Feeding another 825 million people is easy

At least in theory

A paper just published in Nature Geoscience has terrific news for anyone worried about the sustainability of agriculture.1 It should be possible to grow 10% more calories and 19% more protein while simultaneously using 14% less rainwater and 12% less irrigation water. And that, the authors say "would feed an additional 825 million people".

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Electrical mayhem

Hard-wired for hellishness

Desktop computer; phone; router; Time Capsule; LEDs; active loudspeakers (x2); audio mixer; external hard drives (x2); fan; desk lamp.

Twelve electrical devices, permanently plugged in just to make my work space work. Two more -- USB charger and audio recorder -- plugged in intermittently, although seldom simultaneously.

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So, farewell then Lucky Peach

Why journalists need their own domain

Lucky Peach was a great magazine about food; informative, witty, intelligent and eminently readable when most of the competition was nothing of the sort. But when it died, under slightly mysterious circumstances earlier this year, I didn't think too much about the consequences. I'd never actually been in a position to buy a paper copy, alas, but I very much enjoyed reading it online, which was generally a treat of both words and pictures. 1 And so I thought, well, that's OK. It'll live forever, digitally.

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Two oranges and a flashlight

A little astronomy is a dangerous thing

The much ballyhooed total eclipse came and it went, more than a third of a world away. I didn't pay it much attention at the time, though I did marvel at some of the photographs of totality, while also staying aware that I had no way of knowing whether they were, in fact, of this totality rather than some previous event. A couple of people I know were there that I know of, and their accounts were terrific in a detached way. I also saved "Annie Dillard's Classic Essay: 'Total Eclipse'", which The Atlantic generously made available "until the end of August". But I didn't read it.

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Bugger. I've been dreading this news. I owe PPGB more than I ever said, more than I ever could say. Truly, the end of an era.

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