Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why the idea of having sex with a robot is so attractive

The idea of having sex with a robot has probably existed as long as the concept of robots has existed. Books, T.V. and movies have been sexualizing robots for decades. The question is why? What makes the idea of having sex with a robot so attractive?

1) No rejection or humiliation or any negative response unless it was programmed in as part of your fantasy. The robot is a sure thing because it is programmed to want to have sex with you.

2) Enthusiasm: You can actually live your fantasies and desirers with a willing enthusiastic partner. The robot would be programmed to find all your wants and needs to be it’s as well. It can also be programmed to provide a variety of “new” things to try, and be willing to try them. A robot is not going to look down on you because of your desirers or fantasies you would like to try.

3) Variety and fantasy fulfillment: Robot can be anything or anyone you want it to be. Any fantasy can be fulfilled using a robot. You want to have sex with someone famous, get the robot that looks like him or her. You can even have the robot look like something that never existed, like an anima character. You want a change; switch robots or have the robot change its appearance. One company, NTT DoCoMo, is actually working on “glasses” that you put on and you see what ever you want superimposed over the body of the robot. Don’t get me started on those who have fantasies that would involve their robot pets, it’s a robot, anything is possible.

4) No fear or reprisal or risk of secrets desirers being reviled. No robot is going to post the sex tapes you made on the Internet because you traded it in for a newer model, or use sex secrets you revel to it to blackmail, control or to humiliate you.

5) Consistent availability. The robot is there when you need or want it. It does not need sick days, have headaches or need to go on business trips.

6) Control. You have absolute control of all interactions with the robot. Even when your fantasy is for the robot to have control, it only has as much control as it was programmed to have or you allow it.

7) Robots don’t come with baggage, issues, past relationships, hang-ups, pre-made families or “in-laws”.

8) No pressure: It is all about you, your needs desirers and satisfactions. A robot is never going to be disappointed or frustrated with your lovemaking or that you want the same thing as last time. So what if you want it to be nurse Betty or Dr. Bob again, it is all about what you want or need. The robot can be programmed to meet all your needs and you don’t have to worry about meeting its needs because it has none unless you programmed it in.

9) Robots cannot become or make you pregnant.

10) No consequences or guilt. It is not cheating; you are just using a machine or sex toy.

11) Stamina and flexibility. A robot can be designed to be able to do things no human could possibly do

12) Security. A robot will not leave you unless it is repossessed for non-payment.

Would having sex with a robot be cheating?

With the way technology is going it will not be long before atomically correct robots are available. Several of the larger companies are working on it as well as more mainstream commercial applications. The sex industry is huge so it only makes sense that the companies working on robotics would want to tap into that market. Robots designed for sex or capable of sex and emotional relationships has been the theme of many science fiction plot lines since before the 60’s. Think of all the movies, TV shows and books that have sex robots, Weird Science, Circuitry Man, A.I., Millennium and more. It is something people have thought about for some time; it is not surprising that it is becoming a reality. The concept is that there will be robots interacting with us everyday almost indistinguishable from a human both in form and function. Robots would become an accepted part of our society with the possibility of relationships developing, even marriage. Marriage to a robot has already taken place and is legal in Japan.

So there are two minds to the possibility of sex robots. One is that there is a market for robots designed for sex. Second is that as people interact with robots emotional bonds will develop with the possibility of humans falling in love with robots: “Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships” by David Levy. There is even a theory that robots may be programmed to love and other human emotions. Kim Jong-Hwan, the director of the ITRC-Intelligent Robot Research Centre, has developed a series of artificial chromosomes that, he says, will allow robots to feel lusty, and could eventually lead to them reproducing. He says the software will give the machines the ability to feel, reason and desire. Which reminds me of the twilight episode where the robot killed because she loved. Another possibility, that if we program robots to react as humans they will.

There are people who would benefit from the creation of robots for relationships, so here comes WowWee's Femisapien and Sega's E.M.A.. Some people are destined to be lonely due to physical location, personality issues, or are just not attractive. Robots can be designed to fulfill that need. Some people need the interpersonal skills and could practice with a robot until they are able to develop a relationship with a real person. But would that be cheating on the robot? There are other people who are unable to maintain relationships who could have a robot programmed to put up with them.

Now comes the moral question, would having sex with a robot be cheating? Would the robot count as a “person” or would it just be another sex toy? Think about it, there could be a robot designed to meet all your needs, from cleaning the house, cooking, and sex, as the ones in Cherry 2000. The robot could even be designed to change its physical appearances so that you could have a different partner, or a variety of partners to play with depending on your whim. Robots can even be designed to meet the needs of sexual deviants hopefully keeping real people safe.

Will there be a day when a wife or husband says, “Not tonight honey, I have a headache. Why don’t you pull the robot out of the closet?” Will having sex with a robot be seen as being as bad as having it with another person or just a really fun sex toy? Will robots replace prostitutes?

The real question for me is: How can an average person compete with a robot? They don’t age, they can look physically perfect, meet anyone’s desires, and are ready and willing anytime. They can be programmed to have no moral hang-ups, so you want to do two robots or a robot and a person, why not. How can an almost 40 overweight and overworked woman like me possibly compete with a robot designed to meet my husbands every desire both in the physical appearance and sexual appetite, what ever he likes she does as well and is always willing and able. That is the real question, can human relationships survive the perfection of robot partners?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Robot wheelchair finds its own way (MIT)

MIT researchers are developing a new kind of autonomous wheelchair that can learn all about the locations in a given building, and then take its occupant to a given place in response to a verbal command.

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Motorcyles Designed to Run on Air : Discovery News

We may be driving on air in the next few years. That is, we may be driving vehicles powered by compressed air, instead of gasoline or diesel fuel.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Build an Electric Car Charging Infrastructure

In a slew of announcements this week, a picture of what the future of plug-in vehicle charging might look like is starting to emerge.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

"Tongue Drive System" Controls Wheelchair & Computer

The new system uses that famously strong, agile and sensitive muscle, the tongue, to provide computer accessibility and wheelchair control to severely disabled people

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Five Ways Reality Went Sci-Fi So Far This Century

We love a good science fiction story, but sometimes reality is just as strange. While we may have seen 2001 come and go without an actual space odyssey, the last eight years have been full of events that - had they not actually happened - could easily pass for science fiction.

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How Far Should We Go To Save Species?

As climate change threatens more and more species, the question that is coming to the forefront is this: How far should we go to save species that are endangered by global warming?

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Anti-smoking vaccine on trial

"Swedish scientists begin human trials on a shot intended to stop nicotine reaching the brain.The experts behind the vaccine say it will eliminate the nicotine highs that smokers relish and therefore help tobacco addicts to quit but some have their doubts it will be that simple."

The real problem is that smoking is a habit. You don’t just have to break the physical addiction you have to eliminate the mental addiction. There have been a lot of products out there to help people stop smoking by providing an alternative source of nicotine the body is craving. People still don’t quit even though there is an alternative to smoking, and still satisfy the need for nicotine. Smoking is a way of life, and to quit smoking you need to make some big changes in your life.

There are some great commercials about having to relearn how to do everything without a smoke once you quit. It shows people being unable to drink a cup of coffee, or drive their car with out a cigarette. They are quite funny but at the same time show how much people who smoke need more then just the nicotine. It is part of their routine and they need the comfort of the routine, even if it is bad for them. So it is great that there is yet another option to help people quit but a drug, patch, or shot is not going to break the pattern of smoking. Something has to be done to help people let go of the cigarette not just break the physical addiction.

I know people who have quit but as soon as stress enters their lives they start again. Even after years of not smoking. Cigarettes seem to be able to keep their hold on people far longer then the actual nicotine addiction.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Now your Maid will obey all your orders and will serve you..

Those who have watched The Jetsons cartoon show might remember Rosie, the robotic kitchen maid. Now, scientists are working towards making her a reality.

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50 Best Robots Ever

Wired puts together a list of both fact and fiction, did your favorite 'bot make it on the list?

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Robots DO dream of electric sheep: Emotional robots

A robot with empathy sounds like the stuff of sci-fi movies, but with the aid of neural networks European researchers are developing robots in tune with our emotions. The tantalising work of the Feelix Growing project is grabbing the world’s attention.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Water conservation at its best

Today I was walking home in the rain, hating every wet second of it because it was not a light rain. I was drenched within minutes. I came across this older gentlemen washing his car in his drive way. He had an umbrella in one hand and a car scrubby in the other. There he was washing downh is car in the poring rain. I was thinking; “What is this guy doing? Why would anyone want to be out in this rain unless they had to be?” Then the light bulb went off. This guy was no idiot but a very smart man.

He was using the power of the heavy rain to clean off his car and using the scrubbing brush to get off the hard parts, like stuck bugs. He was saving water the smart way, making use of what was naturally there. He let the hard rain do 95% of the work and was saving money because he has to pay for his water usage but rain is free. As for getting wet, you get wet washing a car, what is the difference if it comes from the sky or a hose?

It made me think of the other ways people take advantage of rainfall. Farmers often have cisterns or other ways to store rainwater to be used to water the crops, given to the animals or used to clean things. I remember always having rain barrels where we could collect rainwater and then would use it to water the garden on hot dry days. It made sense then and now. Water conservation needs to take place now more then ever and yet most people don’t think about it that much. Water from a tap makes it convenient and it is hard to think that it might not be so easily available someday.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Madagascar Hopes Tourism Saves 'Noah's Ark'

Exotic species and Homo sapiens have a hard time existing side by side. Wherever you find Man, you are also likely to find that rare birds, mammals, fish and flowers have been driven to the brink of extinction, and sometimes beyond.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shrooms make people behave better?

In an article 'Shroom' Study Reveals Lasting Effects scientists reported Tuesday that when they surveyed volunteers 14 months after they took a psychedelic drug as part of a research project, most said they were still feeling and behaving better because of the experience.

I find it interesting that they started to study the effects of magic mushrooms again. I wonder what drug company wants to harvest them and make them into a magic cure all? Yes there is potential use for psilocybin, the hallucinogen drug found in shrooms. This may help people feel better, that is how they work. So it is quite possible to try and turn it into a new anti-depression drug, or something to help addicts of both drugs and alcohol. I do not doubt that there are medicinal properties to be found in psilocybin. It is finding it, legalizing it for medical use and then packaging it and marketing it that is going to take a little time.

What I found even more interesting is that some of the people in the study still feel that the one time use of the psilocybin is still having an affect on their lives. What would happen to someone who uses this on a regular basses? Would they become the typical hippy stereotype; relaxed, happy, and no real ambition but to get the next high and some snacks?

Are there more studies planned? If so, what type of person would volunteer? Could it be that a certain type of person is drawn to a test study like this, a controlled environment in which to get high? Could this be affecting their results? What would happen if they took a random sample of people off the street and did the same study? Would there be a difference in the results? Could it also be that the people in the study were looking for a life changing experience and therefore were more open to change, this just gave them a catalyst for the change. Could the side effects just be in their minds because they wanted to change or was there an actual physical change in their brains? If so how do you test for that? Can you do a before and after mapping of the brain?

For me this study gives me more questions then answers. Yes they already knew that psilocybin would give people an out of this world or psyco-delic experience, that’s why people use shrooms in the first place. So some of the people feel better 16 months after participating in the study. However it was based on a survey, no real scientific reading or testing was done. If something has changed for these people, what is it? I can see it now, drugies all over the world claiming they use shrooms because it makes them a better person. That is great, but can you prove it? Drunken people think they are better lovers and drivers and everyone knows the truth about that, what they think and what they do are completely different.

10 Reasons Why High Gas Prices Are Good

There was an interesting article, 10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas, on the Times website. It did give some good examples of how the high cost in gas is forcing changes.

Yes there is good to be found in just about anything if you look hard enough. So people are being forced to change their lives because of the high cost of gas. The problem is that the changes that need to be done now are not being done. People are being forced to change or go hungry. Their money is going to pay for gas and they don’t have money to buy the new products that will save them money.

It does us no good to question why alternative sources for fuel and power were not being invested into the last 30 years. It is not like we did not know this was going to happen. Most people just assumed it would not happen in his or her life. Well it is and now we have to deal with it before it takes us down. I want to be able to feed my kids not worry about being able to get to work because I have to decide to put gas in the car or food on the table.

We need to have bigger changes that just looking for better fuel-efficient cars or ones that run on alternative fuels. We need to start using solar panels, wind harvesters, water wheels, and the new H20 engines. India is doing it look at the new National Action Plan on Climate Change the Prime Minister of India just put into place. Holland and other countries have been doing this for years. We need to start incorporating their technology and know how into our way of life. Stop thinking about consumption and start thinking about creating energy. It is not good enough to try and conserve now, it is time to actually change how we do things.

If we could put solar panels on every home, and building and use the energy generated from just that think about how much of a change that alone would make. Add wind harvesters in open areas, some that we cannot live on or farm, and there is a huge source of energy. We have a lot of options now, but we need people and companies to start investing into the changes and doing it. Then we need the Government to support it, and make it easer for people to start changing. New buildings should be required to incorporate the use of solar energy technology and other forms of harvesting and conserving energy. There is a lot that can be done, but it is not being done even though we all know it needs to be done. Why can India as a country make these changes but we don’t?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Solar Energy to Change the Face of India

The Prime Minister of India released a National Action Plan on Climate Change today that focuses attention on eight priorities, the first among which is “Solar Energy”, whose success-- according to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh--has the potential to change the face of the country, and perhaps the world.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Antro Solo: Awesome UFO-Like Vehicle Gets 150 MPG

Hungary is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about cutting edge green vehicles, yet. If the creators of the Antro Solo have their way, the country will be synonymous with green machines by 2012. It looks like nothing else out there, and has a fuel efficiency of more than 150 miles per gallon!

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The 5 Creepiest Advertising Techniques of the (Near) Future

You'll be exposed to around 6,000 marketing messages today, according to researchers. You're looking at a few right now. Glance away from your computer and you'll see another one--a label on a bottle, a logo on a t-shirt, a billboard outside the window.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Seaweed Power: Ireland Taps New Energy Source

With its vast seaweed reservoir, Ireland could become a key player in biofuel production.

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Lightweight, Metal-Like Glass Examined

Airplane wings, golf clubs and engine parts made of glass alloys could be a step closer following new research into the chaotic structure of glass.

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London:Wanna be an Eco-clubber? Dancers Generate Electricity

With a bouncing floor and a series of power generating blocks, the first eco-nightclub in Britain will open its gates on July 10, in London. The bar is supposedly powered by renewable energy and will serve organic spirits in polycarbon cups. It also has plans to install a power-generating dance floor and a recycling water system to flush the lavato

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World's Most Efficient Solar Dish?

A team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students last week successfully tested a prototype of what it says may be the "most cost-efficient solar-power system in the world," revolutionizing global energy production.

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How Do Biological Patterns Emerge?

A zebra’s stripes, a seashell’s spirals, a butterfly’s wings: these are all examples of patterns in nature. The formation of patterns is a puzzle for mathematicians and biologists alike. How does the delicate design of a butterfly’s wings come from a single fertilized egg? How does pattern emerge out of no pattern?

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First "Invisible" Planet Discovered Through Math In 1846

The eighth planet from the sun, Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical predictions rather than through regular observations of the sky. (Galileo had recorded it as a fixed star during observations with his small telescope in 1612 and 1613.)

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Are Artificial Reefs Good for the Environment?

It sounds like a great idea. Sink an old fleet of subway cars in the ocean. Plants & invertebrates will colonize the hulking structure. Fish will migrate there & reproduce. And before long, the replenished ecosystem thats great for recreational fishing & diving. But some scientists aren't so sure they replenish the ecosystem.

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Holographic Mobile Devices by 2010 (or sooner!)

Holographic mobile handsets capable of projecting, capturing and sending 3D images have been developed by an Indian tech company. By 2010 the devices will routinely beam 3D films, games and virtual goods into our laps according to Indian technology giant Infosys, which has patented the handset.

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Researchers build Robot that Can Replicate Itself

Researchers have developed a robot that can create 3D replicas of objects and even replicate itself.Scientists from the University of Bath in England unveiled an open-source machine that acts like a three-dimensional printer. Instead of printing out documents or pictures on paper, this printer uses blueprints to produce 3-D plastic objects.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Google launches new space race to the moon!

Google announces the Google Lunar X Prize, which will put $20 million into the hands of the first privately funded team that can land a rover on the moon, have it travel on the surface for 500 meters or more, send back data, photos and video, and do it all by December 31, 2012.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

US Government wants to control water, but is it theirs to begin with?

I keep saying that soon clean drinkable water will soon be one of the most sought after commodities competing with oil in value. There are companies all over the world already selling water, both in bottles and for water piped into your home. Now the US Government is working on the Water Restoration Act of 2007. This would give the US Federal Government control over all water in the US. The idea is that this would give the US Government control over water so that it can be protected. It seems water may be a potential terrorist target and they also want to be able to have control over the pollution and said clean up of polluted water to insure the US has safe water to drink.

The problem is that it also opens the door to privatization of the water supply. If there is money to make someone will and controlling water is a sure way to make some. I don’t think that it would be a good idea to give control over our water to someone looking to sell it back to us. It is one thing to pay for water usage in our homes to cover the cost of piping, pumps, maintains and cleaning the water. It is another thing completely to have to pay for the actual water. Right now I can buy a bottle of water if I want to, which is fine because I am not forced to buy the water I can choose to. I already know that it is going to be the poor that suffers if suddenly you have to buy water.

Once you have control over the water you have control over the people. We cannot live with out it. I do agree that pollution must be reduced or stopped and cleaned up. There is less and less clean water everyday. It is a valuable commodity that is used in just about everything from drinking water, production and manufacturing. Do I want the same type of people in charge of water, as we have in charge of oil and gas, no way! I do not want to have price hikes on every Friday or to be denied water because I am poor. Once someone has control over the water they can decide who gets it and trust me it will be the people, county, city or state that can pay the most for it.

I can also see this causing an international issue. The great lakes are not 100% US though at times they seem to believe that they are. The water is not just for them. I live in Canada, on the edge of one of the lakes. We use it for our water, and trust me it needs to be cleaned up. However if a company in the US is given the right to sell the water from the Great Lakes we are going to have a problem.

First all the water there is not theirs to buy or sell. Second with the potential for abuse, already seen in the fishing industry, how much water would they remove from the lakes to supply people? Canada and the US would soon have very strong words over the control of the water. And let me tell you Canada and Canadians are not going to sit idly by as some company sells off our water. This is not just a US issue, with US rights and laws. Just because the US decides this is the way it is going to be does not make it so. Canada has some say over what happens with the water and who gets what.

To find out more about this Water Restoration Act of 2007 please check out this article Water Restoration Act May Lead to Privatization of Water Supply.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jellyfish Outbreaks a Sign of Nature Out of Sync

I knew that we were in trouble when fish prices started going up years ago, and we had to start making fish farms to try and repopulate Salmon and other fish. Now almost 20 years latter the jellyfish are letting us know that there is a real problem not just in Canada but world wide. Over fishing has changed the population of the seas and now jellyfish are taking over. This is not a good thing. I don't know what we are going to be able to do, it is not like we can even replace the number of fish we are already taking out and we are still fishing.

The dramatic proliferation of jellyfish in oceans around the world, driven by overfishing and climate change, is a sure sign of ecosystems out of kilter, warn experts. There is a very good article on this called Jellyfish Outbreaks a Sign of Nature Out of Sync.

For years over fishing has been causing problems in the ecosystem but now that the jellyfish are moving in and causing problems for tourism suddenly we notice.

Rare albino crows spotted in East Vancouver

It is a baby white albino crow. Very odd. Strange things are going on when crows are pure white. There are two baby crows that appear to have a rare genetic mutation that makes them albino. I found the story on the two crows on CBC web site. I guess it is not just wales showing up as albinos these days. I wonder if this is normal or if we have messed up the ecosystem up so badly things are just going haywire?

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Mysterious Rings Found In Canadian Forests

Only seen from the sky, hug rings or circles in the trees. Thousands of large, perfectly round circles. Space ships landed here or are these the same as crop circles only in trees?

No it is believed that the strange circles are being caused by "giant, natural electrochemical cells — big centres of negative charges called reduced chimneys — that are frequently situated over metal or mineral deposits, or methane." It seems finding the circles gives clues that there something worth digging for, possible metal, minerals or more important alternative fuel in the form of methane. With the cost of oil going up alternative fuels are going to be even more valuable resources so I guess it is a good thing someone figured out that the rings may mean dig here. I found the article on the Mysterious Rings Found In Canadian Forests on the CBC web site. It is interesting but I pulled some of the pictures and info for a quick overview. The article is still worth reading though.

An Ontario Geological Survey map of documented forest rings in Northern Ontario. Note that the size of the rings on the map is to show the distribution of different-sized rings, they are not proportional to the map scale. (Courtesy Ontario Geological Survey)

Rings in farmer's fields in Southern Ontario's Essex County, a few kilometres from the Michigan border, formed by oil deposits. (Courtesy Ontario MNR)

The Cheecka Ring is a ring measuring about 1 kilometre in diameter, located 20 km east of Hearst, Ont. Scientists believe it was formed by a natural gas deposit. (Courtesy S. Hamilton, OGS)

The R2 Ring is a 300-metre wide ring located about 40 kilometres south of Hearst, Ont. The geological source of the ring is unknown, but its shape can be clearly seen in this aerial photograph of the forest. (Courtesy S. Hamilton, OGS)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reduce your water usage now before it become a necessity

Everyone knows that clean water is becoming harder to find. Droughts and pollution are having their effects on our water supply. Soon good clean water that is safe to drink will become a valuable commodity easily competing with oil as one of the more sought after natural resource. As it is in some places we have to pay for the water we use, and can expect the price to increase as water becomes more valuable. I found this wonderful list of “53 easy tips to use less water”, by Alisa Miller. I think it is dead on and worth sharing. It is all common sense but just because it makes sense does not mean we think to do it. I hope this helps reduce the water you use and your water bill. We might as well start now and get use to preserving water before it becomes a necessity. Please take the time to read her very useful list of “53 easy tips to use less water”.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The cost of food is going up, up, and away and there is no end in sight

It is going to get harder and harder to be able to buy food as prices increase. This is a somewhat forgotten side affect of the increase in oil prices. Sure people are saying it is the cost to ship food that is increasing prices. However people are forgetting that most farms these days use a lot of energy and fuel just to run. The price increases in oil, gas, and subsequently everything else must be just about killing the small and large farms. It is not like days long ago when you needed a horse to plant and harvest, and you milked the cows by hand. Everything is pretty much automated or requires specialized heavy-duty equipment. So now it just costs more to grow or raise food, so the end cost of our food goes up a little here.

Then we ship it all over to wholesalers, factories and stores. The shipping has increased in price so the cost of food goes up a little more there. If it needs to be processed or even just sorted the price will go up even more. Sorting and processing is usually done by equipment that uses energy. Very little is done by hand anymore. Even if it was done by hand the cost just to light a sorting or processing area has gone up and the cost gets tacked onto food. I don’t want to even think about the large factories that are full of equipment and machines all designed to reduce the labor force, increase productivity and sucks back energy.

Then things finally make it to the store. Well the store is facing higher costs in shipping and running the store. So food prices go up. To cut some costs they could reduce the air conditioner and lower lights but they will still have an electric bill to deal with. The increase cost has to be covered by increasing the price of food. In the end we are going to be paying more for our food.

Some people might argue that electricity should not be affected by the cost of oil, but it is. Think about just the cost to mine and transport coal, the cheapest source of energy right now. That is going to go up because they use gas. So it is going to be even harder to buy food. You have to spend more on electricity, oil, gas and any retail items. Then with what is left you have to stretch to buy food, which costs more. This is going to hit the poor so badly that the already over stretched food banks may not be able to handle the need.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tribute to soldiers- Is my Daddy coming home??

This video made me cry. We see solders going to war but we just don’t think about them not coming back. This video made me think about all the people that have left their loved ones to fight. I don’t care what side they are on; I want them all to be able to come home for their families. Maybe it is time we started telling our Governments that enough is enough, lets get our people home, to their families, now. I guess I see things differently then some. Fighting to keep control of oil in someone else’s country is too expensive both in lives, time lost and money. Lets put that money into developing other energy sources and improving the lives of those in our own country, and bring our people home. It is one thing to protect our home and country it is another to be spending all our time, money and lives in a country that does not even want us there.

Why can we not have these soldiers home in time for Fathers Day?

Buy a car get a free gun in Missouri

At first I thought someone had sent me a joke link but no this car dealer is giving away a free gun if you buy a car. Ok, so it is actually a gift certificate for $250.00 at the local gun shop but it is still kind of an odd promotion. Then I realised that this guy knows his market. This was a great incentive for the people to buy the car now instead of latter. This worked for his dealership. His sales increased, he was happy, his customers were happy and so was the gun shop owner. It worked for him.

I cannot say that it would be a marketing strategy I would have thought off, but then I live in Canada and as the article said everyone but and old guy and a Canadian took the gun. They took the gift certicicate for gas. I have to take my hat off for this guy, he did his homework and did a very unique marketing campaign that not only paid off locally but also got his dealership international attention. You cannot pay for advertising like that.

Link to story.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why are we only looking at alternative energy sources now?

Those of us in industrialized countries have become too complacent with our dependence on oil and other energy sources. We expect it to be there for use in our lifetime and our children’s. As a result we have not treated it as a precious resource to be conserved. We have not utilized all our resources as people in third world countries do. We are used to plenty and even though we say the words conserve, recycle, reuse we don’t do it to the same degree as impoverished countries.

Many years ago I watch a show on a village in Africa that was having a fuel shortage. The solution was to make methane gathering equipment and storage. This was a pit where animal waste was placed, a plastic cover, like a large bag was placed over it. The methane gas built up and would rise up through tubes into a plastic bag or bladder. Another tube came from the bladder to the cooking area. The tube was closed using something like a close pin. When fire was needed the close pin was removed and the methane was lit. This was very resourceful and cheep. Though I felt that more safety precautions were needed to prevent a bad fire explosion.

It is all in a person’s perception. We see animal poop as something to get rid of or use as fertilizer. Though even then we have gone to chemical fertilizers in some places. We complain that all the cow poop out there is causing an increase in the worlds temperature. Though we actually know it is our cars and factory’s. Why are we not harvesting the naturally occurring methane? I am sure we can come up with much more efficient and safe ways to harvest and use methane from animal waste. It is a renewable energy source, and we can still use it as fertilizer after. I think it would also be a cleaner source of energy the burning coal to make electricity.

Other countries, not just third world countries, are using every resource they have to have cheep, clean fuel and energy resources. Why are we not doing the same? Solar, wind and water have been used through out history as a source of energy, why do we use it in such limited capacity. Why are we only now creating wind and solar energy farms? Why have we not been using these resources all along? I know, oil was cheep and easy to use. So what if there were consequences such as high pollution, it would not be our or our kid’s problem. Well now it is. We have to make some quick changes on how we do things.

The only way things are going to change is if we start making changes as individuals and demanding changes in and how we get our energy. There are farms in Sweden that generate enough energy, using wind, that they actually sell the excess to a power company. That is one farm. What could we do if we all found ways to generate energy for our own homes using wind, solar, water or even on a farm animal waste?

Our huge garbage dumps are already creating a lot of heat. It is actually a problem in the waste management field. Why are we not finding a way to use this? It is not like we are going to stop making garbage. As it is there are not enough places to put it so we end up burning it or trying to bury it. Why are we not utilizing this? Are we so far removed from nature and need that we are going just keep wasting things? So what if we are not at the point that it is a necessity to keep our family warm and fed. Do we have to get to the point where it is a necessity before we take advantage of what we already have?

Once we were as needy and resourceful as the poor people in third world countries struggling to live. What is it going to take for use to wake up and start being that resourceful again? Gas and energy prices are just going to keep going up and we are already behind in using alternative fuel sauces. We need to catch up as a country and make use of what is there, not what is easy right now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gas prices consequences

The first thing I notice is how crowded the bus's are. If you can use a bus to get around it makes more sense then paying for a car, insurance and gas. More and more people are taking their cars off the road. For a lot of people it is a matter of paying for gas or food or rent. The increase in costs due to gas prices is having an impact on every aspect of our lives. People have the same income but now everything costs more.

Car sales are way down, though Hybrid cars are selling more then regular gas cars. There are a lot of sales and promotions trying to get people to buy a regular gas car. With the consistent increases in gas it just does not make any sense to buy a gas car. So to be accurate the cost of everything but gas cars are increasing.

That brings up the second thing I have noticed, retail product cost more, from food to clothing. Sales are dropping simply because you can only stretch a dollar so far then you have to start giving things up. It is not a good time to be in the retail business; even an Internet store like we have is starting to feel the pinch. People have less disposable cash to buy things, and shipping cost is increasing. So even if someone wants an item, shipping may bring the cost beyond what someone is prepared to spend.

As a retailer if I am not making sales, I don't buy new product to sell or manufacture more. I would have to cut costs, such as not selling at festivals because I am unsure if I will make enough sales to break even with the increased rental fees, gas cost, and paying staff. This means I am not employing people I normally would, decreasing their disposable income. It is a viscous circle.

We are on the verge of a recession or even a depression. The cause of this is in part the increased cost of oil, however it is not the only contributor to our economic downturn. We are on the right track by changing to as many alternative fuel sources as possible, changing what we buy and use will decrease our dependence on oil. This will increase our disposable cash, which when spent will stimulate the economy again. All good. But the question is have we made the changes soon enough or are we about to be hit real hard in the next few years with a recession?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

LMAO. The things people come up with! It is just so wrong I had to share it. Though I am not sure if it’s going to get me in trouble or not. Good voices, well done video and its popular so I guess it fits. So here is the Song for the MILFs by Runawaybox.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s out there.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How technological and medical advancements have changed our lives

I find it interesting to see how technological and medical advancements change people’s viewpoints. As computers became able to take over more tasks for us it was thought that they would take over our jobs, and they did. People thought that they would give us more leisure time, paperless offices and instead we spend more time on the computer and are flooded with paperwork. We tend to spend more time with our computers then our families.

As we became more comfortable with computers new sciences and technology became everyday. Then our science fiction became probable and possible. Now what was science fiction in the 70 and 80’s are now commonplace commodities. Every time I look around I see things people created in stories in the 50’s and 60’s being used as every day items. Now there are quite a few things have surpassed the original ideas. For today’s invertors or scientists the idea of teleportation devices, holograph rooms, cars that run on air or water, or devices that let the blind see are not some far off idea but something people are working on at different labs or have already been created.

It is nothing to have friends from all over the world that you chat with on the computer, not typing but actually talking face to face, play a game or party all online. At this point some doctors actually use robotics and computers to operate on someone. Now people are actually having chips imbedded in their bodies that hold their identity, and credit card info. We can JPS our pets using chips and now there is talk of trying to have ones made for our kids. Not a bad idea but does give life to some of the dooms day and big brother is watching you science fiction found in many books and movies.

People are always looking for the fountain of youth, be it in a bottle or surgery, but now it is possible to create organs so we can be young inside. It is possible for humans to extend our life span to indefinite depending on the science of organ growing and how long our minds can actually last. We have already created cyborgs, man blended with machine and robots, both as external skeletal units and limb attachments and internal with artificial harts.

The only thing holding us back from creating a world of our dreams is that not everyone has the same dreams.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Possible new cures found in alligators blood

Research has been done on why alligators don’t seem to get infections. The result is that the peptides—fragments of proteins found in alligators blood gives them resistance to 23 strains of bacteria, including ones that are resistant to antibiotics. It also was able to destroy a good portion of the HIV virus. I find it so interesting the things we find in nature that could cure us and make our lives better, but we still keep destroying it.

This was just found out about alligators, what other cures could have been found in plants and animals that we made extinct. There is often a lot of truth in old wives tails and native cures, but we just disregard them and destroy the source. Maybe it is time we started to keep our land alive and find other directions to expand.

Check out the great article about the research done on alligator’s blood Alligator Blood May Lead to Powerful New Antibiotics

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cloning used to treat brain disease, not just make organs

It is happing; cloned neurons grown from skin cells are being used on mice to reverse a disease similar to Parkinson’s. I knew it was only a matter of time before we started using cloning to try and cure things. I cannot say that I am against the idea. If it can save my life or improve the quality of my life, and possibly extend it how can I not support it? It is not harming anyone. It is not like they are cloning little me’s to put my brain in when my current body wears out. They are already trying to slow down the damage and deterioration of my body by replacing organs that were grown or cloned in a lab. Now they are looking at reducing the damage to my brain or even being able to repair it. Therapeutic cloning used to treat brain disease.

So they take some of my skin cells and an egg and then create an embryo out of it. Then the stem cells are extracted and then made into dopamine-secreting neurons. These neurons are then transplanted or grafted onto my brain. Tests show that the mice that lived through this process improved and regained some of what they had lost. I wonder if the mice are the same as they were before the graft. Would a person become someone else with this process? I guess we will not know until someone actually gets this done. Wait did I say create an embryo, ok now I actually do have a problem. That’s a little me. We may not be growing it and then scooping out its brains to put mine in or using it for its organs as in some of the Sci-fi horror books and movies I have read but how different is creating an embryo and using it or parts of it?

What I do have to question is what do they do with the embryos? Do they end the process once they have removed the stem cells they need? Does removing stem cells from the embryo harm the embryo? Can the embryo become a living creature or are they made, used to extract stem cells and then no longer able to become a viable being? Now I start questioning how I feel about creating an embryo of myself. Once is it made into an embryo is it a life? The use of human eggs also makes me uncomfortable. It is just not the same as making a body part from cells. This is using our reproductive process to get stem cells. I cannot help but feel that if we create an embryo for the purpose to extract its stem cells it should have a chance to live and become its own person. I am glad that another process is being developed, by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University, to make human embryonic-like cells from skin cells. This takes out the need to create an embryo. I am ok with using some of my skin cells and using genetic reprogramming to change them into the cells into what is needed.

This study using Therapeutic cloning to treat brain disease has shown it to be a very expensive process. Human eggs are needed. That means someone has to donate them or sell them. Then the actual process is expensive. Only the rich would be able to afford this. It does open the door to several moral issues. Not just the creation and use of embryos but also the fact that someone would have to give or sell their eggs for this process. This bothers me. I cannot help but think of the poor that are already selling organs like kidneys. This makes me think of people harvesting human eggs from the poor to keep the rich healthy. It is to complex of an issue with many moral ramifications as well as social for it to become a reality. I do hope Shinya Yamanaka is able to resolve the problems with his process of genetic reprogramming cells. I guess what it comes down to is, if it was yourself or a loved one that needed the cells to live, you would have to ask yourself what can you live with to keep yourself or your loved one alive and healthy?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unbelievable technical advancements in my lifetime, what will my children see in theirs

I know that my children will have things that were only thoughts found in sci-fi books, movies and T.V. shows. Already the toys they have are way cooler then anything I ever had. There are robot pets that actually respond to voice commands and can learn on their own. There are products available now that were only ideas when I a kid, and more things are being investigated, and created every day.

Inud the Robo-Dog (VIDEO) – responds to voice commands.

I remember when walkmans came out, now there are iPods, MP3’s and MP4’s. I remember the big changes DVD’s made, and now we can watch movies, and TV on our phone or watch just like in the old spy movies. Cell phones are right out of Star Trek and other Sci-Fi sources. There are times when I am just amazed at the things people are working on and then create. I really do envy what my kids are going to see in their lifetime. Here are some things from the world of Sci-Fi that have been made or are being worked on.

The space station is going to be completed (or should be) with in the next year and will be ready for occupation.

Research is being done by several countries on long-term space travel for things like visiting Mars and possibly outside of our solar system.

Personal robots like Asimo to assist people: be it for people who are physically challenged, or to help people with daily life such as keeping an eye out on the kids and interacting with them, cleaning our homes. Robots are one of the biggest marketable products simply because of the different uses for them. Currently we have little robots to clean our floors. My understanding is that they don’t work that well but I am sure the next generation will work better. We have robot wheelchairs being created that will assist people as well as transport them. There are several different robots being developed to operate independently and assist people to be the arms and legs or even eyes for some one. Then there are ones being created to actually do jobs, such as being a tour guild, where they learn as they go. I know that the sex industry is working with some of the robot designers to create a sex robot to replace sex dolls. Eventually there will be robots created to assist with daily living and will actually be companions and possible sex partners. There is a belief that people will eventually fall in love with the robots and marry them. One lady has already become married to a robot so the prescient has already been established.
Robots at the Kennedy Center

Toyota robots

Robot Sex possible

External robotic skeletons for military purposes, just like in the movies and games are already being created. The skeletons will work as protection, increase strength, and be armed to the teeth, as well as be computers to assist solders. It will not be long before we have solders in robotic suites and independent robot solders. It is only a matter of time.

Robotic exoskeletons could become standard military issue

Research is being done on holographic rooms like the holodeck. It can be created in small scale, visual only. I don’t know if they will ever be able to crate the actual holodeck on Star Trek but they are trying.

Eye visors to see with for the blind are being researched and tested right now. It has gone from a large bulky unit to a small visor that looks close to the one Geordi La Forge has on Star Trek with a hip unit. The person who has been the test subject has gone from being unable to see, to seeing some light to actually being able to make out shapes, like people.

Ways to extend life are being created. We already have artificial harts, but now they are actually being cloned and grown outside of the human body. It will become possible to clone organs that your body will not reject because it is actually part of you. At first this will be used to save lives, but eventually it will be used to extend life. It will still be saving lives but will eventually result in people living longer and longer. How long can the human life be extended if we can just replace the parts that break down? I think that this will come down to money, the rich will be able to pay for the cloning and medical procedures, the poor will not.

Growing organs in a lab

Re-grow body parts

Cars that run on plant oil, water, air or the sun are being made and sold today. I would love to be able to buy the air one but they are not available in Canada yet. I hope that the car companies here wake up and try to be the first one to build them here, to corner the market. It would be the smart business decision. There is a demand for them and the technology is available and working. I wonder what car manufacture in Canada is going to be the first one; if I owned a car manufacture company I know I would want to be the first. Same if I sold cars, I would be demanding to have them on my lot ASAP.

Use water to run a car

Used vegetable oil to run a car

Use air to run a car

More and more things from Sci-Fi are becoming reality today, wonder what will be available 10, 20 or 50 years from now. Mind you if I had the money I might still be alive then using organs grown just for me. I will have my own personal robot to take care of me, possibly a robotic chair or even a robot skeleton to move around in. Who knows how long I will live and what my life will be like. All I need is money and new technology.

The def will hear, the blind will see and the rich will live forever.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Online RPG’s make changes in how people interact with each other

Years ago I remember reading in sci-fi stories about how technology would eventually cause people to become physically isolated from the rest of humanity. People would no longer have direct contact, but would only interact through some type of technology like computers and the Internet. At the time there were many different stories each with a different outcome and all were seen as being farfetched. The most common idea was that technology would remove the need to get out of our homes and see each other. That day is actually here, or at least the start of it is.

We can order food online, from restaurants and grocery stores. We can talk with friends and family on the phone or on our computers and even use web cams to see each other with out ever leaving our homes. There are many people working from home, online. With the advancements with online games such as EverQuest we can do all our socializing online. We can develop long lasting friendships and even romantic relationships with out ever dealing with each other face to face as it were. So our need to leave our homes is being slowly reduced. With some of the current trends in science the need to go to a Dr. may even be eliminated eventually. Currently some Dr.’s even operate long distance using special programs and equipment that allows them to operate on someone and not even be in the same time zone. And we all know how fast the sex industry is trying to develop the technology so that people will have equipment and programs that will let them have “sex” with each other online. There are even sex robots currently being created to fill that need if someone does not have a relationship.

It is quite easy to see that some of the predictions made by sci-fi authors in the 50 and 60 are not that far off from being possible. We are actively working toward creating the very technology that would make it possible. We have people working on creating or growing body parts to be used to extend our lives and ways to keep people healthy with out actually seeing a Doctor. We have a way to socialize with out leaving our homes. We are finding ways to work from home. The robot technology is already there and advancing rapidly. Robots can assist us, get our food for us, take care of us and even be our spouse (a lady has already married one on November 12 2007). Our drive for companionship, socialization, shelter, food and purpose can all be met with out us leaving our homes for the most part. It is a good thing for our species that for the most part we are not satisfied with having such a none physical contact with others. Though in the long run it may be a way for natural selection to assert itself. As the virtual worlds become harder to remove ourselves from, those who do not get caught in them will be the ones that have children, because they will actually have contact with real live people.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Move over drugs and gambling here comes a new addiction

Over the years it has been interesting to see the different changes in alternative reality addictions. There have always been people with addictive personalities who would have gambling, drugs, or eating disorders. Not much attention was paid to people who would escape reality through different mediums. At first it was books. These people would loose themselves in stories. They were not thought of as addicts; just people who like to read a lot. No real harm in that right. Well then we had people loose themselves in TV to the point where that was all they would do, sit and watch TV. Some people began to identify themselves with TV or Movie characters. Soon games were invented to accommodate people who wanted to play the different characters.

Some were board games; others were role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, some computer games and Live Action Role Playing like the Society of Creative Anachronism. The board games were ok, not that addictive. Games like Dungeons and Dragons let you control your world, who you were and what you did. This became an escape for many people. People were given a chance to be what they wanted to be, fit in with a group and socialize. This was very attractive to people, and people still meet today and play. The games were limited by when people could all get together and the time they could put into it, and how good the Dungeon Master was. Sure some people met every weekend and played for a day or two. However most people did not play quite that much as it was not so easy to accommodate everyone’s real life schedule.

The computer games like Heroes of Might and Magic were great. You could play by yourself anytime, or play with friends using the hot seat function and some of the games would let you play with others online. You had set games or campaigns to play or could create your own maps. This eliminated the need for Dungeon Masters, and you usually did not have to put as much work into your character development as it was usually programmed into the game. This made it much easer for the average person to play, you did not have to be interested in learning all the rules and character traits you needed when playing things like Dungeons and Dragons and you did not have to work around other people’s schedules. People would start a game and play for days, sometimes leaving for work only to come home to play some more. It was easy to see that people could be and did become addicted to playing. However people would often move from one game to another and it was the playing that was actually addictive.

There was some socializing possible with the computer games but not much. Some people drifted to things like the SCA (the Society of Creative Anachronism) and Vampire: The Masquerade, live action role playing groups where you could go to an event on a weekend, and leave your real life behind for a few hours. You would create a persona and live that and interact with others all “playing” the same game as you. You could be a knight, a lady, a Viking, a vampire, a fairy or any number of beings depending on the parameters of the group. For some people their personas became their lives and their real life became what they did to pay for it. It literally took over their lives. All their friends where in the group and all their social activities revolved around their persona. It let them have a life they liked better then the one they have.

Now comes the online massive multiplayer role playing (MMRPG) or fantasy games like EverQuest. You can play anytime and anyplace in the world. You can create an avatar to be anything with any type of personality and look. You can be who or what you want to be. As there is social interaction, you are playing with real people you can have friends and more. You have been handed the perfect world where you can be anything that you want to be and everything you are not in the real world. Why would you ever want to leave it? People are replacing their everyday life with ones they can create online. These online role playing games (RPG’s) can be harmful in that some people become so addicted they loose touch with reality. There have been studies done on online game addictions with some scary results. Some people have actually played themselves to death. There have been three well-documented deaths caused directly by exhaustion from playing games for long periods. In South Korea, Lee Seung Seop died after playing Starcraft for over 50 hours. In Jinzhou, China, Xu Yan died after playing online games for over 15 days during the Lunar New Year holiday and an unnamed 30 year-old died in Guangzhou, China after playing for 3 days straight. There is a great article by David Becker called “When games stop being fun” that tells about how addictive these games have become.

I would like to point out that some people tend to find a way to escape their lives and become addicted to that alternative reality, be it an online game or something else. If it was not EverQuest it would be something else. People will always find a way to escape to have something better then what they actually have and be the person they dream to be even if it is not real. I don’t place the blame on the people who create the online massive multiplayer role play or fantasy games, there has to be something to attract people back so it is designed to be addictive to a point. A person with an addictive personality will find something to be addicted to. It just seems that more and more people are loosing themselves in the different games. Though I am sure they see it more as finding themselves. There is nothing wrong with enjoying gaming or escaping reality for a bit as long as we have a balance between everyday life and escaping to the fantasy life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

EverQuest is not a game; it is a world with its own economy

People do not play EverQuest they live it. Seeing as you can be whatever they want to be in the game it makes sense that people want to play. It is a great way to escape from the humdrum of everyday life, a bad day at work, or the expectations of your family. You have the control in the game and can be everything you are not in real life. As you are dealing with other people you can form friendships, and other relationships.

At this point there is a barter system economy going on in EverQuest. Dave Becker has written an article “EverQuest”, spins its own economy discussing how big that economy actually is and its impact on the real world. Currently people are selling items within the EverQuest system with actual cash transactions and items being sold on auction sites and other online shops. There has been talk of allowing real pre-existing online specialty stores to create a store in EverQuest were people can purchase items and then have the product in the game and shipped to them in real life. I do know that there are quite a few existing shops such as Medieval Magic, Boots by Bohemond, Drakyl's Chainmail Designs, Thak the Blacksmith & Armourer and Lost Legends Art that would fit right in with out any changes and would love to be able to sell directly on EverQuest. I even know someone who is thinking about creating a persona or avatar to do Tarot Readings on EverQuest. They do it professionally right now, but only reach so many people in there area. EverQuest would be a much larger market for them and they can do the readings right there in the game, no messing around with long distance phone calls or web cams.

This is a serious business opportunity and those with the smarts are going to find away to take advantage of this open marketplace. I am hoping that EverQuest will follow through and allow people to open stores to sell directly on EverQuest, so that they can have some type of control of who is selling what. They could even charge the shopkeepers rent every month. I know that I would go for that; I think it would add to the game. It would be kind of interesting to be able to buy something on a game, and then have the actual item in your home as well. At this point a lot of sales are going on around EverQuest, through deals made on EverQuest and then actual cash payment through online payment systems like Paypal. As much as some people do not like it, EverQuest does have an economy and it is having an impact on the world outside of EverQuest.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Earths ecosystem is desperately trying to find a balance.

All the storms and unusual weather patterns seem to indicate that there are some changes going on. Science proves it. We are having changes in the temperature of our Oceans and even in our climate. There have been great changes in the salt content in water and an increase in the quantity of water in our ecosystem. We have created a great imbalance and now the world is trying to fix itself.

Over the years we have impacted the world and its balance. We have increased pollution instead of decreasing it and that impacts the air we breathe and the amount of radiation from the sun that reaches us. Now we are changing the world’s water supply. We have taken water that was frozen for who knows how long and have consumed it. This has changed the quantity of water in our ecosystem. As we increase the water we dilute the salt concentration in our seawater. This is having an impact on fish and other see creatures. It is also changing the temperature of the water and our weather.

In Canada and some parts of the US a lot of salt is used to get rid of ice. It ends up in our fresh water supply as for some reason the water from the drains goes straight to the lakes and streams instead of a water processing plant. It has changed the water, and we are loosing fresh water species of plants, animals and fish at an unheard of rate. As freshwater is one of the most important natural resources destroying it is not a smart move on our part. We have these wonderful beaches but signs all over about how unsafe it is to get into the water, pollution has caused dangerous bacteria to grow in some of the water, and for others the pollution itself is just so high it is not safe.

Years ago someone came up with the weird idea of selling bottled water, who knew how big that business would become. It is a sad day when you have to go to the store to buy clean water, when you live surrounded by fresh water lakes that are no longer safe to drink from. Someone else came up with oxygen bars. A place where people could stop off and get a dose of pure oxygen, like a cup of coffee. They were popular in some of the larger cities with smog problems. People thought the idea was way out there until they tried it. People said even a small dose of clean air made them feel better. I know that they have not taken off like bottled water, but I can see that changing as the air becomes more and more polluted.

What can we expect over the next few years? Who knows! We may end up with even more extreme weather, or hopefully nature will right itself. However as long as we keep changing the balance nature is just going to have to keep trying to right itself. We cannot expect Governments to fix this, they have different agendas no matter what Country they work for. We have to think of what we can do as individuals. Maybe if a lot of us make small changes that might help. Until changes are made or a balance is found we just have to live with the consequences of our Grandparents decisions and ours.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Great picture of how much water and air we actually have

I found this wonderful picture showing how much air and water is on earth. It is a great visual of how little we actually have. This really goes to show that we have to protect our air and water instead of polluting them. We only have so much, and we have done a lot of damage already. It is not like once we start running out of usable air and water we can just run over to the next planet and pick some up. Once it is gone, we have to fix it or die. How much damage can earth sustain before it becomes irreversible? We are already seeing damage in ecosystems; species lost, and are feeling it in the fishing industry. When you make changes in the water quality and the salt content you change what can live in that water. The same goes with air. We have been destroying the world’s air filters when we destroy the rain forest and other plant life. The damage we are doing is no longer something that is going to be seen in a few 100 years. People used to excuse their polluting and uncaring about the damage by saying that it would take 100’s of years before it would have an effect on the planet, and by then we would have found a way to fix it. Well it seems that they were wrong. I don’t have an answer on how to change or fix this, just the observation that we are already seeing changes in our lifetime, what is going to be happening in our children’s lifetime?

Left: All the water in the world (1.4087 billion cubic kilometres of it) including sea water, ice, lakes, rivers, ground water, clouds, etc. Right: All the air in the atmosphere (5140 trillion tonnes of it) gathered into a ball at sea-level density. Shown on the same scale as the Earth. This picture and information about the picture was posted on Dan Phiffer.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What is in our food and how will it change us?

For some time now I have been a fan of Kim Harrison and her Dead Witch Walking series with Rachel Morgan. I have enjoyed how her characters have evolved, and her books are interesting in an alternate universe type of way. I love the mix of mythological characters that are all based in history and fairytales. What I find very interesting is the concept that humanity became more interested in chemical and biological science instead of space and machine weapons in this reality. And yet they still manage to almost kill themselves off.

What makes this so interesting is that in the last ten to twenty years we have started investing a lot more into chemical and biological research. The fact that we are cloning and changing the biological makeup of our food falls right into her stories. The idea is that someone created a weapon based on biological science that made it out of the research lab to make changes in a genetically altered strain of tomato. It causes a change that almost destroyed the human race. That is something we can actually do today, be it by human error or by design. The very fact that we are making changes in our food has already made changes in us, the people who eat it. It is true, you are what you eat.

If there is a cow that produces unusual large amounts of milk we don’t just breed to keep that trait anymore, we clone the cow. There are cows that have been genetically altered to produce more milk. Then we feed our chickens growth hormones to speed up their development so they can be sold sooner. Um, we are eating those hormones when we eat the chicken. Then we have the changes in our vegetables and fruits. They are changed to grow faster and larger, and sometimes changed so far from the original source that it becomes a new strain. This can be seen in a lot of grains, which is used to feed animals and us. It is scary when you think about this. What are all these changes in genetics and hormones doing to us?

I used to think people buying organic were just funny, now I think they have the right idea. The problem is that it is too expensive for the average family. So now we have girls starting the change to womanhood before they are even teenagers. There are girls out there who are 10 years old having menstrual cycles and accelerated development. They look like they are 18 not 10. We have children growing exceedingly fast, and taller then any other time in history. Now I do know that as adults we are getting fatter, and the same hormones and chemicals that are used to grow our food can cause this in some part. A fat pig is a good pig for market, not so good when we eat it with the hormones that caused it to get so fat. Don’t get me wrong; the side of fries and large pop with our ham sandwich does not help any. But you get the idea.

How long before something mutates and becomes harmful to us? Or the changes we have made to our foods changes us?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A possible step to segregation in Toronto’s schools

I cannot believe what I just saw on the news tonight. The Toronto school board (or one of them) is looking into having special schools and programs for black students. I understand that the idea is to try to meet the needs of black students, as there is a high drop out rate. However great the intention they have this is not a good idea. This is the first step to segregation. Special schools and programs based on skin colour no matter what the intentions are is not the right direction to go. Programs should be based on the students needs not their skin colour.

This is going open a big can of worms and I will be very surprised if they follow threw on this proposal. There are a few big problems I can see: one is that a non black student is going to be upset that they don’t get the extra help if they need it based on their skin colour. Also what about mix race? Because they have a black person in their family line does that mean they can go to this school or not because they have a non-black person in their family line? Does this mean other groups will start having special schools and programs? They did say that any one could go to the school but that it would be designed for the needs of the black students. Once this starts then you need to meet every groups needs, you cannot have a school designed to meet just the needs of one segment of the school population in this day and age. How are the students going to feel about being in a special program or school? Every one knows that in school “special” has a very negative connotation.

I think that they need to look at it not in terms of skin colour but the geographical location of the schools. There should be programs and schools available to try and help all the students stay in school in that geographical area. The higher the drop out rate in the area the more help available to the schools in this area. I believe that the idea to help students is on right track, but it must not be based on the colour of ones skin but the needs of the individual student.

Here is a link to a news article School board to discuss black-focused schools

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Biggest black hole in the cosmos discovered

The most massive known black hole in the universe has been discovered, weighing in with the mass of 18 billion Suns. Observing the orbit of a smaller black hole around this monster has allowed astronomers to test Einstein's theory of general relativity with stronger gravitational fields than ever before.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Top 10 real life Star Trek Inventions!!!

I always knew that some of our new technology was inspired by Sci-fi books and shows. Here are some technology inspired by Star Trek that is part of our lives now or will soon be. In the past few months a number of technologies and products that invoke the Star Trek name have been rolled out.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Are You Ready For Cars Driving Themselves?

Cars that drive and even park themselves could be ready for the road within a decade, GM executives say. But such cars would also have to navigate such obstacles as government regulations, liability laws, and the desire of drivers to keep control.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

8 Unconventional Forms of Transport

Some pretty, cool, inovative and somewhat odd forms of transport. Some of these are really cool looking.

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Snow eating Robot and other new technology on MobuzzTV

Mexican BandAid Surveillance at the Korea Expo

This video is about: Tiny cameras will monitor your in-flight behavior, Viacom to provide video for bloggers, Mexican drug gangs big fans of YouTube, Crazy cool nanotech bandaids, Yuki Taro eats snow and poops ice, a visit to the Korea Expo in Madrid

This is actually interesting to watch. I found this video looking for information on the Yuki-taro autonomous snowplough robot. Research and Development information about the Yuki-taro autonomous snowplough robot can be found HERE. I think that this snow removal robot is a great idea. It takes snow of the ground, and turns it into blocks of snow/ice that can be easily stacked and then removed. Every year people die as a result of shovelling snow. This looks like this snowplough robot could be a big help not just for individuals, but that a city could make great use of them. The labour cost and fuel cost goes up every year. Using these autonomous snowplough robots would be a great way to clear the sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. A larger version could help with side roads, but I think that main roads and highways will still need the big snowploughs for a long time to come.

I wonder how well it works on snow/ice. I always find patches of ice from where we walked and compressed the snow. It would be interesting to know if it can deal with that or just fresh snow. Will it have some way to deal with ice from melting snow? We sometimes have a snow/rain mix in the same day and this will form snow with a hard ice shell or a mix of heavy wet snow, and sometimes layers of snow with ice. I guess we will have to wait until the snowplough is available for the general market to see what it can actually deal with.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Psycho-Delic Milk

This is just fun to look at. Someone had way to much time on their hands. My son makes something like this at preschool. They call in magic milk. The kids have milk on a tray and add food coloring and some dish soap. The dish soap makes the milk swirl and the food coloring moves around and mixes. The kids love it.

Psycho-delic Milk - Click here for this week’s top video clips

Someone had dugg this video on digg and I thought it was great. If you like it, digg below and they will get the digg. Thank you.

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Amazing 3D Chalk Drawings by Julian Beever

These are just amazing. Waterfalls, cola bottles, swimming women and more. This guy is so good at his art! I have seen some of Julian Beever Chalk Drawings before, but never in a slide show. This guys work is outstanding. I don’t know how he can put all that work into art that will wash away in the first rain, or get destroyed as people walk on it. I am glad that there are a lot of pictures of his work so more people can enjoy it.

Another person had posted this video on Digg, I thought the work was wonderful. However as this person did blog on it first if you like this video use the digg button below so they get the digg. Thank you.

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