Humanist Atheist No Hate Feminist Pro-Choice Freethinker
Posted 2 months ago
We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
'Affirmations of Humanism'- Council for Secular Humanism
Posted 3 months ago
In our view of the current scene, not enough attention has been paid to Humanism as an alternative to religion. Humanism presents a set of principles and values that began during the Renaissance and came to fruition during the modern era. It marked a turning point from the medieval concern with the divine order and salvation to an emphasis on this life here and now, the quest for personal meaning and value, the good life and social justice in modern democracies, and economies that served consumer tastes and satisfactions.
Paul Kurtz, “Neo-Humanist Statement of Secular Principles and Values”
Posted 3 months ago


Solar-powered ‘supertrees’ breathe life into Singapore’s urban oasis

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse, for CNN

(CNN) — Singapore’s latest development will finally blossom later this month, with an imposing canopy of artificial trees up to 50 meters high towering over a vast urban oasis.

The colossal solar-powered supertrees are found in the Bay South garden, which opens to the public on June 29. It is part of a 250-acre landscaping project — Gardens by the Bay — that is an initiative from Singapore’s National Parks Board that will see the cultivation of flora and fauna from foreign lands.

The man-made mechanical forest consists of 18 supertrees that act as vertical gardens, generating solar power, acting as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collecting rainwater. To generate electricity, 11 of the supertrees are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into energy, which provides lighting and aids water technology within the conservatories below.

Varying in height between 25 and 50 meters, each supertree features tropical flowers and various ferns climbing across its steel framework. The large canopies also operate as temperature moderators, absorbing and dispersing heat, as well as providing shelter from the hot temperatures of Singapore’s climate to visitors walking beneath.

The project is part of a redevelopment scheme to create a new downtown district in the Marina Bay area, on Singapore’s south side. Project organizers hope the completed Gardens by the Bay will become an eco-tourist destination showcasing sustainable practices and plants from across the globe.

Speaking at a preview event last November, Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, said the project would “showcase what we can do to bring the world of plants to all Singaporeans,” adding that the gardens would become “the pride of Singapore.”

Bridges dubbed “skywalks” have been erected connecting several of the higher 50-meter supertrees (the same height as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris), letting visitors stroll between them and view the gardens from dizzying heights.

The horticultural heaven also boasts two green conservatories in close proximity — the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome — climate-controlled biomes inspired by the shape of an orchid flower, which project organizers hope will become the park’s main attractions. The biomes are the equivalent size of four football fields and will become the new home for 220,000 plants from almost every continent. These are some of the only areas where an admission fee is charged — approximately US$22 (S$28) for holiday-makers or US$16 (S$20) for Singapore residents.

One of the sustainable features of the Flower Dome is that horticultural waste feeds a massive steam turbine and generates the electricity on-site to help maintain the cool temperatures of the biome.

However, the supertrees and biomes only make up 5% of the multimillion-dollar landscaping development won after an international design competition by UK landscape architects Grant Associates. The remainder of the Bay South garden will pay homage to the ethnic makeup of the country. In the Heritage Gardens, visitors can explore the Chinese, Malay, Indian and Colonial-themed areas and learn about the links between plants and Singapore’s history. Surrounding these cultural green spaces in the rest of the 103-acre Bay South park are sprawling areas complete with lakes and bridges.

Launched seven years ago by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally, Gardens by the Bay has been a much-celebrated green undertaking with the other gardens, Bay East and Bay Central, opening to much fanfare. The grand opening of Bay South park area will most likely be another illustrious event.

The horticultural oasis will be a contrast to the country’s extremely dense urban environment, forming part of the government’s overall strategy to transform Singapore into a “city in a garden.”

via CNN

Posted 3 months ago
We grew up with the Internet and on the Internet. This is what makes us different; this is what makes the crucial, although surprising from your point of view, difference: we do not ‘surf’ and the internet to us is not a ‘place’ or ‘virtual space’. The Internet to us is not something external to reality but a part of it: an invisible yet constantly present layer intertwined with the physical environment. We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildnungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us. We made friends and enemies online, we prepared cribs for tests online, we planned parties and studying sessions online, we fell in love and broke up online. The Web to us is not a technology which we had to learn and which we managed to get a grip of. The Web is a process, happening continuously and continuously transforming before our eyes; with us and through us. Technologies appear and then dissolve in the peripheries, websites are built, they bloom and then pass away, but the Web continues, because we are the Web; we, communicating with one another in a way that comes naturally to us, more intense and more efficient than ever before in the history of mankind.
Posted 3 months ago
Posted 3 months ago


I love this

(Source: dwgifs)

Posted 3 months ago
A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.
Carl Sagan (via wordpainting)
Posted 3 months ago


How did Nikola Tesla change the way we use energy?

On January 7, 1943, Nikola Tesla died alone and penniless in room #3327 of the New Yorker Hotel — this despite the fact that his scientific contributions affected everything we know about energy today. 

Tesla arrived in the United States in 1884, at the age of 28, and by 1887 had filed for a series of patents that described everything necessary to generate electricity using alternating current, or AC. To understand the significance of these inventions, you have to understand what the field of electrical generation was like at the end of the 19th century. It was a war of currents — with Tesla acting as one general and Edison acting as the opposing general.

Read on

Source: howstuffworks

Posted 3 months ago

Your Guide To Eco-Friendly Birth Control | Popular Science

So you’re having safe sex. Good for you! But is your contraceptive safe for the environment? Here is some information about the environmental impacts of a few of the most popular non-permanent forms of birth control in the U.S.

Posted 3 months ago


Yes, It’s Cold — and Yes, Global Warming Is Still Happening

Record-breaking cold winter temperatures yesterday means global warming must be a farce, right?

Wrong. Here’s why:

What’s most important to remember is that weather isn’t climate. A single storm isn’t evidence for or against global warming. “It is important to understand that weather is like one play in a football game. Climate is the history of the NFL,” Mike Nelson, chief meteorologist for KMGH in Denver, wrote in a Facebook post.

Despite the frigid cold gripping the country right now, over the past few decades, winter temperatures have gotten warmer, on average, according to records from the National Weather Service, which has tracked U.S. weather since the mid-1800s. For example, lakes in the Midwest freeze later and have thinner ice now than they used to, making ice fishing more dangerous. Spring arrives 10 to 14 days earlier across the United States than 20 years ago. Trees and plants bloom sooner and insects and birds emerge earlier.

"On a given day, week or season, cold or wintry weather signifies nothing about the background climate changing," Marshall Shepherd, president of the American Meteorological Society, said in a blog post.

There’s also evidence that global warming is changing weather patterns in the Arctic and elsewhere, which could be responsible for some of the intense winter storms that have hit the United States in recent years. 

Rising polar temperatures are shrinking the Arctic ice cap, making it smaller and thinner. Less ice means more of the sun’s summer heat is stored in the ocean instead of being reflected back into the atmosphere. One way the shrinking ice changes weather is by pushing winter air south. When the stored ocean heat gradually escapes in autumn, it changes the pattern of an atmospheric wind called the polar vortex, streaming frigid Arctic air into North America and Europe, scientists think.

This week’s wintry freeze was caused by the polar vortex veering as far south as Atlanta, according to forecasters.

Finally, it’s only winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Just days into the New Year, Australia is setting heat records again. (2013 was the country’s hottest year on record.) Temperatures soared as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius) last week, and severe fire warnings were issued for Queensland and Western Australia.

But what about that research ship trapped in the Antarctic ice at Christmas — the one encircled by pack ice blown in by a powerful cyclone? Doesn’t that disprove global warming, too? Turns out, hotter air holds more moisture, which leads to more snowfall and more sea ice, scientists think. Changing storm conditions around the icy continent are also favoring more sea ice. But ice on the Antarctic continent is still shrinking, according to the most recent surveys.