In/outputs - a taste plate of stuff that’s passed through my feeds this week
- Magic Mushrooms Could Treat Depression What happens at the merge point of sustainability, waste management, re/upcycling, community gardening, whole foods/farmer’s markets, locavore consumption, slow food and alternative food distribution? Back to the Roots is what! It’s a farming operation in California that uses recycled coffee grounds to grow gourmet mushrooms. But the waste upcycle story doesn’t end there, Back to the Roots’ own waste is given away to anyone who wants it. Turns out the mycelium, the mushroom root left over after harvest, is a composters wet dream! What started as two guys — Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez — growing mushrooms in an old paint tin in an UC Berkeley frat turned into a complete cylce sustainable profitable for-profit-not-evil!
↷ Sarah Stankorb on GOOD.is 24 January 2012.
- Magic Mushrooms Could Treat Depression Still on mushrooms, it would seem that magic mushrooms might be making a horizontal shift beyond just recreational drug use into the same kind of space as medicinal marijuana. You see it turns out that when you be tripping on psilocybin — the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — rather than the mind-altering experience referenced in anecdotes and popular culture opening up synaptic interaction between sensory-orientated parts of the brain, Discovery News, reporting on scholarly research recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, states that “… psilocybin appears to shut down activity in two key areas of the brain that regulate our sense of self and integrate our sense of awareness with our sense of the present” while decreasing activity in “… the default mode network, which is believed to be involved in maintaining a balanced sense of consciousness and ego through self-reflection…” In short, “Besides helping explain how magic mushrooms induce hallucinogenic adventures of the mind, the results suggest that, in controlled settings, psilocybin might be a useful tool for treating depression and other psychiatric problems.”
- A 375-Year-Old French Bank Forgives Debts of Paris’ Poorest Crédit Municipal de Paris, a sort of ‘bank for the poor’ and one of the oldest examples of ethical and responsible banking, has opted to celebrate it’s 375th birthday by wiping clear the debt of 3,500 clients (with debts of €150 or less (about A$186)). But this celebratory charitable gesture is no token one-off; the bank has granted low-interest loans to the poor, secured against goods and chattel, since it was founded by doctor, journalist and philanthropist Théophraste Renaudot to give the needy access to fair banking. The idea was simple, “… give the poor people of Paris loans they could reasonably hope to repay, at decent rates for the time (about 10 percent annually) against whatever collateral they could produce: pots and pans, linens, silverware, artisans’ tools…” The model was so successful that these types of banks were eventually granted a state monopoly on pawn-broking loans, which still stands; something Australia could well do with exploring given the drastic increase of payday lending. An amazing model for a financial institution and an awesome gesture, especially in light of Standard and Poor’s recent downgrade of France’s credit rating!
↷ Isabelle Roughol on GOOD.is, 23 January 2012.