All posts filed under: science

selection of NZ Artisan honeys

Wild Thymes, Honey

I’ve been seduced by a terroirist network known as New Zealand Artisan Honey, made up of passionate beekeepers producing honeys in small, quality batches from specific varietal sources among some of New Zealand’s most spectactular locations.

What does the Global Climate Crisis have in common with the Loch Ness Monster ?

A. Both are fictional. Or at least highly speculative. No. We’ve already established that. B. Both indicate danger, especially around bodies of water. Sure, but we’re looking for a more specific answer. C. How about tree-fitty. Exactly! Tree-fitty. What’s tree-fitty? Loch Ness Monster: $3.50 Global Climate Crisis: 350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. Where are we now? About 385. Learn more, connect with others and take action at the newly relaunched 350.org founded by Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy (one of the most compelling and inspiring books I am reading right now.)

links for 2008-03-04: Secrets of Happiness and Hyperbolic Geometry

Want to Save a Coral Reef? Bring Along Your Crochet Hook The Institute For Figuring‘s Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project embodies “conecptual enchantment,” the “beauty and creativity that comes out of scientific thinking.” As it turns out, the gorgeously crenellated and undulating corals, anemones, kelps, sponges, and slugs that live in the reef have what are known as hyperbolic geometric structures: shapes that mathematicians, until recently, thought did not exist outside of the human imagination. They’ve got a hyperbolic crochet cactus garden touring too. Ahh…. we thought these hyperbolic crochet shapes looked familiar. It’s what Bjork’s been sporting lately with the release of Volta. Go Bjork! (tags: enchantment”) Emory Magazine: Winter 2008: Why is This Man [the Dalai Lama] Smiling? Good summary of study of happiness findings following Dalai Lama visit to Emory. (tags: happiness eudaemonia dalailama flourishing depression)

links for 2008-02-20

Welcome to the National Bitter Melon Council! Love eating bitter gourd/ bitter melon in Bhutan and China… Looking forward to studying this beautiful reference to all things bitter melon and figuring out what to do with it at home. (tags: bittermelon food cooking) The Wild Side: When Life Goes Cloudy Olivia Judson asks what’s it like living on a cloud? There’s some wild microbial life going on there. Living conditions, nutritional information and lots of good questions. (tags: microbes life cloud atmosphere sky) MIT Media Lab + Sustainable South Bronx = SSBx FabLabâ„¢ SSBX is partnering with MIT to bring a FabLAB (Fabrication Laboratory) to the South Bronx. FabLAB is an international project started at MIT Center for Bits and Atoms , aiming to bring digital fabrication, to ordinary folks for solving community problems. (Thanks and congratulations, Paris!) (tags: sustainablesouthbronx mit medialab fabjects fablab digitalfabrication community) Ecolect – A Sustainable Materials Community (tags: community sustainable design materials)

links for 2008-02-19: Your Inner Fish

So looking forward to reading Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin, after these two fascinating articles on it today: Hiccups are Your Inner Fish Breathing Consider hiccups. These spasms in our diaphragms are triggered by electric signals generated in the brain stem, which we inherited from amphibian ancestors who emit similar signals to control their gills. Hiccups are the same phenomenon as gill breathing. What People Owe Fish: A Lot Our inner fish extends beyond physicality. New research reveals that many fish display a wide range of surprisingly sophisticated social behaviors, pursuing interpersonal, interfishal relationships that seem almost embarrassingly familiar. “Fish have some of the most complex social systems known,” Michael Taborsky, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said. “You see fish helping each other. You see cooperation and forms of reciprocity.” (tags: NeilShubin YourInnerFish Hiccups Breathing Gills fish BrainStem amphibians evolution)

links for 2008-02-12: connect the dots la la la la

Todays links are about freedom of communication across the globe — from kids posting video in Uruguay to people coming together to create free wifi networks in sydney, australia and wellington, new zealand. Valentines greetings from scientists. Robotic insects. Social networking’s ad revolution. Pixish, a new kind of marketplace for photography.

NextCity: The Art of the Possible

Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, Speedbird, Urban Computing and its Discontents, and the upcoming The City is Here for You to Use, moderated an excellent panel discussion that included Christian Nold (who we loved at Pop!Tech), Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design, and J. Meejin Yoon of MY Studio and Howeler + Yoon Architecture. Here are the notes I took during the talk.

The Factory of the Future (Now) with Adrian Bowyer

Adrian Bowyer demonstrating RepRap version 1.0 “Darwin” at Pop!Tech 2007. Photo by Medea Material, some rights reserved. Adrian Bowyer presented RepRap, an erector set that will change the world, as part of the “Innovation from the Bottom Up” panel at Pop!Tech 2007. This open source, self-replicating rapid-prototyping machine uses a biodegradable material, polylactic acid, made from fermenting starch. This means you can use local resources to make and supply it, then compost the articles when you’re finished to fertilize crops for future batches of material. This deeply subversive technology makes manufacturing more like agriculture and brings it to everyone. If widely adapted, it would lead to more great products but less need for factories, goods transport and fossil fuels. It might even make a dent in the entire concept of money. Version 1.0 “Darwin” can produce simple plastic products, but the next generation in development will be able to build electromechanical devices as well. Technorati Tags: design, poptech2007, rapidprototyping, sustainability

Exploring Consensual Hallucinations with Christian Nold

Recommended musical accompaniment: Joga (iTunes | Amazon) by Björk Stockport Emotion Map by Christian Nold, from presentation on “The Human Impact” at Pop!Tech 2007 conference. Christian Nold looks at cities… differently. Most people go around cities with their head down. 50% of people live in them, yet they are more a concept than anything else. Nold posits cities are a consensual hallucination. Historically, maps personified rivers and trees, and activities were embodied within the artful human-scale maps. How can we represent people again and all their human interactions? Nold has been exploring these ideas through biomapping, participatory sensory mapping, for the last 4 years. The first projects began with blindfolding people and having them explore their local area. The main thing they noticed was smells. Now he uses a biomapping device that measures physiological arousal, how are bodies react to the world. Chris Nold’s biomapping device consists of a Galvanic Skin response sensor/data logger and a commercial GPS unit. The data is then loaded into Google Earth. The resulting maps show where people feel excited …

Deep Thoughts with Claire Nouvian

Recommended musical accompaniment: Deep Water (iTunes) by Seal Claire Nouvian sailing in Penobscot Bay for a session on “Oceans in Balance” at Pop!Tech, off the coast of Maine. (More photos from Pop!Tech 2007) Claire Nouvian, a documentary filmmaker, thinks really deep thoughts about the ocean and its inhabitants. She’s especially concerned about how we relate to ecosystems that are far removed from our own. Even though oceans represent about 99% of the planet, they have only been looked at in detail since the 1950’s, and we’ve only sampled about 0.5% of the surface. The ocean remains the last frontier. Nouvian’s journey began in 2001 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where she was blown away by an exhibition of “Mysteries of the Deep.” She couldn’t believe the beautiful creatures she was seeing were real and not some computer generated 3D aliens. She set out to tell the world this stuff exists, making a documentary and book. Because the deep sea is remote both horizontally — you have to go over the continental shelf before …