Archive for September, 2010
Graffiti is usually regarded as negative, unnecessary, and costly, but every once in a while you see some uplifting graffiti that makes it all seem worth it. Everyone needs to hear some positive words now and then, so seeing a little random piece encouragement can go a long way. We found some examples of vandalism that don’t even seem like vandalism because they make you feel so good. Which ones would you not mind seeing in your community?
Shouldn’t we all be laughing more while we have sex? (May not be safe for work))
Sex has notoriously been a difficult, dare we say “touchy,” subject to discuss, so for generations there have been guidebooks about human sexuality such as the classic “Our Bodies Our Selves.” Now, from writer Mike Sacks (McSweeney’s, Vanity Fair) and his comedy-writing group “The Pleasure Syndicate”, consisting of Scott Jacobson (“The Daily Show”), Todd Levin (“The Tonight Show”), Jason Roeder (The Onion), and Ted Travelstead (Esquire) comes “Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk,” a humorous sexual guidebook for the 21st century.
…Whether it’s a road under heavy traffic or commuters pounding the sidewalk pavement, micromovements on any surface can be converted into clean energy by power-scavenging devices fitted with piezoelectric (PE) crystals. These pressure-sensitive materials — normally made of ceramics — give off a small charge when “squeezed, squashed, bent, or slapped,” explains Markys Cain, a materials scientist at the British National Physical Laboratory. (“Piezo,” by the way, is derived from the Greek for “press” or “squeeze.”) So a PE layer slotted beneath a supermarket parking lot could, for example, use the movement of customers’ cars to power checkout conveyor belts or pump that free electricity back into the grid. Here’s how these sparky substances will be turning vibrations into volts.
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“Optimism is a political act. Those who benefit from the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better. In fact, these days cynicism is obedience.” — Alex Steffen
In 2008, Sweet Water Organics began the transformation of an abandoned industrial building into a showcase of potential living technologies and urban agriculture. We strive to become a resource for job creation and use of urban settings.
What is the defining myth of our times? I’ve heard our culture described as materialistic, but we don’t seem to love the material world all that much. I’ve also heard our philosophy labeled as “the myth of fact.” Although I do see the academic world mad in its pursuit of facts, all carefully defined and counted, I think more simply that we are devoted to the myth of things.
Instead of hoarding information to advance their careers, scientists make their data public quickly. As a result, there’s progress in fighting Alzheimer’s for the first time in quite a while.
In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain.
Now, the effort is bearing fruit with a wealth of recent scientific papers on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s using methods like PET scans and tests of spinal fluid. More than 100 studies are under way to test drugs that might slow or stop the disease.