Archive for the ‘true? (slide)’ Category

disneyland9600Photomosaic of 9600 photos (from a set of 326) prepared with my vacation pictures and MacOSaiX software (free BTW).

So what is the ecological footprint of a place like Disneyland?

Having just returned from a visit to the magic kingdom, the above was a question that continually haunted my consciousness. Disneyland was remarkably pristine in that cookie cutter, artificial, yet aesthetically pleasing way, but it must be a major sink in terms of waste, energy consumption, carbon emissions, etc.

Or is it? Maybe in terms of footprint, by applying its incredible density (>15 million visitors each year!), it comes out not looking so bad?
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offsettingUSflyingdeparturesTo offset flights out of North America in 2007, you’d need to plant a forest the size of Oregon.

In this summer’s issue of the Walrus, there’s a great piece by UBC’er, David Beers, called “Grounded” which imagines circumstances leading to a world where flying is essentially ground to a halt. It’s a good read, but in this case, I also had a little fun with the accompanying graphic.

In the original picture (the left hand side of the slide), we see the number of trees needed to offset a few particular flights (presumably, a sampling of some that David recently took), and I was essentially curious to see if I could extrapolate these calculations to the world at large. i.e. Can I get figures for total kilometres flown in the world for a particular period of time, calculate the number of trees needed to offset this, and then maybe even try to visualize this number in terms of forested land area.

Well, using back of the envelope calculations (my favourite kind), and links to stats at the US Department of Transportation, as well as various links to a number of sites highlighting preferred plantation densities (I chose an average number that seems to be cited for wildlife enhancement – 300 trees per acre), and doing all the right sorts of things to shift numbers from miles to km, from acres to km squared etc, then this is what I got –

That to offset the total number of flight departing from North America in the year 2007, you need to plant a forest about the size of Oregon!

Yikes! This isn’t even considering flights that depart from Europe, Asia, etc, and this is also for only one year! That can’t be good…

Course, then there’s the whole debate around offsets generally, but we can save that one for another time.

uncombablehairsyndromeThere is a human disease characterized by uncontrollably messy hair. It is called the “uncombable hair syndrome.”

Also known as Pili trianguli et canaliculi

Basically, a genetic syndrome affecting the structure of one of the proteins in the hair follicle. Results in literally uncombable hair (hence the name).
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KidAThe song you are listening to is the title track of a Billboard number one CD. The song and CD specifically written and dedicated to the first putative human clone.
(Billboard stats link | audio)

Thom Yorke apparently said this*:

POSTED BY Thom ON JULY 30, 2000 AT 23:39:21:
IN REPLY TO: Thom, why Kid A?
dedicated to the first human clone.
i bet it has already happened.

Basically, illustrative of just how pervasive some of this “science” stuff is in popular culture. In fact, I do remember one particular summer (2002 specifically) when a Star Wars, a Star Trek, and a James Bond movie, all had genetic undertones in the plot.

plasticbottleschrisjordan02Plastic Bottles, 2007 (60×120″) – Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

This great visual from Chris Jordan is incredibly effective, especially if you compose the slides to zoom out the striking image. Apart from the whole consumption point of view, I also use this aesthetic to comment on technology in general – as in, yes, plastics make things awful convenient, but taken to elevated and collected levels, look at what that convenience amounts to.
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nudemousewithearThere exists a Nude mouse which is a mouse strain that has no hair and also no immune system. These mice have been used for the production of human ears.

I usually talk about this, because it’s a good example of how media can often coerse the reader/viewer to come to premature conclusions. You see, I find most of the audience will make one of two responses: either an “EEWWW” response, or a “THAT’S COOL” response. In any event, you would of gotten the sense from mainstream articles when this first went to press that perhaps this was a real human ear, and you could even whisper into the back of this poor mouse to garner a response.
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tomcruisefootprintAssuming that (a) Tom Cruise’s level of consumption is in parallel with his annual salary*, and that (b) everyone on earth has the opportunity to live like Tom Cruise: we would need 2700 Earths to sustain this level of consumption?

2700 fricking Earths! (based on average salary stats in Canada, and the estimation of Tom Cruise’s salary based on articles seen in sources such as Forbes, etc)

In reality, this is a totally inappropriate way of figuring out an EF value (that is using salary as an indicator), but it does present an interest question. That is – what would the consumption levels of an unwary celebrity be? The kind that thrives on “blingbling” Oscar bags, flies planes and races cars as a hobby? (Someone should take this on as a project, I’m sure there’s people out there with access to the day to day of celebrities, or maybe even via some of blogs that are out there).
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replicationad Evidence shows that mice are attracted to their mates based on genetic diversity. This they can somehow tell from the smell of their urine. There is also currently some weak evidence that humans indirectly do the same thing.
(accompanying graphic)

Ancestral and recombinant 16-locus HLA haplotypes in the Hutterites. (1999) Immunogenetics 49:p491

In which human mate selection appears to be determined by genetics afterall. This study was done using a small community (Hutterites) since carefully controlled human mate matching and observation would be unethical – at least without reality TV.
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