31 October 2008

Perfect 10 ~ Hubble Space Telescope Beauty Shot

NASA announces that the Hubble Space Telescope is back online and imaging our Universe. They offered up this interesting photo of Arp 147, a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies... It turns out there's a whole Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies like this assembled by astronomer Halton Arp!

29 October 2008

Robo-Mambo ~ Austrian Engineers Build Crab-bot!

Austrian engineering students go robo-mambo with their hexapod! Also check out this compilation of other entrants in the competition!

Small Political Quiz ~ Mapping Your Sensibilities...

In this time of political "decision making" for US voting citizens it's always good to remember the World's Smallest Political Quiz based on MIT alum David Nolan's two-dimensional political chart! Where are you on the 'scape (you can guess where I am;-)...

IncTank's Christian Bailey on HighTechFever.tv

Tonight I interviewed Christian Bailey from IncTank Ventures and MIT's ASP on HighTechFever.tv where we discussed new ventures, bridging between technology and business, and emerging innovation areas.

Visualizing Airflow ~ Lovely & Shocking Schlierens!

The NYTimes Science section has a cool article The Mysterious Cough, Caught on Film -- plus a nice slideshow -- about Professor Gary Settles and his colleagues at Penn State who use the Schlieren effect to photograph fluids of different densities, for instance pressured air from a sneeze or the shock waves surrounding bullets, like this...

Suspicion Engines ~ Sensing Malicious Intentions

The Economist has an article on Surveillance Technology: If Looks Could Kill surveying the latest in security systems for detecting suspect behaviors. Says the Economist:
"Many people would like to develop intelligent computerised surveillance systems. The perceived need for such systems is stimulating the development of devices that can both recognise people and objects and also detect suspicious behaviour."
Devices like lie detectors and these new systems I call Suspicion Engines. This is a blossoming innovation domain, and one of the topics in our MIT Neurotechnology Ventures class. And just yesterday, I met with Patrick Sobalvarro, the MIT alum co-founder of Intellivid, which intelligently analyzes CCTV videostreams in retail stores for security and theft prevention. And another MIT alum friend, Malay Kundu, is building up StopLift, also a vision system doing retail security, but specifically targeting the checkout line and expensive lossage problems such as "sweethearting". Several other emergent example solutions are mentioned in the Economist article, including behavior-recognition systems, walking gait analytics, linger-loiter analytics, facial "micro-expression" sensors, physiometrics such as skin temp and sweating and breathing rate, and more. Interestingly, they mention science fiction author Philip K. Dick’s “pre-crime” technology from his short story Minority Report. Another great SF story imagining similar future technology is James L. Halperin's Truth Machine about a world with really good lie detectors everywhere and the radical economic and socio-political possibilities surrounding such a transformative innovation. The Economist warns:
"To the historically minded it smacks of polygraphs, the so-called lie-detectors that rely on measuring physiological correlates of stress. Those have had a patchy and controversial history, fingering nervous innocents while acquitting practised liars. Supporters of hostile-intent systems argue that the computers will not be taking over completely, and human security agents will always remain the final arbiters."
Indeed, it's the human-in-the-loop which is really important -- and why I call these systems Suspicion Engines -- they serve to spotlight the most suspicious behavior at a given time, thus boosting the odds that we sense and intervene in the face of malicious intentions.

Auto Crazed ~ Density of Drivers Worldwide...

Megacities ~ Earth's Densest Conurbations

Ecological Footprint ~ Earth's Eco-Credit Crunch?

BBC spotlights the prospect of a planetary Eco-Credit Crunch...
"The Living Planet Report asserts that demands on natural resources overreach what the Earth can sustain by almost a third. It says that more than three quarters of the world's population lives in countries where consumption levels are outstripping environmental renewal. This makes them "ecological debtors", meaning that they are drawing - and often overdrawing - on the agricultural land, forests, seas and resources of other countries to sustain them."

28 October 2008

Aleva Neuro ~ Implantable Brain Electrodes

Tonight my MIT Neurotechnology Ventures colleagues Ed Boyden, Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, Barbara Barry and I hosted special guest speaker, Aleva Neurotherapeutics CEO & co-founder Paul Pyzowski, who spoke about lessons-learned and his advice for Crafting the Neurotech Business Plan, especially:
  • Honing in on the target market and products;
  • With a core technology platform, what's the first application;
  • How to identify and connect with customers;
  • What's in a great plan;
  • Building the actual business.
Aleva's core technology was initially developed at EPFL in Switzerland. They first explored various possibilities including cochlear and retinal implants as well as implantable neurostimulation systems, including Spinal Cord stim for pain management, Vagus Nerve Stimulation for epilepsy treatment, and finally DBS for Parkinson's / Movement Disorders. This last area is where Aleva honed in on. Parkinson's affects 2 Million people in the US, over 5 Million worldwide. Drug therapies lose efficacy after 5-7 years. Implantable solutions are emerging and there are several competitive players here. The procedure is difficult, to say the least, with the patient awake during the surgery which can last hours. Lots of side-effects, high need for re-operating, and more. But with clear-cut unmet clinical needs, a high-growth opportunity, other potential indications, and an interesting competitive landscape where the technology allowed Aleva to really differentiate. Paul touched on all the sections of their plan, including Target Market, Product Line, Technology, Customer Payment, Business Model, Regulatory & Clinical Issues, and finally, Financing Narrative, telling the story in a coherent and compelling fashion. Paul showed some neuromodulation funding data, including NeuroVista raising $33.8M Series B, Nevro raising $22M Series A (with a $5.5M Seed round), and CVRx raising $85M in a Series E! Lots of acquisitions including St Jude buying Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Metronics buying Transneuronix, and Boston Scientific buying Advanced Bionics. Some of these are failures as investments, and there are unfortunately visible disasters, including Northstar Neuroscience which went public raising some $100M but stock plummeted to nearly 1/10th. This is a hard space to do business in!
Today Aleva Neurotheropeutics is an early-stage medical device startup developing implantable microelectrodes used in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy for neurological diseases. Aleva's target customers are the neurosurgeons who perform Deep Brain Stimulation therapy using implantable neurostimulators and who want to improve the efficiency and success rate of the therapy while decreasing surgery time and complexity. Paul spotlighted some cool aspects of Aleva history, including successful participation in business plan competitions, raising innovation grants, and the power of the US-Swiss venture network -- the link between Paul and his CTO co-founder was brokered by MIT alumnus Pascal Marmier, Consul-Director of swissnex here in Cambridge, MA. The business remains a geo-hybrid, co-located with R&D in Lausanne, Switzerland and business operations in Boston-metro in the USA.

27 October 2008

Migrant Solidarity ~ Support Aspirants Everywhere

There's tremendous xenophobia and anti-migrant sentiment rampant today in US and EU and elsewhere. This is extraordinarily unfortunate. And it's stunningly inconsistent -- and inhumane -- because all of us are either migrants ourselves or the heirs of immigrants, whether 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 generations ago. ALL of us. As in: If they couldn't come, you wouldn't be here. And therefore the only logical, ethical and consistent stance to take on immigration is: Wide Open Doors. Alas today, because of the physical and legal barriers set up against migrants, they take great risks, with too often tragic results. Ordinary citizens can, however, act to improve the situation, even on a seemingly small or local scale. I'm especially moved by the experience of Rafael Quiroz and Violeta Cuesta who discovered the swollen corpses of would-be migrants washed up on a beach near their home in southern Spain. As documented in the BBC article From Shipwreck to Solidarity, they said: "Enough is enough, we have to do something to help!" In their particular case, they try to help reduce the economic incentive for migration and they repatriated the remains of the lost migrants. But more generally speaking, there are endless possibilities for thinking creatively about migration and prosperity: skillbuilding, economic development, remittances, family planning, group savings, microfinance, and more. The BBC has surveyed this landscape admirably in their Destination Europe article and spotlights key geo-demographic facts. As they point out:
"Thousands of Africans try to make the journey to Europe each year as illegal migrants - risking people smugglers, deserts, sea crossings and the possibility of being sent home, all for the dream of a better life."
"Having migrated, many migrants send money home to family they have left behind. Billions of dollars each year is sent back to Africa from the diaspora around the world - in some cases making up a sizeable chunk of the home country's GDP."

Students Protest the Lack of MIT Leadership

MIT students held a "Tool-In" last weekend to protest administrative prevarication, incompetence, short-sightedness and what they see as the too many other unfortunate qualities currently manifested by today's senior leadership of the Institute. The student-run Tech newspaper spotlighted the latest protest, which was held in the Lobby 7 main entrance of MIT and timed to coincide with Parents Weekend. The Tool-In was organized by the other Campaign for Students -- MIT has an official fundraising Campaign of that name also, but this other Campaign is run by and for students frustrated with -- among other things -- the MIT administration's persistent miscommunication, oppressive hacking policies, unsavory dining plans, hapless housing strategy, and foot-in-mouth efforts to "build community" by imposing it instead of supporting and fostering student activities and grassroots social networks. Curiously enough, a similar Tool-In was organized by a previous generation of MIT students less than a decade ago, for mostly the same reasons, it turns out. Read the latest Tech issue article on Diagnosing Problems with the MIT campaign for more insight on student perspectives on the inconsistency between MIT Adminstration promises and actual delivery. Full Disclosure: While a grad student at MIT, I served on both the student-run presidential selection advisory group and the advisory committee to the President. And I was deeply involved in writing the various MIT In Transition: Student Perspectives on MIT’s Legacy Strengths, Emerging Challenges, and Future Directions documents. Therefore I'm necessarily sympathetic with the current students and non-plussed by the practices and performance of President Hockfield's administration because years ago we alerted her to the core issues but she seems to have just not listened. To quote a small sampling of the relevant passages of the MIT in Transition executive summary:
  • Community Culture and Standards -- The scope and importance of students' choice in pursuing their own interests in each of these aspects, and the self-developed and self-owned nature of the culture that results, are the strengths that underlie MIT's school spirit and give us a unique creative intensity. MIT must be careful not to let organizational bureaucracy or “professionalization” diminish the powerful experiential learning and risk-taking that are crucial to forging and sharpening our innovative “MIT edge”.
  • Connecting Strategy and Operations -- When everyday administrator action is at odds with overarching Institute strategy, confusion reigns in the student ranks. Local optimization in Institute decision-making is a root cause of a great deal of student frustration. Students desire transparency, accountability, and competence. We ought to strive for a well thought through and integrative total student experience, one that weaves together all the myriad elements of our time at MIT and beyond.
  • Institute Economics -- The Institute’s cost-structure, tuition duties, deployment of endowment income, and capacity to deal with sponsor volatility all directly affect student life. MIT students are especially sensitive to perceived misallocations of money and too often believe that some part of MIT is wasting it. Perhaps this is in ignorance of the “full picture”. Perhaps, however, it is a correct student perception. True transparency and accountability would allow us all to discern the difference.

26 October 2008

Wassup!? ~ Eight Years Later, Still True!

Wassup, today... And Eight Years Ago... True!

Diva Going Rogue ~ Campaign Precriminations...

CNN reports from the campaign trail...
Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue." A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign. "She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. "Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party." "Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."
And those are quotes from the support team. Yikes.

25 October 2008

Childhood vs Livelihood? ~ Kids Seeking School...

Jeffrey Fleishman and Raheem Salman of the Los Angeles Times write in their heartrending article, Childhood Cut Short in Baghdad, about the nearly one-third of children in certain areas of the capital city who have dropped out of school, many to support their families. They write:
Many children in Sadr City shoulder responsibilities beyond their age, some not in their teens yet but earning a living to support their families. School, and a better life, are just a wistful dream. The new school year began recently, but not for Karrar Raad, 12, and his 10-year-old brother, Allawi. They work for car mechanics in adjacent garages that are smaller than a rich lady's closet. Their father is ill and has no job, and the boys have to support eight children and two adults. They earn $2.70 a day, plus tips. "I'm making a living for my family," said Karrar, a willowy kid with nervous eyes and oil-stained trousers. "I'd like to go to school. I've never been in one. Not a single day. My friends tell me school is very beautiful."
Yes, it is, something which I hope Karrar and Allawi -- and their peers -- will soon see directly through their own eyes.

23 October 2008

Bikes Rule! ~ The Planet-Friendly People-Mover...

By some estimates there are over one billion bicycles on Planet Earth -- the most popular people-mover technology ever, except for possibly shoes! The Economist recently had a story, On Your Bike, about the world's biggest bike maker, unsurprisingly known as Giant Manufacturing. They ship nearly a half-million units per month. The most interesting element of the Economist article is the infographic showing that for almost the last 40 years, bikes have sold two or three-times more units per year as cars in the worldwide marketplace. I've written before about emergent bicycling ventures -- especially Work Bikes which perform useful work tasks or help their owners earn an income. Plus We Cycling bike-share systems here in Cambridge and beyond. And RevoPower is a great example of a bicycle accessories business -- helping bikes become even more useful as the ultimate planet-friendly people-mover -- and a powerful force for entrepreneurship in developing countries. Stay tuned for more along these lines!

RevoPower ~ Motorized Bicycle Front Wheel!

Steve Katsaros, CTO and inventor of RevoPower, had a great thought back in 2003: "How do you power a bicycle with a clean gasoline engine?" He continued to think, "Would it is possible to design a bicycle wheel with a gasoline engine built right into the wheel?" The result: RevoPower, the motorized replacement bike wheel which incorporates an entire engine and gear train into the width of a normal bicycle wheel! Steve and colleagues aspire to...
Bring elegant, affordable transportation to the world. RevoPower's Wheel has a place as both a lifestyle product as well as a transport product. As the world's supply of petroleum dwindles, fuel efficiency for personal transportation will become the central issue for both developed and third world nations. RevoPower intends to service that market and make the technology available in a variety of forms.
Fantastic! Check out the blow-apart view...

20 October 2008

Poverty Week @ MIT ~ GPI's Focus On Solutions

The MIT Global Poverty Initiative is running Poverty Week at MIT featuring dozens of events and spotlighting the biggest problems facing humanity. The goal is...
To raise awareness about the challenges of global poverty as well as what actions can be taken against it. We plan to get all of MIT -- undergraduates, grad students, staff, & faculty -- involved and thinking about global poverty and what can be done about it. This week isn't just about learning about poverty, it's about empowering individuals to use their skills and expertise to make a difference. Poverty Week will be full of various talks, documentaries, interactive art displays, and more. Come participate in a debate about domestic poverty or browse through poverty relief projects that MIT students have done.
~ The GPI Motto ~
We can be the generation that eradicates
poverty, will you be a part of it?

1001 Inventions ~ How'd That Get Here?

Fascinating to see on Jordanian Queen Rania's site a video sequence entitled How'd That Get Here? spotlighting just a few of the 1001 Inventions on travelling exhibit. Mostly discoveries and inventions perfected in the golden age of emergent Islamic civilization -- what Eurocentrics too long called the "Dark Ages".

Slum Solutions ~ Seeking More Prosperous Paths

As the New India Rises, So Do Slums Of Laborers writes Emily Wax in the Washington Post. There are tens of millions of migrant workers laboring in some of the most dangerous construction conditions on the planet. Wax spotlights 10-year-old Gudiya's family experience and the work of organizations like Mobile Creches which serve to help the children of these workers...
Gudiya, whose name means doll in Hindi, boiled a pot of lentils for her family on what passes here for a stove -- a pile of kindling surrounded by rocks. That's because this is Gudiya's home: a construction site. Gudiya has grown used to being shuttled from one such site to another. Two years ago, her parents gave up farming for jobs spawned by New Delhi's construction bonanza. They have helped build shopping malls, houses and highways, aspiring to one day be part of a new, more prosperous India. But with every glass-and-steel skyscraper and high-tech call center that goes up, a slum also rises. And efforts to demolish those slums have only pushed thousands of migrant worker families like Gudiya's to squat in the very structures they are building...

For most migrant workers in India, like Gudiya's parents, the decision to work in construction is born of a lack of options. For a few, it offers a chance for social mobility. In Gudiya's case, she is able to attend a Mobile Creches primary school, a small concrete structure on the dusty Gurgaon construction site...

"I enjoy being a learner so much. Math is my favorite," said Gudiya, whose tiny ribs show through her dress. She looks several years younger than her age... "It's not as safe as the village. But at least here she has some schooling," said Vimal, her mother. "I will stay working under the sun's hot fires to see my child get even a little learning done, so she won't be dumb like me and have to carry loads for the rich people."
See more in Emily Wax's video story...

Tube Map ~ Harry Beck's Delight-by-Design!

Click Here --> Standard Tube Map <-- TFL Map of 2010...

The 1920-30s was a time of tremendous innovation in metropolitan London, especially in the realm of public transport and urban design. This is when the clean lines of the Underground logo first emerged, when clear san serif fonts were used throughout, newly built stations designed along modernist lines, and -- in a real triumph of urban innovation -- Harry Beck designed the Tube Map diagramming the routes of the Underground in a simple but quite readable and usable fashion! Design impressario Edward Tufte recommends Ken Garland's history book, Mr Beck's Underground Map, and if you're curious about a quick graphic history of Tube maps, check out the London Tube Map Archive! Here's a more contemporary version of Beck's map... Beck's delightful map has been emulated around the world -- including here in Boston -- and is a great illustration of simplicity in design. Consider how much more difficult it would be to understand the actual geographic mess of the real transit systems in cities worldwide! FYI, the BBC4 did a nice video review of this Tube history which you used to be able to find on Smashing Telly, but it seems now down.

Sky Green ~ Fantastic Dubai Sport Übertecture!

Imagine playing tennis here at Dubai's 321m high Burj Al Arab hotel together with Agassi and Federer (photo taken in 2005)!

Afghan Girl ~ A Life Revealed...

Thanks to the not-always-so Cynical-C for spotting the famously beautiful and hauntingly memorable Afghani woman, Sharbat Gula, whose teenage portrait by Steve McCurry graced the cover of National Geographic in 1985 and whose story was finally fully discovered just a few years ago...

Slo-Mo Lighter ~ Nice Spark, Gas, Flame Combo!


19 October 2008

Powell Endorses Obama ~ Crosses Party Lines...

Former Secretary of State, Retired General Colin Powell endorses Senator Barack Obama for the US Presidency in this sequence on Meet The Press... Interesting to hear General Powell's comments about the inappropriateness and narrowness of Republican campaigning, the increasing Republican party shift further to the right, and the lack-judgment demonstrated by Senator McCain's pick of Governor Palin. General Powell contrasts these practices with Senator Obama's openness and inclusiveness. Says Powell:
"Which is the President we need now?" "I've come to the conclusion... he is a transformational figure... I'll be voting for Senator Obama."
As an aside, Powell said he is deeply troubled by Republican personal attacks on Mr Obama, especially false intimations that he was Muslim.
"Mr Obama is a lifelong Christian, not a Muslim", Powell said. But then he noted: “The really right answer is, what if he is?” “Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? No, that’s not America”.
In this context, Powell mentions a photoessay in a magazine featuring a Muslim US soldier's gravestone, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. The photos are by Platon, published in the New Yorker, and here's the image of Corporal Khan's mother at his grave...

18 October 2008

Samuri Granny ~ Small Stature, Big Impact...

She'll kick your ass. Granny martial arts expert Keiko Wakabayshi effortlessly neutralises opponents and is an essential part of military training...
She tells her students to look at her and believe that nothing is impossible. After flooring an opponent she tells them: "Don't think it's unbelievable. The physique doesn't matter." Sparring is regarded as the most effective method of teaching martial arts and senior Italian military officers hope the experience of being humiliated by Miss Wakabayshi will toughen up their soldiers. Miss Wakabayshi trained for many years to achieve her level of expertise and believes she can carry on defeating brawny soldiers for years to come. The term martial arts is synonymous with the Far East, but actually derives from Mars, the Roman god of war and literally means the "arts of war".

Global Rwanda ~ Drops French, Adopts English

President Paul Kagame and fellow political leaders of Rwanda, the small but populous central African country, have decided to drop French and shift to English as their global language of choice. This means young Rwandan children will be taught in English. Rwanda thus joins the anglophone East African Community of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, they apply to join the historically British Commonwealth, and in many other ways they shed their sordid belgian-french francophone past. Says Yisa Claver, director of policy in the Rwandan Education Ministry in a Globe & Mail article...
"English is now the business language. Rwanda is trying to be a knowledge-based economy. English is the language of research. We're trying to be a regional hub of ICT [information and communications technology] and English is the language of ICT. Rwanda is now in the East African Community, where the official language is English. Rwanda is trying to have a service industry as a priority - we don't have diamonds and minerals and all those things, we want tourism and all those guys speak English . . . China! The World Bank! The UN! Their first language is English. For God's sake, this is a noble decision."

Many tech-and-media-savvy young Rwandans had already decided that their future lies in English. "I grew up speaking French," said Jean-Pierre Niyitanga, 25, who manages a media training project. His parents still speak to him in Kinyarwanda. But these days, he goes by J.P. and when he chats at Bourbon Coffee, it's in English.

16 October 2008

Africa Translogistics ~ Vital Networks & Nodes!

Very interesting to read in the Economist this week about Network effects: Connectivity and commitment pay dividends in African transport. Current road and rail networks are ill-maintained, incomplete, and beset with roadblocks, bribe-barriers, and worse. Ports and freight-handling are similarly undercapitalized and constrained. But, as the Economist spotlights, bold businesses are dialing things up in Africa, including especially Bolloré, the French conglomerate...
As a port operator, stevedore, warehouser and freight forwarder, Bolloré handles 80% of west Africa’s exports (excluding oil) and 25% of east Africa’s—in short, nearly all of Africa’s cotton and cocoa, as well as much of its coffee, rubber, and timber. With offices in 42 African countries and 20,000 of his 31,000 employees based in Africa, Mr Bolloré is bullish on the continent’s prospects. Bolloré Africa Logistics accounts for $2 billion of the group’s $10 billion annual revenues. Its head, Dominique Lafont, predicts 12-17% annual growth for the division for the next five years. He believes better logistics are vital to reduce poverty in Africa. A new warehouse for perishable goods, or a new garage for repairing overland lorries, he reckons, create more lasting benefits to Africans than most aid projects do. Bolloré’s aim is to exploit the massive unrealised potential for trade between African countries by being the first to link the economies of the Francophone and English-speaking parts of Africa. It wants to do this by establishing a 26,000km (16,000 mile) pan-African network of “vital corridors”, making use of whatever infrastructure is available, with long sections of transit by barge down the Niger, Congo, and Nile rivers deep into the interior.
Most excellent!

Our Sun!

Special thanks to Paul from GeekPress for spotting this amazing solar sequence in Boston.com! Here's just one sample of the images...

Religious Stupidity ~ On the Dangers of Driving?!?

Yes, religious wingnuts in Israel and Saudi Arabia both have at least one thing in common: they're stupid about different dimensions of driving automobiles. In Israel, wingnuts resented the fact that an Israeli Arab freely chose to drive his own vehicle on a day and time of his choosing. In Saudi Arabia, wingnuts resent any woman who freely choses to drive any vehicle at any time. Both are silly. And both should be broadly disparaged as misguided misanthropes whose wingnut outlooks are no better than those of an ape. And that's actually insulting the ape!

Being Informed? ~ Republicrat vs. Demoblican...

Check out the latest debate. Both are being classic politicos, distorting essential issues and historic facts. Both candidates are offering up foolish formulae to solve complex issues. And worse. I'm pretty disgusted with how little "democracy" is delivering...

14 October 2008

Condometrics ~ For Data-Driven (and Safe) Sex !-)

Geekologie spotted this delighter! But will Americans be able to deal with metric measurements?-) Being curious about the resulting facts, I discovered that Condom Country -- one of the very first e-commerce sites ever on the web, founded in 1994 by MIT students who entered the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition when I was running it! -- posted this histogram... I freely admit I'm an outlier on this distribution;-)

Overfishing Bluefin ~ Tragedy of the Commons

I've become especially interested in the Tragedy of the Commons recently, since so much strife results from this phenomenon -- and so much irreversible ecological destruction. Witness the extinction of the carrier pigeon and moa, saga of Easter Island, probable demise of the Mayans. Professor Jared Diamond's Collapse covers much of this terrain. Today I want to spotlight the Bluefin Tuna, an amazing fish... Historically widely spread in northern and southern oceans...Researchers are tracking these fish using a growing set of measurement and tracking tools. One especially cool example of this is TOPP -- Tagging of Pacific Predators. But increasingly these fish are being consumed by humans -- some would argue over-consumed beyond the replenishment rate or carrying capacity of the fisheries. This is big-business with fish taking first-class flights around the world to reach target markets, such as the remarkable Tsukiji in Tokyo... We need to figure out better alternatives to free-range fishing since this leads to the Tragedy of the Commons where no one has the incentive to maintain the system for the long-term and everyone exploits for their short-term benefit. Perhaps -- and I emphasize perhaps, if done thoughtfully and with a better understanding of the ecosystemic feedbacks involved -- through organized Open-Ocean Ranching we might be able to maintain and even grow global stocks, much like land-based ranching has lead to a boom in cattle and other food animal stocks. This -- in principle -- might allow us all to consume tasty sustainable sushi!