Also in today’s links: measuring carbon footprints, tree deaths and the impact of waste sludge.

  • Does the professor who created a database of metaphors for the mind have a brain like a steel trap, or more like a dull knife, given his first attempt to catalog metaphors by hand? Maybe the database can tell us, as it helps users understand how humans understand themselves.
  • There’s plenty of ways to define one’s carbon footprint, but at least one company is giving it a go in trying to calculate how much CO2 is generated in production of a half-gallon carton of orange juice. And perhaps surprisingly, the greatest source is the growing of the fruit.
  • Researchers have found a slight increase in tree mortality rates in the American and Canadian West, although they’re not sure why — or what effect this will have.
  • New data shows the chemical levels in biosolids produced by cleaning waste water, and on first glance some of the levels appear to be high, and the chemicals widespread. The EPA will be analyzing the risks these chemicals pose in the next year.
  • Paper-thin screens with electrophoretic displays are close at hand, and the Army hopes to use them for maps and communication devices. But like anyone else connected to the collapsing field of print media, I’m envisioning newspaper-sized electronic newspapers, that can actually be folded up and then read on the subway like the dead-tree version.