Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Concerned about NYC’s air quality? Here’s a quick page to check…

Posted 04 Nov 2016 / 0

The EPA’s AirNow site allows you to see real-time indices of air pollution in your area The section in Josh Fox’s How to Let Go of the World film about Chinese air pollution got me thinking about the air that I expose myself to in New York City. There are so many ways in which Read More

A Minor Post, Pollution, Public Outreach, Sustainability, Urban Planning

Want to know where NYC’s water supply stands? There’s a DEP page for that!

Posted 02 Nov 2016 / 0

I recently discovered this page on the NYC.gov Environmental Protection site. It’s pretty cool: if you are worried about NYC’s water supply, you can get up-to-date information on where our reservoirs stand. When I ask my students to cite sustainability issues, they often point to how water is wasted in NYC on things like spraying Read More

A Minor Post, Ecosystem Services, Green Design, Public Policy, Sustainable Urban Design, Urban Ecology, Water Supply, Web

Maybe human impacts aren’t so dramatic (when experienced from the geologic time scale)

Posted 01 Nov 2016 / 0

A student in one of my Evolution sections this semester sent me this fun little animated video: I thought that it was very clever how animation — a medium that already is inherently dedicated to playing with time scales — was used to give us a view of human development from (mostly) the point of view of rocks.

A Minor Post, Cultural Evolution, Film, Television, & Video, Geology, Human Evolution

The question is how — not whether — students use electronic devices in the classroom

Posted 14 Sep 2016 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “No, Banning Laptops Is Not the Answer (And it’s just as pointless to condemn any ban on electronic devices in the classroom)” I appreciate this nuanced approach to technology use in the classroom, but I tend to lean towards the “any ban is counter-productive” perspective. I like the idea of being Read More

A Minor Post, Higher Education, Teaching, Teaching Tools

Arming the Donkeys on kids, parenting, and Burning Man

Posted 12 Sep 2016 / 0

Whenever I have a really mind-numbing task that I need to do, I turn to podcasts to save me from the tedium. One of my favorite respites is Dan Ariely‘s Arming the Donkeys podcast. Today I checked out a couple of great episodes for the parents out there. Just released a few days ago is an Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Development, Empathy, Game Theory, Human Evolution, Play, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reputation, Social Norms

An interesting model for ditching the deadline

Posted 05 Sep 2016 / 0

Chronicle Vitae “It’s Time to Ditch Our Deadlines” I am experimenting with “suggested deadlines” this semester, which are actually even more forgiving than the grace period and negotiable extension system that Ellen Boucher describes here. She makes a compelling case for dropping strict deadlines, and I have a feeling that her system makes a lot Read More

A Minor Post, Assessment Methods, Higher Education, Teaching

Pratt students make the potential trip to Mars better designed

Posted 24 Jun 2016 / 0

Mars landscape image courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory via Wikimedia Commons Scientific American “Home Sweet Habitat: Students Help NASA Design Mars Spacecraft Living Quarters” Anyone who has regularly read my posts on the subject knows that I am a space exploration grump, particularly regarding the idea that humans ought to try to venture out Read More

A Minor Post, Architecture, Evolutionary Psychology, Human limits, Industrial Design, Mismatch theory, Pratt Institute, Psychology, Space Travel, Web

Biophotovoltaics: a promising design innovation, or a great example of lack of quantitative design?

Posted 27 May 2016 / 0

Moss image courtesy Dick Mudde via Wikimedia Commons GreenFabLab Barcelona “Moss Voltaics” A student in my Ecology for Architects class pointed me towards this design project, which creates a building facade system designed to pull electrical current from small growth chambers containing moss. The technology — dubbed a biophotovoltaic — turns the energy captured by photosynthesis Read More

A Minor Post, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Green Design, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Quantitative Analysis, Science in Art & Design, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Urban Design, Web

A potentially interesting Evolution of Play documentary

Posted 27 May 2016 / 0

This looks like a potentially-interesting documentary that might address some issues related to the evolution of play behavior. It is interesting that balls — in particular those that bounce — play such a large role in our play behaviors. What’s too bad is that this trailer is entirely inscrutable as far as what the movie is Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, MSCI-261, The Evolution of Play, Play

You can check out my first Breeders, Propagators, & Creators talk (at St. Francis College) on YouTube

Posted 18 Apr 2016 / 0

This has been up on St. Francis College’s YouTube page for awhile, but I was just made aware of its existence. The audio’s a bit weak, but it gives you can mostly tell what I am saying!

A Minor Post, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, My publications, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction