Mathematics, random walks and coronavirus: if there was a solution


Researchers solve one of the most notorious open problems in Math- random walks. If one does not know what the problem of random walks is, one who is mathematically fluent may follow this material link put together by Mathematical Institute, Leiden University. For less mathematical savvy,. it can be understood literally, as the difficulty associated with predicting the of multiple independent groups of people or individual traversing a field, where there is no clarity on how the the walk is going to proceed, converge of diverge, in the field devoid of any other parameter. The idea and principles of random walk theory are used to model how animals move and behave or to describe and model how particles behave. At this moment however, it is hard not to mull over, if the random walks solution as posited by Omer Tamuz model predict the random walks of coronavirus carriers and the viral spread? After all, they could be helping US Spies mapping coronavirus as well!

Community building community: Design a house in Africa

Here is a chance for a community to build another. Archstorming is calling for proposals to design a house for the Jorejick Family. The site or the plot of land is owned by the Jorejick family and located in Getamock, in the Karatu District, north of Tanzania. The closest city Karatu is 2 hours of driving and has a population of 26,617. Lake Manyara is in proximity of the site. The region attracts plentiful tourism funneled by Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Getamock, where the house is to be designed, has a community of 500 people, all from the tribe of the Iraqw and speaking Iraqw as well as Swahili. More details on the competition are available here.

Is it all okay in household kitchens of North Koreans?

Image by tommy pixel from Pixabay 

North Korea food crisis is blamed on drought. A UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP)  assessment team visited had visited Unpa County, North Hwanghae Province, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in April 2019 and confirmed the deep hunger crisis that the people were facing. Similar situation was reported in 2015. Hunger crisis was attributed to crop-damage either due to drought or flooding. Amongst the variegated reporting, the spark, was in terms of sustainability of small farms over the large farms despite their ability to pay for expensive water supply pumps and irrigations infrastructure. A lesson that emerges out of these stories, is the essential need of funding innovations to create alternate natural resource supply chains or conservation mechanisms at local ecosystem level, besides funding sustainable farming projects, supporting infrastructure and technology. @WBG_GOV @FAO.

Why does food crisis not leave Sudan for good?

Image by David Peterson from Pixabay

About six months ago, in Aug of last year a delegation from South Africa visited South Sudan to donate food items. the donation included 130,000 units each of Sorghum, beans, cooking oil, and salt for 130,000 households. How did this donation alleviate the reported food insecurity for an estimated 8.7 million people presents a complex mathematical and ethical challenge to us. The figure was said to be million in Sep 2018 report by the UNICEF . While recent shortage, getting noticed on global forum in 2012, is attributed to severe drought and continuing violence in East Africa, a broad-net investigation traces the root to good deed-gone-bad kind of story. Reportedly during 1970s the Sudanese Government undertook vast agricultural projects to transform Sudan into a major food producer for the Middle East. These investments were backed by oil-rich Arab countries. However the monies and projects suffered from a combination of corruption, lack of water supply and irrigation infrastructure. For Sudan to really get over the food shortage, it is critical that the infrastructure needed to support agriculture is tended to as equally high priority as tending hunger in the moment. @FAO @WBG_Gov @SudanTribune_EN #Innovation #Food #Water #Farming

Onion shortage- not this year

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Onion lovers in the south-east Asia can rest assured that there will been onion shock this year. The Government of India had imposed ban on onion export in September 2019 when the prices of the bulb had crossed Rs 150 per kg in some retail markets. The government also had imposed stock limit and imported onions from Egypt, Afghanistan and Turkey to tame the prices. Europe was hit due to this ban and had to import onions from Pakistan and Turkey, which did not have high quality onions to send. Netherlands was quick to the rescue and used the opportunity to gain more grounds in home market. As per the Holland Onion Association the current world export market share of the Holland onion is over 15%. Onion exports is one of the few lists where the United States of America figures after China and India; check out the other 10 onion exporters at the Daily records.

#food #sustainable development #farming #innovation

Savings oceans

With the ocean in deep crisis, After a two-day preparatory meeting in New York ahead of June’s UN is organizing the Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal this June. The intention is to bring members of civil society, philanthropic organisations, governments and corporations together to commit to some bold actionable items. Read more here. Terraafont is adding its voice to the agenda with reviews of call for action.


Teaching at a refugee camp in Kenya

Image via:

As per the Global Education Monitoring’s report published on UNESCO World Education Blog, countries on the lower and middle income earning spectrum, hosted about 89% of refugees across the world, in 2017. About 52% of all refugees were under the age of 18. Making education accessible to all, even while trying to survive in refugee mode, is true to the spirit of sustainable education and education for all. Read more here.

#EducationOnTheMove #sustainable #education

via George teaches in a double-shift school in a refugee camp in Kenya to increase access to education — World Education Blog

Dam the Waters

Image by Lina Minawiyeh from Pixabay

Indonesia takes the commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals seriously. The Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono claims that Indonesia’s water supply is more than adequate at 2.7 trillion cubic meters per year with 222 billion cubic meters being pumped into homes, animal farms, fisheries and irrigation and 691 billion cubic meters being used by the rest (industrial/ commercial/ institutional). Thus the Government has laid out a case for damming water to store surplus water for “rainy days”.

The eight dams aimed to be completed in 2020 are located in Paselloreng in South Sulawesi, Ladongi in Southeast Sulawesi, Tapin in South Kalimantan, Way Sekampung in Lampung, Kuningan in West Java and three dams in East Java – Bendo in Ponorogo, Tukul in Pacitan and Gongseng in Bojonegoro.

#infrastructure #sustainable development #Jakarta #Indonesia #politics #governance #water

Now a Maize

On food crisis, Zimbabwe is having to import in excess of 10,000 tonnes of Maize from South Africaaccording to Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) is working with local road transporters to expedite border-crossing for importing maize into the country. The millers promised to make sure that the country is supplied with enough grain to sustain people throughout the drought, it said it will continue importing grains from Argentina, Ukraine, Mexico and other countries using free funds. They claim to have imported 50 000 tonnes of maize from South Africa.

While GMAZ is presenting a noble front to the world, Zvamaida Murwira and Rudo Muchedzi report that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) may have been allocating subsidized maize to millers, for further disbursement locally via the black market or by sale to countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Image by 9883074 from Pixabay

#sustainability #farming #food #innovation #sustaianble development #Africa

Oil spills, pantyhose and mushrooms

Image by David Mark from Pixabay 

Sounds idiosyncratic? Yet, there is a connection between the oil spills, pantyhose and mushrooms. You may add bacteria, pet hair and water-repellent ferrous nanoparticles to the list. Although the list compiled by Yuka Yoneda is ten years old, it gives an insight into how simple innovations offer solutions to complex problems. The composite of mushrooms and hair has been said to act as a sponge to sop up oil on water and the technique has been said to be utilized in the Cosco Busan oil spill in 2007. Similarly the combination of pet hair with pantyhose is said to act like a sponge. Hyper-absorbant peat moss is being advocated by Norwegians for its oil-philic properties, and MIT lab has proposed an oil-repulsive nano-particles based intervention for cleaning oil spills. For a research based view on remediation techniques for oil-spills Dave and Ghaly’s paper may still be relevant.

#water #oilspill #innovation #MIT #DalhousieUniversity

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