Monthly Archives: December 2008


So, once upon a time I had a job, and, every morning I’d walk into it to the sound of FOX & Friends, a so-called morning show being watched by the night guy that I was going to relieve. Well, let me say that over the years I’ve grown an appreciation for the subtle ignorance of the show, and the nuances. It’s almost like an aged cheese… except never really on the sharp side. Anyway, a few glasses of wine ought to make it easier to swallow.

It’s not that I’m, like, down with women in skimpy bathing suits championing a cause, as is seen in this video about PETA, but it’s just the attitude which this show takes that makes me sort of cringe. The dude introducing the story says, “For sommme reason PETA has a problem with the way KFC treats their livestock,” as if there’s absolutely no tangible reason why someone might be disgusted with KFC’s practices. Well, he doesn’t say that exactly, but he definitely *WANTS* to be saying that.

Then, to make matters worse, the guy goes on to ask if “liberal causes like these have gone too far.” Excuse me? Since when is caring about what you eat and the environment actually something liberal? I feel that conservatives have backed themselves into a corner by choosing to define anything environment-oriented/science-supported as a “liberal cause” and denying objective reality. PETA, that said, is clearly a “liberal” group and does tend to use shock-value tactics, but, what difference does a simple categorization make if you agree with the cause? Hell, I care about my taxes and my finances – making me… a conservative?

Note: I will refer to him as “the guy” for we do not speak the name of the evil one on this blog. Also, the guy DOES indeed have a point about PETA, but it’s poorly made. And, at what cost?

Anyway, sometimes I wonder if they broadcast this crap so I’ll link to it… or because they actually believe the words coming out of their own mouths. “They think they environment is more important than humanity.” I’m not even going to start on how silly that is…

Sky Farms – Aeroponics

When life is disrupted and the food supply chain is broken, people trapped in Manhattan must resort to farming on their roofs. Sky gardens become the norm, and, are a major source of food for the remaining citizens.

This is the scenario presented in Brian Wood’s DMZ, a comic book based in a war-torn alternate version of the United States. Of course, we all have heard of the possible benefits of rooftop gardening: how it could revolutionize the world’s food supply because people would start becoming aware of where their food comes from; how it could help erase global warming by reducing embedded carbon emissions amongst other claims. It is in that regard, that I have included the excerpt below, about Singapore’s sky garden’s.

Image Link
I first heard about this project on the discovery channel and went on to do some research on it by myself. The thing that most interests me is the introduction of the idea of ‘aeroponics’ (as pictured above) which basically entails growing plants in thin air, soil-less, and spraying them periodically with the minerals, nutrients, and water they need. Aeroponics solves several problems facing sky farming, including the embedded energy use of cooling the water in hydroponic systems. I know this is old (2005) and may have developed further by now, but it’s still hella interesting. Check it:

The Ngee Ann findings and the Changi Hospital example highlight the great need for a similar economic study of the potential of another Singaporean innovation – the “sky farm” concept, which would blend in well with both the food-producing potential of Singapore’s rooftop spaces, plus the potential of “vertical farming” down the sunlit faces of apartment buildings.

Professor Lee Sing Kong, Dean, Graduate Programmes and Research, National Institute of Education, of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, has been advocating “sky farms” that use the aeroponic technology so well pioneered by Singapore’s AeroGreen Technology Pte Ltd., initiated by the Sime Derby company.

Aeroponics is where a hydroponic nutrient solution is sprayed onto plant roots dangling in light-proof boxes. It allows temperate-climate fresh vegetables to be produced economically in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

Professor Lee’s good idea is sunlit bridges between high-rise apartment buildings or even office towers. They could be retro-fitted as single or double units at first or second-floor levels, or part of a tier of vertical structures servicing the food (and organic waste management needs) of multiple stories.

.::Read the story at -> Green Roofs

My real question is this: how will the absorption of polluted air affect these plants. The discovery channel made a point of showing us crisp and leafy green lettuce the reportedly tastes delicious – but is it safe? I haven’t found an answer. Drop a comment if you know anything about this.

Green Drinks!

Our girl, Jessie, is still deep in the heart of Texas, and so, as mentioned before we are holding down the green universe until her triumphant return. That said, we haven’t been doing a very good job and we apologize to you chronic readers. Our friend Erin in Iowa has been on us to post about this organization, Green Drinks, that is pretty much in line with all the fundamental MNP core philosophies. Read about it below, and visit the website to get involved in your area. Unfortunately, there is still no Boston incarnation of the group, but MNP is working on that… The fact that this exists in so many places (ie. Green Drinks Chattanooga) makes Beantown’s dearth almost unpalatable.

Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up for a beer at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you’ll be made welcome. Just say, “are you green?” and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It’s a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.

These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity. It’s a force for the good and we’d like to help it spread to other cities. Contact your local node to get the latest info about coming along.

If there is no Green Drinks near you, you might want to set up a Green Drinks in your City.

.::Visit -> Green Drinks