« February 2006 | Main | December 2006 »

March 2006 Archives

March 1, 2006

Torino 2, and Counting

2004vd17.jpgWhether or not we acknowledge it, the possibility of an asteroid impact on the Earth continues to loom over us, along with the possibility that humankind may well go the way of the dinosaurs. Asteroid impacts may be rare, but they can have utterly devastating results; moreover, thinking about how to estimate and respond to asteroid impacts good practice for all kinds of thinking about big-picture, slow-changing planetary challenges. We now have another chance to practice.

According to New Scientist, asteroid 2004 VD17 has been given a Torino scale rating of 2 -- higher than any other object in the sky, at present -- indicating a small but measurable risk of impact. As of measurements on February 26, the asteroid has a 1 in 1600 chance of hitting the Earth in 2102 -- an increase over the initial estimate. So far, almost every time astronomers have discovered an asteroid on a potential impact course, subsequent refinements of the data confirm that the rock will miss us. It's extraordinarily rare for further refinement to increase the measured risk; the last time this happened was with asteroid 2004 MN4, which is now estimated to miss the Earth by a whisker in 2029.

It's likely that further observations will put the risk of impact at 0 -- but it's not guaranteed. Eventually, we will find that an asteroid is on a direct impact orbit, and we'll have to start thinking about how to deal with it. That's why this bit from the New Scientist article so frustrating:

Continue reading "Torino 2, and Counting" »

So... How Do We Know Oil Is Peaking?

The redoubtable Stuart Staniford has posted another excellent piece over at The Oil Drum, this time explaining for people who are new to the concept just why reasonable people can assert that oil production is at or very near its peak, and we're headed to a world of gradually -- and potentially rapidly -- declining petroleum reserves. It comes, in part, in response to an article in the New York Times (subscription required) laying out for lay readers the peak oil argument. If you're still hazy about why anyone would believe that oil production has peaked or will do so soon, read the Oil Drum piece first.

Stuart's piece makes clear that there's no single piece of evidence saying definitively that oil has peaked, but rather a collection of circumstances that point, in total, to this conclusion. Less certain, however, is what happens afterwards. Implicit in some of the peak oil work (and notably absent in Stuart's essays) is an assumption that once oil production has peaked, the collapse of civilization is just around the corner. And while we're hardly ones to discount a good end of the world scenario, we should emphasize that while peak oil is a geophysical phenomenon, the social and economic responses are not -- and we have a lot more control over our societies than we often acknowledge.

Fly Green

sunplane_legault.jpgGreen cars are easy, at least in comparison to making air travel climate-friendly. In order to fly at the speeds, altitudes and distance to which global travelers have become accustomed, nothing now available works better than jet engines. And, for now, the best fuel for jet engines is kerosene, which comes from petroleum. But kerosene puts out a lot of carbon; a 5,000 mile flight -- roughly a round trip from LA to New York -- puts out a ton and a half of CO2 for every person on the plane. Serious environmentalists are starting to talk about a total ban on air travel as a possible result of carbon overload.

A development by the University of North Dakota may change that. Researchers at UND's Energy and Environmental Research Center have come up with a biofuel that has the characteristics needed for aircraft use -- and in some respects, it's actually better than kerosene:

Continue reading "Fly Green" »

March 2, 2006

We [Heart] Cameron

Cameron Sinclair, recent TED prize recipient, designer who gives a damn, and WorldChanging contributor (when he can), is now on the final list of nominees for the UK Designer of the Year award. The final selection belongs to you, the Internet reader, so get over there and give him your vote. Cameron promises that if he wins...

...I will donate the prize money (25K pounds) towards reconstruction post-hurricane Katrina.

Good on you, Cameron.

(Note: The UK Desigern of the Year site is a Flash-based website, something I normally grumble about, but I do have to admit it's a very sleek interface.)

Spam Filtering the Climate

globalwarming5.gifThese days, most spam-filtering programs rely on something called "Bayesian math" to determine whether a given item probably is or probably is not spam. It's not perfect, but it works better than pretty much any previous method. As it turns out, Bayes' Theorem applies to more than figuring out whether "Make Money Fast" is junkmail -- it may well be able to tell us the likely temperature increase from greenhouse gas accumulation.

James Annan is a researcher working on climate prediction for the Global Environment Modelling Research Program at Japan's Frontier Research Center for Global Change. In a paper to be published in Geophysical Research Letters (PDF), Annan and his colleague JC Hargreaves examine a variety of detailed predictions of "climate sensitivity" -- the amount of temperature increase coming from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from pre-industrial levels (from roughly 280ppm to roughly 560ppm). Most projections of the temperature increase give a range of 1.5°C to 4.5°C, with a decent chance of 6° or higher -- and anything that high being an utter catastrophe.

But, as Annan puts it in his weblog,

We made the rather elementary observation that these above estimates are based on essentially independent observational evidence, and therefore can (indeed must) be combined by Bayes' Theorem to generate an overall estimate of climate sensitivity. [...] The question that these previous studies are addressing is not
    "What do we estimate climate sensitivity to be"
but is instead
   "What would we estimate climate sensitivity to be, if we had no information other than that considered by this study."

So what is Bayes' Theorem?

Continue reading "Spam Filtering the Climate" »

March 3, 2006

On the Horizon (03/03/06): Charge!

lightningbolts.jpgIn a world of Moore's Law, fuel cell cars and iPods, the humble battery stands out as a poor performer. Modern lithium-ion batteries are certainly lighter, less toxic, and somewhat more capacious than the nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries of days gone by, but these are incremental improvements -- and they still rely on the kinds of electro-chemical processes used by the clay jar batteries of 2000 years ago. If we're ever going to have a world of widespread electric transportation, useful mobile devices that can run for days, and remote sensing gear able to monitor the planet for years, we need something better.

Fortunately, that something better may soon be here. The last few months have seen a startling number of announcements in high-efficiency, high-utility power storage. Most combine well-understood designs with cutting-edge nanoscale engineering -- and all have the potential to change how we think about power. Read on for a sampling.

Continue reading "On the Horizon (03/03/06): Charge!" »

March 6, 2006

The Open Future: The Reversibility Principle

Two philosophies dominate the broad debates about the development of potentially-worldchanging technologies. The Precautionary Principle tells us that we should err on the side of caution when it comes to developments with uncertain or potentially negative repercussions, even when those developments have demonstrable benefits, too. The Proactionary Principle, conversely, tells us that we should err on the side of action in those same circumstances, unless the potential for harm can be clearly demonstrated and is clearly worse than the benefits of the action. In recent months, however, I've been thinking about a third approach. Not a middle-of-the-road compromise, but a useful alternative: the Reversibility Principle.

It's very much a work-in-progress, but read on to see what this could entail, and please feel free to add comments and critiques.

Continue reading "The Open Future: The Reversibility Principle" »

March 7, 2006

See SPOT. See SPOT Sense. Sense, SPOT, Sense!

sunSPOT.jpgSensor devices able to keep tabs on what's happening to the world around you will play an important role in the Bright Green Future. The rapidly-changing global (and local!) environment require us to pay closer attention to current and emerging conditions. More information doesn't always lead to better decision-making, but it's better to choose to discard information you have than to lament the information you don't. At the same time, collaborative, DIY technologies will also play an important role in the world we'd like to see. More participants doesn't just mean more of a chance to spot problems -- although that's true -- a greater number of participants offers a greater opportunity for diverse innovation.

Sun Microsystem's research department is set to roll out something that could bring these two concepts closer together: small programmable object technology, or SPOT.

What makes SPOT interesting is the program's emphasis on sensing devices as the primary purpose of this tiny, low-power, ultra-programmable system:

By simplifying the development of wireless transducer applications, the Sun SPOT System from Sun Labs will help transform the potential of wireless sensors into real-world products.

Continue reading "See SPOT. See SPOT Sense. Sense, SPOT, Sense!" »

Worldstock (Updated)

worldstock.jpgNew Update: Upon further examination of the activities of the parent organization, and some internal discussion of the history of Worldstock, the suggestion that Worldstock is even "potentially worldchanging" is hereby revoked.

This post will remain up, at least for now, because of the really good and insightful commentary that it provoked. I'm sorry for presenting Worldstock as something worth paying attention to, but I am not sorry to have inadvertantly catalyzed a really good discussion of what it means to be an ethical mediary between developing world artisans and global markets. You folks rock.

Continue reading "Worldstock (Updated)" »

March 8, 2006

Worldchanging Reputation Network

Okay, it's clear: Worldstock is not worldchanging. But the entry and the resulting reader dicussion points us to something that could be of great value, and definitely worldchanging: a way of telling each other what companies are on the up and up, and which ones aren't what they seem.

Ideally, it would be a collaborative, bottom-up website, giving people a chance to tell others about what they've experienced or discovered about putatively green/ethical/responsible companies, both good and bad -- it wouldn't be worldchanging if we just focused on the bad!. Readers who have different views could argue back with their own posts or comments, and regular contributors would be rated by readers on reliability. It would be something similar to ePinions, but for companies, and with a distinctly worldchanging focus.

Read on for more discussion of the idea.

Continue reading "Worldchanging Reputation Network" »

The Myth of Leapfrogging

Kevin Kelly and I have had an ongoing discussion about whether leapfrogging was, in fact, a real phenomenon; the Leapfrog 101 post actually grew out of the early parts of that conversation. Kevin argues that leapfrogging doesn't actually happen, and that societies can't simply skip over older technologies. Most of us at WorldChanging would argue the opposite.

Kevin wrote to tell me that he has finally laid out his argument in detail, and (unsurprisingly) it's a truly thought-provoking essay. I don't agree with his conclusions, but I'm really going to have to work to make a good case for leapfrogging in response. In the meantime, The Myth of Leapfrogging is well worth your time to read, and especially to think about.

Letting Objects Tell Their Stories

fractaluniverse.jpgJulian Bleecker's paper A Manifesto for Networked Objects — Cohabiting with Pigeons, Arphids and Aibos in the Internet of Things (PDF) -- also known as Why Things Matter -- should be required reading for every WorldChanging participant, contributor or reader.

The essay looks at the rise of what Bleecker calls "blogjects" (objects that blog), precursors to Bruce Sterling's more complex "spime" concept. Simply put, these are networked objects that document on an ongoing basis their locations, their histories, and their purposes -- in essence, telling us their stories. On the surface, Bleecker focuses on the evolution of this technology, but in reality, he's really talking about a catalyst for bringing about the Bright Green future. These are some of his examples:

[Blogjects tell us] about their conditions of manufacture, including labor contexts, costs and profit margins; materials used and consumed in the manufacturing process; patent trackbacks; and, perhaps most significantly, rules, protocols and techniques for retiring and recycling [them].
...With Kundi, connected Things (they were, in this case, webcams capturing images of the real world) could have their content tagged as "hot" and draw in attention from anyone on the Internet. ...there is one usage scenario I've heard Mike mention more than once — a Kundi Cam placed in a refugee camp where rape and murder are routine. Now imagine that the Blogject version of the Kundi Cam has a visible indicator showing how many tens of thousands of people around the world are watching at any given moment. Behaviors change, threatening space edges towards safe space because Things are enrolled in the social web thicket.

Continue reading "Letting Objects Tell Their Stories" »

March 9, 2006

Manhattan in January

One of the more pleasing moments at TED a couple of weeks ago was singer Jill Sobule's poppy tongue-in-cheek celebration of global warming, Manhattan in January. Written in a matter of just a couple of days in response to Al Gore's powerful depiction of the current and potential state of global climate disaster, the song manages to be both amusing and very dark.

TED is now hosting an MP3 of a studio version of the song, free for the download.

Is this the first pop song about global warming?

A Force More Powerful: Now Available

afmp.jpgWe've been talking about the video game A Force More Powerful for quite a while. Originally scheduled for release in Fall of 2005, it suffered the fate that befalls many games: nagging delays. But the long wait is over; A Force More Powerful is now available.

But what is A Force More Powerful?

A Force More Powerful is the only PC game about nonviolent struggle available today. AFMP puts the player directly into the role of planner for a nonviolent movement seeking social change-a role that is challenging, demanding, and sometimes even dangerous. [...]
Game play is governed by detailed interactive models-of strategic and political factors, ethnicity, religion, literacy, material well-being, media and communications, resource availability, economic factors, the role of external assistance, and many other variables. Tactics include such basics as training, fund-raising and organizing, as well as leafletting, protests, strikes, mass action, civil disobedience and noncooperation. Many game-play decisions involve selecting which characters and groups should take part in the strategy, and weighing the benefits of such actions relative to their costs.

Continue reading "A Force More Powerful: Now Available" »

March 10, 2006

Technology, Language, and Imagining Tomorrow

WorldChanging patron saint Bruce Sterling gave what looks like a pretty terrific speech at the 2006 Emerging Technology conference in San Diego. On the surface, it's about the "Internet of Things" -- spimes, blogjects and the like. What Bruce is really talking about, though, is language, and how what we call things can shape not just our perception of them, but how we use them to build the future.

As a literary guy, though, I think these definitional struggles are a positive force for good. It's a sign of creative health to be bogged down in internecine definitional struggles. It means we have escaped a previous definitional box. For a technologist, the bog is a rather bad place, because it makes it harder to sell the product. In literature, the bog of definitional struggle is the most fertile area. That is what literature IS, in some sense: it's taming reality with words. Literature means that we are trying to use words to figure out what things mean, and how we should feel about that.

So don't destroy the verbal wetlands just because you really like optimized superhighways. New Orleans lost a lot of its mud and wetlands. Eventually, the storm-water rushed in, found no nice mud to bog down in, and came straight up over the levees.

Those of you who disliked Bruce's response to Lovelock's latest essay take note: this is Bruce in academic mode, not sarcastic rant mode.

Green Building Action Plan

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bit of an enigma. He has promoted state policies that have alienated both progressives and moderates (as demonstrated by the resounding election defeat for his various initiatives), but has done more to push a green agenda than pretty much any previous governor. The latest step in his plan, the Green Building Initiative, mandates that all public buildings be 20% more efficient by 2015, and suggests regulatory incentives to get private buildings to meet that same goal (PDF).

All new State buildings and major renovations of 10,000 sq. ft. and over... will be designed, constructed and certified at LEED-NC Silver or higher [...] Building projects less than 10,000 sq. ft. shall use the same design standard, but certification is not required.

...All State-owned buildings will reduce the volume of energy purchased from the grid, with a goal to reduce their energy consumption by at least 20% by 2015 (as compared to a 2003 baseline) by undertaking all cost-effective operational and efficiency measures as well as onsite renewable energy technologies.

It's great to see good ideas become public policy. 20% is very achievable and cost-effective, and one shouldn't be surprised if many buildings end up beating both the standard and the timeline.

(Via Social Design Notes)

On the Horizon (03/10/06): Seeing the World

earthtopUI.jpgWe have a particular affection for maps here at WorldChanging, as they provide a view of the world that is thoroughly useful, yet is otherwise unattainable without launching into orbit. Digital maps that allow for the integration of dynamic sets of information are particularly appealing, as are those that encourage the combination of data resources. We're not alone in this appreciation of spatial displays of information, and the variety of maps out there -- either novel designs or "mash-ups" using Google Earth -- keeps growing at a pleasingly rapid pace. Here are some of those that have caught our eye over the last couple of weeks, but I want to start with some thoughts as to where the trend may go.

The Earthtop Interface: Imagine something like Google Earth (or something very similar) as your main computer interface. You connect to email, voice over IP calls, web pages, even work tools through a geographic metaphor instead of a desktop metaphor. The links to projects for the remote office, contact information, even travel info cluster together around the office's location; email and voip links for friends appear at their current locations -- following them around, if possible, so you always know where (in general) they are. You can, of course, overlay data like weather, time of day, traffic reports and the like, giving you an immediate context for what's happening both around you and around the people you correspond with.

Continue reading "On the Horizon (03/10/06): Seeing the World" »

March 13, 2006

Recovery Happens

zoriah_thailand.jpgIn the immediate aftermath of the December 26, 2004, tsunami, we pointed to satellite photos showing the before-and-after of coastal regions of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and other affected locations. These images were among the most powerful representations of the disaster, as viewers could easily trace the path of destruction. New before-and-after images are now available, but these tell a very different story.

Photojournalist Zoriah covered both Sri Lanka and Thailand in the days following the tsunami; earlier this year, Zoriah returned to Thailand, and took pictures at the exact same sets of locations. WarShooter.com, a web portal for photojournalists covering conflict and disaster, posted the resulting side-by-side comparison this weekend. Some of the changes are subtle, but it's clear that much of Thailand is well on the road to recovery.

John Stanmeyer also posted before-and-after shots, this time of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh still has much further to go than Thailand, but these images stand as record that human beings can, and will, choose to survive and flourish even in the wake of unthinkable disaster. (Warning: the first image of Stanmeyer's collection includes a fully-visible corpse; the subsequent images aren't nearly as disturbing.)

Google Mars

google_mars.jpgCombine two WorldChanging obsessions -- online map systems and the planet Mars -- and you have the potential for something that could keep us happily clicking and playing for hours. Google has now unleashed Google Mars, a Google Maps site using satellite imagery of the Red Planet. It's not as powerful as Google Earth, but it's by far the most easily-accessible way to get to know the fourth planet from the sun. (Google suggests that a plug-in to bring Mars data to the Google Earth engine may soon be on its way.)

The site includes three different presentations of the Martian surface:

  • Elevation - A shaded relief map, generated with data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. This map is color-coded by altitude, so you can use the color key at the lower left to estimate elevations.
  • Visible - A mosaic of images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. MOC is like the digital camera you have at home. Basically, this is what your eyes would see if you were in orbit around Mars.
  • Infrared - A mosaic of infrared images taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Warmer areas appear brighter, and colder areas are darker. Clouds and dust in the atmosphere are transparent in the infrared, making this the sharpest global map of Mars that's ever been made.

Continue reading "Google Mars" »

The Open Future: Ecopunkt

iceberg_melt.jpgThe Earth's environment, particularly its climate, is not a linear, obvious-cause and immediate-effect system. This has a number of implications, but the one that troubles many of us who pay close attention is the resulting potential for "phase change" shifts in the climate system, where seemingly-small perturbations lead to a major change in how the climate behaves (the classic example of this kind of change is a pile of sand with grains dropping down on the peak; some will slide down, some will stack up, but eventually the entire peak will collapse, radically changing the shape of the pile). As we develop the tools and techniques to better understand the overall global climate and ecological system, these "tipping points" should be at the top of our list of processes to identify and, if at all possible, defend.

This concept of particular points of environmental vulnerability bears a striking resemblance to a seemingly very different concern: the vulnerability of economies and societies to attack by those who would intentionally do harm. Analyst John Robb, in his Global Guerillas weblog (which should be required reading for all of us), calls these points of vulnerability systempunkt (we first mentioned this over a year ago); we could, in turn, think of these points of environmental vulnerability as ecopunkt. Robb defines "systempunkt" in this way:

In Blitzkrieg warfare, the point of greatest emphasis is called a schwerpunkt. It is the point, often identified by lower level commanders, where the enemy line may be pierced by an explosive combination of multiple weapon systems. [...] In global guerrilla warfare (a combination of open source innovation, bazaar transactions, and low tech weapons), the point of greatest emphasis is called a systempunkt. It is the point in a system (either an infrastructure or a market), always identified by autonomous groups within the bazaar, where a swarm of small insults will cause a cascade of collapse in the targeted system.[...] The ultimate objective of this activity, in aggregate, is the collapse of the target state and globalization.

Working with that description, we could define "ecopunkt" as: the point in an ecological system where a swarm of small insults will cause a cascade of collapse, leading to a chaotic destabilization of the environmental system.

Continue reading "The Open Future: Ecopunkt" »

March 14, 2006

Under Odysseus

Blogging has become firmly-entrenched as a form of journalism, as well as a tool for self-revelation. As a medium for telling stories, however, it's still finding its footing. Part of the problem is that the challenge of the new medium can compound the inherent difficulty of creating compelling literary art. Under Odysseus side-steps this issue by re-telling a story that's nearly 3000 years old, and is a welcome step towards understanding how the blog structure can serve the world of fiction.

Under Odysseus presents itself as the journal of the Greek officer Eurylochus (who plays a more prominent role in the Odyssey), and more-or-less follows the plotline of Homer's Iliad. The language is modern -- less jarring than one might expect -- but there's no other effort to translate the emotions or setting to a more familiar context.

Although we are fighting this damned war because Menelaus’ wife left him, we don’t see very much of him. –Truth be told, he isn’t really the kind of guy that inspires men to action. In fact, it’s a common belief that we are actually fighting this war on Agamemnon’s behalf, trying to save face for his brother.

I haven’t personally talked to Menelaus face-to-face, but from what I have seen, the guy is somewhat of a sap. –Menelaus’ demeanor kind of reminds me of a dog that gets hit too much.


STMV_sim.jpgOpponents of animal testing for medical research often argue that the same tests could be performed via computer simulation; researchers counter that simulations simplify physiology too much to be useful in that way. But such a claim may be in its final era -- we now have the first functional, down-to-the-atom simulation of a biological organism. Computational biologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and crystallographers at the University of California at Irvine have created a complete simulation of the Satellite Tobacco Mosaic virus. We won't have a SimRabbit, SimRhesus Monkey or SimHuman any time soon, but such tools now appear to be much more plausible.

The satellite tobacco mosaic virus is about as simple a virus as possible; the entire STMV genome consists of a little over a thousand nucleotides in RNA, along with a couple of proteins. The virus is referred to as a "satellite" because it relies on the presence of the tobacco mosaic virus in order to reproduce. Despite this simplicity, the researchers had to use a supercomputer to simulate a fraction of a second of viral activity:

Continue reading "SimVirus" »

For He's a Batten Institute Fellow

Regular contributor Joel Makower has just been selected as Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate Business School. Even better, he's going to be working on a book on sustainability for business students:

With this Fellowship Makower joins the ranks of other thought leaders such as Nobel Prize winner Reinhard Selten and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. Makower will be working with Professor Richard Brownlee on a case book called The Case for Sustainability.

This project is focused around the publication of a compendium of case studies on business and sustainability - stories about how companies are incorporating sustainable business principles into their organizations in profitable ways. The cases will focus on the drivers, the barriers, the "learnings," and the benefits to the companies and the natural world. [...] Makower will also serve as a mentor to the Batten Institute's Sustainable Business Initiative.

Congratulations, Joel!

March 15, 2006

Nanotech Neural Surgery

Researchers at MIT and at the University of Hong Kong have developed a treatment for repairing severely damaged brain tissues, offering the possibility of restoring partial function to people injured by disease or trauma.

The treatment uses synthetic peptide molecules as scaffolding, allowing damaged neurons to grow new axons in order to connect to other nerve endings. The researchers' goal is a modest 20% restoration, but the process worked well enough to restore sight to hamsters that had been blinded by the intentional severing of their optical nerves.

The researchers injected the blind hamsters at the site of their injury with a solution containing synthetically made peptides - miniscule molecules measuring just five nanometres long. Once inside the hamster's brain, the peptides spontaneously arranged into a scaffold-like criss-cross of nanofibres, which bridged the gap between the severed nerves. The scientists discovered that brain tissue in the hamsters knitted together across the molecular scaffold, while also preventing scar tissue from forming. Importantly, the newly formed brain tissue enabled the brain nerves to re-grow, restoring vision in the injured hamsters.

The treatment works as well in older brains as it does in younger ones, and the synthetic peptides appear to be both immunologically inert and either absorbed into local proteins or flushed through the urinary system in a matter of weeks.

More details at MIT.

Collaborative Defense

Two people we link to regularly here -- David Stephenson and John Robb -- have both had pieces come out in mainstream publications over the last few days. These articles cover ostensibly different topics, responses to bird flu and the rise of networked guerilla movements. At their core, however, they are each about the very same issue: how do we adopt collaborative, bottom-up tools for our own protection?

This question is familiar to long-time readers; we've talked about the role open collaboration can play in our responses to crisis for quite a while. What is new is the degree to which these ideas are starting to trickle into the mainstream. The idea of using participatory tools as a fundamental means of protecting ourselves and our societies from natural and unnatural disasters has the potential to become a rallying point across numerous issues. It's important that we start to shape the discourse now, so that as this notion moves into the common debate, we've already established our leadership in the discussion.

The early 21st century has seen the rise to prominence of three broad types of threat: pandemic flu; terrorism; and environmental disruption. As we've discussed here numerous times, these three cannot be entirely separated, as each has the potential to make the others more deadly. Stephenson talks about flu in his article, while Robb talks about security. The environment is the missing section in each (although Robb touches on it briefly), but we've talked quite a bit ourselves about the use of collaborative tools for environmental defense.

The key question is, can we unify our responses? If so, how? Is it possible that some of the same tools, and some of the same ways of thinking, can help in our broad civil response to all three of these potential disasters?

Continue reading "Collaborative Defense" »

How Much Is That In Oil?

iPod_to_oil.jpgThis is brilliant.

Oil Standard is a Greasemonkey plug-in for Firefox that translates prices from dollars to barrels of oil equivalent, based on current spot prices; this means that the oil equivalent price fluctuates daily. "Networked Performance" art website Turbulence created the script, which works exactly as promised. Hit any web page that shows prices in dollars -- Amazon.com, the New York Times stock pages, even your bank account info -- and Oil Standard will show you how many barrels of oil it would take to match that amount of money.

Why did they do it?

Seeing the cost in oil of a new iPod on Amazon.com, or the balance in your bank account is startling. More than just a play on the concept of the 'Gold Standard,' or the old 'Standard Oil' company, this is a glimpse into the moment when oil will replace (or already replaced) gold as the standard by which we trade all other goods and currencies.

To be clear, this isn't telling you how much oil goes into the production of a given item, although that would be pretty cool. Its goal is something quite different: as a reminder of just how important oil is to our economy. I have just one request, though: I want an option to see the prices in kilowatt-hours of wind power instead.

(Via Information Aesthetics)

March 16, 2006

RFID Viruses: A WC Perspective

The technoblogosphere is abuzz with the news that a group of computer scientists at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have determined that RFID tags could be used as carriers for computer viruses. The reportage on this study has been fairly overblown, a problem exacerbated by the researchers titling their report "Is Your Cat Infected With A Computer Virus?" (PDF). The real problem is both less frightening and more interesting than these reports suggest.

The extended entry contains a non-technical explanation of what the fuss is all about.

This research is an important reminder than any digital device that is both on a network and able to have its data changed by external action (even something as simple as receipt of an email) is a potential virus host. By and large, we've become accustomed to thinking about viruses on our desktop and laptop computers, but as previously "dumb" devices pick up networked smarts, we will have to broaden our awareness of a sometimes-hostile digital ecosystem. I would like to see all future discussions of (for example) "blogjects" acknowledge the virus issue, even in passing. If your refrigerator is on the Internet, somebody's going to try to write a virus for it.

Things will get even weirder as we move into the fabrication future. As we develop more sophisticated fabbers, it will be very important that we also develop the kinds of digital "immune systems" that would prevent the introduction of harmful code into the product design files. Not just to prevent the propagation of viruses on those computers, but to prevent the introduction of malicious (and hidden) hardware into the printed objects themselves! For example, imagine printing out a chair using a design that's been hacked to include hardware in the seat that could scan nearby credit cards and send them off over the network...

It looks like one of the unexpected results of the emergence of an "Internet of Things" is the need to think about the health of our material goods.

Continue reading "RFID Viruses: A WC Perspective" »

How to Talk to a Climate Disruption Denialist

Even as the talking points of those who resist any response to global warming move from "it's not happening" through "it's not our fault" to "it's too late to do anything about it anyway," we still occasionally run into people who seem stuck at the first step, still stridently denying that climate disaster is happening, period (sadly, some of these folks are elected officials). Pointing them to careful descriptions of how we know what we know doesn't help; what we need is a point-by-point rebuttal of their tired (but oh-so-soundbyte-friendly) claims.

Coby Beck has done just that.

On his blog, A Few Things Ill-Considered, Coby is creating a guide to the science-grounded replies to the various denialist arguments. The material is good enough to get the full endorsement of the climate scientists at Real Climate -- and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us! The selections include "It's just natural variation," "a warmer climate is a good thing," "natural emissions dwarf human activity," and the old favorite, "global warming is a hoax!"

March 17, 2006

Wind Power Rankings

We pointed to last year's list of wind power use in the US, by state, so reader Joseph Willemssen sent us the link to this year's update from the American Wind Energy Association. California still tops the list, with 2,150MW of installed wind power production (up from last year's 2,114MW), but Texas is just zooming up the charts, coming in at 1,995MW, compared to last year's 1,288MW. Texas is likely to take the top spot in next year's ranking, due to a combination of interest and abundant wind resources.

Cumulative wind power production in the US now stands at 9,149MW, compared to last year's 6,831MW. Last year's increase in wind power was the most ever -- but the AWEA expects the 2006 number to be even bigger, potentially coming in at over 3 gigawatts of added wind power.

Flash Earth

You know how much we love the satellite maps of the world here, but one problem with them is that they tend to be kind of slow to load and sluggish to navigate on somewhat older computers. Web designer Paul Neave has come up with a nifty solution, however, one that has the added attraction of making it simple to switch between Google's satellite maps and those from Microsoft's mapping site. He uses Flash.

Flash Earth works more-or-less like the other satellite map sites: you can navigate my "grabbing and pulling" or with arrow keys, and can use the +/- keys to zoom in and out. It doesn't have any of the directions buttons, but that's okay -- the speed and convenience of popping between Google and Microsoft maps more than makes up for it. You do have to have Flash loaded in your browser for the site to work, but it does seem to work more swiftly than the home sites.

The big surprise is that the Microsoft and Google satellite maps have become very similar in many areas, often relying upon exactly the same satellite images.

On the Horizon (03/17/06): Talk to Me

web-antennainstallation.jpgCommunication is at the heart of a lot of what we talk about here on WorldChanging, and the last couple of weeks have seen some particularly interesting developments in the world of how we get connected to each other.

Pretty Good Phone Encryption: Probably the biggest news is the beta release of Zfone, the encryption software for voice over IP (VOIP) communications. Written by Phil Zimmerman, the originator of what remains the best publicly-available encryption software around, Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), Zfone sits between the VOIP software and the network, functioning as a seamless encryption envelope for your communications (as long as the person at the other end is also using Zfone). Most VOIP traffic is unencrypted, meaning that someone could listen in on your VOIP conversations with a minimal amount of network admin knowledge; there's even a program that handles the hard parts for you:

It's not as easy to eavesdrop on VOIP as it is to intercept and read e-mail. Phone conversations aren't stored or backed up where an attacker can access them, so the conversations have to be captured as they occur.
But a program available for free on the internet already allows intruders to do just that. Using the tool, someone with access to a local VOIP network could capture traffic, convert it to an audio file and replay the voice conversation. The program is called Voice Over Misconfigured Internet Telephones, a name clearly chosen for its catchy acronym -- VOMIT.

Continue reading "On the Horizon (03/17/06): Talk to Me" »

March 20, 2006

The Open Future: Living in Multiple Worlds

There's a theory in cognitive science that suggests that one of the hallmarks of human consciousness is the ability to model another person's thoughts in one's own brain, and do so with reasonable accuracy. It's not simply being able to read expressions, although that's part of it; humans can imagine how another person's thought processes, which may differ significantly from their own, would play out in reaction to a given situation. If you think about it, this is an amazing capability, especially because we don't always do it consciously. We run sophisticated simulations of other people's minds within our own. This capacity allows us both to imagine how others would feel after we witness their circumstances -- that is, it allows us to experience empathy -- and to imagine how others would respond to our own statements and actions -- that is, it allows us to rehearse our behavior.

We are now in the process of building that same capability into the world in which we live.

Continue reading "The Open Future: Living in Multiple Worlds" »

March 21, 2006

Warmer Seas, Stronger Storms

Despite both models and observations linking warmer ocean temperatures (from global warming) to stronger hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones, some climate scientists remained doubtful of the link, citing the action of wind shear or natural storm cycles as potentially greater causes than warmer water. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, however, have just published a report in Science demonstrating a very strong connection between warm seas and powerful storms.

Climate scientists already know that, throughout the world, hurricanes have grown in intensity although not necessarily in frequency over the past few decades [...]. So [Dr. Judith] Curry and her colleagues examined existing data on a range of climate variables, correlating changes in these factors with trends in the occurrence of higher-category hurricanes.

Globally, only sea surface temperature increased in line with super-strong hurricanes, Curry's team reports in Science.

This is bad news for locations like the US Gulf Coast, Central America and (just this week) Australia's northern Queensland region, battered by increasingly strong storms. Places already damaged by storms stand every chance of being hit again, and political resistance to rebuilding at-risk cities will only grow with each big storm.

Paging Steve Austin

University of Texas researchers have come up with two different artificial muscle designs that derive strength from processes remarkably similar to biological muscles -- but are much stronger. Both systems use chemical energy (one hydrogen, the other alcohol) and "breathe" oxygen. Structurally, they remain clearly artificial, relying on wires, carbon fiber and glass tubes.

The most powerful type, "shorted fuel cell muscles" convert chemical energy into heat, causing a special shape-memory metal alloy to contract. Turning down the heat allows the muscle to relax. Lab tests showed that these devices had a lifting strength more than 100 times that of normal skeletal muscle. [...]

"The muscle consumes oxygen and fuel that can be transported via a circulation system; the muscle itself supports the chemical reaction that leads to mechanical work; electrochemical circuits can act as nerves, controlling actuation; some energy is stored locally in the muscle itself; and, like natural muscle, the materials studied contract linearly."

The researchers see this development as potentially transforming how mechanical systems are built, as well as leading to technologies to strengthen individuals, either through prosthetics or exoskeletons.

(For you whippersnappers out there: Steve Austin was the fictional bionic "Six Million Dollar Man," back when $6 million really meant something.)

Technological Self-Determination

Most people who know about "open source" (including Free/Libre software) understand it as a technological model. A smaller group says no, really it's an economic model (Yochai Benkler's 2002 Coase's Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm is perhaps the most visible manifestation of this perspective). But while both of these perspectives are narrowly correct, they are also both incomplete. Ultimately, open source is a political model.

The idea that open source is political underlies many of the posts here on WorldChanging that talk about Linux and its brethren. Alex's 2003 "Redistributing the Future" sums up this concept well, but we frequently build on the argument that the real value of Linux, and the free/libre/open source model in general, is that it enables previously technologically-dependent communities to build the tools that they need with their own skills, and become a global participant as a producer of ideas, not simply a consumer. We're not alone in this belief; the United Nations University's International Institute for Software Technology has fully embraced the idea of open source as a developmental driver. They think of it as "technological self-determination," and they've come up with forward-looking programs to help this come about.

"Being a 'passive consumer' rather than an 'active participant' is not in the best interests of a developing nation's government or business sectors. Technological self-determination in developing countries is key to their future prosperity and is contingent on harnessing the power of this high-tech phenomenon," says [UNU-IIST Director] Dr. [Mike] Reed.

Continue reading "Technological Self-Determination" »

March 22, 2006

Seven Meters

7MinDC.jpgFor some people, global warming is a hard sell. Temperatures going up by a few degrees doesn't sound all that bad, and even results like drought or increased spread of mosquitos and other pests, while certainly unpleasant, are familiar issues. Mega-problems like whiplash/abrupt climate change, where warming leads to an ice age, can sound more surreal than threatening. But this website might change their minds. It shows something that is obviously warming-related, is already starting to happen (not just a "might happen 50 years down the road" possibility), and is a clear danger to the industrialized world's economies and societies: a seven meter rise in sea levels.

Flood Maps mashes up NASA elevation data and Google Maps, and offers a visualization of the effects of a single meter increase all the way to a 14 meter rise. The default increase of seven meters -- about 23 feet for those who avoid the whole metric thing -- is the amount the world's oceans will rise once Greenland's glacial ice pack melts completely. This melting is already underway, and is happening with startling speed.

[From February:] ... researchers found that [Greenland's] glaciers were traveling faster than anyone had predicted. They also determined that even more northerly glaciers were on the move and that in just 10 years the amount of fresh water lost by all the glaciers had more than doubled from 90 cubic kilometers of ice loss a year to 224 cubic kilometers. "The amount of water Los Angeles uses over one year is about one cubic kilometer," Rignot points out. "Two hundred cubic kilometers is a lot of fresh water."

Continue reading "Seven Meters" »

March 23, 2006

The Future of Computing

We'll have more about this tomorrow, but this week's Nature has a massive section looking at what the next 15 years could hold for information technology. Articles include Vernor Vinge talking about computers and creativity, Declan Butler on the future evolution of sensor networks, and Roger Brent and Jehoshua Bruck examining the intersection of biological science and computation.

Best of all, the full set of articles are available for free, supported in part by Microsoft's Toward 2020 Science project.

It's a fascinating collection of stories, well worth taking the time to read.

(Thanks for the tip, Declan)

California Clean-Tech Open

calctopen.jpgThe idea of using a big cash prize as a catalyst for invention has become pretty popular, from the X-Prize for private space flight to the recent competition to get Windows up and running on an Intel Macintosh. Advocates for environmental technologies often suggest a prize as a way to generate interest in green innovations. With the new California Clean Tech Open, we're about to see if a "Green Prize" will be as successful as the X-Prize at bringing us to a new frontier.

The premise of the Clean-Tech Open is simple: each participant comes up with an overview plan for a technology-enabled green business in one of five categories; finalists then must produce the full-fledged business plan. Winners in each category (Energy Efficiency, Smart Power, Renewable Energy, Transportation, and Water Management) receive $50,000, along with a variety of professional services and a year's worth of office space; the overall winner receives an additional $50,000.

The folks running the competition seem to understand (PDF) the Bright Green big picture:

Continue reading "California Clean-Tech Open" »

March 24, 2006

Oil Crisis-Ready

lightrail.jpgWorldChanging friends SustainLane today announced the initial results of a study of the fifty largest cities in the United States, ranked on the basis of readiness to respond to an extended oil crisis. SustainLane revealed the top ten cities today, and will provide the full ranking next month. In June, they will present a longer study of overall sustainability rankings of the same set of cities (we covered their list of most sustainable cities last year).

The top ten cities are: New York; Boston; San Francisco; Chicago; Philadelphia; Portland; Honolulu; Seattle; Baltimore; and Oakland. SustainLane relied on a mix of criteria, including some less-than-obvious elements:

Ranking Criteria
Greatest Weighting
  • City commute-to-work data
  • Continue reading "Oil Crisis-Ready" »

    On the Horizon (03/24/06): Nature on the Future of Computing

    2020visionNature.jpgIf Wired or Technology Review were to do a cover story on "computing in 2020," you know what you'd get: computer-generated mock-ups of what the laptop/wearable/ambient Computer of Tomorrow will look like, interviews with people working on bleeding-edge technologies, and lots of discussion of how future computers will work. When Nature does a cover story on "computing in 2020," you get something quite different: only one of the eight feature articles talks about how future computers might operate; the rest look more at the evolution of how we use computers, a much more worldchanging topic.

    Unsurprisingly, most of the articles look at the science of the particular issue, either in the underlying theory or the actual applications; Nature is the world's premiere science journal, after all. But that doesn't mean they're inaccessible for non-scientific readers by any means. You may have to slip over some jargon here and there, but the core ideas -- the interplay of computation and sensor networks, the question of how we deal with massive amounts of incoming data, the parallels between biology and information -- remain relevant across many of the subjects we discuss here. Best of all, as indicated yesterday, all of the articles in the feature section can be read for free (in both HTML and PDF format); Microsoft's 2020 Science project made this possible, so it's worth noting that none of the articles talk about what Microsoft is doing at all.

    I Sense Something...: Of all of the articles in the special section, the one that's likely to feel the most familiar is Everything, everywhere, written by WorldChanging ally Declan Butler. It's a look at the emergence of "smart dust," "motes" and the various other manifestations of wireless sensor technologies, and the role these systems will play in future scientific computation. The important message is that the growing use of abundant sensing technology will change how scientific research works:

    Continue reading "On the Horizon (03/24/06): Nature on the Future of Computing" »

    March 27, 2006

    The Open Future: Open Source Scenario Planning

    Scenario methodology is a powerful tool for thinking through the implications of strategic choices. Rather than tying the organization to a set "official future," scenarios offer a range of possible outcomes used less as predictions and more as "wind tunnels" for plans. (How would our strategy work in this future? How about if things turn out this way?) We talk about scenarios with some frequency here, and several of us have worked (and continue to work) professionally in the discipline.

    With its genealogy reaching back to Cold War think tanks and global oil multinationals, however, scenario planning tends to be primarily a tool for corporate and government planning; few non-profit groups or NGOs, let alone smaller communities, have the resources to assemble useful scenario projects or (more importantly) follow the results of the scenarios through the organization. Scenario planning pioneer Global Business Network has made a real effort to bring the scenario methodology to non-profits (disclosure: I worked at GBN and continue to do occasional projects for them), but we could take the process further: we can create open source scenarios. I don't just mean free or public scenarios; I mean opening up the whole process.

    Let's see what this would entail.

    Continue reading "The Open Future: Open Source Scenario Planning" »

    March 28, 2006

    Rice, Climate and "Effects Mitigation"

    irri.jpgEven in the best case climate scenarios, the planet is going to face years of rising temperatures and some pretty unpleasant (and often tragic) results across much of the world. Given that many of the worst-hit locations will be in the poorer nations, it's important that we spend some time thinking about ways not just to mitigate the process of climate disruption -- that is, to reverse it -- but also to mitigate its effects. This isn't "adaptation," it's harm reduction; think of it as suppressing the worst symptoms while fighting to cure the disease.

    Changes to temperature and rainfall patterns will affect many elements of how we live, but one of the most important will be agriculture. Staple foods that have been grown in various regions for hundreds or thousands of years will be harder and harder to cultivate; it's highly likely that global warming will lead to repeated crop failures and famine. Fortunately, some organizations have begun to consider this scenario, and to work on responses. This month, the International Rice Research Institute announced a new plan to do just that:

    "Clearly, climate change is going to have a major impact on our ability to grow rice," Robert S. Zeigler, IRRI director general, said. "We can't afford to sit back and be complacent about this because rice production feeds almost half the world's population while providing vital employment to millions as well, with most of them being very poor and vulnerable."
    For these reasons, Dr. Zeigler announced at the workshop that IRRI – in an unprecedented move – was ready to put up US$2 million of its own research funds as part of an effort to raise $20–25 million for a major five-year project to mitigate the effects of climate change on rice production. "We need to start developing rice varieties that can tolerate higher temperatures and other aspects of climate change right now," he said.

    Continue reading "Rice, Climate and "Effects Mitigation"" »

    March 29, 2006

    Wired's Climate Disaster Interviews

    Wired News has posted a series of interviews with the authors of three recent books on global warming and what we can do about it. The three interviews -- with Tim Flannery, author of The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth, Lester R. Brown, author of Plan B 2.0 (described, with links, here), and Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change (based on her incredible series of articles at the New Yorker) -- are brief but quite compelling.

    These interviews are part of a growing body of literature aimed at what we might call the "eyes now open" audience: people who weren't denialists about climate disaster, but thought it was something for future generations to worry about, was something that had to do with the ozone layer, or wasn't that big of a deal anyway. In the post-Katrina world, these folks, who potentially are a majority of the American public, are waking up to the reality that global warming-induced climate disruption is happening now, and that we have to act fast if we are to head off the worst possible outcomes.

    Demographic Mashup

    AnalyGIS and SRC, both of whom work on various tools for studying markets and communities, have teamed up to build a demographic study tool combining Google Maps (surprise) and 2000 US Census data. Click on a spot in the US, then select either basic census information (ethnic distribution, sex parity, and income averages) or housing information (owners vs. renters, housing value, age of units) within one, three and five miles of your target click. You can also enter an address directly.

    They describe this as primarily a proof-of-concept exercise, so there's no telling when it will disappear. Still, for those of us who want a better way to access demographic information quickly and visually, this works pretty well. Since it's based on Google Map's public APIs and open access census data, it should also be relatively simple to rebuild should this one go away.

    (Thanks, Joe Willemssen!)

    Can You Copyright the World?

    boundbylaw.jpgDocumentary filmmakers are in a particularly difficult position in terms of intellectual property, as most documentarians focus on lives of real people -- and modern life, especially in the US, Europe and Japan, is inundated with logos, music, background video and myriad other trademark and copyright concerns. Bound by Law?, a discussion of the intersection of fair use, public domain, copyright and documentary film -- done in a comic book format -- illustrates both the complexities that documentarians face and the broader struggle over how we can record modern life in all of its forms for posterity. Created by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins at the Duke University Center for the Study of the Public Domain, Bound by Law? is well-worth reading by anyone trying to understand how intellectual property rules affect our lives. Although it looks only at American regulations, many of the concepts it covers apply far more broadly.

    The ongoing evolution of copyright laws in the industrialized world has served both to protect and to stymie creative artists. On the one hand, stronger and more explicit protection of copyright assures emerging artists that larger corporate entities can't simply take the artists' work; on the other hand, aggressive assertion of rights over material that is part of our common culture has a demonstrable negative impact on the creative abilities of artists. Although much of the debate online focuses on American laws, digital era copyright laws in Europe and Japan have evoked similar arguments, and the role of intellectual property laws in the relationship between industrialized and developing nations remains controversial. The solutions offered by groups like Creative Commons can go a long way to making the situation more reasonable, but they require positive action on the part of artists.

    Continue reading "Can You Copyright the World?" »

    March 30, 2006

    Culture Jamming the Tahoe

    Chevrolet has opened up a site asking visitors to create advertisements for its ginormous SUV, the Tahoe, using a collection of clips and soundtracks, as well as your own text.

    Thing is, there's no reason you have to make ads in favor of ginormous SUVs...

    The good folks at Network-Centric Advocacy are collecting links to (and, where possible, recordings of) "Chevy Apprentice" ads talking about global warming and similar subjects. Here's an example. If you come up with a good one, be sure to post the link there -- and here, of course!


    Design a Mars Flyer

    marsuav.jpgAttention, European university students (or their friends and families): how would you like to design an unmanned aerial vehicle for use on Mars?

    EUROAVIA (European Association of Aerospace Students) DeWo WG and the European Space Agency have kicked off a competition, open to students at European universities specializing in aeronautics and/or space technologies, asking them to come up with a design plan for a UAV best suited for exploring the planet Mars.

    The authors of the 25 best papers will be invited to participate in the three-week design workshop at ESA's research and technology centre (ESTEC). During the workshop they will create a preliminary design of a UAV for Mars with the assistance of specialists from the industry and other institutions. Selected participants will be hosted at no cost.

    More information can be found at the Design Workshop 2006 site.

    Although many of us at WorldChanging are Areophiles, the most appealing aspect of this program is the inclusion of university students in a potentially revolutionary space effort. As with other student competitions, such as the Cradle to Cradle Home Competition, the Solar Decathlon, and the Car of 2030 competition, the point isn't to get the best possible design, but to get the most innovative design -- ideas from people who haven't yet learned to listen when told that something is impossible.

    Continue reading "Design a Mars Flyer" »

    March 31, 2006

    All Good Things...

    This is my last post as a WorldChanging staffer.

    Few things in my life have made me happier, or prouder, than my work at WorldChanging. We have created something truly wonderful here -- and by "we," I mean all of us: Alex Steffen, my partner in creating the site; the team of contributors, many of whom have become lasting friends of mine; the network of weblogs and allies that stimulate and extend our discussions; and, most of all, you folks who take the time to read WorldChanging. It's not often that one gets to have a hand in the creation of a movement that could change the world. I suspect that helping build this site will remain my calling card for years to come.

    I'm not disappearing from the site entirely, mind you. My email here will still work, I'll still have a spot on the side-bar, and I will occasionally post items of interest. But we've done here what we set out to do, and it's time to see what I can do next.

    I can't say where you'll see me next, in part because some of the opportunities that have arisen are not yet ready for public discussion. I can say that I'll be doing more direct consulting on the kinds of issues I've covered here, and have a couple of book ideas I intend to pursue. I will carry with me the lessons I've learned helping to bring this site into existence: we must make choices that better ourselves, better our communities, and better the world, even though those choices are rarely easy. For me, few decisions have been harder than this one.

    It's the right time to do make this decision, however. The book is done, so Alex and the rest of the team will once again have more time to bring their diverse voices to the WorldChanging page. Sarah Rich has stepped into the role of Managing Editor with great enthusiasm. I feel quite confident that WorldChanging is about to move into an even better stage in its life, with the kind of variety of ideas and expanse of perspectives it needs to help reshape how we think about the world, its future, and our own capacities for change.

    Thank you all for making the last two-and-a-half years simply incredible. See you in The Future...

    About March 2006

    This page contains all entries posted to WC Archive in March 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

    February 2006 is the previous archive.

    December 2006 is the next archive.

    Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

    Powered by
    Movable Type 3.34