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 June 14, 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.

Antibiotics found in some of the world's rivers exceed 'safe' levels, global study finds -- ScienceDaily and Hundreds of world's rivers contain dangerous levels of antibiotics – Same story from different news feeds. Antibiotics we take are not broken down in our bodies and are excreted. Wastewater treatment does not take them out of the water so the rivers are – over time – building up more antibiotics.

Ancient Fingerprints Show Men and Women Both Made Pottery in the American Southwest | Smart News | Smithsonian – The breadth of men’s finger print ridges are 9% wider than those of women…so pots that are made via pinching layers of coiled clay together using the thumb and forefinger (leaving fingerprints) can be analyzed to determine the gender of the person that made them. It turns out at Chaco Canyon that men and women made pottery…unlike the more modern tradition of the skill passing from grandmothers to mothers to younger women.

Route 66 Considered for National Historic Trail in The Park System – On a recent road trip, the Pacific, MO hotel we stayed in (west of St. Louis) was near Route 66. They had a map to continue the journey through Missouri on stretches of the old road. We needed to reach our destination quickly so stayed on I-44…but maybe sometime when we can take our time…we’ll take Route 66 where we can.

CITY SPROUTS: The Budding Movement to Integrate Garden-Based Learning in Public School Education | Children & Nature Network – A laudable goal…but it takes work. With teachers that already have a lot to do….organizing garden-based learning might be a tough addition to their job jar.

Most of the World’s Macadamias May Have Originated from a Single Australian Tree | Smart News | Smithsonian – The majority of macadamias are grown in Hawaii…so the lack of diversity within the trees in Hawaii leaves the crop open to species-level risk. This article talks about the research and search for wild plants in Australia to increase the diversity within the macadamia gene pool.

Seven US Species Invading Other Countries – Cool Green Science – We talk a lot about non-native species invading the US. Here are some that have gone the other way.

A Sea of Sagebrush Disappears, Making Way for Fire-Prone Cheatgrass: NPR – Nearly 75% of the acres burned by wildfires in the west are range lands rather the forest. And what burns is sage and cheatgrass. The problem is that cheatgrass, an invasive grass, grows faster than sage and is taking over land where sage once dominated…and cheatgrass is more flammable. Put that together with climate change and the look of the west is changing.

Megacities Like Paris and London Can Produce Their Own Clouds | Smart News | Smithsonian – The urban heat island phenomenon has been known for a long time. Now studies are looking at cloud cover over cities and it appears they are 10% cloudier than rural areas.

Still snarling after 40,000 years, a giant Pleistocene wolf discovered in Yakutia – Found in Siberia. The discovery was announced as the opening of a Woolly Mammoth exhibition in Tokyo organized by Yakutian and Japanese scientists. The same team also presented a well-preserved cave lion cub.

Six fingers per hand – People with 6 fingers on a hand (a form of polydactyly) can perform movements with one hand where people with 5 fingers would require 2 hands. The brain of polydactyly subjects controls the additional degrees of freedom the additional finger provides without sacrificing any other brain functions.

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 26, 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.

The Secret Science of Shell Seeking – Shells and Sanibel, Florida. Hopefully the sea will not become so acidic that shellfish become less numerous over time.

Old sea ice continues disappearing from the Arctic Ocean | NOAA Climate.gov – Quite a difference in the amount of old sea ice between 1984 and 2018. It’s tough to be a polar bear or any other creature that depends on sea ice.

The secret to honing kid’s language and literacy -- ScienceDaily – Children need enough sleep, playing games, and time without distractions in the background as well as having books read to them…to encourage language and literacy development.

Compound Interest - The chemistry behind how dishwashers clean – The post didn’t address why glass becomes etched by dishwashers over time…so I was a little disappointed. Otherwise, seemed to cover the bases.

Twin Satellites Map 14 Years of Freshwater Changes: Image of the Day – Analysis of observations from multiple satellites to determine where freshwater is changing on Earth. One of the sources of data was GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) that collected data through 2017. The follow-on was launched this past week (on May 22) - Meet NASA’s New Dynamic Duo: A Pair of Climate Change-Tracking Satellites | Smart News | Smithsonian

Fox Photos Capture the Diverse Personalities of the Wild Animals – We occasional see fox around – entering or leaving the forest behind our house. I’ve never managed to photograph one.

BBC - Future - Pain bias: The health inequality rarely discussed – I’m glad I am healthy….but wonder what will happen if I ever do need medical attention. This post is part of series from BBC Future about how men and women experience the medical system differently.

Climate change broadens threat of emerald ash borer -- ScienceDaily – Here in Maryland, our ash trees are dying now. Many have been cut down this year.

Buyer beware: Some water-filter pitchers much better at toxin removal: Study finds some purifiers remove twice the microcystins from risky water -- ScienceDaily – Evidently the slower filters (and often more expensive) do a better job.

Thomas Jefferson and the telegraph: highlights of the U.S. weather observer program | NOAA Climate.gov – A little history of weather observations in the US….the earliest being in the 1640s. Thomas Jefferson bought his first thermometer about the time he wrote the Declaration of Independence and his barometer about the time he signed it….and maintained records until 1816. George Washington also took regular observations….the last entry being the day before he died.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 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.

Solar Power Works in Many Places You Might Not Expect | CleanTechnica – Solar power is not just for sunny, hot areas! Sometimes assumptions we make early on about a technology are hard to overcome.

The secret world of babies – Techniques for improving our understanding of how baby’s develop their sense of the world…and some cute baby pictures.

How 'Bad Medicine' Dismisses and Misdiagnoses Women's Symptoms – Gender bias in medicine

Wild Birds of the Night – National Geographic -  Lot’s of owls in this group

Business Lessons from A Radical Industrialist (#CleanTechnica Occasional #Bookclub) | CleanTechnica – Ray Anderson’s carpet company set a goal back in the 1990s to have no net impact of the environment. They are on track to achieve that by 2020! As I looked at the summary in this blog post and took a look at the company website, I found myself wishing they made residential carpeting…not just industrial carpeting.

Sunset Crater Volcano and Capulin Volcano – I always enjoying seeing articles about places I’ve visited. I’ve been to Sunset Crater more recently (back in February 2015). Capulin Volcano was the first interesting stop along our route from the Dallas area (where we lived 35 years ago) and Colorado!

An Alternative to Burial and Cremation for Corpse Disposal | WIRED – Maybe there should be other options to cremation and burial….the ‘greener’ the better.

Six Ways to Help Bees and Beesponsible : The National Wildlife Federation -  Good ideas to add to your spring gardening.

How a Black Bear Wakes Up from a Long Winter’s Nap – Cool Green Science – Tis the season!

Pulling valuable metals from e-waste makes financial sense -- ScienceDaily – I hope it gets easier to get e-waste into a place that the value metals are extracted. In our community, it does not go in the regular recycle stream…it either is taken back to the store (traded in) or to a central collection point. We have a group of it now to load up and take.