The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

April 24, 2011 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off
  • Wow. As a fan of the Commons, Hessel’s observation really rocks my boat:
    QUOTE
    Then there’s Andrew Hessel, a biohacker fed up with the biotech business model, which he believes is built on the hoarding of intellectual property and leads companies to prioritize one-size-fits-all blockbuster drugs. “During the sixty years or so that computers went from a roomful of vacuum tubes to iPhones, the pace of drug development has never quickened,” Hessel tells Wohlsen. Hoping to change that, Hessel is developing the first DIY drug development company, the Pink Army Cooperative, whose goal is to bioengineer custom-made viruses that will battle breast cancer. “Personalized therapies made just for you. In weeks or days, not years. Believe it. It’s time for a revolution,” the company’s website proclaims. “We are trying to be the Linux of cancer,” Hessel explains.
    UNQUOTE
    additional article link:
     tags: mit_techreview biotech diy hacking medicine

  • A trend that might balance out the trend toward online retail?
    QUOTE
    As retirement looms for the older Boomers, 17 million, or 25 % of the cohort, will be senior citizens within the next decade.

    Baby Boomers have indicated in analyses that they are most concerned with obtaining affordable housing. They will also want to be in communities that are walkable or have public transit for both philosophical and physical reasons.

    It is likely they will prefer and eventually have to stop driving. For this reason, it is likely they will seek smaller, easier shopping formats that are closer to home.

    Indeed, walkability has become an important factor. Zillow, the popular online real estate database, in July 2007 began rating the walkability of the property to retail and transit infrastructure and other services on a scale of 0 to 100.

    For these reasons, we believe the Baby Boomers will either be inclined to move to or remain in urban areas. Also in the near term, they are unlikely to retire at typical retirement age.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: retail shopping cities urbanization urbanism boomerism real_estate

  • Pattern Cities’ page explaining the term “pattern cities”:
    QUOTE
    In the history of civilization, select settlements have played a greater role than others in shaping regional and global urban landscapes. Today, a handful of cities continue to establish innovative urban development paradigms. These places, which we call Pattern Cities, provide the foundation and inspiration for this website.
    UNQUOTE
    Cities listed: London, Paris, Copenhagen, Rome, New York, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Curitiba, Bogota, Cairo, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Beijing.

    tags: cities pattern_recognition pattern_cities urbanism urban_design

  • Great blog and resource on urbanism. Emphasis is on “pattern cities,” derived from Jane Jacobs’ thesis on “pattern states” (in turn based on an idea of Sir George Clark’s).
    QUOTE
    Whatever their manifestation, patterns play an important role in understanding the past, and guiding the future of cities around the world. This blog is devoted to examining cities, the patterns they create, and the ideas they spread across the globe.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: cities pattern_recognition urbanism urban_design pattern_cities

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The (formerly Sunday, now Tuesday) Diigo Links Post (weekly)

April 19, 2011 at 10:45 am | In links | Comments Off

Once again, I’m late with my Sunday links post. Twas sitting in “drafts,” but not published. Now it is – enjoy.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Sunday (oops, Monday!) Diigo Links Post (weekly)

April 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm | In links | Comments Off

So… I thought I didn’t have a Sunday links post, but looking on my admin page just now, it seems I do. Just the one, though… ;-)

  • The complexities of public engagement…
    QUOTE
    Key public engagement questions
    “We’ve learned lessons from the past and we’re asking more nuanced questions,” says Dr. Edna Einsiedel. “Now we have to deconstruct and interrogate the terms themselves.”

    Here are a series of questions she suggest researchers ask themselves as they engage the public.

    > How are ‘publics’ framed and constructed? They can include the general public, affected publics (patient organizations and end-user groups), and activist organizations and other stakeholder groups. How you define them will have implications on the kinds of public engagement activities you do.

    > How ‘publics’ become engaged in the policy process and the policy networks that different publics participate in are important, and not just within the government arena. You also have to look at how publics engage on the issue outside the official arenas – through stakeholder group activities, social media and other non-official ways.

    > What does participation or engagement really mean? How is it conducted and to what ends?

    > How are impacts defined and investigated? How does public engagement impact decisions that are actually taken? Impacts on the policy decision are a very limited way of describing impacts; you can also talk about institutional learning, for example, within the policy community, or changes in institutional trust.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: edna_einsiedel public_engagement communication

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Canada, Vote for the Internet.

April 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm | In canada, leadership, media, politics, web | Comments Off

We have an election coming up in Canada. Vote for the internet.

So many links, so little organization

April 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm | In links | Comments Off

After a week of “holding” links in my inbox (memo to self: do NOT repeat this exercise, it’s useless) and of not being able to commit to b-o-o-k-m-a-r-k-i-n-g, all I have to show for my cerebration (not to mention procrastination) is the absence of a Sunday Diigo Links Post and about 20 open tabs in my browser.

You all were expecting a Sunday Diigo Links Post, weren’t you?

Truth be told, I’m at the point (again?) of reassessing my commitment to posting blog entries. However, seeing as it’s Sunday and there usually are links here, I’ll just comment briefly on some of what crossed my radar in the previous days. (This will also allow me to archive my inbox items and maybe close a few tabs, win-win.)

Fashionista (how apt)

On the topic of fashion (which I love), check out High Fascism by Rhonda Garelick:

At the root of the whole system is the most elusive myth of all: the impossible promise that fashion can vanquish physical inadequacy and aging, conferring the beauty and youth we see on the runways and on every page of Vogue — a cult of physical perfection very much at home in the history of fascism.

This is an important article. Its thesis has been stated before (I think I may have tapped out a few words about it myself), but it’s nice to see it in a mainstream publication like the NYT.

Next, an article about Being Pedestrian – that is, “A New ‘Cultural Tourist Agency’ Teaches Angelenos How to Walk in the City.” Yes. Don’t hate me, but I don’t happen to think this is odd or funny or unreasonable. I think it’s great.

From walking to …flying

In the overall ecosystem created by various economies, it’s not surprising that there would be hot-house climates (and therefore economies). So it’s kind of interesting to read about airports as generators of worlds-unto-themselves: Aerotropolis: An Interview with Greg Lindsay:

The notion of the aerotropolis, then, is basically that air travel is what globalization looks like in urban form. It is about flows of people and goods and capital, and it implies that to be connected to a city on the far side of the world matters more than to be connected to your immediate region.

Read the interview. Thought-provoking.

Cyborg, walking

Oh, did I mention that inbetween all this link goodness, I came across a TED talk by Amber Case, We are all cyborgs now? Wonderful, really wonderful talk – less than eight minutes long, must-see. When she describes the moment of creating the shortest distance between point A and point B, and how technology “wormholes” (of sorts) are getting us there, and how we’re all cyborgs now, …well, it’s just interesting to think about in relation to Aerotropolises, among other things…

Boobs.

(Let me rephrase that…)

Boobs.

Two articles about breasts, and they make an interesting juxtaposition.

Why Are Women’s Breasts Getting Bigger? and Abercrombie bikini tops: Threat to girls’ mental health?

You know how in The Graduate the young Dustin Hoffman is advised to go into plastics? Well, maybe that didn’t turn out so well. From the first article:

Before researching this article, I was aware of some cautionary tales about food coming into contact with plastic. Now I am going to be a crazy person on the subject. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound used to line the inside of aluminum cans and to make hard, clear plastic. It’s in water bottles, baby bottles, plastic milk containers, plastic juice bottles, and plastic food containers – as well as in soaps, creams, deodorants, cosmetics, tampons, electronic equipment, pesticides, sales receipts, and a zillion other things.

Chemically BPA is similar to human estrogen, and our bodies actually cannot tell the difference between it and estradiol (a form of estrogen.)  BPA leeches into our food and then enters our bodies, where even teeny tiny amounts – levels too low to be measured by any scientific instrument – can cause breast cells to reproduce. Over 90% of people have BPA in their urine – and the highest levels are in children. So… starting as babies, most little girls have been exposed to environmental BPA in a thousand different ways.

The damn stuff is damn-near inescapable.

The second article is about Abercrombie & Fitch peddling push-up bras to second-graders. Hola! What sort of fucktards are you people? I mean, it’s one thing to have the sort of soft-porn/ slightly gay beefcake imagery you regularly feature to sell your wares, but leave children out of it, ok?

.

Oh, and can I just refer you all back to the article I started with, High Fascism by Rhonda Garelick? Abercrombie & Fitch seems certainly not immune to the aesthetics first pioneered by Leni Riefenstahl and other “master race” stylists…

Anyway… Back to the boobs: “‘These bras are an egregious example of a broader culture that is saturated with sexualizing messages aimed at young girls,’ psychologist Dr. Eileen L. Zurbriggen, leader of an American Psychological Association task force on the sexualization of girls, told CBS News. ‘There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive, but girls are getting the message that being sexy is the only thing that is important.’” [emphasis added]

There’s the commonality between fascism and fashion again. Both can make sexuality the ground on which to enact – if not extract – unity. Sexuality is the most fascinating/ attractive thing – and so, under high fascism, it becomes the only thing. Under fascism, you lose sense of options, opportunities, alternatives. Ditto in some instances of high fashion, sadly. So much for poetry. Stupid people, for buying into this crap.

But who do you blame for fascism? Who do you blame for fashion? After the Nazis were defeated, we made all the Germans guilty, collectively, for Nazism – a workable idea, in my opinion, one that worked for the time. It’s much more difficult to pin blame these days. Who’s to blame? The stupid public for putting up with this shit? Or the evil industry for forcing it on us?

Ok. I still have nineteen tabs open, but that’s it for tonight. At least I punched my inbox down by a few.

Enjoy the beefcake and sleep tight. ;-)

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