Sunday, December 09, 2007

On my radar

Bizarre sightings

It's a sad day when even the National Renewal Energy Lab has to set goals for reducing carbon emissions. Don't they already use their own research results?

Apparently the best way to make sure you get a good's night's sleep is to, among other advice, get a good night's sleep. Hmmmm.

Cool science

I am obsessed with the lake under the ice at Vostok. Drill tips have been poised just above the top of the lake for years while scientists try to figure out how to sample the lake water without contaminating it. Here, they took a sample of ice from just above the lake. This contains water that had been in the lake but was sort of convected out during the freezing/thawing that goes on in such a bizarre body of water.

I haven't fully explored this dataset about biomes but I'm already totally enthralled. I'm fascinated by land use and how to categorize it and I think this has been long overdue.

Depressing science

Uneven changes in food prices, in which the healthy food gets far, far more expensive than the junk. I recently read When Work Disappears by William Julius Wilson, about the world of chronic joblessness in inner cities. It was pretty depressing, which probably explains why I've had it on my shelf for 10 years but never got around to reading it. Even sadder is that nothing has changed since it was written. Anyhow, one of the things which really rocked my world was the discussion of the institutional factors that influence joblessness. We all know the blue collar economy in the US changed from manufacturing to lower-paid service jobs, but the problem goes a lot deeper. US culture is obsessed with individualism, which can be good (freedom) but it can also be bad because it means we tend to blame focus on individual shortcomings while ignoring the external factors. I think the same can be said of our fixation on obsesity.

Toxic soup we live in. Infertility epidemic, anyone? Or how about: oops, lead is even worse than we thought!

Something good

And finally, so we don't get too depressed, this awesome post on joy.



Blogger amy said...

Thank you.

Blogger Chris said...

Heh, I don't see why the infertility thing should be a surprise to anyone. Hello! We are in the midst of a huge chemical experiment that we call modern life...

Blogger Midsummer night's knitter said...

Hi - I came to your blog via Ravelry. We are moving to Zurich in January, I was smiling about the spinning wheel and boxes of books that you brought - I daren't even hint at the size of my crafting equipment/stash.

Hope you had a great THanksgiving/have a great festive season.


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