Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Dr Pete's Blog (22)

New York City Urban Resilience 2020

New York City is huge, and the number of issues one could deal with on such a map is similarly tremendous. I chose to focus on a few issues which might be mappable: Generating local electricity in NYC, and eliminating food deserts/expanding access to fresh produce in many underserved areas.

In addition, throughout…


Added by Dr Pete on April 19, 2010 at 10:30pm — 4 Comments

Girl's Science Education

Inspired by the Evoke Challenge, and inspired by The Girl Effect video/website, I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and contribute. I'm now a contributor to the building and stocking of a Science Lab in Matale, Uganda in collaboration with the Harambee Centre. The school is 57% girls, and more than half are HIV/AIDS orphans.

I feel that science education is critically…


Added by Dr Pete on April 17, 2010 at 10:37pm — No Comments

NYC Coalition Against Hunger

It took me a while to think of what I would/could do to help the food security of people in New York City. Rather than giving to a food pantry or similar organization, I wanted to find an organization to support which was actively trying to fix the system here... get money and attention where it needed to go in order to help people become food secure, not just put some food in their bellies once.

I finally happened across the NYC…


Added by Dr Pete on April 17, 2010 at 9:50pm — No Comments

Dealing with a Zombie Outbreak!

Last August, a Canadian researcher published an article on the mathematics of a Zombie Outbreak. Of course, the Zombie Outbreak was of the modern variety, rather than the Vodou variety, and what he found was that, based on his model, civilization would likely be doomed. In the same vein, let's consider how Ushahidi might be used to deal with such a development in New York.

Some things Ushahidi would be useful…

Added by Dr Pete on April 16, 2010 at 9:25pm — 3 Comments

E-money for the unbanked?

In a previous blog, I wrote that I thought someone (like Paypal) should create a service that does something like this:

You bring money to a convenience store, like 7-11, and deposit it into your account.
You then use that money online for purchases, or alternatively, use your cell phone to make purchases from live retailers electronically.


Added by Dr Pete on April 14, 2010 at 9:17pm — 13 Comments

Really Cutting Down on Energy Use

I thought about implementing a strategy like getting a solar powered cell phone charger (I still might) or a pedal powered something, I decided to start by looking at what actually uses energy in the home. I figure it's more important to cut down on big things than to remove a small thing.

The number one energy use in US homes is heating/cooling costs. The easiest thing to do here is to set the thermostat down (in the winter) when you aren't there, and to cover the windows…


Added by Dr Pete on April 8, 2010 at 5:21pm — No Comments

What Kind of Pervert Marries an 8 Year Old?

As seen in this article, there are deep divisions in Yemen (among other places) about the child brides. Apparently, 48% of girls in Yemen are married before they reach 18, in violation of the Convention of Rights of the Child. In some regions, just over half of 15 year olds are already married. Those who oppose a minimum age say that they recognize puberty as the time when a girl becomes an adult. Still, many marriages take place… Continue

Added by Dr Pete on April 8, 2010 at 12:31am — 8 Comments

Eliminating Food Deserts

As part of her project fighting childhood obesity, Michelle Obama is highlighting the concept of food deserts

One solution to this is to bring more Farmers Markets to these underserved areas…


Added by Dr Pete on April 7, 2010 at 11:12pm — 1 Comment

Water Wars -- World Water Day, 2020

By 2020, the state of the world's water supply is projected to be pretty stark, and this is likely to spur conflicts between several countries. I propose that World Water Day should address this... perhaps in a game!

I propose a live-action game in which each participant is given water "points" which represent all the water they may use for the day. These are determined randomly, along with assignment of an associated country. They log their activities to "use" the water…

Added by Dr Pete on April 7, 2010 at 6:40pm — 4 Comments

July 4, 2020

I don't have a long tradition of celebrating July 4 in a particular way, though it generally involves going somewhere to watch fireworks. New York City has a terrific fireworks display over the East River, which I've enjoyed from several vantage points.

I imagine that I'll spend the day with my wife and daughter, enjoying the sunlight on Roosevelt Island, just across the East River from Manhattan. The Island is full of parks, and I imagine that we would cook burgers and hot…


Added by Dr Pete on April 6, 2010 at 10:51pm — No Comments

Use Google/Fund Charity

It's not a huge amount of money, but site like ripple.org will give money (about $0.01) to charity for every search you do through their version of popular search engines. When you search, they get money from advertisers, which they turn around and donate to charity.

Ripple donates the proceeds of your internet searches to: Oxfam, Oaktree (youth-run development), WaterAid (providing water and sanitation), and the Grameen Foundation…


Added by Dr Pete on April 3, 2010 at 7:27pm — No Comments

WEEK 11: The Future of EVOKE?

I'm relatively new here, but I've noticed a few comments from old timers about the game, and how it may not provide them with ... something ... for their time/energy when it ends, about whether it is fair, and so on.

First, consider what this game really is, at its heart. It is an experiment in trying to encourage people to work hard on issues of genuine importance using the structure of a game. The official structure of the game is closed form, with an eventual set of people…


Added by Dr Pete on April 2, 2010 at 4:30pm — 3 Comments

New Years Dinner, 2020

Every year since high school, several friends and I have gotten together for New Years-- celebrating, reconnecting, having a meal, and fun. It's changed a lot over the years, as we've gotten older, started families, etc.

I imagine that when we get together in 10 years, many things will be the same. We'll watch the ball drop, drink champagne, and so on, but perhaps what we eat will be a bit different.

Usually our host puts on a spread, often a barbeque in the…


Added by Dr Pete on April 2, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Bringing African Innovation to the First World

I find it fascinating (and very sensible) that communities in Africa are using cell phone minutes as a medium of exchange. They can be bought abroad and sent home simply, and the funds can be exchanged with text message.

Add to this two things:

One, there are several exchanges out there which set value for things like WoW gold, Farmville bucks, etc.

Two, Paypal's software is open source.

Combine these things in a pot, stir, and this is one…


Added by Dr Pete on April 1, 2010 at 9:40pm — No Comments

Step One: Watch where you poop.

Water filtration systems are great, but they require a lot of money, and they'll take a lot of time. There are steps short of distributing water filters to everyone or building water treatment plants everywhere which we can start with-- the money and the time for these other things will come later.

I decided that the favorite water security program I saw was the World Bank Scaling Up Sanitation Project.…

Added by Dr Pete on March 31, 2010 at 10:14pm — No Comments

How well do games motivate you?

Alright, so... many of us (myself included) came here after watching Jane McGonigal's TED Talk, or something similar. About the same time, I saw Jesse Schell's DICE 2010 "Design outside the Box" talk.


Added by Dr Pete on March 31, 2010 at 6:46pm — 5 Comments

Lighting Africa

The problem: large sections of the world are without access to the grid. In many countries, people rely on kerosene lamps to light their homes. The kerosene is expensive, costing a huge fraction of some family budgets, and somewhat dangerous-- it can cause burns and fires, and constantly inhaling the smoke can cause respiratory problems.

There are a number of…

Added by Dr Pete on March 30, 2010 at 11:26pm — No Comments

Bodega Down Bronx

I found a terrific little doc**entary about how bodegas work, and why they stock what they do, as a follow-up on my post about Obesity and Poverty. Check it out!

Added by Dr Pete on March 30, 2010 at 9:54pm — No Comments

Obesity and Poverty

The biggest food security issue I identified in New York City is a cycle of poverty which leads to malnutrition and obesity.

While searching for information about this, I stumbled upon this somewhat venomous (if only frustrated) blog, which I hold up in the interest of the rule "listen to the right people", because it provides a first person account of the problem. Simply stated, it's hard to…

Added by Dr Pete on March 30, 2010 at 4:33am — 9 Comments

The future's so bright

Ten years from now, I see myself as a proud father and inspiring teacher. I hope to be surrounded by students eager to tackle big problems and stretch their minds and ambitions beyond what they thought was possible.

I currently coach the Science Olympiad team at my school, which runs in the fall/early winter, and run a Physics club. I discovered Urgent Evoke after it had started this year, but the program, and the research it's inspired me to do has got me thinking about…

Added by Dr Pete on March 30, 2010 at 1:40am — No Comments

Latest Activity

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Sophie C. commented on Asger Jon Vistisen's blog post Stinging Nettle
"I love that you've brought this to attention. An extensive database of uncommon but resistant and hardy plants/foods could be developed and organized by climate. Ease of growth and processing should also be taken in to account. I will try to…"
Aug 19, 2020
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Fourth of July on the Lake

This past weekend was the annual celebration at the lake house in Connecticut. It is amazing that the lake is still so clear and beautiful after all these years. The watershed association has done a wonderful job protecting these waters from the damaging effects of development.The wood grill was finally ready to cook on, so we didn't miss the propane tank fueled grill anymore. The food actually tasted fresher than in the past and was easy to keep fueled.Dad was very proud of the solar hybrid…See More
Jul 6, 2020
Asger Jon Vistisen posted a blog post

Stinging Nettle

In this blog post I will focus on a plant that is abundant in our nature, and which is immensely nutritious. It's of course the Stinging Nettle. Let's start with the chemical constituents of this plant:37 % Non-Nitrogen-Extracts19 - 29 % Ash9 - 21 % Fiber4 % Fat22 % ProteinOnce the leaves are drid, their protein content can reach an astounding 40 %, which is much higher than beef, which even under the best of circ**stances can never exceed 31 % protein. In addition the Stinging Nettle consists…See More
Apr 13, 2020
Jonathon McCallum posted a blog post

The meal

It is 7'oclock, I was late home from work due to an assignment that i wanted to get ahead on. By the time I get home I am feeling extremley tired and I cannot be bothered to make a proper meal. I walk to the fridge and open it to see what there is for me to eat. All of the out of date foodstuffs have been automaticaly thrown away by the fridge, they will be recycled tomorrow as animal feed or something. I see i have organic local eggs and some local cheese. Foods are vacc** sealded for easy…See More
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FutureToday is 2020/1/1. It is just like yesterday. The war is still continuing. It has started since 2010. In 2010, that year was a horrible year. Almost every energy ran out. Every country’s governments were crushed down at the same time. There were riots everywhere. All of the big company’s bosses were killed xdeadx in the riots. Troops fought each other everywhere. Food was bought up xawayx at once. There were no more food supplies in any shops. The economy was all crushed down. All the…See More
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The exchange works directly for state and public workers and servants. It gives them credit in exchange for the amount of public work they contribute to the community. The more constructive they are based off a base rate the more credit they recieve.
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