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Watch Josie's Lalaland now. No, really.
(Download; 22MB, 3m40)


relee spotted the trailer for Project O, a Wii title I'd get, if I had something that would play it. :-P After all, as they say, what the world really needs is more knights riding cows.

The storyline might be somewhat choppy, but The Composer is still a very good Flash short.

In the IPCC's latest assessment 'of the progress of climate change, the body said: "If warming is not kept below two degrees centigrade, which will require the strongest mitigation efforts, and currently looks very unlikely to be achieved, the substantial global impacts will occur, such as species extinctions, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, flooding."

Professor Martin Parry, a senior Met Office scientist and co-chairman of the IPCC committee which produced the report, said he believed it would now be "very difficult" to achieve the target and that governments need to combine efforts to "mitigate" climate change by reducing CO2 emissions with "adaptation" to tackle active consequences such as crop failure and flooding. Speaking at the Royal Geographical Society, he said: "Ten years ago we were talking about these impacts affecting our children and our grandchildren. Now it is happening to us."'

Spice Trade, a free LGPL Java project from Finland, could be a fun game for those with a hankering for turn-based strategy games: "Start from nothing and dominate another continent. Spread the influence of your culture while creating your own empire!

Since the 14th century, Europe has been a global super power when it started colonizing other continents. But what if history had gone a different way? What would Europe be like if Asia had prevailed?

Abu Al-Qazzaz is the main character in Spice Trade. He is a poor young man from Baghdad, who has inherited a house and some land.. oh, and he wants to get married too. Abu decides to try his luck in the spice game. He has to prevent the European countries from gaining a trade monopoly. Will Abu be able to beat out the Europeans in the spice trade? Could Europe have been different? How? You decide!" The FAQ gives a good overview of what the game's actually like.

I found it amusing that, of everywhere in SL, Warren Ellis would choose to move to the Fort Stygian sim, "part of the Wastelands chain. The Stygian Pirate Nest is a sort of hideous tin blood-bucket bar on legs, just west of the Fort Stygian landing point." But we each have our own concepts of contentment. ^_^ One of his picks sounds particularly interesting, at East of Odyssey:

"Nash has installed seventeen sculptures - Unsung Songs - in the Odyssey Island landscape, inviting avatars to be collaborators and explorers of the virtual unknown… Each Unsung Song is like the product of an ethereal instrument, fresh from another planet where synaesthesia is the dominant mode. Each is an experiment in visual and sonic polyphony where the avatar is both audience and co-creator of the unearthly forms and music that float in the domain."

Good to see Friday's build of Leopard, 9A559, lists but two fairly small (but big if they bit) listed known issues - looks like it's on course for an October release.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If warming is not kept below two degrees centigrade, which ... currently looks very unlikely to be achieved

And, frankly, I don't think it will be. I think before too many years have gone past, governments worldwide will be surveying a planet in crisis (much more so than it is now) and asking why they didn't do anything about it. I think it's because they realise that the current global, hugely mobile economy is incompatible with the changes that need to be made to head off such a temperature rise, but dare not admit it.

Look at aviation. Boeing and Airbus go on about reducing emissions by 30% or even 50%. Big deal, frankly. In the first place, we need the reductions now, not when the next generation of planes have taken over the skies; and in the second place, if the number of flights trebles by 2030 (UK govt prediction for Britain) then it will more than wipe out the gains.

Britain has great potential for renewable energy - plenty of wind, high tides, rough seas - and yet we lag absurdly behind Germany in the field, mostly because of government apathy and refusal to make long-term investments. Apparently nuclear will save us... but even apart from the risks, who's going to pay for it, and how can it be done quickly enough?

It goes on. If you asked me, "Is it possible to stop things getting disastrous?" then - though time is getting very short - I'd still be of the opinion that yes, it is. But unfortunately, my answer to, "Will the world's governments have the guts to do it in time?" is that they probably won't. =:/
Sadly, that does seem very much to be the case. It's utterly tragic, and a dismal reflection on humanity, that this situation was ever made into a political football, yet even now, some remain entirely denying there are any changes taking place, or that as there are other sources of greenhouses gases than transporation, that somehow we either can't or shouldn't bother attempting to ward off the changes.

Short haul flights, particularly within the UK, and EU in general, could be cut dramatically - flight's some 7-8 times more expensive in terms of CO2 output per passenger mile than any terrestrial methods.

Wind farming I'd especially like to see much widespread in the UK. True, they're not exactly invisible, but I've found them quite majestic - rather a poetic sight, up on the near horizon, all turning in harmony. Even thermal solar power could play a significant role in the UK, despite not being exactly on a par with California in sunlight hours, but again, there's been virtually no discussion about how best to deploy such home-grown solutions.

I'd like to find out more about the current development of pebble bed reactors currently going on in China, with German technology - one major benefit is an inherent lack of a runaway scenario. Still leaves the waste to deal with, of course.

Whatever happened to geothermal energy production? ISTR that hit the news, then seemingly faded away.

As for what will happen - mm, I wouldn't take a bet against the G8 continuing with accords made of the finest hot air, dealing with emergent situations only once they're too significant to be swept under the carpet, even if such late action makes for a much more costly path, in financial and humanitarian terms.

On the bright side, there's a lot of Canadian tundra waiting to become cornfields..

Short haul flights, particularly within the UK, and EU in general, could be cut dramatically

Certainly. At least North America and Australia have an excuse (not a great excuse, but an excuse) in that they don't have well-developed passenger rail networks. Europe, and for all we moan about it even the UK, do have such. I wonder what could be done if all the money for airport expansion were poured into public transport? It must be several billion pounds.

Wind farming I'd especially like to see much widespread in the UK.

Agreed. Having seen a number of the things from fairly close up, I would rather live near a wind farm than a pylon line.

On the bright side, there's a lot of Canadian tundra waiting to become cornfields.

Unless it's over oilsands, in which case it's waiting to become an even bigger environmental disaster...
It might be worth adding that Germany isn't exactly a shining beacon of renewable energy use, either. :P In fact, it often seems that both many politicians and pretty much all industry people are trying to discredit and sabotage it as much as possible, although I couldn't really say why (well... actually, it's probably about cheap energy in the short term for the latter, and cash donations for the former c.c).
It might be worth adding that Germany isn't exactly a shining beacon of renewable energy use, either. :P

It is compared to Britain. According to a combination of Wikipedia and our own government, in 2006 renewable energy provided just under 12% of Germany's energy production. The UK figure is 4%. Germany's target for 2020 is 27%; Britain's is 20% - and we're likely to actually achieve about 10%. =:/
*noddles* 12%? Wow, we're doing better than I thought, then... although that's still 88% that's from non-renewable sources. :/ (And whether Germany will achieve those 27% it's aiming for is also another question...)