Design Challenge

Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon dioxide, fixes nitrogen, distills water, accrues solar energy as fuel, makes complex sugars and foods, creates microclimates, changes colors with the seasons and self-replicates….

The internet patriarchy: Don’t touch my toys

Here is a very small sample of the harassment I deal with for daring to criticize sexism in video games. Keep in mind that all this is in response to my Kickstarter project for a video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games (which I have not even made yet). These are the types of silencing tactics often used against women on the internet who dare to speak up. But don’t worry it won’t stop me!


NOTE: These 100+ comments were left over the course of a two hour period on YouTube. They represent only a tiny fraction of the hundreds and hundreds now thousands of similar comments left on my video. The screen capture is unedited.

In addition to the torrent of misogyny and hate left on my YouTube video (see below) the intimidation effort has also included repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me (with porn), organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website.  These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape.  All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded.  Thankfully, Kickstarter has been very supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service. All my backers have also been amazingly encouraging over on the project page too!

Lara Croft had a key code where you could play her in the nude. Now, whether or not you believe in games potential impact on the way people think (when it comes to violence, it seems clearly untrue that they are a major driver – the brain is good at separating fact from fiction) – the kind of response, organized, violent response, that the mere idea of the production of a research into the obvious misogyny of video games elicits is striking.

The fear and threat that these people feel and project on Youtube and Wikipedia is fascinating, and scary.

In fact, I think this is even a more important result than the study of the video games itself. Yes, there needs to be a complete overhaul in the representations of women in all kinds of media. Yes, it’s great somebody is doing public education materials (using Youtube for its very best purposes!) crowd funding it (again Internet at its best). It’s all clear evidence of the most beautiful and important uses of the Internet.

In the end though, it’s the comments that really highlight how far we still have to go and how violent (speech like this, esp. on Internet, is certainly violence) the fight against the domination of patriarchal paradigms still are.

Who is a Dilliwala?

For millennia people have come from outside Delhi from within and outside India and made Delhi their home. It is the same for any urban settlement. Any city and any culture that closes itself to mixing of new elements ceases to grow, any attempt to privilege the claims of one set of arrivals over those of the others can only lead to strife and disaffection that may not remain confined within the city. Delhi will continue to be Delhi as long as it keeps its doors open, welcoming all comers, ‘if you live here you are a Dilliwalla’.

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Sent from my iPhone

Rotten Tomato Science


The successful sequencing of the tomato genome will lead to tastier varieties within five years say scientists.

They believe that the elusive flavour of home grown tomatoes will by then be widely available in supermarkets.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers say the genetic information could reduce the need for pesticides.

Nice, tasty, tomatoes. Two methods.

Method 1

Step 1.1: Get some seed

Step 1.2: Get some compost (or make some)

Step 1.3: Plant seed in said compost

Step 1.4: Wait (water occasionally)

Step 1.5: Pick tomato. Eat.

Method 2

Step 2.1: Sequence tomato genome

Step 2.2: Develop genetic hybrid

Step 2.3: Develop complimentary chemical fertilizer mix and pesticide mix

Step 2.4: Patent said hybrid, genome, fertilizer and pesticides

Step 2.5: Develop marketing materials, sell new gmo tomato to farmers (it’s all new it actually tastes like tomatoes!)

Step 2.6: Get farmer and greenhouse, get oil to run it, grow tomato

Step 2.7: Harvest tomato

Step 2.8: Make deal with supermarket to sell tomato

Step 2.9: Transport tomato to supermarket (spray it some more for good measure)

Step 2.10: Have supermarket sell tomato to customer

Step 2.11: Bring tomato home. Eat.

Anybody think that what we might be missing is not a genome (though that’s all cool to have tomato genome sequenced) but rather a radical rethink?

Drizzles and loshedding

NEW DELHI: After a sizzling, hot day, Delhi experienced some respite on Saturday evening as a drizzle brought the temperature down by 2.6 degrees Celsius in the national capital.

According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, the temperature at 8:30 p.m. was recorded at 35.4 degrees. At 5:30 p.m. it was 38 degrees Celsius.

Saturday’s maximum temperature was 44.2 degrees Celsius, four notches above what is average for this time of the season, while the minimum was six notches above average at 33.2 degrees. The humidity levels wavered between a high of 41 and 30 percent.

In several parts of the city, it was a double whammy for the residents who not only weathered high temperatures but also had to grapple with long hours of power outages.

According to a power department official, long power cuts were reported from south and west Delhi.

Ah, Delhi summers.