Saturday, June 28, 2014
Generally, the topics discussed here aim to look at the sustainability of trends or activities. CCD is worrisome on many levels of sustainability.
This is an interesting update on the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of bee hives world wide.
Look at the ugly research related to the mix of pesticides and fungicides that seem to cause the demise of bee hives. (See prior SustainZine blog on this.)
It is interesting that the consumer seems largely unaware of this very, very serious problem. To mix he metaphors, bees are the canary in the coal mine of world agriculture. Those things that will kill the bees, may also kill the rest of us over time... assuming that the demise of the world's pollinators does not wipe out the food supply first.
There are so very many issues related to mono-cultures. That is the miles and miles of a single crop. Without diversity, massive amounts of pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides, etc. are needed. When something does get through the defense barrier they can get out of control quickly. The weevil in the cotton, the greening in the oranges, the pollinators in the almonds. Amphibians like frogs are interesting to watch, they can be totally wiped out based on what is happening with the water, with the land, or both. The death of the piglet litters?
Golf courses and row crops are a biological wasteland. It takes a lot to keep one croup growing in an area, and all the others out.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Lots of studies show that simply getting up and about several times a week can be really, really good for you.
This is pretty cool. The use of Nordic poles significantly helped patents go longer... Okay, that's pretty obvious...
BUT it also worked the body 23% harder than normal walking.
The prob with walking (and running) is that you don't really work the upper body, so it might be aerobic but not a full-body exercise.
PLUS it can be great training for your upcoming Snow Ski adventures!
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Monday, June 23, 2014
Food Makers' Secret Ingredient: Less Salt http://online.wsj.com/articles/food-companies-quietly-cut-salt-fat-from-recipes-1403566403
Thanks. But it is too bad it has to be a secret.
It is interesting how taistless and healthy seems to be synonimous to many people.
In the meanwhile, there is so much salt in things like soup, that even then "low salt" soups are 25 to 50% of US Daily recommended. And they are still not edible for those of us who have adjusted our salt pallet. You find yourself drinking gallons of water (or, worse, sodas) for the rest of the day.
Oh and Campbells slips in High Fructos sugar into all of the tomato soups we own as about the second ingredient. What is with that? Tomatoes are already sweet.
Of the Three Deadly White foods, sugar, salt and white flower, Campbells tomato soups seemed to have all three in the top 5 ingredients. Tomatos weren't even the first ingredient in the regular tomato, paste was second!
Now we'll see about donating these soups... And being even more careful with our food shopping.
Friday, June 13, 2014
BioLite BaseCamp Stove | Turn Fire into Electricity by BioLite. Saving lives, one stove at a time. Kickstarter Funded project.
BioLite BaseCamp Stove | Turn Fire into Electricity by BioLite — Kickstarter:
I love it. But only 62 hours to get in on the KickStarter offer. They are at twice goal with $800k+ and 3,000 backers.
Yes, it was DARK in Miami, when Hurricane Andrew came through South Miami/Homestead on August 24, 1992. Well, afterwards really. It would be weeks before most of us would get power. So bar-b-q grilling was the norm. That was not quite as much fun after a week or two without baths and without air conditioning. Little or no ice and warm drinks. Muggy and humid.
You did want to cook, obviously, but all the heat from the grill was the last thing we needed.
But a really cool cooking stove popped up in New York. A tiny stove the burned wood (or charcoal) and produced focused head for cooking. No need to cook the cook too.
This technology works wonders in countries where there is little or no electricity, and wood is often scarce, and the smoke from open cooking causes some of the world's worst health issues (probably only exceeded by water/sanitation).
You gotta see how far the technology has come. This is a BIG stove, relatively, that generates electricity (USB power) and has battery. It has an internal fan, to fan the fire so it can produce some serious heat possibilities -- especially given the ability to focus the flame.
This version comes with an LED light so you can see what's cooking at night.
As they say, this is the first version of the BaseCamp that is crowd designed. When you jump in on the crowd funding at KickStarter (BaseCamp) you will get a free carrying case.
You also get the warm-fuzzy feeling of knowing that this technology will save millions and millions of lives in energy starved countries.
All very very cool.
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Saturday, June 7, 2014
Leonard Pitts is going to get some hate mail out of this article. But, sadly, its all true.
The only are that could be clarified a bit is the 97% of scientist agree. I think the agreement is that there is global warming, it drops way off to 80% or so of those scientists who believe that humans are primarily the cause.
The controversy is well discussed in Wikipedia's Global Warming Controversy.
The idea that taking action now is not even thinkable because it would destroy the economy, jobs, etc., etc., is not a sound one. That was the argument against doing anything related to auto emissions and mileage standards.
Fortunately coal is a good place for government intervention. The costs of coal in health and safety are massively higher than the $.04 per KWH from the past. Although we do a better job of cleaning coal, that doesn't help if we ship it all off to China and India where they burn it without the same scrubbers that we use. Also, there's the dirty little secret of coal: coal ash!. See our discussion here on: Pain in the ash!
As well, coal produces huge amounts of CO2 emissions: twice the pollution and emission of oil or nat gas.
Hey, here's an idea. We are flaring about 50% of the nat gas produced in the USA, why not pipe it to power plants and use the fuel for "free". Or, why not build small power plants near the frank wells and run the power lines to the grid... and have power for "free".
We, at SBP, like projects that save emissions and save money and save the environment. Things like Energy Efficiency (EE) and telecommuting... Projects that will save trillions of dollars every 3 years, en perpetuity. Projects that are -- I hate to say it -- "no brainer" decisions. Projects that require no government "help".
Sadly, these projects are hard areas to gain traction.
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