Published on Monday, November 29th, 02010 by Austin Brown
Ask Media Productions created this report on the San Francisco Fire Department’s unique ladder shop. While most cities have moved on to lighter, less-expensive aluminum ladders, San Francisco’s tight, windy streets lined with electric bus-lines demand sturdy, non-conductive douglas-fir. That wood is given 15 years to age in the ladder shop before it’s shaped into planks and rungs and can be maintained for decades afterwards – the Department’s oldest ladder still in use was originally built in 1918.
Published on Tuesday, November 23rd, 02010 by Austin Brown
Climate change continues to demand solutions, but a unified global response remains elusive. Even among those who want to address the issue, debate about how rages on. We could cut consumption, increase alternative energy production, develop fusion power, implement population control, seed the atmosphere, block the sun… For every proposed solution, there is a counter-argument, an opportunity cost, or unintended consequences. And those don’t even begin to address the questions of how climate change itself will actually manifest – what kinds of changes and disasters will we have to mitigate with new technology, mass migration, or cultural and behavioral re-training?
Exploring all these interacting forces and possibilities might be a bit overwhelming, but if it also gets your creative, geoengineering juices flowing, there’s a video game you might want to look into. An Oxford based game design studio called Red Redemption will soon release Fate of the World, in which you as the player control a global environmental agency and play out the next 200 years:
Fate of the World is a dramatic global strategy game that puts all our futures in your hands. The game features a dramatic set of scenarios based on the latest science covering the next 200 years. You must manage a balancing act of protecting the Earth.s resources and climate versus the needs of an ever-growing world population, who are demanding ever more food, power, and living space.
The head of Oxford’s Climate Dynamics Group, Dr. Myles Allen has contributed to the climate modeling the game uses and Red Redemption are making a conscious effort to design this game as an engaging educational tool. By providing access to academic-quality climactic models in a strategic game format, they hope to better inform the public about the challenges climate change presents, as well as get people focused on finding solutions based on the best evidence available.
Published on Tuesday, November 23rd, 02010 by Tyler Emerson
Quotes related to long-term thinking. Have a favorite quote? Share it with us in comments.
“We need to see our work on innovation as involving disciplined practice, not the quest for short-term wins. This is an obvious problem in our instant-gratification, quarterly-earnings-based culture in which corporate managers (and politicians) are evaluated and rewarded based on their success at maintaining a continuous upward trend that produces immediate results. At times, it seems like the question ‘What have you done for me lately’ approaches the status of a business model. If resource allocation, decision-making processes, and career-path planning all obey a short-term logic, while the important challenges facing both organizations and society are mostly long term, isn’t the disconnect obvious?”
– John Kao
Creative photographer Sussman showed beautiful slides of very elderly organisms. The captions were as crucial as the images—naming the species, the place, and the approximate age. You can see many of them here.
The series began with the only animal—an eighteen-foot brain coral in the waters of Tobago, thought to be 2,000 years old. An enormous baobob in South Africa might be 2,000 years old. Then there is the astounding welwitschia mirabilis of the Namibian desert, a conifer that feeds on mist, with the longest leaves in the plant kingdom…