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SHFT

SHFT
The architecture of energy like you've never seen it before From hydropower plants to nuclear waste storage containers, energy infrastructure plays a huge role in our daily lives, yet very few people know what these facilities look like from within. For nearly two years, photographer Luca Zanier traveled throughout Switzerland and Germany, obtaining restricted access to to capture insider views of energy systems. The results are collected in Space and Energy, a series that depicts the architecture of energy as we've never seen it before. From his artist statement: Nuclear power plants, coal-fired power stations, storage facilities for nuclear waste and other energy systems can at the same time intimidate and fascinate a visitor.

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Vertical vermiponics: research project combines worms with hydroponics The practices of hydroponics, aquaponics and windowfarming (which allows urban folks to grow food vertically using their home windows) and vermicomposting (creating compost with worms) have become familiar ideas to many green-minded people for some time now. But what about adding worms to the windowfarming equation? Professor Ken Rinaldo, director of the art and technology department at Ohio State University's School of Architecture, has combined aspects of these practices in an experimental research project called Cascading Gardens. Seen over at Inhabitat, the project employs what is called vermiponics, where worm waste is used to fertilize veggies. We've seen a few examples of this previously, but it's intriguing to see an instance where the power of worm waste is directly integrated in such a way, resulting in a smaller growing footprint. © Ken Rinaldo

UK BAP The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) was published back in 1994, and was the UK Government’s response to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which the UK signed up to in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. The UK was the first country to produce a national biodiversity action plan, and the UK BAP described the biological resources of the UK and provided detailed plans for conservation of these resources. Action plans for the most threatened species and habitats were set out to aid recovery, and national reports, produced every three- to five-years, showed how the UK BAP was contributing to the UK’s progress towards the significant reduction of biodiversity loss called for by the CBD.

James Bridle – Waving at the Machines James Bridle’s closing keynote from Web Directions South 2011 was a a terrific end to an amazing couple of days, but don’t despair if you weren’t there. You can watch a full length video, or even read a transcript with the bonus of all the links James refers to. And if you want to be there next time around, make sure you are one of the first to hear about Web Directions South 2013! Transcript

5 ways to get the most out of backyard chickens Chickens give us eggs, and those eggs are a great source of high-quality protein. But they can also give us so much more. Below are some innovative ideas from backyard and small-scale commercial chicken keepers that may help chooks to reach their full, productive potential. Chicken tunnels for low-work cultivationChickens love to peck, they love to scratch, they love to dig, and they love to eat all kinds of little weeds, bugs and beasties—not to mention food/crop waste. Oh, and they love to poop too. Tree of Life Web Project The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history (phylogeny). Each page contains information about a particular group, e.g., salamanders, segmented worms, phlox flowers, tyrannosaurs, euglenids, Heliconius butterflies, club fungi, or the vampire squid. ToL pages are linked one to another hierarchically, in the form of the evolutionary tree of life.

The New Aesthetic A GLIMPSE into the future of retailing is available in a smallish office in Hamburg. From there, Otto, a German e-commerce merchant, is using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its activities. The firm is already deploying the technology to make decisions at a scale, speed and accuracy that surpass the capabilities of its human employees.Big data and “machine learning” have been used in retailing for years, notably by Amazon, an e-commerce giant. The idea is to collect and analyse quantities of information to understand consumer tastes, recommend products to people and personalise websites for customers. Otto’s work stands out because it is already automating business decisions that go beyond customer management.

The Tiny Project: "Less house! More Life!" You know that tiny houses have become a big thing when they are actually randomly passing each other on the highway. Here you see Alek Lisefski's Tiny Project passing a Tumbleweed Tiny House, as he moves to California. © The Tiny Project Claire L. Evans: Greetings from the Children of Planet Earth In 1977, NASA sent a pair of unmanned probes named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 into space. Among the infrared spectrometers and radio receivers included on each probe were identical copies of the same non-scientific object: the Voyager Golden Record. Sheathed in a protective aluminum jacket, the Record is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images chosen to portray the diversity of life on Earth: bird calls, whale songs, the sounds of surf, wind, and thunder, music from human cultures, and some 55 greetings in a range of languages, alive and dead. Like lonely time capsules, the records, aboard their still-functioning hosts, have long since left our solar system. The official Voyager 2 Twitter reports that the probe is currently at 13 hrs 38 mins 08 secs of light-travel time from Earth, which makes it the farthest man-made object from Earth. And neither, of course, are we.

Vermiponics roundup: The beauty of worms in hydroponic gardens (Video) We know the benefits of hydroponic gardening, aquaponics and vermicomposting, and how practices like these can help the home gardener grow more food efficiently. Vermiponics combines the best of the three in a self-sustaining mini-ecosystem, using the castings of red wriggler worms as fertilizer. The idea is that the cultivated plants and worms mutually benefit each other, much like the fish would in an aquaponic system. Compared to an aquaponic system though, worms in a vermiponic set-up requires less water and maintenance than fish would, making it an advantageous operation. So if vermiponics is something you would like to try, then check out our mini-roundup of do-it-yourself vermiponics videos here, and feel free to suggest ideas or add your own vermiponics links in the comments below.

The Curious Brain What a wonderful Festival it has been! It was better and even more impressive than the one last year. Basically it was huge. So many presentation to see, so many people to connect. At one point you had to sacrifice which presentation to see over another one. I met so many awesome people B. How to pack a whole lot of living into 221 square feet One of the key limitations in the design of many tiny houses is the fact that they have to be built on trailer chassis. Many zoning bylaws have minimum building sizes to keep the riffraff out and the property taxes up; many building codes have minimum room sizes and other rules that make it very hard to build small. By having wheels, it becomes a recreational vehicle and it can sneak under a lot of radars. But it's really tough to design a decent space in an 8'-6" wide (exterior dimensions!) space. © Tiny House Build

How the Cloud Broke Open Source This could be a rather deep topic to broach, so I’ll cut to the point. The cloud broke open source. This is how. I’ll always be proud of my years in the dotcom world.

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