Favolaschia è un genere di fungo molto strano, infestante, originario dei tropici. Ma la globalizzazione l'ha portato anche nei nostri boschi! Questo sito non parla di funghi, ma favolaschia mi sembrava un nome significativo e evocativo di qualcosa di simile a quello che qui viene raccontato...

30 aprile 2008

What do Chinese feel about the anti-China protests?
When the time came for the smiling Tibetan monk at the front of the University of Southern California lecture hall to answer questions, the Chinese students who packed the audience for the talk last Tuesday had plenty to lob at their guest. (...) As the monk tried to rebut the students, they grew more hostile. (...) A plastic bottle of water hit the wall behind the monk, and campus police officers hustled the person who threw it out of the room. (...) Scenes like this, ranging from civil to aggressive, have played out at colleges across the country over the past month, as Chinese students in the United States have been forced to confront an image of their homeland that they neither recognize nor appreciate.
Over the weekend of April 19 and 20, thousands of anti-French demonstrators took to the streets in cities across China. They were apparently of the belief that French authorities had deliberately left security lax when the Olympic torch transited through Paris--out of a desire to humiliate China and interfere with Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Games. The anti-French protesters are not simply a noisy, hysterical minority; many Chinese are deeply angry about what they see as a global conspiracy to blacken their nation's good name and ruin the Olympics. (...) Chinese are immensely proud of what their country has achieved in the past two or three decades and of the prestige conferred by the Olympics. But many are still insecure about the permanence of China's new position in the world and haunted by memories of past humiliations by foreigners that have been drummed into them since childhood by a government increasingly dependent on nationalism for its legitimacy.

Do I really have to know it?
It's the end of "unguilty" pleasure: the new New Yorker law, that demand every fast food restaurant to let you know how many calories you are taking, starts working today.

Dear Charles Manson
In 1998, posing as a 10-year-old boy, pop culture historian Bill Geerhart wrote letters to iconic politicians and murderers, and they all wrote back including Charles Manson, Dick Cheney and Oprah Winfrey. The collection of letters is published at the latest issue of Radar Magazine.

Just move your butt!
You know that exercise is good for nearly anything: it can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia, osteoporosis,gallstones, diverticulitis, falls, erectile dysfunction,peripheral vascular disease and 12 kinds of cancer. But what if you already have one of these conditions? Or an ailment like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis,Parkinson's disease, congestive heart failure or osteoarthritis? How can you exercise if you're always tired or in pain or have trouble breathing? Can exercise really help? Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy at New York University says yes! You just have to learn how to do it. So, enough withexcuses: get out of this chair and start moving yourself!


Hundreds of children are still being born with birth defects as a result of the world's worst industrial disaster 23 years ago in the central Indian town of Bhopal, say campaigners.

Some people believe Harry Potter may be Jewish. Explained by a half-blood Jew, Jews, are the wizards. The non-Jews are the muggles. And Israel's wizards are engaged in a kind of invisible spiritual warfare (just like in Rowling's books) that most muggles can't even see, much less understand. Harry's spells are talmudic prayers; Hizballah are the Death-eaters; converts to Judaism are muggle-born wizards; and so on.

The absurdity of pastuerized milk: Selling unpasteurized milk for human consumption is currently illegal in Canada and in half the U.S. states and to enforce this law farms are being raided and truckloads of unpasteurized milk destroyed all in the interest of health care.
But the very thing that makes raw milk dangerous -its dirtiness - may make people healthier, and pasteurization could be cleansing beneficial bacteria from milk.

29 aprile 2008

A dating site strictly for "smart" people makes you take an IQ test before being able to participate. If you're sick of dating all those hot dumb people you find on sites like Nerve and eHarmony, here's a dating site for you. Especially if you're one of those weirdos that actually likes taking standardized tests.

the growing luxury market for nudist vacations
It's no longer just remote lake shores and isolated R.V. parks for nudists. The real boom in nude vacations is coming at the high end of the business, as upscale hotels and resorts, and even some luxury cruise lines, have begun to see the economic potential in the no-clothes crowd. The $300-a-person all-inclusive Hidden Beach Resort, greets guests with Champagne upon arrival. Rose petals are tossed on the beds at turndown, and beach butlers hand out towels and reading materials to guests relaxing in the nude, while they themselves walk around in discreet uniforms of buttoned-down shirts and khaki pants.

A window that becomes a balcony
This award-winning Bloomframe balconies by Hofman Dujardin Architects is rather cool. Apparently, the idea came about in response to the new-found popularity of balconies in Sweden. Bloomframe balconies can be added to existing buildings or made part of the design of new buildings, and are basically innovative window frames that can be pushed out to form an exterior balconies, expanding your interior space to the outdoors.
http://www.bloomframe.com/ (the official website)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMXcUqGj0U4 (video shows it working)

A dolphin has died after a freak accident with its mate at a theme park when they clashed heads during a display.

Senate lawmakers in Florida have voted to ban the fake bull testicles that dangle from the trailer hitches of many trucks and cars throughout the state.

It's a cruel irony: Car navigation devices keep you from getting lost, but their location-sensing acumen won't help you find them if they get lost or stolen. Why not? Because location and tracking are two different matters.

Floods Prompt Big Rise In Dumped Pets
LONDON - The number of unwanted pets being dumped by their owners rose 23 percent last year, the RSPCA said on Monday, with people using excuses such as "my cat doesn't match my new carpet" for getting rid of their animals.



Deisdera ciò che hai e sii felice
Non si è felici solo desiderando qualcosa, nè solo avendo molte cose che però non apprezziamo. Secondo una ricerca della rivista Psychological Science la felicità più grande deriva dal continuare a desiderare quello che si ha.

Stimolazione elettrica contro la depressione
Gli scienziati sperimentano una nuova terapia per la depressione simile a quella per il trattamento del Parkinson. Si tratta di una stimolazione cerebrale profonda, attraverso elettordi applicati direttamente al cervello con un piccolo intervento chirurgico. Nella maggior parte dei casi di depressione acuta trattati con questo sistema si ha avuto una riduzione dei sintomi del 50%.

Anticorpi per catturare i ladri
USA - I ricercatori federali americani hanno ideato una nuova strategia che permetterebbe di identificare un sospettato in base alle tracce organiche lasciate sulla scena del crimine. Più semplice e veloce del test del Dna, si tratta di identificare gli anticorpi presenti nella saliva e nel sangue: ogni persona infatti ha anticorpi unici, costituiti da proteine e molto più semplici da analizzare del Dna.

Orchidee e insetti, amore a prima vista
Una ricercatrice australiana ha scoperto che alcuni insetti trovano le orchidee sessualmente attraenti. Che le orchidee simulassero le fattezze degli insetti per attorarli e facilitare l'impollinazione era cosa nota, ma non si sapeva che una specie di insetti viene ingannata talmente bene dal fiore da scambiarle per le loro partner femminili e copulare con loro.

28 aprile 2008

A notorious criminal was nabbed in Malawi after he broke into a prison office and stole guns and handcuffs days after completing a six-year jail term for burglary…

An Austrian woman has told police that her father kept her captive in a cellar for almost 24 years.
The woman told police that her father also repeatedly raped her and that she gave birth to seven children.

Thousands of people suspected of petty offences such as dropping litter have been spied on by councils under anti-terrorism laws in Britain…

Assisi forbids begging close to churches
Assisi's mayor has forbidden that any beggers come close to the churches of the town. It would be just another controversial political decision, if it weren't for the fact that it is ironic as well: Saint Francis of Assisi - the saint responsable for the town's fame worldwide - was a begger himself, having begged at the church doors for the poor when he pilgrimaged to Rome.

When a logo goes wrong
It cost £14,000 to create, but clearly no-one at the smart London design outfit that came up with the new logo for HM Treasury thought to turn it on its side. But, of course, regular people did.

Gay scientists isolate the Christian gene
Very ironic video showing a TV news story about gay scientists that, after years of study, isolated the gay gene. The whole speech is just the same as the one of the Christians who insist that homosexuality can be prevented. Funny and straight to the point.

Why is there hunger in the world?
Lack of food or expensive food took a lot of people into the street in protests, on the last weeks: in Egypt, Camaron, Haiti and Burkina Faso. This is probably the beginning: in 2007, food price got 57% more expensive around the world. In countries that import food, the inflation came up to 74%. Many bloggers and websites are trying to understand why this is happening


Urban Miners Look For Precious Metals In Cell Phones
HONJO, Japan, - Thinking of throwing out your old cell phone? Think again. Maybe you should mine it first for gold, silver, copper and a host of other metals embedded in the electronics -- many of which are enjoying near-record prices.

Rush to Biofuel Market Bypasses Female Farmers
Women are most of the developing world's farmers. But they are being left out of the rush to grow lucrative petrol alternatives because of their limited access to land, capital and technology, according to a major study released this week.


Barn owl helps to find new Irish shrew
A species of shrew has been found in Ireland for the first time - after it was discovered it was featuring on an owl's menu.

24 aprile 2008

Liberians drop rice for spaghetti
Standing behind the wooden counter of his roadside restaurant, Emmanuel Biddle heaps piles of Liberian-style bolognese onto the plates of customers.

Ghost luxury hotels, half-built and rotting in the desert
Ecomostri abbandonati nel deserto del Sinai
With images by Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche of Haubitz+Zoche, the show looks at "the concrete skeletons of five-star hotel complexes" abandoned on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. They are resorts that never quite happened, then, with names like Sultan's Palace and the Magic Life Imperial. This makes them "monuments to failed investment."

Politically correct names given to flu viruses
World Health Organization standardizes nomenclature, but experts say GPS sample locations should be given.
The system is now more politically correct. It avoids the “stigmatizing labelling of clades by geographical reference”, according to the WHO. In 2006, when scientists assigned the name 'Fujian-like virus' to a vaccine-resistant strain of H5N1 that spread across Asia, China objected strongly to the name. Government officials argued that the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian was tainted by association as the virus spread.

Beetle tree kill releases more carbon than fires
Canada’s beetle infestation is turning some forests into carbon sources.
An infestation of beetles could convert large swathes of Canadian forests to carbon sources rather than sinks, a new study suggests.
Fuelled by warmer winter weather, mountain pine beetles have swept through the conifers of British Columbia, killing trees in an estimated 74,000 to 94,000 square kilometres of forest.

Gooey Origin of Human Placenta Revealed (vecchia 13 aprile)
The gooey thing, which looks like a big, red kidney, is rather reptilian in its ancestry, new research suggests.
"The placenta is this amazing, complex structure and it's unique to mammals, but we've had no idea what its evolutionary origins are," said researcher Julie Baker, a molecular biologist at Stanford University in California.
Now Baker and her colleague have discovered that the inner lining of eggs laid by the distant ancestors of all mammals could be the origin of the placenta, and the whole setup evolved as mammals employed leftover reptilian-like genes. A better understanding of all this could shed light on pregnancy and disorders linked to it, the researchers say.

Bugs Use Plants as Telephones
That's the underground half of a conversation between bugs on a mustard plant. Scientists have discovered the insects below and above use the plant like a chemical telephone. When a subterranean insect takes up residence below a plant, it settles in to feast on the plant's roots. In order to alert leaf-eating insects of the "no vacancy," the underground insect sends a chemical warning signal through the plant leaves, so the leafeaters are alerted that the plant is occupied.

India's Forest Law Leaves Women Feeling Cut Out
India's land rights act enacted Jan. 1 was considered a major milestone for tribal and forest - dwelling communities. But women's activists say it fails to protect the property rights of women, some of whom are forming collectives to hold on to land.

23 aprile 2008

Studio Gb: fiori hanno perso profumo
Effetto dei gas prodotti dalle auto, a rischio impollinazione
(ANSA) - WASHINGTON, 21 apr - C'era una volta il profumo dei fiori, le api volavano da una corolla all'altra e tutto era in pace. Oggi non e' piu' cosi'. Oggi c'e' un profumo a meta', e le api rischiano di non impollinare piu'. Tutta colpa dell'inquinamento delle auto, secondo uno studio della University of Virginia, che ha dimostrato quali siano gli effetti dei gas emessi dalle auto sui fiori e sul loro profumo: viene messo a rischio uno dei processi naturali fondamentali, quello della impollinazione.

Auto verdi, l'Europa cerca una nuova via
LUBIANA - «I tempi in cui ci illudevamo che i combustibili fossili fossero inesauribili sono finiti. E dobbiamo anche accettare l'idea che i trasporti sostenibili di domani costeranno più di quelli di oggi, visto che l'alternativa sarebbe più costosa a lungo termine. Soprattutto adesso che il petrolio corre ormai verso quota 150 dollari al barile». Parole del commissario europeo per la ricerca Janez Potocnik, che ha aperto ieri a Lubiana, in Slovenia, i lavori della Transport Research Arena 2008, una conferenza organizzata dalla Commissione Europea per tracciare i futuri sviluppi della mobilità nel Vecchio Continente.

Il tracollo dei trasporti all'italiana
Su e giù per i treni. Soprattutto regionali. Sono stato un pendolare doc. In particolare sulla tratta Milano-Mantova. L’altro giorno ho ripreso quel treno. È lo stesso di due anni fa. E pensare che due anni fa promettevano che da lì a poco sarebbero arrivati treni nuovi. Invece niente di splendente sotto il sole. Interni fatiscenti, riscaldamento a stantuffo, sporco

PETA is offering a million dollars to anyone who can come up with a commercially viable way to produce fake meat.

Earthrise - A japanese spacecraft has recorded a video of earth rising over the moon.

Here's a chance to be funnier than Dilbert. The website of the popular comic has a new feature that lets people write the final frame. Creator Scott Adams is sure that fans will be able to out-funny him, but he hopes it won't happen everyday.

Plastic made from pig urine
Plastica e sigarette dalla pipì di maiale
Una azienda danese ha intenzione di produrre articoli per la casa ricavati dall'urea della pipì di maiale. L'urea è pur sempre un composto organico di carbonio nitrogeno ossigeno e idrogeno. Ed è anche un prodotto che mette a rischio l'integrità ambientale in Danimarca dove ci sono 20 milioni di maiali da allevamento. Le sostanze ricavate dall'urina potrebbero anche diventare ingredienti per lozioni ed esaltatori di sapore, ad esempio nelle sigarette.
Denmark-based Agroplast wants to transform pig urine into plastic dinnerware and household items. The company has essentially devised a way to better commercialize urea, a compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, found in urine.

Appeals court reverses ruling: now border agents can search laptops without cause
Federal agents at the border do not need any reason to search through travelers' laptops, cell phones or digital cameras for evidence of crimes, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, extending the government's power to look through belongings like suitcases at the border to electronics.
The unanimous three-judge decision reverses a lower court finding that digital devices were "an extension of our own memory"

Un occhio sulle violenze dello Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe violence: blogosphere roundup
Ethan Zuckerman has been keeping a close watch on the worsening situation in Zimbabwe. Why might that government have found itself suddenly in need of 3 million rounds of AK-47 ammunition? Apparently, because Zimbabwe's health minister needed to reload

Brain reacts to fairness as it does to money and chocolate
The human brain responds to being treated fairly the same way it responds to winning money and eating chocolate, UCLA scientists report. Being treated fairly turns on the brain's reward circuitry.
Il cervello reagisce alla giustizia come a una vincita e come al cioccolato. Essere trattati con giustizia appaga il cervello, stimolando gli stessi circuiti cerebrali, alla pari di un guadagno monetario, della vista di qualcosa di bello o della soddisfazione provocata al metabolismo dal cioccolato.

Skipping breakfast may mean your baby is a girl
Fiocco rosa per chi sta a dieta in stato interessante?
Secondo una ricerca compiuta da due università britanniche, le donne incinte che saltano la colazione o che in generale seguono una dieta a basso regime calorico durante la gravidanza hanno più probabilità di concepire figlie femmine. Così si potrebbe spiegare la costante diminuzione negli ultimi decenni dei nascituri maschi nei paesi sviluppati, dove tra le donne in stato interessante è aumentata l'attenzione per la linea.
Women on low-calorie diets or who skip breakfast at the time of conception are more likely to give birth to girls than boys, British scientists said on Wednesday.

22 aprile 2008

Mappa delle esplosioni nucleari dal 1945

She Had Sex for the Sake of Science
To research her new book, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Mary Roach is happy to reveal that she had sex in 4-D ultrasound and personally sampled a vaginal photoplethysmography probe, among other cool stuff. Nice for her, but what about the rest of us? It’s the 10th anniversary of Viagra, after all, and for women the sexual-dysfunction cupboard is still bare!

Il 60 per cento delle riproduzioni di dipinti a olio famosi di tutto il mondo proviene da un unico villaggio cinese.

Hollywood Sci-Fi's Bronze Age: Are Comics to Blame?
L'età del bronzo nelle produzioni holliwoodiane di fantascienza
Sarà colpa dei fumetti, ma la fantascienza dei film è sempre più trash.

Magliette da galera
Dieci foto segnaletiche di persone arrestate con magliette particolarmente significative (vedi la alcolizzata arrestata per guida in stato di ebrezza)

The flowers no longer smell like flowers.
In today's polluted environment downwind of major cities, the scent molecules produced by flowersmay don’t travel like they did once. Bee populations are dropping in places such as California and the Netherlands because of air pollution.

Happy elderly!
Americans grow happier as they grow older, according to a University of Chicago study that is one of the most thorough examinations of happiness ever done in America.

Saudi women? No freedom at all
The New York Human Rights Watch group said Saudi women have to obtain permission from male relatives to work, travel, study, marry or even receive health care: “It's astonishing that the Saudi government denies adult women the right to make decisions for themselves but holds them criminally responsible for their actions at puberty”.

Too many choices make people get crazy!
Stupid daily decisions like the ones we make at the supermarket stress us.
“We love having more choices, but at the same time the human psyche is easily overcome by them” a psychologist says.


A change in the law could mean mediums, psychics and healers in the UK face prosecution if they cannot justify their claims. They are now complaining that a genuine religion is being discriminated against.

A study shows that gun owners are the happiest people in the US.

Somebody decided that it's unfair that blind people can't watch porn, so they've started a website where you can download recordings of people describing pornographic websites.

Top 10 Craziest Environmental Ideas
Dieci idee più o meno bizzarre e più o meno realizzabili che, se realizzate, potrebbero contribuire a migliorare l'ambiente.

Secret pact allows the US to spy on UK motorists
THE UK Home Secretary secretively signed a "special certificate" last year that gives foreign security agencies real-time access to traffic camera images and related data monitoring British motorists on highways throughout the UK.

World map of metabolism finds blood pressure clues
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers creating a map of human metabolism around the world have found compounds in urine that point to some surprising differences affecting blood pressure, based not on genes but on what people eat and their gut bacteria.

La mappa mondiale del metabolismo
Grazie a uno studio su scala mondiale i ricercatori hanno creato una mappa delle differenze nel metabolismo umano nei diversi paesi del mondo. Pare che le popolazioni mondiali siano caratterizzate da diversi tipi di flora intestinale che influenzerebbe le componenti principali dell'urina, andando a incidere in modo differenziato sulla pressione sanguigna. Studiando le componenti in gioco gli scienziati sperano di sviluppare nuovi farmaci o diete efficaci per la pressione.

AGRICULTURE: Brazil Shares Technology with Africa
RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr 21 (IPS) - The people of Brazil have reason to believe that they are making a real contribution to reducing hunger and environmental threats in the world by developing agricultural technology that has begun to be shared with poorer countries.

Oil running out as prime energy source: world poll
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most people believe oil is running out and governments need to find another fuel, but Americans are alone in thinking their leaders are out of touch with reality on this issue, an international poll said on Sunday.

The Air-Powered Motorcycle by Jem Stansfield
Jem Stansfield is not exactly the average tinkerer. He has a degree in aeronautics and is an inventor and special effects technician. But still, his DIY air-powered motorcycle, the first of its kind according to him, is quite cool

135 Million Tons of CO2 Saved - And Counting
The UN's Kyoto Protocol is sometimes considered a bust because it doesn't include the US, yet recent statistics from Det Norske Veritas, the certifying agency of Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the developing world, are heartening Earth Day news. Thus far 1,000 projects in 49 countries have "saved" carbon dioxide emissions of 135 million tons, and are expected to "save" a total of 1.2 billion tons of CO2 by the end of 2012, when Kyoto's first mandate period ends. For comparison, Norway emits about 54 million tons annually.

18 aprile 2008

Cute and prickly hedgehogs latest pet fad
LONDON (Reuters) - Can man's best friend be replaced by a prickly pal the size of your palm?Busy British pet lovers have been buying hedgehogs, whose nocturnal habits make them appealing to the modern worker because they wake in the evening when their owners arrive home after a day in the office.

Cat Craze Out of Control
U.S. streets could soon be over-run with cats if communities fail to get a handle on growing feline populations, a veterinary medicine researcher says

Sky-High Ads Float Like Clouds
As kids, most of us spent time laying in the grass, watching clouds roll by and imagining the shapes we could see in the fluffy white masses.
Now, one company aims to indulge those flights of fancy by actually making "clouds" in the shapes of, well, anything, from the Atlanta Braves' tomahawk to Mickey Mouse's iconic head.

17 aprile 2008


Acquisti verdi
Via libera al decreto che apre le porte alla diffusione di prodotti e servizi ecologici negli uffici della pubblica amministrazione
Carta riciclata e senza cloro, computer a basso consumo energetico, arredamento privo di sostanze tossiche e con materiali riciclati, lampade ad alta efficienza. Sono solo alcuni semplici esempi di cosa troveremo negli uffici della Pubblica Amministrazione centrale e periferica grazie all’entrata in vigore del decreto interministeriale sul Piano di azione per la sostenibilità nella PA (Piano d’azione nazionale sul Green Public Procurement), predisposto dal Ministero dell’Ambiente di concerto con i ministeri dello Sviluppo Economico e dell’Economia.

16 aprile 2008

domani è oggi

CORR? vecchia: Le scienze 7 aprile Alligator blood antibiotics
Researchers are studying American alligator blood as a potential source for powerful new antibiotics. Apparently, proteins in the blood can kill E. coli, herpes simplex, and the nasty methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Apparently, many reptiles and amphibians have some of these powerful proteins flowing through their blood.

BT? World risks 'scientific apartheid', says top African scientist
The world risks "scientific apartheid" between rich and poor countries unless research and technology is better used to benefit the poor, says one of Africa's leading science experts.

BT Ayahuasca church spreads into UK
Steve Boggan writes about the Church of Santo Daime's spread into the UK. The church uses a powerful hallucinogen called ayahuasca as a sacrament. The Church of Santo Daime (“holy give me” in Portuguese) was born in the 1930s out of the experiences of a Brazilian rubber-tapper named Raimundo Irineu Serra, or Mestre (Master) Irineu, as followers call him. He was born in 1892 to African parents in Maranhão in the northeast of Brazil and travelled to Acre in the northwest in 1912 to find work during a boom time for the rubber industry. In 1930 he was given his first taste of ayahuasca by indigenous shamans - medicine men - and spent eight solitary days and nights in the rainforest, experiencing a series of visions and receiving instructions from the Virgin Mary, whom he called the Forest Queen, that formed the basis of a new religion.

BT? Smithsonian images migrated to Flickr for fair-er use

La parola all’uomo di Neanderthal (La Stampa - 18 ore fa)
Dopo aver studiato per anni la differenza nella struttura delle loro corde vocali, facendo supposizioni su come ciò potesse aver modificato e ostacolato lo sviluppo della parola, gli antropologi sono finalmente riusciti a riprodurre con un sintetizzatore il suono che doveva avere la voce dell’Homo neandertalensis. Non potevano pronunciare le vocali “a, i, u” e in generale potessero produrre una gamma di suoni più ristretta rispetto a noi.

La macchina per anziani
La casa automobilistica giapponese Nissan sta progettando una machina destinata agli anziani. Vengono studiati tutti i fattori che possono caratterizare le persone avanti con l’età e che rendono più difficile la guida (come vista ridotta, difficoltà nei movimenti, rigidità, appesantimento, ecc.) attraverso un apposito completo fatto indossare a un guidatore-cavia.

RecycleBank, the Recycling Program that Pays You Back, Heading to Europe
RecycleBank, the company who brought us an innovative recycling program that pays you to throw less stuff away (by throwing more in the recycling bin), is taking their game across the Atlantic Ocean, to Europe. Fresh off raising $30 million, the company will expand services here in the States and will expand into Europe.

Gay Couples May Have Trouble Getting Divorced
Gay couples had to struggle mightily to win the right to marry or form civil unions. Now some are finding that breaking up is hard to do too.


Bigger than Beijing
On August 8, the organisers of the Beijing Olympics will attempt to shrug off human rights controversies and dazzle the world with a spectacular opening ceremony at the stunning "bird's nest" stadium in Beijing. But on the same day, 500 miles to the east, an even more astonishing extravaganza will be taking place inside an even bigger stadium for the fourth day running. This one, however, will be watched by only a handful of foreigners. North Korea's so-called "mass games", also known as the Arirang festival, is perhaps the world's most jaw dropping human-created attraction. For understandable reasons – not least the country's appalling human rights record - it is also one of the least visited by western tourists.

Hormones = good financial market performance
There may just be a biological explanation for the recent twists and turns on global financial markets, and it could come down to the testosterone levels of the market traders. A British study has found that finance desk jockeys with high levels of testosterone are more likely to have a profitable day.

Cubans line up to buy their first cell phone (news from Monday, but i think it could be a good way to approach the subject "Cuba without Fidel" at btalk)
Lines stretched for blocks outside phone centers Monday as the government allowed ordinary Cubans to sign up for cellular phone service for the first time. The contracts cost about US$120 (euro76) to activate - half a year's wages on the average state salary. And that doesn't include a phone or credit to make and receive calls. Lines formed before the stores opened, and waits grew to more than an hour.

15 aprile 2008

Controlling SecondLife with a 3D camera
Second Life investor Mitch Kapor has a new project in his lab: creating hands-free, 3D navigation for Second Life using a 3D camera that tracks your body geometry, allowing you to fly around in-world in much the same way you'd ride a Segway, by leaning back and forth.

Big, Brass Ones: Threat Level exploits cross-site scripting bug on CIA.gov (vecchia?)
Threat Level utilized a relatively benign vulnerability in the CIA.gov web site to insert one of their stories into the URL, giving the appearance that the content is hosted by the agency's site. Their choice of story to inject into the CIA.gov web site is priceless, too: "U.S. Has Launched a Cyber Security 'Manhattan Project,' Homeland Security Chief Claims"

Internet goes dark at Navajo reservation
Satellite provider OnSat recently shut off internet service to the Navajo nation, leaving the entire reservation without access vital to education, government, and other services. OnSat claims it did so because the federal government failed to pay about $2 million it owed, which OnSat in turn pays to a subcontractor for satellite time.


Johnny Bunko book trailer
Last week, my friend Dan Pink sent me a copy of his latest book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need, a cool manga style graphic novel that offers wise career advice for young people. He's created a fun "trailer" for the book, too. Here it is.

Diary of Maasai Warrior in London: "The marathon is easy. There are no lions"
Six Maasai warriors ran in the London Marathon today. 24-year-old Isaya Maasai, is their chief, and you can read his diary at the Guardian website.


Singing McCain's Praises, or Joking?
The McCain Girls videos, which were posted on YouTube last month with no clues about their provenance, are clearly meant to be imitations of — or parodies of — the "Obama Girl" videos, which themselves are parodies (right?).

While the Obama Girl looks like a pinup and sings catchy tunes, the McCain Girls could not be confused with fashion models or pop music stars. Their first video, "Raining McCain," set to the tune of "It's Raining Men," was posted on YouTube four weeks ago. (...) That video recorded more than 1.6 million views and earned mentions on CNN and on ABC's "Good Morning America," (...) Drum roll, please: The creators of the McCain Girls turn out to be the comedy team behind 23/6, a five-month-old Web site owned by an affiliate of IAC/InterActiveCorp that parodies the news.

You don't need it!
The Anti-Advertising Agency is a project led by artist Steve Lambert to FIGHT BACK against all the god damn ads. They're everywhere! The AAA does all types of clever little guerilla projects, but one of the most basic things they do is give out free stickers to you, the consumer. Stickers that FIGHT BACK. You put them next to annoying ads, in order to send the message: "You don't need it." It's true! After the jump, a few photos of the stickers in action [via AAA], and where to get your own. They also work as a duct tape replacement.

Fed up with politics, man eats vote
Ballot stuffing took on a new meaning in Italy's parliamentary election on Sunday when a man ate his ballot paper in protest at the country's politicians.

14 aprile 2008

Crossing the pacific on Junk
An environmental organisation is trying to raise awareness about plastic waste by crossing the pacific ocean on a raft made of plastic bottles. You can sponsor a bottle by going to http://junkraft.blogspot.com/ and buying a bottle, in which you can put your own message.

Thousands of Brazilians made their way to the house of a convicted Columbian drug lord whose possessions were being sold off. They bought plush sofas, designer footwear, plasma Tvs and thousands of Hello Kitty toys, dirt cheap, and the police had to use pepper spray to control them.

Today is Black Day in South Korea. It is celebrated 2 months after Valentines Day by people who have still not found love. They wear dark clothing, eat black coloured noodles, and generally feel miserable.

Global Warming is causing barley and hops crops to fail, which means that we could have a serious beer shortage within the next thirty years.

Last year, Modbury became the first town in Europe to completely ban plastic bags. One year later, here's a report on how the people have learnt to do without them.

'Young at heart' is a documentary about rock bands made up of senior citizens - some of them as old as 92.
He Wrote 200,000 Books (but Computers Did Some of the Work)
Philip M. Parker has generated more than 200,000 books, as an advanced search on Amazon.com under his publishing company shows, making him, in his own words, "the most published author in the history of the planet." And he makes money doing it.
But these are not conventional books, and it is perhaps more accurate to call Mr. Parker a compiler than an author. Mr. Parker (..) has developed computer algorithms that collect publicly available information on a subject — broad or obscure — and, aided by his 60 to 70 computers and six or seven programmers, he turns the results into books in a range of genres, many of them in the range of 150 pages and printed only when a customer buys one.

Coconut oil as fuel
A small island in the Pacific called Malekula is developing a coconut oil that could be used as alternative fuel. For 3 years now, the eletricity company Unelco-Suez uses a mixture of coconut oil and diesel to make its generators work and it believes that soon they will use only the fruit oil to do so.
news from Le Monde http://www.lemonde.fr/cgi-bin/ACHATS/acheter.cgi?offre=ARCHIVES&type_item=ART_ARCH_30J&objet_id=1032041
translated here to portuguese http://noticias.uol.com.br/midiaglobal/lemonde/2008/04/14/ult580u3024.jhtm

An Atlas of Radical Cartography
Artists Lize Mogel and Alexis Bhagat have just released their new book, An Atlas of Radical Cartography, which is a collection of 10 maps and 10 essays about social issues from globalization to garbage; surveillance to extraordinary rendition; statelessness to visibility; deportation to migration. The book provides a critical foundation for an area of work that bridges art/design, cartography/geography, and activism. The maps and essays in this book provoke new understandings of networks and representations of power and its effects on people and places. These new perceptions of the world are the prerequisites of social change.

11 aprile 2008

A political branding strategist offers his opinion in what it's needed for a successful campaign
It takes a political branding consultant — sometimes a village of them — to help guide political candidates through the perilous campaign gantlet. (...) The consultant not only helps develop the "image," but also manages the spin when a candidate falters or gaffs. Jon Houston, a former magazine art director and a design director for the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, whose New York firm Strategy + Execution has developed scores of campaigns for local New York Democratic candidates, is one of these behind the scenes experts. I asked him what it takes to run a successful (and unsuccessful) campaign.

A portable sleeping cube geared towards workaholics who spend late nights at the office. You no longer have to feel all George-Kostanza-esque taking naps underneath your desk. It's also perfect for office slumber parties! Which we have all the time, btw.

Ferris wheel are the new trend
It started with the London Eye, but now, every big city with some self-respect is making sure it will have one. Singapore opened its last march. Peking will launche one (the biggest in the world, with 208 meters high) in 2009, the same year when Berlin opens its with 185 meters high.
http://viagem.uol.com.br/ultnot/deutschewelle/2008/04/10/ult3780u16.jhtm (in Portuguese)

Urban bee keeper video
Matt Fisher made a fun 4-minute documentary about an urban bee keeper named Jon Rolston

Blue Planet Summit Focuses on Renewables in Hawaii
Noting Hawaii’s vulnerability to interruptions in their supply chain as the world’s most remote island chain, the first annual Blue Planet Summit took place last weekend in an effort to focus the energy of Hawaii, both natural and social, on the urgency of ending our dependence on oil and a push towards clean renewable energy.

National Geographic on Biomimetics
This month's National Geographic has a beautifully-written feature on the state-of-the-art in biomimetics, the science and art of looking to nature for design inspiration. The article is accompanied by mind-blowing photographs, and fortunately the whole package is available online, with video too. Seen here is an invention inspired by the way burrs stuck to a dog's fur... Velcro!

Scientists Join Forces To Save Madagascar Wildlife
WASHINGTON - Leaping lemurs and crawling ants are part of a massive plan to save Madagascar's wildlife, using a new method that could be applied to other "hot spots" of biodiversity, researchers said on Thursday.

Post-it campaign against violence
A group called Vandals Against Violence (Vandaler Mod Vold) has launched a post-it campaign in response to recent violent incidents in Copenhagen.

10 aprile 2008

The other yous
Now that the telephone book has been all but replaced by the minutiae-rich Web, searching out, even stalking, the people who share one's name has become a common pastime. Bloggers muse about their multiple digital selves, known as Google twins or Googlegängers (a term that was the American Dialect Society's "most creative" word last year). (...) But while many people are familiar with Googlegängers, a fundamental question has gone unanswered: Why do so many feel a connection — be it kinship or competition — with utter strangers just because they share a name?

Social science, it turns out, has an answer. It is because human beings are unconsciously drawn to people and things that remind us of ourselves.

Sex? It's written all over your face
A person's attitude to sex might be written all over their face, according to a study of attractiveness. Psychologists also found that, when it comes to selecting relationships, heterosexual men and women are looking for entirely opposite things.

"What was interesting was the strength of the preference among men for women who were interested in short-term sex and the strength of the preference of the women for men not interested in short-term sex," said Lynda Boothroyd of Durham University, who led the study.

20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All Time
The latest issue of Blender magazine made the list: From turning down the Beatles to stomping Napster— the most ill-advised, foolhardy and downright idiotic decisions ever made by The Man.

A Canadian man who claims he was discriminated against as a pagan who practices a form of sadomasochism will get to take his complaint to a human rights tribunal.

US state starts internet safety lessons for children following sexual abuse of kids. Students were warned about the permanence of what they put on the internet, and how information posted today can come back to haunt them when they're applying to colleges or looking for jobs. Some listened attentively; others slumped over their desks.

A German orchestra has dropped a composition from its programme after its members claimed the music was so loud that it gave them ear problems and headaches.

Afro-centric search engine debuts
Apr 9 - A new website for blacks allows users to do targeted searches for news, shopping and jobs.
But can rushmoredrive.com convince blacks that they need another search engine besides Google? Fred Katayama reports from New York.
(Negli Usa viene lanciato oggi un nuovo motore di ricerca pensato esclusivamente per gli afro-americani. Rushmoredrive.com è in grado di selezionare news, informazioni e opportunità di lavoro in base alle necessità e caratteristiche comuni ai membri della comunità afro-americana.)

Mai più di un uovo al giorno
Secondo una ricerca statunitense, un uovo al giorno aumenta il rischio di morte precoce del 23%, anche nelle persone non affette da diabete, in particolare per infarto o ictus.

Trovata in Borneo una rana senza polmoni
Scoperta nel Borneo la prima rana senza polmoni. Sembra che il primitivo anfibio, una specie acquatica, assorba l'ossigieno esclusivamente attraverso la pelle. Lo studio di questa nuova specie potrà chiarire come i polmoni si sono evoluti fino ad assumere la forma e le funzionalità attuali.

Unlikely Drugs Emerge as 'Cognition Enhancers'
HealthDay News) -- One in five respondents to a new survey acknowledges using so-called "cognition-enhancing drugs" -- such as ADHD and heart medications -- to stimulate their focus, concentration or memory.

L'uragano in una tazza (breve video)
Gli scienziati dell'Università di Bordeaux sono riusciti a ricreare una tempesta, completa di cicloni, in un contenitore delle dimensioni di una tazza. Il meccanismo è molto semplice: basta creare una bolla sulla superficie di una soluzione di acqua saponata e riscaldare il liquido a 45°C. Nonostante la banalità somiglia a una vera tempesta e potrà servire a studiare e prevedere lìevoluzione dei tornado.

09 aprile 2008

Energie alternative e rilancio sostenibile dei piccoli borghi. Il Molise punta ad attrarre investimenti soprattutto in questi settori.

A maggio la decima edizione di Energy Conf 2008 che si terrà a Milano il 26 e 27 Maggio.
Una panoramica completa e aggiornata della Composizione dei Costi dell'energia e una valutazione delle opportunità di riduzione dei costi attraverso risposte specifiche e puntuali.

L’Italia in vetta
Partirà il prossimo maggio la spedizione alpinistico-scientifica Share Everest 2008, che installerà la stazione di monitoraggio climatico sulla cima più alta del mondo

Air Pollution Eyed as Raw Material for Plastics

a Chinese hair salon has been shut down and fined 500,000 yuan (£36,000) for holding two customers hostage and charging wildly excessive fees for haircuts.

German court has rejected an employee's demand that an irate customer pay damages for throwing a half-eaten kebab at her.

The claim stems from an altercation in June in which a kebab customer unsuccessfully demanded his money back. He says he then tossed the food behind the counter.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been banned from flying with British Airways after she was escorted off a flight last week and arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, media reports said on Tuesday.
Japan Develops Brain And Eye Pills For Gaming Fans
Gaming addicts with sore eyes and tired brains may be able to perk up with "Game Suppli," a new Japanese supplement developed specifically for the country's thousands of fanatic players.

California is back to being Mexican! Ops! Not anymore.
Vodka Absolut had to remove an add it had put into circulation in mexico, after many protests in the U.S. The reason is the fact that the company used a map in which the borders between mexico and u.s. are the same as they were before the war that ended in 1848. The map shows Texas, California Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico - as well as some parts of Colorado and Wyoming - as part of Mexico. And Americans were not very happy about it.
http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/California/vuelve/ser/mexicana/gracias/vodka/elpepusoc/20080407elpepusoc_8/Tes (in spanish)

Robots seen doing work of 3.5 million in Japan
Robots could fill the jobs of 3.5 million people in graying Japan by 2025, a thinktank says, helping to avert worker shortages as the country's population shrinks.
"White nose syndrome" wiping out bats in the Northeast US
Some mystery syndrome is causing several species of bats in a four-state area around Albany, NY, and Pittsfield, MA, to die off at incredible rates.

Westminster council promises to sue souvenir sellers who reproduce street-signs
London's Westminster City Council has bought the copyright to the design of its street signs and intends virogously to pursue it against people selling T-shirts, keyrings and mugs that infringe upon the design.

Sheep Replace Lawnmowers In Italy (3 aprile)
Police are having to double up as shepherds in Italy after local councilors decided to scrap the city lawnmowers -- and use sheep instead. About 700 sheep have now been employed by Turin officials to keep the grass verges and lawns in city parks neatly trimmed. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/sheep_replace_l.php

6 Insane Cults (That Would Probably Be a Lot of Fun)

Mapping East Africa’s Somali Pirate Activities


08 aprile 2008

Solo energia pulita per Round Rock
Ieri Dell ha annunciato che il suo enorme quartiergenerale di Round Rock d'ora in poi sarà alimentato esclusivamente attraverso energia rinnovabile: il 60% con energia eolica e il 40% grazie a un impianto di recupero di gas dai rifiuti.

Brazil says condoms to stem Amazon losses, AIDS
BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government began producing condoms on Monday using rubber from trees in the Amazon, a move it said would help preserve the world's largest rainforest and cut dependence on imported contraceptives given away to fight AIDS.

Preservativi per salvare l'Amazzonia
Il Brasile, da ieri, ha iniziato a produrre preservativi dal lattice della Foresta Amazzonica. Sembra che questa mossa aiuterà sia a preservare la foresta tropicale che a rendere indipendente la nazione nella produzione di profilattici. Anche gli ambientalisti sono d'accordo: la raccolta del lattice genererà profitto per i residenti e ridurrà la pressione economica che porta all'abbattimento della foresta.


An argument between nature-loving, planet saving neighbours ends in court to decide if the one's trees which are blocking the other's solar panels should be removed or the solar panels should be removed.

Workers in Britain are "safer" to greet colleagues of the opposite sex with a handshake than a kiss, a common greeting in other parts of Europe, a study released on Friday said.

While secular schools like Princeton were apprehensive of allowing girls in a short saying they would drop the standard of education the new dillemma is that the girls in US schools are actually outsmarting and outnumbering the boys. Thus the new plan of action: affirmative action for boys.
Mobiles in the plane
You can use your cell phone in the skies over Europe as early as this summer under new European Union rules. Announcing the guidelines Monday, EU officials said they expect several Europe-based airlines to move within the next few months to launch services, effectively making the 27-nation bloc the first region in the world to scrap bans on the use of cell phones in the sky.
Two years ago, The Economist had this really good piece on how most of the stuff the crew tell you inside an airplane is not true (for example, that you have to switch off your mobile). I thought I could use the news of the liberation of mobile to talk about it as well.
http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SRRQGVQ (the link to The Economist, but you have to subscribe)
http://www.dshen.com/blogs/musings/archives/welcome_aboard_the_economist_9906.shtml (a link where you can read the article)

Bring your baby to work
An unlikely trend is emerging in the US: a growing number of companies are allowing parents - usually mothers - to bring their babies into work. But is it possible to get anything done? A very sceptical Zoe Williams attempts it in the G2 office, with her six-month-old son in tow. Plus new parents Ian Prior and Imogen Tilden also put the idea to the test

I'm too fat for that bed
Increasing Obesity Requires New Ambulance Equipment
Calls from obese patients had increased nearly 25 percent in recent years, and the Fire Department could no longer handle them.
The department's gurneys could not adequately support the patients' weight, and the department had to pay a private ambulance company.
Last fall, the department bought three gurneys that can hold patients weighing up to 600 pounds, about twice the holding capacity of a regular stretcher.
"We had to do something," Acting Chief Tim McGinley said. "It was one of those things where we would try to use the equipment we had and were afraid that you were going to end up hurting somebody, the patients themselves or the staff."

07 aprile 2008

University prof says students can't sell notes from his classes because it violates his copyright
Michael Moulton, a prof at the University of Florida, is suing a company tha republishes his students' notes from class, because he says that taking notes on his classes and selling them violates his copyright.

Potato Provides Path to Merge Modern and Indigenous Knowledge
We were excited when we found out that 2008 is the International Year of The Potato, but we went through the roof when we learned that Cusco in Peru has a potato park!

Umbrella Predicts Weather Changes, Reminds Owner
Orange climate alert anyone? This networked umbrella would be ideal for a wealthy person who lives in a bomb shelter, lacks a cell phone with web access, doesn't watch TeeVee, must depart home at an exact time, is terrified about getting rained on, and is generally clueless about impending weather changes.


Israel in 2040
Israel at 60 is as prosperous and secure as it has ever been, but its future looks increasingly uncertain. In this article, The Economist remembers the 2 visions Yehezkel Dror, a veteran Israeli political scientist, set out of how his country might look in the year 2040 and asks: Can it resolve its problems in time?

I was raped
Feminist writer Jennifer Baumgardener has created a T-shirt that reads "I was raped" as part of multimedia rape awareness project. Baumgardener aims to force the taboo issue of rape into everyday conversation. Not surprisingly, the T-shirt is causing a fair amount controversy. We wish people didn't rely as much on slogan T-shirts for topics of conversation.

The town where immigration works
David Rose has spent the past two months investigating the effect of immigration on one town, Slough in Berkshire. The local economy is booming, property prices are rising, schools and hospitals are working well. Is this town showing the rest of the country the way forward?


A growing number of companies in the Californian region are urging employees to leave laptops on their desks when attending office meetings to engage in human interaction… termed: topless meetings.

Scientists have developed a mind-reading technique that allows them to accurately predict images being viewed by people, by using scanners to study brain activity.

A survey of sex therapists concluded the optimal amount of time for sexual intercourse was 3 to 13 minutes.

04 aprile 2008

Poll: Americans Prefer Energy Fix to Cancer Cure
A nationwide survey of nearly 700 people suggests Americans would prefer that more money be invested in technology to solve our energy problems than to cure cancer or other diseases.

Birds Get The Credit, But Bats Eat More Bugs (L'Espresso)
Bats play a bigger role than birds do in controlling tropical insects, and the loss of bats might mean that morning cup of coffee gets more expensive, researchers said on Thursday

Discovering the first Americans' bathroom
This fossilized shit is the best evidence that humans were living in North America 14,000 years ago, a millennium before the Clovis people, long thought to be the first Americans. Researchers from the University of Oregon studied the coprolites, found the crap in a cave in Oregon's Cascade Range. After the discovery, scientists at the University of Copenhagen's Center for Ancient Genetics analyzed DNA retrieved from the fossilized feces.

New Species Of Fish Discovered That Would Rather Crawl Than Swim
A fish that would rather crawl into crevices than swim, and that may be able to see in the same way that humans do, could represent an entirely unknown family of fishes, says a University of Washington fish expert.
Il pesce che striscia
Scoperta in indonesia una nuova specie di pesce che striscia nelle fessure anzichè nuotare, abile a mimetizzarsi e capace di vedere nello stesso modo in cui vedono gli esseri umani.

Congo-Kinshasa: Rural Women Launch Their Radio to Improve Welfare
A group of rural women in South Kivu has launched a community radio station to promote the welfare of women and grls

Blast barrier art in Kuwait
A flickr set of military graffiti in Kuwait.
This set consists of concrete blast barriers that have been painted (mostly) by the units passing through. Representations of the esprit de corps of our fine military units as they prepare for operations in Iraq.

03 aprile 2008

The Diesel Tree is a tree in Brazil that can be tapped, like the rubber tree. Its sap, however is a kind of natural diesel that when filtered, can be used in card and trucks.

A japanese designer has invented Diet Sunglasses which apparently help curb your appetite. They come with blue tinted glass that helps calm the brain's appetite centre. And the ble colour makes the food look disgusting.

Carrotmob is a new network of consumers who use collective buying power to entice businesses to make socially-responsible choices.Last week, hundreds of them went into a small store in San Francisco and bought groceries worth 10,000$. The store promised to use 22% of the revenue they generated to make the store energy-efficient.

A study of the molluscs, octupus, has found they have sex lives to rival any lurid tabloid tale.
The male uses its 10in (25cm) tentacles to strangle passing love rivals who take a fancy to their partner.

Fourteen members of a Russian doomsday cult on Tuesday abandoned the remote underground bunker where they had been hiding for nearly half a year awaiting the end of the world.

Pay-per-view funerals go live online in Britain on Tuesday, allowing mourners who cannot attend services in person to pay their last respects via the Internet.

BBtv - Second Skin, and the lives of Massively Multiplayer Online gamers

Burkina Faso: Children Educate Children About HIV in UN-Supported Project
Thousands of children in Burkina Faso are taking part in peer education programmes to promote awareness among the country's young about the scourge of HIV/AIDS under a project backed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Snow White was Really Green
It turns out that Snow White was a role model for saving the forest and Walt Disney was a secret environmentalist, inserting subliminal messages into his cartoons. Who knew? According to a recent book by two Cambridge academics, all those years of watching Jungle Book, the Little Mermaid and Bambi (re-runs on that one) have made generations of children more sympathetic to the natural world

Gore Launches Climate Change Awareness Campaign
The Gore-led Alliance for Climate Protection, an all-out marketing blitz, launched on Monday with plans to “ignite” Americans into taking action on global climate change. “When people unite and call for action, change is inevitable,” says the Alliance’s website,http://www.wecansolveit.org/.

02 aprile 2008


Conservazione della biodiversità

Secondo la Ong Biodiversity International bisogna ringraziare i contadini di tutto il mondo se al giorno d'oggi esiste ancora un'ampia biodiversità tra le piante da coltivazione. La variabilità genetica a livello agricolo è stata messa a dura prova, nei secoli, dalle coltivazioni intensive e ancor più, negli utlimi decenni, dalla globalizzazione del commercio dei semi e dei prodotti.
I ricercatori dell'organizzazione hanno preso in considerazione 27 specie vegetali importanti per l’alimentazione in tutto il mondo: secondo i dati raccolti nelle piccole fattorie dei cinque continenti e riguardanti gli ultimi 10 anni, le tipologie di coltivazione dei piccoli produttori sono prevalentemente tradizionali. Le piantagioni tradizionali infatti vanno dall'80 al 100% del totale delle coltivazioni e ogni specie viene coltivata in più di una varietà, con punte massime anche di 60 varietà per tipo.
Questo comportamento fortunatamente è in controtendenza ripetto alla condotta dei grandi produttori, che tendono a unificare a livello mondiale la qualità dei prodotti coltivati, seguendo le mode e le richieste dei mercati internazionali.

Via libera dell'Ue agli imballaggi riciclati per alimenti
Il recente regolamento della Commissione Ue n. 282/2008 stabilisce le nuove regole a livello europeo per la produzione di materiali e articoli di plastica riciclata destinati al contatto con gli alimenti. Grazie alla norma approvata a fine marzo, fra venti giorni sarà possibile usare la plastica riciclata anche per confezionare il cibo grazie all'ammissione degli imballaggi ottenuti da un preciso processo di riciclo autorizzato. Fino ad ora la legislazione nazionale vietava l'uso di materiali ricicleti a contatto con gli alimenti, tranne in alcuni casi specifici, come ad esempio le cassette per ortofrutta in polipropilene e polietilene ad alta densità. L'indicazione della natura, riciclata o meno, dell'imballaggio sarà opzionale. La sicurezza del pakaging verrà comunque garantita attraverso l'applicazione di controlli sui processi di lavorazione e autorizzazioni lungo tutta la filiera produttiva.

Clima: riunione popoli amazzonici
Per far sentire loro voce in dibattito alle Nazioni Unite
RIO DE JANEIRO, 2 APR - I rappresentanti dei popoli delle foreste tropicali di 15 paesi di America Latina, Africa e Asia si sono riuniti ieri a Manaus. La riunione ha lo scopo di far sentire la loro voce nel dibattito sul cambiamento del clima all'interno delle Nazioni Unite.

Chi inquina pagherebbe... L´Ue condonerà le nostre inadempienze?
La bozza di direttiva comunitaria, di cui si prevede l’approvazione nella primavera del 2009 e con la quale la Commissione Europea ripartisce fra gli stati membri gli obiettivi di lotta ai cambiamenti climatici (le tre venti), sanciti dal Consiglio Europeo nel marzo del 2007, assegna all’Italia un ruolo di assoluta retroguardia.

Plastica riciclata anche per imballaggi destinati agli alimenti
Tra venti giorni sarà possibile utilizzare plastica riciclata anche per produrre imballaggi destinati agli alimenti.

Norway To Use Forests To Double Bioenergy Output
OSLO - Norway will double production of bioenergy by 2020 by tapping its vast pine forests and seek to become an exporter of renewable energies to diversify from oil and gas, the government said on Tuesday.

Uganda: Govt Offers Subsidy On Solar Energy Loans
PEOPLE in rural areas will get subsidised loans on solar equipment from Post Bank Uganda (PBU) upon paying a deposit of 20 percent on the solar item

London Investors "Buy" Guyana Rainforest, Will Sell its Services
While we have to be pleased at the fact that global markets are beginning to understand the value of the (free) services provided by the planet's ecosystems, we have to wonder about this one. This is not an April Fools' joke: first the first time ever, a private equity firm has signed a contract for "rights to the ecosystem services produced by a rainforest reserve."

01 aprile 2008

Asian firms flock Kenya in search of big deals
Faced with an economy growing at a neck-break speed, China and--now India--are turning their eyes on Africa for resources to boost their industrial growth. Firms from these Asian nations are now boosting their presence in Kenya through multi-million shilling acquisition deals or green field targeting industries as diverse as telecommunication, tourism, energy, technology, commodities and construction. As diplomatic relations between China and India reach an all-time high...

Study sheds light on Woolly Mammoth demise
LONDON (Reuters) - Climate change drove woolly mammoths to the edge of extinction and then humans finished them off, according to a Spanish study on Tuesday that adds to the debate over the demise of the Ice Age behemoths.

Love in the octopus' garden
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - They flirt, hold hands and guard their lovers jealously -- yet they don't even have bones. The love lives of octopuses are far more complex than anyone thought, a team at the University of California, Berkeley, reported on Monday.

I polpi amano intensamente
La vita amorosa dei polpi è più complessa di quanto si potrebbe pensare. Secondo uno studio dell'Università di Berkeley, California, i molluschi tentacolati sono in grado di flirtare, sono gelosi del proprio amante e possono strangolare i rivali se si avvicinano troppo.

TAU student develops software that ranks facial attractiveness


A study that proves that just looking at the Apple logo can make you more creative.

The Belmont Clothing Library in Australia lets unemployed people borrow clothes for job interviews.

A list of the top 100 April Fools hoaxes of all time.

Fat zombies
A very large study has found a surprisingly strong link between the amount of shut-eye people get and their risk of becoming obese.
Sleep deprivation lowers leptin, a blood protein that suppresses appetite and seems to affect how the brain senses when the body has had enough food. Sleep deprivation also raises levels of grehlin, a substance that makes people want to eat.
When they're less sleepy, they're less hungry," a specialist said.

Uganda against gays.
The African Church is opposed to homosexuality on Scriptural argument. True, there is relative infrequency with which the bible mentions homosexual relationships and the possible silence of Jesus on the issue. Actually behind this homosexual controversy, is a big question from the African church- what should we believe now? The missionary gospel or the current trend?

Ssssttttttop..... tin-tin...
The phantom tones inside our head are louder than anything else. Although there is no cure, researchers say they have never had a better understanding of the cascade of physiological and psychological mechanisms responsible for tinnitus.
“We’ve discovered that tinnitus is not so much ringing in the ears as ringing in the brain”, a researcher says.
A woman who claims she was ordered by federal airport screeners to remove her nipple rings with pliers demanded an apology from the United States Transportation Security Administration on Thursday.

At first listen, the grainy high-pitched warble doesn't sound like much, but scientists say the French recording from 1860 is the oldest known recorded human.

A new scientific report explains how our sense of smell can steer us clear from danger and can shed light on disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome.