The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on April 8, 2012

  • Sure, ok, there’s starchitecture that *is* obnoxious. But you know what’s wrong with entirely “community-driven” design? It can suffer from Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS) and end up celebrating the merely subpar. TPS is when you cut everything down to the same size. There are plenty of supposedly pro-community/ pro-people spaces that were built by starchitects (Italian Renaissance, anyone?), and they wouldn’t stand a chance under the regime proposed by this article:
    We need to be very strong in our criticism. Both architects and landscape designers (many of whom are trying to outdo the architecture profession with shapes and forms and a “greenwash”) need to be challenged. Only then will they be pushed to support communities in their quest to create places that are comfortable – places where community members can have a sense of real ownership and the ability to adapt public streets and places to their unique aspirations and identity.
    Places that are “comfortable”? What does that mean?
    (File s.v. “love hurts.”)

    tags: architecture starchitecture urban_design community sustainable_cities

  • Feed bees high fructose corn syrup (and the corn was treated with neonicotinoid pesticide) and you kill off the bee colony.

    Doesn’t high fructose corn syrup also kill humans? Why do we use this stuff at all?
    It has taken a long time to understand the link between Colony Collapse Disorder and neonicotinoid pesticides, because scientists were looking for an instant-killer, and not something that caused slow deaths over several months, says Lu. In addition he adds that scientists ignored “the fact that the timeline of increasing use of neonicotinoids coincides with the decline of bee populations.”

    Lu says policy makers “need to examine the effect of sub-lethal doses of pesticides throughout the life cycle of the test model (in this case honey bees).” He further notes the depending on LD50 findings (i.e. a lethal dose that results in the death of half of the specimens tested) “is not relevant to the modern day chemical toxicity testing.” In other words, regulators need to start testing the long-term impacts of chemicals in the environment, and not simply focused on whether or not they instantly kill test subjects.

    tags: pesticides bees environment

  • Fascinating article. Not entirely sure I buy into all the connections between, say, British Colonialism and modern yoga (with stops in Iraq inbetween), but it’s a good critique. The embedded videos are priceless, too.

    tags: new_age hokum bbc adam_curtis body_image england colonialism iraq yoga

  • Words of wisdom from David Rothkopf. He is so right:
    I love it when Ron Paul says, “If we get rid of government, freedom will sweep right in.” That’s just not what happens. What happens is that a bunch of elephants stampede in because they’re in a position to take advantage of it. Meanwhile, if you get government out of the way, the people who need government, they don’t have it.

    There’s this myth that government doesn’t belong in the marketplace. If that were true, there would be no canals, no railroads, no highways, no internet. The government was a critical partner in many of the biggest innovations in U.S. history.

    But if you buy into that for 20 or 30 years, and you say, “smaller government, smaller government programs,” who gets squeezed by that? It’s the cities. And the problem is that, as that happens, it accelerates. Kids drop out of school. Neighborhoods decay. Businesses leave. The tax base goes down. Cops get fired. Teachers get fired. It’s a cycle of pain.

    tags: cities grist david_rothkopf economy politics

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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