Archive | February, 2013

Most Earth species ‘still unknown’, Brazil expert says

27 Feb

“We estimate that there are a total of around 13 million species (known and unknown) in the world,” says Thomas Lewinsohn, a renowned professor of ecology at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo state.

“Out of these, roughly 1.75 million species, including micro-organisms, plants, insects, bacteria and animals, have been described,” he told AFP in an interview.

And it would take 2000 years to describe them all.

via Most Earth species ‘still unknown’, Brazil expert says.

Why Victory Gardens Still Matter — Bonnie Plants

22 Feb

We need our own gardens so we can be victorious against agri-business.

Today, people are gardening for all sorts of victories: saving money, sharing with others, teaching themselves or their kids a skill, fighting hunger, promoting physical well-being, helping the environment. Gardening is the perfect cause and the perfect solution to many personal and larger-scale issues. Gardening is victory!

via Why Victory Gardens Still Matter — Bonnie Plants.

City Diplomacy – Organisation – City, Diplomacy, Sponsorship, UCLG, Conference, First World Conference, First World, The Hague, Peace Palace, cities, villages, local governement, governement, local

20 Feb

Seems a bit like C. Keil’s Global Organization of Democracies.

Founded in May 2004, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government. UCLG is the largest local government organization in the world. Representing over half the world’s population, the members of UCLG are present in 136 UN Member States. Over 1000 cities are direct members of UCLG, as well as 112 national associations which represent all the cities and local governments in a single country.

The main objective of the UCLG Committee on City Diplomacy, Peace Building and Human Rights is to promote the role of local governments in social cohesion, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.

via City Diplomacy – Organisation – City, Diplomacy, Sponsorship, UCLG, Conference, First World Conference, First World, The Hague, Peace Palace, cities, villages, local governement, governement, local.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food – NYTimes.com

20 Feb

So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.

via The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food – NYTimes.com.

Christopher Mitchell: We Need Spectrum for Our Communities | Mag-Net

14 Feb

Now, as the federal government decides how to allocate new spectrum that is becoming available, it has to make a decision. Should additional spectrum go to the big wireless carriers, should it expand the potential of unlicensed networks, or should there be a mix?

We think the highest priority should be setting aside spectrum that can be used to create low-cost tools that allow our communities to build their own networks. We do not need a more powerful AT&T or Verizon. Our ability to build networks has been limited by policies that restrict local authority to invest in networks and the monopoly power of incumbent operators. We have been hamstrung by federal policymakers that believe Internet access is best expanded by giving all the resources to a few massive companies controlled by Wall Street.

via Christopher Mitchell: We Need Spectrum for Our Communities | Mag-Net.

The Great State of Northern Virginia

14 Feb

The USofA is too tightly connected. More states would help:

Competitive federalism has many advantages.  Citizens can move to communities that better reflect their preferences for public goods, they can vote with their feet, thereby penalizing poorly performing governments, and they can serve as a salutary example for others by trying out new ideas in governing.

The Great State of Northern Virginia.