Jam of Cane sugar and Fresh Figs

We have a fig tree in our back yard – just one. Every year it produces a lot of fruit through February and March. We are mindful that this is the bounty of nature. The fruit the tree produces is therefore meant for us and for the birds. The birds are Rainbow Lorikeets mainly. We often let our friends-visitors pluck the fruit and take some home. Figs are not everyone’s favourite fruit so there is often a good level of sharing between birds, home owner and the visitors.

This year we did not have a hot summer and the mildness of the temperatures may have slowed the fruiting of the tree. The tree was late and the first fruits were given over to the noisy birds. It could also be that I was feeling lazy, preoccupied or just waiting for the right moment. There of course was the fact that the grapes needed attention and I was addressing that by making my first Grape Jelly lot. You can see the Grape Jelly Recipe here.

There were a few people who helped with the plucking and so I ended up with about 8 kilograms of figs. Everyone will say make jam in small lots – it tastes better. I decided to push on make this jam in the large pot. Last year I had made jam with Jaggery and Indian Dark Rum. The people I gave it to had said complimentary things about that so I was going to go down that same route. Fig Jam made with cane sugar is quite the popular kind of Jam in France. Actually Jam of fresh figs (you can make Jam with frozen fruit too) and Cane sugar is the right name for this Jam. I also encountered Maggie Beer’s Burnt Fig Jam and was going to try that.

The Ingredients in this were:

  • Figs 8 kilograms
  • Cane Sugar (Gur) 3 kilograms
  • Juice and rind of 4 Limes
  • 1/2 Cup of Dark Rum ( I uses Indian Rum)

I cut the figs small and put it in a large wide bottomed pan. The pan went on to the fire. I added the sugar and let the whole mixture bubble away. The bottles were washed in the dishwasher, boiled in water and put into the oven to dry. The lids stayed in the boiling water. When the Jam was ready I bottled the Jam.

Then I was not happy with the result – so a week later I emptied all the jam back into the pot and reheated the Jam. The result was probably half way to being Burnt-Jam. I bottled all that last night. In the midst of my jam making I got a call from Alberto in Milan. Which was quite lovely – indeed. I was a bit unhappy even after all this Jam making. My jam was a bit dark and I had seen images on the internet of this reddish fig jam. So this morning I made 1 kilogram of Fig Jam with white sugar – the images are of todays Jam making session – hence the white sugar.

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Grape Jelly Recipe

This is a post about harvesting grapes from my backyard and then making Jelly from the grapes.

We have a single vine in our backyard and it throws up a profusion of grapes every year. One year, on black saturday, the heat dried all the grapes on the vine – we wondered if they had become sultanas. We pluck grapes, hand them out to visitors and there is a still quite a lot left over. Like the sole fig tree which generates two harvests a year the grapes too needed a processing activity. So I approached the vine yesterday, a sunny saturday (which later turned violently stormy), with a basket and a pair of clippers. When I had finished I had 10 kilograms of grapes. Which was now a problem. I would have to do something with them – the option of giving them to others is not available because these grapes have seeds (first barrier to eating them for people who have grown used to seedless grapes), plus they have thick skins (which are good for protecting them till we want to do something with them) another negative.

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I went online to find what else could be done with grapes. There was the grapes in the casserole recipe that looked interesting. Eventually I settle for the Grape-Jelly option. The recipe is simple:

1 Grape + 1/2 Sugar + some Lemon + some source of pectin.

So here is the GRAPE JELLY making process that I went through:

  1. I had some jars I had picked up on a trip to Bright over summer. Put jars to boil in water, put the lids into the water. I gave the jars about 20 minutes in the water, then transferred jars and lids to baking trays. I put the baking trays into a pre heated oven (180 deg C) possibly for 10 minutes, then left them in there with the oven off.
  2. The grapes went into a big pan onto the gas (no water – though some recipes say add water). The grapes possibly took a while (45 minutes) because I was processing about 7 kgs. At the end of this period I mashed the grapes with a potato masher. Then poured the lot into a muslin draped over colander. The experts say they leave this for 24 hrs for all the juice to be extracted. I was in a hurry – so I got as much out as I could and discarded the leftover in the muslin into the compost.
  3. The juice then went into a pot, I added the sugar and boiled the mixture. I then added the pectin I had picked up (Jamsetta – 50 gms for each 1.5 kgs of grapes – so I added 200 gms of Jamsetta). The mixture came up to boil. I skimmed off the scum.
  4. I pulled out the two saucers I had cooled in the freezer. Onto them I poured a tiny bit of the mixture from the pot. This was to check that I had the consistency right.
  5. The the bottled came out of the oven, the jelly mixture was spooned into the jars and I capped the jars while still hot. That was 12 jars in all.

Now the process had a glitch the first time I did it: I had used less pectin in the first iteration. So the jelly did not set – it was a cordial at best. I had to go to the shop to get more pectin, then empty out all twelve jars into the pot and run the dishwasher with the bottles. The bottled went into the oven again and the test was run again too. The jelly firmed up nicely on the chilled plates. Now I have 12 jars in the studio – cooling and hopefully of the right consistency.

This is another post in the Preserves section of the slow food journal.

Dilli is lovely, though a wee bit dusty

The dusty Delhi air is now a problem. When we lived there we blamed the loo, and the cold that trapped the dust. Wonder how much to Delhi’s dust is natural and how much is man made?

Delhi’s dust/pollution rises in winter – Diwali to Holi – as per the graph. Living there we knew this. So its a dusty city next to Rajasthan. What about Delhi versus Jaipur/Agra/Ahmedabad/Nagpur?

Of course it needs fixing – by watering Rajasthan? – but would be good to get more nuanced reporting too.

Or am I being romantic?

And this image: Gurgaon?

Indeed, there has not been a single 30-day period in Beijing over the past two years during which the average PM2.5 level was as bad as it was in December and January in Delhi.

Worse yet, the numbers tell only half the story because Delhi’s PM2.5 particles are far more dangerous than those from many other locales because of the widespread burning of garbage, coal and diesel fuel that results in high quantities of toxins such as sulfur, dioxins and other carcinogenic compounds, said Dr. Sarath Guttikunda, director of Urban Emissions, an independent research group based in Delhi.

“Delhi’s air is just incredibly toxic,” said Dr. Guttikunda, who recently moved to Goa to protect his two young children from Delhi’s air. “People in Delhi are increasingly aware that the air is bad, but they have no idea just how catastrophically bad it really is.”

via Delhi Wakes Up to an Air Pollution Problem It Cannot Ignore – NYTimes.com.


In 2001 I developed a curriculum tool kit for design academics to teach sustainability principles in the classroom (published as a paper). This kit is in use today as the prototype of a learning contract for use by teachers in the Industrial Design Program at RMIT. I see this as the location for re-implementing the outcomes of my research practice in the area of Ecodesign, a practice that in its early years had already started to proliferate beyond the bounds of the university.

5 th Quadrant, a Delhi based design consultancy, developed a packaging system for a major steel re-rolling mill that saved on the wood they were using. They charged the company a decent fee to execute the project. The Indian European Ecodesign Programme had trained the team from 5th quadrant in one of the capacity building workshops – and now they were offering eco-redesign services to industry. They were one of 60 designers directly trained by the project, and two of the directors in the company went to Netherlands on an exchange to work on projects there. They constituted just one of the stakeholder groups targeted by the project – the other stakeholder groups were staff in large Industry, SMEs, design academics and people working in the NGO sector. The project thus directly trained around 200 people. All this began from my presence on the internet discussion forum – IDFORUM – in 1995-96 engaging with design academicians in Europe.

In 1997 a group of three people walked into my office in IIT Delhi, two of these people were from TU Delft and they had heard about conversations on the net that I had been part of. They were there to investigate possibilities for a collaboration; the first of these was support for a student from IITD to do course in TU Delft called Ecodesign-I ( The aim of this program being to support universities, NGO’s, consultants and companies in developing their environmental product development activities). This was quickly followed by a grant application for funding (Euro 400,000) under the EU India Cross-cultural Programme. The application was successful and the Indian European Ecodesign Program (IEEP) was set up. The project was to run for three years from 1999 and aimed to create an Ecodesign Network in the Delhi region of northern India and by extension to develop capability in the environmentally orientated practice of industrial design among design professionals, academicians and industrial enterprises in India. The partners in the project were the Indian Institute of Technology at Delhi (India), the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), and INETI (Portugal). I was the Principal Investigator in the project from IIT and had a team of two people to assist me in the running of the project.

Over a three year period the direct impact of the project as claimed in the final report was: 200 people trained in ecodesign practices, 5 demo projects with industry (Whirlpool, Philips, Neemrana, Welcome Group. Karam Marg), 8 exchange students (from India and Europe), joint publications, curriculum developed for a course titled Design for Sustainable Development, 5 workshops, one International conference. All design schools now have staff trained in Ecodesign, Furthermore the Confederation of Indian Industry supports the project. The International Conference on Ecodesign in 2002 December had every single significant figure in the Ecodesign movement present. Why they chose to be at this event is significant – the project was partly seen to offer a gateway into collaborations with Indian industry and NGOs but more importantly the IEEP was the most significant ecodesign initiative at that point in time. Prof. Chris Ryan, formerly at RMIT, was there and we began a conversation that eventually led to my relocation to RMIT. An unforeseen outcome was the Ecodesign network in Portugal, eco-portugal, that I set up when I spent two months on the project at INETI in Lisbon.

At a UNEP forum in Paris in 2000 I opened up the issue of traditional Product Service Systems and now a PhD student in Milano has based her work on the Wallahs project. It also resulted in a collaborative relationship with Carlo Vezzoli, Milan Polytechnic, where students in Milan worked on a project being developed at IIT in the area of services related to ‘clothing care’. In 2003 I was part of the team led by Carlo Vezzoli to put together the UNEP publication on PSS.

Key Words: IEEP Product Design Back Casting

Papers/ PDF

Ecodesign Blog TBC


My foray into waste began in 1998 as a classroom exercise for my students where we were looking at types of problems and ways to approach them . The first exercise to design a better garbage bin became an exercise to portray the whole system. Two months later I agreed to do a pilot project, ‘Campus Recycling Programme’ (CRP) to test the Zero Waste system and also agreed to find the funds to run the project from industry sponsorship ( IITD Seeks Corporate Support For Recycling Project , Indian Express, New Delhi, 18/ 04/1999). This I did (collecting, for over two years, close to 1.5 million rupees, donations of vehicles and infrastructure) and the project was up and running soon. In this phase the pilot project serviced 200 houses. Bins were installed outside the homes, a campaign was conducted to elicit the cooperation of the residents, and all the other infrastructure elements required for the project were designed and fabricated. By the sixth month the segregation rates were very good, in the 8th month it was nearly 100 %. At this point the institute asked for it to be upscaled to the whole campus and came in with the salaries for the staff (Approximately Rs.100,000 per month). I continued looking far and wide for sponsors for the vehicles (2 small trucks donated by Scooters India) and for infrastructure (Suzuki and DSCL were the big supporters) like the bins and the building of the collection centre and offices.

A year and a half later I was coordinating the collection of 2 tonnes of waste everyday, and when this project, the Campus Recycling Programme, finally ended there were two worker owned NGOs (In year three the project team, now an NGO, Naya Savera (New Dawn), formed by the team members, was awarded a commercial contract) together servicing, in addition to the University campus, around 8 communities/ localities in the city. There had been a lot of media coverage, many invitations to speak to local community organizations, conference audiences and a role in preparing the position paper for Johannesburg 04. After the project I coordinated the preparation of a status paper for the Department of Science and Technology (the equivalent of ARC as the premier S&T funding agency) on municipal solid waste in the country. What I hold precious and which is really quite significant for me is this and growing; the lives of the project team members were transformed – 30 families had a predictable source of income; the city of Delhi and possibly India too had a community model for recycling waste; and about ten thousand households in the city had a feeling they were making a contribution to society by supporting their waste service provider.

The project was awarded the ” Indo-German Greentech Environmental Excellence Award” in January 2001 for its work in demonstrating a sustainable solution to the problem of managing waste in an Indian city (Award to the Campus Recycling Programme: http://www.indiaeducation.info/iit/delhi/awards.htm). The project was the topic of a magazine article in a series that looked at people making a difference to society (Outlook India, 17 December 2001: ” Some time in the beginning of this year, Soumitri and Vasudevan decided to spin the boys off into an NGO to disseminate their expertise for projects outiside IIT as well “). I have presented this project at conferences and workshops in Delft, Lisbon, Israel, and Paris. At this time I was involved with Sajha Manch, a forum of associations of unauthorized colonies in New Delhi and helped write the waste section in the Alternative Master Plan for Delhi. Student who have worked with me (also other students have studied the projects – typically from MGT and Civil) have worked upon many aspects of the project like the vehicles and other infrastructure elements. Last year a group of students (RMIT – Industrial Design) organised a waste trip like the ones I used to do in India – going from bins to landfills to recycling centres like Vizy.

Today there are many NGOs servicing different parts of New Delhi two of these are run by former staff of the project, and there are many others doing this in much the same fashion. The Waste campus/ collection centre became a tour destination for many of the UN agencies in New Delhi & continues as an exhibition for the project. In June 2000 I was invited to a meeting by UNEP (Paris) on “Product Service Systems”; this was one of the direct outcomes for me, and it was followed by invitations to two more UNEP events. The meeting was to be a crucial formulation of a change of regime in the sustainability discourse – from products to services. I presented the CRP at this meeting and in the debates ensuing made a point that community orientated traditional service systems (the wallahs) existed in developing countries. At the end of this meeting I agreed to do a project to look into wallahs and over the next few years had groups of students documenting different wallahs (such as the Dabba-wallahs of Mumbai who have been the subject of study in best practices by Harvard University). This resulted in a joint paper with a colleague for a UNEP conference in Japan in December 2003.

Key Words: CRP Recycling Incubator Waste Water


Blog (1) Resource Archive for Project Waste TBC

You Can Help Save The Planet

Earth – You Can Help Save The Planet | Green Eco Voice

The environmental movement! Mankind continues to struggle with ideas and ways to save the planet. Words like sustainability, eco-friendly, environmentalist, ecosystems, and green are becoming a part of everyday vocabulary. The resounding message that Earths resources are being depleted has become a focus in the lives of many worldwide; and environmental issues continue to spark heated political debate.

Realistically, two-thirds of natural services to humankind are in decline; depleted fisheries, extinct species, toxic pollution, soil erosion, dying rivers, lopped-off mountain tops, melting glaciers, and Earth’s atmosphere is heating up like a flambeau.

Facing these realities more and more people are becoming aware of the need to show compassion. They know we can enjoy rich lives with modest consumption without losing quality of life. In order to accomplish this we need to band together and work towards preserving our environment and our communities. Beginning on a personal level we can adopt social strategies that “globalize” our society. Humanity requires large-scale change and by each one of us making daily choices we will see the age of ecological enlightenment arrive.

Here are a few key ways we can help become part of the solution:

Stop Hydrocarbon: Walk, ride a bike or take public transport. Encourage and create low-impact public transportation.

Grow & Eat Local: Dine on what’s sustainable. Preserve local agricultural land and start a backyard or community garden.

Slow Consumption: Shop second hand. Recycle everything. Make global responsibility your fashion statement.

Build Community: We cannot solve the global ecological challenge individually, but we can in our neighborhoods and communities. Grow compassion.

Be Courageous: Challenge conventional thinking. When one person stands up then others are inspired to stand up also.

Research: Become proactive by educating yourself on ecological responsibility. Become curious about how society works and how nature works.

Use your skills: “Become the Change you Want to See in the World” Lead by example. Use your skills, knowledge, and passions.

Protect Nature: Ecology of our planet demands attention now. Many animals are on the verge of extinction. Become supportive and discover how to learn from nature. [*Earth Trailer]

Bad aid makes things worse in Sahel

Bad aid makes things worse in Sahel – PSD Blog – The World Bank Group

Sahel_map_2Why has development been unable to break the cycle of poverty in one of the poorest and environmentally damaged regions in Africa? Flawed aid, says a new report:

The short-term nature of many contracts in international development makes it difficult for staff members to develop profound and detailed understanding of the situation, and the management systems in development agencies do not demand such understanding.

Many aid initiatives are based on the shallow analyses […] and are almost always driven by externally imposed ideas of development. Notwithstanding the lip service paid to ” participation”, the majority of aid organizations develop their programmes on the basis of their own priorities and their own visions. In most cases there is an external analysis of what local people lack, and plans are designed to address this lack.

Sustainable Designs for a Living World

Design for a Living World photo
10 Awe-Inspiring, Sustainable Designs for a Living World: Showing Now at Cooper Hewitt (Slideshow) : TreeHugger

Not able to hoof it to New York City’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum for the Nature Conservancy’s Design for a Living World”? Fret not, because we’ve brought the exhibit to you through the magic of the Internet.

In our slideshow, you’ll find prominent designers from the worlds of fashion, industrial, and furniture design (Yves Béhar, Maya Lin, Isaac Mizrahi, Hella Jongerius, and Kate Spade, just to name a few) who have explored natural, sustainable materials from specific parts of the globe where the Nature Conservancy works, from the grasslands of Idaho to the forests of China’s Yunnan Province. The result: Beautiful yet practical objects with the potential to revolutionize entire industries and reshape lives.

2009 project

Theme: Social Innovation and Service Design

My practice is in the area of sustainability – which I articulate as the development of projects that look at material and systemic sustainability in Industrial Design Projects. A lot of these projects are speculative and propositional so located in the future. I work with a set of defined methods and strategies to think through the projects and develop the solutions. In recent years I have seen the amplification of the social dimension in my projects – and I have also seen the outcomes of the projects as social innovations. Often I have seen the projects become new, viable and self sustaining business ventures – which are social entrepreneurship ventures. I campaign for a dematerialised world and therefore privilege service design – which in recent days has seen me move towards interaction design which is needed in the development of and delivery of services.

And …
I see two kinds of students in the studio. One with clear projects ( developed in Research Methods) and others who can; one, quickly come up with a project idea in the area of sustainability, or two, work on a project within my Urban Laboratory research grant project. This latter is titled NGINGO and is a cluster of projects making up a full scheme for a ecologically closed-system university campus – this is a live project.

Therefore the topic spread will look like this:
1.    Individual project
2.    Ngingo Project (12 design projects)
Key aspects
1.    Student allocation: my preferred option is student centered and therefore student selects.
2.    Calendar – Week 3 (end research), week 6 (at risk check) and week 8 for closure (presentation of digital finals), week 8 to 15 is for execution/ making.
3.    Deliverables – digital-model, folio-report, 3D model-prototype
4.    Day – Thursday Morning
5.    Project – Individual project or Themed studio (Ngingo)
6.    Learning Contract – the student specifies their schedule (3-6-8-15)
7.    Online record (developing a byline) – wordpress ( this is web2.0 and develops students’ online publishing capability), firefox with addons (scribefire, delicious, vodpod)
ProBono Design (campaign 1)
Additionally – All students would volunteer for a design submission for a bushfire-safe bunker – full scheme to be submitted in week 2. This is something they do alongside the project – and is something I am doing with Architects for Peace.

This is the subject of a UL grant application and is a cluster of concerns in the area of modelling sustainable solutions. Sitting behind the application is a live project for a university campus in India – thus a potential trip to India to present the work/ exhibit it(sem 2 NID exchange student will work on the exhibition design ).

1.    Ecosphere (6 projects) – AUD in context, description of the campus environment in India
a.    No sewage pipe – extreme water use challenge
i.    Clothing care
ii.    Washing, cooking and cleaning
b.    Zero waste – no garbage out of campus
c.    Energy – self sufficiency
d.    Food – Urban agriculture
e.    Subterranean bunkers – cool room
f.    Transport – No personal vehicles and sharing
2.    Social Innovation (3 options) – entrepreneurship incubator
a.    Food – Local food, student food
b.    Health
c.    Sharing
3.    Car and car sharing (1 option)
4.    Bushfire Bunker (1 option)
5.    Diabetes (1 option)

Studios and projects in sustainabilities

I want to write a text about the ultimate purpose of sustainability studios offered to industrial Design students. I want to ask the agencies or sustainability organisations who engage with design students – why do you do so? And I will now proceed to answer the question. These agencies offer studios to broaden the field and not to develop practical solutions to implement in the world. Some studios do come up with artefacts – a more sustainable object – but that’s when studios are set up this way to come up with a short-term solution. More frequently studios in sustainability have a PSS (product service system) mandate – this refers to their desire to come up with new product service combinations to transform the way we live, share, work and consume. The clue to this can be got from the methodologies the studios employ and the propositions that accompany studio publicity. For methodologies they may privilege scenario thinking and life cycle thinking. For propositions they may state ‘no private ownership of cars’. Such studios therefore constitute contexts of exploration which have a much longer time frame in mind – the “long now” project looks at a ten thousand years  framework. Exposure to these ways of thinking can be magical for students – and giving them access to the frontiers of sustainability thinking around the world then becomes a goal of the studio. This is a fundamental nature of a studio that is porous and one that is divergent as against one that privileges the location of all knowledge and expertise in the tutor.

When agencies – such as Kathalys – engage in studios they too are keen to broaden our sense of the possibilities inherent in design propositions.

I too have indulged in a proposition in the recent months – to visualize a world where private ownership of cars will be prohibited – banned. You can see links to the projects here.


David Report blog » Designlitics

Designlitics. Meaning to apply design thinking in its genesis to questions of organization, identity, culture and content, in order to help defining possible strategies, from the conceptual to the objective, of addressing the full potential of our contemporaneity.

In short – to politicize (product) designers and accept design as a content producer, and consequently as a culture producer as well. By doing so, the focus will be drawn from the product in favor of its premises and impact it will generate when produced.

This way designers conquer to themselves the right to intervene on the very basis of the pyramid – together with others on the level of decision making, and actively contribute to a sustainable production and consequently be of help towards a sustainable consumption.
Designers will then be able to expand their field of action beyond form givers, to become active participants on the definition, analysis and implementation of a new business opportunity – either it being a new product, service or urban strategy.

an avatar consumes a bit less energy than a real person

Sustainability considerations relating to the use of Second Life for education « Learn Online

…So an avatar consumes 1,752 kWh per year. By comparison, the average human, on a worldwide basis, consumes 2,436 kWh per year. So there you have it: an avatar consumes a bit less energy than a real person, though they’re in the same ballpark.
Now, if we limit the comparison to developed countries, where per-capita energy consumption is 7,702 kWh a year, the avatars appear considerably less energy hungry than the humans. But if we look at developing countries, where per-capita consumption is 1,015 kWh, we find that avatars burn through considerably more electricity than people do.
More narrowly still, the average citizen of Brazil consumes 1,884 kWh, which, given the fact that my avatar estimate was rough and conservative, means that your average Second Life avatar consumes about as much electricity as your average Brazilian.
In a comment on [Carr’s] post, Sun’s Dave Douglas takes the calculations another step, translating electricity consumption into CO2 emissions. (Carbon dioxide, he notes, “is the most prevalent greenhouse gas from the production of electricity.”) He writes: “looking at CO2 production, 1,752 kWH/year per avatar is about 1.17 tons of CO2. That’s the equivalent of driving an SUV around 2,300 miles (or a Prius around 4,000). (Carr et al 2006)

Melting Man Challenges Climate Change

environmental activism, climate change activism, cruz roja argentina, red cross argentina, environmental art, global warming activism, global warming red cross, buenos aires activism environment
Inhabitat » ECO ART ACTIVISM: Melting Man Challenges Climate Change

It appears that global warming has finally created its own version of the Wounded Veteran. Sitting in a puddle of himself in Buenos Aires’ Plaza Francia, a young man from Red Cross Argentina issued pleas to passers-by: not for spare change, but for action against climate change.

The energy miser who is leaving a tiny carbon footprint

Joan Pick
Joan Pick, the energy miser who is leaving a tiny carbon footprint – Times Online

There are tribes in the Amazon rainforests who never use motorised transport, and in wooded Welsh valleys a few bold souls subsist without gas or mains electricity, but Joan Pick is doing it in Croydon.

After 36 years of self-imposed environmental abstinence, Miss Pick, 67, is now being recognised as an eco-heroine with one of the smallest carbon footprints in the country.

She never heats her flat and eats all her food raw. She has avoided travelling on any form of motorised transport since 1973. Instead, like a Yanomami hunter, she travels on foot, jogging 12 miles a day across the suburbs of southeast London.

Global warming could make extreme rains stronger

NDTV.com: 42 die in Andhra, Mumbai hit due to rains

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra the rains have come late but it’s a deluge now. The coastal Konkan stretch continues to be lashed by heavy rains. There are reports of flooding from Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Khed and Rajapur. Three rivers Savitri, Arjuna and Vashisht are overflowing.

Pune was also lashed by showers and the low-lying areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad have been evacuated. The Met department has predicted more rains in the next 24 hours. Heavy rainfall is also likely to hit parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha where the monsoon has been slack till now.

Recycling becomes profitable

Recyclers are cashing in on the fortune in your bin – Times Online

Householders are missing a chance to share in the results of huge profits generated by the soaring value of recyclable domestic rubbish, The Times has learnt.

The price of recyclable plastic, newspaper and cardboard has doubled in 18 months, giving councils a source of “green gold” that could be spent on improving local services. Many are locked into 20 to 30-year contracts with recycling companies and are unable to cash in on the higher cost of plastic and copper.

As the cost of commodities rises it increasingly makes sense for manufacturers to retrieve materials from rubbish instead of buying them new. Town hall leaders have toldThe Times that the sector is missing out on millions of pounds that would come from trading commodities themselves or negotiating better contracts. They said that such profits could go to improving local services and even cutting bills.

Extreme Rains to Be Supercharged by Warming

Extreme Rains to Be Supercharged by Warming, Study Says

Extreme Rains to Be Supercharged by Warming, Study Says
Mason Inman
for National Geographic News
August 7, 2008

Global warming could make extreme rains stronger and more frequent than previously forecast, a new study suggests.

Such a scenario could make floods fiercer, damage more crops, and worsen the spread of diseases such as malaria, scientists say.

rainstorm in Colorado — photo

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* GeoPedia: Extreme Weather
* Global Warming Causing African Floods, Experts Say (October 2007)
* Humans Changing Rainfall Patterns, Study Says (July 2007)

Rainfall patterns are already shifting as Earth warms under a blanket of humanmade greenhouse gases, experts say.

Study co-author Richard P. Allan, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading in Berkshire, United Kingdom, said previous studies have shown that “wet regions are becoming wetter, and dry regions drier.”

The study team analyzed satellite images of rainfall over tropical oceans over nearly two decades, from 1988 to 2004.

The researchers found that during El Niño years, which tend to be warmer, rain fell in heavier showers. An El Niño is a climate event where the flow of abnormally warm surface Pacific waters temporarily changes global weather patterns.

A big Campaign

Campaigns tend to be big and have a tinge of truth about them. Till someone decides to take a look. Cliamte change has come in for a critical inspection in a Channel 4 documentary: The Great Global Warming Swindle.

It will begin to look like sustainability is the in-thng even for this course. That is not so – its just that I have sustainability examples easily accessible. But good to remember the voice of Green Peace in the above film: "The environmental movement has evolved into the strongest force there is for preventing development in the developing countries." – Patrick Moore Co-founder of Greenpeace

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The Corporation Game: Learning and Teaching Evaluation

Industrial Design, Semester 2, 2005

The Corporation Game (CG) was a studio conducted in Semester 2 for first year Industrial Design students. The studio was different to usual studios in the program in that its learning objectives were not solely focused on developing technical skills and determining a design solution to a problem or design brief. The course was modelled like a professional training schedule with a structured set of goals and used specific teaching techniques to encourage the development of higher level thinking and conceptual skills of the students studying the course.

At the end of the semester, twenty-two students claimed the CG had changed their lives. This report presents the findings of a study by the DSC Academic Services Group which investigated why students made this claim about their learning experiences in the course.

What we did

What we ascertained

What did the students say?

What did the teacher say?

What works, what could be improved?