Science & Technology


Language of Spirit Conference
Science & Technology

SEED Graduate InstituteIs genius a noun or a verb? Has technology affected our essential humanness? Is it possible to have an original thought? These and other questions may be addressed in the process of deep dialogue at the 13th Annual Language of Spirit conference.

The conference is the only place on earth where every year Indigenous elders and Western scientists come together in mutual respect to discuss the underlying principles of the cosmos. This August 13th – 16th at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, NM, participants will gather for the 13th consecutive year to discuss the ramifications of modern science and technology upon our creativity. 

Sponsored by the Source for Educational Empowerment and Community Development (SEED), the Language of Spirit conferences have garnered an international reputation for creating positive change without conflict. The moderator of the dialogues is legendary elder Leroy Little Bear, former director of Native Studies at Harvard and the winner of the 2003 Aboriginal Person of the Year award for Canada.

The conference has already been the subject of three documentary films and two issues of Revision Journal magazine. The latest film, Journeying to Turtle Island by Spanish film maker Miryam Servet, will premiere this year and features physicist David Peat, author of Blackfoot Physics, who will be traveling again from Italy to participate in the dialogues. Other participants will include Tobasonakwut Kinew, an Anishanaabe elder and ceremonial leader; renowned Acoma author Simon Ortiz and Chickasaw author Linda Hogan, James O'Dea, fellow and immediate past president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences; Alfonso Montuori, jazz saxophonist and professor of leadership, Linda Shephard, author of Lifting the Veil: The Feminine Face of Science; and Ashok Gangadean, Professor of Philosophy and founder/director of the Global Dialogue Institute, and many more. For a complete list of participants, visit www.seedgraduateinstitute.org

On Saturday evening, there will be a special concert of collaborative creativity featuring Dancing Earth, an internationally known Native American dance troupe, followed by jazz legend Kitty Margolis. Admission included in conference tuition. See www.seedgraduateinstitute.org for details or call 505-792-2900 to register or further questions.

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HarassMap.org – Ending the social acceptability of sexual harassment
Science & Technology
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Monday, 06 June 2011 00:34

Published by lprashad at 9:00 am under HarassMap

Hania Shuleimy was walking home one night after teaching a late class. She says “someone just grabbed me … he grabbed my breasts and I fought my way out and I swore madly and screamed at him and he ran away. But no one did anything. … I cried and cried and cried all the way home.”

Shuleimy is a professor of gender studies at the American University in Cairo. She says harassment is now endemic in Cairo.

“I also find that many veiled women get harassed and many little girls get harassed and people who are not particularly hot get harassed. I think it has more to do with denigrating femininity in whatever guise,” she says.

Stories like Professor Shuleimy’s, documented in Lourdes Garcia-Navarro’s NPR story yesterday, are all too common in Egypt. But, as Ms. Garcia-Navarro unearthed in her reporting, there is great hope that the January 25 revolution will instill a “sense of respect” for Egyptian women – a respect that some felt was exhibited in Tahrir Square during the protests. Over the 18 day uprising, men and women congregated together in the square with less harassment and more equality than usual, and some felt that this was a sign of new liberation for Egyptian women. However, these steps forward have been overshadowed by the February 11th attack on CBS’ Lara Logan where she was beaten and raped in Tahrir Square. This unusually brutal attack on the CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent has brought the world’s attention to the systemic problem of sexual harassment in Egypt.

In an effort to draw attention to the problem of sexual harassment in Egypt, NiJeL built HarassMap, a website where Egyptian women can report incidents of sexual harassment and visualize where harassment occurs across Egypt.

We are partnering with a fantastic group of Egyptians dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment from Egyptian streets. HarassMap uses the Ushahidi platform to gather crowdsourced information on sexual harassment from multiple channels, including SMS, Twitter, email and the web. HarassMap also provides a simple interactive map and timeline to show where and when sexual harassment occurs.

While sexual harassment occurs as individual incidents it is a degrading act against the entire community.  We think that it’s important for the extent of the problem to be publicly mapped, visualized, and analyzed so women know they are not alone and can fight together for their rights.

HarassMap started as an idea from UCSD neuroscience graduate student, Justin Kiggins, whose wife was subjected to daily harassment while in Egypt as a Fulbright scholar. Our first action was to submit HarassMap as a proposal to the NetSquared USAID Development 2.0 Challenge , which made it into the Top 15 Projects. While HarassMap did not receive funding from this effort, we gained momentum and confidence to move forward with the project.

Since then, our partners in Egypt, led by Rebecca Chiao, have been conducting community engagement around HarassMap to ensure that women who experience sexual harassment and intimidation have access to resources and are building a dedicated volunteer network in Cairo.

We hope HarassMap will continue to be an important tool in stopping sexual harassment in Egypt and that one day soon HarassMap will only house historical data to teach about sexual harassment in Egypt as a past problem that has been overcome.

SOURCE: http://nijel.org/blog/2011/02/harassmap-org-ending-the-social-acceptability-of-sexual-harassment/

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Bloom Box Energy Buds into Blossoms of Hope
Science & Technology
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Friday, 26 March 2010 04:21

Shifting paradigms of energy creation

As spring flowers begin to bloom in the desert in Arizona, Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley-based company, is bringing smiles to a country yearning for hope in the bleak world of shifting paradigms of energy creation in the United States.

Guess what all of these companies have in common: Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, eBay, FedEx Corp., Google, Staples and Walmart” They are all “first customers” of the Bloom Energy Server.

A March 4, 2010 Financial Times article titled “Bloomenergy gives hope to cleantech funding” author David Gelles comments: “Bloom claims to have made a breakthrough that allows its solid oxide fuel cells to be more powerful. And by using sand instead of platinum as the base material for the cells, Bloom has kept costs down. It assembles stacks of these cells into a refrigerator-sized arrangement, called the Bloom Box.

“With a bit of natural or bio gas, a Bloom Box can power a commercial building. An arrangement of Bloom Boxes can help meet the energy needs of large companies. The cost per kilowatt hour is about eight to 10 cents, lower than some electricity rates. Each Box costs about $800,000, but Bloom says customers will see a return on their investment in three to five years.”

The technology of converting fuel into electricity through an electrochemical reaction is more than 100 years old; however, Bloom Energy has developed a technique that utilizes less expensive materials and a patented paint to bring their seed of opportunity into a budding blossom of hope!

Here’s a bit of background on Bloom, it claims it is committed to changing the way people generate and consume energy. The Bloom Energy Server™ is a patented solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology that, according to the company’s press release, provides a cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable alternative to both today’s electric grid as well as traditional renewable energy sources.

With the Bloom Energy Server, customers can efficiently generate their own electricity on site, reducing their carbon footprint while lowering energy costs and mitigating power outage risks. Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity, enough to power 100 average U.S. homes or a small office building 24/7. Customers typically expect a 3-5 year payback on their investment from the energy cost savings. Since the first commercial customer installation in July 2008, Bloom’s Energy Servers have collectively produced more than 11 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, with CO2 reductions estimated at 14 million pounds – the equivalent of powering approximately 1,000 American homes for a year and planting one million trees.

On the heels of a February 24, 2010 CBS 60 minutes special, Bloom Energy unveiled their large corporate customers. Bloom Energy provided the following information about their eight corporate partners in new green energy production.

Bank of America

An environmental leader for more than two decades, Bank of America has committed $20 billion over 10 years to address climate change through lending, investing, products and services, and in its own operations. As part of this initiative, the company sought to cut electricity costs while increasing power reliability and enhancing energy security by reducing its dependence on the grid. The Bloom Energy Servers help eliminate Bank of America’s need for diesel generators while dramatically reducing the company’s carbon footprint and providing energy cost stability. Bank of America’s 500kW installation will power one of its largest 24/7 call centers located in Southern California.

“Installing low-carbon technologies, like Bloom’s Energy Servers, at our facilities is not only the right thing to do for our planet, but it’s also a smart business decision. Bank of America is proud to be at the forefront as one of Bloom’s foundation customers,” said Mark Nicholls, Senior Vice President, Corporate Workplace executive, Bank of America.

The Coca-Cola Company

Climate protection is a key component of Coca-Cola’s business strategy — stated as an aspirational goal to grow its business, but not the carbon footprint in its manufacturing operations. As part of its Energy & Climate Protection strategy, the company is committed to improving the energy efficiency of its plants and fleet while reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in cold drink equipment. Coke’s 500kW installation at its Odwalla plant in Dinuba, Calif., will run on redirected biogas and is expected to provide 30 percent of the plant’s power needs while reducing its carbon footprint by an estimated 35 percent.

“This new fuel cell technology has great promise and represents an important step for Coca-Cola in continuing to grow our business without growing the carbon footprint,” said Brian Kelley, President and General Manager, Coca-Cola North America Still Beverages and Supply Chain. “The Coca-Cola Company has committed to hold its overall worldwide manufacturing carbon emissions flat through 2015 from its 2004 level. We intend to do this while actually reducing emissions in the U.S. and other developed markets, improving energy efficiency and using cleaner forms of energy, like these fuel cells.”

Cox Enterprises

Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company with revenues of $15 billion and more than 66,000 employees. The company’s national sustainability program, Cox Conserves, aims to conserve resources, embrace renewable forms of energy and reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. Cox Conserves also encourages the company’s employees and their families to engage in eco-friendly practices. Cox sited its first 400kW Bloom Energy Servers at its KTVU television station in Oakland, Calif..

“Bloom systems running on biogas offer Cox a 24/7 renewable energy option to meet power demands. By cutting costs and carbon emissions, the Bloom project complements our overall Cox Conserves program,” said Cox Enterprises’ Chairman Jim Kennedy.

eBay Inc.

eBay Inc. connects hundreds of millions of consumers through businesses that empower people to do more with less, from promoting the re-use of products that already exist through eBay marketplaces to paying without a paper check through PayPal. eBay is committed to extending this positive impact through vibrant sustainable commerce and community experiences, including the eBay Green Team. As part of this commitment, eBay set an ambitious carbon reduction goal of 15 percent by 2012 over a 2008 baseline as part of an overall strategy to run their business in ways that have less impact on the planet. A commitment to investing in renewable sources of energy is core to meeting this goal and the company has installed two solar arrays, including San Jose’s largest commercial installation to date. In 2009, in an effort to diversify its portfolio, eBay collaborated with Bloom to pioneer a first-of-its-kind installation that, as of spring 2010, will be powered by 100 percent renewable biogas. The 500kW system sits outside eBay’s LEED gold certified “Mint” building in North San Jose.

“eBay believes in the power of our business model to make a real difference in the world, and that includes how we embrace innovation to reduce our carbon footprint. When Bloom came to us, it was an easy decision to become an early-adopter of their cutting-edge new technology. As a result, we’re meeting financial and environmental goals with the project while fueling a more energy efficient global marketplace. That’s good for us, our customers and the planet,” said John Donahoe, eBay CEO.

FedEx Corporation

FedEx has taken a leadership role in the adoption and advancement of responsible environmental practices. The company supports the growth of sustainable energy use through commitments to renewable power sources in its operations and use of innovative technologies in its transportation fleet. FedEx seeks to diversify its energy supply whenever possible, relying on energy sources such as wind and solar power. An early adopter of solar technology, the company is evaluating Bloom Energy’s solution as a clean, reliable power source to complement solar power at its Oakland, Calif., hub. FedEx has installed five 100kW Bloom Energy Servers at the

package sorting facility.

”FedEx understands the importance of leading in areas of innovation, such as energy. Bloom Energy is a pioneer in distributed energy, the concept behind the next paradigm in how industry could be powered,” said Rob Carter, FedEx Chief Information Officer.

Google Inc.

Google is committed to being a responsible global citizen and takes its use of energy very seriously. To reduce the environmental impact of Google’s operations, the company generates on-site energy with lower carbon intensities and lower cost than the traditional grid. Google, which was Bloom Energy’s first customer in July 2008, was attracted to the solution because of its fuel flexibility, easy deployment and payback period. Google’s 400kW installation powers a building on Google’s main campus, a facility that includes an experimental data center.

“As we work hard to reduce Google’s environmental footprint and improve our sustainability,

we’re pleased to be able to use on-site clean power generated by Bloom Energy,” said Rick Needham of Google’s Green Business Operations.

Staples Inc.

From offering customers innovative environmental products and services to implementing energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and green building initiatives in the company’s internal operations, Staples is focused on positive change that truly makes a difference in the world. The company has pledged to reduce its absolute carbon emissions by 7 percent by 2010 and has evaluated many alternative energy sources. In addition to early solar projects that remain in the Staples portfolio, Staples sought a reliable solution that could operate around the clock and significantly reduce carbon emissions. Staples’ first 300kW installation is located at their Ontario, Calif. distribution center and the company believes Bloom Energy Servers can provide significant power for their large facilities and distribution centers in the future.

“Staples’ partnership with Bloom marks an exciting next step in our ongoing commitment to environmental leadership,” said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs for Staples. “Through our relationship with energy leaders like Bloom, Staples is not only able to reduce our operating costs but we are reducing our environmental footprint in the local communities in which we operate.”

Walmart

Walmart views sustainability as an important opportunity for both the future of their business and the world. Accordingly, they have set a vision of supplying their operations with 100 percent renewable energy. Walmart, which evaluates their energy vendors with the same rigor they apply to all their suppliers, sought a renewable energy solution that could contribute to their sustainability goals and help lower costs for the business and its customers. Walmart has completed Energy Server deployments with 400kW systems at two southern California retail locations.

“At Walmart, our goal is to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. To do this, we are considering a number of emerging technologies, including Bloom Energy, to ensure they work for our business, help lower costs for our customers, and reduce our impact on the environment. We hope to use our scale to help bring these technologies to market in a fast and cost effective way,” said Bill Simon, Chief Operating Officer, Wal-Mart U.S.

 

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