Stratospheric ozone depletion threatens us with enhanced ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface, which can be damaging or lethal to many life forms. Air pollution near ground level, and acid precipitation, are already causing widespread injury to humans, forests and crops.
Heedless exploitation of depletable ground water supplies endangers food production and other essential human systems. Heavy demands on the world's surface waters have resulted in serious shortages in some 80 countries, containing 40% of the world's population. Pollution of rivers, lakes and ground water further limits the supply.
Destructive pressure on the oceans is severe, particularly in the coastal regions which produce most of the world's food fish. The total marine catch is now at or above the estimated maximum sustainable yield. Some fisheries have already shown signs of collapse. Rivers carrying heavy burdens of eroded soil into the seas also carry industrial, municipal, agricultural, and livestock waste -- some of it toxic.
Loss of soil productivity, which is causing extensive Land abandonment, is a widespread byproduct of current practices in agriculture and animal husbandry. Since 1945, 11% of the earth's vegetated surface has been degraded -- an area larger than India and China combined -- and per capita food production in many parts of the world is decreasing.
Tropical rain forests, as well as tropical and temperate dry forests, are being destroyed rapidly. At present rates, some critical forest types will be gone in a few years and most of the tropical rain forest will be gone before the end of the next century. With them will go large numbers of plant and animal species.
The irreversible loss of species, which by 2100 may reach one third of all species now living, is especially serious. We are losing the potential they hold for providing medicinal and other benefits, and the contribution that genetic diversity of life forms gives to the robustness of the world's biological systems and to the astonishing beauty of the earth itself.
The Net explores the complex back-story of Ted Kaczynski — the infamous ‘Unabomber’, as a prism to the often unexamined side of the history of the Internet. The film combines speculative travelogue and investigative journalism to trace contrasting counter cultural responses to the cybernetic revolution. For those who resist these pervasive systems of technology, the Unabomber came to symbolise an ultimate figure of refusal. For those that embrace it, as did and do the champions of media art like Marshall McLuhan, Nam June Paik and Stewart Brand, the promises of worldwide networking and instantaneous communication outweighed the perils.
Golden light illuminates a remote tributary of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon in southern Utah, where a lone hiker strolls along a still pool that reflects the opposite wall of the canyon. The canyon walls have altered the natural (direct) sunlight with the colors of the Navajo Sandstone.
Even after 50 years, construction of the Glen Canyon Dam and the flooding of most of Glen Canyon remain controversial. The Grand Canyon is known for its wide vistas over the raging Colorado River. Glen Canyon, just a few miles upstream, was more sublime with broad floodplains, vertical canyon walls and relatively tame rapids. Today, about 10 mi (16 km) of the original Glen Canyon remains below the dam. But even there, the ecology has been altered by the controlled flows and cold water from the depths of Lake Powell.
Another State of Mind is a documentary film made in the summer of 1982 chronicling the adventure (and misadventure) of two punk bands -- Social Distortion and Youth Brigade -- as they embark on their first international tour. Along the way they meet up with another progressive punk band, Minor Threat, whom they hang out with at the Dischord house for about a week near the end of their ill-fated tour.
Jesse Silverberg, a graduate student at Cornell University in Ithaca, and two physics professors at Cornell are researching the science behind “what makes a crowd of people with independent decision-making powers behave like a random gas?”
Yep! According to the research by these physicists, people in mosh pits act like atoms in a gas. Apparently the studies could help architects design buildings “that ease the flow of chaotic crowds in an emergency.”
“Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system- with all these exalted powers- Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”
The Niger Delta is still an environmental disaster after more than fifty years of oil exploitation. One and a half million tons of crude oil has been spilled into the creeks, farms and forests so far. Natural gas contained in the crude oil is burnt off in gas flares which spread toxins, acid rain and destroy crops. Poison Fire documents the life of the locals in impoverished communities, creeks full of crude oil, devastated mangrove forests, wellheads leaking gas, all working to fight against oil giant Shell to at least stop the toxic gas flares…
Researchers from Royal Holloway and the Sandia National Laboratories along with 13 other universities across the United States and Europe, challenge the belief that a large impact or airburst comet or asteroid caused a significant and abrupt change to the Earth’s climate and terminated the Clovis culture. They argue that other explanations must be found for the apparent disappearance.
At the lowest end of the prison power structure are los anegados — the unwanted ones — prisoners who have angered the pranes or allies of the pranes, on the inside or outside, and fear for their lives. And so, in an act of desperation, they stitch their mouths shut. Within the country’s prisons there is an unspoken, but religiously followed, agreement among inmates: When one sews his lips, no one can kill him.
Constantine S. Rafinesque (1773-1840) was a naturalist who emigrated to America from Europe in 1815.
He studied descriptive zoology, botany, and meteorology. In 1836 he produced a document he called the Walam Olum, claiming it was an ancient text written on birch bark by early Lenape (Delaware) indians that he had been able to translate into English.
The document, which described the peopling of North America, was long considered to be authentic and historically important. It was not until 1996 that the researcher David Oestreicher exposed it as a hoax.
Based on an examination of Rafinesque's papers, Oestreicher concluded that Rafinesque had first translated the text from English into Lenape, rather than from Lenape into English, meaning that the Lenape document was a forgery.
The reason Rafinesque created this hoax, Oestreicher argued, was partly out of a desire for fame and recognition. Rafinesque may also have been inspired by Joseph Smith's then recent translation of the Mormon Bible from golden tablets inscribed with ancient Egyptian which he claimed to have found in upstate New York.
Rafinesque had publicly denounced the Mormon Bible as a hoax, but viewing its success, he may either have decided to attempt something similar himself, or he may have been trying to cast doubt on the Mormon assertion that Native Americans had descended from Hebrew tribes.