No wifi, no go

Source: https://youtu.be/bi4134dPTJo

Questions:

  • What are three things that you can’t live without?
  • How has technology changed the way people behave?
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It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies | New York Post

Source: http://nypost.com/2016/08/27/its-digital-heroin-how-screens-turn-kids-into-psychotic-junkies/

There’s a reason that the most tech-cautious parents are tech designers and engineers. Steve Jobs was a notoriously low-tech parent. Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to no-tech Montessori Schools, as did Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.

But it’s even worse than we think.

We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic — as much as sex.

Once a person crosses over the line into full-blown addiction — drug, digital or otherwise — they need to detox before any other kind of therapy can have any chance of being effective. With tech, that means a full digital detox — no computers, no smartphones, no tablets. The extreme digital detox even eliminates television. The prescribed amount of time is four to six weeks; that’s the amount of time that is usually required for a hyper-aroused nervous system to reset itself. But that’s no easy task in our current tech-filled society where screens are ubiquitous. A person can live without drugs or alcohol; with tech addiction, digital temptations are everywhere.

So how do we keep our children from crossing this line? It’s not easy.

The key is to prevent your 4-, 5- or 8-year-old from getting hooked on screens to begin with. That means Lego instead of Minecraft; books instead of iPads; nature and sports instead of TV. If you have to, demand that your child’s school not give them a tablet or Chromebook until they are at least 10 years old (others recommend 12).

Man has 3D-printed vertebrae implanted in world-first surgery | Mashable Asia

Source: https://youtu.be/26UYzkYXOpM

Read more here: http://mashable.com/2016/02/25/3d-printed-vertebrae-spine/#S4XSQHpuQkq6

Mobbs is certain the use of 3D-printing in medicine will increase exponentially. “There’s no doubt this is the next big wave of medicine,” he said. “For me, the holy grail of medicine is the manufacturing of bones, joints and organs on-demand to restore function and save lives.”

 

An architect figured out how to build houses from plastic waste | Tech Insider

Source: https://youtu.be/uSOh21ooM_E

Other video in source: http://www.businessinsider.sg/homes-built-plastic-bricks-conceptos-plasticos-2016-9/

This one innovation could help resolve two of the world’s biggest issues: homelessness and pollution. Oscar Andres Mendez and his team at Conceptos Plásticos have created a way to take discarded plastic and rubber and create stackable bricks with them. These bricks snap together to create quick and easy housing.

Compare with this house built from plastic bottles:

Source: https://youtu.be/LPxXH7rCSHQ

  • Who might benefit the most from these innovations?
  • How likely are they to become popular?

The largest wind farm in US history just got the green light | Business Insider

Source: http://www.businessinsider.sg/american-iowa-wind-farm-approval-2016-9/

Unlike fossil fuel energy, which produces 90% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, wind turbines do not pollute the air. The potential for offshore and onshore wind energy generation is huge in the US — the cost of deploying wind energy has dropped by 90 percent since the 1980s, thanks to strides in wind technology and policy, according to the US Department of Energy.

  • What are some reasons why alternative forms of energy are used less than fossil fuels?
  • What are some advantages of wind energy?
  • Disadvantages?

One Result Of China’s Buildup In South China Sea: Environmental Havoc | NPR

Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/01/491395715/one-result-of-chinas-buildup-in-south-china-sea-environmental-havoc

The South China Sea’s disputed waters are claimed by seven countries, and The Hague rulings came in response to a case brought against China by the Philippines. China dismissed The Hague’s decision as “nothing but a scrap of paper.”

The tribunal found that damage to the coral reefs in the Spratly Islands is extensive, spreading for more than 30 square miles. Much of that damage is caused by China’s island-building — turning pristine reefs into permanent military outposts that include massive runways.

However destructive the island-building is, it’s nothing compared to the damage done by the poaching of giant clams, says Carpenter. Chinese fishermen have been destroying entire reefs, he says, by using propellers to try to dredge up and harvest the clams, which appear on the IUCN Red List as a “vulnerable” species.

Even if China were to abandon the artificial islands, he warns, the environment in the area could take decades — if ever — to recover. Tearing down the islands at this point, he says, isn’t the answer, either, and would cause more damage than has already been done.

Some background information from Wiki:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spratly_Islands_dispute

The Spratly Islands dispute is an ongoing territorial dispute between Brunei, China (People’s Republic of China), Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, concerning ownership of the Spratly Islands, a group of islands and associated “maritime features” (reefs, banks, cays, etc.) located in the South China Sea. The dispute is characterised by diplomatic stalemate and the employment of military pressure techniques (such as military occupation of disputed territory) in the advancement of national territorial claims. All except Brunei occupy some of the maritime features.

There has been a sharp rise in media coverage owing mainly to China’s increasingly vocal objection to the presence of American naval vessels transiting the area in order to assert the right to freedom of navigation within international waters.

Most of the “maritime features” in this area have at least six names: The “International name”, usually in English; the “Chinese name”, sometimes different for PRC and ROC, (and also in different character-sets); the Vietnamese, Philippine and Malaysian names, and also, there are alternate names, (e.g. Spratly Island is also known as Storm Island), and sometimes names with “colonial” origins (French, Portuguese, Spanish, British, etc.).[1]

The Spratly Islands are important for economic and strategic reasons. The Spratly area holds potentially significant, but largely unexplored, reserves of oil and natural gas; it is a productive area for world fishing; it is one of the busiest areas of commercial shipping traffic; and surrounding countries would get an extended continental shelf if their claims were recognised. In addition to economic incentives, the Spratlys sit astride major maritime trade routes to Northeast Asia, giving them added significance as positions from which to monitor maritime activity in the South China Sea and to potentially base and project military force from. In 2014, China drew increased international attention due to its dredging activities within the Spratlys, amidst speculation it is planning to further develop its military presence in the area.[2] In 2015 satellite imagery revealed that China was rapidly constructing an airfield on Fiery Cross Reef within the Spratlys whilst continuing its land reclamation activities at other sites.[3][4][5] Only China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC), and Vietnam have made claims based on historical sovereignty of the islands.[6] The Philippines, however, claims part of the area as its territory underUNCLOS, an agreement parts of which[7] have been ratified by the countries involved in the Spratly islands dispute.

  • What do you know of the Spratly Islands’ Dispute?
  • Why might the countries want to claim ownership of these islands?
  • What impact might this dispute have?

 

Jay Chou Says ‘No’ to Sharksfin Soup | WildAid

Source: https://www.facebook.com/wildaid/videos/10153746274641316/

Other videos (spoken English, but Chinese subs): https://youtu.be/OpQ9uDMEPwQ?list=PLIxEknQ66lKSk0fwlDkl88DBCdktya6-9

  • Do you buy animal parts from endangered animals?
  • How would using celebrities help to increase awareness of important matters?

Innovative Water Carrier in Africa | Tech Insider

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xdnVvLXtdM

Water remains an issue for many communities around the world.

  • Does your country have similar issues?
  • Could this help your country in any way?
  • What better ways are there to help?

The Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust | BBC

Source: https://youtu.be/t_UdqZdFr-w

Source: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150402-the-worst-place-on-earth

Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.

Dozens of pipes line the shore, churning out a torrent of thick, black, chemical waste from the refineries that surround the lake. The smell of sulphur and the roar of the pipes invades my senses. It feels like hell on Earth.

You may not have heard of Baotou, but the mines and factories here help to keep our modern lives ticking. It is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of “rare earth” minerals. These elements can be found in everything from magnets in wind turbines and electric car motors, to the electronic guts of smartphones and flatscreen TVs. In 2009 China produced 95% of the world’s supply of these elements, and it’s estimated that the Bayan Obo mines just north of Baotou contain 70% of the world’s reserves. But, as we would discover, at what cost?

We reached the shore, and looked across the lake. I’d seen some photos before I left for Inner Mongolia, but nothing prepared me for the sight. It’s a truly alien environment, dystopian and horrifying. The thought that it is man-made depressed and terrified me, as did the realisation that this was the byproduct not just of the consumer electronics in my pocket, but also green technologies like wind turbines and electric cars that we get so smugly excited about in the West. Unsure of quite how to react, I take photos and shoot video on my cerium polished iPhone.

You can see the lake on Google Maps, and that hints at the scale. Zoom in far enough and you can make out the dozens of pipes that line the shore. Unknown Fields’ Liam Young collected some samples of the waste and took it back to the UK to be tested. “The clay we collected from the toxic lake tested at around three times background radiation,” he later tells me.

Article is pretty long, and very descriptive (i.e., not academic), but it might be a good resource for teacher’s reading.

  • How often do you change your mobile phones?
  • What are some negative impacts of technology?
  • Does new technology have any impact on the environment?
  • What can be done to alleviate the problem?

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGLC59rCCDc