Linkinz not festivalz

I should have been at Glasto, watching Elbow as the sun set over Shepton Mallet. But no. So, here instead -

  • Anatomy of a virus: stuxnet. Fantastic little film.
  • Bali seed declaration: thousands of years of selective breeding means fuck-all if you can patent the gene and have international law on your side.
  • The physics of space shuttle re-entry: some of us are really, really clever monkeys. Amaaazing. Oh and an amazing picture too. Starting to sound like Brian Cox now.
  • What is consciousness: a nice range of idea-o-grammy things to bounce off.
  • Be a saver! Well - these days, the money would not so much be invested as be transmogrified into another dimension.
  • Oz sustainable jet fuel? It's certainly a hard place to get around without... unless anyone else is capable of building a decent train. (As seen on Andrew Marr's megacities...)
  • Blade runner's main title music, made for use in Goa, I think, but still (a) stunning music and (b) a reminder of just how stupidly good the film is.
  • Answer: corporate finance... what is the question?
  • They're climate fuckin' scientists apparently. Yo, and also, preach. Tony W's offended by the bad language too.
  • Handy wattage calculator. Possibly.
  • World Bank report on land-grabs... or 'global interest in farmland'. In one biofuel related project, Patel has some good quotes e.g. 'The lands affected are the main source of livelihood of the Massingir communities and used for livestock raising, charcoal production, and subsistence farming.' Just so we're clear on what's happening: people being kicked off their productive land so we can feed cars. Difference with highland clearances is what?
  • Education makes you more entrenched in your view of climate science, apparently. Interesting link at the bottom of that too, but taking a step back from this - makes me think of this recent piece. It's not the 'conversion' I'm interested in - just the idea that a conversation can happen between political opponents about the science, and that doing so might reveal hidden assumptions on both sides.
  • Some choice quotes William Hazlitt, 1820. Especially, 'They never give an inch of ground that they can keep; they keep all that they can get; they make no concessions that can redound to their own discredit; they assume all that makes for them; if they pause it is to gain time; if they offer terms it is to break them: they keep no faith with enemies: if you relax in your exertions, they persevere the more: if you make new efforts, they redouble theirs.' It does characterise a certain political approach, but it's not purely conservative: anyone who's spent time in leftie circles would spot that - it's just plain driven political ruthlessness, and that's nobody's monopoly.
  • Solar roadways and more recently a molten-salt solar plant in Spain: climate crocks is consistently good at spotting spirit-lifting innnovations.
  • Sci-fi covers!: whoooo. Actually, I've noticed (in my new life as a gamer of exactly average age, since this feckin' XKCD cartoon made me fall off the wagon) a resurgence of dreadful fantasy art in gaming ads.
  • Video: good example of the one-two punch: yup, it's not cheery, but all hope is not lost. Well - I mean, yes, it is: ultimately, the heat death of the universe; and the entirety of life on Earth is the merest sliver of time, etc... but still. Perspective. On that, Crocks again: bottom two vids is a classic case of scientists not quite knowing how they should talk to their friends and family.
  • Resalliance quotes: `Private companies will not invest time and money in practices that cannot be rewarded by patents and which don’t open markets for chemical products or improved seeds.' Obviously. But nice to see something written down clearly.
  • Paul Fusco’s photo essay on the aftermath of Chernobyl, via Lou Grinzo. If we're not trying to make weapons, can we make nuclear safe?
  • The real housewives of Wall Street in the Rolling Stone.
  • Republicans for environmental protection: 'true conservatives should realize that fiscal stewardship and environmental stewardship are two sides of the same coin. Both are required to fulfill our responsibility to future generations'.
  • High food prices: do farmers benefit?
  • Fact vs fraud in one bite-size chunk. Cf. my hope for constructive dialogue - this sort of thing not going to help, but of course it makes me feel better!
  • What price does Saudi Arabia need its oil to be if it wants to balance the budget? A question I'd not considered. Hmmph.
  • Proposed Solent oil refinery: discussed in the Lords in 1956. Got to this because it's in an old geography textbook - The site tightly links Esso, Monsanto (plastics), Union Carbide and International Synthetic Rubber ltd. Very large U.S. investment. When I say 'tightly links', there are pipes going between the various operations. I hadn't grasped before that Monsanto started out as a petro-chemical company. It's also interesting: this is early days for the Marshall Plan and the UK's role as the U.S' beach-head in Europe.
  • Opens PDF: what sort of chance do we have of predicting the future? E.g. steel frame buildings - changed how much?

Easter links


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