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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Advent of 3D Printing and Redefining Agriculture

Not taking better advantage of Earth Day last week to do a series of environment-friendly posts continues to make me feel like a slacker about myself, this blog, and the environment. To make myself feel better, I though I would:
  1. Figure out how to embed and/or link a pdf into blogger. (Coincidently, I also learned how to insert pages/other pdfs into and extract pages from a pdf on a Mac without paying a ton load for Adobe.)
  2. Revise my term paper I wrote in March 2013 on 3D Printing and Agriculture for my "People, Plant, and the Environment" botany course at the Dunwoody, Ga. Campus of Georgia Perimeter College.
  3. Create a post inviting the world to read my very simple and idealistic paper on how 3D printing technology could one day help solve some of our environmental and energy problems in the hope that it may inspire others to take my very basic idea and save the world. (All I ask is that you give me all the proper credit and citations—monetary donations would also be welcomed should my ideas help you make beaucoup bank.)
Those tasks accomplished, I present to you my paper. Interestingly enough, the only criteria other than formatting that Professor Sharon Lambert gave the class for this term paper was that a) it had to be about plants and b) well, I can't remember if there was actually a "b)".

Abstract:
Used mainly for drafting and design, 3D printing, a relatively new technology reminiscent of Star Trek, has recently expanded its practical applications beyond commercial fabrication and manufacturing into the realm of medicine and the sciences. The author briefly explores the impact this technology is having on agriculture and posits the possible role 3D printing could play in alternative fuel production.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dear Hollywood, A Captain Planet Movie, Maybe? Please.

I want to apologize. I allowed Earth Day to sneak up on me, yesterday. I had planned to do a whole week of fun and timely, environment-related posts ranging from an an analysis of problems we are facing today to profiles on people trying to save the planet to (fun?) things you can easily do year round to help the environment. I don't know why I keep making promises. I only disappoint you and myself.

Well, maybe next year.

So here's a fun little fan-made trailer for a fake live-action movie of one my (and maybe your's, as well) favorite environmentally-conscious cartoons from the 90s. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Image Source: Bangor Daily News
HAPPY EARTH DAY EVERYBODY!!!

…or maybe its Earth Week for you. Or perhaps, for you, it Earth Every Day! Whichever way you prefer to celebrate our beautiful blue planet, thank you. I hope you join me in taking the time to remember that we only have one planet we call home—at least until we master space travel. Unfortunately, we may not make it until then, nor is the a guarantee we would find a suitable new world or that we won't destroy that one, as well.


WOW! Depressing. Sorry. Anyways, moving on!

As I searched the internet for a fitting image for this post, I came across the one above and felt that I should share it. I particularly like this image because it adds a new layer to the quintessential "Three Rs"( Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) that we've lived with for so long.

Adding "Respect" to the mix reminds us that the "Three Rs" must be done with respect and forethought. Also, it reminds us, that everything else we do should respect the environment. Our laws and policies, for example, should bear the world in mind. As the Iroquois proverbs insist, our decisions should take into consideration the affects on the next seven generations (about 140 years). Unfortunately, in most case, governments and private decisions do not reflect this.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Heartbleed Bug and The Day the Internet Shat Its Pants


If you have yet to hear or read about the Heartbleed bug, you probably will soon. And no, it has nothing to do with your health. Well!—not medically, anyways.

[Photo Source: Codemonicon]
As the news of this recent web security bug makes the rounds on television, news sites, and social media, it will be tempting to shutout all the doomsayers and the techno-babble. Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury. It does not help that all the tech talk can be confusing, especially for the less than tech savvy Joe Schmos such as myself.

The doom and gloom brigade, however, can justly say that this has the potential to bring internet security to its knees as internet commerce and online banking, in addition to popular social media sites, are vulnerable to attacks. Worst still, the solution is not as simple as changing your password.


So, what happened anyways?

The discovery of a widespread security bug affecting sites running SSL encryption was announced on Monday, 07 April 2014.  Dubbed the Heartbleed bug, the vulnerability was discovered by software security firm Codenomicon and by Neel Metha at Google Security, and is "located in the implementation of the TLS/DTLS (transport layer security protocols) heartbeat extension [1]" of the popular open source OpenSSL cryptographic library.

According to LastPass.com, the bug "causes a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, which is used by roughly two-thirds of all websites on the Internet." 


So, what does this mean?

We are all affected by this revelation. Some half a million popular, well trusted websites have been deemed vulnerable; and, as of 16:00 UTC 08 April 2014, includes Yahoo [2][3][4], BarclaysCardUs.com [2], and Nasa [5]. (Yes! Some of our favorite porn sites are affected, too.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Watershed for the Larger Universe — Captain America: The Winter Soldier [Review]

[Image Source: Mashable.com]
At first watch, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel Studio's latest installment in their larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, may seem like a filler movie that one needs to get through—you know, to get the full effect of the larger Universe. The fact that the movie drags in some places only reinforce that line of thought. It does not help matters that Marvel seems intent on throwing in every Easter egg [1][2][3] that did not make it into the previous eight films or the 16 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television episodes to date. Overall, the action sequences (and there's a whole lot of them) seem to take a back seat to slower moments of expositions and treatises. But, at first what appears to be weaknesses might actually be the foundations on which Marvel Studios can build a stronger mega-verse.

{WARNING: SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP!!!!}