Charles Pillsbury III

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Future for dryland populations, and other BBC discussions

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BBC has a few interesting editorial pieces like this, worth reading and thinking about (and I’m going on the assumption that you all will take whatever you read with a grain of salt and reason).

The world’s poorest of the poor live in the toughest areas of the planet – the drylands.
These areas all have key factors in common: water is scarce, and rainfall is unpredictable – or it rains only during a very short period every year.
Drylands cover more than 40% of the Earth’s surface and are home to more than two billion people.
These areas are also home to a disproportionate number of people without secure access to food.

[From BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | A way of life is feeling the heat]

This is something to think about when putting forth nuclear power as a valid solution to energy problems, we’ll need technical people involved in the process which aren’t there now.

A new generation of nuclear power stations has been given the go-ahead by the government – but where are the scientists and engineers to build and run them?
Inside Sellafield nuclear power plant, past the police checks and the barbed wire fences, 26-year-old Gemma Johnson is hard at work in one of the plant’s high-security laboratories.
Surrounded by test tubes and bubbling liquids, she is carrying out research aimed at improving the way radioactive waste is treated.
Gemma is one of the much-needed qualified scientists joining the nuclear industry after years of declining recruit numbers.

[From BBC NEWS | UK | Nuclear power seeks young talent]

I’m reading a book called Kluge which addresses this in depth… basically the brain doesn’t work as well as we all like to think it does.

If someone was killed in front of you would you remember what happened? Many experts are challenging the view that eyewitnesses recounting what they saw is the best way of tapping their memory. Some think brain scans could be the way forward.
Think of a journey you made yesterday. I’m sure you remember it.
So can you remember whom you sat next to? Can you remember what the weather was like? Who was in front of you in the petrol queue? Was it a man or a woman?

Naturally, most of the time we don’t remember these details. But what if someone got knifed in the petrol station? Then we become witnesses to a crime. And our ability to recall these minor details may have a significant role in authenticating our memory of the offence.

[From BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | What do you remember?]

Cloud Computing… never sure how this dream will work out, but I know at a former employer we used largely centralized computing power with “thin clients” used by most of the people working “on the floor.”

The cloud is the latest buzzword doing the rounds in the tech world.
In essence it is a simple idea. It refers to data and processing power living online rather than in a beige box under a desk.

As we move towards a world where we are all storing more and more media in digital form – documents, photos, music or videos – moving it into the cloud offers unparalleled flexibility.

[From BBC NEWS | Programmes | Click | Harnessing the power of 'clouds']


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June 27th, 2008 at 12:45 am

Posted in Misc