5 things plants do better than us

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Plants simply do some things better.

We need more trees in our cities. But our cities also need to become more like trees.

The other day I posted on why environmentalists must think like pro-athletes, inspired in part by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on optimal experience. As I finish up his book, I was struck by another observation—namely that the task of finding meaning in an individual’s life can be directly compared to the role of plants as “dissipative structures—organisms that collect diffuse energy from the sun and transform it into highly complex, dynamic structures.

It seems to me that the challenge of building community is very similar. We could, as a culture, do a lot worse than to learn from plants…

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Imec – membrane-based plant cultivation lets plants grow on film instead of soil

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWvrkJJbPoM&hd=1[/youtube]

This video provides more insight (on both the advantages and the disadvantages of Imec)

Tokyo-based Mebiol is working on an membrane–based plant cultivation technology called Imec that makes it possible to let plants grow on thin film instead of soil. The film is made of a water-absorbent material called hydrogel and is just “tens of microns” thick.

 

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10 best iPhone apps for gardening

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Whether or not you’ve got a green thumb, these apps will help your garden grow.

Timing is everything as those who garden are well aware.  And a bountiful crop requires planning and organization.  For novice and advanced gardeners alike, there is always something that can be learned about getting the best from the earth. Following are 10 great gardening apps that serve that very purpose, and can help yield juicier tomatoes, more fragrant rosemary, and brighter hydrangeas.

 

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Major breakthrough on how viruses infect plants

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CSIRO plant scientists have shed light on a problem that has puzzled researchers since the first virus was discovered in 1892 — how exactly do they cause disease?

In a major breakthrough that helps us better understand how viruses cause diseases in plants — and potentially in animals and humans — Dr Ming-Bo Wang and Neil Smith of CSIRO Plant Industry have revealed a genetic mechanism that enables viral organisms to infect hosts and cause diseases…

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Inventing the Rocking Chair Tree

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Futurist Thomas Frey:  On Tuesday evening we had a packed audience at the DaVinci Institute to discuss the future of micro farming. Admittedly, we weren’t terribly well organized and the range of topics we touched on were far more than most of us could reasonably consider in a single setting. But for those who took part in the discussion groups, some amazing ideas came to light.

 

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Monsanto Wins Big and Consumers Again Get Screwed

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What a great time to become a vegan!

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has officially approved the unregulated planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa. In a move that will undoubtedly set a precedent for what comes next (namely, the question of whether or not to deregulate GE sugarbeets) Vilsack did nothing more, and nothing less than obliterate our choice as organic consumers to be assured that we are avoiding genetically modified organisms in our food…

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