Monday, August 27, 2012

Microparticles and Water Wars (Link Round-Up 8/27/12)


Colombia holds talks with FARC rebels
Santos said military operations would continue "on every single centimeter of national territory" during whatever peace process might emerge.

That statement was a clear allusion to the last peace dialogue held with the FARC, when the government surrendered a Switzerland-sized swath of southern Colombia to the rebels from 1990-2002 and reconciliation efforts collapsed as the guerrillas continued to mount attacks on security forces, kidnap politicians and traffic in cocaine.

Santos also mentioned that Colombia's No. 2 rebel band, the National Liberation Army known by its Spanish-language initials ELN had expressed a desire to participate in peace talks.
U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market
A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels.

These Gulf states do not share a border with Iran, and their arms purchases focused on expensive warplanes and complex missile defense systems.
The battle to redefine "Fair Trade" coffee
Some fair trade experts, such as the Washington State University sociologist Daniel Jaffee, see parallels between the organic agriculture movement of the 1960s and ’70s and what’s taking place in fair trade today. In both cases, standards were lowered or altered to pave the way for corporate involvement. Jaffee notes that what happened to organic agriculture is “a cautionary tale of label dilution and corporate capture,” and it could happen again to fair trade coffee.
How ants operate like the internet 
Prabhakar said that had this discovery been made in the 1970s, before TCP was written, harvester ants very well could have influenced the design of the Internet.

Gordon thinks that scientists have just scratched the surface for how ant colony behavior could help us in the design of networked systems.

There are 11,000 species of ants, living in every habitat and dealing with every type of ecological problem, Gordon said. "Ants have evolved ways of doing things that we haven't thought up, but could apply in computer systems. Computationally speaking, each ant has limited capabilities, but the collective can perform complex tasks.
Scientists invent injectable oxygen microparticles
This finding has the potential to save millions of lives every year. The microparticles can keep an object alive for up to 30 min after respiratory failure. This is accomplished through an injection into the patients’ veins. Once injected, the microparticles can oxygenate the blood to near normal levels. This has countless potential uses as it allows life to continue when oxygen is needed but unavailable. For medical personnel, this is just enough time to avoid risking a heart attack or permanent brain injury when oxygen is restricted or cut off to patients.
Here come the global water wars
Internationally, 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, according to the United Nations. By 2030, 47 per cent of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Environmental Outlook to 2030 report.

Some analysts worry that wars of the future will be fought over blue gold, as thirsty people, opportunistic politicians and powerful corporations battle for dwindling resources.
Also, you can now stream the new Deerhoof album, Breakup Song, on YouTube 

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