predators and prey

The Google PageRank formula can be used to model changes to the structure of food webs in an eco-system.

Eco-systems often contain many different species which depend on each other in complex ways. Working out how population changes and extinctions affect the food web is difficult. But finding out which species are key predators and prey in these webs is vital if species or eco-systems are to be protected.

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Singing sea lion - source BBC

Say “R R R” and you sound like a barking sea lion!

Once the expression the 3 Rs just stood for “Reading, Writing, Arithmetic”. A catchy little slogan to capture the three important things to learn at school, the 3Rs have long caused either confusion or the opportunity for kids to laugh iRonically at ‘rents’ and teachers’ rules.

Not anymore. Educators take liberties with them, including upgrades to the 4 Rs. Business people have found uses for them too. And there are a few others just to make sure the letter doesn’t feel rejected, not last of which is the eco-friendly slogan.

A diversionary story of changing times, reflected in one letter…

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Agenda 21 cover image

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

Agenda 21 and eco-labels have a strong connection. Implementing eco-label schemes is one direct way that communities and organisations can contribute to Agenda 21. Although implementation of Agenda 21 is essentially voluntary at country level, some national and regional governments have passed laws or given advice that local authorities implement the plan locally, in programmes which have come to be known as Local Agenda 21 (or LA21).

As residents, consumers or tax payers, we can ask organisations and local authorities what they are doing towards Agenda 21.

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My Tesco Bag for LifeMy Tesco Bag for Life, little did I realise it would shop my masculinity.

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The shop which has already set out its stall to get rid of packaging (Independent Online, Nov 14, 2007), “banishing non-biodegradable carriers from behind the till”, leaves shoppers to bring their own packaging.

Their website at Unpackaged shows that this isn’t just a one-off marketing ploy, but part of a coherent eco-friendly plan.

Vampire Costume for iPod

“Vampire electronics” rise from the news grave in Time Magazine’s Nov 12 print edition. Is it some weird connection between Kirsty Swanson’s 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer role and her fight against a voltage-eating monster 2006’s The Black Hole?

No, it’s all about … “Unused appliances, like cell-phone chargers and coffeemakers, that quietly suck up electricity when left plugged into sockets. Constant consumers, they spike electric bills and put more strain on the nation’s power grid.”

The news content has been drained by time (see more), but at least it’s reminded me to switch my mobile charger off.

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