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This Is How You Grow Girls in Harlem!

In the middle of Harlem on a derelict plot of land where old men used to play cards, with no kids allowed, is growing one of the most exciting social projects I’ve seen this year as I go out looking for business partners. Over in Harlem kids that were eating Twix bars for lunch are now eating fresh greens — food that they and their mothers are growing through a non-profit project called Harlem Grown. Latonya Assanah from Harlem, New York (pictured above) has an 8-year-old daughter who just “wouldn’t eat green things.” That is — until her daughter started growing food on water: A couple of years ago Nevaeh Seeley started tending to the hydroponic garden across the street from her school in Harlem. It used to be lunchtime and that meant “junk food from the candy store, now she and her friends are waiting for the greens,” Assanah her mom tells Green Prophet. Just look around: from the exotic mustard greens to dwarf kale and koji: “These are things you can’t find in the grocery store. I bring this food home to my mother, originally from Ghana – it’s us three girls, and she is so excited. My mom told me she used to grow greens like this in Ghana where she comes from, and knows exactly what to do with them.” So it started out with curiosity, but today Assanah is the greenhouse manager, working days at the high-tech farm, which feeds 150 local Harlem families. It is part of the Harlem Grown non-profit farm. The farm stands on what was 4 brownstone houses in the middle of the city. On one side the students grow food on raised beds — raised to protect the food from heavy metals, asbestos and soil contaminants that penetrates soil after a demolition. The other is where Assanah runs the hydroponic farm. Both sides of the farm feed people — but just as importantly nourishes local brains and souls. Case in point: Assanah sings to her plants when she comes into work in the morning. She demonstrates to me: “Good morning plants I am here!” The job she got because she was hanging out in the hydroponic greenhouse helping the kids. Assanah plants seeds, transplants seedlings, feeds the plants nutrients into a large water reservoir and tests the water daily to make sure the pH is right. Above – Harlem Grown founder Tony Hillery with school girls. Assanah and the kids learn much more than growing food. Hydroponics at schools is an excellent way to teach kids, especially girls, essentials about STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Hydroponic farming is as much about chemistry, ratios and the physics of water movement as it is about having a green thumb. The approach called hydroponics uses less water, and can produce an acre’s worth of food in a small greenhouse because greens can grow densely when nutrient rich water is delivered right to the plants’ roots. It is also used by NASA to grow food in outer space. So why not young girls and their moms in Harlem? The sunny summer day I visited the Harlem Grown there were four young women from 12 to 16 who were tending the garden outside. They were getting paid as summer interns to work on the farm. Below is Lydia. She’s the farm manager and right hand woman to Tony Hillery, who founded Harlem Grown 4 years ago. She helps runs a summer camp at the farm, makes sure plants and people are being tended to at all times. Some 1800 pounds of produce that they measured was grown on the farm last year, she reports. Part of it gets sold to keep the farm running, but the idea is really to feed people, and provide youth development, Nebel tells Green Prophet. So that 1800 pounds – that’s just what they were able to weigh, as more than twice that amount was likely eaten – from the hands of babes right to their mouths, local, organic and green. This thought makes Lydia smile as she heads over to the farm’s second largest location which has sprouted up over on 126th Street in Harlem, just down the road. Harlem Grown and Hillery’s vision is growing like weeds, to 6 locations with more planned for the next year. For more on how Harlem Grown is changing lives through urban farming, see Harlem Grown website. For more on the technology I am building see this story on flux. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

18 Things the Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Trailer Tells Us About the Game

Activision wasn’t supposed to unveil Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare until this Sunday. But the announcement trailer, starring the inestimable Kevin Spacey as the (apparent) bad guy, leaked early, and so we now have two minutes and 46 seconds of footage to mull over while we wait for May 2 to come and go and for further info to drop. I wouldn’t dangle from a tenterhook waiting for an info-avalanche, though. After all, that’s what E3′s for. But there is a fair lot to observe and think about here. Let’s step through most of it, and you can make fun of me in the comments below for all the stuff I get wrong. “The following was captured on Xbox One.” This plays over black at the trailer’s start and signifies nothing more than full disclosure. People naturally want to know what they’re looking at, though it can’t matter until we’ve also seen the PC and PS4 versions (until then, I’ll leave the debate over resolutions and frame rates to my psychic readers). Activision / YouTubeThis fellow’s wearing an exoskeletal suit that gives you superhuman powers. I first came across the powered exoskeleton concept doing research for a Computer Gaming World feature on Crysis in 2006. The military’s been working on bionic exo-suits for a long time, so it’s not really science fiction, though what happens a bit later in the trailer to some of the folks driving these things — where they’re timing crazy-big jumps between moving vehicles perfectly — is pure fantasy. Activision / YouTube“Restricted Area. Authorized Personnel Only.” Hi there, future-Guantanamo Bay! Who did the whole round-em-up-in-a-pen thing first in gaming-dom? Half-Life 2? I can’t remember, I just know I keep seeing it pop up in copycat dystopias — the whole martial-law-for-our-own-good thing. But is this America (the sign’s in English)? Somewhere else? Destructoid, which broke the leaked video, says the game’s about a guy (Spacey) running a private military company that goes rogue, so perhaps said PMC’s taken over part or all of an American city, and that’s what we’re looking at here. Activision / YouTubeI was wrong: Those aren’t drones. They’re twin-turbine helicopter-looking things. But they look kind of like drones, too, though on closer inspection you can see windshields and side doors, and there’s that intercut shot of soldiers tooling around in an airborne one (the vest the soldier’s wearing sports a logo, “Atlas” — perhaps the name of the PMC, perhaps in turn a reference to Atlas Shrugged, the libertarian/conservative pseudo-philosophical fantasy novel by Ayn Rand). Someone with far superior military know-how than me will doubtless tell us what present-day flying vehicle(s) these are modeled after, or extrapolated from (I’d guess quadcopter, but what do I know). Activision / YouTubeWe’ve already seen Kevin Spacey play a zealot, but he’s also Kevin-freaking-Spacey. You’ve probably heard the adage “So-and-so could read the phone book and I’d listen” employed to celebrate exalted elocutionists. Kevin Spacey could play Snidely Whiplash for all I care, or have to muddle through a sophomoric script — I’ll still watch. (I’m less impressed with the engine’s stilted facial rendering tech, however.) Activision / YouTubeThe sign on the wall behind the soldier reads “Sector 02: BioLab Data Terminal.” Will threats of biological warfare — viral maladies with the potential to decimate huge swathes of the population — play a role in what you’ll be grappling with in the campaign? Activision / YouTube“Keep Lagos Clean.” That’s what the scrolling sign on the side of the overpass reads. Lagos is a port city in Nigeria. So either I’m totally wrong about the America thing, or the game takes place in multiple locations. I’d presume the latter, possibly as part of the preamble that sets the stage for Kevin Spacey’s character’s ideological meltdown. (Also, check the flag protruding from right: the Nigerian national flag is green-white-green.) Activision / YouTubeNomad and Prophet (Crysis) have nothing on this guy. That’s a big honkin’ jump. And wait just one second…is that the Golden Gate Bridge? (See the sequence from 1:16, too.) Activision / YouTubeHold on — jet-boots? Jetpacks? Are these soldiers just super-jumping, or taking off, up-up-and-away-like? (After watching the sequence at 2:14, I’d probably stick with jet boots.) Activision / YouTubeNo, that’s not a misplaced screen from Halo. Thought the way that gun’s sides appear to slope, and with the design lines on that futuristic drop-ship…squint just a little, and it almost could be. Activision / YouTubeHello, bat-cycle. That’s the clearer head-on shot (in the video, you first see a soldier climbing onboard). Vehicles look to factor big and multifariously in this game. Is this the same thing as the hovering cycle we see later in the trailer, at 1:44 and 2:10? Looks like it. Activision / YouTubeSoldiers (and vehicles) will have cloaking powers. Another hat-tip to Crysis: these super-suits, assuming they’re of a piece, will give you Predator-style powers to vanish at will. We saw this earlier in the trailer (at 0:24) with vehicles, too. Activision / YouTubeI have no idea what’s going on here. LSD mode? Or how about just “peek through walls mode” — the followup shot shows the soldier identifying presumed targets through a solid wall, Batman Arkham-style. Activision / YouTube“I’ll have the powered exoskeletal suit, sized Venti, please.” Taking a page from Marvel’s Iron Man films, these suits clap on with automatic servos, apparently, then turn your arms into gatling guns. Activision / YouTubeOh hi there, Black Ops II nano gloves. Remember those things? They glowed green or orange to indicate whether they’d adhered to something (or not). I gather these are the new and improved (and faster climbing?) model. Activision / YouTubeWeaponized military drones apparently weigh very little. Is this the future of high-tech military drone launches? You just throw them out the side of something? (Okay, maybe it’s not weaponized, but that kind of looks like a gatling cannon on the nose.) Activision / YouTubeCoolest thing in the trailer yet: roll-your-own cover. Imagine unfurling something like a vertical projector screen, only sideways, then hunching behind it, only the screen’s effectively bulletproof. That’s what I’m gleaning from the little squibs going off in the video, anyway. Activision / YouTubeThis tank has legs like an insect and wheels like a car. And with everything else we’ve seen, Call of Duty Kitchen Sink is what I’m thinking. […]

‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Protests: Greek Police Clash With Prophet Film Protesters

ATHENS, Greece — Greek riot police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse Muslim protesters during a rally against a film produced in the United States that denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. No injuries were reported. Police say six people were detained during Sunday’s demonstration in central Athens. About 600 people attended the rally, which featured heated speeches but was mostly peaceful. Read More… More on Greece […]

Ride-Along: No Murders, One Shooting Makes It A ‘Good Day’ In Englewood

Englewood’s reputation for violence is well-deserved. This is where three members of Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s family were gunned down in 2008 and where Officer Alex Valadez was fatally shot while on duty a year later. More recently, teen rapper Joseph “JoJo” Coleman was killed earlier this month in a drive-by shooting possibly connected to an Internet feud with another rapper. This year, though, the number of murders in Englewood has plummeted by 30 percent, even as the number of killings citywide is up 27 percent. Read More… More on Chicago Crime […]

Women Blood for Honor

Women from since time unknown are being harassed and being killed in the name of either personal pleasure or sometimes to safeguard the false hypocritical interests of the biased male dominant society. […]