Category Archives: Environmental Health Causes

today’s birthday: Typhoid Mary (1869)

Typhoid Mary (1869)

Mary Mallon was the first person in the US to be identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever. In 1904, a typhoid epidemic was traced to homes where she had been a cook. She fled but was located by authorities and forcibly quarantined for several years. In 1910, she was released on the condition that she not take another food-handling job. Discovered cooking again in 1914, she was quarantined for life. Though she herself never had the disease, she infected about 50 people. How many died? More… Discuss

Pope Francis prays at Western Wall, leaving note for peace

Pope Francis prays at Western Wall, leaving note for peace for ... 964 x 629 | 137.0KB

Pope Francis prays at Western Wall, leaving note for peace
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Health: Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Traditionally, olive oil, a yellow to greenish vegetable oil, was produced by crushing olives in mortars or beam presses. Modern processing involves mixing a ground olive paste with water, and extracting the oil using a centrifuge. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin, where olive oil has been used for millennia as lighting fuel, anointing oil, and in food preparation. Recent scientific evidence suggests olive oil may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes; how? More… Discuss

Facebook: Tara Fagarasului: Dejani

Click on image to access Facebook Page, “Tara Fagarasului”

Dejani. Ca tot omul din Tara Fagarasului, de 1 Mai, plecam spre poalele muntelui, la iarba verde… respectam protocolul zonei si inlocuim gratarul cu un ceaun vechi, in care aruncam ceva carnita de mistret, pastrata bine din sezonul de iarna, coplesita cu cartofi, ceapa, smantana, un piculet de vin si alte mirodenii… sa te lingi pe deste, nu alta! (bucatar Alex Boeriu – vanator:) ( in proiectul nostru Slow Food Tara Fagarasului ne descopera gusturile de acasa)
— with Ranea Cornel Marian, Alex Boeriu, Marius Schumi and Casa Terra.

Source: Facebook

Translation by Google Translate: Dejani. Like every man in Fagaras, May 1, we go to the mountain, green grass with the Protocol and replace the grill area with an old pot, which take a wild boar, keep well in the winter season, overwhelmed with potatoes, onions, sour cream, a wee bit of wine and other spices you lick enough, nothing else! (chef Alex Boeriu hunter :) (in our project Slow Food Fagaras reveals the tastes of home) with Rane CornelMarian, Alex Boeriu, Marius Schumi and Casa Terra.

Description Dejani, Romania (1).jpg

Description Dejani, Romania (1).jpg 4272 x 2848 | 5294KB

The Funny Ways That Animals Sleep

The Funny Ways That Animals Sleep

historic musical bits: Horowitz plays Schumann Blumenstück (1966 live)

Horowitz plays Schumann Blumenstück (1966 live)

today’s birthday: Arnold Palmer (1929)

Arnold Palmer (1929)

One of golf’s most charismatic players, Palmer was instrumental in popularizing the sport in the US. After winning the US Amateur championship, Palmer turned professional in 1954 and won the Canadian Open in 1955. Between 1958 and 1964, he won the Masters four times, the British Open twice, and the US Open once. In 1967, he became the first golfer to earn more than $1 million in prize money. One of the first television-age golfing personalities, he attracted a loyal following known as what? More… Discuss

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Deep sea diving is generally performed with the aid of a breathing apparatus. Scuba (an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) is a system that delivers air to the diver at the same pressure exerted by the surrounding water. Most scuba divers limit their descent to about 130 ft (40 m), though certain record setters have reached depths of 300 ft (91 m) or more. At depths beyond 130 ft, nitrogen narcosis may set in; how does this condition impair a diver’s judgment? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Mobile-Phone Throwing World Championship

Mobile-Phone Throwing World Championship

The Mobile-Phone Throwing World Championship takes place in August in Savonlinna, Finland. The light-hearted event offers several categories for men, women, and teams: original, which is based on distance; freestyle, based on distance, style, aesthetics, and creativity; and juniors, which is limited to children 12 years old and under. First-place winners get a new mobile phone. Since the inaugural competition in 2000, several European countries—including Norway, Switzerland, and Germany—have introduced their own national championships. More… Discuss

Tough lessons to learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: just war, nuclear disarmament :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Ruins of Nagasaki, shortly after the Aug. 9, 1945 atomic bombing of the city the United States. Public Domain, via National Archives and Records Administration.

By Kevin J. Jones

Denver, Colo., Aug 6, 2015 / 12:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 70th anniversary of the US atomic strikes on Japan has prompted reflection, commemoration, and debate about the ethics of war and the world’s nuclear arsenal.

“There’s no winning in nuclear war,” Maryann Cusimano Love, an international relations professor at the Catholic University of America, told CNA. Hiroshima and Nagasaki teach “how horrific nuclear war is.”

“Many folks are not aware of how many nuclear weapons remain with us today and how dangerous these arsenals are,” she continued. “That is why the Catholic Church has continued to argue that we have to get rid of nuclear weapons, that the presence of these weapons is very dangerous for human life and very destabilizing.”

Seventy years ago, the only wartime use of nuclear weapons took place in the Aug. 6 attack on Hiroshima and the Aug. 9 attack on Nagasaki by the United States.

The Hiroshima attack killed around 80,000 people instantly and may have caused about 130,000 deaths, mostly civilians. The attack on the port city of Nagasaki killed about 40,000 instantly and destroyed a third of the city, the BBC reports.

The attacks took a heavy toll on all of Japan’s population, but Nagasaki was a historic center of Catholicism since European missionaries such as St. Francis Xavier arrived in the 16th century. After Japan’s rulers closed the country, in part due to fears of foreign domination, Japanese Catholics survived centuries of persecution before their freedom of religion was secured again in the 19th century.

via Tough lessons to learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: just war, nuclear disarmament :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

picture of the day: The Trinity Atomic Bomb Test

The Trinity Atomic Bomb Test

Just before dawn on July 16, 1945, the first atomic test bomb was exploded at a site called Trinity in the New Mexican desert. It was the culmination of 28 months of intense scientific research conducted under the leadership of physicist Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (seen above) under the code name Manhattan Project. The successful atomic test was witnessed by only one journalist, William L. Laurence of the New York Times, who described seeing the blinding explosion: ‘One felt as though he had been privileged to…be present at the moment of the Creation when the Lord said: Let There be Light.’ Oppenheimer’s own thoughts from the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita were very different: ‘I am become death, the shatterer of worlds.’

Photo: Library of Congress

this day in the yesteryear: First Test of a Nuclear Weapon (1945) One of the darkest day in human history!

First Test of a Nuclear Weapon (1945)

Called the Trinity test, the first test of a nuclear weapon was conducted by the US in New Mexico on what is now White Sands Missile Range. The detonation of the implosion-design plutonium bomb—the same type used on Nagasaki, Japan, a few weeks later—was equivalent to the explosion of approximately 20 kilotons of TNT, and is usually considered the beginning of the Atomic Age. It is said that the scientists who observed the detonation set up a betting pool on what the result would be. Who won? More… Discuss

Canal Saint-Martin: the Paris tourist hotspot full of rubbish — The Observers (@Observers) July 14, 2015




Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:15

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today

Written by 

CIDSE Press release, 1 July 2015: “Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @ChangeandCare #change4planet

CIDSE, the international alliance of 17 Catholic development organisations from Europe and North America, will today launch (1s July 2015) a three year (2015-2017) campaign on sustainable lifestyles: “Change for the Planet – Care for the People.”

“CIDSE and its members call for policy changes and sustainable lifestyle choices. We believe that collective and individual changes are crucial to respond to the urgency we face through climate change, environmental degradation and the consequence they have on people’s lives.” said Bernd Nilles, CIDSE Secretary General.

The campaign links Catholic development work for social justice with the promotion of sustainable living. The global over-exploitation of natural resources puts people and planet at risk, and those suffering most are vulnerable communities and the poor. Furthermore, ethical standards being overlooked in the production phase and throughout the supply chain creates a situation which is tolerant and creates further human rights violations. People often want to consume fair and sustainable products, but politics and markets do not follow this demand, by putting profit before people’s interest.

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’, states: “Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies”. This campaign aims at contributing to these changes. As Pope Francis affirms, we are convinced that “a change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power”.

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People” therefore calls for a radical change in people’s lifestyles towards living simply and making different and more conscious choices. This campaign will focus over the next three years on energy and food consumption, by calling for better policies as well as on everybody to do their share. Through social media activities, workshops and events we will invite people to make a difference through their daily choices, and to contribute this way to building a better world: cut the amount of the energy you use, buy local and sustainably produced food, place priority on taking public transport, and eat less meat- are examples of daily practices that count. Several successful models of sustainable living all around the world already exist, and our campaign will also be a platform for them to resonate and be tried out by other people. The campaign will further connect people and mobilise the Catholic movement.

In 2015 we especially look to the UN Climate summit in Paris – COP21 (30 November – 12 December) as the key political opportunity to call for a fair global deal for people and planet. Central to this is phasing out fossil fuels and phasing in 100% renewables with sustainable energy access for all. We want to show people’s power to bring about the change we call for, and which policy makers are not delivering. We join our voice with the voices of thousands of people that will mobilise before and during COP21 in Paris and all around the world calling for new models of well-being and development in order to prevent further climate change and to promote justice.

Follow “Change for the Planet- Care for the People” on Facebook and Twitter: @ChangeandCare #change4planet


Note to the editors
CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies working together for global justice. Our 17 member organisations from Europe and North America come together under the umbrella of CIDSE to fight poverty and inequality. We challenge governments, business, churches, and international bodies to adopt policies and behaviors that promote human rights, social justice and sustainable development. These are important elements of our mission, which we try to achieve through joint advocacy, campaigning and development cooperation work. We work with people of all faiths and none.

For additional information please contact:

Chiara Martinelli
Campaign coordinator

Valentina Pavarotti
Communications Officer


“Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today (NEW WIDGET TO ACCESS CIDSE TO FOLLOW SHORTLY AT EUZICASA)



Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:15

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today

Written by 

No Global author at Vatican Event on Climate and poverty Reduction (access the report from euzicasa)

No Global author at Vatican Event on Climate and poverty Reduction (access the story here)

No Global author at Vatican Event on Climate and poverty Reduction (access the story here)

(Vatican Radio) A Catholic climate scientist and a secular Jewish feminist formed an “unlikely alliance” in the Vatican press office on Wednesday to present a two day conference entitled ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’. The conference, which will take place at the Pontifical Augustinianum University in Rome, includes some 200 political, religious and civil society leaders from all continents who’ll be discussing Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in light of a climate summit to be held in Paris next December.  

The two day conference, which opens on Thursday, has been organised by the Pontifical Justice and Peace Council, together with CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Philippa Hitchen has the details….

via  ‘No Global’ author at Vatican event on climate and poverty reduction  

this day in the yesteryear: Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living (1845)

Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living (1845)

In 1845, Thoreau, an American author and naturalist, built himself a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He spent the next two years, two months, and two days there, observing nature, reading, and writing. He also kept a journal that he later used to write his masterpiece, Walden, or Life in the Woods, which compresses his time there into a single calendar year and uses the passage of the seasons to symbolize human development. What were Thoreau’s enigmatic last words? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Last Pair of Great Auks Killed (1844)

Last Pair of Great Auks Killed (1844)

Extinct since 1844, the great auk was a flightless seabird once found in great numbers on rocky islands off eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, and Britain. The bird was hunted on a significant scale by humans for food, eggs, and down since at least the 8th century, but massive exploitation for its down and the collecting of its eggs eventually contributed to the demise of the species. Specimens are now exhibited in many museums. Where was the last pair of great auks killed? More… Discuss

Pool parasite can live in chlorine for ten days –

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that swimmers shower before geting in the pool to prevent them from carrying infectious bacteria into the water. Photo: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that swimmers shower before geting in the pool to prevent them from carrying infectious bacteria into the water. Photo: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

ATLANTA, June 29 (UPI) — The Centers for Disease Control is warning swimmers to shower before going into the pool in order to avoid spreading the chlorine-resistant pathogen cryptosporidium, which has caused several outbreaks in recent years.

While E. coli and norovirus are killed within hours by chemicals used for treating pools, cryptosporidium survives in pools and hot tubs for up to ten days, and can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.

“This parasite is extremely chlorine-resistant,” Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told CBS News. “Swimmers bring it into the water when they are sick with diarrhea.”

Researchers reviewed data from 2011 and 2012, finding that 90 outbreaks related to recreational water resulted in at least 1,788 cases, 95 hospitalizations and 1 death, according to the CDC’s study, which is published on its website.

Of the outbreaks, 77 percent of them were in treated bodies of water such as pools and spas.

Cryptosporidium was responsible for 52 percent of the treated water outbreaks, and was also responsible for 54 percent of all the outbreaks cause by infectious pathogens.

“Since 1988, the year that the first U.S. treated recreational water-associated outbreak of Cryptosporidium was detected, the number of these outbreaks reported annually has significantly increased,” researchers wrote in the report.

If contracted, the parasite can be cleared from the body in about two to three weeks, however it can be fatal in a person with a weakened immune system, Hlavasa said.

“With these outbreaks, we see they disproportionately affect young children,” Hlavasa told ABC News. “They’re the ones who can go to a pool and young children tend to carry lots of germs.”

The CDC recommends swimmers shower before entering the pool, not swallow the water, and not urinate or defecate in the water while swimming; swimmers are discouraged from entering pools altogether if they have diarrhea.

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via Pool parasite can live in chlorine for ten days –

L’Iran aurait transféré de l’équipement nucléaire au Soudan (WikiLeaks) | i24news – Voir plus loin

L’Iran aurait transféré de l’équipement nucléaire au Soudan (WikiLeaks)

Ryad a mis en garde contre la diffusion de “documents qui pourraient être des faux”

AFPAFP”Centrifugeuses nucléaires Iran”

L’Iran aurait fait parvenir de l’équipement nucléaire, dont des centrifugeuses, vers le Soudan en 2012 selon des diplomates saoudiens, indique un document révélé par WikiLeaks la semaine dernière.

“Des sources de l’ambassade ont fait savoir que des containers iraniens sont arrivés cette semaine à l’aéroport de Khartoum contenant de l’équipement technique sensible dont des centrifugeuses pour enrichir de l’uranium, et un deuxième envoi devrait avoir lieu cette semaine,” explique le document qui date de février 2012 et est qualifié de “très secret”.

Les autorités saoudiennes ont mis en garde samedi contre la diffusion de “documents qui pourraient être des faux” en réponse à la publication la veille par le site WikiLeaks de quelque 60.000 câbles et mémos présentés comme des communications confidentielles de la diplomatie saoudienne.

L’avertissement, diffusé par le ministère des Affaires étrangères sur son fil Twitter, ne conteste pas directement l’authenticité des documents mis en ligne par WikiLeaks, qu’il n’est pas possible de vérifier de source indépendante.

Mais dans un communiqué diffusé dimanche, le porte-parole du ministère, Ossama Naqli, prévient que l’Arabie saoudite “ne permettra pas aux ennemis de l’Etat (…) de partager ou publier” les documents, dont “beaucoup ont été fabriqués de manière très grossière”.

Dans ce texte diffusé par l’agence de presse SNA, il ajoute qu’une enquête est en cours et que le ministère engagera des poursuites contre les personnes impliquées dans cette fuite.

Wikileaks affirme que ces 60.000 documents divulgués comportent des communications d’ambassades, des échanges de courriers électroniques entre diplomates et des notes préparées par d’autres organismes de l’Etat saoudien. Ils contiennent des discussions sur la position de l’Arabie dans les questions régionales ou sur les moyens d’influencer les médias.

WikiLeaks, dont l’initiative est ignorée par les médias saoudiens publics et privés, indique qu’il détient au total un demi-million de notes confidentielles et annonce qu’elles seront mises en ligne.

Le site créé par Julian Assange ne précise pas comment il s’est procuré ces documents mais dans un communiqué de presse, il fait mention d’une déclaration saoudienne remontant au mois de mai relative à un piratage informatique dans le royaume qu’avait revendiqué par la suite un groupe du nom de Yemeni Cyber Army.

(i24news avec Reuters)

via L’Iran aurait transféré de l’équipement nucléaire au Soudan (WikiLeaks) | i24news – Voir plus loin.

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Just a Thought: The oldest Christian Faith is here ( it is the rock on which the roots gave a 2000 Years old oak tree…of many branches

Just a thought: “The oldest Christian Faith is here: it is the rock on which the roots gave a 2000 Years old oak tree…of many branches… they would not exist without the common roots of  our  common FAITH.”



On Peppergrass Trail Heading Southwest

On Peppergrass Trail Heading Southwest

The Black Death

The Black Death

The Black Death was a form of bubonic plague

The bubonic plague described by Athanasius Kircher

The bubonic plague described by Athanasius Kircher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that was pandemic throughout Europe, the Middle East, and much of Asia in the 14th century. Thought to have been caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, it killed between one-third and half of Europe’s population and at least 75 million people worldwide. Recently, it has been argued that the Black Death was not caused by bubonic plague, at all, but by what? More… Discuss

New at the #Vatican: Palestinian Liberation Organization –> State of Palestine.— Religion NewsService (@RNS) May 13, 2015

Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday (May 13) angered Israeli officials.

The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the government is “disappointed by the decision. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”

Israel insists that for the Palestinians to achieve statehood, they must first end their armed struggle against Israel and recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Although the treaty codifies the Holy See’s relations with the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican has already referred to the “State of Palestine” in some official documents, including the official program handed out during Pope Francis’ Holy Land pilgrimage last year.

In recent years, the Vatican has stepped up its efforts to support Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as their numbers have dwindled due to emigration spurred by wars and economic hardships.

A majority of Christians in the Holy Land — including Israel — are either ethnic Palestinians or live alongside them in the same towns and villages. Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, who were both Christian Arabs, are due to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday.

William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said the Vatican’s announcement “was not a surprise” because “the pope called President Abbas the president of the State of Palestine” during his 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

But David Harris, executive director of the AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, said the decision was “regrettable“ and “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“We are fully cognizant of the pope’s goodwill and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the action was “premature” and would “undermine the only real solution to the decades-old conflict, which is engaging in direct negotiations.”


Categories: Institutions, Politics

Tags: AJC, Foreign Ministry, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Vatican

via Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service.

today’s birthday: Sir Ronald Ross (1857)

Sir Ronald Ross (1857)

Born and raised in India, English physician Ronald Ross joined the Indian Medical Service after completing medical school and undertook the study of malaria, then a disease that was not well understood. After years of research, he demonstrated the malarial parasite, Plasmodium, in the stomach of the Anopheles mosquito, identifying the disease’s mechanism of transmission. His discoveries earned him a Nobel Prize in 1902. When is World Mosquito Day, instituted by Ross, observed? More… Discuss

Dust Bowl: Dust Storm Hits Great Plains (1934) (Watch the documentary!)

Dust Bowl: Dust Storm Hits Great Plains (1934)

In the 1930s, severe drought conditions in the Great Plains region of the US and decades of farming without crop rotation led to a series of devastating dust storms. The storms, called “dusters” or “black blizzards,” caused widespread ecological and agricultural damage. In May 1934, one of the worst storms to hit the Dust Bowl blew massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil all the way to the East Coast and dumped the equivalent of how many pounds of debris on Chicago, Illinois? More… Discuss

Stinging Dust & Forgotten Lives: The Dust Bowl (2008)

Uploaded on Aug 30, 2011

Ponder for a moment that you are huddled around a dimly lit lamp in a vast dusty room with your family. All eyes have a look of fear from the gusty winds shaking your home. The next morning, after the storm blows over, you look outside to find your house, barn, animals, fence, and water well have all been buried by feet of soil. All is lost. You must live…but how?

Over a hundred years ago people left the American east to find a better life. They migrated and established homestead throughout the Great Plains. There, they would prosper with fields of plenty, until, they exhausted the land. Again, they migrated westward to find a better life and provide opportunities for their starving children. STINGING DUST & FORGOTTEN LIVES presents the effects of the Dust Bowl on humanity during the 1930s. Meteorological conditions are often the first to blame, however, it was economic gain of the nation that doubled the unfortunate fate of the dusters.

For more information visit​sdfl

Copyright 2008 by Cameron Douglas Craig and Kevin Harker Jeanes

From The Hill: Peppergrass trail 360 VIEW (Puente Hills (Whittier) Nature Preserve Authority): Let’s Go Hiking!

Peppergrass trail 360 VIEW (Puente Hills (Whittier) Nature Preserve Authority): Let’s Go Hiking!

How to Prepare Gaucho Mate (powdery yerba mate)

How to Prepare Gaucho Mate (powdery yerba mate)



Chlorophyll is a green pigment that gives most plants their color and enables them to carry out photosynthesis, the process through which plants get energy from light. Chlorophyll absorbs light in the red and blue-violet portions of the visible spectrum; the green portion is not absorbed and, reflected, gives chlorophyll its characteristic green color. Only one animal has been found to use the chlorophyll it has eaten to perform photosynthesis for itself. What is it? More… Discuss

How Does Dry Cleaning Work?

How Does Dry Cleaning Work?

Dry cleaning is the process of cleaning fabrics without water. Special solvents and soaps are used so as not to harm fabrics. The practice began in France in the middle of the 19th century, after a dye-works owner noticed that his tablecloth became cleaner after his maid spilled kerosene on it. Early solvents were extremely flammable and led to many fires and explosions. Newer chlorinated hydrocarbon synthetic solvents, such as perchlorethylene, are nonflammable but pose what other dangers? More… Discuss

The Puerto Rican Parrot

The Puerto Rican Parrot

The Puerto Rican Parrot is the only remaining native parrot in US territory and one of the 10 most endangered bird species in the world. It has green feathers with black edges, a red forehead, and white ovals around the eyes. It was abundant at the time of Columbus’ arrival, but its numbers declined with the clearing of Puerto Rico’s virgin forests to make way for agricultural, mainly sugar cane, production. In 1975, the population reached an absolute low of how many individuals? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Arbor Day

Arbor Day

Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), one of the earliest American conservationists, settled on the treeless plains of Nebraska in 1855. Morton began planting trees and urged his neighbors to do the same. On April 10, 1872, when he proposed that a day be set aside for planting trees, the response was overwhelming: a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day alone. All 50 states now observe Arbor Day—usually on the last Friday in April. Most observances take place in public schools, where the value of trees is discussed and trees and shrubs are planted. More… Discuss

this pressed for….TRANSPARENCY: U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq| via NEWSWEEK/REUTERS


Atef Hassan/Reuters

U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq

By Barbara Koeppel 3/27/15 at 11:52 AM

Atef Hassan/Reuters

Filed Under: U.S., Iraq War

During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today.

A quarter of a century later, the troops nearest the explosions are dying of brain cancer at two to three times the rate of those who were farther away. Others have lung cancer or debilitating chronic diseases, and pain.

More complications lie ahead.

via U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq.| NEWSWEEK/REUTERS

this day in the yesteryear: Ireland Bans Smoking in All Public Places (2004)

Ireland Bans Smoking in All Public Places (2004)

In the latter part of the 20th century, research on the health risks of secondhand tobacco smoke spurred legislative bodies throughout the world to consider smoking bans. On March 29, 2004, Ireland became the first country to implement a nationwide ban on smoking in public places, including all enclosed workplaces. Many nations have since followed with similar legislation. Which Pope instituted the first known public smoking ban in 1590 by threatening smokers with excommunication? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Three Mile Island nuclear power plant radiation release Accident (1979)

Three Mile Island Accident (1979)

Both mechanical failure and human error contributed to the 1979 failure of a nuclear reactor cooling system at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania, which led to overheating, partial melting of the reactor’s uranium core, and the release of radioactive gases. Though it caused no immediate deaths or injuries, the incident increased public fears about the safety of nuclear power. What nuclear accident-themed film was released just two weeks before the incident? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989)

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef and spilled approximately 11 million US gallons (41 million liters) of crude oil into the sea, covering 11,000 square miles (28,000 km²) of ocean. As a result of the spill, an estimated 250,000 sea birds, 1,000 sea otters, and countless fish and other wildlife died. The ship’s captain was widely criticized after the incident, but many others factors contributed to the crash. What are some examples? More… Discuss

I stand with @ewg in opposing the chemical industry’s bill that will harm families – RT if you stand with us!

Today’s holiday: Feast of Excited Insects (2015)

Feast of Excited Insects (2015)

Known as Gyeongchip in Korea and as Ching Che in China, the Feast of Excited Insects marks the transition from winter to spring. It is the day when the insects are said to come back to life after hibernating all winter. In China, it is the day when “the dragon raises his head,” summoning the insects back to life, and people perform various rituals designed to prepare for the onslaught. In Korea, this is one of 24 days in the lunar calendar that marks the beginning of a new season. Farmers prepare their fields and begin planting their barley, cabbage, and other vegetables. More… Discuss

THE DHAMMAPADA – FULL AudioBook | Buddhism – Teachings of The Buddha (“Hatred ceases by love”)

THE DHAMMAPADA – FULL AudioBook | Buddhism – Teachings of The Buddha

The Dhammapada by Unknown, Translated by F. Max Mueller – FULL AudioBook – The Dhammapada is is a Buddhist scripture, containing 423 verses in 26 categories. According to tradition, these are verses spoken by the Buddha on various occasions, most of which deal with ethics. It is is considered one of the most important pieces of Theravada literature. Despite this, the Dhammapada is read by many Mahayana Buddhists and remains a very popular text across all schools of Buddhism. (Summary from


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– READ along by clicking (CC) for Closed Caption Transcript!

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Chapter listing and length:

01 — Chapters 1-4 — 00:14:36
Read by: Roger Turnau

02 — Chapters 5-8 — 00:10:52
Read by: Måns Broo

03 — Chapters 9-14 — 00:19:16
Read by: Chris Masterson

04 — Chapters 15-18 — 00:13:30
Read by: Chris Masterson

05 — Chapters 19-22 — 00:17:01
Read by: Denny Sayers

06 — Chapters 23-25 — 00:16:44
Read by: Roger Turnau

07 — Chapter 26 — 00:10:35
Read by: Scott

Total running time: 1:42:34

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New Poll: Americans Want Mandatory Vaccines (because ignorance hurts more than oneself)

New Poll: Americans Want Mandatory Vaccines

A new poll conducted by Ipsos for Reuters found that 78 percent of Americans believe all children should be vaccinated. Just over 70 percent think schools should be able to suspend unvaccinated students during outbreaks of contagious diseases. And 65 … More… Discuss

Human Civilization: First Genetically Modified Apple Approved in US

First Genetically Modified Apple Approved in US

The US Department of Agriculture has approved America’s first genetically modified apple—a variety engineered not to turn brown when bruised or sliced. Scientists achieved this effect by turning off a particular gene. Although it will be several years before these apples are sold to the public, they have already sparked a backlash from critics, who say that more human studies should be conducted before genetically modified organisms are widely sold. More… Discuss

this pressed for the bees and the flowers: Flash – Nature’s ‘medicine cabinet’ fights bee disease – France 24

18 February 2015 – 01H40

Nature’s ‘medicine cabinet’ fights bee disease

© AFP/File | Honey bees gather on a moveable comb hive at the Bee Research Laboratory, in Beltsville, Maryland on August 22, 2007


Floral nectar contains a bouquet of natural chemicals that may help fight parasite infection in bumble bees, a study said Wednesday.

The findings throw up clues for helping honey bee colonies battling mysterious but catastrophic decline.

Biologists in New England tested eight nectar compounds on North American bumble bees — Latin name Bombus impatiens — that had been infected in the lab with an intestinal parasite called Crithidia bombi.

Four of the eight were effective against Crithidia, which is spread by bee faeces and lowers winter survival rates and reproductive success.

via Flash – Nature’s ‘medicine cabinet’ fights bee disease – France 24.

today’s birthday: Charles Darwin (1809)

Charles Darwin (1809)

Darwin was an English naturalist who developed the modern theory of evolution. Along with naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, he proposed the principle of natural selection: the mechanism by which advantageous variations are passed on to later generations and less advantageous traits slowly disappear. Darwin’s intensely controversial theory of evolution aroused widespread argument and debate among scientists and religious leaders. How did Darwin view religion and God? More… Discuss

Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl – The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) Documentary. News Core re-score. History.

Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl – The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) Documentary. News Core re-score. History.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Dust Bowl (disambiguation).

A farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936, Photo: Arthur Rothstein

The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion (the Aeolian processes) caused the phenomenon. The drought came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939–40, but some regions of the High Plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years.[1] With insufficient understanding of the ecology of the Plains, farmers had conducted extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains during the previous decade; this had displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. The rapid mechanization of farm equipment, especially small gasoline tractors, and widespread use of the combine harvester contributed to farmers’ decisions to convert arid grassland (much of which received no more than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation per year) to cultivated cropland.[citation needed]

During the drought of the 1930s, the unanchored soil turned to dust, which the prevailing winds blew away in huge clouds that sometimes blackened the sky. These choking billows of dust – named “black blizzards” or “black rollers” – traveled cross country, reaching as far as such East Coast cities as New York City and Washington, D.C. On the Plains, they often reduced visibility to 1 metre (3.3 ft) or less. Associated Press reporter Robert E. Geiger happened to be in Boise City, Oklahoma to witness the “Black Sunday” black blizzards of April 14, 1935; Edward Stanley, Kansas City news editor of the Associated Press coined the term “Dust Bowl” while rewriting Geiger’s news story.[2][3]

The drought and erosion of the Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2) that centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and touched adjacent sections of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.[4]

The Dust Bowl forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms. Many of these families, who were often known as “Okies” because so many of them came from Oklahoma, migrated to California and other states to find that the Great Depression had rendered economic conditions there little better than those they had left. Author John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939) about migrant workers and farm families displaced by the Dust Bowl.


Environment News: Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs

A coral reef is a ridge of living coral, coral skeletons, and calcium carbonate deposits from organisms such as calcareous algae, mollusks, and protozoans. The resulting structure provides a critical habitat for a wide variety of fish and marine invertebrates. Coral reefs also protect shores against erosion by causing large waves to break and lose some of their force before reaching land. More than 90% of the estimated 109,800 sq mi (284,300 sq km) of reefs in the world are in what region? More… Discuss



Fireflies light up due to bioluminescence: the ability of living organisms to convert chemical energy to light energy. Bioluminescence is also exhibited by some fungi, mollusks, and worms, and bioluminescent fish are common in the ocean’s depths, likely because the light aids in species recognition in the darkness. Other animals use luminescence in courtship and mating, to divert predators, or to attract prey. Why is most marine bioluminescence in the blue and green part of the spectrum? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)

Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)

The Tybee Bomb is a 7,600-pound (3,500-kg) nuclear bomb containing 400 pounds (180 kg) of conventional high explosives and highly enriched uranium. During a simulated combat mission, the B-47 bomber carrying it collided with an F-86 fighter plane, and the bomb was jettisoned and lost. It is presumed to be somewhere in Wassaw Sound, off the shores of Georgia’s Tybee Island, but recovery efforts have been unsuccessful. In 2004, a retired air force pilot made what discovery in the case? More… Discuss

this pressed: How Backpacking Can Put You in Touch With Your Inner Saint|National Geographic

Picture of signs along the Appalachian Trail
Picture of signs along the Appalachian Trail

Frequent mileposts break down the roughly 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine.

Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic Creative

via How Backpacking Can Put You in Touch With Your Inner Saint. |National Geographic

Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted at Yosemite National Park – ABC News

Rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox Spotted at Yosemite National Park – ABC News.