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Linkdump: Ecology and Social Science

I’ll be attending TedX Houston on Saturday.  Come grab me if you see me.

10 Ways Cities Can kick the offshore oil habit.

Here’s a beautifully written story about North Korean economic problems. Related: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea.

10 Studies on Meat and Global Warming. From the University of Chicago Study:

In their study, Eshel and Martin compared the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions that underlie five diets: average American, red meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian (including eggs and dairy), all equaling 3,774 calories per day.

The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy-efficient, followed by poultry and the average American diet. Fish and red meat virtually tied as the least efficient.

The impact of producing fish came as the study’s biggest surprise to Martin, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences. “Fish can be from one extreme to the other,” Martin said. Sardines and anchovies flourish near coastal areas and can be harvested with minimal energy expenditure. But swordfish and other large predatory species required energy-intensive long-distance voyages.

(to follow up: you should try to buy frozen version of salmon rather than buying farm-raised salmon. Farm-raised stuff is usually shipped by airplane while frozen salmon is shipped by ship—which has a significantly lower carbon footprint). See also:  Tara Parker-Pope reports on a meta study exonerating beef from bad health .

10 ways cities and towns can kick the offshore oil habit. (Basically, it’s smarter urban planning).

Time Traveler John Titor tells us what 2036 was like.

Here’s a great simulator for the US federal budget. One problem with political discourse is that most people (including myself) don’t have any sense of what kind of numbers we are talking about.

Richard Florida’s list of the 10 least bohemian cities.

I’m a big fan of the new Roku/Netflix facelift.  Here’s a recent presentation by netflix about their business model. Key points: DVD-by-mail will peak in 2012-13, better online advertising rates might allow Google to compete in the free-with-ads streaming video market, Netflix now is targeting premium channels like HBO and plans to go international sometime in  2010. (if you’re reading this from outside the US, you’re out of luck).

Here’s a way to find demographic data about your zip code from the census. This is only 2000 data (2005 data will be released very soon). Here’s what I see about the 77082 zip code: In my zip code: 60% rent apartments, 11% have graduate degrees, 33% of adults have never been married, 17% of adults between 21-64 have a disability; 37% of adults over 64 have a disability & 11% of adults over 25 haven’t finished high school.

Allison Aubrey reports on the  the value of sleep:

"Children of parents who reported having a rule about bedtime scored about 6 percentage points higher on an assessment of their vocabulary compared with children whose parents did not report a rule about bedtime. They scored 7 percent higher on assessments of early math skills."

See also: Sleep Warrior’s free ebook on the subject

Finally, I did a long post last week about the Freedom Flotilla. Over the week I’ve followed it very closely but am not dumping links from it. Most of the interviews from eyewitnesses confirm that the Israelis shot first and that the flotilla were generally not resisting. Not only is Israel on shaky ground by insisting that it had the right to board a ship in international waters, its propaganda campaign was absolutely atrocious.

Probably the most interesting thing I learned was the population:

  • Israel: 7 million
  • Egypt: 81 million
  • Jordan 5.9 million
  • Turkey: 73 million
  • Saudi Arabia: 24 million
  • Iraq: 30 million
  • Iran: 71 million

Also, I learned some geography about latitude: Houston has the same latitude (approximately) as Suez and Kuwait City; Boston has the same latitude as Sofia and Rome….Wow!

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