How modern wheat is making us fat and sick

this can't end well

Very interesting read about the dangers of modern wheat, which doesn’t have much in common with the one our parents/grand-parents ate and why our generations are fatter and sick with auto-immune diseases such as Celiac or Crohn’s or even rheumatoid arthritis among other niceties.

Quick: Name a common food, consumed every day by most people, that:• Increases overall calorie consumption by 400 calories per day • Affects the human brain in much the same way as morphine • Has a greater impact on blood sugar levels than a candy bar • Is consumed at the rate of 133 pounds per person per year • Has been associated with increased Type 1 Diabetes • Increases both insulin resistance and leptin resistance, conditions that lead to obesity • Is the only common food with its own mortality rateIf you guessed sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, youre on the right track, but, no, thats not the correct answer.The true culprit: Triticum aestivum, or modern wheat.

via Triticum Fever, by Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly – Boing Boing.

Group of 147 tight-knit companies controls 40% of the world’s total wealth

links, this can't end well

This is somewhat scary.

The work, to be published in PloS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

Read the whole story on: the capitalist network that runs the world –  New Scientist.

2011 Toronto Zombie Walk

photography

Thousands of zombies took the Toronto streets today. I had to shoot a number of them 🙂

Click the photo to open the gallery!

Beyond infinity immersive installation

art, cool

 

 

‘beyond infinity’, a multisensory installation by french artist and theorist serge salat, interweaves mirrors, light, music,

and fractal art in an architecture that conflates visitors’ perceptions of space. sponsored by buick cars and usable during the events

as a vehicle showroom, the work is installed at shanghai’s westgate mall from september 16th through 18th, 2011.

via serge salat: beyond infinity immersive installation.

What scientists mean and what the public understands

insightful, links

There’s a lot to ponder in this table. It strikes me as an important document – a compilation of one of humanity’s most tragic miscommunications.

Read it, share it, frame it!

via The American Geophysical Union’s blog and Bad Astronomy

Lytro Launches its Amazing Focus-Free Camera for $399

cool, hardware, links, tech

Lytro camera

I can’t wait to put my hands on one of these, despite the limitations, this is quite a revolution in the world of photography! I wonder what Nikon, Canon, etc. are thinking, while Lytro’s investors are probably wetting themselves at the mere thought of all the licensing opportunities ahead of them.

I’d love to see Lytro’s technology applied to some SLR with a choice of lenses, which would be devoid of focusing elements. This could lead to seriously awesome lenses, a lot smaller in size and much better optical quality and wider apertures. The possibilities are endless.

Remember Lytro, the camera that could care less about focus? The one that captures all the information in its light field, so you can play with the focus after the fact?

Well, it’s no longer just a nice idea. Lytro (the company) just started taking pre-orders for Lytro (the camera) on its website. You won’t be able to get one until early 2012, but you can order one now for $399 (and $499 for a more advanced version).

via MashableLytro Launches: Amazing Focus-Free Camera Will Cost $399.

Lytro’s site

Billion Tonne Comet May Have Missed Earth By A Few Hundred Kilometres in 1883 [updated]

links, science, this can't end well

If the data is correct, we got very, very close (between 600 and 8000km) to a mass extinction event just over a hundred years ago.

On 12th and 13th August 1883, an astronomer at a small observatory in Zacatecas in Mexico made an extraordinary observation. José Bonilla counted some 450 objects, each surrounded by a kind of mist, passing across the face of the Sun.

Each fragment was at least as big as the one thought to have hit Tunguska. Manterola and co end with this: “So if they had collided with Earth we would have had 3275 Tunguska events in two days, probably an extinction event.”

A sobering thought

via Billion Tonne Comet May Have Missed Earth By A Few Hundred Kilometres in 1883  – Technology Review.

[UPDATE]

Phil Plait, the badass astronomer behind the awesome Bad Astronomy blog has an insightful analysis here: Did a fragmenting comet nearly hit the Earth in 1883? Color me very skeptical

Mind you, Bonilla claimed to have seen these objects over the course of two days. That means they would’ve been stretched out along a path that was a million km long at least, yet so narrow that only one observatory on Earth saw them transit the Sun. That is highly unlikely.

Definitely worth reading and Phil Plait is doing a fantastic job to express something as complex as astronomy and physics in terms a math dropout like me can understand.