Monday, August 25, 2014

Interesting links for August 2014

I'm trying to aggregate things together then post.
Links to interesting pages, videos etc I came across in August 2014:

A vision of food for all
Kauai girl drafts bill calling for community food forests

Where and how to get free labor, what to expect from volunteers, and why it's totally worth it.

Bolivia declares Israel a terrorist state

Eminent scientists have written to @narendramodi cautioning against GM field trials. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/scientists-oppose-experiments-on-gm-crops-569386

The First Man-Made Biological Leaf Turns Light and Water Into Oxygen








Schoolgirl becomes a 'water ambassador' : Delhi 12th std girl sets up water purifiers for communities that lack access to clean drinking water.

 Restaurant in Toronto, Canada  staffed by deaf waiters, started by Anjan Manikumar
 
 Elon  Musk, Tesla Motors open-source all their patents, to spur the electric vehicle industry and assure that anyone using their technology will not get sued or have to pay any royalties.
 
 Dominated by Tiger Moms, cram schools and highly authoritarian teachers, South Korean education produces ranks of overachieving students who pay a stiff price in health and happiness. The entire program amounts to child abuse. It should be reformed and restructured without delay. 
 
 
There is a very systematic effort to discourage farming by promoting the idea that small-scale farming is not viable and Ekta Parishad has always taken the opposite stance. We have maintained that giving land to the landless is the only way for a long term sustainable solution for landless families to come out of poverty, achieve food security and feed the nation. The added benefit is that this is the way to counter climate change as well. This UN Report confirms what we have been saying for a long time." - Ravi Badri
 
 
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers are set to lend their helping hand in making Bangalore free from garbage. As part of this initiative, the AAP volunteers are launching - Freedom from Garbage - an initiative to segregate waste at source Read: http://goo.gl/uO1hoN

http://althealthworks.com/1309/a-million-pounds-on-three-acres-urban-farmer-proves-that-small-scale-farming-can-feed-the-world/ A Million Pounds on Three Acres: Urban Farmer Proves That Small Scale Farming Can Feed the World

एक स्कूल जो आत्मनिर्भर बनना सिखाता है


 Chris Hedges
Elites Will Make Gazans of Us All




On using piped gas:
the blasts killed at least 25 people and revised the number of injured to 267. Four firefighters who rushed to the scene after residents smelled gas were among those killed in the blasts.


This week, scientists made a disturbing discovery in the Arctic Ocean: They saw "vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor,"



Internet literacy



Green game-changers


GM BT-Corn no longer resistant to pests:



More Proof The Music Industry Is Fake
Software "Autotune" increasingly used to alter artists' vocals to match music


Net metering:
Delhi's 1st solar tariff this month - Aug 9, 2014

THE OTHER ILLITERACY -- The Indian road to unsustainability - Ramachandra Guha, 9 Aug 2014, telegraphindia
Excerpt: "The study estimated that in the year 2009, the cost of environmental degradation in India was about Rs 3.75 trillion, equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the gross domestic product. In other words, if the air had not been so polluted, if the forests had not been so rapidly felled, if the soil had not become so toxic or saline owing to over-use of chemicals, if water sources had remained uncontaminated and so on - in that case, India would have added more than five percentage points to its annual growth rate. "


Quick guide to the swiss elections:

Ecotopia emerging: sustainable forests and healthy livelihoods go hand in hand




A remarkable piece on a remarkable man Debal Deb whose mission is to protect India's stunning diversity of rice, shared here because of the intricate links between biodiversity, food security, farmers and water. "The communitarian ethos defining Deb's work contrasts sharply with agricultural policymaking, where the voices of the small farmer-the largest group of Indians-are often impossible to detect."
He particularly sought out areas that were remote, un-irrigated, and had marginal farmers who could not afford chemical inputs and seeds from the market. "The places Indian elites like to call 'backward', such as tribal areas, were those with the greatest chances of having retained these varieties over time," says Deb. "When I would find such a variety, I would ask the farmer's family for a handful, explain why I wanted it, thank them for preserving a vital part of our heritage, and urge them to not give up cultivating it.
Deb counters the official argument that indigenous varieties result in inferior yields: "I have several varieties which outperform the so-called high-yielding varieties." High yields do not ensure food security, he reminds, pointing out that India is home to record stockpiles of rice and wheat, as well as a quarter of the world's undernourished. Over lunch-greens, vegetables, dal and rice combining eight different varieties from the farm-Deb asks if we can evaluate our heirlooms in money. "Imagine a unique painting, a sari...an ornament which has been in your family for 200 years-would you sell it off to make money?" he asks. "That's how these indigenous rice varieties are-they are our culture."




Hamas is practically Israel's agent, empowered, enriched and installed by Israel to weaken Hezbollah and hijack the original Palestinian movement for self-determination. Replaced a legitimate civilian struggle with a violent militant group pretending to be fighting for their cause. Hamas co-operated with Israel fully in this conflict... dutifully violating cease-fires and launching completely useless and pointless rockets every time, as if on cue, so that IDF's next murderous bombing run and indiscriminate killing round can be justified. If it wasn't for Hamas behaving so contrarily and irresponsibly, Israel wouldn't have been able to get away with the Nazi-level atrocities they've committed.






Jeffrey Smith Challenge to Neil deGrasse Tyson Short - The Institute for Responsible Technology

"people don't destroy evidence that proves their innocence. They only destroy evidence that proves their guilt."


"The government of India we inherited with our independence has not changed its character or spots even after the transfer of power from the British. It remains a foreign institution, an exotic implant. It has no connection with our political or justice traditions, our cultural history. Thus, while it is required to enforce a constitutional mode of development, it continues by way of habit to implement the older colonial form of development whose interests have always been contrary to the country's interests."


THE ONE QUESTION ABOUT EBOLA THAT NOBODY CAN SEEM TO ANSWER
How is it possible that more than 170 health workers have been infected?
" We are just assured that Ebola "is not airborne" and that getting infected "requires close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person".  If this is true, then how have more than 170 health workers caught the disease?  These workers are dressed head to toe in suits that are specifically designed to prevent the spread of the virus.  So how is this happening?  I could understand a handful of "mistakes" by health workers, but this is unlike anything that we have ever seen in the history of infectious diseases.  These health workers take extraordinary precautions to keep from getting the virus.  If it is spreading so easily to them, what chance is the general population going to have?"


A different, longer-term take on the ISIS engulfing Iraq


The coexistence of several different nationalities within a larger state where different peoples, cultures and worldviews exist and are recognized.
A plurinational state is formed by political and administrative decentralization, wherein the administrative system is culturally heterogeneous and allows the participation of all the social sectors and groups. The elements of a plurinational state include being plural, redistributive, antibureaucratic, and a democracy that defends solidarity. It also has the following additional characteristics: decentralization, autonomy, sustainability, equality, and diversity.


Himachal Pradesh makes restrictions for farmers and milk sellers : they all now need a food license to be allowed to sell their food.

PM Modi being dictatorial

Drastic changes in police behaviour in one day in a US town where people were protesting against fatal shooting of an innocent black teenager.
First night they were all in riot gear and military equipment and attacked peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets, tensions really escalated.
Then, the highway patrol was put in charge. Next day, all armour masks etc off, the same police freely mingled with the protesters and joined them peacefully. Massive change in the whole town atmosphere in just one day.
EDIT : This seems to be a cover-up / hasty conclusion story. The bad cops were back after that and things have been really spiralling out of control there.


The statistics and numbers behind the current grim reality of farming being a dying profession, being deliberately made non-viable through economic policies, and the bias against farming as a profession.


International web conference of homeschoolers / unschoolers. Several recordings of sessions available online.


"Collecting data on human learning based on children's behavior in school is like collecting data on killer whales based on their behavior at Sea World."
Where have You been forming your opinions on how children learn and grow? There's a growing need to go back and question the basic assumptions educators have that can bias their initial data and observations, which ultimately push their conclusions away from reality.

A wonderful graphic putting it all together. It's frightening how many of these are causally neglected nowadays when I hear people voicing their opinions about one of the other issue.

Suing Facebook over privact violations : Crow-sourcing co-litigants


Gary Harrington, a 64 year-old from Eagle Point, Oregon was sentenced to 30 days in jail, for doing rainwater harvesting on his private property, and not taking permits which he had been previously advised were not necessary. Also ordered to destroy and drain out his ponds.


Environmental leader Marina Silva might become candidate for Brazilian leadership. She was environment minister until she resigned in 2008 over policy disagreements with Lula, who she criticized for pursuing "material growth at any cost," at the expense of the poor and the environment.

I had lost track of what all was going on in Egypt.. this is a very cruel thing indeed to have come after the historic Tahrir Square revolution. Such a ruthless massacre (over 1000 peaceful protesters slaughtered with disproportionate and overwhelming military force!) to have happened in 2013, and nearly no mention of it in the media since! The description reminded me of India's Jalianwalabag massacre. Also, this fitted in a piece of the puzzle about the Gaza genocide.. I had been wondering how come the Egyptians aren't doing anything. This sequence of events comes as a warning to all peaceful revolutions : the military and police forces need to be reigned in. They cannot be trusted, not even if they're pretending to be all benevolent and in support of the people. My prayers for the victims of Rab'a.


In response to a "don't let your children be farmers"



Infographic on time spent doing housework, men and women, in various countries of the world


A bhutta seller on Bangalore's roads created a folding overhead fan, with blades made out of plastic plates, to provide constant air to the coals he roasts his corns on.

Meghalaya's living bridges



Disturbing truths behind Oral Polio Vaccines in India, pushed by Bill Gates, endorsed by Amitabh Bacchan and other bolywood stars:

National Lawyers Guild, other Legal Organizations urge International Criminal Court to Investigate War Crimes by Israeli, U.S. Leaders in Gaza

Line-X, a spray-on polymer that we coat on an object, solidifies into a protective layer that absorbs and elastically spreads impact energy. It claims to render objects unbreakable.

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