Friday, August 29, 2014

Environment Friday (Aug 29)

Hawaii's Largest Utility Announces Plan To Triple Rooftop Solar By 2030 | ThinkProgress

Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) on Tuesday announced their intention to triple the amount of rooftop solar in the state, just one part of a plan that the companies say will make Hawaii the highest renewable energy-using state in the country.

Britain Announces Plans For The Next Generation Of Emissions-Free Public Transit | ThinkProgress

Trains and buses of the low and even emissions-free variety are on the rise in Britain, evidenced by two new projects underway in the country.

Chile Is Poised To Pass South America's First Carbon Tax | ThinkProgress

It's a big year for fighting climate change in Chile.

BullWho needs Keystone XL? Oil sands flow to US via loophole. | CSM

As Keystone XL awaits a final decision from the Obama administration, at least one energy firm has found a loophole to ship controversial oil sands across the US border. The Keystone XL workaround could increase the flow of oil sands to the US by an additional 75,000 barrels per day without White House approval.

Train delayed again? Blame the oil boom. | CSM

With oil production booming in the US, producers are increasingly turning to railways to get crude to refineries. And so much oil is hitting the rails that it's crowding out grain and coal -- and even people.

Climate change policies pay for themselves, study says | CSM

An MIT climate change study released Sunday indicates the cost of slashing coal-fired carbon emissions would be offset by reduced spending on public health. The EPA-funded study examined climate change policies similar to those proposed by the Obama administration in June.

AmeriScan: August 28, 2014 | ENS
  • Happy faceCalifornia Lawmakers Vote 'Yes' for One Million Electric Vehicles
  • ExxonMobil Pipeline Pays $1.4 Million for Louisiana Oil Spill
  • Small Railroads Get Help to Make Hazmat Hauling Safer
  • Cross-country Train Headed for Peoples' Climate March
  • Conservationists to Sue Feds Over Wolverine Protection
  • New Jersey Restores Coastal Marshes With New Method
  • 20 Corals Listed as Threatened

Time to vote for Britain's national bird | The Guardian  Picture

Like America's bald eagle, the UK too should have its own iconic bird and there are 60 for the [UK] public to choose from

Shell files new plan to drill in Arctic | PhysOrg

Royal Dutch Shell has submitted a new plan for drilling in the Arctic offshore Alaska, more than one year after halting its program following several embarrassing mishaps.

David Roberts' top 10 greatest hits | Grist

Grist climate and energy blogger David Roberts is about to return from a year-long sabbatical. So it's the perfect time to revisit the top 10 posts from his 10 years of writing for Grist.

Why Republicans won't back a carbon tax | Grist

Republicans, as everyone knows, hate taxes and don't accept, much less care about, climate change. But wonks on both sides of the aisle dream that a carbon tax could win bipartisan support as part of a broader tax-reform package.

Winged Warning: Heavy Metal Song Distortion | Dot Earth | NYT  Video

I'm catching up with Winged Warnings, a remarkable online series on birds as sentinels for (and victims of) environmental problems, which is unfolding over at Environmental Health News.

Charles Koch Personally Founded a Group Protecting Oil Industry Handouts | The Nation

This post was originally published at

'Lifestyles of the Rich Environmentalists,' produced by a group called the Institute for Energy Research, is a slick web video campaign designed to lampoon Leonardo Dicaprio and as hypocrites for supporting action on climate change.

CDC Influenza News and Highlights (Aug 29)

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CDCSaving Lives. Protecting People. TM

CDC Influenza News and Highlights
August 29, 2014

What's New?

Weekly Influenza Surveillance
CDC has published the 2014-2015 recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Flu activity is low across the United States now, but usually begins to increase in October and most commonly peaks between January and March. Make plans to get your flu vaccine this fall.

Learn More!

What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Season

2014-15 Provider Information: Influenza VISs Now Available

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

CDC 24/7 - Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money.… Dept of Health and Human Services Logo Make sure your kids are getting the fruit and veggies they need.
CDC on Facebook   CDC on Twitter   CDC YouTube Channel  

On the Ground in Nigeria: Ebola Response | CDC; NIH Researchers identify and track the Ebola outbreak

On the Ground in Nigeria: Ebola ResponseOn the Ground in Nigeria: Ebola Response
On the ground in Nigeria, CDC staffer Lisa talks about the hurdles of setting up an emergency operations center for the Ebola outbreak in a city nervous and scared about the spread of the disease

For the last few months, there has been a constant buzz about Ebola among my friends and colleagues in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. Everyone had a theory about if, when, or how Ebola would come to Nigeria. When we heard about a probable case in Lagos, my heart sank.

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Single animal to human transmission event responsible for 2014 Ebola outbreak | NIH

Scientists used advanced genomic sequencing technology to identify a single point of infection from an animal reservoir to a human in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This research has also revealed the dynamics of how the Ebola virus has been transmitted from human to human, and traces how the genetic code of the virus is changing over time to adapt to human hosts. Pardis Sabeti, M.D., Ph.D, a 2009 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator awardee and her team carried out the research.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

What, you thought I meant tomorrow?

When I adopted T-cat and his sister, I found a cat tree made from an actual tree, leaving only whatever they finished it with and the carpet to worry about off-gassing. I forget how much I paid but it was a whopping amount of money. This one is fine and we can enjoy the formaldehyde for years to come.

Maggie and Benjamin explored it as it was under construction and have deemed it suitable. It's not in the right place sadly -- one of the holes is not accessible -- so I'll move it when the housekeeper is here tomorrow to help. It wasn't difficult to put together (the whining about the instructions in the reviews is ear-splitting) and was done without incident; still this will be my last such adventure. I have no need and the cats just have to deal.

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. ~ George Carlin

I spent today talking to tree people. Two of the trees in the back are stressed from the drought, one excessively, and I've neglected them. It was a colorful parade of people, with various recommendations. The last guy made the most sense, had the lowest quote for trimming, and zero complaints with BBB. Check. I'll spend a chunk of the money I saved watering the trees so they will recover.

The latest with the dishwasher is that now after every load it says it needs salt (for the softener) and leaves a residue in the bottom. I'm ignoring that for a while.

The laundry room vent is still not installed. The HVAC guy has been (invent whatever excuses will cover six months without doing it). His last one was that he was out of town working for six weeks. I texted him; he said one more week; I texted him two weeks later; he ignored me. I'm done asking. The guy is a friend but even he took advantage.

Season three of Sherlock is available to watch for free online until Sept 25. Scroll down to the Full Episodes section. Season four starts up in January.

The new cat tree arrived today. I didn't want to buy a new one but there simply is not enough in the house to entertain Maggie. This is less an issue of her welfare than my irritation about the things she does play with; nevertheless it will meet both requirements. Now to put it together.

Which shouldn't be too bad but my new "schedule" is trying. The timer on my phone goes off all day. Insert piece of nicotine gum, chew for thirty-five minutes. Remove gum, set timer for one hour and ten minutes, chew next piece. Repeat throughout the day. Don't chew gum for 15 minutes after eating or drinking. Throw everything in the covered bin to keep gum and casings away from the cats.

I hate smoking and it's all worth it. It does cut the day into bits so I'm working on doing X and chewing gum at the same time. Formerly I'd reach for a piece when I wanted one, which didn't work as well. It's not about satisfying cravings -- it's about steadiness. The new method is working as well as one could hope.

The next task is getting my diet under control. No surprise, the numbers weren't good after the recent difficulties. It remains a challenge but we're working on it. As long as the privileges of home ownership and pet parenting don't do me in.

A remarkable Health Thursday (Aug 28)

Eradicating Ebola: In U.S. Biomedical Research, We Trust | NIH Director's Blog

Updated August 28, 2014: Today, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced plans to begin initial human testing of an investigational vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease. Testing of the vaccine, co-developed by NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKline, will begin next week at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, ...

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HAN 368: Ebola Response Update #4 | CDC

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I was initially put off by the title of Ebola in Britain, is it time to panic? | The Guardian [the answer to "Is it time to panic?" is always No], but I should ease up. They can put the story next to Nicki Minaj's latest video if it gets people to read it (and of course, follow the advice not to panic).

Promoting Health, Science, and Public Trust through Laboratory Safety | NIH

As you may know from recent news reports, there have been lapses in safety practices at federal laboratories involving potentially lethal microbes such as avian flu (H5N1) and anthrax, including an incident involving discovery of 60-year old smallpox vials in an FDA laboratory building located on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, ...

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This Is Your Body On Diet Soda (Infographic) | Prevention  Graphic

Via 10 Simple Rules For Weight Loss | Prevention

7 Signs You're A Workaholic--And What To Do If You Are | Prevention

"Nine-to-five" was synonymous with work, say, three decades ago. Welcome to the new normal: everyone's over-booked, too plugged-in, and nine-to-five is your idea of cutting back. New research from the University of Bergen says that in Norway, nearly 10% of the population is hooked on work to the point that it's affecting their health.

I will add: Stand up and be counted. Refuse to let your employer flog you. Very few jobs are worth risking your life.

Homework for parents as school starts | LA Times

Summer vacation is over. Not great news if you're a kid. But some of you parents may feel more than ready to send your charges back to school. But are you? Are you really? Here are a few things to consider.

Do sleepy teens need later school start times? Pediatricians say yes | LA Times

The American Acaedemy of Pediatrics recommends later start times for high schools and middle schools to combat chronic sleepiness in adolescents.

The Scary Side Effect of Viagra | Men's Health

The same pill that gives you a lift in the sack could also raise something much more serious: your risk of a deadly form of skin cancer.

How Your Favorite Hobby Could Add Years to Your Life | Men's Health

If you find yourself drifting through life, you may end up at a very clear destination: an early grave. New research published in Psychological Science found that people who report having a strong purpose in life tend to live longer than their flighty peers.

10 Things That Are Germier Than a Toilet Seat [and what to do about them] | Men's Health

Here's a disgusting fact: Fecal matter is everywhere.

Also: Researchers find up to 3,000 times the bacterial growth on hollow-head toothbrushes | MedicalXpress

Which Shots Do You Really Need? | Men's Health

The CDC recommends the flu shot annually for all adults, but it seems like a lot of men are misplacing that memo.

Study finds how parents respond to their infant's babbling can speed the child's language development | MedicalXpress

Parents may not understand a baby's prattling, but by listening and responding, they let their infants know they can communicate which leads to children forming complex sounds and using language more quickly.

Open bookBrain networks 'hyper-connected' in young adults who had depression | MedicalXpress

Depression may be better predicted and understood now that University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have discovered that young adults who previously experienced the mental illness have hyper-connected emotional and cognitive networks in the brain.

Open bookMapping our lives: the importance of lifelong health studies | The Guardian

Longitudinal health studies follow subjects from 'womb to tomb' to create a fingerprint of a healthy human. And there is one thing that has a huge impact on our wellbeing

Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care | ScienceDaily

Three papers reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment program is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care.

Junk food makes rats lose appetite for balanced diet | ScienceDaily

A diet of junk food not only makes rats fat, but also reduces their appetite for novel foods, a preference that normally drives them to seek a balanced diet, reports a study.

Scientists discover fever's origin | Machines Like Us

Fever is a response to inflammation, and is triggered by an onset of the signaling substance prostaglandin. Researchers at Linköping University can now see precisely where these substances are produced -- a discovery that paves the way for smarter drugs.

Original here [reading is better at the first link above]

Living organ grown from lab-created cells | Machines Like Us  Video

The researchers have created a thymus--an organ next to the heart that produces immune cells known as T cells that are vital for guarding against disease.

'NOVA' takes science's side in vaccine debate | Machines Like Us

In some quarters, vaccines have become victims of their own success. Having suppressed the diseases they target, vaccines have left room for people to worry more about the shot than the illness. In response, the TV series NOVA offers an engrossing, evenhanded documentary, one that would never have been made 55 years ago, when people were happily lining up around the block to get polio shots.

Coming Sept 10.

Open bookExpansion of Mental Health Care Hits Obstacles | NYT

Terri Hall's anxiety was back, making her hands shake as she tried to light a cigarette on the stoop of her faded apartment building. She had no appetite, and her mind galloped as she grasped for an answer to her latest setback.

Will the GOP try to spin this as a failure of the law? [It's actually a failure of the 40 years leading up to the law, but that won't matter to them.] Yeah, I think they're dumb enough to try. No offense intended; it just might work.

With a Pulse of Light, Researchers Turn Bad Memories Into Good Ones | NBC News

[T]here may be a way to change emotion-laden memories, perhaps offering a new route for therapy for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental disorders.

Response to the World Health Organization's Ebola Road Map | MSF

Statement from MSF Director of Operations Brice de le Vingne.

The WHO road map is welcome, but it should not give a false sense of hope. A plan needs to be acted upon. Huge questions remain about who will implement the elements in the plan.

A whole different kind of ice bucket challenge.

NIH Health Information: Food shopping tips, recognize heart attack and stroke, inside the GI tract, schizophrenia genes, ALS

NIH Health Information

Resources and tips about healthy living and wellness from across NIH.

Girl in a car eats celery from a grocery bag.Food Shopping Tips
Buying healthy foods for your family is easier when you know what types of food to shop for. Get tips to shop smart. (From NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Illustration of a woman steadying herself against a wall while a concerned passerby makes a call for help.Can You Recognize a Heart Attack or Stroke?
How would you react to a medical emergency? When it comes to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, every minute counts. (From NIH News in Health)

Nanojuice as it passes through the gut of a mouse.A Real-Time View of GI Motility
Nanojuice isn't a new kind of health food. It could one day help doctors visualize the gastrointestinal tract in real-time. (From the NIH Director's Blog)

Blurred image of person walking toward camera.Over 100 Genetic Sites Tied to Schizophrenia
Researchers found 108 genetic regions linked to schizophrenia. The findings suggest new avenues for potential treatments. (From NIH Research Matters)

A smiling older couple sitting together.Popular NIH Health Topics
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Alzheimer's Disease

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Petition Asks LEGO To Realize That Science Isn't A Limited-Time Job For Women | Consumerist

Petition Asks LEGO To Realize That Science Isn't A Limited-Time Job For Women | Consumerist

Earlier this year, LEGO woke up from its swingin' '60s Don Draper haze and realized that women scientists exist and -- hey! -- maybe it would be a good idea to reflect that reality in its vast line of minifigs. The resulting set -- featuring an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist, all female -- went on sale recently and sold out quickly, never to return. But some say LEGO should consider bringing on these female scientists for a full-time gig.

Sign here!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Whimsy: Full of favorites

 Favorites Favorites Favorites Favorites Favorites

Artist Integrates Modern Magazines Into Classic Paintings (9 Pics) | Pleated Jeans  Picture

Amazing, and a little strange.

34 Honest Advertisements That Will Make You Think About The World Differently | Distractify  Picture

Ads can be annoying, but they can also be powerful messages that get you thinking.

Not something that cares about your comfort level; nonetheless, brilliant.

30 Ridiculously Photogenic Animals That Are Here To Make You Swoon | Distractify  Picture

Gorgeous; complete with squirrel performance art.

This Rescued Elephant Playing with Ribbon is the Best Thing You'll See Today | Twisted Sifter  Video

Yeah, it is.

Big Bears Teaching Their Teddies How To Bear | Bored Panda  Picture

Unless it's this.

At the End of Each Season, this Pool has a Day Just for Dogs | Twisted Sifter  Video

Or this.

Bernie Buzz: Labor Day | Senator Bernie Sanders

The Bernie Buzz

Take the poll: Would you favor a federal program that would put people to work on urgent infrastructure repairs?

Labor Day

"In these tough economic times, government must respond to the needs of working people in this country and not just to millionaires and billionaires," Bernie said as Americans prepared to mark Labor Day this weekend. While the economy is better than when George W. Bush left office and we were losing 700,000 jobs a month, the middle class is continuing to shrink and real unemployment, at more than 12 percent, is much too high. Americans overwhelmingly want the federal government to play a strong role in creating decent-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railroads, water systems and other projects. The need for jobs to boost the economy is one of the many areas where Americans (except for Republicans in Congress) are overwhelmingly united.

ReadRead 'Let's Stand Together'

Black Youth UnemploymentBlack Youth Unemployment
The media spotlight on Ferguson, Missouri, missed "the economic and social tragedy that has befallen an entire generation of young black men," Bernie said in a letter to The New York Times. "If there is anything that we can learn from the Ferguson tragedy, it should be a recognition that we need to address the extraordinary crises facing black youths," Sanders wrote, citing a 35 percent unemployment rate among black youth. In order to address that crisis, Bernie proposed a major jobs program that would provide employment for 1 million jobless young Americans.

ReadRead the letter to The New York Times

ReadRead more about Bernie's legislation

Burger King, Hold the TaxesBurger King, Hold the Taxes
Burger King announced on Tuesday that it plans to buy a Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts chain and move its headquarters from Miami to Canada to avoid U.S. corporate taxes. "Burger King's choice to move to Canada is a part of the continued assault by corporate America against the needs of our country's working families," Bernie said.

ReadWatch Bernie on CNN

Save the Postal ServiceSave the Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service plans to close up to 82 mail processing plants, slow down first-class mail and eliminate up to 15,000 jobs. Bernie and 49 other senators called for a one-year moratorium on that bad idea. "The loss of 15,000 good-paying Postal Service jobs will harm our local communities and economies," the senators said. "Slowing down mail delivery even further will hurt senior citizens on fixed incomes, small businesses and the entire economy and send the Postal Service into a death spiral," Bernie said.

ReadRead more

Must Reads

NewsTax Burden in U.S. Not as Heavy as It Looks, Report Says
Andrew Ross Sorkin for The New York Times

NewsSolomons Town First in Pacific to Relocate Due to Climate Change
Megan Rowling for Reuters

NewsThe Disease of American Democracy
Robert Reich for The Huffington Post

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