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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 11 declined, 1 accepted (12 total, 8.33% accepted)

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Submission + - Essex, Brexit art and control theory

An dochasac writes: I can't help but notice when governments and economies behave like buggy code in a PID controller or wildly unstable oscillators in a high voltage circuit. As in the physical world, problem with political and economic theory can often be solved via corrections in the feedback loop. Artists perform a valuable role in helping us build stories around and visualize the abstract results of actions such as damaging the environment, turning our backs on refugees, Brexiting the EU or voting for a populist xenophobe.

Essex, Brexit, art and fear explores the role of artists in control theory.

Submission + - VR Empathy Machine links UN dignitaries with Syrian Refugees

An dochasac writes: So, you stood there in the dark all night long. Maybe you even slept in a tent in a frigid urban wasteland. But you got it. You are now the proud owner of the the latest Gear VR, Google Cardboard or Occulus Virtual Reality(VR) headset. As you recover from your night of sleeping rough, you're probably looking for worthwhile VR content.

The late film critic Roger Ebert considered movies to be like a machine that creates empathy. Filmmaker Chris Milk took this concept a step further when he brought his VR empathy machine to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to film Clouds over Sidra. He hopes this will help us step into the moccasins of these vulnerable people and understand about the struggles of their daily lives and of their humanity. He has already taken his film to UN dignitaries and it did seem to change their perceptions of people like Sidra. Will it work for the rest of us?

Might our empathy gap be caused by the fact that communicating empathy requires more bandwidth than communicating the primitive emotions of fear, anger and despair?

"My name is Sidra. I am 12 years old... I have lived here in the Zaatari camp in Jordan for the last year and a half..."

Submission + - Summer Solstice Stupid Daytime Lighting Challenge (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: I already know about the energy wasted by sprawling cities and gas-guzzling cars, but when I moved to Ireland I was amazed at the number of outdoor lights which were burning 24 X 7 X 365. I noticed that the outdoor floodlight in my rented home didn't even have an off switch. It was hard-wired into the same circuit which powered all of the lights and appliances in the kitchen and living-room. Is it really cheaper to run lights continuously rather than provide a power switch? What can we do about this? Is this common in other parts of the world? GreenProphet challenges readers to count these lights and try to do something about them.
Earth

Submission + - Why Earth Hour Still Matters (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: Earth Hour's simple suggestion to turn off your lights for one hour on Saturday March 23rd has grown into an international social movement powerful enough to have become controversial. Writing for Slate Magazine, Bjørn Lomborg argued that it is a waste of time and energy. Thankfully it is still legal to do something that at the very least gives us a better view of a starry night sky, of comet Panstarrs and of our own potential to change the world. Here is why Earth Hour still matters.
IT

Submission + - A Technological Ring of Gyges vs the Environment (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: "Many people believe technology can get us out of the environmental mess we're in but here is a strong argument that technology got us into this mess by giving each of us a 'Ring of Gyges', hiding our ecological footprint from our neighbors and even from ourselves. Can information technology destroy this technological ring of Gyges and help consumers see the impact of our choices?"
Technology

Submission + - Hannukah and Other Celebrations of Efficient Lighting

An dochasac writes:

Each December as nights grow long, people of the Jewish faith celebrate an ancient miracle of efficiency. In our oil-soaked, electrified age it is difficult to understand what it meant for the Maccabees to enjoy eight days of light from one day’s supply of oil.

After an early Persian usage of kerosene lighting, people relied on vegetable and animal fats for indoor lighting. For several hundred years whale oil was the best indoor lighting fuel, but when the world neared "peak whale oil," whalers who'd previously prospered in local waters now toiled dangerous waters of the high arctic and southern ocean. Moby Dick's narrator warns:

“For God’s sake, be economical with your lamps and candles. Not a gallon you burn, but at least one drop of man’s blood was spilled for it.”

We've finally come to a time when each of those eye-watering blue LED "holiday lights" can distract Christians from the context of Christmas for six months on the equivalent of one day's supply of menorah oil. Here is the history of this... uh... progress in efficient lighting.

Earth

Submission + - Fun-powered SOcket ball provides 3 hours of light from a 30 minute soccer game

An dochasac writes: From the why-didn't-I-think-of-that department: Harvard students Hemali Thakker, Julia Silverman, Jessica O. Matthews and Jessica Lin received grants from the Clinton Global Initiative University to develop a prototype of a soccer ball that generates electricity to illuminate homes in the developing world. Jessica Matthews and Julia Silverman went on to found a company called Unchartedplay to manufacture this SOccket ball and try to organize sponsorship for the balls to be sent where they are needed the most.

Submission + - Robotic umbrella forest to keep Hajj pilgrims cool (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: "The annual Hajj pilgrimage is expected to bring over three million Muslims to Al-Masjid al-Nabaw mosque in Medina this year. The dry Saudi Arabian climate with temperatures exceeding 100F makes this a punishing and potentially dangerous event for pilgrims gathered in the shadeless marble plaza. German designers, SL-Rasch, in collaboration with Sefar Architecture, conceived a landscape of high-tech sunscreens that span the 150,000 square meter forecourts, a total area larger than the mosque’s footprint. The 250 convertible umbrellas, each 20 meters tall, are sized to fill the courts’ proportions, converting the open plazas into fully covered outdoor rooms.

These umbrellas open and close on demand to provide shade during daylight, trap heat at night and collect precious rainwater. They are also beautiful, fitting in well with the traditional architecture of Mohammad's second mosque."

Technology

Submission + - ESL - A CRT-based Replacement for CFL Lights Without the Mercury (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: "Everyone knows incandescent lights are inefficient little space heaters which happen to convert 5% of their incoming energy to light. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are more efficient but they contain toxic brain-eating mercury and emit a greenish light. LEDs are also efficient and last longer but if their blueish 'white' light doesn't mess up your melatonin balance, their price is high enough to wreck your checking account balance and give you the blues.

A company called Vu1 has come up with something called Electron Stimulated Luminance (ESL) lights which claim to solve the mercury and price problem with a light based on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology. These lights have the warm color balance of incandescents and are compatible with dimmer switches. Here are some ESL details along with an explanation of why it's still a bad idea to say these are "trash can safe.""

Technology

Submission + - ESL lights, (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: "Everyone knows incandescent lights are inefficient little space heaters which happen to convert 5% of their incoming energy to light. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are more efficient but they contain toxic brain-eating mercury and emit a greenish light. LEDs are also efficient and last longer but if their blueish 'white' light doesn't mess up your melatonin balance, their high price is likely to give you the blues and wreck your bank account balance.

A company called Vu1 has come up with something called Electron Stimulated Luminance (ESL) lights which claim to solve the mercury and price problem in a light which has the warm color balance of incandescents and is compatible with dimmer switches. It's based on CRT technology. Here are some more ESL details along with an explanation of why it's still a bad idea to say these are "trash can safe.""

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