Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2014

Sleep-walking into Flooding Fragility

In just one of many illustrative examples in his book "Antifragile - things that gain from disorder" author Nassim Taleb talks about the irony of sports-shoe makers touting that their most advanced models are those that most closely replicate the bare human foot. This is fascinating since it highlights that attempting to smooth out and cushion the shocks experienced during running actually had the effect of massively increasing muscular and skeletal injuries from running.

In barefoot running, the toes and arches of the feet act as shock absorbers and - crucially - allows them to be exposed to the action of running that actually strengthens them in this function. By contrast, the attempt to eliminate those specific stresses resulted in humans striking the floor with their heels rather than their toes and the additional padding robbed our feet of the varied "training" that prevents things like fallen arches and plantar fasciitus.

Another example favoured by Nassim…

Sheffield Has a Formal Strategy for its Waterways; Incorporating its Urban and Rural Catchment areas

Some readers may have already seen the various pieces that I've contributed on managing surface water in urban and rural catchments (e.g. videos embedded at the bottom of this post) alongside the organisational role to Sheffield's first One Big River event. This was a week of activities focused on the rivers of the Steel City and was timed to coincide with both the River Restoration Centre's Annual Conference (held for the first time at Sheffield Hallam University: http://www.therrc.co.uk/rrc_conferences.php) as well as the formal signing (and Cabinet adoption) of the Waterways Strategy.

The various community and volunteer events that formed the week-long programme (https://sites.google.com/site/sheffieldonebigriver/main-events-program included a family-day of riverside events run by the Sheffield branch of the Trout in the Town project (SPRITE) and the Wild Trout Trust. Everyone involved really enjoyed talking to local residents and visitors and showing them the life tha…