Monthly Archives: March 2012

Chances of cancer cluster recovery dim for Acreage residents.

March 31, 2012

Chances that Acreage residents will recover any money for a mysterious cancer cluster that rocked the western Palm Beach County community three years ago are getting dimmer. Please read more from source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/pb-acreage-cancer-cluster-ruling-20120330,0,5875362.story
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Kidney cancers: Major rise ‘linked to obesity.’

March 31, 2012

Obesity is fuelling a major increase in the number of cases of kidney cancers diagnosed in Britain, experts say. Obesity increases kidney cancer risk by about 70%, compared with smoking which increases it by about 50%. Please read full and follow at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17553930
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China Beats U.S. With Power From Coal Processing Trapping Carbon – Bloomberg

March 31, 2012

…By 2006, Wang had his breakthrough in sight. He’d found a way to unlock a chemical stored in the coal that was poisoning his country and to put it to an unlikely use: cleaning China’s air. The catalyst he discovered speeds reactions that convert methanol extracted from coal into a substance called dimethyl carbonate. By adding dimethyl carbonate to diesel fuel, Wang now plans to cut 90 percent of black carbon soot from the tailpipe emissions of 1,800 Shanghai buses by year-end. “We said, ‘Let’s go to China, where we can leverage brainpower that’s cheaper and do something important for mankind,” says Wang, 55, a wiry, self-described workaholic who, on this January day, is taking a break from his laboratory to greet visitors in a conference room at Yashentech Corp., the couple’s Shanghai-based company. Please read full and follow at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-27/china-beats-u-s-with-power-from-coal-processing-trapping-carbon.html
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Wasting Our Waterways 2012: Toxic Industrial Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Wate

March 31, 2012

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year — threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide. The continued release of large volumes of toxic chemicals into the nation’s waterways shows that the nation needs to do more to reduce the threat posed by toxic chemicals to our environment and our health and to ensure that our waterways are fully protected against harmful pollution. Industrial facilities dumped 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals into American waterways in 2010, according to the federal government’s Toxic Release Inventory. Toxic chemicals linked to serious health effects were released in large amounts to America’s waterways in 2010. To protect the public and the environment from toxic releases, the United States should prevent pollution by requiring industries to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and restore and strengthen Clean Water Act protections for all of America’s waterways. View more information on this resource
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Student Sustainability Educators: A Guide to Creating and Maintaining an Eco-Rep Program @glrppr

March 31, 2012

The guide includes: — Step by step action items and tips for creating, maintaining and evaluating a campus Eco-Rep program; — Brief descriptions of actual programs and their best practices; — Case studies of successes and road blocks — Activity, event, marketing and outreach examples — Eco-Rep recruiting tools, sample job descriptions, and other resources. View more information on this resource
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Clean & Green: Best Practices in Photovoltaics @glrppr

March 31, 2012

This report highlights the best practices of photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers to protect workers and the environment during the production of solar panels. The report is divided into three sections: 1) Environmental, social, and governance considerations used by socially responsible investors and examples of how PV manufacturers are already implementing these practices; 2) Cross-platform technical opportunities; 3) Environmental health and safety risks in manufacturing particular to each technology and the best practices companies are using to mitigate these risks. Company practices were obtained as responses to a survey distributed to over 100 solar companies internationally. Best practices were determined via consultation with scientists, engineers, academics, and industry consultants. View more information on this resource
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Baby boomers had it all, now we and our children are stuck with the mess| The Guardian

March 31, 2012

The baby boomers have been accused of stealing their children’s future. Then they were hit with the ‘granny tax’.  Emine Saner-   They had free education, cheap housing and some even have final-salary pensions – and still the baby boomers complain about the “granny tax”. Meanwhile, according to Financial Times research, twentysomethings will be the first generation who won’t be better off than their parents. Geraldine Bedell, editor of Gransnet, and Ed Howker, co-author of Jilted Generation: How Britain has Bankrupted its Youth, discuss whether a generational war really has broken out. Please read full and follow at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/30/baby-boomers-granny-tax
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Wil Wheaton #penny4 nasa… Not enough money to explore future dreams.

March 31, 2012

http://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/20186649095
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How to pay less for healthy food | MNN

March 31, 2012

MNN…  when you make fair comparisons — you see that yes, eating healthy is more expensive. Wait, what? Well it is! I’m not going to lie to you. But look, it’s only just barely more expensive. Seriously, I’m talking a few nickels here, a few quarters there. If you do it right, it adds up to a few extra dollars per trip, depending on how often you shop. What’s that old saying? “You can pay for your health now, or you can pay for it later — with interest.” Because let me tell you, prescription medications, surgery, and disease-induced disability? Now that’s what I call expensive! And those are the kinds of diet-related results that make wholesome food suddenly seem pretty dang cheap. So even at a little extra cost (and I do mean little) in the short term, I think it’s very well worth it. Here are a few ways to keep those costs as low as you can, while assuring that your health is soaring sky-high. Learn how to pay less here:  http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/how-to-pay-less-for-healthy-food
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Setting the Record Straight…on War Spending. $625 billion of savings comes entirely from the lower caps

March 31, 2012

Americans for Tax Reform has made the claim that the budgetdoes not account for war spending at all. Thus, when you add back in about $425 billion of post-drawdown war spending and net it against $625 billion of claimed discretionary savings, it comes out to only $200 billion of discretionary savings. However, this is inaccurate. The $625 billion of savings comes entirely from the lower caps compared to realistic projections that assume a drawdown in war spending, not from omitting war spending. Please read more from source: http://crfb.org/blogs/setting-record-straighton-war-spending
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EPA pulls order forcing driller to provide water… Driller is pleased

March 31, 2012

The EPA and some Parker County residents had argued fracking had contaminated the water with benzene, methane and other toxic gases. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling method used to extract oil and natural gas embedded in impermeable layers of rock. The process involves pumping chemical-laced water at a high pressure into the ground to release once out-of-reach gas and oil. “We are very pleased to see that the EPA’s order has been withdrawn,” Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella said. “It’s important for people to know that their environment, health and safety is protected and hopefully this provides them with that comfort.” Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/epa-pulls-order-forcing-driller-to-provide-water/article_86048227-2c00-5a68-9a90-caa82d2cf091.html
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Abuse cases in child welfare system hit historic low @jsonline

March 31, 2012

In the months that followed the beating death of 13-month-old Christopher Thomas in 2008, child welfare officials vowed to improve the safety and well-being of Milwaukee County children who are removed from their homes because abuse or neglect. This is good news: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/abuse-cases-in-child-welfare-system-hit-historic-low-it4qak0-145235475.html
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Threefold increase in the microbial production of biodiesel from glucose

March 31, 2012

A new technique – dubbed a dynamic sensor-regulator system (DSRS) – can detect metabolic changes in microbes during the production of fatty acid-based fuels or chemicals and control the expression of genes affecting that production. The result in one demonstration was a threefold increase in the microbial production of biodiesel from glucose. The DSRS is an amazing and powerful new tool, the first example of a synthetic system that can dynamically regulate a metabolic pathway for improving production of fatty acid-based fuels and chemicals while the microbes are in the bioreactor,” says Jay Keasling, CEO of JBEI and one of the world’s foremost practitioners of synthetic biology, who led this research. Keasling, who also serves as the Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is the corresponding author of a paper describing this research in Nature Biotechnology. The paper is titled “Design of a dynamic sensor-regulator system for production of FAbased chemicals and fuels.” Co-authors are Fuzhong Zhang and James Carothers of JBEI’s Fuels Synthesis Division, which is directed by Keasling. Read more at NBF
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EPA just released a much anticipated and groundbreaking report on black carbon, its effects on the environment.

March 31, 2012

Read it at: http://www.epa.gov/blackcarbon
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Illegal ocean dumping persists despite DOJ crackdown

March 31, 2012

iWatch News…The ship’s owner, Cooperative Success Maritime S.A., was fined $850,000 and sentenced to five years’ probation after its guilty plea. And the chief engineer — after cooperating with authorities — was sentenced to one year of probation. “The oceans must be protected from being used as dump sites for waste oil or other hazardous substances,” said Maureen O’Mara, special agent-in-charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in Atlanta, in June 2010. A company attorney declined comment. That Department of Justice prosecution is one piece of a larger federal crackdown targeting dumping on the high seas, a form of pollution that taints global waterways and is drawing increased scrutiny. The weapons in the government’s arsenal: whistleblowers who can reap six-figure rewards for reporting dumping and sometimes providing secret cell phone photos to inspectors; investigators who hunt for “magic pipe” diversion devices hidden aboard massive ships; and ship operators pressed to change their ways or risk a ban from U.S. waters. Over the past 10 years, a Justice Department Environment and Natural Resources Division report shows, the Vessel Pollution Program has triggered more than $200 million in fines and 17 years in prison for ship officers and executives. Four corporations that own and more »
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LEED Commercial Certifications: 12,000 Served @USGBC

March 31, 2012
TX Chenier Plain Office - Front view

earthtechling “Twelve years after the first 12 projects earned LEED certification, the green building community has reached a significant milestone,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair, USGBC, in a statement. “The momentum for green buildings is rippling around the globe, enhancing the built environment for generations to come.” image via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The 12,000th commercial project to earn LEED designation, in case you were wondering, is the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (Texas) headquarters and visitor center, which earned certification at the Gold level. The building—funded through the Recovery Act and rebuilt after the original center was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008—will house new wildlife exhibits, an environmental education center and National Parks employees. The project takes its place among  more than 137,000 LEED registered and certified projects, homes, communities and neighborhoods around the world. (One day, we hope, the website of the USGBC will simply say, “billions and billions served.”) This announcement comes at a significant time for the USGBC, which is currently deciding on the changes to its current standards via its trademark open voting process among member organizations. These changes are aimed at strengthening the benefit of the program to the environment, as more »
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Denmark’s 50% wind commitment and a path to fully renewable power

March 31, 2012

Denmark’s Horns Rev offshore wind farm as it stands today Denmark has committed to generating 50 percent of its electricity from wind sources by the year 2020, by which time the country hopes to have reduced CO2 emissions by 34 percent compared to 1990 levels. This renewed commitment to wind forms the central pillar in an energy bill that commits to obtaining 35 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by that time. And Denmark actively aims to lower energy consumption, with 2020 usage 12 percent lower than that of 2006. “Denmark will once again be the global leader in the transition to green energy,” said Martin Lidegaard, Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy and Building. “This will prepare us for a future with increasing prices for oil and coal. Moreover, it will create some of the jobs that we need so desperately, now and in the coming years.” The bill passed with a near-unanimous 171 votes out of the parliament’s 179 seats. Please continue reading at: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/denmarks-50-percent-wind-commitment-is-only-the-beginning.ars
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Managing an OSHA Inspection: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

March 31, 2012

Certain questions are asked frequently by clients when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows up unexpectedly at their doorsteps. These questions and many more are addressed in Epstein Becker Green’s OSHA Inspection Checklist desk reference guide, found on its OSHA Law Update blog. Scenario 1: An OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) arrives unannounced to begin an inspection, but the representative who the employer wants to manage the inspection is not present. Can the employer request that the CSHO return later or wait to start the inspection until the chosen representative is available? Answer: Yes, the employer can request that the CSHO return at a later time or wait a reasonable amount of time until the employer’s chosen inspection representative is available. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act grants to employers the right to be represented during an OSHA inspection and to accompany an OSHA CSHO during on-site inspection activities. The employer has the right to designate whoever it wants to fill that role. If that person is not available at the moment OSHA arrives but can be available in a reasonable amount of time, the employer can request that the CSHO wait or return later. OSHA’s Field Operations Manual explains that more »
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Reports: Environment Agency gives go-ahead for fracking

March 31, 2012

BusinessGreen: A controversial method for extracting shale gas should resume now the potential dangers are better known, the Environment Agency has said. Exploratory drilling in Lancashire was temporarily halted after the process, known as fracking, was linked to localised earth tremors, prompting the government to launch a study into the possible effects. The results are not expected for a few weeks, but speaking at a conference earlier this week, Tony Grayling, head of climate change and communities at… Please read more from source: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2164964/reports-environment-agency-ahead-fracking
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Feds, 5 states to push for Great Lakes wind farms

March 31, 2012

Associated Press: The Obama administration and five states announced an agreement Friday to speed up consideration of plans for offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost concerns and public opposition. Under the deal, state and federal agencies will craft a blueprint for speeding regulatory review of proposed wind farms without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. The Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines, although a Cleveland partnership announced plans last year for… Please read more from source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/30/2722319/feds-5-states-to-push-for-great.html
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Canada to speed up approval of big energy projects

March 31, 2012

Reuters: Canada, intent on boosting development of the oil-rich tar sands, will speed up the process for approving big energy and industrial projects such as pipelines. The federal budget, released on Thursday, also said the right-of-center Conservative government would crack down on political activity by charities, some of which have strongly criticized Ottawa’s focus on energy exports. The government, which has long complained about the complex approval system for pipelines and mines, said it would… Please read more from source: http://news.yahoo.com/canada-speed-approval-big-energy-projects-212217039.html
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OSHA reaccredited as an authorized continuing education provider

March 31, 2012

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Directorate of Training and Education has been reaccredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training to continue providing Continuing Education Units for work-related injury and illness prevention training. Please read more from source: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p…
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Nuclear Commission Clears $10.2 billion Reactors in South Carolina – NYTimes.com

March 31, 2012

Yep… $10.2 billion. Add in the lifetime cost of monitoring and nuke waste insurance and cleanup and how is this profitable? Seriously, do the stakeholders in this own calucators? Please read full and follow at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/business/energy-environment/nuclear-commiss…
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#EarthHour 2012 – A dissent and poll

March 31, 2012

#EarthHour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity. People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too. Please continue reading at: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/31/earth-hour-2012-a-dissent-and-poll/
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines

March 31, 2012

On March 23, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its highly anticipated final Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines. The Guidelines present a tiered approach for the consideration and analysis of potential impacts to wildlife and habitat from onshore wind energy development. The five-tier process and other guidance found in the Guidelines aim to efficiently avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife and habitat by guiding the decisions of developers from the initial stages of site selection through the development of project design and the ultimate construction and operation of a project. While the Guidelines are voluntary, this new publication represents the informal rulebook by which the USFWS will judge the appropriateness of a site or project design and the adequacy of mitigation, including for purposes of enforcement. The new Guidelines replace the interim guidance published by the USFWS in 2003 and are effective immediately. The final version of the Guidelines does not significantly differ from the September 2011 draft version that was issued for public comment. Click here to continue reading.
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New wastewater treatment system could generate electricity too

March 31, 2012
Two-in-one device uses sewage as fuel

Sonia Renthlei: The problem of how to deal with growing sewage is a reasonable one….Current waste water treatment methods involve many steps to separate solid and liquid components. The cleaning process is time consuming and expensive which is why not all regions can afford to invest in the technology. While this is understandable, it has led to more water shortage than ever before. The energy needed to treat waste water has found to be 2 percent of the overall power consumption in the US. Two-in-one device uses sewage as fuel The scientists’ report stated that commercial productions of the machine could prove to be a boon for areas facing sewage problems. The prototype is capable of processing five times more sewage than conventional technology at six times the efficiency. Moreover, it is doubly cost effective than its predecessors. The scientists also improved the prototype’s energy recovery capacity from 2 to 13 percent, a significant leap that could pave the way for generating substantial electricity. According to them, future generations of the machine could provide for efficient waste water treatment for free. If successful, the issue of water scarcity could be addressed to a degree in areas facing water shortage. Please continue more »
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‘Muckbusters’ help in converting food waste to usable, clean electricity

March 31, 2012
How to get leftover spaghetti to power your iPad

Dattatreya Mandal:mWhen we talk about sustainable electricity generation, perhaps the very last thing that comes to our mind is food. But, the next time you guiltily scrap off your plate over the dustbin, remember that all of such discarded stuff can actually help in producing electricity. How so? Well, designers from a green technology based company called SeaB have ingeniously contrived shipping container like systems, in which your leftover food can be filled. And, Voila! After a whirlwind of processing through various components of internal circuitry, the end result is ‘clean’ electricity. How to get leftover spaghetti to power your iPad …The technical side of affairs entails the natural processing of the food by bacteria. This process of biological ‘chewing’ results in emanation of gases, which the machine can automatically filter for deriving of methane. This internal stream of methane is then passed through a heat and power system for generation of electricity. Now, beyond the uniqueness of its functionality, there is clear practical side to this sustainable scope. According to the company, food is the largest single source of waste in California at 15.5 percent, which amounts to a whopping 6 million tons of food being dumped annually by more »
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Increase in US Oil Production…Biofuels have made the largest contribution,

March 31, 2012

The above graphs shows US liquid fuel production, 1980-2011, broken out into its major components…You can see that at this point a large fraction of the liquid fuel numbers are not actually crude coming out of the ground.  This next picture shows the same data but putting the non C&C components onto the other axis so that they are not stacked on top of the C&C line: This makes it clear that most of the production resurgence of recent years has come from the non-crude components. Biofuels have made the largest contribution, but NGLs and refinery gains have contributed also. Please read full and follow at: http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2012/03/composition-of-us-oil-production.html
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American Spending Goes Into Overdrive As Savings Plunge To 2008 Levels

March 31, 2012

ZeroHedge -  in February personal spending soared …while incomes barely rose… Which means the balance had to be savings funded. So even as we have seen retail weakness in the past three months, we now know that it was not only credit funded, but also forced US consumers to burn through their meager savings. And all this before the gasoline price shock hit…. Please continue reading at: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/american-spending-goes-overdrive-savings-plunge-2008-levels
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The Consumption Dysfunction | ZeroHedge

March 31, 2012

The latest reports from the Bureau of Economic Analysis on economic growth and personal income and spending have, on the surface, appeared to show improvement.   Spending is up more than expected and economic growth is clipping along at a 3% annual growth rate in the fourth quarter.  That  is the good news.  As we have discussed in the past the consumer is the key to this whole economic equation.  Consumption is 70% of the economy and, as long as the consumer has the ability to consume, the economy can chug along.  However, therein lies the dysfunction as well. The first chart shows GDP on a 10 year rolling percentage change basis.  That massive decline in economic growth occurred even as consumption expanded from below 60% to over 70% of the economy.  The belief is that expanding consumption should drive stronger economic growth but in reality the strongest economic growth was occurring while spending and debt levels remained at lower ranges and savings rate were high.  Savings, as a function leads to productive investment as money is loaned to businesses for expansion or startup, real estate development, or the purchases of equipment.  In turn production is increased which leads to higher levels of employment more »
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Food Poisoning’s Hidden Legacy: Scientific American @marynmck

March 31, 2012

…It is a scary idea that food poisoning—which we think of as lasting just a few days—could instead have lifelong aftereffects. The incidence of such “sequelae,” in medical parlance, has been thought to be low, but not many researchers studied the problem until recently. New findings by several scientific teams suggest the phenomenon is more common than anyone thought. A Common Problem?Foodborne disease has an enormous public health impact even if you count only the initial, acute episodes of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2011 that the U.S. sees 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year from foodborne organisms. (The European Union had 48,964 cases and 46 deaths in 2009, the most recent year tallied.) The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service calculates the cost of foodborne illnesses just from bacterial infection to be at least $6.7 billion, counting medical care, premature deaths and lost productivity. Re­searchers who attempt to track chronic effects say that the actual bill is much higher. “People don’t understand the full consequences of foodborne disease,” says Kirk Smith of the Minnesota Department of Health, which lends its investigators around the U.S. “They think you get diarrhea more »
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Does Foodborne Illness Trigger Lifelong Health Problems? @marynmck

March 31, 2012

The few studies that have followed victims of foodborne illness for years show that later in life, they suffer higher-than-usual rates not only of digestive trouble, but of arthritis and kidney problems, as well as greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Superbug author and blogger Maryn McKenna reports at: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/foodborne-lifelong-problems/
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Does Obamacare have a $17 trillion funding gap?

March 31, 2012

Senate Republican staffers continue to look though the 2010 health care reform law to see what’s in it, and their latest discovery is a massive $17 trillion funding gap. “The more we learn about the bill, the more we learn it is even more unaffordable than was suspected,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republicans’ budget chief in the Senate. “The bill has to be removed from the books because we don’t have the money,” he said. The hidden shortfall between new spending and new taxes was revealed just after Supreme Court justices grilled the law’s supporters about its compliance with the Constitution’s limits on government activity. If the court doesn’t strike down the law, it will force taxpayers to find another $17 trillion to pay for the increased spending. Please continue reading at: http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/30/another-17-trillion-surprise-found-in-obamacare/
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GreenWashing is killing longterm environmental protection efforts

March 31, 2012

A new Gallup poll reports that Americans are still broadly skeptical of the Green agenda, currently putting economic growth ahead of the environment by 49 percent to 41 percent. And moderates are increasingly joining conservatives in the opinion that economic growth should be a priority even if it incurs some environmental damage. Gallup polls show that trends have been going against the greens for years now, which makes the recent claims of a “tipping point” toward a green consensus seem especially dubious. Please read more from source: http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/03/29/voters-tire-of-green-agenda/
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Geothermal energy could generate 3 million megawatts power in US alone

March 31, 2012
nationwide geothermal energy potential

nationwide geothermal energy potential But David Blackwell, one of the leading minds in the field of geothermal energy has reiterated the fact that there is endless potential that is going untapped across the globe in form of the heat generated by earth’s core. While the general perception is that we can harvest geothermal power only in places where there are hot natural springs, much like the Yellowstone national Park and its spectacular geyser field, the fact is that there are many other ways in which we can generate clean power from the endless heat engine that we call Earth’s core. According to experts, United States alone could easily generate around three million megawatts of power from geothermal energy if the proper infrastructure is in place. This can be done by injecting liquids into sites and creating artificial geysers that can generate clean energy and the use of old and discarded crude oil stations, where an underground reservoir for injection of liquids would be already in place thanks to fuel companies. Please continue reading at: http://www.ecofriend.com/geothermal-energy-generate-3-million-megawatts-power-alone.html
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Cooking up Energy: Waste gases from fried chicken offer clean power

March 31, 2012
New green technology converts fried chicken into electricity

New green technology converts fried chicken into electricity New green technology converts fried chicken into electricity In essence, the idea of Yu Chin’s invention is to create a cooking unit that will be independent from external power sources and can power itself on with ease. The process of frying a chicken obviously produces plenty of heat and all this heat and the gas produced can be channeled to generate energy in a unique way. It would be interesting to know if other cooking processes too can produce the same result. There are many kitchens across the globe that get uncomfortably hot while cooking and this technology might be translated to achieve similar results. This special chicken cart is currently on display at the exhibition of dual use military technology in Lung-Yuan Research Park, Taiwan. The fried chicken power was inspired by military technology that uses heat from vehicles to produce additional power for the vehicle. While the technology in itself might not be revolutionary, it could help those many scores of fried chicken stands that you normally see and could improve quality of working conditions a whole lot. Please continue reading at: http://www.ecofriend.com/cooking-energy-waste-gases-fried-chicken-offer-clean-power.html
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iZen’s Bamboo Keyboard for iPad Takes the Plastic Out of Electronics

March 31, 2012

Colorado startup iZen’s bamboo keyboard works for the iPad and other Bluetooth enabled devices. Please read more from source: http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/izens-bamboo-keyboard-ipad-takes-plastic-out-electronics.html
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Mississippi Residents Find Death Along Oily Gulf Shores

March 31, 2012

Since BP’s catastrophic oil blowout nearly two years ago, Laurel Lockamy has gotten pretty good at photographing the dead. She’s snapped images of dozens of lifeless turtles and dolphins, countless dead fish, birds, armadillos and nutria and pretty much anything that crawls, swims or flies near the white sandy Mississippi beaches of her Gulfport home. Please read more from source: http://theenergycollective.com/rockykistner/81011/mississippi-residents-find-death-along-oily-gulf-shores
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Government to reconsider nerve agent pesticides – Independent

March 31, 2012

The Government is to reconsider its refusal to ban neonicotinoid pesticides, the nerve-agent chemicals blamed for the collapse of bee colonies worldwide, the chief scientist at the Department of the Environment, Sir Robert Watson, told The Independent. …The Government has refused previous requests to consider a precautionary suspension of the chemicals, which have been banned in France and Italy, despite mounting evidence that they are harmful to bees and other pollinating insects, even in minute doses. Bees’ role in pollinating crops is worth billions of pounds annually to global agriculture. Even on Thursday, after the new studies were published, a spokesman for Defra said the new research did not change the Government’s position, and that “the evidence shows that neonicotinoids do not pose an unacceptable risk to honey bees”. Please read more from source: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/government-to-reconsider-nerve-agent-pesticides-7604121.html
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U.S. Employment by Industry, 1940 and 2010 » How we fell

March 31, 2012

Matthew Yglesias posted an image from an infographic released by the Census Bureau showing differences in the U.S. population between 1940 and 2010. This section of the graphic focuses on changes in the industries in which the U.S. workforce is employed. For instance, in 1940 23.4% of Americans worked in manufacturing, down to 10.4% in 2010: Education, health, and social services have emerged as a major employment sector. On the other hand, while agriculture is a minor  sector today (in terms of % of people employed), in 1940 nearly 1 in 5 people worked in agriculture. As Yglesias says, Please read full and follow at: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/03/29/u-s-employment-by-industry-1940-and-2010/
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Neonicotinoid Pesticides Linked To Bee Colony Collapse Disorder – Slashdot

March 30, 2012

“Neonicotinoid pesticides, designed to attack insects such as beetles and aphids, have been shown to harm bees’ ability to navigate back to the hive. While initially assumed safe in low enough, non-fatal doses for bees, two papers have shown that may not be the case. Although the studies don’t directly study the Colony Collapse Disorder, the scientists believe these pesticides are likely a contributing factor.” Please read full and follow at: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/03/30/1536216/studies-link-pesticides-to-bee-colony-collapse-disorder?
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A Very Long Road for Military Nuclear Waste – NYTimes.com

March 30, 2012

Slowly, slowly, the Energy Department is moving forward with solidifying the liquid nuclear wastes left over from cold-war weapons production. On Thursday, the department said it had closed two more of the 51 underground tanks at the Savannah River Site in western South Carolina. The high-level waste was mixed with molten glass to keep it chemically locked up for millennia, and the lower-level material was mixed with a kind of cement that is supposed to keep it in place until the radioactivity dies down. The department has 22 tanks at Savannah River that do not meet Environmental Protection Agency standards, mostly because they are single-wall tanks rather than double-wall. It closed two of them in 1997 but has faced numerous technical problems. Now it says it will have four more done by 2014 or 2015, and all of them by 2028. It is starting with the tanks that are closest to the water table because their contents would spread most rapidly if they leaked. (The area has a high water table.) Please continue reading at:http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/a-very-long-road-for-military-nuclear-waste/
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Chinese leader asks Apple’s Tim Cook to care for workers – Computerworld

March 30, 2012

…Li, however, also hoped multinational companies would pay more concern to their Chinese workers. In response to criticism of the working conditions at Foxconn’s plants in China, Apple has defended its policies and opened up its Chinese supplier factories for an internal audit by a labor rights group. On Wednesday, Cook visited a Foxconn factory in China. Apple released photos showing Cook at an iPhone production line at a newly built Foxconn manufacturing plant, which employs 120,000 people. This is Cook’s first visit to China as Apple CEO. Before becoming company head, Cook visited the country in 2010 to investigate working conditions at Foxconn factories following a string of worker suicides. Please continue reading at: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225648/Chinese_leader_asks_Apple_39_s_Tim_Cook_to_care_for_workers
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Scripps Institute develops simple blood test to predict heart attacks and strokes

March 30, 2012

Roughly two and a half million Americans suffer a heart attack or a stroke each year. About 20% of these – half a million people – die in the aftermath. The proximate cause for both heart attack and stroke is a blood clot in the wrong place – a blood clot that could be prevented or minimized by anti-clot therapy IF physicians knew that an attack or stroke was expected shortly. New findings from a research study led by Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) has identified a new blood test which has the promise of predicting heart attack or stroke weeks prior to their occurrence. .. Continue Reading Scripps Institute develops simple blood test to predict heart attacks and strokes
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The rise of the machines, as told by workplace safety signs

March 30, 2012

Featured below is a small sampling from an incredibly amusing set of mechanical warning labels, collected by the folks at NOTCOT during this year’s WESTEC manufacturing convention in Los Angeles. For those unfamiliar with it, NOTCOT describes the convention as “the ultimate manufacturing show from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers… amazing tools, waterjets, 3D printers, CNCs, microCNCs, robot arms, welding devices… and SO much more.” In other words: The perfect birthplace for a robot insurrection. May we all learn from the mistakes of these hapless stick figures, that we might be prepared for the very worst in the years ahead. Check out the rest of the set over on NOTCOT. Please read full and follow at: http://io9.com/5897036/the-rise-of-the-machines-as-told-by-workplace-safety-signs
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In 2011, the Federal Reserve Purchased a Stunning 61% of U.S. Debt – WSJ.com

March 30, 2012

Please read full and follow at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577279754275393064.html
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Michigan Economy Shifts Into High Gear in January as Economic Activity Index Reaches 6-Year High

March 30, 2012

Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index rose seven points in January, up to a level of 98.  The January index level is 38 points, or 63%, above the index cyclical low of 60, and  marks the highest index reading since January 2006 (see chart above). Please continue reading at: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/03/michigan-economy-shifts-into-high-gear.html
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I will be reading the “Hazard Communication Answer Book (Answer Books) by Mark Moran this weekend.

March 30, 2012

Last time I looked there was only one more hard copy version at Amazon. I am looking forward to reviewing the book and will post a summary here on his map of navigating through the new Hazcom Standards. Have a great weekend fellow readers!
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One day, this system will let you flush the toilet to keep the heat on.

March 30, 2012

Algae: It’s a burgeoning biofuel, a handy ingredient in cosmetics, and a nutritious addition to food. One day, it might be used to generate heat in your apartment, with a little help from a toilet flush or some running water. Please continue reading at: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679558/one-day-this-system-will-let-you-flush-the-toilet-to-keep-the-heat-on
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Great Lakes residents clash over water levels.

March 30, 2012

People around the Great Lakes — the world’s most abundant freshwater system — are fighting over water. Complaints that levels are too high or too low are longstanding, but the debate is growing louder as a warming climate raises the specter of more dramatic changes. Please continue reading at: http://online.wsj.com/article/APd455a901a1384355b9ae4493ce9c9e30.html
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Tightening up antibiotics on US farms.

March 30, 2012

US farmers may soon be prevented from dosing healthy livestock with antibiotics that encourage faster growth. Pressure for a ban has fallen on the FDA following publication of research showing how a strain of bacteria jumped from humans to farm animals and back again, picking up antibiotic resistance on the way. Please read more from source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21628-pressure-to-tighten-up-antibiotics-on-us-farms.html
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Occupational cancer rates in China climb as Several cancer rates decrease in USA

March 30, 2012

Is China paying the price of world outsourced manufacturing? Occupational cancer in ChinaLi and colleagues estimate that in China about 3% of all cancer deaths in men and about 2% in women are due to workplace exposures. However, these figures are likely to underestimate the true situation. http://johncherrie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/occupational-cancer-in-china.html  Several cancer rates decreasing in the USA The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have published the latest “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer”, which shows that death rates from all cancers combined for men, women, and children continued to decrease between 2004 and 2008. http://johncherrie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/several-cancer-rates-decreasing-in-usa.html 
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A proposed study could help determine a link between living near nuclear facilities and risk of cancer

March 30, 2012

A proposed study could help determine if there is a link between living near U.S. nuclear facilities and having a higher risk of cancer, but challenges and limitations exist, says a new report from the National Research Council. To evaluate the feasibility of such a study, the report recommends that a pilot study of seven nuclear facilities be completed first, although the ultimate decision about whether to perform either would be the responsibility of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Please continue reading at: http://www.nationalacademies.org/morenews/20120329.html
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Mega Millions Perspective | Gary Varvel | The Indianapolis Star

March 30, 2012
033012

Please read full and follow at: http://blogs.indystar.com/varvelblog/2012/03/29/mega-millions-perspective/
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CBO | S. 1023, Haiti Reforestation Act of 2011… environmental recovery of 35% of Haiti’s land area within five years

March 30, 2012

S. 1023 would authorize assistance to Haiti to reduce deforestation, increase efforts to restore forest cover, and improve management of natural resources. The bill would set specific targets for those efforts: promote the environmental recovery of 35 percent of Haiti’s land area within five years, restore forest cover to at least 10 percent of Haiti within 30 years, and increase agroforestry (the simultaneous production of trees with crops or livestock) cover to more than 25 percent of Haiti within 10 years. Please continue reading at: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43145
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Capsule removes radioactive substances from beverages

March 30, 2012

With airborne radioactivity from Fukushima’s still-critical damaged reactors circling the globe and more likely on the way from the mass incineration of earthquake debris, individuals are certainly justified in wanting to shield themselves from the fallout, especially when it shows up in their food and drink. Now, to address concerns about nuclear contamination in juice, milk and even water, a team of researchers led by Allen Apblett from Oklahoma State University (OSU) has announced development of a capsule that, when dropped in liquid, can easily and effectively remove numerous radioactive substances and thus prevent the consumer from ingesting them… Continue Reading Capsule removes radioactive substances from beverages
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US $16.394 Debt Ceiling D-Day: September 14, 2012

March 30, 2012

ZeroHedge…Tim Geithner said that any worries of the US debt ceiling are misplaced, and that at best such an event would occur “late in the year” (and to think the August 2011 extended $16.394 trillion debt ceiling was supposed to last well into 2013)…The answer is that at the current rate of debt issuance, which incidentally is going to accelerate sharply due to the recent extension of the payroll tax cuts which will require an incremental $100-150 billion total debt to be funded, and extrapolating future issuance solely on historical patterns, the US debt ceiling D-Day will be September 14, 2012 Please read more from source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/us-debt-ceiling-d-day-september-14-2012
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Floating wind turbines to produce low cost renewable energy

March 30, 2012

Altaeros Energies has announced the first testing of its Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT) prototype that resembles a sort of blimp windmill. The test took place at the Loring Commerce Center in Limestone, Maine, USA where the AWT floated 350 feet (107 meters) into the sky and successfully produced power, before coming back to earth in a controlled landing. The turbine was deployed into the air from a towable docking trailer, while demonstrating that it can produce over twice the power at high altitudes than generated at conventional tower height.. Continue Reading Floating wind turbines to produce low cost renewable energy
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Wind turbines that use human-like learning to improve efficiency

March 30, 2012

Wind turbines are exposed to a wide variety of wind conditions, from zephyrs to gales, and ensuring the maximum amount of power is extracted from the turbine across a range of wind speeds is a difficult task. Chinese researchers have now developed a biologically inspired control system that uses “memory” of past experience to learn how to best adapt to changing conditions… Continue Reading Wind turbines that use human-like learning to improve efficiency
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CDC – Severe Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Associated with Coxsackievirus A6 — Alabama, Connecticut,

March 30, 2012

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral illness caused by enteroviruses that predominantly affects children aged
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Australia: No emission limit on new coal plants.

March 30, 2012

The Baillieu government has dropped an election commitment to bring in limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new coal-fired power plants. Please read more from source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/no-emission-limit-on-new-coal-plants-20120327-1vwmu.html
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Researchers generate liquid fuel using solar generated electricity.

March 30, 2012

While electric vehicles have come a long way in the past decade, they still have many disadvantages when compared to internal combustion engine-driven vehicles. The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles have a much lower energy storage density when compared to liquid fuel, they take longer to “refuel,” and they lack the supporting infrastructure that has built up around conventional vehicles over the past century. Now researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a process that could allow liquid fuel to be produced using solar generated electricity… Continue Reading Researchers generate liquid fuel using electricity
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The Chart Of The Decade – ZeroHedge & infiniteunknown

March 30, 2012

The Chart Of The Decade (ZeroHedge): This chart tells millions of stories. I’m trying to get my head around its implications. That’s right: since 1984 (surely an appropriate year) while the elderly have grown their wealth in nominal terms, the young are much worse off both in inflation-adjusted terms, as well as nominal terms (pretty hard to believe given that the money supply has expanded eightfold in the intervening years). So why are the elderly doing over fifty times better than the young when they were only doing ten times better before? Are young people a stupefied generation coddled by parents and government, addicted to welfare, junk food, drugs and reality TV? To some extent, but are they any less fiscally and morally responsible than the marijuana-smoking, free-love-embracing, national-debt-accruing baby boom generation? That’s a matter of opinion, but my answer is probably not. Baby boomers hate Ron Paul, while the under-35s seem to love him. Is it due to government policies that favour the elderly and screw the young? America is suffering from excessive consumer debt: Net worth is calculated by subtracting debt from assets. The biggest debt for most people is a mortgage. So having more mortgage debt or less mortgage debt tends to be a more »
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Update: Apple supplier Foxconn hit on poor working conditions – Computerworld

March 30, 2012

…A monthlong investigation by FLA revealed compensation issues, health and safety risks, and issues that have led to a “sense of unsafe working conditions among workers,” the organization said in a statement. FLA claimed it gave Foxconn “a full-body scan through 3,000 staff hours,” and surveyed more than 35,000 workers, while investigating three of its factories. Foxconn Technology Group, owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry, is Apple’s largest supplier and makes the iPad and iPhone. Independent groups have urged Apple to address the poor conditions of factory workers in China. Please continue reading at: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225681/Update_Apple_supplier_Foxconn_hit_on_poor_working_conditions
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CBO | H.R. 2309, Postal Reform Act of 2011 – savings totaling about $28 billion

March 30, 2012

H.R. 2309 would change the laws that govern the operation of the United States Postal Service (USPS). Major provisions of the bill would: Permit the Postal Service to reduce mail delivery from six to five days per week; Transfer about $11 billion in surplus retirement contributions from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) to the Postal Service Fund; Reduce the contribution made by the Postal Service for employees’ health and life insurance premiums; Change the payments that the Postal Service is required to make to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund (PSRHBF); and Eliminate annual appropriations made to the Postal Service for free and reduced rate mail. In addition, other provisions of H.R. 2309 would aim to help the Postal Service reduce its costs and increase its income. CBO estimates that enacting the bill would result in off-budget savings totaling about $28 billion and on-budget costs of about $8 billion over the 2012-2022 period. Please continue reading at: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43144
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Microbial Fuel Cell Converts Raw Sewage into Electricity

March 30, 2012

U.S. scientists have developed a fuel cell capable of converting 13 percent of the energy found in sewage into electricity, a process that its developers say could also more efficiently treat municipal wastewater. In a report released at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute describe a so-called microbial fuel cell that uses naturally existing microbes that produce electrons and protons as they metabolize the organic waste. The electrons are collected by an anode in one container, while the protons pass through a permeable membrane to a cathode in a separate container; the voltage between the electrodes produces an electric current. The process is also capable of removing about 97 percent of the organic matter, the scientists say.  Please read more from source: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/new_microbial_fuel_cell_converts_raw_sewage_into_electricity/3396/
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Americans Flush $5 Billion Down the Toilet Every Year

March 29, 2012

Dan Lewis, author of the daily newsletter Now I Know (“Learn Something New Every Day, By Email”) joins us Wednesdays with surprising facts about the world of business. The United States government has many different departments—among them the Department of Treasury, the Department of Defense, and more recently, the Department of Homeland Security. Each of these departments has agencies within them, and one of them, the Environmental Protection Agency, hosts the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. If you ever wanted to know anything about water, they are the people to ask. The average American uses 90 gallons of water each day , of which only about two gallons go toward drinking and cooking. In fact, we use twice as much water—four gallons—washing dishes than we do in preparing and eating our meals. Laundry uses, on average, 8.5 gallons of water a day per person, while 25 gallons of water a day per person go toward lawn watering and pools. In total, the roughly 300 million Americans spend more than $5 billion dollars a year flushing their toilets. Please read full and follow at: http://www.good.is/post/americans-flush-5-billion-down-the-toilet-every-year/
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California nuclear plant to remain shut for probe.

March 29, 2012

The troubled San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California will remain shut down while investigators try to solve a mystery inside its massive generators — the rapid decay of tubing that carries radioactive water, federal regulators said Tuesday. Please read more from source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5guIr4R1mwJTtia_ulRFb1PDzC-Hw
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Capsule helps decontaminate milk, water and other fluids.

March 29, 2012

Water, milk and other fluids can be purified of radioactive substances with absorbant nanoparticles, according to a new study. Arsenic, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals can also be removed with the technology. Please continue reading at: http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/health-capsule-helps-decontaminate-milk-water-and-other-fluids/article_21249ef6-08d1-5318-a3d5-033de146cf1d.html
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Sustainable livestock vow not just hot air.

March 29, 2012

Australia’s 55,000 cattle and sheep producers have pledged to consumers to all be farming sustainably by 2020. They aim to convince urban Australians that red meat production is environmentally, socially and ethically sustainable. The project has won the backing of some notable environmentalists and chefs. Please read more from source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sustainable-livestock-vow-not-just-hot-air/story-e6frg6nf-1226310728566
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Feds not to blame for West Virginia mine disaster, safety chief tells Congress.

March 29, 2012

The nation’s top mine safety regulator on Tuesday defended his agency in the wake of a government report that said the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration likely could have prevented the nation’s worst coal-mining disaster in nearly 40 years. Please continue reading at: http://wvgazette.com/News/politics/201203270170
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What the muck?

March 29, 2012

The Portland Harbor is a toxic embarrassment. And there’s plenty of blame to go around. For the past 12 years, some of the most powerful companies in Oregon have lived in fear of an unspeakable beast at the bottom of the Willamette River, a toxic freak that could figuratively eat them alive. Please read more from source: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-18986-what_the_muck.html
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3D solar towers offer up to 20 times more power output than traditional flat solar panels

March 29, 2012

While we’ve looked at the development of solar cell technologies that employ nanoscale 3D structures to trap light and increase the amount of solar energy absorbed, MIT researchers have now used 3D on the macro scale to achieve power output that is up to 20 times greater than traditional fixed flat solar panels with the same base area. The approach developed by the researchers involves extending the solar cells upwards in a three-dimensional tower or cube configuration to enable them to better capture the sun’s rays when it is lower on the horizon… Continue Reading 3D solar towers offer up to 20 times more power output than traditional flat solar panels
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Ford’s most fuel efficient passenger car ever 114 mpg

March 29, 2012

With the cost of fuel hitting family budgets harder and harder, Ford of Europe has commenced production of its most fuel efficient (and lowest CO2 emissions) passenger car ever. The company’s new Fiesta ECOnetic Technology is powered by a 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine providing 205 Nm of torque that offers fuel economy figures of 3.3 l/100 km (114.7 US mpg) with CO2 emissions of 87 g/km… Continue Reading Ford’s most fuel efficient passenger car ever
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Liquid-like compound could lead to better thermoelectric devices

March 29, 2012

Thermoelectric materials work by converting differences in temperature into electric voltage. If two parts of such a material experience significantly different temperatures, electrons within it will flow from the warmer part to the cooler, creating an electrical current in the process. Using these materials, electricity could be generated by the temperature differences on the inside and outside of jackets, within car engines, or even between the human body and the air around it … just to list a few examples. An international team of scientists have now discovered that an existing material, which behaves like a liquid but isn’t one, displays particularly impressive thermoelectric properties… Continue Reading Liquid-like compound could lead to better thermoelectric devices
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Supreme Court Case HIV status being shared across govt agencies

March 29, 2012

Supreme Court handed down a decision in FAA v Cooper yesterday.  Cooper did not declare his HIV positive status on his flight physical.  At the time, the FAA had started cross-referencing SSI disability status with the pilot physicals, and they found he was getting disability due to his HIV status.  So they fined him and grounded him because he falsified.    This all occurred before we let HIV positive individuals fly (I have a couple in my practice).  So The Supremes overturned a lower court finding that he sustained damages because the HIV status info was shared across agencies. Please read about it here:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/us/justices-rule-against-pilot-in-privacy-case.html?hp  
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Infographic: Most teachers Unhappy in the Classroom

March 29, 2012

Just 44 percent of American teachers say they’re satisfied with their jobs, the lowest number in two decades and an 18-point drop since 2008. A growing number of teachers are deciding to leave the profession altogether in favor of a new career path. What’s behind the unhappiness? Please read full and follow at: http://www.good.is/post/infographic-unhappy-in-the-classroom
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#sustainable – WarmDirt keeps plants’ roots frost-free

March 29, 2012

After a somewhat unsuccessful and rather expensive attempt at warming a greenhouse, electrical engineer Dr Craig Hollabaugh rigged up a system that keeps the winter chill away by warming the roots of his plants. The WarmDirt system has already helped his plants survive the coldest of Colorado’s cold months, and is now getting ready to provide warmth to seedlings during the expected April freeze. This past season’s survivors were all flowers but next winter, the setup will be used for growing veggies. .. Continue Reading WarmDirt keeps plants’ roots frost-free
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Tomorrow’s carbon fiber could be made from plastic bags

March 29, 2012

Thanks to research currently being conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, our unwanted plastic bags may one day be recycled into carbon fiber. Not only that, but the properties of the fibers themselves could be fine-tuned, allowing different types of carbon fiber to be created for specific applications… Continue Reading Tomorrow’s carbon fiber could be made from plastic bags
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Gas Leak on Platform in North Sea Forces Evacuation

March 29, 2012

Ships and aircraft were ordered to stay away because of the risk of explosion. The leak developed as workers tried to cap a well 150 miles east of Scotland. Please read more from source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/world/europe/gas-leak-on-platform-in-north-…
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Bernanke Claims That The Fed Has Averted A Second Great Depression By Bailing Out The Too Big To Fai

March 28, 2012
The Great Depression

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke claims that the Federal Reserve averted a second Great Depression by bailing out the big Wall Street banks during the last financial crisis, and he says that if a similar financial crisis comes along that the correct “policy response” will be to do the exact same thing again.  This was the theme of the lecture that Bernanke delivered to students at George Washington University on Tuesday.  In previous lectures Bernanke has defended the existence of the Fed and detailed the history of Fed activities, but on Tuesday he addressed things that have happened since he has been at the helm of the Fed.  And according to Bernanke, he has been doing a great job.  Bernanke told the students that the “threat of a second Great Depression was very real” and that the Federal Reserve did exactly what needed to be done to fix the financial system.  Unfortunately, the truth is that all Bernanke did was kick the can a bit farther down the road.  You can’t fix a debt problem with more debt, and the debt bubble we are living in today is far larger than it was in 2008.  Will Bernanke still be trying to portray more »
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A Hybrid Car With Detachable Engine Proposed – Slashdot

March 28, 2012

“The SCI hyMod five-door minicar concept is the brainchild of a Romanian team made up of an engineer, a designer, and an automotive journalist. It uses what its designers call a ‘dedicated logistics center’ forthe transformation from electric to gas-powered, in which the back end of the car containing a battery pack is removed, and replaced with one containing a gasoline engine module that drives the rear wheels. In normal urban use, the battery pack powers an electric motor that drives the front wheels. The hyMod combines elements of range-extended electric cars like the Fisker Karma and the Volt, plus a tiny, compact range extender, and perhaps even the Better Place automated battery-pack swap station.” Please read full and follow at: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/03/27/2324242/a-hybrid-car-with-detachable-engine-proposed
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China: America’s Third Largest and Fastest Growing (By Far) Export Market, 2000-2011

March 28, 2012

Click to enlarge. Some highlights from the U.S.-China Business Council’s recently released report “U.S. Exports to China: 2000-2011“: 1. China is now the third-largest U.S. export market, and U.S. exports to China continue to expand rapidly. As a buyer of U.S. goods, China ranks behind only Canada and Mexico—two immediate neighbors with whom the United States has a regional free-trade agreement (see top chart above). 2. Between 2000 and 2011, total U.S. exports to China rose 542 percent, from $16.2 billion to $103.9 billion. Total U.S. exports to the rest of the world increased only 80 percent during this period (see bottom chart above). Please read more from source: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/03/china-americas-third-largest-export.html
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Experts Warn Urban Expansion Puts Humanity at Risk : TreeHugger

March 28, 2012

With 7 billion people on the planet, things have already begun to feel a bit hot and crowded, particularly in swelling urban centers — but researchers warn that we’ve ain’t seen nothing yet. Please read more from source: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/urban-expansion-puts-humanity-risk.html
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One of Japan’s damaged reactors has high radiation, little water, renewing stability concerns – The Washington Post

March 28, 2012

…Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor. Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. “It’s extremely high,” he said, adding that an endoscope would last only 14 hours in that condition. “We have to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation” when locating and removing melted fuel during the decommissioning. Please read more from source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/new-probe-at-japans-crippled-nuke-plant-finds-fatally-high-radiation-little-water-in-reactor/2012/03/27/gIQA83d0dS_story.html
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Green Blog: $1.2 Million Fine for Indian Point Fire

March 27, 2012

The fine is viewed as a slap of a wrist in the context of a broader struggle by New York State officials to shut down the nuclear plant. Please continue reading at: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/1-2-million-fine-for-indian-point-f…
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US Army Abandoning LEED Certification…”highlighting LEED certification will be less valuable, if not totally irrelevant.”

March 27, 2012

Written by Philip Proefrock on 27/03/12 While the headline may sound dire, it’s not an indication that the US Army is giving up on green building. Instead, the Army has announced it will use a new construction code of its own which is based on the  ASHRAE 189.1 standard for new buildings and renovations, rather than continue to use LEED or the High Perfromance Sustainable Buildings standards. This new standard will “govern all new construction, major renovations and leased space acquisition.” The Army had already adopted ASHRAE 189.1 late in 2010. Some of the impetus for this change is political. In 2011, Congress acted toprevent any Department of Defense project from achieving LEED gold or platinum certification as part of that year’s Defense Reauthorization bill. Moreover, LEED is fundamentally a marketing program that recognizes buildings built to a particular high standard of performance. At its core, the Army is more concerned about having better buildings that it can operate more efficiently. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Dr. Dorothy Robyn stated that, “With more than 300,000 buildings and 2.2 billion square feet of building space, DoD has a footprint three times that of Wal-Mart and six times that of GSA. Our corresponding energy bill is $4 more »
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VW set to pilot e-Golf test fleet in the U.S.

March 27, 2012

The fact that most major manufacturers are now investing serious amounts of time and money in battery electric vehicle (BEV) development is proof positive that an electric automotive future will soon be upon us. While some, like Mitsubishi and Nissan, are already leading the charge onto the driveways of more and more folks around the globe, others prefer to take a more considered approach. Such is the case with Volkswagen. After giving us a glimpse of its plans for an electric Golf back in 2010, the company has now announced that a nine-month pilot scheme is to start next month in the U.S., to evaluate a prototype electric version of the company’s popular hatchback ahead of commercial production… Continue Reading VW set to pilot e-Golf test fleet in the U.S.
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US Navy sails 1,200 miles on algae biofuel | TG Daily

March 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich may mock algae as a source of clean fuel, but the U.S. Navy’s got no problem with it. In fact, the Navy is extending – literally – its use of biofuels derived from the stuff. Last November, a remotely controlled destroyer using a 50-50 blend of algae-derived, hydro-processed oil and a standard petroleum fuel made a 17-hour trek 150 or so miles up the California coast from San Diego to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme. 

 That was the Navy’s largest-scale alt-fuel demo - until now. According to Solazyme, the U.S. Navy Frigate fleet ship USS Ford just sailed from its homeport in Everett, Wash., down to San Diego using 25,000 gallons of the company’s Soladiesel blended in even proportions with F-76 military diesel. Solazyme didn’t say exactly how far the trip was, but charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration peg the distance from Seattle (about 30 miles south of Everett) to San Diego at 1,228 nautical miles. The Navy has set a goal of deploying a “Great Green Fleet” powered entirely by alternative fuels by 2016, and of reaching 50 percent alternative energy use overall by 2020. The service has also tested alternative fuel in a yard patrol boat at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, more »
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Wind turbine thunderstruck by lightning and smashed

March 27, 2012

On Wednesday (21st March 2012) one of the Wonthaggi wind turbine’s blades was reportedly hit by lightning, causing the blade to split down its length. It’s now hanging from the hub in need of being replaced. Wonthaggi turbine after lightning strike, March 2012 (Neil Rankine) Having one turbine off-line will obviously reduce the amount of electricity the wind farm can produce for a while. Clearly any form of generation will have unforeseen mechanical and other breakdowns so I thought I’d see how often coal plants like Hazelwood in the Valley are generating. Hazelwood has eight generating units and they always seem to have one off-line for maintenance or repair – sometimes two. The actual figure for achieved generation is a bit under 84% (Google ‘green energy markets hazelwood’). Coincidently, five turbines out of six still operating at Wonthaggi gives the same figure (83.3%). So the availability of the wind farm is about the same at the moment, as Hazelwood power station. In the long term of course the wind farm will have a higher availability than coal fired generation as there is much less to go wrong. People often say that governing mechanisms can go wrong with wind farms, another more »
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“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” – Steve Jobs

March 25, 2012


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Organic Or Natural? Can you trust the labels?

March 25, 2012

The Organic Movement started out well. Get away from chemical foods (and body care products), and only deliver all natural chemical free foods that are healthier and safer. Thanks to government regulations that spell out how much chemical and biological contamination is allowed and still qualify for the organic symbol, Big Agriculture & Bio Tech has figured out how to game the system. And that still does not protect you from salmonella outbreaks, E. coli, etc. A lot of small producers who want to provide healthy food, can’t or won’t tie themselves to the government organic program, so they call their products “all natural” or “chemical free”, but Big Agriculture has figured out that game as well, and use those labels to pump even more crap into our systems, including GMO, chemicals, and pseudo-food (parts is parts). The take-away from this is don’t hide behind labels. Know where your food comes from, know what you are eating, and best of all, grow as much of your own as you can. Your body will thank you. For more info, read Exposing the Myth of So-Called Natural Foods Please read full and follow at: http://www.green-trust.org/wordpress/2012/03/17/organic-or-natural-can-you-trust-the-labels/
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Interesting Facts About Farm Water Conservation – Green-Trust.Org

March 25, 2012

A tremendous amount of water is used globally for agriculture. It’s estimated the world’s population by 2050 will be around 9 billion, and if we do not reduce our water usage, there won’t be enough fresh water to go around. Alternative methods of agriculture (aquaponics for instance), composting toilets, and low flow fixtures can all help! (see http://www.green-trust.org/products/ for ideas) Infographic by Seametrics, a manufacturer of water flow meter technology that measures and conserves water. Shared from Green-Trust.Org
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@SMBC … White papers vs grant discussions – classic

March 25, 2012

Please read full and follow at: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2559
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An environmental group is taking Warren Buffett to task over a proposed nuclear power plant in Iowa – Omaha.com

March 25, 2012

The group, Friends of the Earth, says Buffett told CNBC last month that the future of nuclear reactor construction is “dead” because of the crisis in Japan. Yet MidAmerican Energy, a holding of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is proposing to build a new Iowa nuclear plant, it says. The Iowa Legislature is considering a bill aimed at spurring the development of the MidAmerican plant, which would become the second nuclear plant in the state. The bill, which passed the Iowa House on Tuesday, would allow Mid-American to begin billing customers in advance for the estimated $1 billion cost of developing one or more small, modular nuclear reactors that could go on line as early as 2020. Friends of Earth published an advertisement Wednesday in The World-Herald that criticized MidAmerican for wanting to “raise Iowans’ electricity rates to fund a new reactor that might never get built.” “Mr. Buffett, Iowa ratepayers should not be paying up front for a project you don’t think will ever be completed,” the group’s ad said. http://www.omaha.com/article/20110429/NEWS01/704299899/0
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New study: Radiation treatments create cancer cells 30 times more potent than regular cancer cells

March 25, 2012

Excerpt- In the new study, Pajonk and his team irradiated normal non-stem cell cancer cells and placed them into mice. Through a unique imaging system, the researchers observed the cells differentiate into iBCSC in response to radiation treatments. Pjonk reported that the newly generated cells were remarkably similar to non-irradiated breast cancer stem cells. The team of researchers also found that the radiation-induced stem cells had a more than 30-fold increased ability to form tumors compared with non-irradiated breast cancer cells.Despite all the billions of dollars spent on cancer, the 40 year “war on cancer” has been a losing one by any honest evaluation. One hundred years ago, anywhere from 1 in 50 to perhaps 1 in 100 people could be expected to develop cancer. Now it is estimated that 1 in every 2 men and 1 in every 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Despite more people around the world developing cancer and dying from cancer every year, mainstream medicine continues to cling to failed treatments which more often than not fail to eliminate the cancer and help cancer spread and return more aggressively than ever. Notably, two of the three major mainstream cancer treatments more »
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Please Highlight The Housing Recovery On The Following Chart @ZeroHedge

March 25, 2012

@ZeroHedge…of New One Family Homes for Sale (source) which at 150,000 is the lowest print… Ever. And no, “it can only go up from 300,000, 250,000, 200,000, 150,000… 0″ does not work with us. Please read full and follow at: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/please-highlight-housing-recovery-following-chart
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Student-Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion – WSJ.com

March 25, 2012

The amount Americans owe on student loans is far higher than earlier estimates and could lead some consumers to postpone buying homes, potentially slowing the housing recovery, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Total student debt outstanding appears to have surpassed $1 trillion late last year, said officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created in the wake of the financial crisis. That would be roughly 16% higher than an estimate earlier this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Please read full and follow at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577295930047604846.html
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Water Charity WIN… Give a little, get a little

March 25, 2012
epic win photos - Water Charity WIN

Via: Reddit
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California DoD bases sitting on 7 gigawatts of solar potential

March 25, 2012

Marine exercises at Twentynine Palms, one of the military installations analyzed in the study The US Military is sitting on a potential 7GW of untapped solar power capacity in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, according to a recent Department of Defense report that analyzed the applicability of a variety of solar technologies across seven military installations. Initially nine military installations were analyzed, seven in California and two in Nevada, taking in sites used by the Army, Navy, and Air Force as well as the Marine Corps. By comparing competing solar energy technologies on such a large scale, the report (titled Solar Energy Development on Department of Defense Installations in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, available in PDF on the ESTCP website) gives insight as to the commercial viability of solar power in the US today. Though building roofs and car park shades were identified as potential homes for solar collectors, ground sites make up the vast majority of the potential solar sites analyzed in the study. These areas were subject to GIS analysis, overlaying up to 40 variables per location. Suitable sites were assessed for their technical and economic feasibility; six solar electricity-generating technologies were examined, including crystalline photovoltaics, thin-film photovoltaics, and concentrating more »
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