Links for February 18th to February 22nd

These are my links for February 18th to February 22nd:

  • Lippi Selk Bag – I had this idea ages ago, so glad someone has done it! 🙂 "The Lippi Selk'Bag is a revolutionary new sleeping bag system which allows you the maximum mobility you need whilst keeping warm. This new concept retains the functionality of the traditional sleeping bag; it's FUN, COMFORTABLE and MOBILE!"
  • pyDanny: Naming conventions thoughts for Pinax and Django – I really like Pinax. As the core framework behind our NASA HQ open source social networking application Spacebook, it has been a literal godsend. Out of the box it met most of our requirements, and the Pinax team has graciously added many of our needs to the feature set of Pinax going forward (div based forms, for example). My opinion is that Pinax is a great demonstration of what you can do using Python, Django, and an open source community. We'll be using it for Spacebook and other projects moving forward. However, if there is one thing I could improve in Pinax (and Django), would be its adherence to a model naming standard. Yes, it does follow the Django convention of naming models, but it doesn't have any internal conventions beyond the Django convention.
  • Catastrophic Fall in 2009 Global Food Production – After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world. To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.
  • Making Western Agriculture More Sustainable, by Folke Günther – The energy crisis plus a shortage of phosphate fertiliser will change settlement patterns by forcing people to source their food from local farms. Modern Western European agriculture is heavily dependent on services that often are taken for granted. However, if we are to discuss how it can be made more sustainable we need to consider all the support systems necessary for the entire field-to-table chain. This is seldom done although several authors (Odum, H.T., 1971; Odum, E.P., 1973; Huang & Odum, 1989; Pimentel et al., 1989). have explored the topic. In particular, the support services agriculture gets from ecosystems are often left out.
  • Small is Beautiful: Evidence of Inverse Size Yield Relationship in Rural Turkey – This paper examines the relationship between farm size and yield per acre in rural Turkey. The literature on the inverse-size yield relationship is reviewed, and a framework is provided that explains the inverse relationship based on rural factor markets imperfections in the markets for land, and labor. The hypotheses are tested on recent farm-level data from rural Turkey in 2002. A strong inverse-size relationship between farm size and yield (small farms are up to 20 times more productive per acre!) is prevalent in all seven regions of Turkey even though heterogeneity among households and regions is considered. The findings in this paper provide evidence in favor of labor-centered theories explaining inverse size yield relationship, and calls for a reconsideration of market friendly agrarian reforms in developing countries for sustainable development based on technical and allocative efficiency and equity.