Hey! It’s time again for five things I find interesting, unusual and potentially actionable! A reminder that if you like my blog posts, you can forward them to friends and fam and encourage them to subscribe.
Bacteria to the rescue? Direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide gets a lot of press, but we don’t hear much about schemes to remove methane from the air. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas, and thus, a major concern. Cattle release a lot of it, but it’s also found in natural gas. Scientists have found a bacteria that munches it, so it might be possible to remove it from the air too. In the meantime, if you want to reduce how much you’re responsible for releasing, you can cut back on the amount of beef you eat, and consider switching to electric appliances when you next need to replace your existing ones. You can also compost your food waste in a tumbler. Oxygenating compost reduces how much methane it produces.
Lettuce to the rescue? Diabetes is a major problem worldwide, and the main tool for management is insulin shots. Obviously, having to inject yourself daily is not ideal, so researchers have long been on a search to find better ways to administer it. Apparently, they’ve found a way to grow it in lettuce of all things.
Password123 Online life means usernames and passwords, and that in turn means you’re vulnerable to hackers. If you want to protect yourself from identity theft and other problems, you should be using a different password for every site you’re on and your passwords should be long and complicated. The chart I’ve linked to shows you how long it takes a hacker to brute force guess (using software) short and easy passwords. I personally use a password generator for all of mine.
On-skin computing Researchers at Cornell have developed modular circuitry that might allow for ‘digital tattoos.’ This sort of technology would help with monitoring the condition of patients with chronic ailments, among other things. The citizens of my novel Echoes of Another have digital tattoos.
Whither cities? Cities are both awesome and terrible. Lots of things to do, less of the parochialism that can stultify small towns, but higher rates of crime, loneliness, and of course they can be crowded and dirty. Vox has this piece on how to make them better.