A team of British and Finnish scientists have figured out how to make small amounts of propane using Escherichia coli (E. coli), the naturally-occurring, diverse group of bacteria most commonly known for causing food poisoning symptoms when ingested.
The propane, created from a genetically engineered version of the bacterium, is completely renewable and could be ready for commercial production within 10 years, according to the team, which published a study on the discovery Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The propane can be used the same way regular propane is used — for furnaces, outdoor grills, and to make liquefied natural gas — except instead of being derived from fossil fuels, it would be derived from a renewable source.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
—Howard Zinn (via occupiedmuslim)
Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Those are the countries. It will be drought-resistant species, mostly acacias. And this is a fucking brilliant idea you have no idea oh my Christ
This will create so many jobs and regenerate so many communities and aaaaaahhhhhhh
more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Green_Wall
it’s already happening, and already having positive effects. this is wonderful, why have i not heard of this before? i’m so happy!
Oh yes, acacia trees.
They fix nitrogen and improve soil quality.
And, to make things fun, the species they’re using practices “reverse leaf phenology.” The trees go dormant in the rainy season and then grow their leaves again in the dry season. This means you can plant crops under the trees, in that nitrogen-rich soil, and the trees don’t compete for light because they don’t have any leaves on.
And then in the dry season, you harvest the leaves and feed them to your cows.
Crops grown under acacia trees have better yield than those grown without them. Considerably better.
So, this isn’t just about stopping the advancement of the Sahara - it’s also about improving food security for the entire sub-Saharan belt and possibly reclaiming some of the desert as productive land.
Of course, before the “green revolution,” the farmers knew to plant acacia trees - it’s a traditional practice that they were convinced to abandon in favor of “more reliable” artificial fertilizers (that caused soil degradation, soil erosion, etc).
This is why you listen to the people who, you know, have lived with and on land for centuries.
Knowledge is power
The makers of The Stanley Parable received a brilliant/terrible response to the game, so they created a trailer specifically for that person. It’s called the Raphael trailer.
I’ve only seen a little bit about The Stanley Parable, and where I was interested before I’m dying to play it now.
if you’ve played The Stanley Parable (and even if you haven’t) i urge you to watch it. it’s worth it, trust me.
Funny that I wasn’t actually that interested in checking it out before, but now I’ll be sure to get it.