Archive for September, 2010

Last Performance: Kings of New York

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Rocking, House, Poppin’ and Breakin’ Battles. The last Kings of New York is happening on Sunday, November 7th at St. Mark’s Church at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. Doors open at 7pm. Battles Start at 9 pm SHARP. Admissions $15, and if you have a camera, $20. View a trailer of Kings of New York 7 on YouTube.

From Team KNY: “We thank you for all the support you’ve given us through out the years. We are taking a break for now. Please join us on Facebook or email us at Peace, Team KNY.”

UN Denies Astrophysicist Will Be First Contact For ETs

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The story which originated in the Sunday Times and soon spread around that world, has been denied.

Malaysian astrophysicist Mazian Othman has officially denied media reports that she was selected by the UN to represent earthlings in their future dealings with aliens.

“It sounds really cool,” Othman told The Guardian, “but I have to deny it.”

via The Guardian

UN Chooses Malaysian Astrophysicist To Be First Contact With Aliens

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Astrophysicist Mazian Othman, photo via Wikipedia

The United Nations is set to appoint astrophysicist Mazian Othman as Earth’s first alien contact. Othman is currently the head of The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. (UNOOSA)

UNOOSA is the United Nations office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses for outer space.

The UNOOSA conducts international workshops, training courses and pilot projects on topics that include remote sensing, satellite navigation, satellite meteorology, tele-education and basic space sciences for the benefit of developing nations.

It also maintains a 24-hour hotline as the United Nations focal point for satellite imagery request during disasters and manages the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response. (UN-SPIDER)

UNOOSA prepares and distributes reports, studies and publications on various fields of space science and publication on various fields of space and technology application and international space law. Documents and reports are available in all official languages of the United Nations through the UNOOSA website.

UNOOSA is located at the United Nations office at Vienna, Austria.

via New York Post

Plan C: Secret Mission to Chernobyl

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Image via Plan C

In the Summer 2010 a group of six artists who barely knew each other embarked on a journey to Chernobyl, to develop a secretive Plan C. They came from different parts of Europe and the US, and met-up at a random apartment in the suburbs of Kyev, Ukraine.  The one thing they had in common: an obsession for Tarkovsky’s 1979 movie Stalker.

The Chernobyl Zone of Alienation Administration—responsible for the protection of this highly radioactive area—issued the group’s authorization which included: Ryan Doyle, “The Machine Artist”; Eve and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG, “The Conspirators”; Jeff Stark, “The Organizer”; Todd Chandler, “The Director”; Tod Seelle, “The Photographer”; and Steve Valdez, “The Fabricator.”

While details on the mission remain sealed, images can be viewed at Plan C.

UN Summit: September 20-22, NYC

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Photo via UN Central African Republic

World leaders will convene to monitor the Millennium Development Goals on September 20 in New York.  With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend.

“The summit will be a crucially important opportunity to redouble our efforts to meet the Goals,” he said, referring to the target to slash poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths by 2015.

Currently, progress to reduce the proportion of people who are undernourished has been a challenge. Hunger spiked in 2009 due to higher food prices and reduced employment and incomes.

To read more, download the United Nations Official Document.

via UN Blog

Grow Your Vegetables in a Box

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Photo of Aeroponic Roots via KurzweilAI

The notion of grow local, buy local is becoming more of a reality for megacities, as a project called “Food for Cities” recently demonstrated that we will be able to grow all our vegetables in a box barely larger than a refrigerator.

The project was a result of a Singularity University challenge to come up with solutions that can positively affect the lives of a billion people. Taking into account the various constraints within the current system of food production, team members Derek Jacoby and Maggie Jack focused on the centralized nature of current food production.

What they were up against: Today, in good growing conditions, it takes an estimated 16 square feet of garden space to provide just a single person with vegetables — and that’s more than exists in most city environments. Drawing on the controlled-agriculture experience of their advisors, they determined that the best technique to personalize food production without the use of large tracts of farmland was aeroponics. Aeroponics is different than hydroponics,where the roots of the plant rest in a liquid nutrient bath. With aeroponics, the nutrient solution is vaporized into a fine mist. Aeroponic gardens can save 90% of the water used in a conventional garden, and the growth rate can be 25% higher than in soil gardens.

The team drew inspiration from John Hogan and Chris McKay from NASA Ames programs in planetary science and bioengineering advanced life support systems, and Dickson Despommier, of Columbia University, and his vertical farming initiative. In collaboration with NASA, the team instrumented their prototype gardens with sensors to measure nutrient levels, temperature, humidity, and pH.

The technology breakthroughs making this possible:
- Light: Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) are approaching the 30% efficiency range, on par with the high-pressure sodium lamps used in greenhouses today. OLEDs can provide light in a spectrum ideally suited to plant growth, and can be placed much closer to the plant because they produce less excess heat while saving electricity.
- Biotechnology: Species of plants have recently been discovered that create a chlorophyll that is sensitive to low-energy red light. If this were introduced into food species, the lighting requirements could be dramatically lowered. We now have the technology to optimize plants for human nutrition. With biotechnology, our food can grow precise quantities of our medicines, and produce nutrient profiles specifically tailored to our personal needs.

These advances, combined with the automation afforded by sensors and a well-designed control system, led the team to a relatively conservative reduction in the space required for one person’s vegetables: from 16 square feet down to five—no larger than the size of an average refrigerator.

via KurzweilAI

Homeopathic Signals

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Photo via flickr by Daveybot

Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won a Nobel prize in 2008 for linking HIV with AIDS, has made controversial claims that highly dilute solutions of harmful viruses and bacteria emit low-frequency radio waves from watery nanostructures formed around the pathogens, suggesting a firm scientific foundation for homeopathy.

At the Lindau Nobel laureate meeting in Germany where 60 Nobel prize winners were gathered, along with 700 other scientists to discuss the latest breakthroughs in medicine, chemistry and physicist, Montagnier presented a new method for detecting viral infections.

Montagnier told the conference that solutions containing DNA of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including HIV, “could emit low frequency radio waves” that induced surrounding water molecules to become arranged into “nanostructures.” These water molecules, he said, could also emit radio waves. Montagnier suggested that water could retain such properties even after the original solutions were massively diluted to the point where the original DNA had effectively vanished. In this way, water would retain the “memory” of substance with which it had been in contact and doctors could use the emissions to detect disease.

For most scientists, Montagnier’s remarks are highly provocative due to its similarity to the principles that underpin homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines work on the principle that a toxic substance taken in minute amounts will cure the same symptoms that it would cause if it were taken in large amounts. Traditional scientists completely reject this, claiming there is no evidence to show that water can retain or transmit information.

Montagnier’s claims come at a particularly sensitive time, with the British Medical Association calling for the National Health Service to stop spending 4 million pounds on homeopathy. But to the burgeoning believers of homeopathy and the explosion of alternative medicine in celebrity and mainstream culture, Montagnier’s claims have been eagerly embraced.

Moreover, in the area of cutting-edge science, other brilliant renegade thinkers that have embraced the scientific foundation for homeopathy for detection and diagnostics include:

-Recently deceased French immunologist Jacques Benveniste

-Welsh physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Brian Josephson

-Geneticist / biophysicist Mae-Wan Ho

As Jacques Benveniste so efficiently remarked to SPTNK:
“It’s not the memory of water that is interesting. It is what water remembers. And water is a tape that is able to record anything from one discrete sound to a symphony. For example, we can record a whole serum that contains hundreds and hundreds and thousands of compounds. So we are interested in what and how these signals are recorded by water.”


House of Numbers documentary

New Scientist

Beat Poet Allen Ginsburg’s NYC apartment rents for $1700

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Photo via Google Creative Commons by Ai Weiwei

Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg’s apartment at 437 East 12th Street rented for $1,700 a month. Ginsberg spent 21 years living in this fourth-floor rental. Although the apartment has been gut renovated, it’s likely that the resonance of lingering poetic genius is still floating around. Plus, if you would look through the window you would experience his famous 1984 description of the view: “Manhattan back-yard, wet brick-walled Atlantis sea garden’s Alianthus…boughs waiving in rainy breeze, Stuyvesant Town’s roof two blocks north on 14th Street – I focused on the raindrops on the clothesline.”

Note: A new film about Allen Ginsberg and the obscenity trial that followed the 1957 publication of his poem ‘Howl’ is set to release September 24th.

To view the apartment visit City Connections and NYCurbed