Montag, 14. Februar 2011

Frack you once, Frack you twice / Hydrofracking jetzt auch für Öl

"Oil engineers are applying what critics say is an environmentally questionable method developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. They drill down and horizontally into the rock, then pump water, sand and chemicals into the hole to crack the shale and allow gas to flow up.
Because oil molecules are sticky and larger than gas molecules, engineers thought the process wouldn't work to squeeze oil out fast enough to make it economical. But drillers learned how to increase the number of cracks in the rock and use different chemicals to free up oil at low cost." (via yahoo news)

Not long ago the broad public learnt about hydrofracking for the first time when the movie "Gasland" showed how this already widespread prectice can lead to burning tap water, gas-bubbling streams and poisenous chemicals in the groudwater. Now it seems not even the oil bearing rocks are safe from this extraction method, potentially covering even more ground with boreholes and fractured rock beneath, addind additional chemicals. But "we" need more and more oil, right? Especially now that Saudia Arabia seems to run out of oil earlier than thought and peak oil is here...

Kaum hat sich der Schock über die Auswirkungen von "Hydrofracking" gesetzt, den der Film "Gasland" ausgelöst hat, hatte Deutschland zu schlucken, daß dies nicht nur in den USA sondern auch hierzulande gemacht wird. Jetzt kommt noch mal ein Sahnehäubchen oben auf, denn offenbar kann man mit noch mehr Chemikalien und mehr Druck das Gestein noch feiner zerbrechen, so daß man jetzt auch Öl aus Ölschiefern extrahieren kann. Das kommt ja gerade recht, jetzt wo Saudi Arabien das Öl auch langsam ausgeht.

Samstag, 12. Februar 2011

Eating plastic rice / Plastikreis aus Kartoffeln

"Singapore media claim that fake rice is being distributed in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province. This “rice” is a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and plastic. It is formed by mixing the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the shape of rice grains, then adding industrial synthetic resins. Since the rice does not behave like normal rice, it stays hard even after it has been cooked. Such synthetic resins can also be very harmful if consumed.
A Chinese Restaurant Association official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag. Due to the seriousness of the matter, he added that there would be an investigation of factories alleged to be producing the rice. Meanwhile, the low cost of the fake rice is allowing wholesalers to make large profits." (via very Vietnam)

This sounds too odd to be true, but if it is then it is seriously insane. Selling potatoes pressed in the shape of rice grains and covered with plastics - to do what - get the Chinese to eat more potatoes??

Auch eine Lösung die Chinesen dazu zu bringen mehr Kartoffeln als Reis zu essen. Einfach Kartoffeln in Reisform pressen und mit Plastik überziehen. "Lecker" ...

Mittwoch, 2. Februar 2011

USA desires internet off switch / USA will auch einen Ausschalter fürs Internet

""In an action unprecedented in internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the internet," James Cowie of Renesys said in a blog post.[...]
The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, reported.[...]
“My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,” [Senator] Collins said" (via the age)

The US is getting all excited about Egypts possibilities to have an OFF-switch for the internet and warm up their own plans to do that once more. One has to wonder what they are afraid of. And this also shows how weak the idea is, that future mass movements, political resistance or revolts against a potential corrupted government can be organized in facebook and twitter. Oh and of course using "private contractors" to do the job makes it all much more trustworthy! There is a nice tip in the article though: It seems you can still use a classical modem and international dialup providers to get into the net in such a case. So maybe it's worth keeping that old hardware and emergency phone numbers...

Die USA schauen neidisch nach Ägypten und überlegen wieder einmal wie man es auch dort anstellen kann, daß man das Internet einfach mal abschalten kann wenn es brenzlig wird. Und um dem noch eines drauf zu setzen wird das ganze dann natürlich privatisiert! Ist ja auch praktisch, vor allem in Zeiten in denen Aktivisten die Kommunikationsmöglichkeiten des Mobilfunks und Internets als Grundlage ansehen und sich darauf stützen. So viel zu der Idee, daß zukünftige Massenbewegungen über Facebook und twitter organisiert werden. Und gleich mal ein interessanter Tip aus dem Artikel: Es gibt wohl noch Internetanbieter bei denen man sich klassisch mit Modem über eine Auslandstelefonleitung einwählen kann...

Dienstag, 1. Februar 2011

Organic supermarkets in bed with Monstanto / US Biosupermärkte freunden sich mit Monsanto an

"In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for "coexistence" with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack." (via organic consumers)

Looks like Monsanto and a couple of other corporations in the business of creating GE plants managed to get a hold of the people in charge of the major organic market chains in the USA. Not that buying organic in the USA gave you GMO free food anyways, but at least up to now they tried to oppose the total invasion of GE crops. Now they just gave up. Happy engineering, Monsanto...

Sieht so aus als ob die großen Biosupermarktketten in den USA vor Monsanto niederknien. Nicht daß in Bio-Lebensmitteln in den USA nicht ohnehin schon massig patentierte Gene herumkrochen, aber bisher war die Strategie wohl zu versuchen das zu verhindern. Hat wohl nicht geklappt, also macht man sich jetzt mal gut Freund mit Monsanto und Co. Hmm - lecker Bio-Gen-Mais...