This picture shows Newstead's latest creation—a smaller, indoor version of the EarthTainer that he calls the InTainer. He set these up near a window last year, and—supplemented with nighttime grow lights—he was able to produce a bounty of tomatoes during the winter. This was something of a proof of concept; Newstead's real hope for the EarthTainer is that people will use the system in parts of the world where agriculture is now considered too difficult and expensive. People have set up EarthTainers in the blistering Australian outback, the Arizona desert, Manhattan skyscrapers, and in various parts of Africa. A few years ago, a group of volunteers built a battalion of EarthTainers for an orphanage in Haiti. "I can live without tomatoes," Newstead says, "but for lots of people around the world, it's live-or-die. Now they can finally grow something where they couldn't before."
I'll be taking the next few weeks off from my regular Slate column while I research my upcoming series on how robots are stealing humans' jobs. Robots will be writing my column while I'm gone.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Democrats’ War at Home
How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Why Time Is on Our Side in the Fight Against Ebola
Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing
Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses
Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.
Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.
How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.