Europe 's Day of Rage Against ACTA

There are several rallies taking place in Swedish cities today as a part of European wide movement for digital freedom.

Access, an organisation that is standing behind the protest is hoping to mobilise people to join an international day of action set up for 11th of February.

From Insider:

With calls to fight the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills in the US — which Google, Wikipedia and other technology giants moved to campaign against – proving a success, similar calls are being made to rally against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trademark Agreement (ACTA) in Europe, by joining a day of protest.

Posted in: Environment by bubblejam at 01:11 PM | Comments (0) | Email This Entry

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Benidorm new rules to antagonize beach lovers
By Square Point


It is more than likely that Benidorm's beach paradise will be boycotted by many sand enthusiasts this coming holiday season if controversial proposal presented as a 73-article code of conduct will go ahead next year.

Regarded by critics of the plan as another exercise in cash squeezing from unsuspected individuals new law will slap heavy fines for activities usually associated with being on sea front.

For example building sand castles and playing ball games is to be banned except in authorised areas and will carry fines up to €150.
Romantic midnight stroll may be interrupted by city worker dispensing €750 penalties as miles of sky scraper lined beaches in town will be declared off limits from midnight to 7am.
Drinking alcohol - favourite sport of many Britons visiting the capital of package tourism and most famous for its sex and sangria antics will set you back hefty €750. Similar reward awaits on those hoping for steamy encounter in the sand.

However there is a lot of logic to some of the new regulations as they are designed to crack down on polluting the beaches by the visiting masses. Each year over 3 million tourists descend over Spain's tackiest town producing a sizeable amount of rubbish.
For that reasons heavy machines are used to clean the sand every morning and city fathers are concerned with the safety of young people sleeping if off on the beach after eventful night out.
There are other environmental issues cited by city council: urinating in the sea, fishing in local waters and littering the area with advertising leaflets. Most definitely traditional "hogueras" or bonfires popular at summer parties are off the menu unless you are ready for €1100 penalty.

New code of acceptable behaviour was announced last month and as it was given initial approval by city authorities will be implemented from next year.
Locals including club owners relying heavily on tourist trade are not amused.
Steve and Helen Hezzle, British owners of beachfront bar, said: "People come on holiday to relax.
"Kids love to build sandcastles, play ball and swim. Families will just not bother and this will have a knock-on effect on everyone in Benidorm. This will not help the tourist trade"


Posted in: Environment by bubblejam at 04:26 AM | Comments (0) | Email This Entry

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Club Vert:
Dutch Pioneer Green Clubbing
by Simon Magus

Environmentalists in the Netherlands have developed ways to turn nightclubbing into an environmentally-friendly pursuit.

Stef van Dongen and Alijd van Doorn have partnered to offer consultancy services to clubs that can help them save money as well as helping the planet.

Their research found that an average club, open just three nights a week, consumes 150 times the energy a family of four would in a year.

"There's a need in clubbing for a new layer of experience and sustainability could be that," Van Doorn said.

"Clubbing is very consumerist. It's perhaps the ultimate consumerist activity. So I think the time is right for it to make changes."

A good example of environmental clubbing is Worm, an arts complex with a club, cinema, record shop and studios.

"We opened in November 2005 with a plug-and-play construction to slot into disused buildings using 90% recycled materials and without even knocking in a single nail,” said founder Mike van Gaasbeek.

The walls are made from estate agents’ boards, the toilets from oil drums, the seat from old cars, and the door handles from bicycle handlebars.

The only non-recycled items are the fire safety doors and emergency exit signs.

But van Dongen and van Doorn want to take things to another level.

New techniques they are working on include modelling the interiors of clubs on Roman ampitheatres, creating a natural form of amplification that reduces electricity used by soundsystems.

They are also working on lighting systems based on low-power LEDs used for car tail-lights.

The clubbers themselves are also seen as a potential resource.

A method has been developed to extract water vapour in the air coming from clubbers sweating and use the water to flush toilets.

Cleverest of all is a dancefloor that can turn the dancers' movements into electricity.

"The key is to utilise the interaction of clubbers with the environment," according to van Dongen.

"I love dancing and know that in the clubbing community you're forced to try to connect sustainability to self-interest and playfulness, somehow. I think the best way to do that is to make them part of the solution."

Posted in: Environment by bubblejam at 09:00 PM | Comments (0) | Email This Entry

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The World Saved By...Rock Dust?!


Rock dust yields extra-big vegetables (and might save us from global warming) - according to the Independent newspaper.

This by-product of quarrying could revive barren soil, based on a theory that the soil is naturally mineralised by glaciers during ice ages. As we're many thousands of years away from the next ice age, rock dust is intended to emulate this process.

Posted in: Environment by bubblejam at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | Email This Entry

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