Year 19 • Issue 37 10 June 2013 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Monsanto Says Rogue Wheat in Oregon May Be Sabotage Ore. Forestry Seeks More Timber and More Habitat Microsoft Engages Cybergang That Stole $500 Million Is Google Glass Going To Change Architecture Forever? Americans Throw Out 40 Percent of Their Food, Which is Terrible for the Climate 15 Websites Saving the Environment by Changing the Food System Humanity Imperiled Double Mountain's Matt Swihart Buys Out Partner Charlie Devereux Mid-Willamette Valley Food Hub Study Get Lost in These 19 Fascinating Maps Finding Playful New Uses for Boring Street Infrastructure The Best Cities Are Ones Where You Can Make Friends
1. Monsanto Says Rogue Wheat in Oregon May Be Sabotage Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, said experimental wheat engineered to survive Roundup weedkiller may have gotten into an Oregon field through an “accidental or purposeful” act. Monsanto and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are investigating how genetically modified wheat that hasn’t been approved for commercial planting was found growing on an Oregon farm eight years after nationwide field tests ended. Quote of the Week: "May you live every day of your life." ~ Jonathan Swift Oregon Fast Fact #873: Throughout a year, on average, Timberline Lodge receives about 540 inches of snow. The average peak snowpack in a year is typically over 150 inches, with variation. Some years have had well over 240 inches packed, while others have had less than 100 inches of snowpack.
Monsanto’s genetic analyses found the variety hasn’t contaminated the types of seed planted on the Oregon farm or the wheat seed typically grown in Oregon and Washington state, Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley said today on a call with reporters. The unapproved wheat was found growing on less than 1 percent of the farmer’s 125-acre (51-hectare) field, Fraley said. To access the full story, click here. 2. Ore. Forestry Seeks More Timber and More Habitat The Oregon Board of Forestry has taken on a tough job: figuring out how to produce more logs as well as better fish and wildlife habitat through logging on state forests. The board voted unanimously Wednesday in Salem to embark on a new management plan for three state forests in the northwest corner of the state -- the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam. There has been widespread dissatisfaction with the current plan -- including from the governor -- for failing to meet the statutory goals of producing economic, environmental and social benefits through active management. Board Chairman Tom Imeson said in a statement that the current plan, from 2001, was based on the best information of the time, and he believes they can do better. Page 1 of 5
But conservation groups are skeptical that the forests can produce more logs while improving fish and wildlife habitat. To access the full story, click here. 3. Microsoft Engages Cybergang That Stole $500 Million Microsoft has orchestrated the bust-up of another top-tier botnet operation. These bad guys – operators of the sprawling Citadel botnet -- make the fictional band of sophisticated thieves from the movie Ocean's 11 look like amateurs. Authorities estimate they've scored more than $500 million from banks in the United States and abroad by accessing online accounts and rerouting funds. The software giant and the FBI, working with law enforcement and tech officials from some 80 countries, knocked out 1,000 of 1,400 of the Citadel botnets. A botnet is a collection of hundreds to thousands of infected PCs that respond to commands routed through a command-and-control server, which is also an infected PC. To access the full story, click here. 4. Is Google Glass Going To Change Architecture Forever? Is architecture ready for Google Glass? The augmented reality that Google Glass promises may not seem architectural, but in truth the two couldn’t be more related. Augmented reality is, after all, the layering of information over the built environment. We already have some sense of what that information will be thanks to our smartphones, which put infinite digital information at our fingertips through their apps and services. What will change is how we visually receive and process that information. And, unlike the smartphone that you keep on your pocket, Google Glass will be actively working as long as we wear it. With the advent of Google Glass Beta Testing we can start to see what it’s like to have the collective data of cloud computing projected directly onto our visual experience like never before (eye phone anyone?). Will we eventually look at the architecture around us and see a new digital world? … To access the full story, click here. 5. Americans Throw Out 40 Percent of Their Food, Which is Terrible for the Climate On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency announced their plan to tackle food waste in America, a problem that has grown by 50 percent since the 1970s. Today, as much as 40 percent of food produced in America is thrown away, amounting to 1,400 calories per person per day, $400 per person per year, and notably, 31 million tons of food added to landfills each year. The USDA’s and EPA’s solution is a program called the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, which invites food producers, retailers, consumers, nonprofits and government agencies to sign up and “list the activities they will undertake to help reduce, recover, or recycle food waste in the United States.” So
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far, General Mills, Unilever, and the Food Waste Reduction Alliance are among the program’s first participants. To access the full story, click here. 6. 15 Websites Saving the Environment by Changing the Food System Each of these 15 websites deals with major problems in the food system, exploring the complex relationship between food and the environment. Please share this list with friends and family to spread knowledge of how food choices impact the environment. This is, however, only a sample of the many great sites that should be checked every day. Which ones would you recommend? Beth Hoffman for Forbes Online – In Forbes Online, Hoffman pays close attention to the role of businesses in affecting food systems, particularly with regard to corporate responsibility, and analyzes their impact. Beyond that, Hoffman also features valuable news and information about the food industry for consumers. Civil Eats – Civil Eats promotes critical thought about the American food system, advancing the benefits of sustainable agriculture as a way “to build economically and socially just communities.” Drawing on the contributions of over 100 writers, Civil Eats features innovations in food justice, environmental sustainability, and consumer health. Eat Drink Politics – Michele Simon, author of this blog, is a public health lawyer specializing in food industry marketing and lobbying tactics, and is the author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back. She writes on topics such as GMO labeling, food marketing strategies, food security, and nutrition. To access the full list, click here. 7. Humanity Imperiled What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So imagine that you’re an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what’s happening here or, for that matter, imagine you’re an historian 100 years from now -assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious -- and you’re looking back at what’s happening today. You’d see something quite remarkable. For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That’s been true since 1945. It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence. And there are other dangers like pandemics, which have to do with globalization and interaction. So there are processes underway and institutions right in place, like nuclear weapons systems, which could lead to a serious blow to, or maybe the termination of, an organized existence. To access the full story, click here.
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8. Double Mountain's Matt Swihart Buys Out Partner Charlie Devereux Double Mountain's partners announced a buyout plan today that will leave brewer/founder Matt Swihart as sole owner of the much loved Hood River brewery and allow founding partner Charlie Devereux the freedom to start a new venture closer to home --- Portland, in his case. The pair founded the Hood River brewery in 2007 and saw it grow at double percentage points ever since. “We brewed 8,000 barrels (about 250,000 gallons) last year,” says Swihart, “and I want to do 9,500 barrels (about 280,000 gallons) this year." A recent doubling in both production and pub space affords Double Mountain the room to grow, and the brewery now sells its beers in returnable bottles as well as draft. To access the full story, click here. 9. Mid-Willamette Valley Food Hub Study The Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments and the City of Independence are currently working with a University of Oregon Master's student on a research study to better understand local food systems in the Mid-Willamette Valley and to determine the potential need for aregional food hub serving the Marion, Polk, and Yamhill County region. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a food hub as, "a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand." The results of the study will be used to understand how our local food system can be strengthened and improved to create new opportunities for local businesses. A workshop to review the preliminary results of the food hub study will be held on June 4, 2013 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Independence Civic Center. For more information on how to register for the workshop, click here. 10. Get Lost in These 19 Fascinating Maps In the simplest sense of the word, a map is a spatial representation of something. It provides us with a sense of context, scale and location. Maps began as 2D depictions, but technology and data enable maps to become dynamic, real-time and compelling visualizations of how we live and move. Below, we've rounded up 21 awesome maps from around the web. Some will help you navigate your city, some show the actual mapmaking process and some are just mindblowing visualizations of people flowing throughout cities. No matter what kind of map it is though, it hammers home the exciting pulse and pace of urban life. To access these “mindblowing visualizations”, click here. 11. Finding Playful New Uses for Boring Street Infrastructure The Dutch really know how to celebrate New Year's – by blowing up every non-living thing with fireworks. The nation's pyrophilia burns so fiercely that municipal crews have to fan out on the streets to remove trashcans, mailboxes and other fun-to-explode objects. How bad does it get? At the end of 2010, firefighters had to extinguish hundreds of flaming garbage bins in Amsterdam alone, leading authorities to impose huge fines for incinerating trash bins. But designer Thor ter Kulve thinks he's found a way of engineering revelers to act more responsibly.
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Why not transform the garbage boxes into heaters, he wonders, so that when they're set alight they actually perform a productive social function? To access the full story, click here. 12. The Best Cities Are Ones Where You Can Make Friends In 1964, the sociologist Melvin Webber suggested the city of the future would more closely resemble Amazon’s random-access warehouses than the canyons of Manhattan. Thanks to the car and its “door-to-door, no-wait, no-transfer, private, and flexible-route service,” Webber wrote, dense urban cores would give way to what he called “community without propinquity”--settlements spread unevenly across the landscape loosely bound together by social networks and freeways rather than sheer physical proximity. The result, he believed, would be unprecedented choice in how and where to live and who and how often to meet face-to-face--effectively anyone, anytime, anyplace. Webber’s exurban vision quickly came to pass, but it’s taken almost 50 years to quantify the results. In a pair of recent papers, Steven Farber, an assistant professor of geography at the University of Utah, and his collaborators have proposed a new metric to measure the latent possibilities for community in cities without proximity: “social interaction potential.” SIP represents the intersecting slivers of space-time in which any random pair of a city’s residents can meet based on where they live, where they work, and, given those, how long they have to rendezvous. To access the full story, click here.
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