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Dr. Michael D. McDonald - The Resilience Systems - Conversations With Great Minds - The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann

Please join us on Friday, June 21, 2013 from 7:30pm-8:00pm (ET) as Thom Hartmann of The Big Picture interviews Dr. Michael D. McDonald in a segment of Conversations With Great Minds. This interview will focus on the Resilience Systems. What is resilience? Why is it important? An important discussion on resilient communities and networks will be included.


Small in Size, Big on Power: New Microbatteries a Boost for Electronics

The graphic illustrates a high power battery technology from the University of Illinois.  Ions flow between three-dimensional micro-electrodes in a lithium ion battery.  Image - Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

submitted by Albert Gomez - by Liz Ahlberg - April 16, 2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery – and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye.

Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new microbatteries out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

Led by William P. King, the Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering, the researchers published their results in the April 16 issue of Nature Communications.

How Social Media Is Changing Disaster Response



Image: Flickr/John

submitted by Robyn Wyrick

Congress is grappling with the benefits and risks of using Facebook, Twitter and other social media during emergencies - by Dina Fine Maron - June 7, 2013

When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Facebook was the new kid on the block. There was no Twitter for news updates, and the iPhone was not yet on the scene. By the time Hurricane Sandy slammed the eastern seaboard last year, social media had become an integral part of disaster response, filling the void in areas where cell phone service was lost while millions of Americans looked to resources including Twitter and Facebook to keep informed, locate loved ones, notify authorities and express support.


Norway, Canada, the United States and the Tar Sands

It is crunch time on tar sands. (photo: Greenpeace)

Image: It is crunch time on tar sands. (photo: Greenpeace) - May 11th, 2013 - Dr. James Hansen

Today 36 Norwegian organizations sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stoltenberg expressing opposition to development of Canadian tar sands by Statoil (the Norwegian state is majority shareholder of Statoil). Signatories include not only environmental organizations, but a broad public spectrum, including, appropriately, many youth organizations. It is encouraging that Norwegian youth press their government to stop supporting tar sands development, given the fact that Norway saves much of its oil earnings for future generations and given the fact that Norway is not likely among the nations that will suffer most from climate change.


Climate Change: Human Disaster Looms, Claims New Research


A human shadow is seen on a dried out field after drought in Germany. Photograph: Patrick Pleul/EPA - by Fiona Harvey - May 19, 2013

Some of the most extreme predictions of global warming are unlikely to materialise, new scientific research has suggested, but the world is still likely to be in for a temperature rise of double that regarded as safe.

The researchers said warming was most likely to reach about 4C above pre-industrial levels if the past decade's readings were taken into account.

That would still lead to catastrophe across large swaths of the Earth, causing droughts, storms, floods and heatwaves, and drastic effects on agricultural productivity leading to secondary effects such as mass migration.


Study - Energy budget constraints on climate response

A Majority on Earth Will Soon Face Severe, Self-Inflicted Water Shortage: Scientists

submitted by Samuel Bendett


A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world, held last week in Bonn, issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, “in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the nine billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable.”

The scientists pointed to chronic underlying problems led by mismanagement, and offered a prescription to policy makers in a 1,000-word declaration issued at the end of a 4-day meeting in Bonn, Germany. The conference, Water in the Anthropocene, was organized by the Global Water System Project (GWSP).


Video - Urban Resilience for a New Century - by Dr. Judith Rodin - May 14, 2013

It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors -- by Ellen Brown -- March 29,2013

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds.

Emerging Infections in Perspective: Novel Coronavirus and H7N9 Influenza

Professor David L. Heymann, CBE - by David L. Heymann - April 15, 2013

Since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory infection (SARS) ten years ago, efforts to detect unusual severe respiratory disease have intensified. At the same time, there have been major advances in the development of diagnostic tests. This is a result of a major increase in the research and development budget for tests to diagnose unknown disease, and this investment was driven by the perception that anthrax and other organisms such as the smallpox virus will continue to be a bioterrorism threat.

When disease detection efforts are intensified, surveillance systems often become better at picking up illness that would have otherwise gone undetected until enough people developed the disease that an outbreak occurs and is noticed. Throughout history, mysterious severe respiratory infections that have resulted in death have emerged, but with new diagnostic tests it is also now possible to determine the cause of such disease, often soon after it is detected.


H7N9 Map

View H7N9 map in a larger map

Click on each balloon for more information on individual patients infected with the avian flu virus: blue, patients infected with the H7N9 virus under treatment; red, those infected with H7N9 who have died; and pink, those infect with the H1N1 avian flu virus.


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