Gleanings of the Week Ending March 2, 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.

Good News for Eastern Monarch Butterfly Population - The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Now to sustain the improvement into a trend….and stop the decline for the western population.  

Joshua Trees Could Take 200 to 300 Years to Recover from Shutdown Damage | Smart News | Smithsonian – A very sad result of the shutdown.

Physician-targeted marketing is associated with increase in opioid overdose deaths, study shows -- ScienceDaily – Hopefully with the opioid crisis getting more attention…the targeted marketing is reduced or eliminated. The study used data from before 2016. Things have gotten a lot worse since 2016 but maybe there is a lag between prescription opioid use and opioid overdoses.

Rocking Improves Sleep, Boosts Memory | The Scientist Magazine® - A research topic….and maybe a trend in new bed purchases.

America colonization ‘cooled Earth's climate’ - BBC News – More than 50 million people died and close to 56 million hectares (an area the size the France) they had been farming returned to forest. The drop in CO2 is evident in Antarctica ice cores and cooler weather.

The World’s ‘Third Pole’ Will Lose One-Third of Ice by 2100 - Yale E360 – The Himalayas and Hindu Kush mountains are the source of water for nearly 2 billion people. The region has lost 15% of it’s ice since the 1970s. The current estimate is the river flows will increase until 2060 (flooding) but then will decline. There will be more and more bare rock rather than snow covered rock.

Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System in U.S.: The Salt: NPR – It’s starting with beer bottles. Reuse is better than recycle is better than landfill. If given a choice between buying something in glass or plastic…I choose glass.

BBC - Future - The ‘miracle mineral’ the world needs – Phosphorous. Thermic compost piles rather than mineral fertilizers. It’s economical and environmentally a better way.

Top 25 Wild Bird Pictures of the Week – Raptors – As usual – great photographs of birds from around the world.

What happens to the natural world if all the insects disappear? – Big perturbations of food chains. The article ends with a question: If we dispossess them, can we manage the planet without them? It would be a very different planet.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 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.

Poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection: Lack of sleep generates social anxiety that infects those around us -- ScienceDaily – Yet another reason that getting enough sleep is important to us as individuals and society at large.

The Armchair Photography Guide to Canyonlands National Park – Island in The Sky | National Parks Traveler – So many of the pictures had snow! It would be good to go when it was not terrifically hot….so any time but summer and even better close to the beginning or end of winter (a little now…not enough to be hazardous).

Stunning Underwater Photos of Microscopic Plankton by Ryo Minemizu – Beautiful, small life.

In Eastern US, adult trees adapt and acclimate to local climate: Tree cores reveal flexibility, more work needed to understand mechanisms -- ScienceDaily – 14 species of trees were analyzed using tree cores from 1940-1980….shouldn’t we look at more recent tree cores too?

Bed Bugs: When Biodiversity Bites – Cool Green Science – Informative….maybe I should check for bedbugs more consistently when I travel. I shouldn’t keep relying on ‘luck’ to avoid a very bad experience.

A Record Year for Measles Cases in Europe | The Scientist Magazine® - When I was a child, the measles vaccines didn’t exist yet. It was awful. Everyone got sick with them and, for some, there were lasting consequences. I was fortunate and survived without lasting damage except for missing enough school that I never quite understood certain volumetric measurements because I completely missed when it was taught.

Which country has the most expensive education? - Are the comparisons really apples and apples…or are there some pears and oranges thrown in? It is about educations but there are a lot of variables beside cost. All countries and parents and teachers struggle with how to make education relevant to students for now and into the future.

Air Pollution Linked to Decline in Cognitive Performance – The study was done in China but I wondered if it was true in other areas of the world with high levels of air pollution (like India). The US could be vulnerable if we relax our clean air standards.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx begins asteroid operations campaign – We were in Florida in September 2016 for the launch…so I always notice the updates about its progress.

50% of Industrial Climate Change Emissions Tied to Fossil Fuel Companies – An interview with the two authors of a recently released report: Decarbonization Pathways for Mines.

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.

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 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.

Cache of Newly Digitized Travel Photographs Will Transport You to 1900s California | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little California history. I couldn’t figure out how to browse photographs almost like a slideshow. The interface seems to only provide one-at-a-time viewing.

With wrist-worn gadget, researchers capture real-life sleep for the first time -- ScienceDaily – I wondered how this differed from my Fitbit Alta HR tracker. I assume it has more detail and that raw data is processed with more sophisticated algorithms.

The National Gallery of Art Releases Over 45,000 Digitized Works of Art – Wow! Follow the link to the NGA images and enjoy!

BBC - Future - The labs that protect against online warfare – Even with the labs….is seems like we are not doing enough. Governments are serious about the problem from a military standpoint…not necessarily about infrastructure or healthcare.

Habitat on the Edges: Making Room for Wildlife in an Urbanized World - Yale E360 – A good summary of some things that appear to be working to increase and/or preserve wild life habitat even as human populations increase. The habitat is gerrymandered…and different that the original, but may be almost the only path forward.

A Floating House to Resist the Floods of Climate Change | The New Yorker – It seems far fetched that whole neighborhoods would be built like this – but it is appealing to think about non-traditional approaches now when extreme storms seem to be more common.

Deep learning sharpens views of cells and genes – Using a neural network to look at retinal images and determine the likelihood of heart attack…and other applications of high end computer algorithms for improving understanding of medical images.

Badlands National Park – It’s been 20 years since I visited the park. I enjoyed it…think I would appreciate it more now.

National Park Service Begins Roof Replacement, Masonry Repair at Lincoln Memorial – Something going on in DC. The memorial will be partially open during the work.

US childhood mortality rates have lagged behind other wealthy nations for the past 50 years: Leading causes of death are prematurity and injuries -- ScienceDaily – Very sad. We have a system that is expensive and not very effective. Infants in the US were 76% more likely to die than in other economically similar countries.

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 11, 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.

Water striders illustrate evolutionary processes -- ScienceDaily – Water striders are one of the favorite of elementary school aged students on field trip hikes…next time I’ll have them look for ‘fans’ on the tips of their legs!

New Google Maps Feature Lets You Explore Planetary Maps – Google maps going outside of this world!

Virtual Library Card Gives Access to 2,000 Architecture Books Online – There are a lot of books on Internet Archive that are new enough to still be under copyright protection…but they are available for checkout modeled like physical libraries. This article points to the architecture books; there are other topics as well.

Why we still don’t understand sleep, and why it matters | Mosaic – Nacrolepsy…what has been discovered…but there is still happy ending for people with narcolepsy.

Photographer Captures the Beauty of Colorful Birds in a Series of Portraits – Pigeons, doves and cockatoos…what a trio!

(Some) Birds of the Pantanal – National Geographic Society – More birds. Couldn’t resist.

The History of Mincemeat Pies, from the Crusades to Christmas | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little history as we get closer to the winter holiday season.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density: With over a 99 percent negative predictive value, a liquid biopsy test can help clinicians manage difficult-to-diagnose dense breast patients -- ScienceDaily – Hope this reduces the need for biopsies…and can be scheduled/processed more rapidly.

BBC - Future - An eco-friendly way to make smartphones – We have a long way to go to make smartphones in an eco-friendly way. The title of this article seemed hopeful but by the end, I was not sure that eco-friendly was motivating anything. Taking away China’s dominance of rare earth element production seemed the primary focus.

Transparent solar technology represents ‘wave of the future’ -- ScienceDaily – Wouldn’t it be nice?