closed loop system


Creating a Local Food System in Abandoned Buildings

“The Plant is a project combining adaptive industrial reuse and aquaponics to create Chicago’s first vertical farm.”

The plan is to use abandoned buildings to create a local food system in Chicago… moving the food production to where the food is consumed in the city.

Innovated techniques are being tested to create less waste. “The whole project is about closing waste loops. So that nothing that leaves this facility, but food.”


Tech-Savvy Families Use Home-Built Diabetes Device

“Third-grader Andrew Calabrese carries his backpack everywhere he goes at his San Diego-area school. His backpack isn’t just filled with books, it is carrying his robotic pancreas.

The device, long considered the Holy Grail of Type 1 diabetes technology, wasn’t constructed by a medical-device company. It hasn’t been approved by regulators. It was put together by his father.

Jason Calabrese, a software engineer, followed instructions that had been shared online to hack an old insulin pump so it could automatically dose the hormone in response to his son’s blood-sugar levels. Mr. Calabrese got the approval of Andrew’s doctor for his son to take the home-built device to school.

The Calabreses aren’t alone. More than 50 people have soldered, tinkered and written software to make such devices for themselves or their children. The systems—known in the industry as artificial pancreases or closed loop systems—have been studied for decades, but improvements to sensor technology for real-time glucose monitoring have made them possible.

The Food and Drug Administration has made approving such devices a priority and several companies are working on them. But the years long process of commercial development and regulatory approval is longer than many patients want, and some are technologically savvy enough to do it on their own.”


1 MILLION pounds of Food on 3 acres. 10,000 fish 500 yards compost

tsunamitidesofmissingyou  asked:

And also, can you tell the story of Keiko? I don't know what happened when he was released into the wild, did it not go well? Was he born in captivity? Did he star in in of the free willy movies? When did all of this happen, and when did he die? Don't know much about him, it would be greatly appreciated if you could explain! Thank you loads. :)

*rubs hands together* Hehe, now that I’m at the computer, let’s get this done. (I may summarize this a bit or a lot)

Originally called “Kago”, he was born off the coast of Iceland, supposedly sometime between 1977 and 1978. Jon Gunnarson is paid $50,000 to capture him when he’s about 2 years old. Afterwards, Kago was brought to an Icelandic aquarium/zoo. There is no documentation of his capture, a practice known as “hiding” whales that are in excess of capture permits.

Sometime between 1980 and 1982, Marineland in Ontario, Canada buys Kago and he is kept for an undetermined about of time in a warehouse where he sits in a shallow pool that is devoid of natural sunlight, mental, and physical stimulation and is completely out of view of the public. There is also no documentation of his purchase or transport to Marineland.

In 1982, Kago is first brought out before the public. He is picked on by the older female orcas, and is the youngest of six performing orcas at the park, and is also the most timid. This is when the first skin lesions, caused by a papilloma virus, start to appear.

Then, sometime in 1985, Marineland sells Kago for $350,000 to a park in Mexico City known as Reino Aventura.

The name Kago in Spanish has scatological connotations, so he is given the name Keiko, which means “lucky one” in Japanese. By this time, he’s the main attraction at the park at 7 years old, and performs 5 times a day.

However, his tank at Reino Aventura is meant for dolphins. It’s only 20ft. deep, 90ft. long, and 43ft. wide. The artificial saltwater is a staggering 80 degrees and it’s saturated with chlorine. Keiko eventually grows so large that he can not fully breach, and can not spyhop without his flukes hitting the bottom of the tank.

In 1991, after realizing that he is too large for his tank and may die unless he is moved to a better environment, Reino Aventura attempts to sell Keiko to SeaWorld, but the deal falls apart. SeaWorld instead goes after Tilikum, a bull orca at Sealand of the Pacific who has already fathered calves, while Keiko has fathered none.

In 1992, filming for “Free Willy” begins on location in Mexico City. Before filming ever took place, a caretaker’s 18 month old son fell silently and unnoticed into Keiko’s tank. Being a rather gentle and docile whale, Keiko raised the boy to the surface and pushed him onto the walkway, saving the boy’s life. In an attempt to incorporate this scene into “Free Willy”, producers expected they would have to use an animatronic whale. However, Keiko was given a try and repeated his actions flawlessly on the first take.

In 1993, after “Free Willy” turns out to be a surprise hit in theaters, 300,000 people call the toll-free number included in the credits and express their wish to see Keiko go free.

By now, Keiko is in terrible condition, and attention has been drawn to his unacceptable living conditions. Keiko is severely underweight, has a weak immune system, has skin lesions all over his body, ulcers and digestive problems, and his muscles are weak due to the inadequate amount of swimming space. In addition, Keiko can only hold his breath for 2-3 minutes, as opposed to his wild counterparts who average 10-15 minutes at a time. The outlines of his skull and rib-cage can be seen, and it is clear to everyone working with Keiko that he will die soon if his conditions are not improved.

Between August 1993 and February 1995, numerous officials involved with Keiko meet, seeking the best place to move Keiko so he can recover, and possibly be released back into his native Icelandic waters. Schools all over the U.S. raise money to donate towards Keiko’s rehabilitation. One elementary school in Florida manages to raise $31,000.

In February 1995, Reino Aventura donates Keiko to the Free Willy Keiko Foundation. The Foundation announces that Keiko is to be moved to a brand new $7.3 million rehabilitation facility at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Finally, after years of waiting, on January 7, 1996, Keiko is placed inside of an enormous UPS crate, packed with ice water, and driven the 15 miles to the airport, where he endures a grueling 20hr. flight to Newport, Oregon.

Weighing a mere 7,720lbs. and measuring just 20ft. in length, Keiko is placed inside of his new 2 million gallon tank. For the first time in 14 years, Keiko is able to experience natural seawater, courtesy of a closed-loop ionization filtration system. His tank also comes complete with rubbing rocks and oscillating water jets.

By January 1997, he has already gained more than 1,000lbs. Almost all of his lesions have disappeared, his ulcers are gone, and his cardiovascular fitness and overall muscle tone have dramatically improved.

In an attempt to see if it’s possible to bring Keiko to the next step, rehab staff begin to introduce live fish to Keiko’s tank. At first, he catches and plays with them, but doesn’t eat them, sometimes even returning them to his trainers. Eventually, he finally catches and eats his first fish, and is lesion free for the first time since 1982.

In September 1998, Keiko is finally lifted out of his tank in Oregon and is flown back to Iceland, where a 250ft. long, 100ft. wide, and 30ft. deep sea pen awaits him.

As soon as he is immersed in the ocean water, he pumps his flukes to swim clear of the stretcher and immediately dives in. A full minute later, he surfaces and circles the pen, vocalizing and echolocating excitedly. He explores his new home energetically for around 10 minutes before turning to the edge of the pen to visit briefly with his human friends, but he seems more interested in his new home rather than the people. Within 2 hours of being in his sea pen, he starts communicating with a pilot whale that swims into his cove.

Over the next 2 years, trainers work to try and interact with Keiko less and less, except for when they ask him for behaviors that would further his possible chances of full reintroduction into the wild.

On May 6, 2000, trainers lead Keiko from his enclosure on his first “ocean walk”. Throughout the year, Keiko often encounters pods of wild orcas, but doesn’t interact with them for very long. He is, however, able to echo-locate, his diet consists of nearly 100% of live fish on some days, which means he could very well be capable of feeding himself at sea.

Throughout 2001 and 2002, Keiko is fitted with a satellite tracking device and begins spending more time away from the boat and more time attempting to interact with wild orcas. Then, on July 30, 2002, Keiko swam away from the tracking boat, beginning his 2 month long journey of over 1,000 miles across the North Atlantic, by the Faeroe Islands, and to the coast of Norway.

Suddenly, after spending most of the summer free, Keiko enters Skaalvik, a small Norwegian harbor and begins to interact with members of the public. He appears to he exhausted and remains stationary for 18 hours. However, after 60 days on his own, he is strong and has not lost any weight whatsoever, indicating that he was able to successfully forage on his own in the wild.

In September of 2002, the Miami Seaquarium applies for a permit to re-capture Keiko and bring him to their tank in Miami, which is smaller than the one he was saved from in Mexico City. The application is rejected on the grounds that Norway now has jurisdiction and stated flatly that Keiko is just fine, and they don’t believe orcas should be held in captivity anyway.

Finally, on December 12, 2003, Keiko suddenly beached himself and died after contracting Pneumonia, a common cause of death among captive orcas. The day before his death, he had been showing signs of lethargy, lack of appetite, and his breathing was irregular. However, these were advanced signs of his illness.

Now, from a scientific point of view, his release was a total failure, because Keiko never reintegrated into a pod. He sought out the company of humans after his long journey.

However, I, as well as many others, view his release as a complete success. He lived 7 more years all together, and was able to live 5 of those seven years back in his native waters and proved that rehabilitation is possible. He swam over 1,000 miles on his own, fed himself on his trip, and was thriving in Iceland/Norway. Something you would not have said about him when he was still in captivity. Had he not been taken from Mexico City and rehabilitated and then moved to Iceland, he would not have lived more than about 3 more months in that crappy, warm, chlorinated tank.

(anyone want to add anything? maybe some documentary links or book titles?)


When President Obama on Tuesday highlighted 19 executive actions he says he is taking to improve the mental health of U.S. troops and veterans, one of them centered on a particularly novel effort: The development of new computer chips designed to modulate the nervous system to help with everything from arthritis to post-traumatic stress.

The project is headed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a Pentagon agency that develops a variety of high-tech equipment for the U.S. military. It’s known as the Electrical Prescriptions program, or ElectRx (pronounced “electrics”). Program officials say the goal is to develop a technology that could help people heal more quickly through the use of biosensors and electromagnetic devices that control human organs.

“Instead of relying only on medication, we envision a closed-loop system that would work in concept like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker,” said Doug Weber, the program’s manager. “It would continually assess conditions and provide stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function, helping patients get healthy and stay healthy using their body’s own systems.”

Obama did not reference the new program directly in his speech Tuesday at the American Legion national convention in Charlotte, N.C. In a joint fact sheet released by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, however, the agencies said DARPA will start a new $78.9 million, five-year research program “to develop new, minimally invasive neurotechnologies that will increase the ability of the body and brain to induce healing.” It’s part of the Obama administration’s larger “BRAIN Initiative,” which involves the National Institutes of Health, DARPA, the National Science Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration, among other organizations.

Officials say the BRAIN Initiative — which stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — includes a related DARPA effort to build new brain chips that will be able to predict moods to help treat post-traumatic stress. It’s known as the SUBNETS program, short for Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies. Teams at both the University of California, San Francisco, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are involved.

The major hurdle for the ElectRX program may be shrinking the technology needed so that it can be used in the body. Implantable devices already are in use to fight inflammatory diseases and other health problems, but most are about the size of a deck of cards, requiring surgical implantation that can result in side effects, DARPA officials said. They want “ultraminiaturized devices” that would could be inserted through needle injection or other less invasive means.

Gun Control is a Feeling

On Tuesday morning, he wept. “Every time I think about those children,” the President said from behind the podium in the East room “it gets me mad.” And with strength and poise and such a grave, grave look, the man wept. He would fight this country’s endemic gun violence. And we could all see he meant it. As he paused to gracefully sweep a plunging tear from his face, we would not mistake the depth and intensity of his feeling.

If I told you Tuesday’s executive actions to address gun violence were mere restatements of the current law, how would you know? Or, better, why should you care? The boys in my shop in Texas can each stand and deliver the legal definition of “being in the business” of selling a firearm. As can those men holed up in the Oregon visitor’s center. We’ve known it for years, and it remains unchanged. But the President says the words are “clarified,” that felons can no longer buy guns online and that people will have to get licenses, and you count this a victory.

The truth of the moment is that for many of you, my countrymen, American gun law and culture is entirely a dark wood. You ask only that the President valiantly confront your idea of it. What it must be like. This demand, for aesthetic reaction instead of political conclusion, is escapist. The President’s political romanticism is your own, and it is meant to obscure a capitulation.

This week’s Federal gun actions are premised on what’s known in the metropole as the “gun show loophole.” The term references the blind spots in the legislated interstate commercial network of federally-licensed manufacturers pushing product to federally-licensed dealers. That people meet at arenas and fairgrounds to sell their guns to each other is one of the more visible demonstrations of the outside of this supposedly closed-loop system. In the progressive vision, guns are born in large plants with maker’s marks and serial numbers, with their many dispositions run through an FBI computer database and signed for in the bound books of our nation’s firearms distributors and retailers. The vision is complete technicism. It’s ultimate ambition—live, systemic cognizance of a dwindling stock of biometic-reading, mirco-stamping, cloud-enabled pellet shooters—is of course fantastic, and that’s what largely gives it purchase.

Tuesday’s announced actions, like almost all such actions since the nineties, spring from the persistent fear that the deepest elements of American gun culture will escape techno-economic confinement.  The fear, that the gun market cannot be completely apprehended by technical means, is sublimated into the desire of still more technical means, which themselves drive the original anxiety to greater intensity. All the while the target of this profound effort is preserved and invigorated.

It is no secret that American gun sales are setting all-time records. That the industry and its attendant culture are in fullest bloom. So I claim the left’s passivity is purposeful.

The political language of gun control has in less than thirty years regressed from handgun prohibition to violence prevention to the positive promotion of “gun safety.” If this last slogan sounds ambiguously pro-gun, it’s because it is. The American left has outsourced its role in gun politics to an “evil billionaire” Republican. The chief complaint against the AR-15 by the director New Yorker’s Against Gun Violence is that is “icky,” and the research director of Everytown for Gun Safety publicly brags about his study under Fukuyama.

Mr. Obama’s morning speech was the signature of a politics of mere personal expression. A strategy for evading, indeed replacing, political decision with aesthetic reaction. To help you avoid the deadly irony of liberal universalism (we’re telling you the way to fight gun culture is by making more people gun dealers) the President plays the romantic. In his final year we again spot perhaps the central theme of his presidency. Yes, virtually everything done was in the service of economic liberalism. But gosh he was a President of feeling.

US Researching Implants That Will Help Mind and Body Heal Itself:

America’s mad science division is at it again, this time imagining a future where your body won’t need (as much) medicine to stay healthy, simply by using the resources it already has. Put simply, a person’s peripheral nervous system runs the internal organs and summons the troops to fight off infections and repair injuries. DARPA’s just received $78.9 million of funding to look into harnessing this system to develop a miniscule implant that’d not only make people healthier and less prone to disease, but could also be used to treat mental health complaints like post traumatic stress disorder in the future.

DARPA’s plan is to build implants no thicker than a nerve fiber that can then be implanted into people’s bodies. Once there, the devices would monitor the status of your nervous system, organs and overall health, keeping the system regulated by triggering responses through electrical impulses. In a way, it’s a bit like building a pacemaker for your central nervous system, except one that’s capable of helping people live with complaints like arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

According to neural engineer Dr. Douglas Weber, the eventual goal is to turn the body into a “closed-loop system,” that continually assesses itself, ensuring that as soon as any sickness is detected in an organ, the body can quickly deal with it. The upside is that patients won’t need to take medicines (which can have adverse side-affects) because they’ll rely more upon their super-charged immune systems to deal with problems. Of course, even for DARPA, this is a big ask, since current neuromodulation implants are huge and require complex surgery to install, and we doubt that the technology will shrink to nerve-fiber sizes in just five years. That said, we’ll be first in the queue if this ever becomes available - after all, we’re fairly sure this is almost the plot of Jake 2.0.


GENESYS and FSEC - a forgotten building’s forgotten past.

Located outside Gate 3 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station lies a small cluster of seemingly obscure buildings set back from the main road. Now home to SpaceX’s Launch and Landing control, the Air Force Space and Missile History Center, and other aerospace company offices, the complex was once the only academic institution capable of serving the highly trained engineers working on the missile programs.

Thousands of highly educated engineers moved to the space coast throughout the 1950s. However, with the nearest university more than three hours away in Gainsville, academic facilities necessary to refine and further their studies were not readily available 

The University of Florida proposed a revolutionary way to maintain engineer’s skills while offering them advanced classes. Using a two way television system, students could participate in classes at the main university without making the drive to Gainsville. 

Known as the Graduate Engineering Education System, or GENESYS, a small campus was established just outside the main gate of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 1963. Three buildings housed classrooms and the infrastructure necessary for the closed-loop TV system. A larger, fourth building served as an auditorium.

GENESYS was the largest television educational system in the world at the time, and operated until its closure in 1974.

After a short few months of laying empty, the newly-created Florida Solar Energy Center leased the site for test operations. A research branch of the University of Central Florida, FSEC was established to research practical applications of solar energy. The photos above are from when the site was under FSEC ownership. Classrooms were converted to offices and laboratories, and multiple support buildings were constructed throughout the site,

FSEC moved out sometime in the mid 1990s, and the site laid dormant for many years. The complex was renovated in the mid 2000s when SpaceX and Space Florida leased the old classroom buildings for their operations. The Space and Missile History Center moved in the former auditorium building in 2010.