Category Archives: BLOG & INTERESTS

Future Energy: Will buses be run on coffee?

“New sources of renewable or recyclable energy never stop surprising me. I have finally found a good reason to continue drinking coffee!”

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter – 15 June 2017

Green entrepreneur Arthur Kay wants the red buses that have become a landmark of London to run on fuel generated by coffee waste.

He runs Biobean, a start-up which is gathering waste from coffee chains such as Costa and converting it into liquid fuel.

The firm is due to unveil a coffee-run bus in the capital in a few weeks.

In London, the need to get cleaner air is vital – the dense road network coupled with high buildings make it one of the most polluted places in the UK.

Continue reading BBC article

Lost Jackson Pollock

“Stories that put a smile on our faces!”

By Nancy Coleman, CNN – Updated 1010 GMT (1810 HKT) June 13, 2017

A Jackson Pollock painting found in an Arizona garage could sell is expected to sell for up to $15 million at auction.

Story highlights

  • The Pollock painting is expected to fetch $10 to $15 million at auction
  • Auction house owner: “I was like,‘God, that looks like a Jackson Pollock’”

(CNN) The story sounds like something out of a film noir brought to life.

It has every element of a good mystery: a socialite who spent her days mingling with New York’s best and brightest, a lost painting found years later in an unexpected place, and — perhaps most notably — a potential $15 million price tag.

So when a rare Jackson Pollock painting was found in an Arizona garage, figuring out its origins wasn’t just about analyzing brush strokes. Like any good mystery, uncovering the painting’s history took tracking down the people behind it.

‘God, that looks like a Jackson Pollock’

The mystery began with a signed L.A. Lakers poster.

When a Scottsdale, Arizona, man was headed to a retirement home, a neighbor helping with the move found the collectible in the garage and suggested contacting an auctioneer to appraise it.

Josh Levine, owner of the auction house who was called to look at the poster, estimated the signed Lakers memorabilia would be worth about $300. But when they went to the man’s garage, what they found could be 50,000 times more valuable.

Continue reading CNN article

Ant Colony Structure

Ants are understood to form the second most complex societies on Earth after our own. Can we truly reduce such engineering to basic animal instincts or is there something more to it?

I was writing a poem metaphorically calling human beings ‘biped ants’ [see Social Animal] as they would appear from a far distance if someone were to look upon us from above, and as I searched for a visual to complement my words I stumbled upon this 2012 discovery.

anthill1
Ant Colony Structure retrieved by pouring molten metal into its tunnels

We have always been attracted by ants’ endless work and seemingly effortless labour; do they not know fatigue? We have also proceeded to pour liquid metal in their lairs in order to analyse the structure of their complex abodes, discovering fantastic structures so beautiful as to become bioart, as viewed in the picture above.

Yet this time, scientists in Brazil, led by Professor Luis Forgi, have uncovered a 46 square metre ant megalopolis, the biggest yet known to us, keen to be the equivalent for them of the Great Wall of China for us. A city with subterranean highways, paths and gardens, where each member has a role, from construction to fungus farming to waste disposal.

Check it out and bewilder in marvel for these extraordinary creatures, so small yet so mighty, which made to my surprise and satisfaction, my poetical metaphor all the more accurate.

Continue reading Ant Colony Structure

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

There are many things we think we know and take for granted until we are asked what they truly are. This has recently happened to me while engaging in conversations about human rights: rights that are ours for the sheer fact that we are human beings. There are 30 of them, (as I shamefully just found out), but I only could mention a few. So here is the condensed information I gathered through my humble research. [n.b.: none of the below is written by me]

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

THE STORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

THE DOCUMENT

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Continue reading Universal Declaration of Human Rights

GONE MISSING: Mr. Perspective – WANTED for crime: Mr. Media

Lives prematurely taken away by wars and related attacks are always a devastatingly sad and shameful event. As a human being, I for one am ashamed. Nonetheless I refuse to mourn European lives more than that of any other human being on the planet and I disagree with Mr. Media who wants me to. I call for equality and ask Mr. Media to proceed with his 24-hour special breaking-news high-rating edition on European victims of a “terrorist” attack on European soil. But I also ask him to increase his coverage of armed conflicts worldwide even at the cost of a lower share. To increase his coverage of what has become a manufacturing business with an average daily production of 146 “casualties” in its Syrian facility alone and 468, worldwide.

I want Mr. Media to be honest and unbiased, to carry out his duty and tell the truth. But that’s probably too naïf! He works for the private sector after all! Stakeholders and shareholders.

Honesty and perspective are needed. We cannot continue to act surprised and appalled if we do not even attempt to end armed conflicts globally and support a one trillion dollar a year, moneymaking weapon industry worldwide. In case Mr. Media had not told you yet, it is your money governments spend to arm themselves against “the enemy”. And it is those same weapons bought by governments that reach the hands of just about anybody, i.e., the highest bidder.

Continue reading GONE MISSING: Mr. Perspective – WANTED for crime: Mr. Media

Silent Applause

Premise: This is not an attack to the EU or other international institutions, rather a statement of consciousness and a critique of who we are and what we do, or ignore: A humble evaluation of our priorities.

To all those insisting to highlight the fact that ever since the European Union there have been no more wars between the members of the Union, hence defending the European Union as a political union rather than as originally intended (or claimed as intended) trade union, with the pretext that “Union” is better than “Division”, no matter what the Union actually is or does…

Registered death toll from wars since 1945, globally and not accounting for consequent famine, illnesses and, recently, “drowning” casualties:

12.741.458 human lives lost in 161 wars.

And just who do you think orchestrates and finances these wars? Who actually benefits from them? Whom do you think sells weapons all around the globe, left, right and centre?

Continue reading Silent Applause

Uomo

uòmo (ant. o pop. òmo) s. m. [lat. hŏmo hŏmĭnis] (pl. uòmini [lat. hŏmĭnes]). –

1. a. Essere cosciente e responsabile dei proprî atti, capace di distaccarsi dal mondo organico oggettivandolo e servendosene per i proprî fini, e come tale soggetto di atti non immediatamente riducibili alle leggi che regolano il restante mondo fisico: il problema dell’uomo è centrale nella massima parte delle religioni storiche e dei varî sistemi filosofici. Dal punto di vista biologico uomo è il termine con cui sono indicate tutte le specie di mammiferi primati ominidi appartenenti al genere Homo e, in partic., l’unica specie vivente Homo sapiens, caratterizzata da stazione eretta, pelosità ridotta, mani con pollice opponibile che consente la presa di precisione, grande sviluppo del cervello e del neurocranio, che sovrasta la regione facciale; si differenzia inoltre da tutte le altre specie animali per la complessità del linguaggio simbolico articolato, per l’alta capacità di astrazione e di trasmissione di informazioni per altra via che non sia l’ereditarietà biologica (trasmissione culturale).

Continue reading Uomo