November 21, 2014 - When I was a young man we lived two blocks from a freshwater-fed pond by the name of Tillplain. Today it is gone, covered and built upon. That's where the high school I graduated from currently stands. But that pond unlocked the mysteries of life for me and so I remember it fondly.
November 20, 2014 - In the 60 hours before the batteries drained the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko looked around and using the Cometary Sampling and Composition Experiment (COSAC) on board the lander
November 19, 2014 - The first natural gas power plant that completely captures carbon is about to be constructed by NET Power, a Durham, North Carolina company. The 50 Megawatt facility is being built in Texas and will go online in 2016 at a cost of $140 million U.S.
Mobile and Web technologies are making more and more data about us consumers and our lifestyle habits available to businesses. And in growing degrees, businesses are finding ways to use the data to both predict and influence their customers’ buying decisions.
As the world population grows, and as its resource bases shrink, producing enough food to feed the world becomes a steeper and steeper challenge. But the world’s small farms are up to the task, argues Danielle Nierenberg, president of the “food think tank” Food Tank.
Living comfortably has always, to some extent, relied on owning many goods. But this is becoming less and less the case. A new worldwide “sharing economy," composed of startup ventures whose products consumers rent or share instead of own, is blossoming across the globe.
Wired for Success: Real-World Solutions for Transforming Higher Education
Authors: Susan C. Aldridge and Kathleen Harvatt Publisher: American Association for State Colleges and Universities (www.aascu.org). 2014. 191 pages. Paperback. Price: $20.99 plus shipping
Higher education is in a tenuous position as enrollments and graduation rates drop, public funding shrinks, marketing and overhead costs soar, and rising numbers of graduates suffer unemployment, underemployment, and student-loan defaults.
Authors Susan Aldridge, former president of several universities, and Kathleen Harvatt, a communications professional who has worked for the University of Maryland University College and Sallie Mae, assess the challenges and draw this conclusion: Colleges and universities can survive, but only if they significantly adapt their operations and instruction.
Editors: Concepción Olavarrieta, Jerome C. Glenn, and Theodore J. Gordon. Publisher: The Millennium Project. 2014. English and Spanish versions available.
PDF via download ($50) or CD-ROM ($50 plus shipping) from millennium-project.org/millennium/FUTURES.html.
A vital new tool has been added to the foresight profession’s toolkit in this “encyclopedic dictionary” comprising more than 1,000 terms, including not just definitions but also usage, derivation, source citations, and English/Spanish translations.
Our world needs creative solutions to rein in resource consumption, climate change, and ecological destruction, says Karen Litfin, an associate professor of political science who specializes in environmental policy. She finds many promising solutions in “ecovillages,” communities that have systematically transformed daily living to balance human wants and the biosphere’s limits.
Litfin profiles 14 ecovillages that she visited over the past several years.