DNA for 1000 bucks. Now Google also invested in Navigenics, a company that does the same. What would Google want with that? I’m feeling paranoid…