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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Diesel Spill

January 5, 2010, 4:00 AM
A spill of diesel fuel in China’s second-longest river has been “effectively” contained by barricades according to the China National Petroleum Corp. “CNPC has erected two barriers across the Yellow River at Sanmenxia city in the central province of Henan to prevent contamination of a reservoir about 100 kilometers (62 miles) downstream, the company said in a statement on its Web site today. The Xiaolangdi reservoir serves Henan cities including Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of 2.4 million people. A pipeline operated by CNPC in Shaanxi province west of Henan was found Dec. 30 to have leaked 100 tons of diesel into the Wei and Chishui tributaries of the 4,827-kilometer Yellow River. A hydropower station at Sanmenxia has turned off six generators to stop polluted water from flowing downstream, 21st Century Business Herald reported today, without citing anyone. ‘This spill will undoubtedly bring a further blow to the ecosystem of the Yellow River, which is already one of the most polluted river bodies in China due to rampant industrial growth,’ Jamie Choi, head of Toxics Campaign at Greenpeace China, said in an e-mail.”

Diesel Spill

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