Science is pretty weird. Nature is even weirder. If you had any doubts about this, just watch this video…
_______________________________________________________________________________ Robert Krulwich is a correspondent for NPR’s Science Desk, reporting on the intersections of science and technology with culture, politics and religion. His specialty is explaining complex news — economics, technology, science — in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining.
I’ve been showing TED talks in this space for quite a while now and all of them have been interesting and informative. It’s encouraging to watch and listen to so many bright and informed people talk about the planet, science, education and the world. Each of these presentations is a learning experience. The one shown here is special because it is done by an eleven-year old boy. What’s special about it is not his eleven-year old mannerisms or language. It’s his common sense and innate wisdom. If he could run for Congress he’s get my vote…
Birke Baehr: What’s wrong with our food system
Birke Baehr | TED | Aug 2010
_______________________________________________________________________________ At age 9, while traveling with his family and being “roadschooled,” Birke Baehr began studying sustainable and organic farming practices such as composting, vermiculture, canning and food preservation. Soon he discovered his other passion: educating others — especially his peers — about the destructiveness of the industrialized food system, and the alternatives. He spoke at TEDxNextGenerationAsheville in 2010.
Baehr volunteers at the Humane Society and loves working with animals.
A number of people have written to the NYTimes criticizing its participation in the release of thousands of State Dept documents. You might like to read some of them, along with the Times’ replies. For the most part they offer the refrain that official secrets are the life blood of democracy and that revealing them supports our enemies and threatens the lives of our troops (not to speak of diplomats revealed as spies.) I find these arguments ill-informed and somewhat doctrinaire. What Wikileaks, the Times and others have done is put governments around the world, including ours, on notice that the old days of government secrecy and duplicity are over. It will no longer work for leaders and diplomats to spout platitudes on the news channel while they plot against their citizens or other countries and leaders. If nothing else it will make it much harder for the George Bushes of the world to start wars based on innuendo and lies. If that’s all these leaks accomplish we owe the leakers a dept of gratitude for their responsibility and their citizenship.
Answers to Readers’ Questions About State’s Secrets
NYTimes | November 29, 2010
What Right Do You Have?
Q. It is not up to WikiLeaks, The New York Times, or any other entity to determine whether confidential United States government information should be shielded from the public. We elect leaders who, along with their trusted appointees and officials, analyze data and make such decisions. By subverting that process, The New York Times and WikiLeaks are undermining our entire electoral process.
Resorting to “somebody will do it anyway” rationalizations is pathetic.
In the second half of his weekly broadcast (after Admiral McMullen) Fareed Zacharia talks with David Stockman about the economic crisis facing America and the world. You may recall Stockman was Ronald Reagan’s budget director. In a recent 60 Minutes broadcast he basically said this nation is on a crash course to economic ruin. His message here is not just the same, it’s stronger. Very scary stuff. I hope either someone is listening to him or that he’s wrong. Unfortunately I doubt either is the case. In that event we’re all in much deeper trouble than we thought…
Israeli Government Documents Show Deliberate Policy to Restrict Food to Gaza
Saed Bannoura | International Middle East Media Center | 6 Nov 10
Documents, whose existence were denied by the Israeli government for over a year, have been released after a legal battle led by Israeli human rights group, Gisha. The documents reveal a deliberate policy by the Israeli government in which the dietary needs for the population of Gaza are chillingly calculated, and the amounts of food let in by the Israeli government measured to remain just enough to keep the population alive at a near-starvation level. This documents the statement made by a number of Israeli officials that they are “putting the people of Gaza on a diet”.
Calculation sheet from newly-released documents (image from Gisha)
Every once in a while you see or meet somone who blows you away with their brilliance and common sense. Dan Phillips is such a person. This man should be teaching architecture at Yale except he’s probably having too much fun doing what he’s doing…
Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
Dan Phillips | TED | Nov 2010
After the break: “One Man’s Trash”, Dan Phillips and the Art of the Possible. NYTimes | 2 Sept 09