geekgirl (r)osiex aka the metal cupcake publishing about interesting things for a really long time!
  • “Total ban on GM food production mulled in Russia” [#geekgirl]

    Food-Isnt-Food

    [From an article at RT.com] “A group of Russian MPs have prepared a bill severely restricting imports of genetically modified agricultural produce, and completely banning its domestic production.

    The initiative is backed by Evgeny Fyodorov of the parliamentary majority United Russia and a group called Russian Sovereignty, which unites MPs from various parties and parliamentary factions.

    The politicians want to amend the existing law On Safety and Quality of Alimentary Products with a norm set for the maximum allowed content of transgenic and genetically modified components. The powers to establish that norm go to the government and products with excessive content of GMO components should be banned for turnover and imports.”

  • More than #Honey – Markus Imhoof (Official Trailer) [#geekgirl]

    More than Honey – Markus Imhoof (Official Trailer) from CIBER Science on Vimeo.

    “Searching for answers for the global bee declines director Markus Imhoof takes us on a trip around the world to meet people living with and off honeybees: almond growers in California, a Swiss mountain beekeeper, a German neuroscientist investigating bee brains, a pollen dealer in China, and bee researchers in Australia. We enter the fascinating world of a bee hive, encounter fighting queens and dancing workers face to face and experience their highly sophisticated swarm intelligence, where the individual constantly serves the requirements of the community. The film will have its world premiere on the 11th of August 2012, concluding the biggest film festival in Switzerland. It will be officially released in Europe end of October 2012 and will be distributed internationally in early 2013. More info: http://www.ciber.science.uwa.edu.au/blog/.”

    More Than Honey

  • Do You Detest Monsanto As Much The Next Reasonably Lucid Person? If Yes…. [#geekgirl]

    Monsanto protests scheduled in 36 countries - Image Credit: RT

    Monsanto protests scheduled in 36 countries – Image Credit: RT

    …then this is for you:

    “Amid growing concerns over St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto and the impact the company is having on agriculture, activists have planned rallies for later this month in 36 countries.

    Monsanto, a titan of the emerging biotech industry, has come under attack from environmentalists, agriculturalists and average consumers over the company’s conduct in the realm of genetically-modified organisms and genetically-engineered foods. Despite research on the effects of GMO crops being largely considered inconclusive, Monsanto has lobbied hard in Washington and around the globe to be able to continue manufacturing lab-made foods without the oversight that many have demanded.

    In March, Congress passed a biotech rider dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by its critics that essentially allows that company and others that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically-altered products without gaining federal permission.”

     

  • How A #Barbie #Body Measures Up To Real Bodies [#geekgirl]

    Barbie Blargh

    Barbie Blargh

  • Can you help with #tooFEW? [#geekgirl]

    Feminists Engage Wikipedia

    “We’re organizing another wikipedia edit session, called Feminists Engage Wikipedia, or #tooFEW. I’ve seen a few announcements about #tooFEW on here, but wanted to put out a call/plea for help tomorrow. The event has become WAY larger than any of us anticipated, with 5 in-person sessions and a big virtual component. Almost everyone is a first-time editor, with a few experienced people guiding the way.

    We’ve developed a chatroom for asking questions, sharing resources or just meeting other folks. If you’ve participated in another edit-a-thon, or have some experience editing Wikipedia or negotiating disputes that arise, we’d love to have you in the chatroom as a resource! And if you want to take your first editing steps with us, jump in!”

    Friday, March 15th
    11am – 3pm EST

    Collaborative wiki for resources, keeping tabs of blogs on #tooFEW, etc.:
    http://hastac.org/wiki/toofew-collaborative-wiki-page

    Official Wikipedia page – please register here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Feminists_Engage_Wikipedia

  • The Perfect #SXSW Troll [#geekgirl]


    Like any major hybrid cultural event that jumps the shark and decides to evolve into what’s essentially a hipsterised parody of itself, #SXSW has been inverting from its original incarnation for years and sequentially de-evolving into a muddled coolhunting mess. So when AllThingsD reported on this glorious play containing yams and oily-networking-sycophants, it just had to be applauded:

    In the weeks leading up to SXSW, a series of mysterious packages started being sent out to companies of import and some journalists. The contents included a set of instructions and one single, neatly wrapped object: A yam.

    Those who received the yams in the mail — from “Yamtrader.com” were pitched on a new startup that, basically, sold itself as “an online marketplace for yam enthusiasts and traders.” It was absurd.

    Yet attendees were encouraged to bring their yams to South By, where they could be traded in for a $50 AmEx gift card.

    What they found when they reached South By on Sunday morning wasn’t a booth full of potato lovers. It was Tri-Net.

    What is Tri-Net? It’s a 25-year-old cloud services company that deals with HR, payroll and IT backend issues for smaller startups, who may have a good idea for a company, but have little backend business acumen. It’s pretty big, too; it’s home to more than 1,500 employees, and works with upwards of 7,000 clients.I get it… IT and payroll services are about as exciting as attending an enterprise conference after taking a Xanax. So you have to resort to guerilla, somewhat unconventional marketing tactics to get noticed on occasion.

    But Tri-Net did them one better. Theirs is a sort of meta-commentary on startup marketing on the whole, a tongue-in-cheek gesture on the stupidity of some single-serving companies that are appearing out of Silicon Valley these days — much less with millions of dollars in venture capital funding. By contrast, something difficult to market may prove more useful; it’s why the hottest topic in the Valley these days is indeed the enterprise (even if it is boring as hell).

    A number of folks were taken in by it, with mixed reactions. “We have gotten feedback in both directions,” Breitweiser said. “Some thought it was really funny, while some were upset that we were fooling them.”

  • The #Science of #Genetically Modified #Food [#geekgirl]

    [Now I'm really resisting getting back on my high-horsey here and splathering you all with a rant about the evils of Genetically Modified/Engineered Organisms, Monsanto, and animal cloning (just thought I'd throw that last one in there for topically associated reasons).]

    In all seriousness, the above video does give an interesting (if somewhat softened) view of this scarily untested and dangerous corporate-monopolised area that messes with all Darwin held dear what GMOs are and how they work. Oh and fellow Aussies take note: our laws are no more robust than the States when it comes to the consumption and labelling of GMO-laced foodstuffs, as the True Food Network says here:

    The labelling of GE food in Australia is extremely limited and excludes some of the most basic and universally used ingredients. This is despite recent polls indicating that 90% of all Australians want comprehensive labelling for these foods.

    GE ingredients appear as hidden ingredients in processed foods, as well as in the meat, eggs and milk produced from animals fed on GE grains. Under Australian labelling laws, only foods where GE proteins can be detected need to be labelled.

    Many foods are exempt from labelling requirements.

    • Products derived from animals fed GE feed (such as meat, milk, eggs and honey).
    • Highly refined GE ingredients (such as cooking oils, sugars, starches) — most processed foods fall into this category and contain some kind of oil or starch.
    • Food prepared at bakeries, restaurants and takeaways.
    • Foods that are “unintentionally” contaminated with up to 1% GE contamination per ingredient.

    IMO the best way to ensure you’re eating non-GMO is to [organically] grow your own [permaculture = win].

  • “When one if prepared, difficulties do not come.” [#Solution] [#geekgirl]


    So all this video shows is two guys simply fixing a tyre puncture – not very technical [or geeky], right? Well, I’d counter that the innovation and curiosity required to arrive at such a practical, functional solution is one that is sadly being undervalued in top heavy capital driven societies, with one of the problems facing us lucky-but-perpetually-indulgent 1st world citizens being a lack of established emphasis on grassroots know-how.

    Just think about how many of us allow ourselves to dwell daily in institutionalised RedTapesVille that we lose valuable hand-me-down and/or tinkering based skills [like fixing a bike tire with practically nothing].  It seems the more consumer drivel [or moolah mounds] we have, the less we care about the mechanics of tools or the processes involved in actually fixing – rather than discarding – stuff, not to mention the ways we can reuse other items/components in unconventional ways.

    The more time poor yet financially rich we become [thanks, overtly-long-commuting-times or endless-wastage-of-cognitive-potential-due-to-daily-puff-meetings-where-half-the-time-is-caught-up-"discussing"-hollow-strategies-or-procedural-pap], the more we lose touch with innovative hands on [and small scale] solutions. Let’s instead try to find gorgeously simply fixes rather than simply perpetuating the ugly cycle of overconsumption [throw-away + buy-again] culture, yes?

  • #Latent #Tech #Sexism Still Alive and Well in 2013 [#geekgirl]

    PS4 Event With Lone Male Figure. They Forgot To Bring All Their Female Figures Along.

    PS4 Event With Lone Male Figure. Seems As If They Forgot To Bring Any Female Figures Along. 

    There’s been a huge outcry of “WTF”? media guff regarding Sony’s PlayStation 4 New York Event [and with no actual pics of the new console on show, it's no wonder why]. Another glaring omission during the PS4 show[-without-the-]casing was the lack of gal participants during the entire event, with Russell Brandom from The Verge banging out his concise take regarding it:

    “This has sadly become business as usual in gaming and consumer electronics. If you didn’t notice, it’s probably because there also weren’t any female devs or executives onstage at the Wii U launch, or the EA Gamescom event, or the most recent HTC unveiling, or any Apple keynote in recent memory. With an all-male board and executive staff, Apple would have no one to send. In 2013, that should be shocking, but it’s so much the industry norm that it’s hard to single Sony out as especially egregious. Onstage, this is what the game industry looks like. It just isn’t what gamers look like.”

    If all this sensible talk about leaving gals out of product launches just doesn’t fit in with your narrowly-focused phallocentric world view float your boat, try this pisstake-type-angle on the PS4 Event from VideoGamerTV instead.

    [Update: for one of the first demos of the PS4 in action watch Jimmy Fallon and his testosterone-drenched buds below shoot the crapola outta stuff while demo-playing another hackneyed high gloss FPS-penis-replacement game "Killzone: Shadow Fall" (again, with no gal pals present).]

  • The Assembled #Self #Artist Call-Out #Sydney #genotyping #identity #geekgirl

    Expressions of Interest for participation due Monday 3 September 2012

    The Assembled Self is a project about the experience of genotyping (genetic testing) and how this affects an individual’s sense of self. It is driven by our interest in how genetic testing alters the narratives through which people anchor their own, their families, and their communities’ identities. The project involves a collaboration of researchers and artists conducting a creative research project where artists produce new works (phase 1) to be presented to generate public conversations around genetic testing and identity (phase 2). The Assembled Self is holding a research development workshop on Saturday 22nd September to think through these ideas and find artist collaborators.

    Subject to a successful funding application, 8 artist collaborators will be provided with financial and logistical support for their artistic contribution to The Assembled Self. 

    This project is conducted by Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney and School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales. It is supported by Australia Council for the Arts and PerformanceSpace.

    For further information, please contact Estelle Noonan or Julie Mooney-Somers assembled.self@sydney.edu.au.
    http://theassembledself.wordpress.com