Gongol.com Archives: May 2009
Brian Gongol

May 7, 2009

Agriculture The vertical farm undoubtedly looks far-fetched, but skyscrapers themselves are only a century-old invention
Vertical farms -- or, in other words, skyscrapers built for agricultural production -- certainly look a little nutty at first glance. And, unfortunately, they're advocated by people who think that the only good food is "local" food, which is a patently ludicrous idea (case in point: the same bushel of corn takes 400 times as much water to produce in California than in Iowa). But there's no doubt that more food will be needed overall to continue feeding the world's growing population, and one approach may be to build upwards rather than trying to capture new cropland out of forests and deserts. The world needs more food production and better food storage, particularly in case of a global disaster like the eruption of the Tambora volcano in 1815. If vertical farms can contribute to greater food security, then they ought to get our attention. Given the need for large-scale testing, it's too bad that Iowa State University demolished two of the ten-story Towers residence halls a couple of years ago. ISU would've been an ideal location to have tested the vertical farm in a renovation of an existing building.

News New York Times to raise prices to make up for declining ad revenue
Add this to the list of plans that won't work

Business and Finance How they're going to try to re-structure General Motors

Science and Technology Is what we often call "talent" really just the result of conscientious practice?
Judging from the ages at which famous people achieved great things, the theory that "talent" is most often just the result of practice probably holds a lot of water

Water News Estimate: 20% of private Nebraska water wells are contaminated

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