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.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 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.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Conceal – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Starting out with bird images this week. The first picture in this series … a little owl … is my favorite.

Ghost orchid pollination revealed for first time in incredible photos – I heard about ghost orchids at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival…so enjoyed this article (includes a video)

Centennial E7 - Night of the Killer Smog - Third Pod from the Sun - AGU Blogosphere – A little history of air pollution events that spurred the Clean Air Act of 1970.

Biomedical bleeding may impact horseshoe crabs' spawning behavior and movement -- ScienceDaily – My interest in horseshoe crabs has increased since the Cape May Birding Spring (birding) Festival.

BBC - Future - The poisons released by melting Arctic ice – Observations of a warming Arctic….some surprising even to scientists that study the area.

When Will Renewable Energy Prices Stop Dropping? | CleanTechnica – The question becomes…where the tipping point is when almost everyone is using renewable energy for just about everything….at home…on the road…at work.

How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week Doctors Say | Children & Nature Network – The study included data from 20,000 people in England and was conducted from 2014-2016. 120 minutes a week was the answer. I wonder what factors might make it different – age, culture, environment, etc.

Clouds and Rain Carry a Menagerie of Photosynthetic Microbes | The Scientist Magazine® - Life in the atmosphere.

Are doctors treating more thyroid cancer patients than necessary? -- ScienceDaily - New research may help change treatment practices for patients diagnosed with low risk thyroid cancer. Sometimes doctors opt for maximum treatment and the treatment ends up being worse than the disease would have been.

Monarch Butterflies Born in Captivity Have Trouble Migrating South Study Says: NPR – I like that the schools in my area are getting their Monarch caterpillars (or eggs) from the wild to raise in the classroom and then release. These Monarchs will migrate!

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 18, 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.

Beautiful Photos by Manuelo Bececco Captures the Essence of the Forest – Awesome views of the forest…mostly looking upward.

IYPT 2019 Elements 023: Vanadium: Hardened steel and yellow blood | Compound Interest – Vanabins are vanadium-binding proteins that make sea cucumber blood yellow!

Titanium: Sunscreens and space stations | Compound Interest – Lots of makeup and other cosmetics have titanium (for its sunscreen properties) and fighter jets do too!

Marine Viruses Detailed from Pole to Pole | Technology Networks – There are a lot more viruses than previous cataloged in the ocean. The are in roughly 5 groups based on location and depth. The Arctic Ocean has high viral diversity…higher than at the equator.

NASA's Cassini reveals surprises with Titan's lakes -- ScienceDaily – The data from Cassini’s final flyby of Titan in 2017 has revealed that the lakes in its northern hemisphere are more then 300 feet deep and are methane. Lots more science still to come as more analysis of the Cassini data is done.

Could high-flying drones power your home one day? - BBC News – How could this not cause problems with aircraft if it was widespread? Both the drone and the tether could cause problems.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Passerines – Always room on the gleanings list for bird photographs!

Four ways to attract birds and butterflies – Native plants, bird bath, brush pile in my yard….3 of 4 is not bad!

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water – Superionic ice – a new kind of ice crystal with the oxygen atoms forming a cubic lattice and the hydrogen atoms flowing like liquid through the rigid cage of oxygens.

We’ll soon know the exact air pollution from every power plant in the world. That’s huge. –It won’t just be regulators and politicians that can see the data…it will be accessible by the public too. It will become a lot clearer to everyone which power plants are negatively impacting air quality.

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 4, 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.

Exploring the Parks: White Sands National Monument – Another place I want to return to and spend a bit more time. I’ve been once when we were on the way from Dallas to Tucson. I posted about it back in 2013. We stayed long enough to have a picnic, walk along the boardwalk trail, and photograph cliff swallows at the visitor center.

New Analysis of Depression-Era Fossil Hunt Shows Texas Coast Was Once a 'Serengeti' | Smart News | Smithsonian – Research on collections made by the Works Progress Administration and mostly just stored since the 1940s….Other states than Texas probably have research projects on these collections as well.

IYPT 2019 Elements 020: Calcium: Teeth, bones and cheese | Compound Interest – Another article in the International Year of the Periodic Table series. Did you know that the human body contains about 1 kilogram of calcium?

Image of the Day: High Contrast | The Scientist Magazine® - The milkweed bug! The milkweed is just beginning to come up so I haven’t seen any of these bugs yet this year…but they’ll come out soon enough. I’ll try to remember some of this article next time I see the bug with a group of field trip hikers!

12 Famous Flower Paintings, from Monet to Mondrian – A little eye candy. Notice that there are insects with the flowers in the Ambrosius Bosschaert painting.

An invasive, thorny tree is taking over Africa – can it be stopped? – It’s not just the US that has problems with invasive plants and animals brought from elsewhere in the world. The Mesquite tree that is problematic in Africa came from South America.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the week: April and Waterbirds – Catching up a little on the series…two this week and there are still some left for the next gleanings collection.

‘Exquisitely Preserved’ Skin Impressions Found in Dinosaur Footprints | Smart News | Smithsonian – The prints are from a small theropod. Not only do they show the impression left by skin…they also indicate the dinosaur was in Korea earlier than previously thought (10-20 million years earlier).

Electric Cars Could Be as Affordable as Conventional Vehicles in Just Three Years - Yale E360 – EV technologies are developing rapidly. In 2015, batteries made up 57% of the EV total cost; today it’s down to 33% and by 2025 the projection is 2025. I know that I have enjoyed my plug-in-hybrid and that my next car will probably be an EV.

Clean Tech Jobs Lead Employment Statistics in Many US States | CleanTechnica – The map is worth the look. Solar panel installer or wind turbine service technician is the fastest growing type of job in 11 states!

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 13, 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.

Coconut Spice Cake Recipe | Magnolia Days – The cake I made for my husband’s birthday. It tasted great even without icing!

Photographer Captures Stunning Images of Ice Shards Along Lake Michigan | Smart News | Smithsonian – Spectacular ice forms – made during the breaking up on Lake Michigan a few weeks ago.

Ancient Caribbean children helped with grocery shopping in AD 400 -- ScienceDaily – Snail and clam shells (small ones) might be from child, rather than adult, foragers!

Thousands of Invasive Cane Toads Overtake Florida Community | Smart News | Smithsonian – Ugh! Not something people want in their yards and pools and driveways. These toads have a toxin strong enough to kill cats and dogs that munch on toads and can cause burning eyes or skin irritation in humans.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: March – National Geographic Society – Beautiful birds….changing environments and habitats.

Where Have All the House Sparrows Gone? – Cool Green Science – House sparrow numbers have been declining since 1966 – all around the world!

66-million-year-old deathbed linked to dinosaur-killing meteor -- ScienceDaily – Fossils of animals killed and buried within an hour of the meteor impact!

Pairing Geothermal Plus Rooftop Solar For A Truly Renewable Home | CleanTechnica – At what point will the idea of geothermal heating and cooling catch up with rooftop solar for our homes? Will Dandelion – or comparable companies - become nationwide?

Five new frog species from Madagascar -- ScienceDaily – Some tiny new frogs. The smallest is only a little larger than a grain of rice.

These pictures of seed bank samples turn biology into art – The beauty of seeds. The first photograph (of Australian windflower flower heads is my favorite. The x-ray of a red yucca seed head is also interesting….showing the 3D of the pod in the image.

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 30, 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.

Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Check out the map about 1/3 of the way through the article. It looks like quite a few areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are going to have moderate or major flooding through May. Almost the whole eastern part of the US is going to have some flooding during that period.

How Chromosomes X and Y Got Their Names, 1891 | The Scientist Magazine® - A little history. It all begins in the late 1800s.

C. R. PERCIVAL’S MICROSCOPE SLIDE COLLECTION | Ingenium – Browse through some of the images made of slides created in the early/mid 1900s. Click on the larger image to get a magnifier that can be moved over the image.

Food Trends 2019: Fermented Foods, Blueberries, Coconut Products, and More | Berkeley Wellness – How many of these are you already eating?

What oil leaves behind in 2.5 billion gallons of water every day in US -- ScienceDaily – Wouldn’t it be nice to not have oil polluted water injected underground…and sometimes into aquafers? Water is already in short supply in some areas of the country (mostly in the west). We need technologies to never contaminate water in a way that it cannot be consumed by plants and animals…and ourselves.

In Germany, Consumers Embrace a Shift to Home Batteries - Yale E360 – Half of the orders for rooftop solar panels are sold with a battery storage system too in Germany. I wonder when the US will catch up.

Butterfly numbers down by two thirds: High-intensity agriculture reduces number of butterfly species in adjacent areas -- ScienceDaily – It’s not just butterfly numbers that are down either. Agriculture research needs to hone practices that are productive in the short term…and the long term. In other words – all agriculture needs to become sustainable for humanity and the rest of the organisms that inhabit the Earth.

Nitrogen pollution's path to streams weaves through more forests (and faster) than suspected -- ScienceDaily – Nitrate is one of the abiotic tests we do for water quality assessment with high school students. This is a new finding to think about and incorporate in to the analysis of readings after heavy rains. The nitrogen might be moving so fast that the forest can’t absorb it!

Missouri Making Hyperloop Plans - News | Planetizen – A hyperloop between Kansas City and St. Louis! What a boon to the two cities and probably easier to build since there is not the heavy population between the two cities like the route that was originally talked about in California.

China Isn't Recycling Tons of U.S. Plastic Trash Anymore: Goats and Soda: NPR – We’re going to have to show some innovation in dealing with plastics – mostly single use – that we dutifully put in our recycle bins and assumed they would be recycled. Now a lot of them are going to landfills or polluting our waterways.  With a little thought, my family has reduced some….but the next step is tough. Some products we need are only available packaged in plastic.

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 16, 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.

Wind Cave, In the National Park, Is 150 Miles Long...And Counting – About 2 miles are surveyed annually and there are about 3,000 unexplored openings that haven’t been checked.

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation: New web application helps visualize climate changes in 540 North American cities -- ScienceDaily – The article includes a link to the interactive map. Baltimore Maryland will be like Cleveland, Mississippi in 60 years!

Southern California Will Soon See Another Booming Superbloom | Smart News | Smithsonian – Much better than burn scars and mud slides.

The Obelisks of Heliopolis - Archaeology Magazine – Obelisks taken from the city…a project to understand where they originally stood and the role they played.

In Era of Drought, Phoenix Prepares for a Future Without Colorado River Water - Yale E360 – Living on the edge when it comes to water supply. It’s not just South Africa that has the challenge.

BBC - Future - How Japan’s ancient trees could tell the future –Teasing out how much rain fell in Japan over the past two and half millennia by looking at the preserved wood of ancient forests.    

The soaring cost of US child care, in 5 charts  and Paid family leave is an investment in public health, not a handout – Thought provoking…families coping in the modern world.

Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants – Shifts in the way big utilities are structuring themselves for the future – it not all about new power plants.

New molecules reverse memory loss linked to depression, aging -- ScienceDaily – Maybe in the future we’ll be able to treat some types of cognitive decline better than we can now.

The Future of Universities | What's Next: Top Trends – 7 Cs: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Curiosity, Character and Compassion

Gleanings of the Week Ending December 1, 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 to feed a cat: Consensus statement to the veterinary community: Reducing stress-related eating problems -- ScienceDaily – Puzzle feeders and putting food in different places….make meal time more interesting!

Examining Grad Student Mental Health | The Scientist Magazine® - There are a lot of stressors during graduate school….and many students become depressed or develop other mental health issues. Students, faculty and university administrators are noticing that more needs to be done to help grad students through the challenges of this phase of their education.

Why Fall Color Has Been So Meh in Parts of the U.S. This Year | Smart News | Smithsonian – This article came out a few weeks ago….just getting around to putting in the gleanings. The explanation of why our area had such a lack luster fall is interesting and it might become the norm as the area gets wetter and warmer.

BBC - Earth News - Legless frogs mystery solved – Predatory dragonfly nymphs eat legs of tadpoles! This is an article from 2009…but it was news to me. We find dragonfly nymphs in almost all the streams and rivers around where I live…but I haven’t seen any legless frogs.

2 Solar Ovens Reviewed | CleanTechnica – I wonder how many people living in their RV or travel trailer make use of this type of oven to minimize propane and/or electricity usage.

Large-Scale Tar Production May Have Fueled Viking Expansion - Archaeology Magazine – Tar to waterproof ships. I was reminded of the ‘Connections’ series that often showed how a key technologic advance enabled something historically significant.

Yellowstone streams recovering thanks to wolf reintroduction -- ScienceDaily – The willows are growing taller along the banks of streams, making the banks more stable…since the wolfs are back and impacting elk browsing.

Gaudí's El Capricho, an Early Gem Located in North Spain – It’s hard to see it as a place that people would really live!

How invasive earthworm feces is altering US soils -- ScienceDaily – Asian jumping worms are changing the soils of the Midwest and East Coast of the US….and not for the better.

Why did Tutankhamun have a dagger made from a meteorite? – When Tutankhamun died, iron was rarer than gold. The Egyptians did not know how to process iron from ores…but they did know that iron meteorites came from the sky which might have made the material symbolic for them. Objects made from it would have been reserved for high-status people.

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 3, 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.

Planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors: And cut out need for insulin while controlling blood glucose -- ScienceDaily – There needs to be follow up study…but if this works, maybe it should be some everyone with type 2 diabetes tries.

10 States Now Get At Least 20 Percent of Their Electricity from Solar and Wind - Yale E360 – Progress! Hopefully other states will join the club and go beyond 30%. During some months in 2017, Iowa and Kansas, wind accounted for over 50% of in-state electricity generation.

Largest ever genetic study of blood pressure -- ScienceDaily – So much for find a root cause for high blood pressure. There are lots of genes and there is overlap with life-style exposures to things like fruit, water, tea, caffeine, alcohol, and salt. It’s complicated!

Too much vitamin A may increase risk of bone fractures -- ScienceDaily – Another study about the danger of getting ‘too much’ via vitamin supplements.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Courtship Displays – National Geographic Blog – The treat of bird photos!

Redrawing the Map: How the World’s Climate Zones Are Shifting - Yale E360 – Interesting summary…hardiness zones on the move, Tornado Alley is shifting, the tropics are getting bigger, the Sahara desert is bigger, the 100th meridian has shifted eastward by 140 miles.

The Enchanting History of Notre Dame Cathedral's Famous Gargoyles and Grotesques – The stone carvings are pitted…but the sculptures are still awesome.

BBC - Future - How a daily 10-minute exercise could boost your happiness – The 10-minute exercise is jot down the answer to 6 questions each day: 1) What experiences, however mundane, gave you pleasure? 2) What praise and feedback did you receive? 3) What were the moments of pure good fortune? 4) What were your achievements, however small? 5) What made you feel grateful? 6) How did you express kindness? It’s a good way to end the day on a positive note!

U.S. Air Pollution Deaths Nearly Halved Over Two Decades - Yale E360 – A good trend but there were still 71,000 deaths in 2010 attributed to air pollution – more than traffic accidents and gun shootings combined. Air pollution remains a public health issue.

The chemistry of Venus flytraps in C&EN – I’ve always been fascinated by carnivorous plants. This infographic describes how it take two hairs to trigger the closing of the trap…that it only takes 0.1 seconds to close…and then up to 5 days to digest the insect.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 15, 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.

BBC - Future - How China’s giant solar farms are transforming world energy – Giant solar farms that, when viewed from the air form Giant Pandas. All over the world…but in China particularly…there are more and more enormous solar farms. It’s good for the immediate future but there are still issues with what happens when the solar panels need to be recycled (i.e. in 30 or so years).

New research shows how children want their food served -- ScienceDaily – I didn’t find this a challenge…my daughter always enjoyed her food. It seems more likely to be challenging in places like school cafeterias or other institutional settings.

Photos Show the Icy Glacier Landscape of Northeast Greenland – Life lurking in the ice waters. It’s a difficult place to dive.

Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance (Rutgers NJAES) – Maryland is not that far from New Jersey so this list works for us – although I wish they would mark the plants native to North America. I’d rather plant natives.

How This Popular Garden Plant May Spread Parasites That Harm Monarchs | Smart News | Smithsonian – Aargh!!!! We need to be sure we are not planting tropical milkweed in areas where it is not native….the orange butterfly weed – which is also a milkweed – is native across most of North America and a good plant to have in the garden for Monarch butterfly caterpillars.

New color-generation mechanism discovered in ‘rainbow’ weevil -- ScienceDaily – The researches from Yale propose that this mechanism might be useful for screen displays to enable the same true image from any angle and to reduce signal loss in optical fibers.

What Ötzi the Iceman’s Tattoos Reveal About Copper Age Medical Practices | Smart News | Smithsonian – There have been papers coming out about additional discoveries from the remains found in the Alps in 1991 over the years --- there was a lot we could learn and new technologies have come along to enable more than anyone thought about at first.

Night-time habits of captive flamingos -- ScienceDaily – The forage and roam! Evidently, they are more active at night in the wild as well. During the day they tend to rest and preen…that’s when courtship displays happen as well.

Muscle Clocks Play a Role in Regulating Metabolism | The Scientist Magazine® - Circadian rhythms are not just from the brain! There are timekeepers throughout the body. The peripheral clock in muscles was confirmed in 2007 and it turns out that it is important to glucose metabolism. There is still a lot to learn about all the body’s timekeepers!

BBC - Future - Are hot springs the future of farming? – Maybe there is not one strategy that is the ‘future of farming’ – but this is an interesting idea that we may see in places where it can be done effectively.

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 21, 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.

Some visual feasts: Peep the Stunning Winners of the Audubon Society’s Photo Contest | Smart News | Smithsonian and National Park Service Releases Iconic Paintings of Parks and Stunning Drone Photos of Venice Show Unique View of the City  and Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year  – Starting out the gleanings list this week with images!

Fossil Fuels Account for Lowest Share of U.S. Energy Consumption in More than a Century - Yale E360 – Hurray for some positive news about trends and the environment…but there is still a tremendous effort needed to shift toward a sustainable future for our planet.

Air pollution contributes significantly to diabetes globally: Even low pollution levels can pose health risk -- ScienceDaily – Clean air is something every living thing needs for a healthy life – even humans.

New Website Unearths Amsterdam’s History Via 700,000 Artifacts Spanning 5,000 Years | Smart News | Smithsonian – If you can’t travel…there are lots of ways to look artifacts via the web. This is one of them and includes bits and pieces of just about everything.

Rivers and Streams Compose Much More of Earth’s Surface Than Thought | The Scientist Magazine® - The results of a study using NASA’s Landsat images.

BBC - Future - How your age affects your appetite – Food is fuel…and a social/cultural experience. How well does your experience of food link with your age?

Net-zero emissions energy systems | Science – A scholarly article about what it will take to achieve net-zero emissions…what existing technologies can do and what still needs a lot of development.

Germany’s "Stonehenge" Reveals Evidence of Human Sacrifice | Smart News | Smithsonian – Maybe Neolithic circles were more common that originally thought and they weren’t always made of stone. This one was wood and was torn down about 2050 BCE.

Opinion: Rise of the Robot Radiologists | The Scientist Magazine® - A white color job that might give way to artificial intelligence…soon. If it does – will it help slow the rise of medical costs?

Mummification Workshop Excavated in Egypt - Archaeology Magazine and Mummification Workshop and Trove of Burial Relics Found in Egypt | Smart News | Smithsonian – Two sources for the same story…different perspectives/details.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 23, 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.

Civil War Battlefield ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Work of Combat Surgeons – History from bones…a different perspective on the Civil War.

Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Camera | The Prairie Ecologist – A little photography tutorial….it’s great to understand your camera well enough to (sometimes) see more than you easily can with your eyes!

Forensic dentistry and how teeth are used to identify a person – Emerging technologies are making it realistic to identify a person from a single tooth.

What Americans Told Us About Online Shopping Says A Lot About Amazon : NPR – Shopping has changed so much….I like the change too.

Carbon Bubble About To Burst, Leaving Trillions In Stranded Assets Behind, Claims New Research | CleanTechnica – A thought provoking article about the inevitable transition from fossil fuels…and the value of these assets.

A new material capable of the adsorption of organic pollutants in water: The organomica C18-Mica-4 eliminates between 70 and 100 percent of these toxic compounds in less than 24 hours -- ScienceDaily – There are a lot of pollutants that the old style water treatment does not remove. I’m glad there is active research on increasing what can be removed from waste (industrial and sewage) water before it is released from the treatment facility.

 2017 set a new record for renewable power, but emissions are still rising — Quartz – I hope we can turn a corner soon – stabilize and then reduce emissions. Otherwise the future is a very different world. Many will not fare very well.

Age-related diseases may be a negative outcome of human evolution – In 1957, evolutionary biologist George Williams proposed a theory: adaptations that made species more fit in the early years of life likely made them more vulnerable to diseases in the post-reproductive years. This article is about some recent work investigating this theory in relation to brain development in humans.

Photography in the National Parks: Adding a Sunburst to your Sunshine – Getting up to photograph sunrise…some ideas to add pizzazz.

Top 25 Birds of Africa – I can’t resist including a ’25 birds’ post in the gleanings for the week.

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.

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 February 17, 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.

Who’s still smoking: Report highlights populations still at risk -- ScienceDaily – I rarely see people smoking these days. The overall smoking rates in the US has dropped from 42% in 1965 to 15% in 2015. The analysis of the types of individuals in that 15% reveals that there are populations vulnerable…and that novel interventions will be needed to further reduce smoking in the US.

Top 25 Wild Birds Against Spectacular Landscapes – National Geographic Blog – I’m thinking about birds even more than usual this weekend – participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Being A Homebody Has A Surprising Environmental Upside | CleanTechnica – I know that I used less gasoline and don’t spend as much on clothes as I used to when I went into the office every day….evidently there are enough people that are working at home or retired that the energy savings is significant. Now to just make the energy we use at home skew further toward the renewable variety!

Magnesium makes chromosomes: A new chemical tool, MARIO, shows how free Mg2+ ions regulate chromosome shape -- ScienceDaily – Some work by Japanese researchers. They note at the end of this blurb that this new understanding about magnesium may be a piece to the puzzle of how cancer happens…and maybe treatment.

LASER SCANS REVEAL MAYA “MEGALOPOLIS” BELOW GUATEMALAN JUNGLE | National Geographic - National Geographic – more than 60,000 houses, palaces, elevated highways, and other human-made features….under the jungles of northern Guatemala. The civilization peaked some 1,200 years ago and was comparable to ancient Greece or China. There were probably 10-15 million people in the area too – far more than previously estimated. The LiDAR also revealed pits from looters.

Woodpeckers show signs of possible brain damage, but that might not be a bad thing -- ScienceDaily – Analysis of woodpecker brains from collections of the Field Museum and Harvard Museum of Natural History. The picture with the article is of a downy woodpecker…one kind of woodpecker we see in our area.

Mushrooms Are Good for You, But Are They Medicine? – The question is still open…but they taste good so why not enjoy them even if they aren’t medicine!

Another Kind of Migration: A Visit to Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve – National Geographic Blog – I just found out recently that they’ve planted milkweed at all the schools in our county…and will be monitoring to make sure it thrives…a little action to help the Monarch butterflies as they come through our part of Maryland on their way to Canada.

Surreal Images of Frozen Niagara Falls at Night by Adam Klekotka – Winter eye candy.

Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever of Fatal Coal Miners’ Disease: NPR – So sad. It’s happening to younger miners than it used to; ‘improvements’ in mining equipment? This is probably another reason we should move to renewable energy as quickly as we can.

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 27, 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.

Transmission Upgrades & Expansion Are Necessary to Meet Increasing Demand for Wind & Solar | CleanTechnica – The key barrier is planning that requires coordination across regions. The Central US contains the most technical potential for wind and solar development but the largest growth in energy consumption is along the coasts…hence the need for transmission upgrades.

How Birds Survive the Cold: Feathers + Food = Warmth | All About Birds – A timely article about bird survival strategies. I was pleased that I see quite a few of the birds featured in the article in my backyard: juncos, finches, blue jays, chickadees, downy woodpecker, and blue birds.

A Wild Year for the Whooping Crane: The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Still on the edge of extinction…but the numbers in the wild flock that migrate from Canada down to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is slowly increasing.

Forensic Facial Reconstruction Reveals 9,000-Year-Old Face – It seems like a lot of facial reconstruction has happened recently. This one is for an 18-year-old woman from Greece (9,000 years ago).

People with tetraplegia gain rapid use of brain-computer interface -- ScienceDaily – What a hopeful result – both for people with disabilities and more broadly.

On the Chesapeake, A Precarious Future of Rising Seas and High Tides - Yale E360 – We live very close to the Chesapeake Bay…so I always take note when it appears in my news feeds. The 15-minute video about Dorchester County is well done. I am familiar with Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge; it was the first place I saw a bald eagle in the wild….28 years ago. It has a lot more open water now and by the end of the century will be completely under water.

The Intelligent Plant | The New Yorker – An older article but new to me. It was referenced in a lecture I went to recently. Very readable…a new way of understanding plants.

Understanding the Nomadic Habits of Snowy Owls – Cool Green Science – We only see snowy owls in Maryland in winter…and then rarely. There’s always a possibility.

Canyonlands National Park – I’ve only been in that part of Utah once – and it was in October 2013 when the government was shut down….so I didn’t get to visit the park. This article has given me the idea that it would be a good place to camp – take the telescope for the night skies and hike in the mornings.

Air quality is leading environmental threat to public health: Switzerland tops the report while India falls to the bottom tier -- ScienceDaily – The US places 27th of 108 countries (strong scores on sanitation and air quality…but weak performance on deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. We’re near the back of the industrialized nations.