Gleanings of the Week Ending August 24, 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.

‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades – How will public health be impacted by warming climate? This article summarizes a county-by-county analysis of likely temperature and humidity over the coming decades.

Waist size is a forgotten factor in defining obesity -- ScienceDaily - Waist size is just as important as BMI in defining obesity-related health risks. The study used data from 156,000 women ages 50-79 from 1993-2017 and confirms a similar study published in 2015 based on a much smaller population.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Little Brown Jobs (LBJs) – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Not as colorful as usual…but I still enjoyed the pictures. I also like the acronym (LBJs)

Algae living inside fungi: How land plants first evolved -- ScienceDaily – And the study was done with algae and fungi that produce high amounts of oil…could be useful growing together for bioproduction (reduce costs).

Food insecurity common across US higher education campuses -- ScienceDaily - Lack of access to reliable supply of nutritious food may affect student's ability to succeed, researchers say. Is it more a problem now that it used to be….or are we just recognizing it? Universities are scrambling to set up programs to address the issue.

With New Perennial Grain, a Step Forward for Eco-Friendly Agriculture - Yale E360 – How can the ideas for prairie and forest sustainable agriculture be moved into the mainstream faster? It seems like there is still a lot to learn about how to do it on a large scale.

Non-native invasive insects, diseases decreasing carbon stored in US forests -- ScienceDaily – It seems like more of these problems are cropping up….and at a time when we need our forests to retain carbon. In our area, the emerald ash borer has killed all the ash trees in the past 5 years…a noticeable change in our forests.

Focus on Native Bees, Not Honey Bees – Cool Green Science - Lots of beautiful bees out there…pollinating right along with the honey bees. We need to support all the pollinators to build (and sustain) health environments for us all.

Solar Panels on Farmland Have Huge Electricity-Generating Potential - Yale E360 – A vision to think about….agrivoltaics (a new vocabular word for me!).

Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all. – I was intrigued by the pictures of landscapes of melting permafrost – collapsing land, methane (enough to burn) bubbling from a thawing pond, crumbling cliffs.

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 10, 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.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Green – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Starting off the gleanings list with birds this week – green ones.

Indigenous Maize: Who Owns the Rights to Mexico’s ‘Wonder’ Plant? - Yale E360 – The nitrogen fixing maize --- farmed in Mexico – but who will profit if the trait is replicated in corn to feed the rest of the world.

Vast majority of dietary supplements don't improve heart health or put off death, study finds -- ScienceDaily – Massive analysis…277 clinical trials. The supplement industry is large and advertises; how do studies like this counteract that even if the supplement in many cases is having only a placebo effect.

Brothers Use Drone to Reveal Beauty of Ordinary Objects – Art of objects seen from above.

Making HVAC heat exchangers five times better -- ScienceDaily – We’re going to need all the innovation we can muster to get air conditioning more efficient…and power it with renewable energy.

BBC - Future - Do we need to walk 10,000 steps a day? – Hint – 10,000 is not a magic number at all. I’ve had my goal set at 12,000 steps for quite some time. I make it when I am home but am usually challenged when traveling.

Toyota plans to launch its first full EVs, in a deal with China’s BYD - MIT Technology Review – I hope by the time I get ready to replace my Prius Prime there are a lot of EVs to choose from!

What it Means to Design with Nature in 2019 - News | Planetizen – Is this the thinking of all design going forward?

A Fungus Is Now Infecting Humans & Global Warming May Be to Blame | CleanTechnica – Candida auris started showing up in humans in 2009 and it is multiple drug resistant already. New research is indicating that the fungus might have adapted to warmer temperatures until it can now multiply in the human body…which it couldn’t before.

Water Cycle is Speeding Up Over Much of the U.S. – Lots of changes in the time period between 1945 and 2014.The article includes a color-coded map. It will be interesting to see if the trends continue over the next decade

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 3, 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.

Dive beneath the pyramids of Egypt’s black pharaohs – The challenge of excavating a 2,300-year-old tomb that is submerged in rising groundwater.

Another Fire in Greenland – There have been more reports of fires in the far north this year. Evidently warm dry air causes Arctic circle landscapes (that are not ice and snow) to be very flammable…fires start and burn quite easily.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Pigeons and Doves – National Geographic – I was surprised at the diversity of these birds.

Call for green burial corridors alongside roads, railways and country footpaths -- ScienceDaily – I wonder how many other countries have a similar problem. Space for burials is probably already a challenge for almost all large cities.

How the sound in your office effects your mood – Aural architecture….how we listen to buildings, the sound within buildings, and how we react. It isn’t considered very often in the current built environment except for things like concert halls and sound proofing. Maybe in the future it will be. One segment of the article talked about the need for quite and nature sounds in city soundscapes…much better than sirens and traffic noise.

Air pollution speeds up aging of the lungs and increases chronic lung disease risk -- ScienceDaily – A large study…another reason to do everything we can to improve air quality.

Banding Hummingbirds – Banding larger birds has it’s challenges but a hummingbird….I’d never heard someone describe it. Kudos for the people that have the touch to do it well.

Engineers develop chip that converts wasted heat to usable energy -- ScienceDaily – Interesting idea…I wonder how long it will take to get this type of technology into laptops and solar panels?

How a Pokémon-like Card Game Is Changing the Way People Learn About the Environment – What a good idea. I hope more teachers start introducing their students to the Phylo game!

Solar panels cast shade on agriculture in a good way – Research from the University of Arizona…how solar panels could shade plants to help them survive in a hotter environment…and the plants help cool the air under the solar panels as they produce electricity! The plants that might do best are the leafy greens that tend to wilt in the mid-day heat. The leaves grow bigger in the shade too! Production of nutritious food and renewable energy in the same system.

Community Supported Agriculture – Hurray!

The Gorman Farms CSA summer season started last week. As usual – I am enjoying the bounty and not buying any produce at the grocery store. I’ve had stir fry and salads…seasoned mostly with garlic scapes and spring onions that were part of the share. Will I be able to use all the first share before I pick up the next one? Probably not. I can always use the bunch of kale to make chips; they always getting eaten fast. I’ve discovered that I like to process the salad greens in the Ninja or food processor to make very green slaw rather than tradition bigger chunks of green.


When I got the veggies home – I just put them in the crisper as they came from the farm. It means there is a little more prep to use them than there would be if I did the first round of prep before I put them in the refrigerator. It also means that they won’t last quite as long as they would in a bag or more airtight container. Maybe I’ll do the work when I pick up the share this week.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 8, 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.

5 Unusual Species Found in and Around the Everglades - The National Wildlife Federation Blog – I’ve seen two of the 4: the snail kite and wood stork!

Want to reduce single-use plastic in your life? Try these tips from National Geographic Explorer and #ExpeditionPlastic team member Lillygol Sedaghat. – National Geographic Society Newsroom – It’s hard to avoid single use plastics completely….but easy to cut back.

How big data can be used for personal health -- ScienceDaily – Yes – doing a lot of tracking of personal health information and having a baseline might be useful – but it’s not clear (from this article) that it didn’t result in overtreatment. It will be a challenge to match treatments in asymptomatic situations…that may never develop into a health problem. How well do we really understand risks?

BBC - Future - How weeds help fight climate change – And experiment in Australia showing how weeds might help in the process toward sustainable agriculture

Fracking: Earthquakes are triggered well beyond fluid injection zones: Computer model and field experiment data suggest a new link between subsurface injections and earthquake swarms -- ScienceDaily – Oklahoma….in the hot center of man-made earthquakes.

Do additives help the soil? Scientist suggests nature knows what's best -- ScienceDaily – Wow – a whole industry (bio-fertilizers) that is not having the positive effect on crops anticipated….and could have long-term effects on soil that are not positive. Why is the industry surviving?

Blood-squirting insects and more tiny creatures flourish in African park – Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.

Exploring the origins of the apple -- ScienceDaily – Large fruits developed to attract large animals like wild horses and large deer…..and probably other animals that are now extinct. The modern apple is a hybrid of at least 4 wild apple populations….along the Silk Road.

A Better Route Planner & Other Open Source Projects Need Our Help | CleanTechnica – Technology that needs to mature before Electronic Vehicles become more numerous.

Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought -- ScienceDaily – This year there has been too much rain in the corn belt. This story is over a month old but there are still areas of high water. What percentage of the corn fields haven’t been planted yet because they are still flooded?

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!

HoLLIE – Week 5

The Week 5 of HoLLIE (Howard County Legacy Leadership Institute for the Environment) class focused on farming in our area of Maryland, conversations that change hearts/minds/behavior, and protecting watersheds from storm water.

The day started out cool and damp…with lots of birds moving about and making noises. I took a short walk around Belmont, but the birds were not still enough for photography (and the light was not very good. I did get some silhouettes of pigeons in the sweet gum.

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I had better luck with buds on trees

seedpods from last summer,

and the bark on the river birch.

Then it was back indoors for class.

The farms in our area are generally small and generally must specialize to be successful. The country is down to 3 dairy farmers and will probably lose one of them this year. We were encouraged to ‘buy local’ and I felt good that I already have signed up for the 2018 version of the Gorman Farm CSA (community supported agriculture).

By the end of the day – we were all hoping the rain would hold off for our field trip to see different ways Columbia, MD ‘slows the flow’ of storm water runoff. It remained cloudy...but no rain! We stopped at a bioretention area near Wilde Lake to handle the runoff from a large barn so that it does not dig a trench on it’s way to the lake (carrying the slope sediment with it). It was an attractive depression the grasses and other plants with interesting seed pods (this time of year).

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The next stop was a stream restoration where a series of stepwise pools has been constructed that will slow water letting it soak in  with the series of pools or drop sediment before it moves on town to Lake Elkhorn. The project is completed except for plantings.

The last stop was an inline bioretention facility, Homespun pond, and a nearby residential rain garden. I listened but was busy photographing what turned out to be a male and female hooded merganser on the far side of the pond!

It was another good class day!

Previous HoLLIE posts: Week 1, Week 2, week 3, week 4

Gleanings of the Week Ending February 24, 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.

#ColorOurCollections & Europeana Colouring Book | Europeana Blog – I’d rather draw my own Zentangles rather starting with an existing picture. For those who want images already on the page - here is a free downloadable coloring book of historical images.

Top 25: Wild Birds on the Edge – National Geographic Blog – Endangered birds….many factors causing stressing these birds…no quick fix.

Explore Thurston Lava Tube At Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park By Flashlight  and The Nature Conservancy Transfers 222 Acres To Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park  - Reminded how much I enjoyed our trip to the big Island (and the national park there) a few years ago.

11 Chocolate Desserts That Are Totally Healthy – Dark chocolate…it’s wonderful that it is also good for you too – in moderation.

Long-term economic impact of cover crops: 29-year study finds cover crops offer benefits with no-till cotton systems -- ScienceDaily – Decreasing soil erosion….always a good thing.

Artists envisioned the future of work, and the results are pure fantasy - MIT Technology Review – What do you think? Some of these are (somewhat) logical extensions of existing technology and jobs.

Why Are You Seeing Robins in Winter? – Cool Green Science – I didn’t see any robins at my birdbath this winter, but we don’t have trees with berries that might be food for them. I did see some robins at Mt. Pleasant yesterday…a small group…and wondered if the warm weather we had earlier in the week (in the 70s) is bringing them in larger numbers to our area.

Saving a Crown Jewel – National Geographic – We spent some time at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge last November when we were at the Rio Grand Valley Birding Festival See my post here). The short video is worth watching. The wall that is being built through the refuge (destroying the refuge) is the proof of concept for the wall that some in our country want to build. It’s very sad.

BBC - Future - An effortless way to improve your memory – After reading this, I wondered if creating a Zentangle tile has the effect of a short rest period for me. I’ve noticed that it is easier for me to learn new material if I include breaks to make tiles!

Creative Ways to Boost Creativity – How many of these just come naturally to you?

Gleanings of the Week Ending December 2, 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.

Free Technology for Teachers: Resources to Learn About Outer Space – Good resources – for more than teaches!

When They Said They Wanted to Rethink Agriculture, They Meant It – Cool Green Science – Developing ways to feed more people with less water and without expanding the area we already use for agriculture….crop redistribution to maximize food production with rainfall rather than irrigation may be part of the solution.

Image of the Day: The Last Sloth | The Scientist Magazine® - Taking a closer look at the Caribbean Islands where then end of the ice age and the arrival of humans were 1,000s of years apart. There were two waves of extinction induced by human arrival: the first about 5,000 years ago when humans first arrived (ground sloth extinction) and the second around 1492 when Columbus arrived (smaller animals extinction).

Ah-Choo! 11 Fun Facts About Sneezing | Berkeley Wellness – No – your heart does not stop!

Large decrease in age-related macular degeneration in baby boomers compared to previous generations -- ScienceDaily – Positive news…but it was a small study and the participants were mostly non-Hispanic white individuals…and there is no information about why the decrease happened. Hope it holds for my family. My grandmother was blind by the time she died in her 90s…from macular degeneration.

New Science Shows Nature’s Potential to Fight Climate Change – Cool Green Science – Finding natural solutions to fight climate change. Reforestation has the highest potential!

Midwifery care at hospitals is associated with fewer medical interventions -- ScienceDaily – enhancing perinatal car and lowering costs for low-risk pregnancies…what’s not to like!

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #115 and #116 – Birds and more birds!

Making it easier to recycle plastics: Emerging technologies could greatly reduce plastic waste -- ScienceDaily – Only 9% of plastics are recycled in the US…not good.

How did Ammonite fossils form? – The chemistry of ammonite fossil formation