Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance

Here is another interesting video documentary series from the University of California: A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance. Archaeologist look into the home of 32 families and ask the question "Why was this thing purchased?". Too much stuff in your home? Feel guilty of all the time spent looking, buying, maintaining and discarding stuff? The entire playlist is on YouTube. I heard a new term: hyper-consumerism. Possessions create stress and worries and these in turn elevate the cortisol levels in the blood stream, thereby lowering and impairing the immune system.  The US have 3% of the world's children, but consume 40% of the world's toys. (Episode 1, minute 4:17 to 6:17.) What are we showing and teaching our kids through our actions and interactions with stuff. Watch it and see how you compare to these 32 families. You'll also learn where most of the time is spend (the kitchen), the least time is spent (master-bedroom), what the most contended space is (bathroom), and what the most frequently remodeled space (master-bedroom) is.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming

The University of California in Davis has created a series of 4 short video documentaries highlighting scientific, technical and health aspects of feeding our growing world population. The webpage of the series is here  at "The Future of Farming". The entire series is on YouTube as a playlist. It is quite basic, but for starters it is giving a reasonable overview of the issues. While watching keep in mind the influence of Monsanto on the research topics and results of UC Davis. Especially episode 4 seems skewed towards agrobusiness. The solutions proposed in these videos are too much dependent on gene-engineering. In summary, good for starters, but lacking depth and too optimistic about gene-manipulation. Watch and form your own opinion.