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How habitable is the Earth? Growing Skyscrapers: The Rise of Vertical Farms. Together the world’s 6.8 billion people use land equal in size to South America to grow food and raise livestock—an astounding agricultural footprint.

Growing Skyscrapers: The Rise of Vertical Farms

And demographers predict the planet will host 9.5 billion people by 2050. Because each of us requires a minimum of 1,500 calories a day, civilization will have to cultivate another Brazil’s worth of land—2.1 billion acres—if farming continues to be practiced as it is today. That much new, arable earth simply does not exist. To quote the great American humorist Mark Twain: “Buy land. Foreign subtitles improve speech perception. Wednesday, November 11, 2009 Do you speak English as a second language well, but still have trouble understanding movies with unfamiliar accents, such as Brad Pitt's southern accent in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds?

Foreign subtitles improve speech perception

In a new study, published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, Holger Mitterer (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and James McQueen (MPI and Radboud University Nijmegen) show how you can improve your second-language listening ability by watching the movie with subtitles—as long as these subtitles are in the same language as the film. Subtitles in one's native language, the default in some European countries, may actually be counter-productive to learning to understand foreign speech.

Mitterer and McQueen show that listeners can tune in to an unfamiliar regional accent in a foreign language. Dutch students showed improvements in their ability to recognise Scottish or Australian English after only 25 minutes of exposure to video material. Jon's shtick on The Daily Show. No pain, no gain: Mastering a skill makes us stressed in the mom. No pain, no gain: Mastering a skill makes us stressed in the moment, happy long term Sunday, November 1, 2009 No pain, no gain applies to happiness, too, according to new research published online this week in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

No pain, no gain: Mastering a skill makes us stressed in the mom

People who work hard at improving a skill or ability, such as mastering a math problem or learning to drive, may experience stress in the moment, but experience greater happiness on a daily basis and longer term, the study suggests. "No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something," said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University. The White House’s war with Fox News. In 2008, half the people who watched the Fox News Channel were over sixty-three, which is the oldest demographic in the cable-news business, and, according to a poll, the majority of the ones who watched the most strident programs, such as Sean Hannity’s and Bill O’Reilly’s shows, were men.

The White House’s war with Fox News

All that chesty fulminating apparently functions as political Cialis. Fox News shows should probably carry a warning: Contact your doctor if you have rage lasting more than four hours. By effectively cornering the market on anti-Administration animus, Fox News has had a robust 2009 so far, and the recent decision by the White House to declare war on the channel is not likely to put a dent in the ratings.

IBM Debuts Food Traceability iPhone App. Today at the IBM Information on Demand event, IBM will demo a new app that will bring the Internet of Things to the iPhone.

IBM Debuts Food Traceability iPhone App

The as yet unreleased iPhone app is called Breadcrumbs and it will give consumers access to information about grocery food items. The app will be able to scan barcodes and deliver a summary of the ingredients in a food item, along with when it was manufactured. That data is usually on the food label, but Breadcrumbs goes a step further - it can provide extra information such as product recall data. If a product has been recalled in the past, this app will tell the consumer all of the relevant details.

Breadcrumbs is able to scan barcodes using the iPhone's camera. IBM told ReadWriteWeb that when 4G becomes common place in mobile phones, then apps such as Breadcrumbs will become more powerful and be readily used on-the-fly by consumers when grocery shopping. A Natural Obsession. Stereotypes can fuel teen misbehavior. Wednesday, October 21, 2009 Drinking.

Stereotypes can fuel teen misbehavior

Drugs. Atheism: class is a distraction. Reading through some of the contributions on class and atheism I am struck by a glaring omission.

Atheism: class is a distraction

Brown's opening salvo has been to argue that atheism can be a class thing worn for the status it presumably imparts in certain circles – thus implying that there might not be an intrinsic, intellectual reason for choosing atheism. The Chemistry of Information Addiction. Where's the Beef? Primary Sources.

Where's the Beef?

Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis. Authors: Ellen Nolte, Ph.D., and C.

Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis

Martin McKee, M.D., D.Sc. Journal: Health Affairs, Jan. /Feb. 2008 27(1):58–71 Contact: ellen.nolte@lshtm.ac.uk Summary Writers: Deborah Lorber In the Literature In a Commonwealth Fund-supported study comparing preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries, researchers found that the United States placed last. In "Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis" (Health Affairs, Jan. The concept of amenable mortality was developed in the 1970s to assess the quality and performance of health systems and to track changes over time. U.S. Between 1997–98 and 2002–03, amenable mortality fell by an average of 16 percent in all countries except the U.S., where the decline was only 4 percent. The largest reductions in amenable mortality were seen in countries with the highest initial levels, including Portugal, Finland, Ireland, and the U.K, but also in some higher-performing countries, like Australia and Italy. Many Lives in U.S.

7 Widely-Used And Open Source E-Learning Applications. Whether it is a university like Albertus Magnus, a company or any other organization, e-learning is a great way to spread knowledge & measure the results efficiently (in means of time & money). There are various open source e-learning applications that can be installed easily, have a wide user community & offers a complete system. Here are 7 of them which you will like: eFront eFront is a complete e-learning software with a good looking Ajaxed interface. It enables admins to create & manage lessons easily with various tools like: