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July 12 to 18, 2004
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Cool Concept of the Week: Seed Balls

Take 100 to 200 properly chosen seeds of plants, trees, fruits, and vegetables, and pack them in a hardened sphere of mineral-rich red clay. Scatter one about every square foot, and in a year you have a sustainable Natural Farm. Requires no watering, pesticides, fertilizer, or even topsoil, and you can plant at any time. Seed balls can be scattered manually or dropped into remote areas by plane. Fully sustain one person per 2,000 square feet of land planted this way.

This method has cheaply and quickly restored tall grass prairies, watersheds, wildlife habitats in New Jersey, and arid lands in Thailand, the Philippines, Africa, and India. Masanobu Fukuoka, the inventor (or discoverer) of this natural technology, won the Magasay Prize for it in 1998, the Far Eastern equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hawaii has lots of red clay. Why not make native seed balls and use them to quickly repopulate areas with native plants?

"Seed Balls: A New Tool For Revegetation":
An enlightening visit with sensei Masanobu Fukuoka:
New Tech
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New chips designed in 3D stacks hit the market:
Recent progress in 3D visualization technology allows "virtual excavation", in this case, the ability to completely examine the contents of a 3,000 year-old mummy without touching it:
eMachineShop - design and machine custom mechanical parts online:
Modern Life
Computer visionary Alan Kay "decries the state of computing". He's right:
One of my favorite sci-fi authors, Bruce Sterling, gives a hilarious, philosophical, and insightful talk about the "singularity", the point at which the pace of technology becomes too fast to comprehend and people become something entirely different:
Some personal stories of the 1.5 million women vs. Walmart, the largest class action suit ever:
The lucrative careers of crime-scene cleanup companies:
Terrorism and You
Have you read about the children at Abu Ghraib?
New surfboards with shark-repelling devices will hit the market this year:
During the summer, Office Depot is allowing people to drop off and recycle one electronics product per day, for free:
The Flatpak House - cheap, modular, and evolvable over time:
"Dwell magazine leads the rebirth of a modernist movement in housing":
Rock, Paper, Saddam!
Saddam's trial really is just a game, isn't it?
Are you glad your husband's an engineer? This 1956 ad made me laugh:
I'd mentioned this before, but the site has been getting better! "Molvania - A Land Untouched By Modern Dentistry":
Don't forget to hear Molvania's entry into the Eurovision song contest - "Elektronik Supersonik":
The popularity of the iPod is forcing makers of CD copyright-protection technology to switch formats:
What globetrotting Laurie Anderson is up to these days, NASA's first artist in residence:
Golden Apples of the Sun
This critically acclaimed limited edition CD is causing a buzz in the underground music scene - this melancholy, slightly psychedelic, acoustic music is a new musical category called "neofolk" or "freakfolk":
Listen to the entire album here:
Devendra Barnhart is a good example of this musical category:
The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra
Want to know what music made with instruments made completely of vegetables sounds like?
According to European copyright law, Elvis' first big hit will enter the public domain in 2005, along with a lot of other still-selling music:
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