“Fifty years, and billions of dollars in post-colonial international aid have doe little to lift Africa from chronic poverty. African societies are crippled societies. You can’t keep these people living on handouts, because that doesn’t change their lives.”
– Eritrea’s President explaining to the World Bank why he was rejecting their $200M aid package.
Plos One has published a study that implies that fungal spores can create rain.
From the Abstract:
Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne.
The community of Doe Bay, Orcas Island, off the Washington coast, have set up their own internet service, with antennas in trees. Using a directional microwave link to the mainland (10 miles), and a lot of shorter links and relays, the network now supplies around 50 residents with 30-40 Mb synchronous connections.
“This has been a total grassroots effort,” explained Chris Sutton, DBIUA co- founder and board member. “We’re neighbors helping neighbors. The Doe Bay community repeatedly asked our local Internet service providers for better service; we received no solid answers or solutions. So, in the tradition of Doe Bay’s pioneer spirit, we rolled up our sleeves and did it ourselves.”