Today Guy Callendar is a historical footnote, but tomorrow he will have a chapter of his own. Born in 1898, Callendar was the son of Britain’s leading steam engineer, a successful academic and inventor who raised his children in a 22-room mansion. A greenhouse on the grounds was converted into a laboratory for the children until one of Callendar’s three brothers blew it up trying to make TNT. The same brother put out Callendar’s left eye. Undeterred by the subsequent lack of depth perception, he became his father’s successor as the nation’s most important steam engineer. None of this is why Guy Callendar’s name will be boldfaced in tomorrow’s textbooks. Instead it will be because he was willing to delve into fields he knew nothing about, atmospheric science among them. Nobody knows why he got so interested in the air. Callendar himself attributed it to ordinary curiosity: “As man is now changing the composition of the atmosphere at a … [Read more...] about Meet the Amateur Scientist Who Discovered Climate Change
Global open data for agriculture and nutrition
MELBOURNE -- The population of Melbourne, a city named one of the world's most livable, is also Australia's fastest-growing city. The anticipated expansion and sustainability implications have caused some anxiety around the city's future, prompting the government to respond with its food policy framework. On the ground, the city's do-it-yourself mindset and history of grassroots action has seen a popular resurgence of foodcentric groups in the past few years, including city beekeepers , foraging tour guides, permaculture activists and green roof advocates. The latest to emerge from this scene are three independent but related players, Open Food Foundation, Growstuff and 3000acres, who have all adopted a digital approach to food supply and have a shared vision of providing residents with more options when it comes to access to fresh produce. "Currently there are a lot of barriers to people accessing fresh, quality food at an affordable … [Read more...] about Melbourne tech startups address the most basic of things: food
Even if you know about open data and its significance, you may not be familiar with Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN). GODAN is a 330+ partner organization formed to encourage world leaders to make their data in agriculture and nutrition open so that it is freely available and usable worldwide for better policy and decision-making. By opening that data the aim is to achieve the UN goal for 'zero hunger' by 2030. GODAN is organizing the GODAN Summit 2016 in New York from September 15-16, following up on the UN General Assembly on the September 13. There is more than a symbolic link between the two events, as a GODAN petition will be handed over at the assembly meeting and results will be unveiled at the summit. So what kind of data are we talking about, and what are they good for?. Getting data out According to Andre Laperriere, GODAN's Executive Director, "GODAN is interested in the complete cycle starting from plant genetics to planting, farming, fertilizers, … [Read more...] about GODAN, feeding the world with open data
In a classic Portlandia sketch, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein badger a waitress to find out about their chicken’s diet, the amount of acreage it had to roam around in, and whether it had other fowl to pal around with. But knowing more about your food’s origins has benefits even if you’re not a locavore.Lange thinks the Internet of Food (IoF) can help everyone make better informed choices about what they eat.While you might be able to learn if your chicken was named Colin, University of California, Davis, food scientist and informatician Dr. Matthew Lange thinks the Internet of Food (IoF) can help everyone make better informed choices about what they eat. Ahead of his appearance at the upcoming reThink Food conference in Napa Valley, California, we asked Lange about the benefits of digitizing food.Lange is the principal investigator at UC Davis’s IC-Foods. The organization is trying to develop standardized languages and ontologies (computable … [Read more...] about A language for legumes: Can the Internet of Food help us know what we eat?
IBM today took the wraps off of its eighth annual "IBM 5 in 5" appraisal of the key technologies that could change high-tech life in the coming five years.Perhaps not surprisingly Big Blue this year says future tech developments will revolve around cognitive or smart learning systems that will learn, reason and involve human interaction like never before."Over time these computers will get smarter and more customized through interactions with data, devices and people, helping us take on what may have been seen as unsolvable problems by using all the information that surrounds us and bringing the right insight or suggestion to our fingertips right when it's most needed. A new era in computing will lead to breakthroughs that will amplify human abilities, assist us in making good choices, look out for us and help us navigate our world in powerful new ways," IBM stated. +MORE ON NETWORKWORLD The biggest Internet security challenges of 2013+Interestingly Gartner earlier this year also … [Read more...] about IBM: Smart machines set to rule the world
The world population is building toward 9 billion, our available land is shrinking, and our communities are growing more connected, leaving one increasingly important global issue hanging above our heads: food security. Fortunately, technology is allowing us to track, analyze, and understand the way our food system works to help reduce the amount of food waste and carbon emissions, and ultimately, feed the 842 million people who don't currently have enough to eat.And food startups are leaving everyone salivating. Research from CB Insights showed that VC funding for food delivery companies was at an all-time high in the first quarter of 2014, hitting more than $200 million. But using smartphones to order Thai takeout at 11:00 p.m. is only the tip of the iceberg. Here are 10 ways tech is changing our food and the way we find, consume, and get rid of it. SEE: Photos: How tech is shaping the future of foodThe biotechnology used to create genetically modified organisms (GMO) is critical … [Read more...] about 10 ways technology is changing our food
A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, about the length of ten hydrogen atoms placed in a row. Or, as Dr. Yuval Golan described it in a recent talk at the Illinois Science and Technology Park, a nanoparticle is roughly one-millionth the size of ant. TechRepublic spoke with Dr. Golan about the exciting world of nanotechnology, as well as the tech hub in Beer-Sheva, Israel that he and his fellow professors are helping to build.Substances often behave differently at the nanoscale, creating interesting possibilities. Researchers around the world, including Dr. Golan and the staff at the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology on the campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, are working to develop beneficial applications in a wide array of fields and industries.Nanotechnology, which bridges the scientific research and engineering applications of materials at the submicron scale, "involves the harnessing of unique physical, chemical, biological properties of nanoscale … [Read more...] about Nanotech in the Negev: Israeli scientists see big opportunity in tiny tech