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Cleaning trash from rivers before it reaches the ocean

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The Interceptor in Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

The nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup “secretly” developed another idea to clean oceans, The Interceptor which aims to stop trash in rivers, before it even reaches a greater body of water.

[W]hile countries and companies try to make more fundamental changes—like reusable and refillable packaging, single-use packaging bans, and recycling systems that actually work—it’s clear that tackling the problem in rivers is one part of the short-term solution.

When it comes to cleanup, it’s also far more effective to start on beaches and on rivers rather than trying to tackle the problem in the middle of the ocean. The Ocean Conservancy, which conducts beach cleanups, is also beginning work on a river cleanup system in Vietnam.

The Interceptor takes the form of a barrier anchored to the riverbed, which directs trash into the system. It runs on solar power and in just one day it “might extract as much as 50,000 kilograms of trash; depending on the currents, tides, and how much plastic is in a given river.” According to their research, just 1,000 rivers are responsible for over 80% of the trash entering the ocean. The first two Interceptors are already at work in Klang, Selangor, Malaysia and the Cengkareng drain in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Tags: environment
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pinksquirrel
207 days ago
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Baltimore's Mr. Trash Wheel would like a word... I get that this is a slightly different iteration but it's not like we haven't been working on a concept like this.
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An Alternate ABC Song that Slows Down the Tricky LMNOP Bit

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An alternate version of the ABC song that slows down the LMNOP part is currently going viral because of a tweet by Noah Garfinkel: “They changed the ABC song to clarify the LMNOP part, and it is life ruining.”

I tracked down the original video from 2012:

The alternate arrangement is by Matt Richelson, who runs a popular YouTube channel and several websites dedicated to offering free materials (songs, lesson plans, etc.) to help kids learn English. Here’s what Richelson says about his version of the ABC song:

About the slow l,m,n,o,p: I teach young learners of English as a foreign language, and have found this way the most effective for teaching the letters.

I love the ellemmennohpee bit as much as anyone, but his reasoning is solid.

Tags: alphabet   language   Matt Richelson   music   video
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pinksquirrel
210 days ago
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This version has a very similar rhythm to how I sing the alphabet backwards (Z-Y-X...). I think I might like it better!
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The History of Italics In Type

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1200px-Arrighi_italic.png

I don’t know the author or typographer behind The Temporary State. There’s a contact address that reads “B. Tulskaya ul. 2-571, Moscow, Russia, 115191.” But Mx. Tulskaya (if that’s indeed the author) has made an outstanding pocket history of the use of italics in type, partly to defend against the fact that The Temporary State’s fonts do not use an italic typeface.

I knew, for instance, that Venetian printer Aldus Manutius is generally credited with introducing italics into European print (partly, the histories say, to imitate Latin handwriting, and partly as a space-saving device). I did not know that after other printers began to copy Manutius’s use of italics, the Venetian Senate granted Aldus exclusive right to use them.

I knew that Italian futurist poet and manifesto-writer Filippo Marinetti championed a wide range of typographic innovations; I did not know (or had forgotten) that he wished to reserve italic type for “a series of similar and swift sensations,” while bold would be used for the imitation of heavy tones, and so on. A kind of emotional functionalism in type.

It is strange, how Marinetti in his call for revolution against “the Poetry Book” doesn’t see any problem with italics. Somehow, Roman numerals are an issue, but the use of highly decorative imitation of a 16th century pretty handwriting is a futuristic expression, not part of the “typographic harmony” ensemble. It is even stranger, that he doesn’t address the application of italic itself, as his idea of highlighting the page with «3-4 colors and 20 different typefaces» is very close to how the use of italic is regulated in the Chicago Manual. The only difference is: where Marinetti suggests «20 different typefaces», Chicago suggests only one — italic. So, seemingly to achieve Marinetti’s idea all that is needed is to diversify the means of text highlighting. And it’s not like there are no alternative typographic traditions, which could be used to substitute the italic.

Much of the article is devoted to this; how you can achieve the typographic effect of italics (emphasis, foreign words, titles, etc.) without using italic type. Here the examples are legion. In German blackletter, foreign words (especially in Roman languages) would be put in Roman type, while emphasized words or phrases would be in boldface. In Cyrillic printing, especially in the Soviet period, you see “sperrsatz,” or wide spacing, to denote emphasis.

SperrsatzCyrillic.png

Bauhaus, following the German blackletter tradition, forsook italic typesetting altogether, opting for a combination of boldface, sperrsatz, and fonts of different sizes, all of which achieve the effect of italics without the pretense of adopting an old Latin handwriting style.

Since few social media networks support bold and italic typesetting, it’s interesting to think about the range of ways users still suggest italics or the effect of italics.

There’s pseudo-Markdown, in the form of

*italics*
or
_italics_

Of course, there’s
ALL CAPS

There are also memes and GIFs, which are a way of both drawing emphasis to text and giving it an emotional characterization that go far beyond what Marinetti could dream of with his really quite limited notion of “3 or 4 different colours and 20 different typefaces on the same page. That text itself would and could be animated, that it could be superimposed on a miniature movie that would explode into mostly-text networks, is a future Marinetti might have embraced, but one he couldn’t quite fully see.

(Via Robin Sloan)

Tags: Bauhaus   fonts   letters   typography
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pinksquirrel
417 days ago
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>

This is interesting, since it's also used on mediums lacking display variants (e.g. Twitter). So many times a "D O N E" or "d.o.n.e." can intimate a slightly different tone than "DONE" or "*done*"
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satadru
414 days ago
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s p e r r s a t z
New York, NY

Swimming with the Largest Great White Shark in the World

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Great White Swim

A group of divers with One Ocean Diving recently swam with Deep Blue, a great white shark that is believed to be one of largest on Earth. Deep Blue is a female white shark that’s around 50 years old and 20 feet long.

Great White Swim

“Deep Blue came up and brushed up against the boat, maybe she’s pregnant, maybe she’s itchy?” Ramsey wrote, adding: “She swam away escorted by two rough-toothed dolphins who danced around her.”

Deep Blue is over 50 years old, and was caught on camera five years ago in a video that quickly went viral.

Ramsey said her team had been monitoring tiger sharks feeding when the legendary great white made her surprise appearance. The divers “spent the entire day with her till the sun went down,” Ramsey wrote.

Here’s a video of the group swimming with the shark. I had no idea that you could swim with great whites like that, outside of a cage. Wow.

Tags: sharks
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pinksquirrel
490 days ago
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My mind boggles at these images/video every single time.
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satadru
487 days ago
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!
New York, NY

What makes a tree a tree? Scientists still aren’t sure…

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Broccoli Tree

In Knowable Magazine, Rachel Ehrenberg writes about the tricky business of understanding what a tree is. Trees are tall, woody, long-lived and have tree-like genes, right? Not always…

If one is pressed to describe what makes a tree a tree, long life is right up there with wood and height. While many plants have a predictably limited life span (what scientists call “programmed senescence”), trees don’t, and many persist for centuries. In fact, that trait — indefinite growth — could be science’s tidiest demarcation of treeness, even more than woodiness. Yet it’s only helpful to a point. We think we know what trees are, but they slip through the fingers when we try to define them.

Ehrenberg then suggests that we should think about tree-ness as a verb rather than a noun.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking of tree as a verb, rather than a noun - tree-ing, or tree-ifying. It’s a strategy, a way of being, like swimming or flying, even though to our eyes it’s happening in very slow motion.

This reminds me of one of Austin Kleon’s strategies for How to Keep Going: “forget the noun, do the verb”. Hey, it seems to be working for the trees. (via @robgmacfarlane)

Tags: Austin Kleon   biology   language   Rachel Ehrenberg   science
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pinksquirrel
781 days ago
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American teens have had it with this authoritarian crap

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Dina Leygerman is a high school teacher who teaches George Orwell’s novel 1984 to her students every year. Before she does, with the assistance of other teachers and the school’s administration, she turns her classroom into a totalitarian regime to give the kids a taste of life in Oceania. Rules are strict and favor is given to students who report on rule-breaking by their classmates.

I tell my seniors that in order to battle “Senioritis,” the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has “been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success.” I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is “Senioritis.” I tell the students that in order to help them succeed, I must implement strict classroom rules.

However, when Leygerman tried the experiment this year, the students weren’t having it. They rebelled. They protested. They fought harder as the rules became more onerous.

The President of the SGA, whom I don’t even teach, wrote an email demanding an end to this “program.” He wrote that this program is “simply fascism at its worst. Statements such as these are the base of a dictatorship rule, this school, as well as this country cannot and will not fall prey to these totalitarian behaviors.” I did everything in my power to fight their rebellion. I “bribed” the President of the SGA. I “forced” him to publicly “resign.” And, yet, the students did not back down. They fought even harder. They were more vigilant. They became more organized. They found a new leader. They were more than ready to fight. They knew they would win in numbers.

An upcoming book edited by Cass Sunstein asks if authoritarianism can happen in America. The experiment in Leygerman’s classroom and the inspiring movement started by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL suggest perhaps not. The nation’s youth, raised on The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, are reminding the baby boomers that considering what their own parents went through in the Great Depression and World War II, they should fucking know better than to slam the door on succeeding generations.

Tags: 1984   books   Dina Leygerman   George Orwell   politics
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pinksquirrel
825 days ago
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tedgould
815 days ago
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A limited case study, but perhaps a window of hope.
Texas, USA
TimidWerewolf
824 days ago
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This is some wonderful news!
HaveABeer
825 days ago
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Hope.
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