Posts Tagged ‘academia’


Zero Carbon Future

February 13, 2010

TED is a non-profit group that is famous these days for its innovative ideas conference.  The acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.  This conference is held each year and people come from all over to give talks on subjects of all kinds.  I’ve listened to talks about a mystery box, philanthropy, intelligent power outlets, pasta sauce, and many more.  This year’s conference is going on right now.

Yesterday, Bill Gates gave a talk about a zero carbon future, which Mark Frauenfelder breaks down in this post over at BoingBoing.  Here’s a snippet:

Currently, 26 billions tons of CO2 are released each year. Americans are responsible for 20 tons per person. The global average is 5 tons per person.

He showed this equation:

Total CO2 = World population x Services x Energy of each service x CO2 per unit of energy

The neat thing about an equation that uses only multiplication is that if any of the four factors can be reduced to zero, then you don’t have to worry about the other three factors. The total CO2 output will be zero. So which one can we make zero?

It’s totally worth the read, so check it out.


Smart People Comics

February 11, 2010

“So what’s happening is that there’s a development of a new form of literacy, new forms of reading and new forms of writing that people do – computer, emails, forms that are very different than the literacy of earlier centuries. One of the reasons comics were so successful in the 20th century –  and are still vital– is that they are part of this new way of reading.”

There’s an interesting interview with Jeet Heer over on the books side of Torontoist.  A good read if this sort of thing is your bag.

If you want to feel particularly epic while reading it, put on some Sigur Ros.  It adds a hilarious tone of uprising to the interview.