Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nighttime Nibbles

I'm a great fan of the Blue flag scheme to indicate clean beaches and it seems that the EU is going to revised the rules for stricter criteria using scientific research to evaluate the conditions of rivers, lakes and seasides. As both a swimmer and a kayaker I'm delighted, given the states of some of our rivers.

Worldchanging has a couple of interesting postings up with the future possibility of mass producing vaccines from the tobacco plant. The kernel of the idea is to use a virus to introduce specific genes to the tobacco plant which then cause the production of plague antibodies. A tobacco plant treated this way then becomes a factory producing large quantities of the antibodies within a short timespan. The current technique discussed is even more encouraging as the researchers have found how to trigger the production of specific plague antigens. Moreover, the technique allowed the researchers to trigger the production of very specific forms of the plague antigens. Antigens are substances that stimulates an immune response which normally is the production of antibodies. The other article is back to that old chestnet of computer games for campaigning. In this case the idea of the game is to challenge players to evaluate their relationships with consumption. The game is called Disaffected! and it is a spoof on the normal working life of employees at FedEx Kinko’s, its freely available for download in both Mac and Windows versions.

The latest GOTO Media newsletter is online for all those interested in Interaction Design and the latest web rumblings. This month's edition has some nice articles and a good reading list under the article "Preparing for Web 2.0: A Software Design Reading List". On the more programmatic side of the house we have a nice blog post from the Lisp guru Bill Clementson on why Lisp is good at getting the inital commerical advantage for startups even if it is phased out when the companies are bought out by the big boys such as Yahoo or Sony.

On other news tomorrow is our workshop on Qualitative Research Methods and no I still don't have or don't know where to get a ticket for the match...


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