106 results for “Feed-Back”

Electronic Gadget Cemetery in Ghana

Yunus Emre Duyar
August 24th 2015
Agbogbloshie is a former wetland that is turned into a slum and now it is full of toxic electronic waste.

How Modern Sanitation Gave Us Polio

Allison Guy
January 7th 2014

For most of history, poliomyelitis was a relatively unremarkable disease – it caused paralysis and occasionally death, but only in a tiny fraction of those infected. It was essentially unknown in infants and adults, and usually only caused mild symptoms in children. This all changed in the early 1900s, when the disease mysteriously transformed into an epidemic, killing many and maiming many more, even among the supposedly 'protected' populations of adults and babies.

Deadly recurrences of polio became a fact …

Have We Passed “Peak Automobile”?

Jonathon Markowski
October 19th 2013
You’ve heard about peak oil, but what about peak automobile?

Computer Teaches Itself to Play Games

Geert van den Boogaart
June 5th 2013
An algorithm observes human players to learn how to beat Super Mario Bros.

Treating Mental Illness with Video Games

Ken Chen
June 1st 2013
Neurofeedback shows promises in treating a range of mental ailments.

Get Ready for the Arctic to Bloom

Allison Guy
March 20th 2013
In the warming Arctic, an area the size of the US is now covered in vegetation.

Chinese Whisper Challenge Pits Man Against Machine

Jort Band
February 6th 2013
Ever played "telephone" or "chinese whispers" as a kid? Now, you can pit your speech recognition skills against a computer.

Portrait of MAN

Van Mensvoort
January 6th 2013
Amazing short animation by Steve Cuts.

Architect Aims to Build House From Plastic Waste

Van Mensvoort
December 3rd 2012
Interpreting the plastics in the Earths ecosystem as building material rather than as waste.

Jewels from the Ocean

Van Mensvoort
August 5th 2012

Designer and former fashion model Barbara de Vries was cleaning plastic litter off her favorite beach in the Bahamas, when she noticed the plastic fragments were all uniquely tinted and molded after years tumbling in the ocean.  The beauty of the litter inspired her to create a jewelery collection. Diamonds plastics are forever!…

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German photographer Kevin McElvaney captured this place, documenting the presence of young people risking their lives in the search for e-waste to make little money. The waste is so excessive in the region that some parts, like monitors, keyboards and refrigerators, are also used for constructions.Situated in the city of Accra, Agbogbloshie is known as the Sodom and Gomorrah of Ghana, because of the amount of toxic waste and its soil that turned black. Young people, aged between 7 and 25, burn piles of plastic concealing more valuable material.Many of the workers come from poor regions of Ghana, earning as low as $2,50 per day. Toxic fumes cause many health problems and most of them reportedly die from cancer and related illnesses by their 20s.Despite projects like this one aimed to raise awareness, the amount of e-waste continues to grow. United Nations University reported 46 million tons of electronic gadgets thrown away last year; with most of the waste originated from the United States and China. Although there are non-profit efforts to recycle these electronics, the necessary funds to hire people to work in a safe environment are missing.With his project, McElvaney hopes to raise more awareness about the consequences of our consumerism. His photographs are currently on a traveling exhibition and he also auctions his prints to donate the proceeds to charities in Agbogbloshie.Story via Wired. Image via Kevin McElvaney Related post: Hightech Landscape [post_title] => Electronic Gadget Cemetery in Ghana [post_excerpt] => Agbogbloshie is a former wetland that is turned into a slum and now it is full of toxic electronic waste. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => electronic-gadget-cemetery-in-ghana [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-08-24 22:06:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-08-24 20:06:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=44593 [menu_order] => 565 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 37737 [post_author] => 286 [post_date] => 2014-01-07 17:54:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-01-07 16:54:03 [post_content] => For most of history, poliomyelitis was a relatively unremarkable disease – it caused paralysis and occasionally death, but only in a tiny fraction of those infected. It was essentially unknown in infants and adults, and usually only caused mild symptoms in children. This all changed in the early 1900s, when the disease mysteriously transformed into an epidemic, killing many and maiming many more, even among the supposedly 'protected' populations of adults and babies.Deadly recurrences of polio became a fact of life in developed countries, particularly in cities during the summer. Movie theaters, beaches and swimming pools were closed; families fled to the countryside when the weather got warm. Clearly something had changed, but what could cause a mild disease to turn into a killer all but overnight? The secret lies, paradoxically, in our better understanding of sanitation.In babies, polio can be mistaken for a mild cold – if there are symptoms at all – because they still have protective antibodies left over from their mothers. This early exposure was enough to make the infant  immune to that particular serotype of the disease for the rest of his or her life. It's only when children grow older and lose those maternal antibodies that a polio infection can present in its devastating, paralytic form. Clearly there was something new to prevent the early exposure of infants to the polio virus. One major clue was the fact that the disease primarily affected white, wealthy families. The cleaner your surroundings were, the more likely you were to get the worst form of polio. Perhaps there was something in the water?We now know that polio is spread through a fecal-oral contact route, and almost always through contaminated water. The adoption of modern plumbing, sewer systems and water treatment facilities in the late 1800s and early 1900s meant that infants were far less likely to be exposed to polio during the early 'safe' phase. Without that immunity gained in infancy, a chance infection later in life could be deadly. If your mother had herself never been exposed to polio, you didn't even have the blessing of a safe period in infancy. You, and your young immune system, were just as much at risk as older children and adults.As with all new technologies, improved sanitation had some utterly unforeseeable ramifications. Clean water upset a millennia-old balance between poliomyelitis and our immune systems. Once one of the world's most feared diseases, however, polio is now all but nonexistent. After the epidemic peaked in the 1940s and 50s, polio went into a swift decline thanks to two successful vaccines. Keeping polio at bay, of course, depends on everyone getting their kids vaccinated – or going back to pre-modern standards of cleanliness.Source: PBS.org [post_title] => How Modern Sanitation Gave Us Polio [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-modern-sanitation-gave-us-polio [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-05-28 22:18:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-05-28 20:18:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=37737 [menu_order] => 1143 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 36735 [post_author] => 815 [post_date] => 2013-10-19 11:00:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-10-19 09:00:05 [post_content] => You’ve heard about peak oil, but what about peak automobile? There is mounting evidence that society has already passed the years of maximum car use. Fewer young consumers are getting driver’s licenses than their parents, and they are also buying fewer cars.  Numerous studies point to a significant change in consumption that is not explained away by the recent financial crisis.Over the past century, the automobile has been a dominant force, changing the way we build and connect cities, the way we live, and even the way we perceive distance. So why are we driving less? Over the past 15 years, the ways we communicate with each other have changed drastically. A study by U.S. PIRG notes that while the use of the internet and so-called smart phones has expanded rapidly, the amount of automobile travel in the USA has not only peaked but is actually declining; Americans drive about as much today as they did in 1996.This effect is more pronounced among younger generations. A likely explanation is that smart phones have done for the 21st century what cars did a hundred years ago. They make seemingly long distances much smaller, and they connect us to people and places we couldn’t reach before. Better communication technology has increased our ability to see and interact with our social networks without actually being there, which may be why we have not only reached, but long since passed peak automobile.Read more about what's changing at Human Transit and Edmunds.com [post_title] => Have We Passed "Peak Automobile"? [post_excerpt] => You’ve heard about peak oil, but what about peak automobile? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => have-we-passed-peak-automobile [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-11-05 09:10:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-11-05 08:10:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=36735 [menu_order] => 1235 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 32952 [post_author] => 779 [post_date] => 2013-06-05 11:00:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-05 09:00:41 [post_content] => Computer games were originally designed to be fun for humans, not for algorithms. Programmer Tom Murphy challenged himself to create a computer algorithm that could learn to play (and beat) Super Mario Bros.During a human-played session, the algorithm observes the player, mapping events to buttons used. This allows the algorithm to complete levels of the games which were not even ‘learned’ during the input session. This is different from normal artificial intelligence algorithms that are trained to do a specific task.Murphy's program teaches itself to play rather than it being programmed to take certain actions on specific events. Even though the algorithm was made for Super Mario bros, it works well with any older, side-scrolling game. [post_title] => Computer Teaches Itself to Play Games [post_excerpt] => An algorithm observes human players to learn how to beat Super Mario Bros. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => computer-teaches-itself-to-play-games [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-06-05 22:34:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-06-05 20:34:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=32952 [menu_order] => 1400 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 33314 [post_author] => 781 [post_date] => 2013-06-01 11:00:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-06-01 09:00:57 [post_content] => Treating mental illness has never been an easy or short task. But what if the process can be controlled entirely by the patient, and is as interesting as playing video games? This idea, call neurofeedback, and was relegated to the realm of pseudoscience for decades. However, new research has set off a revolution in this field.Practitioners of neurofeedback are anticipating a procedure that harnesses brainwave activity for the treatment of various health conditions. The process works in this way: the therapist affixes a patient’s scalp with various electrodes, which will target the brainwaves involved in any ailments being treated. The patient then plays a video game designed specifically for neurofeedback, using nothing more than their mind. Positive results in the game occur when brainwave frequencies reach a target range. It seems pretty simple on the surface.Until recently, little credence was lent  to this procedure by most experts in the realm of neuroscience and psychiatry. Studies extolling neurofeedback’s benefits are poorly designed and typically evaluate small numbers of patients. However, a team at the University of Montreal performed a trial of neurofeedback to look for a change. Over a span of 13 weeks, 15 patients underwent thrice-weekly neurofeedback sessions designed to enhance attention levels, while 15 others partook in sham sessions instead.Patients who received genuine neurofeedback experienced improvements in their visual and auditory attention levels, and MRI scans revealed that the brains of those patients showed structural changes in regions linked to attention skills. After examining the results of this new study, at least some former doubters are taking note. “What this shows is that neurofeedback did, in fact, have an effect on the brain and enhances pathways where you’d want them enhanced. That’s a strong step and an encouraging finding,” said Andrew Leuchter, M.D., a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.Story and image via The Verge. [post_title] => Treating Mental Illness with Video Games [post_excerpt] => Neurofeedback shows promises in treating a range of mental ailments. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => treating-mental-illnesses-with-video-games [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-05-22 13:15:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-05-22 11:15:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=33314 [menu_order] => 1405 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31782 [post_author] => 286 [post_date] => 2013-03-20 11:00:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-20 10:00:56 [post_content] => Along with drowning polar bears and melting glaciers, global warming is enacting another astonishing change on the arctic landscape. The vegetation at the earth's northernmost latitudes now resembles that found 250 to 430 miles south. "Ecologically off limits" only a few decades ago, an area the size of the continental United States is now green with new vegetation.While the northwards march of lower-latitude ecosystems may seem great at first glance, it's actually contributing to what's called an amplified greenhouse effect. Darker forests absorb more energy from the sun than white snow, while the melting of the permafrost releases methane and CO2, two major greenhouse gases. Good news for anyone looking to invest in Arctic farmland, bad news for everyone else.Via Io9 [post_title] => Get Ready for the Arctic to Bloom [post_excerpt] => In the warming Arctic, an area the size of the US is now covered in vegetation. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => get-ready-for-the-arctic-to-bloom [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-07-26 23:14:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-07-26 21:14:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=31782 [menu_order] => 1506 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30892 [post_author] => 715 [post_date] => 2013-02-06 12:01:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-02-06 11:01:15 [post_content] => What would happen if you let computer and man compete? Not in obvious ways, like who can do faster calculations or win the Jeopardy game show. Rather, what about a challenge right on the border of our abilities?Speech is one such border. Many smartphones have fairly advanced speech recognition. Although humans can still recognize spoken words much better than a computer, we can easily misinterpret a message or forget it. To pit human against machine, design student Ylja Band made an online experiment in which she makes man and machine compete in the form of the Chinese whisper challenge. The human participant and the computer try to pass the same message via speech, ending up with very different results. [post_title] => Chinese Whisper Challenge Pits Man Against Machine [post_excerpt] => Ever played "telephone" or "chinese whispers" as a kid? Now, you can pit your speech recognition skills against a computer. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chinese-whisper-challenge [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-02-06 12:06:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-02-06 11:06:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=30892 [menu_order] => 1547 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30250 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2013-01-06 13:07:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-01-06 12:07:56 [post_content] => [vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/56093731[/vimeo]If only this short by Steve Cuts wasn't so incredibly well made, I would dare to criticize it for promoting a misanthropic perspective on humankind that stands in an outdated Christian tradition, portraying people as a sinful beings that merely destroy the Paradise we were once kicked-out of.I doubt if such self-hatred is helpful in understanding our human position on the planet. Great animation, still. And at least there is a happy ending. Thanks Ad. [post_title] => Portrait of MAN [post_excerpt] => Amazing short animation by Steve Cuts. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => portrait-of-man [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-01-16 18:47:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-01-16 17:47:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=30250 [menu_order] => 1574 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29597 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2012-12-03 10:04:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-12-03 09:04:14 [post_content] => Some years ago we wrote about the utterly nextnatural proposal by WHIM architects to create floating city composed of plastics from the great pacific garbage patch – a concentration of plastic litter in the central North Pacific about the size of France.Although the proposal was highly speculative, they deserved kudos for perceiving the plastics in the Earths ecosystem as building material rather than waste. Now they want to get practical and construct the first floating villa of plastic waste material.As we write, their Kickstarter project has gathered only $676, but that can quickly change if the billionaire readers of this website step in, no? Click here to get your unique villa from plastic material for only $70.000.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ9MuYG2bYY[/youtube] [post_title] => Architect Aims to Build House From Plastic Waste [post_excerpt] => Interpreting the plastics in the Earths ecosystem as building material rather than as waste. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => architect-aims-to-build-house-from-plastic-waste [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-01-18 17:02:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-01-18 16:02:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=29597 [menu_order] => 1608 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13972 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2012-08-05 21:37:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-05 19:37:08 [post_content] => Designer and former fashion model Barbara de Vries was cleaning plastic litter off her favorite beach in the Bahamas, when she noticed the plastic fragments were all uniquely tinted and molded after years tumbling in the ocean.  The beauty of the litter inspired her to create a jewelery collection. Diamonds plastics are forever! Orange Cross Neck Piece. Made from a very old large orange crate encrusted with salt, sand, seaweed, and coral.Black Weave Necklace. Made from a segment of black grid that was tumbled inside sea-weed found on a pink sand beach.Jerry can Top Bracelet. Made from three found objects held together by nylon fishing rope and clear plastic tubing.White Plastic and Gold Charm Necklace. Small pieces of unique white plastic, weathered and shaped by the ocean, exactly as found on the beaches of the Bahamas. Turquoise Grid Neck Piece. Made from a turquoise blue crate that was tumbled and washed up on a Bahamian Beach after years in the ocean. The salt patina gives the plastic an appearance of stone. Yellow Screw-top Earrings Made from a corroded yellow bottle top found wedged between two rocks in the Atlantic surf. Chunky Charm Necklace.  Collected from different beaches these grey plastic charms have been tumbled by the ocean to resemble little stones. Laundry Basket Turquoise Bracelet. Made from a broken up laundry basket found in washed up seaweed. Patina Cross Necklace. Made from the reinforced corner of plastic crate found on an Atlantic Beach. Aquamarine Wrap-around Bracelet. Made from bright blue weathered, washed and sanded pieces of sea plastic.Thanks Peter Sijmonds. [post_title] => Jewels from the Ocean [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => jewels-from-the-ocean [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-03-03 11:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-03-03 10:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=13972 [menu_order] => 1808 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 44593 [post_author] => 835 [post_date] => 2015-08-24 15:13:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-24 13:13:59 [post_content] => We love buying shiny new gadgets every now and then, but have you ever wondered where your old device ends up when you get rid of it? Agbogbloshie in Ghana is one of the places where electronics, such as computers, mobile phones and televisions, go to die.Agbogbloshie is a former wetland, turned into a slum and now it is full of toxic electronic waste. German photographer Kevin McElvaney captured this place, documenting the presence of young people risking their lives in the search for e-waste to make little money. The waste is so excessive in the region that some parts, like monitors, keyboards and refrigerators, are also used for constructions.Situated in the city of Accra, Agbogbloshie is known as the Sodom and Gomorrah of Ghana, because of the amount of toxic waste and its soil that turned black. Young people, aged between 7 and 25, burn piles of plastic concealing more valuable material.Many of the workers come from poor regions of Ghana, earning as low as $2,50 per day. Toxic fumes cause many health problems and most of them reportedly die from cancer and related illnesses by their 20s.Despite projects like this one aimed to raise awareness, the amount of e-waste continues to grow. United Nations University reported 46 million tons of electronic gadgets thrown away last year; with most of the waste originated from the United States and China. Although there are non-profit efforts to recycle these electronics, the necessary funds to hire people to work in a safe environment are missing.With his project, McElvaney hopes to raise more awareness about the consequences of our consumerism. His photographs are currently on a traveling exhibition and he also auctions his prints to donate the proceeds to charities in Agbogbloshie.Story via Wired. Image via Kevin McElvaney Related post: Hightech Landscape [post_title] => Electronic Gadget Cemetery in Ghana [post_excerpt] => Agbogbloshie is a former wetland that is turned into a slum and now it is full of toxic electronic waste. 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