ORGANIC TRANSITIONS: Up on a Roof

2012 The Awakening

You don’t have to live in a rural area to crave locally grown foods. And you don’t have to move to the countryside to grow them.

More and more people are growing their own food. Either because they want to be more self-sufficient. Or because they want cleaner, healthier food. And the “grow-your-own” movement is finding creative ways to fit gardening into their schedules. And into common spaces.

In Japan, commuters can plant seeds and pull weeds while they’re waiting for their train to arrive. And they’re grooming their gardens right in the center of the world’s most populated city—Tokyo. Because Japan’s commuters can lease public garden space on the train station rooftop.

Tokyo isn’t the only city planting gardens on their rooftop. It’s happening all over the world, including in some American cities.

Read more about Tokyo’s train station rooftop farms

Check out this video of rooftop farms in…

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Fewer aphids in organic crop fields / Greater biodiversity in organic crop fields

ClinicalNews.Org

Organic Vegetable Boxes Organic Vegetable Boxes (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

The researchers found five times as many plant species and 20 times more types of pollinating insects in the 15 organic crop fields included in the study than they did in conventional fields.

Public release date: 13-Jul-2011

Farmers who spray insecticides against aphids as a preventative measure only achieve a short-term effect with this method. In the long term, their fields will end up with even more aphids than untreated fields. This has been reported by researchers at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg in the scientific journal PLoS One.

What’s the status of the biodiversity in differently managed triticale fields? This is what the biologists at the Department of Animal Ecology & Tropical Biology wanted to find out. Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye. The cultivation of this crop is on the rise across the globe, because it delivers good…

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Malcolm Gladwell and the 10,000-Hour Rule

The Hardest Science

A new paper out in Intelligence, from a group of authors led by David Hambrick, is getting a lot of press coverage for having “debunked” the 10,000-hour rule discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. The 10,000-hour rule is — well, actually, that’s the point of this post: Just what, exactly, is the 10,000-hour rule?

The debate in Intelligence is between Hambrick et al. and researcher K. Anders Ericsson, who studies deliberate practice and expert performance (and wrote a rejoinder to Hambrick et al. in the journal). But Malcolm Gladwell interpreted Ericsson’s work in a popular book and popularized the phrase “the 10,000-hour rule.” And most of the press coverage mentions Gladwell.

Moreover, Gladwell has been the subject of a lot of discussionlately about how he interprets research and presents his conclusions. The 10,000-hour rule has become a runaway meme — there’s even a Macklemore song about it. And if you google…

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A Different Way to ‘Do History’

Emma's History Blog

We’ve talked about digital history. Now let’s discuss spatial history, or better yet, the spatial humanities.What are the spatial humanities? It’s perhaps too abstract to adequately define, but, it is essentially another way of looking at, and presenting the humanities that involves abstract and physical space. I’ll use history as an example. Traditionally history has been presented through chronological events. Richard White from Stanford University suggests that won’t change, but by adding the ingredients necessary to help the reader or viewer visualize space, too, the historian provides a clearer picture of the past. Humanists can do the same, by utilizing GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology.

According to a recent book edited by David J. Bodenhamer, (read my book review here), The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship, the use of time and space can be maximized by implementing GIS technology into humanities scholarship. The Spatial…

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BATMAN pararescue team tests Google Glass

DefenseSystems report : Air Force’s BATMAN team testing Google Glass

The US Air Force’s BATMAN ( Battlefield Air Targeting Man Aided kNowledge ) pararescue team plans to implement the new technology into their operations.  The team is part of the 711th Human Performance Wing/Effectiveness Directorate.

From the 711th’s Fact Sheet:

“The men and women of the Human Effectiveness Directorate are responsible for developing the human-related technology for systems crucial to continued aerospace superiority. The staff also works to transfer the same or similar technology to civilian applications whenever appropriate. The directorate is organized into five divisions located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio,and Ft. Sam Houston,Texas.”

“Look Ma! I’m goin’ viral!” Researchers study the science of virality

The Science of Going Viral

In a recent study published by PLOS ONE, researchers from the US and Spain delve deeper into the ‘contagious spread of information’ and develop a model, they say, for accurately predicting future trends.

“We have a method that allows us to predict the future on Twitter,” says James H. Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at University of California at San Diego.

Olafur Eliasson showcases cheap solar-powered light at Coachella

Little Sun at Coachella

Artist and activist Olafur Eliasson showcased his Little Sun project at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival.  The solar powered LED lights are the result of a partnership between Eliasson, engineer Frederik Ottesen and Absolut Vodka.  Eliasson’s aim is to supply the 1.6 billion globals without electricity with access to cheap light.