Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The drug is oil, topsoil, trees, metal, any resource that can be exploited. And the addiction is what we call "growth" or "progress" or, when we're really confused, "evolution." The addiction is the feeling, "not good enough, more, MORE, better, BETTER!" This is a great time for learning, because some people have billions of dollars and their craving is worse than ever. The crash will be a great time for learning because we'll see where a culture of increase leads.

I agree with Alicia that it would be wonderful to master a level of social and technological complexity above the stone age. But I don't think we're anywhere near that mastery. What that mastery will feel like is having an open liquor cabinet right next to you, and hardly ever thinking about it, and only taking a little drink now and then. What it will look like is humans all over the world keeping population, resource consumption, and technological complexity in a stable state, moving gently around a point of equilibrium, until the sun burns out, while the forests grow.
- Ran Prieur, November 1 2006

Nothing further.

Monday, November 13, 2006

BAE goes big on 'green' weapons

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Reduced-lead bullets and recyclable explosives are among the developments being put forward by arms manufacturer British Aerospace (BAE) as part of a major investment in ecologically-sound weaponry.

The company, one of the world's biggest arms-makers, says it has been making investments in creating products that reduce the collateral damage of warfare ...

Others include landmines that break down into manure, bombs that blow up *quietly* and, hmm let's see, fuel-efficient jet fighters. Awesome.

The idea behind the lead-free bullets, for example, is that if they get lodged in the environment, they "do not cause any additional harm".

Oh, Is That Right. "Lodged in the environment," you said?

Ms Allen said that this is partly a response to people becoming more environmentally aware.




found via Ran Prieur

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lasers is for healing.

Good news for sports stars with torn tendons. Research carried out by the US Department of Defense (DoD) shows that laser light can help heal such injuries. It could provide an alternative to glues, sutures or staples, which can all cause disfigurement and infection. And it might even be used to repair damaged eyes, its inventors claim.

DoD experts found that rose Bengal sodium, a dye commonly used to stain biological samples, absorbs light with a wavelength of 550 nanometres ...

Huh. I distinctly rememeber reading the US Navy has had some sucess with infra-red, which is of considerably longer wavelength. Still, is good either way, yes?


Oh, and just in case you were in any doubt as to the sanity of Japan ... here:


via Warren Ellis
Would just like to give a quick shoutout to the Japanese<->English Dictionary for being so excellent. Thank you.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hammering Shells Into Expresso Machines

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In his workshop in Mekele, just 120 km from Ethiopia's border with Eritrea, Azmeraw Zeleke is turning burnt-out shells into cylinders used in coffee machines. Most of the shells are left over from the 1998-2000 war between the two countries. "The shells were dropped in Ethiopia during the war with Eritrea," Mr Azmeraw says. He uses old mortar shells, which stand about one metre high, to make his coffee machines. Azmeraw Zeleke begins with a burnt-out shell. He then transforms the cylinder to channel the water, coffee and milk.

Uhh, The Warzone finds its own uses for things?

found via Posthuman Blues