Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tab Overload

The tabs in my browser have overrun the space available. My computer is threatening to shrivel up and roll under the desk, so it's time to clear out some of them. 

From the New York Times, Life After Oil and Gas:

We will need fossil fuels like oil and gas for the foreseeable future. So there’s really little choice (sigh). We have to press ahead with fracking for natural gas. We must approve the Keystone XL pipeline to get Canadian oil.

This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To what extent is it a choice?
How Health Research Misdirects Us: "Improving one isolated health parameter such as blood pressure does not necessarily make us healthier overall. Studies will not supplant the basic principles of living well." From the Atlantic.

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world? "An objective review of current knowledge places GM crops far down the list of potential solutions in the coming decades. We conclude that much of the research funding currently available for the development of GM crops would be much better spent in other research areas of plant science, e.g., nutrition, policy research, governance, and solutions close to local market conditions if the goal is to provide sufficient food for the world’s growing population in a sustainable way."

New Discovery Could Mean Making Fuel From CO2 In The Atmosphere: “Basically, what we have done is create a microorganism that does with carbon dioxide exactly what plants do-absorb it and generate something useful.” At the heart of it all is a tiny micro-organism called Pyrococcus furiosus, or “rushing fireball.”

Climate scientist Michael Mann, he of the hockey-stick graph, talks about being a target of the extra-crazy wing of the climate change denial movement.

My new favorite comedian, W. Kamau Bell, visited Minnesota recently, including an appearance on The Daily Circuit.

Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and 1493, was nominated for a National Magazine Award for State of the Species. It's subtitled "Does success spell doom for Homo sapiens?" Haven't read it all yet, but the beginning is very intriguing.

Free Public Transit critiques both Keynesians and "austerians," writing:
The debate we should be having is not whether government should build infrastructure, but rather which infrastructure it should build. Here is our plan for transition to permaculture:

make public transit fare free
gradually make cities car free
educate all children
full equality for women
gradually convert the suburbs to organic farms
keep the social safety net
Participatory budgeting on the federal level. Let's give it a try. Once people understand their taxes aren't spent half on foreign aid and half on "welfare," they become pretty reasonable.

Who knew? There is no average appearance to female genitalia.

How to Get a Black Woman Fired in Six Tired Steps -- Colorlines on the Adria Richards / PyCon / Twitter / SendGrid story.

The Atlantic gives the case against saving midcentury office buildings.

Why we should be expanding Social Security in this age of cutbacks.

Two pieces from the Inequalities blog. First, How Did Kools Become Black and Marlboros Become White? And Is There Life After Work? The Welfare State in a Future Without Jobs. What a great blog. Worth checking it out every week.

Food-waste-to-fuel infographic:

More on the Social Security disability story from NPR: This American Life Features Error-Riddled Story on Disability and Children.

Frackers are losing $1.5 billion a year to leaks. And those leaks aren't just money -- they're also methane, among the most potent of greenhouse gases.

Larry Lessig, a shining light of legal theory, presented a TED talk on his latest work on campaign finance reform and reclaiming the republic.

From the Pew Research Center: Why do people own guns? Self-protection is now the number-one reason, rather than hunting, which has always topped the list in the past. Fear rules as crime declines, despite the fact that people with guns in their homes are more likely to be shot with them than protected by them. Who does that serve?

From Scientific American: Turn Up the Juice: New Flywheel Raises Hopes for Energy Storage Breakthrough.

PBS's John Merrow probably regrets the somewhat fluffy profile he did of Michelle Rhee, now that he's found a memo that confirms she knew cheating was happening at 70 schools during her time as head of schools in Washington, D.C.

From the New Yorker: The Cultural Fight for Guns by Adam Gopnik. "Everyone, men especially, needs ego-accessories, and they are most often irrationally chosen."

From Science News: Discovery Opens Door to Efficiently Storing and Reusing Renewable Energy. "Electrolyzer devices use catalysts to drive a chemical reaction that converts electricity into chemical energy by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen fuels. These fuels can then be stored and re-converted to electricity for use whenever wanted."

It's not too many people -- it's too much consumption. "Two German shepherds kept as pets in Europe or the U.S. use more resources in a year than the average person living in Bangladesh." Want to make a bet that one German shepherd in the U.S. uses more than the two Europeans?

Food for the future: Perennial vegetables and grains. Watch for more on these as the years go by. From, the new environmental science emag at the University of Minnesota.

What if they could take the water out of fracking? From


pamohara said...

Daughter Number Three said...

Pam's like above is good for viewing, in case you're a person who suspicious of what might seem like an anonymous link.