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aries1988 : change   11

The scientific events that shaped the decade

Navigating a more sustainable path will require ambitious political and industrial will, as much as scientific ingenuity.

In many countries — especially those afflicted by varying degrees of authoritarianism and climate-change denial — that will is in short supply. But researchers must not lose hope. Working with civil society, they must step up, get out of their comfort zones and recognize activism as part of their mission13. And they must fight to restore the status of facts and truth.

The 2010s were both remarkable but also troubling. With new knowledge, and a renewed dedication to social and environmental responsibility, the 2020s must be transformational.
2010s  summary  science  innovation  research  climate  change  energy  genetics  quantum  computer 
25 days ago by aries1988
Reading Seawater | Articles | Inference: International Review of Science

Oceanographers classify these elements into three groups: conservative, scavenged, and recycled.17 Conservative elements, which include the major constituents of seawater, such as sodium and chlorine, have residence times on the order of millions to hundreds of millions of years. Their residence times are much longer than mixing times, the period over which they are distributed via waves, currents, and eddies. If an element’s residence time is greater than its mixing time, its concentration will be fairly uniform throughout the ocean, and it can be considered to have reached a state of chemical equilibrium in seawater.

Recycled and scavenged elements have much shorter residence times, on the order of hundreds or thousands of years.18 As a result, there is insufficient time for these elements to achieve equilibrium through mixing, and their concentrations vary according to geography and depth. Scavenged elements include aluminum, lead, mercury, and other metals. These elements are attracted to the surfaces of fine clay particles and are exported from shallow waters as the particles sink to the ocean floor. The chemical concentration of scavenged elements decreases with depth in the water column.

The recycled elements exhibit the most interesting and complicated behavior of all the groups. These are the ingredients essential for life, such as carbon, copper, iodine, iron, nitrogen, phosphorous, and zinc. In the uppermost region of the ocean where almost all sea life can be found, these elements are limiting nutrients, whose scarcity makes them coveted commodities in the marine biosphere. Any of these elements lost by one organism will be snatched up by another, keeping their concentration in the water itself low. Over time, a fraction of these nutrients leaks into deeper and relatively uninhabited waters, and so the concentration of recycled elements generally increases with depth.

Surface currents, such as the Gulf Stream, transfer warmth from the tropics to higher latitudes. As it flows northward, the water cools and is subject to evaporative loss, becoming saltier and increasing in density as a result. To the north of Iceland, the Gulf Stream waters are denser than in the ambient North Atlantic and sink to the seafloor, returning south as a mirror-image deep ocean current. Prior to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, the Gulf Stream was able to flow further north into the Atlantic, carrying heat to the high arctic. Once the saltiness of the Atlantic was no longer being diluted by the Pacific, the more saline water started sinking further south. In the absence of the heat these waters brought to the far north, winter snows persisted through thousands of summers and ice sheets grew.20

In the preoxidation era, iron emitted by submarine volcanoes could remain dissolved in the open ocean, commingling with sodium, calcium, and other ions. But when oxygen, produced by the ancestors of modern planktonic photosynthesizers, began to accumulate in shallow waters, it bonded with the iron atoms, pulling them to the seafloor. The oceans were eventually purged of iron.

The tremendous volume of iron formations, the source of all the steel ever forged, attests to the great abundance of iron in the Proterozoic oceans.

If not tears or sweat, seawater could perhaps instead be considered earth’s blood, its composition a proxy for the health of the planet.
ocean  salt  science  mineral  theory  research  chemistry  geology  concept  question  aristote  climate  change 
29 days ago by aries1988
A Walk to Kobe
Haruki Murakami

Maybe it’s exactly because of that that I wanted to take a walk there, alert and attentive to what I might discover. Perhaps I wanted to see for myself how this home town I’d lost all obvious connections with would appear to me now. How much of a shadow (or a shadow of a shadow) of myself I would discover there?

There’s hardly a cloud in the sky. An almost perfect May tableau. Still, as I sit there on the concrete bank and gaze at where the real sea used to be, everything here, like a tyre leaking air, slowly, and quietly, loses its sense of reality.
sea  city  nostalgia  childhood  walk  japan  change  earthquake 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
Japan’s Vegetable-Eating Men

Japanese men were spending about an hour a week on childcare and household duties, while women were spending 30 to 40 hours a week, numbers that had not shifted as the country had become more dependent on women’s labor outside the home. Japanese men were spending about an hour a week on childcare and household duties, while women were spending 30 to 40 hours a week, numbers that had not shifted as the country had become more dependent on women’s labor outside the home.

Not only are such men a large part of what has enabled Japan to dramatically increase the workforce participation of women in recent years (after lagging behind most developed countries since 2000, Japan shot past the US last year, with 76 percent of women now part of the labor force), but domestic bliss is increasingly becoming a viable alternative for those men who find themselves unable to secure a high-paying full-time job.

Just as the culture was expecting women to simply add work on top of full-time childcare and housework duties, men were being asked to just add involved parenting to an already-long—60 hours, in some cases—workweek.

Enter the IkuBoss. In 2015, the government launched a program targeted at shifting the workaholic mind-set of employers and bosses. Emerging alongside Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s “work-style reform” proposal—which aims to decouple employees’ salaries from the number of hours they work, put a cap on overtime hours at 720 hours a year, and require companies to pay “regular” and “irregular” employees the same rate for the same work—IkuBoss intends to change the culture of work from the top down.
numbers  change  japan  workforce  female  father  home  childcare 
july 2018 by aries1988
A Sociology of the Smartphone

we count on them to fill the dead spaces, the still moments and silences that used to occupy so much of our lives.

Most obviously, the smartphone replaced conventional telephones, leading to the widespread disappearance from streetscapes everywhere of that icon of midcentury urbanity, the telephone booth, and all the etiquettes of negotiated waiting and deconfliction that attended it. Where phone booths remain, they now act mostly as a platform for other kinds of services—WiFi connectivity, or ads for sex workers.

As a result, it’s already difficult to contemplate objects like a phone booth, a Filofax or a Palm Pilot without experiencing a shock of either reminiscence or perplexity, depending on the degree of our past acquaintance.

a rechargeable lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery capable of sustaining roughly 1,500 charging cycles. This will yield just about four years of use, given the need to charge the phone daily, though experience suggests that few of us will retain a given handset that long.

the performance of everyday life as mediated by the smartphone depends on a vast and elaborate infrastructure that is ordinarily invisible to us.

according to Google, four out of every five consumers use the map application to make local searches, half of those who do so wind up visiting a store within twenty-four hours, and one out of every five of these searches results in a conversion, or sale.

The only way to hide from that knowledge is to decouple ourselves from the fabric of connections that gives us everything else we are. And that is something we clearly find hard to do, for practical reasons as much as psychic ones: network connectivity now underwrites the achievement of virtually every other need on the Maslovian pyramid, to the extent that refugees recently arriving from warzones have been known to ask for a smartphone before anything else, food and shelter not excluded.
idea  essay  device  smartphone  life  change  technology  perception  today  world  opinion 
july 2017 by aries1988
The Reckoning
She played dead as the sound of gunshots reverberated around her, echoing off the red tile roofs and limestone walls. Dozens of students had run home to retrieve their deer rifles, and the echo of return fire rang out as they came back to take aim at the gunman.
killing  university  life  change  story  love  history  victim  trauma  usa  religion  guns  crime  reportage  psychology  texas  instapaper_favs 
april 2016 by aries1988
汉字、国家与天下
由于汉语以单音节为主,同音字的数量太多,所以汉字的发展走向了表意的道路,着重字形构义,以免同音字造成误会与不便,这种特征和语音辨义的拼音文字大异其趣,开发了拼音文字所不具备的视像世界。

至于中国,白话文运动和国语运动更是民族国家建立计划的一部分。可别忘了,自清末开始,“中国不算是一个国家”和“中国人是一盘散沙”的哀叹就已渐成共识。要让中国人团结起来,语言统一是极其必要的;要让中国人没有内在的区隔,把本属士绅阶层的书写能力交还给大众,也是不可避免的。白话文的推行,汉字的改革,以及标准普通话的成立,全是中国建成民族国家的核心工程。
chinese  language  writing  history  essay  nation  change  mandarin  instapaper_favs 
march 2014 by aries1988
鱼翅与中国新娘 - 纽约时报中文网 国际纵览
当我还是个孩子时,鱼翅就属于婚宴必备的菜。一有人结婚,呼噜呼噜——我们就会坐在唐人街宴会包间里,在桌上的十道精致大餐中喝到那种翅丝汤。它令人愉悦,但和感恩节肉汁一样,它只是多盐、胶稠而已。鱼翅本身实际上是没有味道的——汤的口味主要依靠鸡汤、火腿和大量的中国红醋。因为每个人都喝,所以我们也喝,而其他人的理由也都一样。

中国中产阶级消费模式若能发生改变,对于从牛肉到电力和水的一切可能商品都会产生重大影响。政府表现出对反对鱼翅消费的支持也十分关键。任何解决过度捕鱼——或气候变化或空气污染——的长期方案都需要进步的政策,以及进步的消费者。
from:kindle  food  middle-class  china  chinese  mentality  consumer  change 
july 2013 by aries1988

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