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The Energy Report: The Guide to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

The Energy Report: The Guide to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

An illustrated report produced by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and AMO, the research wing of the architecture office OMA, presents a provocative scenario set in 2050 of a world run entirely on renewable energy. Two years in the making, the report features features maps, charts and images produced by AMO, and is bundled with a numbers-rich study by energy consultancy Ecofys. The Energy Report is unique in the way it combines rigorous scientific research and statistics with beautiful and evocative graphics, illustrating the way energy issues can—and should—be made accessible and engaging to a wider audience. The full report is available for download here.

RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems

plants, communication, botany, patabotany, mRNA, RNA trafficking

Certain parasitic plant species form symplastic connections to their hosts and thereby provide an additional system for studying RNA trafficking. The haustorial connections of Cuscuta and Phelipanche species are similar to graft junctions in that they are able to transmit mRNAs, viral RNAs, siRNAs, and proteins from the host plants to the parasite. In contrast to other graft systems, these parasites form connections with host species that span a wide phylogenetic range, such that a high degree of nucleotide sequence divergence may exist between host and parasites and allow confident identification of most host RNAs in the parasite system.


NSA/GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization

internet, network, security, NSA, GCHQ, exploit, 0day, ORB, HACIENDA, organized crime

every device is a target for colonization, as each successfully exploited target is theoretically useful as a means to infiltrating another possible target. Port scanning and downloading banners to identify which software is operating on the target system is merely the first step of the attack (Figure 8). Top secret documents from the NSA seen by Heise demonstrate that the involved spy agencies follow the common methodology of online organized crime (Figure 9): reconnaissance (Figure 10) is followed by infection (Figure 11), command and control (Figure 12), and exfiltration (Figure 13). The NSA presentation makes it clear that the agency embraces the mindset of criminals. In the slides, they discuss techniques and then show screenshots of their own tools to support this criminal process (Figure 14, 15 and 16).


Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You

hormesis, xenohormesis, antifragility, food, vitamins, antioxidants, exercise, health, diet, excess

Implicit in the research is a new indictment of the Western diet. Not only do highly refined foods present tremendous caloric excess, they lack these salutary signals from the plant world—“signals that challenge,” Mattson says. Those signals might otherwise condition our cells in a way that prevents disease. Another variant of the hormetic idea holds that our ability to receive signals from plants isn’t reactive and defensive but, in fact, proactive. We’re not protecting ourselves from biopesticides so much as sensing plants’ stress levels in our food. Harvard scientist David Sinclair and his colleague Konrad Howitz call this xenohormesis: benefitting from the stress of others.


Industry officials said that mainland China’s customs agency had notified companies that they were not allowed to ship to Japan…

“Industry officials said that mainland China’s customs agency had notified companies that they were not allowed to ship to Japan any rare earth oxides, rare earth salts or pure rare earth metals, although the shipments are still allowed to go to Hong Kong, Singapore and other destinations. But no ban has been imposed on the export to Japan of semi-processed alloys that combine rare earths with other materials, the officials said. China has been trying to expand its alloy industry to create higher-paying jobs in mining areas, instead of exporting raw materials for initial processing.”

Amid Tension, China Blocks Crucial Exports to Japan (viaiamdanw)

Confuse Students to Help Them Learn

education, confusion, clarity, teaching, intuition, presentation, learning

“It seems that, if you just present the correct information, five things happen,” he said. “One, students think they know it. Two, they don’t pay their utmost attention. Three, they don’t recognize that what was presented differs from what they were already thinking. Four, they don’t learn a thing. And five, perhaps most troublingly, they get more confident in the ideas they were thinking before.” Confusion is a powerful force in education. It can send students reeling toward boredom and complacency. But being confused can also prompt students to work through impasses and arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the world.


The Singapore Solution

Singapore, National Geographic, NatGeo, place, pyschogeography, food

Singapore can be a disconcerting place, even to the people who call it home, though they’d never think of leaving. As one local put it, “Singapore is like a warm bath. You sink in, slit your wrists, your lifeblood floats away, but hey, it’s warm.” If that’s so, most Singaporeans figure they might as well go down the tubes eating pepper crabs, with a couple of curry puffs on the side.


It doesn’t matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble…

“It doesn’t matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble guardians of the state. In both cases the assumption is that the secret agents know more than we do. But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.”


The Future Of Food, Mapped Out For The Next 10 Years

food, futures, future of food, IFTF

For the appetizer, the long table of guests shared bowls of seasonal salad from Graze the Roof, a vegetable garden located on the roof of Glide Memorial Church. The main course was a frittata with onions (served in a compostable box) from Sprig, a new dining-on-demand service founded by Nate Keller, Google’s former executive chef. Dessert consisted of lemon curd mousse with strawberries and mint, prepared with Nomiku, which bills itself as the first immersion circulator made for home cooks. These dishes have little in common, except for one thing: They all provide hints of our collective food future, as imagined by the Institute for the Future, which collaborated with Nomiku and Suppershare to put on the dinner.


IFTF: Global Food Outlook

food, food futures, IFTF, futures

The Global Food Outlook Program’s research and forecasts explore the tensions and possibilities of food futures, from people’s everyday food habits and choices, to the dynamics of global food markets, to the complex environmental issues that sustain food production. For seven years, we’ve worked with organizations and the public to bring systematic futures thinking to food system efforts around the world. Our long-term view encompasses multiple scales, levels of uncertainty, and radically different possible futures. We develop foresight to help others develop insight and take action toward impactful, transformative, resilient change.