Monday, December 28, 2009

The Matter of Everything

I just found out that I missed this playing at the Fox Theatre on Dec. 6th. I was in China, so I wouldn't have caught if I had known -- but still -- damn! damn! damn! I would have wanted to see this.

in reference to:

"The Matter of Everything is a feature documentary that explores quantum reality and the interconnectedness of nature from the quantum to the universe. Challenging us to see beyond our everyday sense of experience, the film reveals what we are, a billionth of a billionth of the human scale. At that level, physicists at Fermilab, one of the world’s largest particle accelerators, describe a world more unified than ever imagined."
- THE MATTER OF EVERYTHING » SYNOPSIS (view on Google Sidewiki)

What happens when the colonies follow you home

The Economist writes about how much of today's Britain can be explained through the lens its imperial past. Today, Britain still yearns for the glory of that imperial past. It wants to be more than just a little insignificant spec off the coast of continental Europe. That is why Britain plays Boy Wonder to America's Batman; it's why much of the world is still hostile towards it. It is also very telling about its attitude to immigrants from the former colonies.

Interesting perspective.

in reference to:

"Though notionally welcomed by a 1948 act, colonial immigrants caused alarm when they actually turned up, and from 1962 their entry rights were drastically curtailed. Danny Sriskandarajah of the Royal Commonwealth Society describes the experience as a story of evolving disappointments. Instead of fraternity and fairness there was racism—sometimes overt, more often and insidiously the supercilious tolerance that the empire cultivated. Many immigrants were marooned at the bottom end of the labour market, some in doomed industries such as textiles, cut off from their families and latterly relegated in government priorities, as they saw it, to a place below new European migrants."
- Bagehot: The tiger under the table | The Economist (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

9th loan just made

I just made my 9th loan on Kiva -- with no additional funding supplied by myself. It was made from the money repaid to me by borrowers from around the world. My 9th loan, of $25, was made to a woman in the Philippines, who's raising funds to grow her farm business -- and make a better life for herself.

I love the concept behind Kiva. The money I loan goes directly to the people looking for a helping hand to get themselves out of poverty and make a better life for themselves. Just this week, Kiva loans of $2.7MM was made -- that amounted to a loan made every 9 seconds. How's that for making a difference?

in reference to: Kiva - Loans that change lives (view on Google Sidewiki)

Me to We style

My "What would David Suzuki do?" t-shirt came from Me to We Style. Other than being cool and wearing Suzuki's mug plastered on my chest, I'm also wearing a t-shirt that boasts,
- Sweatshop free manufacturing
- Eco friendly fabrics
- 50% of the profits to Free the Children
- You buy a tee and we will plant a tree

"Our mission at Me to We Style is to empower consumers to make purchasing decisions that lead to a better life for people around the world. By manufacturing our clothing in Canadian factories that pay adult workers a fair wage, we ensure that parents make enough to care for themselves and their children. By using organic cotton, we ensure that toxic chemicals aren't harming people, animals or the earth we share. And by donating 50 per cent of our profits to Free The Children, we ensure that a better life is created for children and their families in rural and impoverished areas across the globe."
Totally cool. Thanks Miss V, for the present.

in reference to: Me to We Style (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Voyager spacecrafts discovery in the Local Fluff

While the science itself is interesting -- and cool, in that the long left-for-dead Voyager spacecrafts continue to aid in scientific discoveries -- the real reason I'm writing this short post is because the Local Interstellar Cloud is also called the "Local Fluff." Currently, our solar system, moving through the Milky Way, is running into this interstellar cloud of mostly hydrogen and helium.

in reference to:

"Astronomers call the cloud we're running into now the Local Interstellar Cloud or "Local Fluff" for short. It's about 30 light years wide and contains a wispy mixture of hydrogen and helium atoms at a temperature of 6000 C. The existential mystery of the Fluff has to do with its surroundings. About 10 million years ago, a cluster of supernovas exploded nearby, creating a giant bubble of million-degree gas. The Fluff is completely surrounded by this high-pressure supernova exhaust and should be crushed or dispersed by it."
- Voyager makes an interstellar discovery (view on Google Sidewiki)

350 km/hr

OK, it's not quite a bullet -- nor does it break the sound barrier, but boy would l love to ride this train! I've ridden the high speed train from the Pudong airport into Shanghai, but that was a short ride compared to this. Being able to travel from Guangzhou to Wuhan in 3 hours (less than half the previous time) would be a blast. You would be able to actually take day-trips.

China's investment in their infrastructure continues to amaze me with their blistering speed.

in reference to:

"By comparison, the average for high-speed trains in Japan was 243 kilometres per hour while in France it was 277 kilometres per hour, said Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the link, according to Xinhua."
- AFP: China unveils 'world's fastest train link' (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wikileaks needs help

Nothing in this world is free -- especially freedom -- and that goes for those of us living in the free world.

"... serves as an uncensorable and untraceable depository for the truth, able to publish documents that the courts may prevent newspapers and broadcasters from being able to touch."
— In praise of... Wikileaks - The Guardian, October 20, 2009.
Wikileaks, in case you don't know, is a non-profit organization, whose purpose is to out those who would steal our freedoms and subjugate us. The organization provides a platform for whistle-blowers everywhere, to get the truth out. Wikileaks isn't loved by most governments around the world. You'd first guess that places like China and Iran don't like Wikileaks. And that would be true. However, you may be surprised to learn that governments from the US, Canada, Australia, England and other first world democracies, also don't like Wikileaks. Why? Wikileaks shine light into the dark corners of these nations where the truth is beaten and lies battered in the ground. Secrets don't hide from Wikileaks.

in reference to:

"Wikileaks is currently overloaded by readers. This is a regular difficulty that can only be resolved by deploying additional resources. If you support our mission, you can help us by integrating new hardware into our project infrastructure or developing software for the project. Become patron of a WikiLeaks server or other parts of our technology, adding more pillars to the stability and balance of the WikiLeaks platform. Servers come trouble-free and legally fortified, software is uniquely challenging.. If you can provide rackspace, power and an uplink, or a dedicated server or storage space, for at least 12 months, or software development work for WikiLeaks, please write to"
- Wikileaks is overloaded. We need your support for more servers. (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Business of Sustainability

"Will sustainability change the competitive landscape and reshape the opportunities and threats that companies face? Will sustainability have a material impact on your company? What should you and your company do about it?"

Good read.

in reference to: MIT Sloan Business of Sustainbility - Front Cover (view on Google Sidewiki)

Looking for India and China to lead us to a better world in 2010

"In September 2008, the global financial crisis hit Asia like a tidal wave, flooding in from the U.S. and Europe. Within weeks, Asian GDP growth rates began to tumble: China’s annual growth rate dropped from 13 percent in 2007 to about 9 percent in 2008, India’s slipped from 9 percent to below 6 percent, and Singapore’s plunged from 8 percent to less than 4 percent. Underlying these stark statistics were significant declines in exports. In March 2008, China and India had boasted year-over-year export growth rates of more than 30 percent; nine months later, both were well into negative territory. Foreign direct investment in these countries, and in Korea, Japan, and the nations of Southeast Asia, fell significantly as well."

in reference to: Capturing the Asian Opportunity (view on Google Sidewiki)

Charting our water future

Business perspective ... scary, since most businesses don't think beyond the next publishing of earnings.

in reference to:

"Growing competition for scarce water resources is a growing business risk, a major economic threat, and a challenge for the sustainability of communities and the ecosystems upon which they rely. It is an issue that has serious implications for the stability of countries in which businesses operate, and for industries whose value chains are exposed to water scarcity."
- Charting our water future | water | resources | climate change | Water (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My 2 weeks in China

China 2009

Map your trip with EveryTrail

It was a helluva lot of traveling. Some photos will be shared later.
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