Electricity prices a major election issue | Queensland Country Life

Growers remain frustrated at ever-increasing electricity costs. Despite “noise” in political circles, little seems to be happening. As prices continue to go up and infrastructure continues to be called out as inadequate, there is no clear strategy to incorporate renewable energy sources. The current approach is devoid of any planning or guidelines and the pursuit of large scale solar farms is damaging our industry. This is unacceptable


Reef awards show our industry’s best | Queensland Country Life

The Reef Alliance Awards is a fantastic opportunity to do this. It is so important that as an industry and a community we recognise the efforts our farmers are making towards improving their land management practices and thereby the water quality flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.

Former Reef Award winner Dennis Brynes has made improvements to his effluent management system, irrigation system and riparian areas through creek crossing.

Former Reef Award winner Dennis Brynes has made improvements to his effluent management system, irrigation system and riparian areas through creek crossing.

Over the past nine years, through funding from the Australian Government’s Reef Rescue and Reef Program, the dairy reef programs have engaged 157 farms, been able to support the development of 149 soil and nutrient management plans and provide support through incentives to 71 farmers with 119 projects valuing a total of $3 million.


Sorghum tough in dry season | Queensland Country Life

Business features

Shane and Sharon McKenna delivered last summer's sorghum harvest to the Dalby Bio-Refinery without a hitch despite the tough conditions.

Shane and Sharon McKenna delivered last summer’s sorghum harvest to the Dalby Bio-Refinery without a hitch despite the tough conditions.


Planting sorghum that could handle tough conditions allowed Western Darling Downs growers Shane and Sharon McKenna to deliver last summer’s harvest to the Dalby Bio-Refinery without a hitch.

Their crop of MR-Bazley was grown amid extreme weather conditions, including 100mm of growing season rainfall and prolonged periods of temperatures above 42 degrees.

The variety, bred with pre and post flowering stress tolerances, managed to produce their long-term average sorghum yield


Why We Need Stuart Hall’s Imaginative Left | New Republic


A pioneer of cultural studies, Hall showed a generation how to meld identity and Marxism.

When Stuart Hall died in 2014, he was one of England’s best-known intellectuals, celebrated for his pioneering writings in cultural studies, a field he helped invent along with Raymond Williams, and for his work as a spokesman of the New Left. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. described him as “the Du Bois of Britain,” and The Guardian called him the “godfather of multiculturalism.” During the six decades he lived in England, Hall appeared regularly on TV and radio (including on his own BBC series about the history of the Caribbean), popularized the term “Thatcherism,” co-wrote an influential book on race and policing, and helped found The New Left Review.

Hall took a more expansive view of popular culture than the previous generations of British leftists, who tended to deride it as a monolithic means by which the working-classes were subjected to upper-class hegemony. He saw pop culture as a field of struggle, which held the potential to bring about positive change, rather than simply oppression. As his thinking evolved, he came to insist on a larger vision of politics, one that ventured beyond traditional actors and institutions into more subjective realms. Politics, he argued, was not simply a matter of elections: Politics was everywhere, present in everything from soccer games to soap operas. “The conditions of existence,” he once remarked in an interview are “cultural, political and economic”—in that order


Building climate-resilient agriculture systems in South Asia: top ten success stories | CCAFS: CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Stories portray how agriculture can be transformed to become resilient, productive and climate-savvy
Climate change impact on agriculture systems and consequently food security has been quite vivid in the South Asian region. Notwithstanding the fact that the response to such challenges through a wide range of means and methods have led to improvements, the region is still far from the last mile in its run towards climate resilience.

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has been active in the region since 2010 and, through a strong network of CGIAR and other local and national partners, has been engaging in research and extension activities to build climate-resilient agriculture systems. Its research and related activities in conjunction with its partners have led to some successful outcomes while some remain in the pipelines for the same.


Art Meets Tech: Gorgeous Solar-Powered Pipe Can Desalinate 1.5 Billion Gallons of Seawater


Khalili engineers’ “Pipe” is composed of solar panels that provide 10,000 MWh of power each year to pump seawater through an electromagnetic filtration process, generating 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for the city.


Is it a power station or a public art installation? Well, this shimmering piece of architectural wonder, called “The Pipe,” might just blur the lines between the two.

A finalist at the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competitionfor the Santa Monica pier in California, the “Pipe” is designed as a floating installation off the coast that not only looks dazzling on the horizon, but also desalinates seawater using the power of the sun.

And that’s exactly the premise of the LAGI design competition, which asked this year’s participants to come up with concepts for electricity and clean water generation that could be placed near the Santa Monica Pier. The goal: point out that today’s increasing demands for power shouldn’t pave the way for eye sores.

Among those who took up the challenge was the Canadian engineering firm Abdolazis Khalili and Associates, which specializes in processing plants for food and packaging industries


Virginia Woolf on Why the Best Mind Is the Androgynous Mind – Brain Pickings

“In each of us two powers preside, one male, one female… The androgynous mind is resonant and porous… naturally creative, incandescent and undivided.”

In addition to being one of the greatest writers and most expansive minds humanity ever produced, Virginia Woolf(January 25, 1882–March 28, 1941) was also a woman of exceptional wisdom on such complexities of living as consciousness and creativity, the consolations of aging, how one should read a book, and the artist’s eternal dance with self-doubt.

So incisive was her insight into the human experience that, many decades before scientists demonstrated why “psychological androgyny” is essential to creativity, Woolf articulated this idea in a beautiful passage from her classic 1929 book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (public library).

A year after she subverted censorship and revolutionized the politics of gender identity with her novel Orlando, Woolf writes:


Here’s Elon Musk’s spectacular plan for colonising Mars – ScienceAlert

It’s happening.


29 SEP 2017

Elon Musk plans to start colonise Mars within five years.

Musk tweeted on Monday that he would reveal “major improvements” to his plan at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, most likely in the shape of changes to a two-part, 40-storey-tall vehicle called the Interplanetary Transport System which is expected to take the first 100-200 people to the Red Planet.

When the presentation screen showed “2022”, Musk felt the need to elaborate: “That’s not a typo… although it is aspirational.”

SpaceX plans to land at least two cargo ships on Mars in 2022, to “confirm water resources and identify hazards” and “place power, mining, and life support infrastructure for future flights


Tsunami ‘mega-rafts’ of debris ship hundreds of animal species from Japan to US – Science News – ABC News

ABC Science

By environment reporter Nick Kilvert

It’s an event researchers say has “no known historical precedent” and it is still unfolding.

In the six years since a massive tsunami struck Japan, at least 289 species of animals have travelled to the US on huge rafts of pollution.

Thousands of non-native marine crustaceans, fish, molluscs and anemones continue to land on the US west coast on rafts of plastic, fibreglass and other debris that was washed out to sea in 2011.

According to a paper describing the phenomenon, published today in the journal Science, as many as 65 per cent of the species are not native to US waters.

Study co-author Professor Jim Carlton from Williams College in Massachusetts fears if any are able to colonise, there could be devastating consequences.

“The immediate concerns are the potential economic and environmental impacts of any given invasion, like the North Pacific sea star in Australia,” he said.


A fatal blood disorder was fixed in an embryo using precision gene editing – ScienceAlert

They swapped just two DNA letters! 😲

29 SEP 2017

In the wake of the first gene-edited embryos in the US being created earlier this year, Chinese researchers have employed a different technique to swap a single base in a human embryo’s genome.

The precise edit was designed to return functionality to a gene responsible for a component of haemoglobin, which in its mutated form results in an often fatal blood condition called beta-thalassaemia.


Advice to the Young from Pioneering Astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Who Discovered the Composition of the Universe – Brain Pickings

Work with love, embrace the unexpected, let no one else make intellectual decisions for you, and always remain in direct touch with the fountain-head.

Advice to the Young from Pioneering Astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Who Discovered the Composition of the Universe

The English-American astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (May 10, 1900–December 7, 1979) — the first person to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy at Radcliffe-Harvard and the first woman to chair a Harvard department — overcame tremendous counterforces of cultural resistance to change our understanding of the cosmos and pave the way for women in science