Tag Archives: double

Our carbon sinks are absorbing twice as much carbon dioxide as they used to

The term ‘carbon sink’ is becoming more common as we all gain the scientific education needed to deal with climate change and global warming.

According to Wikipedia, carbon sinks can be both natural and artificial. Both involve the process of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is called carbon sequestration.

The main natural carbon sinks are the oceans and plants, and with our planet covered in so much water, the oceans are the biggest sinks on Earth. The main artificial ones are landfills and the various carbon capture projects.

In those countries that follow the Kyoto Protocol, the use of artificial carbon sinks can serve as a way to offset other carbon use.

Of course, as we are pumping more carbon into the atmosphere our natural carbon sinks are ingesting more carbon dioxide:

Nature has her own way of dealing with excess carbon dioxide. When human activities spew CO2 into the atmosphere, plants absorb more of it than usual, leading to profuse growth. The ocean, too, swallows more than it otherwise would. Many scientists fret that these so-called carbon sinks risk getting clogged up. Some even suggest that this has already started happening. - The Economist

Some even estimate that the amount of CO2 absorbed by the oceans and plants has doubled. Nobody knows what this means, maybe it can continue and alleviate some of our carbon problems, or there could be a backlash effect.

For more on this, check out The Economist article, That Sinking Feeling.

 

Continue reading

Apple gestures…quietly revolutionary

Do you use Apple gestures, have you even heard of them?

I was first introduced to them in January of 2008, when I became hipster #1 and bought the first MacBook Air. Now, three years and eight months later I am still barely using them.

Of the available fourteen there are only three I regularly use but those three are absolutely time-saving-revolutionary.

  • Scroll with two fingers – just move two fingers up/down, instead of turning a mouse wheel or dragging the sidebar.
  • Forward/Back with two fingers – browse the web by “swiping” left or right with two fingers, no more back button.
  • Double-tap with two fingers - instead of the right mouse click (called a “secondary click”), tap two fingers to engage a secondary click.

When Apple says they are “fluid, natural, and intuitive,” I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t think about using them anymore and it hurts to use a computer without them. Which is when you know it’s a true innovation, “when you can’t live without it.”

Of the other fourteen, I have three more just barely in my memory. Six out of fourteen?

It does take a while to break the old habits, especially for former Windows users. No more mouse and an almost entirely new language with my fingers. Yeah, it’s tough but I can’t complain about clicking less buttons and gaining agility.

It’s part of the reason why I like Apple products. Their agressive forward pace, while offensive to some, keeps me on my toes and ever-improving. I can only imagine the day when I am able to handle all fourteen:

[one_half]

  • Single click
  • Dictionary look-up
  • Directional scroll
  • Smart zoom
  • Rotate
  • Scroll between screens
  • Open Expose
[/one_half]
[one_half]
  • Secondary click
  • Window drag
  • Zoom in/out
  • Scroll forward/back
  • Open Mission Control
  • Open Launchpad
  • Show desktop

[/one_half]

Watch out too because these gestures are growing exponentially. On my last computer there were only 6-7 and now fourteen. It won’t be long before there are 72 gestures encompassing every feature on a computer.

We may even begin to skip the keyboard…have you seen the Swype text-input on Android?