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“For several years, U.S. officials have been searching and seizing laptops, digital cameras, cell phones and other electronic devices at the border with few publicly released details. Complaints from travelers and privacy advocates have spurred some lawmakers to question the U.S. Customs and Border Protection policy.”
Article via Denver Post on various states use of “Terrorism Liaison Officers” for example: to catch people taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent aesthetic value…” to name one disturbing thing covered… ugh
“The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.
The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.
This week, more than six months later, the E.P.A. is set to respond to that order by releasing a watered-down version of the original proposal that offers no conclusion. Instead, the document reviews the legal and economic issues presented by declaring greenhouse gases a pollutant.
Over the past five days, the officials said, the White House successfully put pressure on the E.P.A. to eliminate large sections of the original analysis that supported regulation, including a finding that tough regulation of motor vehicle emissions could produce $500 billion to $2 trillion in economic benefits over the next 32 years.” via nytimes
“As gas prices climb, people who once considered an exurban commute are now considering center-city living.”
Which is what Europeans have mostly lived for thousands of years. Leaving regional and local country land for local food production. Indeed, this was the way it was in the U.S. until the later half of the 20th Century.
“The final piece of the banana pricing equation is genetics. Unlike apple and orange growers, banana importers sell only a single variety of their fruit, the Cavendish. There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas — most of them in Africa and Asia — but except for an occasional exotic, the Cavendish is the only banana we see in our markets. It is the only kind that is shipped and eaten everywhere from Beijing to Berlin, Moscow to Minneapolis.
“But there’s a difference between a banana and a Big Mac: The banana is a living organism. It can get sick, and since bananas all come from the same gene pool, a virulent enough malady could wipe out the world’s commercial banana crop in a matter of years.
This has happened before. Our great-grandparents grew up eating not the Cavendish but the Gros Michel banana, a variety that everyone agreed was tastier. But starting in the early 1900s, banana plantations were invaded by a fungus called Panama disease and vanished one by one. Forest would be cleared for new banana fields, and healthy fruit would grow there for a while, but eventually succumb.” from nytimes
“SIMON MARKS: The increasingly assertive approach of Brazilian musicians to the global market comes at a time when the country is flexing its muscles on the international stage.
Brazil today is seeking a larger role at the United Nations, in world trade talks, and in its own region. And many musicians see themselves as cultural ambassadors of a Brazil that has changed.
Rio-based singer-songwriter Celso Fonseca is one of those Brazilian artists who believe it’s important to reach audiences in the USA, whatever the cost. The music he plays is known here as MPB, Brazilian popular music, that finds its roots in the Bossa Nova, the samba, and also Brazilian folk and rock.
"Feriado" means "Holiday." It’s the title track of his new album and is a ballad whose subject vows to abandon his cell phone and whisk his lover away for a day in the sunshine. Fonseca has toured the U.S. several times and says he is as intrigued by U.S. audiences as he hopes they are now by him.”
“The study found that these shower curtains contained high concentrations of phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive effects, and varying concentrations of organotins, which are compounds based on tin and hydrocarbons. One of the curtains tested released measurable quantities of as many as 108 volatile organic compounds into the air, some of which persisted for nearly a month. Seven of these chemicals, which include toluene, ethylbenzene, phenol, methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), xylene, acetophenone and cumene, have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous air pollutants, said Stephen Lester, the CHEJ’sscience director and a co-author of the report.” via LA Times
“At the California College of the Arts (CCA) two-week Summer Institute in Sustainable Design you will gain first-hand experience in sustainable design concepts and practices through direct interaction with nature in Point Reyes. You will then learn how to apply this knowledge in the urban environment of San Francisco.
Unlike the typical “talking head” conference, the CCA Summer Institute offers a focused, relaxed atmosphere for learning about sustainable design from working professionals, experienced practitioners, and instructors from CCA, Stanford, MIT, and other top academic institutions in the United States and England.
Institute instructors and speakers are pioneers in the advancing field of sustainability and are eager to share their expertise and experience with you.”
At Point Reyes and San Francisco
They really needed to promote this 6 or more months in advance. But looks great (and expensive).
“Evolution as a principle is not disputed in the scientific mainstream, where the term “theory” does not mean a hunch, but an explanation backed by abundant observation, and where gaps in knowledge are not seen as grounds for doubt but points for future understanding. Over time, research has strengthened the basic tenets of evolution, especially as advances in molecular genetics have allowed biologists to read the history recorded in the DNA of animals and plants.”—Opponents of Evolution Adopting New Strategy - NYTimes.com
Stick to middle of this video for Cass Sunstein commenting on serendipity of news print versus the non serendipitous nature of Web and other media. I absolutely agree. He mentions the importance of the image next to the text. Well, that’s graphic design! The ease of zooming in and out on the iPhone for web pages and looking at details, in much the way we do with printed matter, is really the way to go. Apple? Next Safari can do this perhaps?
“Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable — a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional. To be able to think through and grasp explanations — for everything from why the sky is blue to how life formed on earth — not because they are declared dogma but rather because they reveal patterns confirmed by experiment and observation, is one of the most precious of human experiences.” Brian Green Professor of physics at Columbia via nytimes
An excellent read.
Now, change the word science to design. Virtually the same for most of this editorial. Interesting don’t you think?