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 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 6, 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.

Older forests resist change, climate change, that is -- ScienceDaily  - A study from the University of Vermont. But there are a lot of other changes in the forest too – the advent of non-native diseases like emerald ash borer and the explosion of deer populations so that there is a lot less understory in the forest (and few young trees). Is the net still that old forests resist change more effectively than younger ones?

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: June – National Geographic Society Newsroom – The always beautiful series of bird pictures.

Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries ScienceDaily – I’ve noticed the battery in my Prius Prime does not last for as many miles in the winter as it does in the summer. It’s one of the issues I want improved before I buy my next EV.

Chattanooga Becomes First U.S. Airport to Run Entirely on Solar – YaleEnvironment360 – Congrats to Chattanooga on this milestone. Evidently the first airport to do it was Cochin International in Kerala, India which went 100% solar powered in 2015. I’ve noticed a lot of US airports have fields of solar arrays…but maybe they haven’t also installed batteries to make the airport 100% solar powered.

You Can Now Tour the Tunnels Beneath Rome’s Baths of Caracalla – Smithsonian – A little Roman history linked to a place where tons of wood were burned per day to keep the fires going so that the caldarium would have hot water…where 18.5 gallons of water per second were consumed…copper tanks and lead pipes.

Timed release of turmeric stops cancer cell growth – ScienceDaily – Part of the search for gentler treatments for children with osteosarcoma.

A Tale of Contrasting Rift Valley Lakes – NASA Earth Observatory – Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa as viewed from NASA’s Aqua satellite.  Deep and shallow. Salty and fresh. Brown and Blue.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: Holding History in Your Hand – National Parks Traveler – I had to look up where Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located. It’s in the panhandle of Texas, north of Amarillo. I might go someday…on the way to somewhere else. The route would probably pass through the small western Oklahoma town where I was born.

Grand Canyon will soon be a dark sky park – Smithsonian – The park service has retrofitted lights to make it happen. This could be a good reason to camp in this national park!

What does the dust in your home mean for your health? – The Conversation – Thought provoking post. About one third of the ‘dust’ is created inside by ourselves and our pets, food debris, fibers from carpet/fabrics, particles from cooking plus chemicals like flame retardants. Are they toxic? There is ongoing research. Re outdoor sources – lead is the one of most concern.

Gleanings of the Week Ending December 8, 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.

Parts of the Ocean Floor Are Disintegrating—And It's Our Fault | Smart News | Smithsonian – Ocean acidification has a downside – already.

Drought Persists in the Southwest – The drought had been long…like the one in the 1950s…but there are a lot more people living in the region now than there were in the 1950s. 7 states have drafted drought contingency plans.

Body clock researchers prevent liver cancer growth in mice -- ScienceDaily – Our circadian clock has a broader role that just the sleep/wake cycle.

Get a New Perspective on Prague With These Spectacular Drone Photos – A city at sunrise. Hopefully the drone didn’t awaken anyone.

Floating Solar Is Best Solution for Colorado Town’s High Electric Bills | CleanTechnica – A small town with limited available land is installing solar panels over its waste water plant.

Which country is best to live in? Our calculations say it's not Norway – Two metrics are compared. Using the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) – Norway is ‘best.’ But there are issues with that indicator. The Human Life Indicator (HLI) has Hong Kong at the top…with Norway at 9.  The US is 10 on the UN HDI but falls to 32 on the HLI scale largely due to lower longevity and high inequality in ages of death when compared to other countries like Canada (which was 10 on the UN HDI index and 17 on the HLI scale). Maybe these indexes are not that useful for individuals but may be helpful in comparing the broader implications for government actions of all 189 countries analyzed.

Punctuated earthquakes for New Madrid area, Missouri, U.S. -- ScienceDaily – The 1811 and 1812 earthquake is well known…but what about the earlier ones? Recent analysis shows quakes around 1450 AD, 900 AD and 2300 BC.

How do pregnancy tests work? | Compound Interest – They’ve only been around since the 1970s – biotech on a stick!

BBC - Future - Why we are living in the age of the chair – Furniture that has changed lives …relatively recently in human history.

Florida monarch butterfly populations have dropped 80 percent since 2005 -- ScienceDaily – A 37-year study of Florida where the monarchs come up from Mexico to recolonize much of the east coast. No wonder we are not seeing as many in Maryland when the numbers in Florida have dropped by 80%.

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 25, 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.

Top 25 Birds that Scavenge – National Geographic and Top 25 Grassland Birds – National Geographic – There have been a couple of ’25 birds’ posts since I last included them in the gleanings list…I am catching up.

Image of the Day: Slimy Business | The Scientist Magazine® - Corn species in Mexico that can trap nitrogen…maybe it can be incorporated into the corn that dominates agriculture; that would reduce the amount of fertilizer required for the crop.

BBC - Future - The simple change that can save patients’ lives – Finally – there is more attention being paid to reducing noise (so many beeps and alarms) in hospitals. I’ve always wondered how they thought anyone could rest enough to recover in the hospital environment. Hopefully lighting will get some attention too….move away from the current dominance of blue tinged light for all times of the day and night.

Maple leaf extract could nip skin wrinkles in the bud -- ScienceDaily – The article contained relatively little information maybe because there is a patent pending on the formulation. There will probably be I have a red maple in my back yard and may try making a strong tea from the leaves…seeing how it feels on my skin.

Stirrings in the Muck: Fiddler Crabs, Yellow-Crowned Night Herons Locked in Climate Change Dance – National Geographic – The picture at the top of the article of the yellow-crowed night heron (which I saw for the first time in Carrollton TX earlier this summer) caught my attention…and I read the rest of the article.

Highly effective natural plant-based food preservative discovered -- ScienceDaily – Hope this lives up to its promise and becomes the food preservative of choice. The preservatives currently in use have side effects that are troubling at best.

BBC - Future - Are forgotten crops the future of food? – I have enjoyed the increase varieties of veggies I get from the CSA…and hope that we can further expand the food crops we utilize – for our health and to build more resilience into our food system which now is vulnerable because of the small number of plants and animals that we rely on.

Reverse Power Flow: How Solar + Batteries Shift Electric Grid Decision Making from Utilities to Consumers (In Depth) | CleanTechnica – I’ve started to wonder when the tipping point will occur – when there will be a mass economic defection by consumers away from big electric utilities. With small-scale solar ramping up to 20% of the new power plant capacity in the last 4 quarters and more people added energy storage to their solar arrays – maybe it is starting. It’s a fundamental shift for everyone. Maybe now is not the time to invest in utility companies unless they are buying in to that shift.

See Shells of Sea Spuds on the Seashore | Smart News | Smithsonian – I’d never heard of sea potatoes before…they are a kind of sea urchin. I had hoped the article would say something about how sea urchins respond to increasing ocean acidity. An article from last April said that purple sea urchins were already adapting. Are sea potatoes adapting too?

First biomarker evidence of DDT-autism link: National birth cohort study finds DDT metabolites in the blood of pregnant women are associated with elevated odds of autism in offspring -- ScienceDaily – A study of more than 1 million pregnancies in Finland between 1987 to 2005. The study found that autism correlated to maternal DDT…but not PCB…exposure.

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 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 June 16, 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.

Reading habits in the past | Europeana Blog – When I travel, I tend to do most of my reading on my phone (light weight, easy to carry, and ambient light does not have to be good). It’s a recent development for me. This blog post goes back further in history.

Man against machine: AI is better than dermatologists at diagnosing skin cancer -- ScienceDaily – There are still limitations to the AI but it might be close to a tipping point to begin transitioning into system. It seems like it would be most in demand for screening where there were not highly trained dermatologists available….as long as the imaging technology was not tremendously expensive or hard to use.

BBC - Future - Is it really healthier to live in the countryside? – I thought it would be…but it’s complicated because so many factors contribute to ‘health.’

Mapping Modern Threats to Ancient Chacoan Sites : Image of the Day – Posts about places I’ve visited always get my attention. A study using satellite data and projections for population growth/oil and gas exploration in the area shows that 44 of the 123 known Chaco sites included in the study are threatened by development. Of those, 19 are already protected by the National Park Service.

Paper Art Details Similarities Between Human Microbiome and Coral Reef – Nature inspired art!

Researchers Grow Veggies in Space | The Scientist Magazine® - Progress in a technology required for longer space missions…and then colonies on other planets.

Schoolyard Habitats Provide Resiliency in Houston Independent School District : The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Schools in Maryland have similar projects. I hope the monarchs have shown up in Houston…I haven’t seen any in Maryland yet this year.

US Still Subsidizing Fossil Fuels To Tune Of $27 Billion | CleanTechnica – This post included more detail on what subsidies are…how the US compares to other developed countries.

Thank A Rare Fungus For The Sustainable Solar Cell Of The Future | CleanTechnica – It’s a beautiful color…if it really works, it won’t be ‘rare’ for long. It will be come a commercially grown fungus!

Bright warning colors on poison dart frogs also act as camouflage -- ScienceDaily – Learning a bit more about these little frogs.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 2, 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.

Critically endangered South American forests were planted by ancient peoples -- ScienceDaily – Forests of monkey puzzle trees were cultivated for their nuts and ability to attract game….they expanded as the population grew between 1,410 and 900 years ago. That was after an earlier expansion of the tree’s range caused by wetter climate from 4,480 and 3,200 years ago.

New Wind Farm Activity In Missouri Shows How States Can Leapfrog Over Natural Gas | CleanTechnica and Offshore wind energy is finally taking off in the US - Vox – Hurry for progress toward more sustainable energy!

Rising emissions of ozone-destroying chemical banned by Montreal Protocol -- ScienceDaily – New and unreported production likely in eastern Asia. Hopefully it will be stopped quickly and we can continue our progress in stabilizing and reducing the ozone-depleting gases in our upper atmosphere.

Top 25 Marine Birdlife – National Geographic Blog – I always enjoy bird pictures.

NASA Study Says Freshwater Shortages Will Be Biggest Challenge of This Century | CleanTechnica – As population increases along with industrialization and farming….more fresh water will be needed. We cannot afford to damage the supply beyond recover or use it unwisely.

Most popular vitamin and mineral supplements provide no health benefit, study finds -- ScienceDaily – Lots of studies say that food is the best way to get vitamins and minerals….this one goes a step further. It found that the supplements provide no health benefit!

Mapping America’s Aging Population - CityLab – The maps made this article for me: showing where Americans over 70 live (5% of the population in the county where I live now) and the death and birth in the use that categories whether population is naturally decreased on increasing by county (it naturally increasing where I live now).

Urban Plant Diversity – Cool Green Science – The theme of this article is to plant native species…less expensive, require less maintenance, and harbor greater diversity overall.

Social pursuits linked with increased life satisfaction -- ScienceDaily – This result seemed intuitive to me. As we get older and don’t have the level of social contacts we had during our career years, choosing activities that provide social interaction have to be done more consciously.

The State(s) Of Distributed Solar -- 2017 Update | CleanTechnica – Hopefully more states (utilities within the states) will jump on the bandwagon. There is quite an uptick since 2015 so the trend is in the right direction.

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 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?

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 7, 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.

Ancient Roman Mosaic in England Discovered by Amateur Archaeologists – A 4th CE Roman mosaic near the village of Boxford in Berkshire….discovered and then covered up to protect the mosaic until decisions are made about what to do next.

Fall Color In-Depth: Maple Trees Offer New Answers to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s – National Geographic Society  - I like maple syrup and often us it in cooking….it adds more than sweetness and – evidently – is better for you because of those other elements!

Electric Car S-Curve Adoption by Country (Fun Chart!) | CleanTechnica – Norway followed by Iceland and Sweden lead…The US is behind China.

Question: Can People Use Rooftop Solar Power During an Emergency? Answer: It Depends | CleanTechnica – As more battery storage becomes available…the problem of having solar panels but not being able to utilize them if the power grid is down may go away.

Spectacular Shots of Summer Fireworks Festivals in Japan - Hanabi Taikai – Wow! What a huge display.

Infographic: Brain Infection and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology | The Scientist Magazine® - Evidence of infection (biofilms) in the hippocampus and temporal lobe in brains from people that have died with Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration….several theories about their relationship to Alzheimer’s.

These Breathtaking Natural Wonders No Longer Exist – 18 landscapes that no longer exist…including a beach in Hawaii…some sights in US National Parks.

Free Technology for Teachers: Historical Patterns Animated – A site from the University of Oregon…worth browsing even if you aren’t a teacher.

Interactives from NASA…Exoplanet Exploration – Create your own Earth-like planet….or a hostile world.

LED Lights, All-Electric School Buses, Hydroponic Gardens ... (Cleantech in Action Series) | CleanTechnica – A roundup of cleantech press releases that came out in September.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 9, 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.

Reimaging Neuroscience’s Finest Works of Art – Recreating the work of Santiago Ramon y Cajal’s century old drawings of the nervous system

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #103 –  There is wood duck image near the end of this group….I have never managed a view from the front. This one has the reflection too.

Utilities Grapple with Rooftop Solar and the New Energy Landscape – I’m glad some utilities are adapting in a positive way to renewable energy. If they don’t – I think more people will be motivated to add battery capacity as the technology becomes available and be ‘off grid.’

New Guide: Smart, Sustainable Materials at Home – This is some I’ll take a look at more thoroughly if I am doing any renovations to an outdoor area.

Wind power costs could drop 50%. Solar PV could provide up to 50% of global power – Are solar and wind energy underestimated? They may be getting cheaper and scaling up faster than the most optimistic forecasts of a few years ago. Hurray!

The Smartphone’s Future: It’s All About the Camera – Some tech…just over the horizon but plausible based on what is available already.

Opinion: The Flood Reduction Benefits of Wetlands – There are lots of studies that will come out of the hurricanes that are impacting the US. This one was based on Hurricane Sandy and came out on August 31. It reported that insurance industry models show that during Hurricane Sandy, marshes prevented $625 million in direct flood damage in 12 states….a reduction in property damage by as much as 30% in some states.

Artificial warming trial reveals striking sea-floor changes – When researchers heated up a slice of Antarctic sea bed by 1 degree (Centigrade), changes were visually discernable: some species grew twice as fast in the heated conditions, different animal communities developed…one bryozoan became so dominate on the warmer sea floor that the diversity of species went down. The researchers already have more experiments planned.

Podcast Series Delves into History, Cultures of Mesa Verde – There are three episodes so far (available here) with a plan for additional ones in 2018.

Our Hurricane Risk Models are Dangerously Out of Date – More than half the area flooded by Harvey was ‘outside of any mapped flood zone’! It seems like insurance companies and property owners need a better understanding of risks…and the old models are no longer adequate.

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 26, 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.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #101 and #102 – 50 bird pictures this week! My favorite in the first group is the barn owl (and the other owls in this group). My favorite in the second group are the two pictures of spotted owlets! --- I am drawn to owls this week for some reason.

Voyager: Inside the world’s greatest space mission – The two Voyager space craft were launched in 1977…and are both sending back messages to earth.

Trees with ‘crown shyness’ mysteriously avoid touching each other – I haven’t observed this phenomenon in our Maryland forests…but now when I am in a forest, I’ll always look for it!

Time Spent – Who Americans spend their time with (from Richard Watson’s blog). It changes with age. The last chart shows that as we get older we spend more and more time alone.

Air pollutions ranking in 32 cities –  LA ranks 24; Washington DC, San Francisco and New York are 26-28; Boston is 31. Delhi, Beijing, and Cairo are the top three.

Trees and shrubs offer new food crops to diversity the farm – Ongoing research from the University of Illinois trying to mimic the habitat features, carbon storage, and nutrient-holding capacities of a natural system with a farming method that incorporates berry and nut bearing shrubs/trees with alley cropping (hay or row crops)….to be economically and environmentally sound.

AWEA releases map of every wind farm and factory in America – There is a link to the interactive map. The red diamonds are manufactures and the blue dots are the wind farms themselves. It’s easy to see that manufactures happens a lot in areas other than where the wind farms are located….that the center of the country has a lot of installed wind turbines! We saw some of them in Iowa on our way to and from the solar eclipse last Monday.

Diversity Lacking in US Academia: Study – Under-representation of African Americans, Hispanics, and women in STEM faculties at public universities. There is a similar lack of diversity in PhD programs. On a positive note: the assistant professor is more diverse (more Asians, Hispanics and women) that the associate or full professor rank.  Unfortunately, this positive finding is not true for African Americans. Overall – still a challenge….and it impacts the broader labor market as well.

More than 300,000 Atlantic Salmon Spill into Pacific – Oh no! Hopefully this is not catastrophic in the long run. But – Why are they growing Atlantic salmon in pens in Puget Sound anyway?

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big on Solar – Kalona, Iowa – not far from our route to the eclipse! It comes down to local self-reliance and economic development that made sense for this small town. Somehow a pointer to this article (from last February) was in a blog post I looked at when I returned home and I noticed where the town was…small world.