Archive for the ‘Co-Operation’ Category

Plant Communication through Co-Operation

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Microscope image of mycorrhizaeBBC Plant Science — Plants can communicate the onset of an attack from aphids by making use of an underground network of fungi, researchers have found. Instances of plant communication through the air have been documented, in which chemicals emitted by a damaged plant can be picked up by a neighbour. But below ground, most land plants are connected by fungi called mycorrhizae.

The new study, published in Ecology Letters, demonstrates clearly that these fungi also aid in communication. It joins an established body of literature, recently reviewed in the Journal of Chemical Ecology and in Trends in Plant Science, which has suggested that the mycorrhizae can act as a kind of information network among plants.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen, the James Hutton Institute and Rothamsted Research, all in the UK, devised a clever experiment to isolate the effects of these thread-like networks. The team concerned themselves with aphids, tiny insects that feed on and damage plants.

Many plants have a chemical armoury that they deploy when aphids attack, with chemicals that both repel the aphids and attract parasitic wasps that are aphids’ natural predators.

The team grew sets of five broad bean plants, allowing three in each group to develop mycorrhizal networks, and preventing the networks’ growth in the other two. To prevent any through-the-air chemical communication, the plants were covered with bags.

As the researchers allowed single plants in the sets to be infested with aphids, they found that if the infested plant was connected to another by the mycorrhizae, the un-infested plant began to mount its chemical defence. Electron micrograph of aphid Some strains of wheat have been genetically modified specifically to resist the aphid threat

Those unconnected by the networks appeared not to receive the signal of attack, and showed no chemical response.

“Mycorrhizal fungi need to get [products of photosynthesis] from the plant, and they have to do something for the plant,” explained John Pickett of Rothamsted Research.

“In the past, we thought of them making nutrients available from the [roots and soil], but now we see another evolutionary role for them in which they pay the plant back by transmitting the signal efficiently,” he told BBC News. Prof Pickett expressed his “abject surprise that it was just so powerful – just such a fantastic signalling system”. (06/24/2013)

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World Peace and Other Infinite Possibilities

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

John HunterFuture Positive— Karyn M. Peterson interviews Educator, John Hunter. At the start of a national tour to promote his new book about his experiences teaching the game, World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements (Houghton Harcourt, 2013), Hunter addressed the crowd at SLJ’s recent Public Library Leadership Think Tank, then sat down to speak to us about unlocking kids’ infinite potential, his faith in kids to improve our world, and how he daily inspires (and is inspired by) his students.

At our Think Tank, you spoke about the lasting impact of even the smallest gestures. Can you tell us more about this concept?

We are completely interdependent; this is what I’ve come to understand and see. Everything I do is important to someone in that room or someone connected to them. So I’m obligated to do the best that I possibly can every moment. I constantly have to work at that every day so that I can be less of a barrier or an obstacle to their learning. My students have come back over decades now to let me know the range and effect of gestures I’ve made, of words I’ve said, of things we’ve done. And I’m sure every teacher has instances like this. So this circle of influence that you might have can be so broad. …

Did you always want to be a teacher?

Really, in some ways I’m an introvert who just happens to appear to be an extrovert. There was a moment in Japan—I’m sitting in this 500-year-old cypress wood meditation hall on a bamboo-covered mountainside near the Sea of Japan—and I thought, ‘You know, this is where I should be. I really don’t need to go anywhere else.’ But I had obligations; I had things to do in the world. Had I not been a teacher, I was very inclined to find a place like that and simply go into meditation.

So how do you summon your inner extrovert? Or embrace it?

The foundation was of course, I had a very happy life. My parents were both very sweet and loving, so it was a very quiet family life. And that calm safety that we had in the home made a comfort in the world. And so going out into it, I didn’t feel defensive or afraid.

How that transformed to be more of a performance art, like teaching? Well, it was called for. In a classroom…[you] really bring every tool that you have to the situation. You adapt and become whatever creature you must. You’re an academic and social amphibian; you grow gills when you have to and you drop fins when you have to, to help children be what they need to be.  And playing in a band doesn’t hurt either! I had a studio practice for about 20 years, sound design, ambient music, Waveform Records. It’s still something I do in what little spare time I have.

Do you bring music into the classroom as well?

Absolutely! Some children like it to be quiet, so we’re quiet sometimes, but there may be some Miles Davis in the background, “Sketches of Spain,” something very open and spacious.

I take the children through different modalities of thinking using Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory, [with] eight different pieces of music, all within the space of an hour. It’s astounding what they do in that time [and] music is the springboard for that. I want them to have an expanded world, so I’m playing Indonesian gamelan or opera arias or glitchcore from Vladislav Delay, this Finnish DJ—something they’re not going to run into on the radio or around the house.

And the library was fundamental in that, too! In the Richmond Public Library when I was a young man, I would go and check out  records. I listened to Turkish music, to music from the bauls of India. That library was instrumental in my becoming who I was musically.

How has your teaching shaped your vision of the future?

I’m completely optimistic. There is no doubt in my mind that high school students can save this planet completely, in every way. No doubt. They’re relentlessly compassionate. The more we empower those young people to be in charge…the better off we’ll be.

Is compassion the most important legacy of your World Peace game?

How else can we be if we’re going to survive? It’s our fundamental as human beings…preemptively going at things with kindness gives a little bit of ease to every difficult situation we face. (06/03/2013)

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Helping Ourselves

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

http://b.vimeocdn.com/ps/389/897/3898975_300.jpgThe Gifting Earth — Timothy Wilken writes: Dearest Community, I want to share a powerful new tool for co-operation with you.

This tool is a gift from me to you — a gift from me to every member of my human family. It is available as a free online website that enables a community of users to easily help and be helped through the gifting and sharing of: Goods, Services, Knowledge and Compassion.

I want to thank all of you that have joined us. If you haven’t joined yet, it’s really easy, just click on the New Account link at the top of every page on TGE. Then you can begin to help others by gifting and sharing, and others can begin to help you by gifting and sharing.

Why The Gifting Earth?

We humans are really one people. We share one earth — breathe one air — drink one water.

The impact of our human oneness means that we are an interdependent species — sometimes I will need your help, and sometimes you will need mine.

We are at our best when we work together and trust each other.

How does it work?

The Gifting Earth is based on one rule: Be Love.

If you choose to Be Love then you can only Do Good, and if you only Do Good, you will discover that your community so values you that it will insure that you Have Everything you need and want.

What is it?

Imagine a world where Co-Operation has displaced Market — a world where GIFTors and GIFTees have displaced sellers and buyers.

In your role as a GIFTor, you will help others within the community. In your role as a GIFTee, you will be helped by other members within the community.

So Be Love, Do Good, and Have Everything.

When humans work together, we can solve the most difficult of problems, and really make the world a much better place for all of us. As John Lennon once wrote:

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world …

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

Someday is here! See the Video and then join us at The Gifting Earth! You are welcome to share this message with anyone you like. The more of us gifting and sharing, the better our world can be! (04/21/2013)

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Gift giving: Wild dolphins to humans in Australia

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

EarthSky — On 23 occasions over the past several years, wild dolphins were observed giving gifts to humans at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia. The gifts included eels, tuna, squid, an octopus and an assortment of many other types of different fin fish. While these gifts might not be your choice for a gift to find underneath your Christmas tree, some of the items that were offered to humans are highly valued food sources for cetaceans such as dolphins. A report describing this rare form of food sharing behavior in wild dolphins was published on December 4, 2012 in the journal Anthrozoös: A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People & Animals.

Food sharing is a fairly common behavior among animals of the same species, but it is a much rarer phenomenon between animals that are from different species. Perhaps one of the best known examples of inter-species food sharing occurs in domesticated cats that have a tendency to drop prey items at their owner’s feet. Inter-species food sharing in wild animal populations has not been widely documented in the scientific literature. …

Dolphins of diverse ages and both sexes engaged in the gift-giving behavior, and scientists are not entirely sure of what is motivating their behavior. Food sharing in animals is often motivated by an urge to play, a desire to reciprocate food sharing or the belief that the recipient of the food is an incompetent hunter. Based on their detailed observations, the scientists think that gift giving among the wild dolphins at the Tangalooma Island Resort was likely a form of play behavior. (04/18/2013)

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The Art of Asking

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

(03/16/2013)

The Gifting Earth — How does it work?

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

http://b.vimeocdn.com/ps/389/897/3898975_300.jpgFuture Positive — Timothy Wilken writes: The Gifting Earth is a free online system that enables its members to help each other through the gifting and sharing of: Goods, Services, Knowledge, and Compassion.

I am a synergic scientist. The word synergy derives from two Greek roots: erg meaning “to work,” and syn meaning “together;” hence, the term synergy simply means “working together.” Synergic science is the study of working together. It is a relatively new science, but it has produced a powerful new understanding of human behavior and of human organization. Synergic science reveals a relatively simple solution to our present human difficulties. That solution requires that we work together and act responsibly.

One of the discoveries of synergic science is that the best organizations – the most efficient, the most productive and those wherein the members are the most happy – are those organizations where the participants have win-win relationships with each other. …

When you become a member of The Gifting Earth (TGE), you enter into the world of co-Operation, here you also have a dual role. You will be both a GIFTor and a GIFTee. You will post the Gifts you would like give or share with other members of the community in your role as a GIFTor. You will also post the Needs you would like to receive or borrow from other members of the community in your role as a GIFTee.

Almost any good or service can be gifted or shared on TGE. Our database is organized into four general classes of Gifts and Needs.

1) Goods – THINGS: Any material object that has value. This would include: tools, appliances, electronics, computers, telephones, equipment of any kind, lawnmowers, house furniture, household goods, furnishings, materials, supplies, foods and even large things like automobiles, or houses. Any material object that is of value can provide some good to the user, hence the term goods.

You can give Goods away fully or only gift the use of them for a specified time. Location is very important for the gift of using a tool or appliance, perhaps less important if the item is given away fully.

Things that are gifted can be new or used. Working or not working. The important thing is to describe the offered gift accurately. A television repairman might like the gift of an old TV, that he will repair and use or gift to someone else. So your description of an offered gift needs to be very accurate. No one will be criticized for gifting junk as long as they describe it accurately as junk. Those seeking junk will be happy. Remember one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

2) Services – ACTIONS: Projects, Labor (skilled and unskilled), Jobs and Tasks. This could be as simple as baby sitting, or giving someone a ride to as complex as building a room on someone’s house or writing a custom software program, etc., etc., etc.. It could be a million and one different forms of helping provided by humans in action. Location is very important. Many services would only available locally.

3) Knowledge – KNOWING: Expertise, Consultations, Counseling, and Advise. Those humans with expertise in almost any field can make that expertise available to others as a gift. Physicians, Attorneys, Accountants, Engineers, Scientists, Teachers, etc., etc., etc.. Location may be less important with telephone and internet communication. Knowing can also be available in the form or books, art, courses, online files, etc., etc., etc.. Location may be less important with telephone and internet communication.

4) Compassion – KINDNESS: Empathy, Sympathy, Love, and Support. Compassion is a very personal form of gift. It is the most human of gifts. Compassion can come in many forms. It may just be lending an ear, holding space with another, or holding someone’s hand. Those humans with experience of the difficult challenges encountered in life can share the lessons they have learned from those challenges with others as a gift. Those that have lost the most, have often learned the greatest lessons. Those that have faced Death in the form of Cancer, Major Injury or Illness, and those that have lost loved ones — children, spouses, or parents, may be best prepared to help their fellow humans who face similar challenges. Because the personal touch is so powerful with Compassion, this gift is often best given locally, but location may be less important with the growing power of internet communication — such as Skype and FaceTime. (03/16/2013)

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