Some hope for the planet... I was in Bentonville, Arkansas all this week, where WalMart announced that it will be creating a system to put a sustainability index on every product it sells, and that it will work with other retailers and manufacturers to make it a single standard (webcast can be seen here).
The sustainability index will communicate the environmental and social impact of the product from a life cycle perspective.
WalMart and other corporations have funded the Sustainability Consortium, led by Arizona State University and University of Arkansas, to help provide the research needed to support the effort. I am excited to be part of the team that will develop an "open" life cycle inventory system. Such a system will enable companies to estimate the environmental and social impact of their product through raw material acquisition, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal/recycling.
The world places a lot of emphasis on tracking carbon dioxide and other green house gases because of their effect on global climate change, but water--both its availability and its health--is a huge sustainability issue also.
From a production standpoint, most agricultural products require a lot of water--Did you know that it takes 300 gallons of water to make a 12 ounce can of Coke? Most of it is because of the water needed to grow the sugar cane. On the consumption side, drying of Himalayan glaciers could put one-sixth of the world's population at risk for fresh water.
Let's hope we can move as fast as we need to. (Explore Front Page)
analyzing mirror self-recognition
TRANSITIVE VERB: (an·a·lyzed , an·a·lyz·ing , an·a·lyz·es)
To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations."
Analizying myself too then, literally. My experimental contribution to this cool discussion: ;)
-I took the photo 2 days ago because I am oft precognitive so I foresaw this discussion coming.... :-P
The rich history of the Brahin Pallasite
It finally arrived from the Gomel region of Belarus.
This may be the oldest thing I have held in my hands at 4.2 billion years old.
It is the result of the violent destruction of what would otherwise have been a planet during the formation of our solar system. It comes from the boundary between the silica rich mantle and the iron-nickel core of a now extinct planet, torn away by a catastrophic impact with another planet or asteroid. A mix of solid stone forming olivine crystals (37% by weight) in suspension in liquid metal (iron-nickel) was flung into space to cool over millions of years in a vacuum and zero gravity, forming this beautiful mixture (which could not be created on Earth).
This is a 3 kg end piece (cut and polished) of the Brahin meteorite fall that was first discovered in 1807 by farmers and sent to the local university scientists. During World War II, German soldiers stole samples in Kiev, and others disappeared in Minsk.
The landing site was contaminated in 1986 by the Chernobyl disaster and falls now in the Periodic Control Zone. Coordinates: 52°30'N, 30°20'E
Back to the early days, here is a timeline of billions of years ago (bya):
4.6 bya Birth of our Sun
4.5 bya Planets agglomerate from the gas disk
4.4 bya The first crust forms on a very hot Earth. It probably looked like the ocean crust, and took another billion years to stabilize into continental crust.
4.2 bya Gases from volcanos formed the Earth's early atmosphere and vapor condensed into oceans.
4.2 bya This proto-planet exploded and soon afterward,
4.1 bya the lunar cataclysm of meteorite bombardment began on the Moon and Earth.
There has been quite a bit of academic analysis of this meterorite:
• Uranium and Plutonium isotope analysis and fission track aging (like carbon dating) establishes the date of its last violent event and expulsion as 4.26 – 4.20 billion years ago: Solar System Research, 2001.
• Transmission Electron Microscopy (which I have some experience with) shows that it cooled very slowly (5 degrees per million years) and the pallasite originated deep from within the source planet: Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, October 1997.
• But a bit of a unique mystery remains here, as it was superheated in two separate events during its formation (using Electron Backscatter Diffraction): American Geophysical Union, December 2009.
• Mantle-core composition (chemical, oxygen isotope and instrumental neutron activation analysis): Lunar and Planetary Science, March 1996.
• Or, from simple visual analysis: “Only 1% of all meteorites are pallasites - the most dazzling of all meteorites.” (I.M. Chait Gallery, 2011)
Perhaps this extinguished planet should be called Alderaan. =)
Post and Run: A Game Theoretic Analysis of Non-Reciprocal Broadcasting in Social Media Networks, by Diana Mini, Dusty "3600" Ilford, and Krazy Kaplan
A Flickr dilemma: Should you post when you have no time to visit your contacts and commenters?
See you this weekend...
(Diana+ mini with Ilford 3600)
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When I was research head of General Motors and wanted a problem solved, I'd place a table outside the meeting room with a sign: LEAVE SLIDE RULES HERE! If I didn't do that, I'd find some engineer reaching for his slide rule. Then he'd be on his feet saying, Boss you can't do that.