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 June 9, 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.

Monument Valley: An Icon of American West : Image of the Day – It’s interesting to see a place I’ve been (on the ground) from a different perspective.

How to Be Happy: A Cheat Sheet – A summary of a course on the topic from Yale.

Biologist advocates ecological approach to improving human health -- ScienceDaily – Thinking about the body (particularly the gut) as an ecosystem in need of restoration!

Compound Interest - Why is milk white? The chemistry of milk – The white is from the clusters of proteins and calcium that make up ‘micelles’!

Top 25: Birds of America – National Geographic Blog – How many of these birds do you recognize? I recognized almost all of them…and have seen at least 20 in the wild!

Colorful Architectural Watercolors of International Cities by Maja Wroń – Some are easier to recognize that others. I liked the vivid colors too.

Supermarket Buying Guide | Berkeley Wellness – A guide from 2013…but still good overall.

Lighting intervention improves sleep and mood for Alzheimer’s patients: Daytime light exposure decreases sleep disturbances, depression and agitation -- ScienceDaily – I wonder if this is not true for almost everyone…not just Alzheimer’s patients. Artificial light (and computer/tablet/phone screens) are disruptive to our circadian rhythm.

Majority of Americans Believe Space Exploration Remains Essential | Pew Research Center – Hurray! The result that surprised me the most in this survey, was that ‘monitor key parts of the Earth’s climate system’ was the top priority!

Photographer Captures the Enchanting Beauty of Mount Fuji at Dawn – I expected more sunrise color…but enjoyed the artistry behind these images more than I initially thought I would.

Changes at the Grocery Store - a little history

When I first started doing my own grocery shopping back in the 1970s – the checkers still had to know the prices (no scanners), there was only one kind of bag and it was paper, and I paid cash or wrote a check.

Then the scanners came along and plastic bags although paper bags could be requested. At some point, paying for groceries with a credit card took over from checks. The credit card processing hand changed over the years…from the checker swiping it through a part of the register, to me swiping it through a device, and most recently, to me inserting the chip end of the card into the upgraded device. That finally step has eliminated the signature requirement.

I started using my own reusable bags about 8 years ago and now seldom get the plastic bags any more (and never from the grocery store). Sometimes my husband requests paper bags that we use for collecting paper to be recycled.

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The last plastic bags I’ve eliminated are from the produce department; I’ve started taking a reusable plastic bin for those items – weighing them so the checker can easily scan the weight/price for those items. In a recent trip I eliminated 3 plastic bags; I always am pleased when I can take a simple action and reduce plastic use!

Of course, once the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season starts in June, my purchases from the grocery store produce department are dramatically reduced.