Gleanings of the Week Ending August 17, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Well-Preserved Mosaic Floor Found in Roman Egypt - Archaeology Magazine – Lotus patterns!

Nations with strong women's rights likely to have better population health and faster growth-- ScienceDaily – A study analyzed databases which held information on health, human rights, and economic and social rights for 162 countries for the period 2004 to 2010.  The results suggest that gender equality is not just a women’s issue but a development issue.

More Climate Surprises Expected – THE DIRT – “Climate change together with environmental degradation and social and political instability is the threat multiplier.” It seems like more and more climate-linked surprises/disasters are happening every year. When do we reach a tipping point where everyone realizes that we cannot continue the status quo?

Liver transplants could be redundant with discovery of new liver cell -- ScienceDaily – From Kings’ College London. It would be a big step forward if this finding translates into standard treatment for liver failure.

Viking Woman Warrior May Have Been Slavic | Smart News | Smithsonian – Not all ‘Vikings’ were Nordic men…some were Slavic and some were women! It’s good to understand long ago cultures in more depth…particularly when it causes us to rethink our assumptions.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birding – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Variety and beauty of birds…I always enjoy the ‘25’ collections.

How to keep buildings cool without air conditioning – according to an expert in sustainable design – We are going to need all the technology we know (and some new ones) to keep buildings and homes cool as the planet gets warmer.

America's packaged food supply is ultra-processed: Americans are overexposed to products that are high in calories, saturated fat, sugar and salt -- ScienceDaily – Unhealthy ‘food’ --- most of us have an inkling about this but it doesn’t keep us from indulging. The article mentions the Foodswitch app that allows consumers to scan packaged foods to determine their healthfulness; I loaded the app and scanned things in my pantry. The pasta I buy (whole wheat and green) rates a 5 of 5! Soymilk was 4.5. The canned tamales my husband likes are a 3 (salt and fat).

Thamugadi, a Roman outpost in Algeria, was saved by the Sahara – Buried in sand after it was abandoned around AD 700…and rediscovered in the 1700s but not explored. In the 1870s it was again rediscovered. It was excavated by the French from 1881 to 1960 in its entirety. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.

100 days, 100 nights: Sensor network reveals telltale patterns in neighborhood air quality: Custom-built sensors deployed for 100 days and nights to track black carbon pollution -- ScienceDaily – A test was done in West Oakland with new technology to monitor air pollution with more specificity over the area and time of day(s) than has been done before now. The technology worked and demonstrated that the finer grain measurements provide deeper understanding of what impacts localized air quality…something we have to understand to make progress in improving city environments.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 27, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Narwhals and belugas can interbreed -- ScienceDaily – It is a unique case….apparently not something that is common at all. It also utilized some relatively recent analytic tools to determine that the hybrid was a first-generation hybrid between a female narwhal and male beluga…and it was a bottom feeder rather than feeding like either of the parents.

Photography in The National Parks: Where Will That Trail Take You? Creating A Theme – For me - themes most often emerge from the experience rather than something I think about specifically in advance.

'Anthropocene Project' Artfully Captures How Humans Change Earth's Landscape: Goats and Soda: NPR – Some photographs from an exhibit currently in Bologna, Italy…depicting obvious, physical incursion on the Earth’s landscape created by humans.

Photographer Explores the Quiet Beauty of Venice at Night – A very different perspective on the city…sinking in its lagoon.

'Bathtub rings' around Titan's lakes might be made of alien crystals -- ScienceDaily – Rings made of solid acetylene and butane – maybe. It’s what happened in the lab. A spacecraft will need to visit Titan to know for sure.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: July – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Birds!  There are so many different kinds out there.

Cholesterol medication could invite diabetes, study suggests: Patient data shows association between statins and type 2 diabetes -- ScienceDaily – A drug prescribed to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke…doubles the risk of diabetes diagnosis which would require other drugs to treat…for the rest of the person’s life. Not a good prospect.  

The Pomological Watercolors: A Collection of Watercolor Fruit Paintings – Watercolors of fruits and nuts created over 56 years beginning in 1886 by the US Department of Agriculture. They have recently been digitized and are available via the Pomological Watercolor Database. It’s not as easy to browse as a book in Internet Archive, unfortunately.

Ice Cores Preserved 1,500 Years of Industrial Lead Levels - Archaeology Magazine – I was surprised that lead levels in the atmosphere now are 60x higher than in the medieval period and that is an 80% decline since the enactment of the 1970 Clean Air act in the US. How is the lead in the air we breathe impacting our cognition – particularly for children?

Found: An ‘Undisturbed’ Roman Ship Near Cyprus | Smart News | Smithsonian – Lots of amphorae. Cyprus’ location would have made it a link on the trade route that spanned the Mediterranean but studying a wreck like this one could fill in more of the details.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 14, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #107 – National Geographic Society (blogs) and #108 – kestrels and hummingbirds and kingfishers…oh my!

What Skills Will You Need to Be Employable in 2030? – It’s hard to predict the direction of technology…but we know that some types of jobs are easier for machines to do than others. What is left that humans will need to do?

13 Ways to Cut Cancer Risk | Berkeley Wellness – Hopefully none of these are new…they have all be publicized before but maybe not in a consolidated list.

Century-old cactus used for target practice in Saguaro National Park – Very sad. I hope the culprit is cost. It seems like penalties should be higher for this kind of vandalism in a national park.

National Audubon Society Offers Great Educational Resources -  I find myself checking in on the puffins and hummingbirds!

Rome's Colosseum Is Reopening Its Upper Tiers to Visitors | Smart News | Smithsonian – The upper levels have been closed for 40 years due to structural concerns. Now restoration efforts have allowed then to be re-opened.

A Little Calm in a Noisy World | The Prairie Ecologist – The restorative power of spending a little time out in the natural world.

Incredible Macro Photography of Peacock Feathers by Can Tunçer – I am a fan of peacock feathers; one of my grandmothers raised peacocks and I have some feathers she sent to me from the 1980s.

"Living" Chandelier is a Green Lighting Piece Filled with Algae – I like items that are beautiful and serve another function at the same time. I hope eventually that light fixtures are available…and affordable.

BBC - Future - Anti-ageing: Is it possible, and would we want it? – An update on science…and prompting for thoughts of the domino changes that would occur if anti-ageing was reality.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 7, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Ancient Roman Mosaic in England Discovered by Amateur Archaeologists – A 4th CE Roman mosaic near the village of Boxford in Berkshire….discovered and then covered up to protect the mosaic until decisions are made about what to do next.

Fall Color In-Depth: Maple Trees Offer New Answers to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s – National Geographic Society  - I like maple syrup and often us it in cooking….it adds more than sweetness and – evidently – is better for you because of those other elements!

Electric Car S-Curve Adoption by Country (Fun Chart!) | CleanTechnica – Norway followed by Iceland and Sweden lead…The US is behind China.

Question: Can People Use Rooftop Solar Power During an Emergency? Answer: It Depends | CleanTechnica – As more battery storage becomes available…the problem of having solar panels but not being able to utilize them if the power grid is down may go away.

Spectacular Shots of Summer Fireworks Festivals in Japan - Hanabi Taikai – Wow! What a huge display.

Infographic: Brain Infection and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology | The Scientist Magazine® - Evidence of infection (biofilms) in the hippocampus and temporal lobe in brains from people that have died with Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration….several theories about their relationship to Alzheimer’s.

These Breathtaking Natural Wonders No Longer Exist – 18 landscapes that no longer exist…including a beach in Hawaii…some sights in US National Parks.

Free Technology for Teachers: Historical Patterns Animated – A site from the University of Oregon…worth browsing even if you aren’t a teacher.

Interactives from NASA…Exoplanet Exploration – Create your own Earth-like planet….or a hostile world.

LED Lights, All-Electric School Buses, Hydroponic Gardens ... (Cleantech in Action Series) | CleanTechnica – A roundup of cleantech press releases that came out in September.