Energy Producing Home

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I just recently heard about a home designed by architect Rolf Disch that produces five times the energy it consumes.  The rotating home, dubbed “Heliotrope”, is designed for optimal use of the sun’s energy and an in home water purification system recycles gray water and rain water collected in a rooftop basin.

The video bellow offers a tour of the home.  For those of you who don’t understand German, narrator is saying that the house is awesome.


Written by Aaron Nee

August 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

The Green Revolution

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Rural Cuquio, Mexico is increasingly receiving attention from major agribusinesses: Monsanto, DuPont, etc.  What benefits could be motivating these corporations from setting up shop in a place where incomes range from $0 – $1.05 an hour?  Cuquio is a region of campesinos, poor subsistence farmers.  Allegedly the presence of these businesses would be mutually beneficial but according to this article that doesn’t seem to be the case. While Monsanto et. al promise higher yields, start up costs are higher, not to mention health risks.   Farmers untrained in the use of toxic pesticides  are poisoning frogs, the soil, and themselves.

“The local doctor in Cuquio says that two of every 10 patients who visit him during the rainy season months of June through October each year are poisoned by agrochemicals. Three or four die each year.”

Though tragic in itself, these three or four annual deaths may become overshadowed as farmers already struggling for survival are being diverted by the loud voices of large corporations that offer quick chemical-induced fixes, from sustainable solutions that would secure more fruitful harvests over time (such as those proposed by Mexican agronomist Juan Alba Quezedo).

Written by amynee

August 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

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Obama’s “New Normal” and Mid-East Media

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I was in the kitchen getting Isaac’s lunch ready and turned on the radio expecting to jump into the middle of “The Story” with Dick Gordan.  Instead the voice of the host was female (I didn’t catch her name) and the program was “On the Media” a show that addresses various media outlets around the world.  I initially planned on moving on to the more familiar, “Democracy Now!” but became fascinated as the host moved from an interview in which she discussed the “New Normal” of international relations and militarism being established under Obama to Iraqi independent programming (apparently the typical Iraqi is much more savvy at discerning b.s. from their news providers)  to “Tash Ma Tash,” a Saudi Arabian sitcom that challenges cultural norms.  I also managed to get a little crush on an Arabic television host, Ahmad Al-Shugairi, who airs a special program during Ramadan, challenging Muslims to be attentive to the teachings of the Prophet that effect everyday life (this episode is on waste management – if only I knew what he was saying!).  I definitely plan on tuning into this program and highly recommend it!

Written by amynee

August 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

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St Augustine, Harry Potter and the definition of evil

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I found this amazing lecture while researching the issue of the church and pop culture for my college small group.

Written by neehi

July 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm


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This is old news, but of such great historic importance that it is worth posting, even if it is late.  I meant to post this some time back but have had difficulty finding the time to get caught up on blogging.  Never the less, it is up now and if you have not already listened to or read Venter talk about what he and his team have done, please take the time to check it out.

FROM TED.COM: Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they’ve created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science.

Written by Aaron Nee

July 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

I’m not a jerk, I just have a mild case of face blindness

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Can I wear a button that says that?


Does anyone else feel like they have this?  I know Aimee does.

In most cases, I’ve got to see a person about 8 times before I can conjure a visual of their face in my mind.  And while I am USED to seeing my own reflection in the mirror at this point in my life, for many years I was always surprised by it…the person looking at me never looked like who I expected to see.  My audio memory for people is uncanny though….but only for people’s voices, not for music or other noises.

So, your brain learns and memorizes visual and auditory information differently…..and it also processes HUMAN (vs objects, places, etc) information differently also.  So bizarre.

Does anyone have any favorite links to other interesting info on memory or brain processing?

Written by alisap

July 17, 2010 at 8:23 pm

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continuing the trend

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The following is a commentary inspired by this New York Times article that I received on the Catholic Worker listserv:

    “It all happened so long ago, it is, in many respects, America’s
    forgotten war, the terrible war in Korea. It ran from June of 1950
    until July of 1953. I do not, here, make any defense of the North
    Korean regime (nor, for that matter, of the authoritarian South Korean
    regime in 1950).  But simply note that one reason for the ability of
    the North Korean leaders to maintain control over an economy which
    long ago collapsed, is that the cost of the war was so terrible that
    it instilled a profound fear (and hatred) of the United States.

    Two million North Koreans were killed – half of them civilians.
    900,000 Chinese troops were killed. South Korea lost well over a
    million lives – many of them civilians.

    The American bombing of the North reduced the country to rubble. When
    the war ended, the Americans made substantial economic investments in
    South Korea, as did Japan, making possible a remarkable economic
    recovery and rise in living standards. But China in 1953 was far too
    poor to make huge investments. North Korea was on its own.

    The New York Times story is part of an ongoing report of US murder of
    civilians – some of them political prisoners, most of them simply
    civilians, which occurred during the war.

    1953 is so distant now that the records are open. The dead have turned
    to dust. But one legacy is the strange regime of North Korea, which
    cannot feed its own people, but found money to build nuclear weapons.”

      This put me in mind of another article I’d read recently on CommonDreams about civilian deaths and drone bombings.

    Written by amynee

    July 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

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