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Genetically modified foods: asking the right questions

By Mike Loukides
September 10, 2013

A while ago, I read an article in Mother Jones: GM Crops Are Killing Monarch Butterflies, After All. Given the current concerns about genetically modified foods, it was predictable — and wrong, in a way that’s important. If you read …

Four short links: 20 October 2011

By Nat Torkington
October 20, 2011

Earth Turns 6015 -- my plan to celebrate on Saturday the amazing thing that is our universe. Scientists know humility, curiosity, and awe. All the scientists I know speak of their awe at the natural world. I'd like to see data scientists take a moment to soak in the complexity of a problem, appreciating it in all its tangled...

Four short links: 20 June 2011

By Nat Torkington
June 20, 2011

HD Video Recording Glasses (Kickstarter) -- as Bryce says, "wearable computing is on the rise. As the price for enabling components drops, always on connectivity in our pockets and purses increases, and access to low cost manufacturing resources and know-how rises we’ll see innovation continue to push into these most personal forms of computing." (via Bryce Roberts) Sketching in...

La Nina and global commodities

By Michael Ferrari
January 11, 2011

In the weather and climate community, 2010 will be remembered as a year where the strong La Nina pattern exerted a significant influence on global agricultural production.

Four short links: 25 October 2010

By Nat Torkington
October 25, 2010

Pirate Verbatim -- artists, in their own words, talking about piracy. The mix of opinions, attitudes, and nuance shows that there's far from any single consistent view out there. (via Graham Linehan) What Rapleaf Knows About You -- aggregating information from various sites, and your ad clickthroughs, to build a dossier about you that relates your email address to...

Weather data and the supply chain

Weather data and the supply chain
By Michael Ferrari
October 11, 2010

A forecast -- weather or otherwise -- is always a blend of art and science. Nothing is foolproof. But in this post, Michael Ferrari shows how simple analysis can reveal a connection between a weather event (La Niña) and commodity production (milk).

Four short links: 11 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 11, 2010

10 Essential iPad Apps for Publication Designers -- a couple of interesting new suggestions here, including the New Zealand Herald (hated at home for including a bloated intro movie, but with interesting article presentation), and Paris Match (adding interactive features to almost every story). (via Simon St Laurent) Cooking in Silico: Heat Transfer in the Modern Kitchen (YouTube) --...

Four short links: 31 August 2009

By Nat Torkington
August 31, 2009

CK-12 Textbooks Accepted by State of California -- kudos to open textbook non-profit CK-12 for having many of their textbooks okayed for use in classrooms. Their books did better than those from commercial publishers! (via Slashdot) Diagrammr -- web app to diagram simple sentences. (via brian on delicious) Noticings -- Noticings is a game of noticing things in cities....

Four short links: 26 August 2009

By Nat Torkington
August 26, 2009

Better BBQ Through Chemistry -- food is the perfect ground for geek training: there are measurements, there's science, it's easy to know whether you've succeeded, and you can eat all but the worst of your failures. (via BoingBoing) NoSQL (East) -- conference on East Coast for relationless databases. Human Brain Processing Speed -- clocked at 60bits/second, according to this...

Four short links: 5 August 2009

By Nat Torkington
August 6, 2009

Computers Unlock More Secrets of the Indus Valley Script -- Four-thousand years ago, an urban civilization lived and traded on what is now the border between Pakistan and India. During the past century, thousands of artifacts bearing hieroglyphics left by this prehistoric people have been discovered. Today, a team of Indian and American researchers are using mathematics and computer...

Food, Technology, and Energy

By chromatic
January 6, 2009

What are the true costs of getting fresh strawberries in Oregon in January? I don't know. Can we find out?

Thinking About Wendell Berry's "In Distrust of Movements"

By Tim O'Reilly
December 28, 2008

I'm just reading a Wendell Berry essay from 2000, entitled In Distrust of Movements, reprinted on a blog with the inspired name The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles. I was going to just tweet the link, but realized that more people need to read this, and I ought to quote more extensively. (I hope that fans of Michael Pollan's books like...


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