Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Mid-Week Edition): A Snapshot of Laws

Our team was out and about in the Community over Veterans Day Week-End and we captured this while at the City of Laguna Niguel Sea Country Center.   We note this because it was kind of appropriate as we hereby note a snapshot of laws that is at the heart of making sure there is a life well lived and to avoid potential challenges: 

Federal Laws

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special Weekly Edition): On Mother Earth

As we've seen the fires in California, Australia, the Amazon, we complied a number of must reads along with a call to action:

An effect of rising deforestation in Brazil, Amazon fires turn into a global crisis

Between January and August 19, 2019, Brazil has seen 72,843 fires, an increase of 83 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to data by Brazil's National Space Research Institute (Inpe).


Scientists: Human Extinction Is Extremely Likely


This is why it is imperative for us all to listen to this:

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special #VeteransDay2019 Edition): Saluting Courageous Soldiers

On this Veterans Day Week End here in the United States and Remembrance Day, we salute courageous soldiers including those in the Breaking the Silence Movement in Israel who have spoken up: 


We’ve had a busy few weeks. Apart from our regular work here in Israel, we also brought our photo exhibit to the J Street Conference in Washington DC. But we’ll get to that later; first, let us tell you about the two biggest things we’re working on at the moment:

Lone Soldiers' Tour

Every year, thousands of Jews from the Diaspora join the Israeli military. Like Israeli-born soldiers, many of these ‘Lone Soldiers’ are sent to serve in the occupied territories, maintaining Israeli military rule over millions of Palestinians.
Throughout November, a group of US-born IDF veterans will be speaking at synagogues, campuses and other venues - many of them the very communities in which they were raised. We believe the Diaspora Jewish communities cannot look away from what's happening on the ground, and have a responsibility to hear from those Israeli soldiers who grew up in their midst.
We will be holding panel events in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, St. Louis and Washington DC. For a full list of stops on our tour, click here.

Expose[d]: A portrait exhibition by Quique Kierszenbaum 

For over a decade, celebrated photojournalist Quique Kierszenbaum has documented IDF veterans who gave testimony to ‘Breaking the Silence’. As a photographer who has worked with some of the world’s best-known news outlets, Kierszenbaum has dedicated himself to the composition of 52 photo portraits of the young men and women who, as soldiers, participated in routine patrols, checkpoints and night-time raids of homes across the occupied territories as well as large-scale military incursions. They stood in front of his camera with their faces, identities and stories exposed - and without the blanket of anonymity which our testifiers are given as a matter of principle. The result is a series of 52 portraits of former soldiers, Israelis who were sent to uphold a military regime in the occupied territories, alongside 52 testimonies that describe in stark detail what that process means - to them as individuals and to us as a society. 
‘Expose[d]’ will run from November 14th to December 5th at 5 Rabenu Khananel St. in Tel Aviv. This is a must-see, so if you’re in Israel at the time, please join us; and if you know of someone who will be, tell them to look up details by searching Quique Kierszenbaum Photographer on Facebook.

What we’ve been up to

On October 27th-29th we had the honor of presenting our very own photo exhibit at the J Street annual conference in Washington DC. J Street's annual conference draws thousands of community representatives, young leaders and rabbis as well as politicians and executives every year, and this year's guest list included some of the biggest names in Israeli and American politics (including Democratic 2020 Presidential candidates), community leaders, presidents of organizations and activists from around the world.
Our photo exhibit was originally put together in 2004 by the founders of Breaking the Silence, a group of over 60 IDF Nahal Brigade veterans, and has since toured the world, from the Israei Knesset and the EU parliament, to campuses and forums around Israel, North America and Europe. The exhibit is comprised of photos taken by soldiers while they were serving in the occupied territories, and gives the viewers a glimpse of life for millions living under military occupation as seen by the soldiers who upheld it.
But this time was particularly special. Among the hundreds of visitors who attended the conference and came to the exhibit were several congresswomen and men, as well as senior Israeli and Palestinian politicians and officials. We were particularly pleased to welcome Rep. Ilhan Omar to our exhibit, who had planned to come on a tour of Hebron with us earlier this year but whose entry was barred by the Israeli Government in an attempt to cover up the occupation. The cover-up attempt will not be effective as long as we continue breaking the silence and sharing our stories with anyone who’s willing to listen.
Banning Reps. Omar and Tlaib from making a congressional visit to Israel and the occupied territories seems to have had a ripple effect, peaking interest in visiting the territories and hearing about what goes on there. This week, the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy released a virtual reality app which lets its users visit - virtually - the very places which the Congresswomen were banned from entering. And of course, the app’s tour of Hebron is guided by former IDF soldiers from Breaking the Silence. Check it out on Android or iOS.
We’re always pleased to be keeping busy with special events and meeting friends and supporters from around the world, but all the while, we’re making sure to keep up with the bread and butter of our work: collecting testimonies from former soldiers, taking groups and individuals on tours of the occupied territories, and giving talks to groups from near and far. If you’re planning on being in the area soon - or if you know of someone who is - join us on a tour. Our next tour, to the South Hebron Hills, will take place on November 12th.

Thank you as always for your ongoing support for our important work.


The Breaking the Silence team

Thursday, October 31, 2019

On This #Halloween2019 Here in the United States

On the Occasion of Halloween here in the United States, we hereby present the following thoughts we are pleased to featured on all our platforms courtesy of Jonathan Lockwood Huie and his team as we say   Happy Halloween:

Consciously adopt the mindset of a young child,
to whom all of life is a grand adventure.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
- Mark Twain

Become more and more innocent,
less knowledgeable and more childlike.
Take life as fun - because that's precisely what it is!
- Osho

Laugh at yourself and at life.
Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity,
but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain,
cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective
that seemingly terrible defeat and worry
with laughter at your predicaments,
thus freeing your mind to think clearly
toward the solution that is certain to come.
Never take yourself too seriously.
- Og Mandino

Monday, October 28, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On Our World

As part of our mission, we are always pleased to present thoughts & ideas on how to be educated about our World-this courtesy of the Visual Capitalist is in line with our mission which we hope all enjoy:

Sunday Digest: Last Week's Infographics

Here are all the new infographics from last week in one easy place!
The World's 20 Most Profitable Companies
Saudi Aramco, the state oil producer in Saudi Arabia, rakes in $304 million of profit per day - putting it atop the world's most profitable companies.
How Millennials are Fueling the Rental Economy
This infographic explores how the millennial generation are fueling the short-term rental industry—is it a passing fad or a shift in buyer behavior?
Why It's Time for Banks to Make Bold Late-Cycle Moves
As we enter a late-cycle economy, a staggering 60% of banks are destroying value. Here’s the steps they can take in order to succeed.
Top 20 Companies: Carbon Emissions 
Since 1965, over ⅓ of the world’s cumulative carbon emissions can be traced back to just 20 fossil fuel companies. Who are the biggest contributors?
World Cities Ranked by Average Annual Sunshine Hours
While we all see the same sky, some see it differently, depending on where they live. Today's graphic ranks world cities by annual hours of sunshine.
Prove Your Metal: Top 10 Strongest Metals on Earth

Friday, October 25, 2019

#RandomThoughts (Weekly Edition): On The Art of the Possible

We hereby present these series of thoughts courtesy of the SalesForce.Com's Vala Afshar on the art of the possible: 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): Out & About w/Thoughts on Education, #Turkey & Other Thoughts

The Beauty of our Hometown, Laguna Niguel, at night

As a new week dawns in our World, our team chose two random thoughts courtesy Education Next & Abundance360 on some key areas of focus in our World:   Turkey, Education in California along with Food--Please enjoy and share comments as appropriate:

Posted by Education Next on 17 October, 2019
The former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, “privately urged President Trump” to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric, the Washington Post reports, describing it as a case of Giuliani apparently “pushing a shadow foreign policy.”
A network of more than 100 charter schools operated by U.S.-based followers of Gulen were the topic of an article in the Spring 2019 issue of Education Next, “Turkey’s Fight Against U.S. Charters.”
— Education Next
Posted by Education Next on 17 October, 2019
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law mandating later start times for Golden State schools, the Los Angeles Times reports, “ultimately requiring public middle schools to begin classes at 8 a.m. or later while high schools will start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.”
In a research article in the Summer 2019 issue of Education Next, “Rise and Shine: How school start times affect academic performance,” Jennifer Heissel and Samuel Norris quantified the potential academic benefits of changing high-school start times. An accompanying Education Next feature article, “How To Make School Start Later,” offered practical advice.
— Education Next

Food… What we eat, and how we grow it, will be fundamentally transformed in the next decade.
Already, vertical farming is projected to exceed a US$12 billion industry by mid-decade, surging at an astonishing 25 percent annual growth rate.
Meanwhile, the food 3D printing industry is expected to grow at an even higher rate, averaging nearly 40 percent annual growth.
And converging exponential technologies—from materials science to AI-driven digital agriculture—are not slowing down. Today’s breakthroughs will soon allow our planet to boost its food production by nearly 70 percent, using a fraction of the real estate and resources, to feed 9 billion by mid-century.
What you consume, how it was grown, and how it will end up in your stomach will all ride the wave of converging exponentials, revolutionizing the most basic of human needs.
(Note #1: This blog is an excerpt from my next book The Future is Faster Than You Think, co-authored with Steven Kotler, to be released January 28th, 2020.)
(Note #2: If you like this blog, share it! | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Read Online | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

Printing Food

3D printing has already had a profound impact on the manufacturing sector. We are now able to print in hundreds of different materials, making anything from toys to houses to organs. However, we are finally seeing the emergence of 3D printers that can print food itself.
Redefine Meat, an Israeli startup, wants to tackle industrial meat production using 3D printers that can generate meat, no animals required. The printer takes in fat, water, and three different plant protein sources, using these ingredients to print a meat fiber matrix with trapped fat and water, thus mimicking the texture and flavor of real meat.
Slated for release in 2020 at a cost of $100,000, their machines are rapidly demonetizing and will begin by targeting clients in industrial-scale meat production.
Anrich3D aims to take this process a step further, 3D-printing meals that are customized to your medical records, heath data from your smart wearables, and patterns detected by your sleep trackers. The company plans to use multiple extruders for multi-material printing, allowing them to dispense each ingredient precisely for nutritionally optimized meals. Currently in an R&D phase at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the company hopes to have its first taste tests in 2020.
These are only a few of the many 3D food printing startups springing into existence. The benefits from such innovations are boundless.
Not only will food 3D printing grant consumers control over the ingredients and mixtures they consume, but it is already beginning to enable new innovations in flavor itself, democratizing far healthier meal options in newly customizable cuisine categories.

Vertical Farming

Vertical farming, whereby food is grown in vertical stacks (in skyscrapers and buildings rather than outside in fields), marks a classic case of converging exponential technologies. Over just the past decade, the technology has surged from a handful of early-stage pilots to a full-grown industry.
Today, the average American meal travels 1,500-2,500 miles to get to your plate. As summed up by Worldwatch Institute researcher Brian Halweil, “we are spending far more energy to get food to the table than the energy we get from eating the food.”
Additionally, the longer foods are out of the soil, the less nutritious they become, losing on average 45 percent of their nutrition before being consumed.
Yet beyond cutting down on time and transportation losses, vertical farming eliminates a whole host of issues in food production.
Relying on hydroponics and aeroponics, vertical farms allows us to grow crops with 90 percent less water than traditional agriculture—which is critical for our increasingly thirsty planet.
Currently, the largest player around is Bay Area-based Plenty Inc. With over $200 million in funding from Softbank, Plenty is taking a smart tech approach to indoor agriculture. Plants grow on 20-foot high towers, monitored by tens of thousands of cameras and sensors, optimized by big data and machine learning.
This allows the company to pack 40 plants in the space previously occupied by one. The process also produces yields 350X greater than outdoor farmland, using less than 1 percent as much water.
And rather than bespoke veggies for the wealthy few, Plenty’s processes allow them to knock 20-35 percent off the costs of traditional grocery stores. To date, Plenty has their home base in South San Francisco, a 100,000 square-foot farm in Kent, Washington, an indoor farm in the United Arab Emirates, and recently started construction on over 300 farms in China.
Another major player is New Jersey-based Aerofarms, which can now grow 2 million pounds of leafy greens without sunlight or soil.
To do this, Aerofarms leverages AI-controlled LEDs to provide optimized wavelengths of light for each individual plant. Using aeroponics, the company delivers nutrients by misting them directly onto the plants’ roots— no soil required. Rather, plants are suspended in a growth mesh fabric made from recycled water bottles. And here too, sensors, cameras and machine learning govern the entire process.
While 50-80 percent of the cost of vertical farming is human labor, autonomous robotics promises to solve that problem. Enter contenders like Iron Ox, a firm that has developed the Angus robot, capable of moving around plant-growing containers.
The writing is on the wall, and traditional agriculture is fast being turned on its head. As explained by Plenty’s CEO Matt Barnard, “Just like Google benefitted from the simultaneous combination of improved technology, better algorithms and masses of data, we are seeing the same [in vertical farming].”

Materials Science

In an era where materials science, nanotechnology, and biotechnology are rapidly becoming the same field of study, key advances are enabling us to create healthier, more nutritious, more efficient, and longer-lasting food.
For starters, we are now able to boost the photosynthetic abilities of plants.
Using novel techniques to improve a micro-step in the photosynthesis process chain, researchers at UCLA were able to boost tobacco crop yield by 14-20 percent. Meanwhile, the RIPE Project, backed by Bill Gates and run out of the University of Illinois, has matched and improved those numbers.
And to top things off, The University of Essex was even able to improve tobacco yield by 27-47 percent by increasing the levels of protein involved in photo-respiration.
In yet another win for food-related materials science, Santa Barbara-based Apeel Sciences is further tackling the vexing challenge of food waste. Now approaching commercialization, Apeel uses lipids and glycerolipids found in the peels, seeds, and pulps of all fruits and vegetables to create “cutin”—the fatty substance that composes the skin of fruits and prevents them from rapidly spoiling by trapping moisture.
By then spraying fruits with this generated substance, Apeel can preserve foods 60 percent longer, using an odorless, tasteless, colorless organic substance.
And stores across the U.S. are already using this method. By leveraging our advancing knowledge of plants and chemistry, materials science is allowing us to produce more food with far longer-lasting freshness and more nutritious value than ever before.


With advances in 3D printing, vertical farming and materials sciences, we can now make food smarter, more productive, and far more resilient.
By the end of the next decade, you should be able to 3D print a fusion cuisine dish from the comfort of your home, using ingredients harvested from vertical farms, with nutritional value optimized by AI and materials science. However, even this picture doesn’t account for all the rapid changes underway in the food industry.
Join me next week for Part 2 of the Future of Food for a discussion on how food production will be transformed, quite literally, from the bottom up.

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