Gleanings of the Week Ending September 7, 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.

BBC - Future - Is city life really bad for you? – Some additional reasons we need to make changes to cities --- if that is where the bulk of humans will live in the future.

A Field Guide to Commonly Misidentified Mammals – Cool Green Science – How many of these animals can you correctly identify?

Blood vessels turning into bone-like particles -- ScienceDaily – The headline caught my interest…bone-like particles in the blood. Then I noticed that the researcher was from the school where I did my undergraduate work back in the 1970s!

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Raptors and Migration – Catching up on these weekly posts from National Geographic. I always enjoy them.

BBC - Future - Can you cool a house without air conditioning? – We’ve probably had our last 90 degree plus day for the season at this point….but over the long term, I expect broadening the technologies we use to cool our homes and buildings is going to be important.

Turquoise-Tinted Tarantula Discovered in Sri Lanka | Smart News | Smithsonian – Iridescent color that must startle the spider’s prey (or a predator) --- and a discussion of collecting by scientists.

See a different endangered animal in every U.S. state – The map is easy to explore. The Puritan Tiger Beetle was the one listed for Maryland….not something I had heard of before.

Infographic: How Muscles Age | The Scientist Magazine® - A little muscle anatomy lesson – for young and old.

The Earth's Vegetation Stopped Expanding 20 Years Ago - News | Planetizen – Another indication that climate change is already having a worldwide impact?

Forest-killing bark beetles also might help ecosystem, experts say - UPI.com – It’s distressing to see a forest of dead trees…but maybe it’s an indicator that monoculture forests and fire suppression are not healthy. And then there is climate change in the mix as well. The beetles now survive the winter temperatures in much of their range.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 22, 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.

The royal tombs of Ur reveal Mesopotamia's ancient splendor – From National Geographic - Leonard Woolley’s excavation of Ur in the 1920s.

Astronomers Worry New SpaceX Satellite Constellation Could Impact Research | Smart News | Smithsonian – Are telescopes on the surface of the earth doomed? Will we only be able to study the universe from space?

Americans May Be Ingesting Thousands of Microplastics Every Year | Smart News | Smithsonian and Hawaii’s newest black sand beach already contains plastic pollution – Plastics everywhere...and there is growing evidence that it is negatively impacting life on our planet. What are we doing about it?

Image of the Day: Hot Stripes | The Scientist Magazine® - Did you know that zebras can raise the black stripes separately from the white stripes!

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Communication – National Geographic Society – Birds…never can resist including a wild bird photo collections.

BBC - Future - How modern life is transforming the human skeleton – The way we live – written in our bones.

New Jersey 100% Renewable Energy Plan -- More Fiber, Less Fluff | CleanTechnica – Hurray for New Jersey….having a tangible plan to use zero carbon energy by 2050.

Eliminating packaging is a good start – but here's what supermarkets should do to stop harming the planet – I’ve made it a point to reduce the amount of packaging when I shop; I am way past the easy things…and up against the way groceries operate in my area. I buy local produce through my CSA for 5 months of the year (a good way to eliminate packaging, eat seasonally, and reduce food transportation costs) but the other 7 months of the year, I’m back to the typical grocery store for produce.

How old are your organs?  -- ScienceDaily - To scientists' surprise, organs are a mix of young and old cells: Scientists discover cellular structures with extreme longevity, leading to insights for age-associated diseases.

Tropical Cyclones are Stalling More – Hurricane Harvey (Texas)….Tropical storm Fay (Florida)…Hurricane Florence (North Carolina) – All three storms caused a lot of damage to the coasts when they lingered over the coastal area becoming prolific rain producers. Is this the new normal for Atlantic Hurricanes?

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 11, 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.

Epic Proportions - Archaeology Magazine – Standard measures of Stonehenge and other Neolithic monuments?

Potassium: Soaps and radioactive bananas | Compound Interest – Potassium regulates blood pressure and transmission of nerve impulses in our bodies!

Colorful Birds  and Terrestrial birds – From the National Geographic Society. Still catching up on the backlog. I enjoy birding – and seeing birds in action…and photographs of birds taken by others. That’s why these photographic collections show up on my gleanings list.

BBC - Future - The princess who transformed war medicine – A little medical history not widely known from the early 1900s.

Ancient secrets of medicinal mint -- ScienceDaily – There are so many members of the mint family. This article is about the DNA sequencing from a plant…learning how to more rapidly tap the therapeutic benefits of that plant and the mint family at large.

Four Out of 10 Americans Breathe Unhealthy Air - Yale E360 – That’s 141 million people…up 7 million since last year….partly due to impacts of climate change on air quality. So – we need to find ways to clean up air better than we do now either by reducing emissions or cleaning them out once they are produced.

Aging gracefully: Study identifies factors for healthy memory at any age -- ScienceDaily – The good news is that some of the factors are things we can control - engaging in more social activities, more novel cognitive activities, losing excess weight, and living with others.

What is a Naturalized Outdoor Learning Environment? -The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) program….daily access to the outdoors for young children. When I was growing up, we were outdoors most days but that is not happening consistently these days. I applaud the initiatives that are honing ways to get children outdoors more.

Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered - The New York Times – A hefty article on the topic…with pull down details.

Medical guidelines may be biased, overly aggressive in US -- ScienceDaily – Thought provoking. How is a patient to know when a doctor recommends a test or procedure that it is truly in the best interest of the patient when the doctor has a financial interest in the recommendation, or the doctor is so specialized that they always think their specialty is the best solution?

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 20, 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.

People who feed birds impact conservation -- ScienceDaily – A study of the impact people have on birds….and the impact feeding birds has on the people!

Bird Species Impacted By Cutthroat Declines At Yellowstone – Colonial water birds have declined as the lake trout have increased (and cutthroat trout had decreased) in Yellowstone Lake. There could be other reasons for the decline of the pelicans, Caspian terns, and cormorants….more study needed.

Medicinal Uses of Mint: IBS, Itching, Nausea, and More | Berkeley Wellness - Human studies of peppermint in enteric-coated capsule form….confirming some of the benefits of peppermint oil. I like the peppermint flavor…so like fresh mint in salads and hot/cold water…the smell and the flavor are wonderful, so the other positive actions mint may have are just ‘icing’ on an already appreciated cake.

In ancient oceans that resembled our own, oxygen loss triggered mass extinction -- ScienceDaily – Oceans are big but they have reached tipping points in the past. This study looks closely at the Silurian Period…the conditions then and what happened with those conditions…making comparisons to the oceans of today.

What An Aging Population Means For The Future Of The Internet – The average age in many countries is trending older…how does that trend ripple into how the internet is used/misused?

Deciphering the walnut genome: Findings could lead to new walnut varieties -- ScienceDaily – Creating hybrids of English walnuts (the most widely sold form of walnuts sold in the US for human consumption) with native Texas Black Walnuts that have better resistance to soil borne pathogens currently impacting the crop.

Why Is Cancer More Common in Men Than in Women? | The Scientist Magazine® - Studying cancer-linked cellular differences between males and females.

Çatalhöyük, Turkey's Stone Age settlement that took the first steps toward city life – Only 4% of the site has been excavated….still a lot to learn.

To build the cities of the future, we must get out of our cars – Letting nature into the core of the city.

A Colonial-Era Cemetery Resurfaces in Philadelphia - The New York Times – Teasing out the history from remains of a cemetery that was supposed to have be moved years ago…but maybe wasn’t entirely.

Gleanings of the Week Ending February 23, 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.

BBC - Future - A high-carb diet may explain why Okinawans live so long – I was surprised that sweet potatoes played a significant role in their diet.

Photo of the Week – January 18, 2019 | The Prairie Ecologist – Ice crystals on plants and barbed wire….winter photography.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds Using Rivers and Lakes  and Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Parrots (both from the National Geographic Society Newsroom) – I’m doing a bit of catching up on the Top 25 bird posts. I always enjoy these photographic series.

A Mysterious Disease Is Killing Beech Trees | The Scientist Magazine® - Beech Leaf Disease…first spotted in Ohio in 2012 and expanding since then. It appears to be an infectious disease but the causal agent hasn’t been determined and there is no treatment yet. We have a lot of beech trees in Maryland’s forests. We lost the hemlocks and ashes….and years before the chestnuts. Each loss changes the forest.

The microbes that help make you and me and  BBC - What we do and don’t know about gut health and  Is it worth taking probiotics after antibiotics?  and How dirty air could be affecting our gut health and How to eat your way to a healthy gut – A series from BBC- Future. It seems like a lot of people could feel better if we knew more about how to keep (or regain) a healthy gut.

See the microscopic wonders of herbs – Scanning Electron Microscope images of herbs – the beauty of  plants with such distinct smells and flavors.

New wisdom about high cholesterol treatment for adults aged 80 and older -- ScienceDaily – So many of the medical guidelines were developed with trials including younger people…and the assumption was made that it would be the same for older people. But now more people are living past 80 and it’s becoming clearer that it is not always the case.

See what your ZIP code says about you using Esri's ZIP lookup tool - Business Insider – The link is at the bottom of the article. I looked at places I am familiar with and it seemed about right. This would be an interesting tool to use if you were moving to a new area…provide a different perspective to your home search.

The Hidden Environmental Toll of Mining the World’s Sand - Yale E360 – Sand is needed for concrete…and a lot of building going on in the world. The problem of extreme mining in rivers and estuaries is increasing.

BBC - Future - The natural products that could replace plastic – Can any of these happen fast enough to stop – or even reduce - the flow of plastics into our rivers and oceans and landfills?

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 26, 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.

Learning Rule: Quantity, then Quality | Scott H Young – Quantity as an initial strategy is probably what I do most of the time….but I throw in a healthy dash of variety of mediums as I go after quantity. And I push myself to actively apply while I am learning all along the way.

Serious loneliness spans the adult lifespan but there is a silver lining: Feeling alone linked to psychological and physical ills, but wisdom may be a protective factor -- ScienceDaily – Most of the time we hear only about the negative impacts of loneliness (the emotion….not necessarily the physical situation). But there are many people physically alone but who don’t feel lonely. This study had a broad age rage of participants and looked at loneliness from multiple perspectives.

Aerial photos of U.S. national parks from space – National treasures…hope that the damage during the government shutdown is not widespread. Joshua Tree has been in the news….very sad.

Nutrients in blood linked to better brain connectivity, cognition in older adults -- ScienceDaily – Reinforcement that we need to eat foods with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, carotenoids, lycopene, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. The fatty acids and carotenoids are particularly linked to better functional brain network efficiency.

The Biggest Science News of 2018 | The Scientist Magazine®  - Just catching up on some end-of-2018 interesting posts. I had heard about some of these during the year – but missed some too.

The immune system's fountain of youth: Helping the immune system clear away old cells in aging mice helped restore youthful characteristics -- ScienceDaily -Early days…a lot more research needed. But an interesting idea…helping the body clear out old cells.

There’s a huge and hidden migration in North America — of dragonflies - The Washington Post – It appears that dragonflies migrate. The Monarch is the ‘poster insect’ for migration but it seems like there are more and more articles coming out about other insects that migrate too.

Meeting the Challenge of Feeding 10 Billion People Sustainably in 2050 - News | Planetizen – Land and water to grow food for an expanding population. It’s going to be challenging.

I Dug a Green Grave and Learned the Truth About the Dirty Death Industry – There is a Green Death Movement…and an example is in the Adirondacks called Spirit Sanctuary. In this case the goal is to return bodies to the Earth and preserve a landscape. Interesting…and far more sustainable that the more common burial practices (that include preservatives and waterproof vaults, sealed caskets) and cremation.

The Surprising Evolution of 'The Great Wave of Kanagawa' by Hokusai – A little art history.

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 12, 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.

I have a growing list of gleanings from sites that are not operational because of the partial government shutdown; they’ll come out in the list for the Saturday after the sites are operational again.

Climate, life and the movement of continents: New connections -- ScienceDaily – Sediment, which often includes pieces of dead organisms, may create a lubricating effect between plates, accelerating subduction and increasing plate velocity!

BBC - Future - Six reasons your memory is stranger than you think – Timelines are hard (many times inaccurate) from memory…I’m glad I keep a running list of important family travel and events.

Regenerative Cities: An Urban Concept Whose Time Has Come! | CleanTechnica – Re-thinking what cities of the future could be.

Scientists call for eight steps to increase soil carbon for climate action and food security: International coordination and financing essential -- ScienceDaily – Big benefits…but hard to come by the collective push to obtain them.

Earthquake Damage Detected in Machu Picchu - Archaeology Magazine – Evidence of an AD 1450 earthquake that damaged Machu Picchu is seen in cracks and stone damage of the buildings. The Inca’s modified their construction techniques after the event too.

Shrinking of Utah National Monument May Threaten Bee Biodiversity | Smart News | Smithsonian – Grand Staircase-Escalante is home to 660 bee species, 84 of which live outside of protected land under changes. At a time when we know pollinators are under stress…one more reason why our Federal lands are needed as refuges from human activities that damage the environment.

Scientists Don't Stay for Long in Their Jobs Anymore: Study | The Scientist Magazine® - About half of scientists who enter a scientific discipline drop out after 5 years; in the 1960s, it was 35 years. We are probably training more people in science fields but many don’t stay in academia. This study used publishing records to determine if a person stayed ‘in the discipline.’ I’d prefer to see numbers of people that had careers in a STEM related field rather than just the one they trained in and find another metric than published papers to make the determination. There are a lot more jobs today where people use their science training that do not use ‘publication’ as a measure of success.

BBC - Future - Can we cheat ageing? – Some areas of active research to help us stay healthy longer (may or may not help us live longer).

Corn Domestication May Have Taken Thousands of Years - Archaeology Magazine – It all started 9,000 years ago in southern Mexico. The process continued in Mexico and the southwestern Amazon for several thousand years. It was a slow process.

Ring in the New Year With Dazzling Total Lunar Eclipse of a Supermoon | Smart News | Smithsonian – Hope we have good weather on January 20-21….since it should be visible from our house!

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 5, 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.

Ambitious VR Experience Restores 7,000 Roman Buildings, Monuments to Their Former Glory | Smart News | Smithsonian – Is this the way we’ll experience buildings that are ‘lost’ in the future?

Most Top Burger Chains Flunk Fast Food Antibiotics Scorecard | NRDC – We don’t often go to burger chains any more. After this report – maybe the best choice would get chicken rather than beef.

Hundreds of Supplements Spiked with Pharmaceuticals | The Scientist Magazine® - Not good at all. The pharmaceuticals are undisclosed and some of the pharmaceuticals are those that have been withdrawn or were never approved. Advice: use single-ingredient supplements…and not buy supplements that are riding a fad.

7 surprising ways your body changes with age | Berkeley Wellness – I’ve noticed my feet are wider based on the way shoes fit. The others might be harder to see since they happen so slowly.

Twenty-Five Useful Thinking Tools | Scott H Young – Describing thinking tools my using professions where they appear to dominate. I hope that all the professions use multiple tools in their day to day work…even if there is one that is used most frequently.

Your guide to enjoying winter birds – It’s been so wet this year that we don’t have birds coming to our heated bird bath like we did last year. I put the bird feeder up a few days ago. Maybe we’ll start seeing more visitors.

Scientists Find Large Amounts of Methane Being Released from Icelandic Glacier - Yale E360 – A previous unknown source of methane…glaciers that are melting and happen to be covering active volcanoes and geothermal systems are probably all releasing methane. The gas is produced by microbial activity. This extra methane is not factored into current climate change models.

The Best of 2018 from the Prairie Ecologist (part 1) (part 2) – Lots of great prairie pictures.

New butterfly named for pioneering 17th-century entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian -- ScienceDaily – I enjoyed here books on Internet Archive in 2018 (find them here).

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’ – History backed up with ice core data.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 20, 2018

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.

Tracking exploding ice cracks on Himalayan glaciers - GeoSpace - AGU Blogosphere – Research about the seismic noise of glaciers.

Researchers have discovered how to slow aging: Natural product found to reduce the level of damaged cells in the body, caused by aging -- ScienceDaily – I never know what to think of these early findings…but the logical take away from this one is eat fruits and veggies since that is the source for Fisetin. But – that’s been dietary guidance for a long time.

Belly Fat Has a Role to Play in Fighting Infections | The Scientist Magazine® - Research is yielding some functions of the omentum…but there is still a lot to discover about the role this organ plays in the body.

Recovery: Prairies Under the Sea – Cool Green Science – Eel grass recovery…a success story close to where I live. The success with sea grass restoration in Tampa Bay faced a setback with this year’s red-tide blooms.

Keep your salad greens safe | Berkeley Wellness – I agree with everything except the ‘bag them’ since I am trying not to get any plastic bags at all. I take a bin with me to the grocery store for wet items and use mesh or paper bags for the dry items. And make sure the meats are in a separate bag from my produce at the checkout.

Voyager 2 Detects Hints That Interstellar Space Is Nearby – Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 is getting closer and closer to leaving the solar system.

The Mystery of the Dying Mesquites – Cool Green Science – Unappreciated trees – dying away – and finally noticed. Too late to be saved?

Decades of Trash Burst Out of Yellowstone Geyser | Smart News | Smithsonian – Yuck! Hopefully we are better now at keeping trash out of the geysers.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds Feeding – National Geographic Blog – So much to like about birds….in every aspect of their lives.

Hurricane Michael Flooding Damage Assessment Images – From NOAA. Use the sliders on the images to look images before and after the Hurricane.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 13, 2018

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.

Free Technology for Teachers: Frostbite Theater - 87 Science Experiment Video Lessons – Short videos…fun for more than just students!

Sunflower pollen has medicinal, protective effects on bees -- ScienceDaily – Sunflowers – a nice addition to pollinator gardens.

Research forecasts US among top nations to suffer economic damage from climate change -- ScienceDaily – The study found that the top 3 countries with the most to lose from climate change are the US, India and Saudi Arabia. China is in the top 5.

Do MoCA and Other Cognitive Screening Tests Work? | Berkeley Wellness – A short article that introduces some terminology….but not very satisfying. This is not an area where medical intervention has made great strides – unfortunately for an aging population.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds in Flight – National Geographic Blog – Birds in motion…a photographic challenge.

BBC - Future - Do we really live longer than our ancestors? – Life expectancy has increased because more of our species are making it to old age; life span has not changed much at all through history. The emperor Augustus lived to be 75 in the 1st century (his wife live to 86 or 87 years) and Japan’s Empress Suiko lived to be 74 in the 6th century. Cicero’s wife lived to be 103.

Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation - BBC News and An Unknown Ancient Civilization in India Carved This Rock Art | Smart News | Smithsonian – The same story from two sources. The first one is more detailed.

The Seven Cs of Education | What's Next: Top Trends – 2 items: the 7 Cs and the nature of creative thinking.

Secondary forests have short lifespans: Most don't last long enough to provide habitat for many forest species -- ScienceDaily – Making large scale commitment on reforestation requires long-term vision….and that appears to be lacking. The study was done in Costa Rica.

Infographic: Light Pollution Threatens Species | The Scientist Magazine® - It not just birds and bats….light pollution impacts a lot of organisms…including us (not the last item on the list ‘desynchronization’).

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 4, 2018

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.

Babcock Ranch in Florida Is to Sustainable Living What Tesla Is to Sustainable Transportation | CleanTechnica – This is how new development meshes with sustainability. We need to figure out how to retrofit existing communities toward sustainability too.

Interview: Adventurous Photographer Shares His Experiences Shooting Lava – I don’t have a desire to photograph active volcanoes with flowing lava….but I enjoy photographs taken by others.

US opioid prescribing rates by congressional district -- ScienceDaily – Opioid addiction is such a sad outcome in the US medical system…and it doesn’t seem like we are making progress even with the recognition that we have a problem.

Think everyone died young in ancient societies? Think again | Aeon Ideas – Even before the advent of modern medicine – there were people that lived to be very old. One of my great grandmothers lived into her 90s and all my grandparents survived their childhoods before vaccines. But many people didn’t. Epidemics like flu, typhoid, yellow fever and bubonic plague killed many people in the areas where they struck….but some people survived.

New battery could store wind and solar electricity affordably and at room temperature -- ScienceDaily – Lots of research on batteries and other forms of energy storage now….required if wind and solar power can supply 100% of our energy needs. I almost brought of ‘the grid’ but I’m not sure that a grid is going to dominate the future of our energy needs…it might…or might not.

Truth, Disrupted – An article from Harvard Business Review about false (not fake) news.

Researchers are one step closer to developing eye drops to treat common sight loss condition -- ScienceDaily – Good news…if this development lives up to the early results.

Top 25 birds with a sugar rush – Have to include some eye candy….and birds…in every gleanings post!

Unique Assemblage of Stone Tools Unearthed in Texas - Archaeology Magazine – The age of the assemblage is older that Clovis-style tools. The variety of colors and shapes of the stone (picture) is appealing too.

Researchers explore popular food trends in nutritional review: Evidence suggests beneficial outcomes from legumes, mushrooms, coffee and tea -- ScienceDaily – The most surprising result from this research: “The verdict on dairy as part of a heart-healthy diet is still out, and if consumed, full-fat dairy should be avoided.”

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 14, 2018

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 Birds of Protected Areas  and Top 25 Birds of Asia – Several collections of ’25 birds’ were in my news feeds as I was catching up after returning from Texas.

BBC - Future - Thai cave: How life in darkness could affect trapped boys and BBC - Future - Cave rescue: The dangerous diseases lurking underground – I wondered why the sensationalism of the mainstream media coverage did not include more of these aspects of the story.

Feeling young could mean your brain is aging more slowly: The first study to link subjective age to biological age shows that elderly people who feel younger have less signs of brain aging -- ScienceDaily – Feeling young is a big plus!

Minimizing Your Exposure to Pesticides in Produce: Help from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Dirty Dozen List | Berkeley Wellness – The ranking comes out every year…I use it to prioritize which veggies/fruits I buy ‘organic.’ Of course – during the summer I am eating veggies from the local Community Support Agriculture which is all organic.

Scientists capture breaking of glacier in Greenland: Event points to forces behind global sea-level rise -- ScienceDaily – There is a link to the video at the bottom of the post….well worth watching. Awesome ice.

The Ultimate Guide to Yellowstone Wildlife Viewing – Cool Green Science – I reminder of a place I want to visit again.

Beaded Necklaces: Complex Restringing | In the Artifact Lab – It took 25 meters of string to do the work!

Take a VR Tour of an Egyptian Queen’s Elaborate Tomb | Smart News | Smithsonian -  Another attempt to create ways to experience a place without actually being there…and potentially damaging it.

Poison Ivy: Busting 6 Myths to Avoid the Itch – Cool Green Science – It’s that time of year. In Maryland there is a lot of poison ivy but I’ve managed to avoid it in recent years….or maybe it is the gardening gloves with gauntlets that cover most of my arm and tucking my pants into my socks (for ticks…but also means there is no skin exposed to poison ivy either.

Gene therapy shown to cure type 2 diabetes and obesity in mice, researchers report -- ScienceDaily – Early days…but wouldn’t it be wonderful if something like this would work form humans?

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 2, 2018

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.

Critically endangered South American forests were planted by ancient peoples -- ScienceDaily – Forests of monkey puzzle trees were cultivated for their nuts and ability to attract game….they expanded as the population grew between 1,410 and 900 years ago. That was after an earlier expansion of the tree’s range caused by wetter climate from 4,480 and 3,200 years ago.

New Wind Farm Activity In Missouri Shows How States Can Leapfrog Over Natural Gas | CleanTechnica and Offshore wind energy is finally taking off in the US - Vox – Hurry for progress toward more sustainable energy!

Rising emissions of ozone-destroying chemical banned by Montreal Protocol -- ScienceDaily – New and unreported production likely in eastern Asia. Hopefully it will be stopped quickly and we can continue our progress in stabilizing and reducing the ozone-depleting gases in our upper atmosphere.

Top 25 Marine Birdlife – National Geographic Blog – I always enjoy bird pictures.

NASA Study Says Freshwater Shortages Will Be Biggest Challenge of This Century | CleanTechnica – As population increases along with industrialization and farming….more fresh water will be needed. We cannot afford to damage the supply beyond recover or use it unwisely.

Most popular vitamin and mineral supplements provide no health benefit, study finds -- ScienceDaily – Lots of studies say that food is the best way to get vitamins and minerals….this one goes a step further. It found that the supplements provide no health benefit!

Mapping America’s Aging Population - CityLab – The maps made this article for me: showing where Americans over 70 live (5% of the population in the county where I live now) and the death and birth in the use that categories whether population is naturally decreased on increasing by county (it naturally increasing where I live now).

Urban Plant Diversity – Cool Green Science – The theme of this article is to plant native species…less expensive, require less maintenance, and harbor greater diversity overall.

Social pursuits linked with increased life satisfaction -- ScienceDaily – This result seemed intuitive to me. As we get older and don’t have the level of social contacts we had during our career years, choosing activities that provide social interaction have to be done more consciously.

The State(s) Of Distributed Solar -- 2017 Update | CleanTechnica – Hopefully more states (utilities within the states) will jump on the bandwagon. There is quite an uptick since 2015 so the trend is in the right direction.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 7, 2018

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.

How Do We Carry Our Shopping Home Now? | CleanTechnica – I’ve been using my collection of reusable bags for years. Some of them are over 10 years old and still in great shape. Occasionally, I still get a Lightweight Plastic Bag (or a newspaper in plastic, or other plastic bag packaging) which I take back to the bag recycling bin at my grocery store. I’m always sad when I set a grocery cart full of stuff in the plastic bags…hope none of them escape into the environment.

A Harlequin Duck’s Long Cross-Country Migration – Cool Green Science – A bird banded in Glacier National Park migrated to Long Island! Zoom lenses on cameras and binoculars make it possible to record banding info from a distance.

BBC - Future - The small Scottish isle leading the world in electricity – Eigg has an off-grid electric system powered by wind, water, and solar…they average 90-95% renewable energy. The time of year they tend to need back up generators is in the spring.

Implications of access to high-quality fruits and vegetables: Quality has potential to impact consumer selection and consumption in rural areas -- ScienceDaily – There has been a lot of discussion about food deserts in big cities – places that lack affordable, high-quality food. It appears that food deserts occur in rural areas as well.

Top 25 Endemic Wild Birds – National Geographic – The weekly bird photography fix! The chickadee we see frequently in our areas of the Mid-Atlantic of the US is endemic to our part of the world (and is one of the 25 pictured).

New Beginnings: Cherry Blossoms and Helen Taft's Landscape Diplomacy – Some years we manage to see the peak of the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin in Washington DC….but every year we enjoy the cherry tree in our front year. It is always at least a week later than the ones in DC.

US electricity use drops, renewables push fossil fuels out of the mix | Ars Technica – Total electrical generation was down 1.5 percent in 2017. Coal and natural gas declines were more than that with renewable energy projects coming online. Energy efficiency has made a difference! Another article reported that some utilities are planning for the uptick in electric vehicles to cause the trend in electricity generation to turn upward again. Right now – it seems like people that buy electric cars are often the same people that install solar panels; that could result in no uptick to the draw from the electric utility.

The Life Issue | WIRED – A collection of thought provoking articles about ‘what it means to live in an age of improvisation.’ I started with the articles about the 55-infinity age group.

Microscopic Images of Seeds • Insteading – hmm…maybe I’ll take a magnified look at seeds before I plant them in my flower beds.

Meditate regularly for an improved attention span in old age – Nice to know that something enjoyable immediately is also good for the long term too!

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 20, 2018

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.

Water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner: All-weather friendly cooling technology works without mechanical compressors or chemical refrigerants, and generates drinking water -- ScienceDaily – This is one of those technologies I hear about…and hope it lives up to the potential talked about.

New Website Explores the Women in Architecture Your History Books Didn’t Teach You About | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little history.

The Ultimate Winter Wildlife Guide: Enjoy and Understand Creatures in the Cold – Cool Green Science and How Does Extreme Winter Weather Affect Wildlife? – Cool Green Science – It has been a cold January for us. The second article mentions that Carolina Wrens often don’t handle very cold temperatures; I did notice that I didn’t see or hear any on the extremely cold days and have only seen one since it has warmed up a little.

If Birds Left Tracks in the Sky, They’d Look Like This – Another instance where photography allows us to see our world in a way that we can’t do with our eyes.

Archaeologist debunking myth that most people died young prior to modern medicine - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – Looking at teeth of 300 people buried in Anglo Saxon English cemeteries between 375 and 625 AD…and finding some that were older than 75! It is probably true that average life expectancy was short…but there were some that lived to reach old age.

Frozen Bubble Photos Capture the Amazing Beauty of Ice Crystals – I don’t think I am patient enough for this type of photography – but I can enjoy someone else’s work!

Revelations in the Way Poison Frogs Care for Their Young – National Geographic – There is a video of a parent frog getting tadpoles on its back…taking them to a new pool of water!

Face of Ancient South American Queen Reconstructed – Pictures and short video of the facial reconstruction from the woman’s skull. She was at least 60 years old when she died….and died some 1,200 years ago.

Bones of the victims at Roman Herculaneum - HeritageDaily - Heritage & Archaeology News – Skeletons were found in ‘boat houses’ where they were buried under thin mud….preserving the bones. There are enough of them to understand more about the population of the town…like the frequency of pleural inflammation causing rib lesions, skull depressions from excess irritation and scratching attributed to head lice and age demographics.

DNA confirms the Two Brothers’ relationship | Egypt at the Manchester Museum – I remember the Two Brothers from a course on Ancient Egypt and was interested in the DNA analysis that showed they were half-brothers (same mother, different fathers).

Gleanings of the Week Ending December 16, 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.

Switching Jobs | FlowingData – How often do people change jobs and what kind of job to they move to. In the field I was in (computer mathematical), almost 70% stay in the field. I certainly did for the duration of my 40 year career.

You’ve Seen the Washington Monument. Now See the Other Washington Monuments | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little history.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #117 – National Geographic Society – I always enjoy the weekly collection of bird pictures.

Autonomous Driving Levels 0–5 + Implications | CleanTechnica – A good reference re autonomous cars. Right now, I have a level 1 car (it has adaptive cruise control). I am hoping that by the time I am very old and want to stop driving that level 5 cars are easily available.

Cataloging Fungal Life in Antarctic Seas | The Scientist Magazine® - Fungi that thrive in extreme conditions…some surprises.

Water-loving cats: Unique Tiger facts – National Geographic Society – I like the last image the best: tigers in the snow.

3 Reasons Why California’s Fire Risk Won’t Dampen Anytime Soon - NPR – I was interested in this article but it didn’t answer the question that I thought it would: In areas where fires are burning now – are they reducing the ‘fuel’ enough that fires will not burn again for a long time…and could we develop techniques to maintain that reduction in ‘fuel’ (i.e. dead wood, brush) without damaging the ecosystem.

In Luxor, Two Tombs Dating Back 3,500 Years Unveil Their Secrets | Smart News | Smithsonian – There seem to be more finds in Egypt recently – but will they be enough to draw tourists back to the region?

The Secret in the Sand Dunes – Cool Green Science – Midway Beach survived Sandy…because they pay a lot of attention to maintaining their dunes --- including after-season Christmas trees to provide structure to dunes…catching sand.

Common psychological traits in group of Italians aged 90 to 101 -- ScienceDaily - Study finds group displays distinct optimism, stubbornness and bond with family, religion and land

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.