Some people absolutely love the Zeitgeist series of videos and other absolutely despise them. There are obvious reasons for the emotions evoked on both sides of the equation that the videos ask people to consider. One thing that is absolutely certain and pertains to this website, is that they are definitely asking society to ‘Changethethought’. Please find the time to watch the entire video because it may actually do just that.
“CitID is a project were designers and artists from around the world are encouraged to create a visual interpretation of the city closest to their heart. CitID is a non-commercial project. Our motivation is to create a one-of-a-kind library of designs that will inspire and hopefully create a better understanding of the world we live in.”
This looks like it could be an interesting project that could eventually make for an inspirational book. Submit something from your city today. I am thinking about putting something up for Denver at some point.
I have decided to post a TED talk every week from here on out. There is just so much good content on the TED website that it needs to be shared. Some of the worlds most intelligent people are speaking at TED about a lot of things I think we should all be thinking about.
Mark Bittman gives a talk this week about what is wrong with what we eat and how our diet is impacting our ability to live on our planet. It’s an excellent talk and in incredibly important topic.
TED is something I check a few times a week now every week. I feel kind of ridiculous for not having written about it yet. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED started in 1984 as a conference to bring about the brightest minds and most innovative thinkers from those 3 categories. The speakers are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (although there have been a few to run over). The TED website makes the best talks from the conference free to view. There are already more than 200 talks archived at the site making it a true resource for inspiration to just about anyone interesting in just about anything. I have watched videos about topics ranging from Cern’s Large Hadron Collider to speculations on how our world will end. It’s some of the most thought-provoking content I have found on the internet and it always leaves me truly inspired. It’s an amazing effort and offers a unique insight into some of our world’s deepest thinkers.
TED is committed to spreading ideas. Ideas that can help shift attitudes and hopefully help change the world. The TED conference is held annually in Long Beach, California.
You can learn more about TED at their home website along with the TED Prize. Before you go there, you can view just a tiny tidbit of some of the amazing things going on their by watching Johnny Lee transform a $40 Nintendo Wii remote into a digital whiteboard. It’s on the lighter side of speculating on how the world will end but still amazing nonetheless
Well, I apologize for the bad news today but there are some stories in circulation that deserve attention beyond the normal banality of our design scene. Another such story that just left me aghast today is the story of Josef Fritzl.
Fritzl is a resident of the small town Amstetten in Austria. At the age of 18 he drugged and imprisoned his daughter, Elisabeth for the next 24 years. During that time he repeatedly raped her which led to her in turn giving birth to 7 children as a result of the abuse. One of whom died because of inadequate care. The child who died of neglect was a twin whose body Fritzl disposed of by incinerating it in a furnace. 3 of the children had never seen daylight until they were recently released. One of the children is still in critical condition. Another may have permanent vision problems because of his inexposure to natural light. The last, at only 5 years old was elated to ride in the police car as he had only seen them on television and never in person. He appears to be in good health.
73 year old Fritzl was an electrical engineer who apparently used his skills to construct an elaborate basement dungeon under his family home that measured less than six feet high in some areas. He kept the space secure with a massive 660 lb concreted door fitted with an electric lock that could only be opened via a remote control that he kept on his person at all times. The living space had only 3 total cells and measured only around 650 square feet. 650 square feet for 24 years. It belies imagination. It wasn’t until the 19 year old child fell ill and had to be taken to a nearby hospital that the atrocity was uncovered.
The strangest twist was that Fritzl managed to keep the entire incident secret from his wife the entire time by forcing his daughter to write fake letters to his wife (her mother). He even brought 3 of the children out of the basement hell to be raised by him and his wife claiming his estranged (but really imprisoned) daughter had left them on the doorstep.
In accordance with Austrian law it appears Fritzl may only be facing a 15 year sentence. At the age of 73 he will most likely die in prison, which is well deserved in this case. I do not believe in the death penalty but I do think he should be sentenced to at least the same amount of time he robbed his daughter of and that would be 24 years. How a man could do this to his own flesh and blood is an amazing human tragedy.
This is just disturbing. Enough so that I had to post it here instead of on the sideblog. I was just shocked when I heard this and then saw the videos. Allegations have arisen that South Carolina Highway Patrol Police Officers have been using their vehicles to ram suspects. It’s bad enough to hear about something like this on the news but it gets even worse when you watch the actual dashcam videos of the officers engaging in the alleged behavior. How does something like this happen? We have more people in jail in this country than any other country in the entire world. What has gone awry in our culture? We pay our police officers with our tax money to protect us and uphold the law. This kind of behavior crosses the line from simply unacceptable to criminal and makes these officers no better than the suspects they are trying to capture. I know it is an easy leap to think all cops are bad when you see something like this but that just isn’t true. Most police officers are good people who live a life of difficult public service because they believe in what they are doing. The bad apples here shouldn’t spoil the bunch but videos of police brutality just keep surfacing. We need to turn the law back at these officers and make sure that if they are tried in civil court for these actions they are reprimanded and punished. They are risking peoples lives and there is just no excuse. None.
I was thumbing through Time Magazine tonight and stumbled across an article that really caught my attention. The topic was centered around the possibility of producing fuel from growing algae. I was intrigued immediately because algae is voracious. It grows very quickly and carries that lofty possibility of being highly sustainable. If one tenth of New Mexico, the part where no one lives, was converted into an algae farm from which we could attain fuel, it would be enough to sustain the entire United States.
Understandably algae has become the holy grail of the enthusiastic biodiesel community. It is quickly becoming a real hope at a possible resource to make a serious impact on fossil fuel consumption. So far research conducted at Utah State University has show that farmed algae can yield 10,000 gallons per acre.
A joint venture company called Vertigro Energy is growing the oil-rich algae by pumping it through plastic bags suspended in a greenhouse. The algae produced via this process is siphoned off so the lipids can be extracted and refined into a biodiesel fuel. Vertigro’s processing facility is located in El Paso, Texas. According to their Principal Scientist, Glen Kertz, the process can produce 100,000 gallons of oil per acre, per year. When you compare this to ethanol, which I think is a scam and a totally unrealistic fuel source, you see the real potential. Corn only yields about 20 gallons per acre.
I hope we begin pulling our heads, collectively out of our warmongering asses and start pushing some greatly needed funding towards researching alternatives like this. I think we have lost 8 years now fighting pointless wars and throwing money away. It’s time to pull ourselves back together and start taking it to our government to put money towards programs and research like this to start making some serious gains in sustainable energy. I think seeing what has happened to food and gasoline prices this week was a good kick start for the American public. Algae biodiesel isn’t a new idea, it’s been around a while but it is something that needs to be examined and it offers a realistic solution to looming problem that will effect all of us, worldwide.
Well today is the official date of Earth Day. What do you do on Earth Day? To be perfectly honest, I do not know.
WikHow has a nice little page that can help you figure out things you can do on Earth Day. I found it pretty useful and it answered some of my questions. It seems like it would be something of greater importance these days considering the heightened awareness of the possibility of an impending environmental crisis. I didn’t even realize it was Earth Day until I saw Google’s special little illustration at their home page.
Here is somewhere you can find out even a little bit more about it and what you can do.
A coworker alerted me to this disturbingly terrifying project today. I have to say it kind of sent me reeling a little bit especially when considering a group of people with the level of intelligence it would take to complete a project like this would get together to actually follow through with it. It sometimes sounds like our civilization and planet are in a lot more peril than most of us would like to consider. Whether or not any of this is right or we are totally nuts remains to be seen.
Apparently several of the seeds on our planet have been going extinct even faster than the fish and animal populations. According to Dr. Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, “Every day that passes we lose crop biodiversity. We must conserve the seeds that will allow agriculture to adapt to challenges such as climate change and crop disease.”
In order to combat this problem they have constructed the Svalbard International Seed Vault that will be carved deep into the frozen rock of an island not far from the North Pole. According to the architects the “fail-safe” seed vault will “gleam like a gem in the midnight sun,” signaling the priceless treasure within: seed samples of nearly every food crop of every country.
My question is what do they know that they aren’t telling the rest of us? If they really think it is worth the resources it would take to carve a gigantic vault into one of the most inhospitable regions of the entire planet, what is signaling the disaster that would provide just cause for such an insane project. I try to take the optimistic side when it comes to conspiracy theories but this definitely caught my attention. It’s just too bad our government could care less.
05/18 SENDAK PASSES The brilliant author and illustrator Maurice Sendak passed away last week at the age of 83 but will no doubt be remembered for generations to come for his amazing books such as Where the Wild Things Are.
04/12 ZIMMERMAN FACES MURDER In a case we’ve been following closely there is finally what we think is some good news to report. George ZImmerman, the man accused of killing the innocent teenager Trayvon Martin has been taken into custody and charged with second degree murder. At last there is some justice.
12/16 HITCHENS DIES Outspoken author and pundit Christopher Hitchens passed away yesterday at the age of 62 after succombing to a long battle with cancer. His honest and bravado opinion that rarely favored one side versus the other but was instead often a cry for ‘reason’ will be missed.
11/23 BURZYNKSI CLINIC Is there an alternative, non-toxic treatment for cancer? Dr. Stanislaw R. Burzynski seems to think so and has been experiencing higher rate of success than the current accepted practice of treating cancer.