For “Summary Saturday”, or News Day. Some new, some old:
We have all heard about the FDA lowering the limits of arsenic in apple juice, Edward Snowden, Trayvon Martin, Malala Yousafzai, and the latest out of Egypt, so here are some news items that you might not have seen:
No Trash, Just Treasure: Landfill Development Finally Defeated at Joshua Tree National Park
“We’ve been treated to quite a spring here in the California desert. After experiencing the greatest Joshua tree bloom on record this past April, one of our hardest-fought battles finally ended in victory last month—NPCA and our supporters have defeated the Eagle Mountain Landfill proposal once and for all.
Eagle Mountain would have been the largest landfill in the country, and proponents had proposed building it smack in the middle of a mountain range bordered on three sides by Joshua Tree National Park wilderness. At peak capacity, the facility would have accommodated 20,000 tons of garbage—per day—for 117 years.
A projected map of the area showed that the landfill would have harmed 75 percent of the critical desert tortoise habitat within the park—one of the most important remaining refuges for this federally threatened species.” More at: http://www.parkadvocate.org/no-trash-just-treasure-landfill-development-finally-defeated-at-joshua-tree-national-park/
Carbon from nuclear tests could help fight poachers
“In the 1980s, more than half of Africa's elephants are thought to have been wiped out by poachers. This led to an international ban on trading ivory in 1989. As public awareness of the threat of extinction increased, the global demand for ivory dwindled.
Rhinos are increasingly being targeted as countries like China and Vietnam believe powdered rhino horn has medicinal powers. One preventative tactic is dehorning rhinos safely. But today conservationists believe that a growing demand for ivory in China and other Asian countries is responsible for a huge increase in the number of animals being poached.
Many governments have huge stockpiles of ivory, and it is often unclear when this ivory was acquired and whether or not some of it is leaking into the illegal market.
Bomb carbon dating
Traditional radiocarbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by measuring the amount of carbon-14 (C14)
The approximate time since an organism died can be measured from the amount of C14 left in its remains. But remains from after the Cold War contain higher levels of C14 due to the nuclear bombs
Traditional radiocarbon dating would only be able to pick up an "imperceptible amount of decay" added Dr Uno, but because the bomb spike doubled the concentration or carbon, they were able to find huge variations over the last 60 years, which enabled accurate dating.
Dr Uno and colleagues used this increase in carbon to date herbivore samples, which they matched to corresponding points on the bomb-curve.” More at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23096068
Underwater Forest Off Alabama Coast Is Over 50,000 Years Old, Kept Secret Since Its Discovery In 2005 [VIDEO]
“An underwater forest of ancient bald Cypress trees was found off the coast of Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico, and its discoverers kept it a secret until recently. The 50,000-year-old underwater forest, a primeval riverbed, was so well preserved that samples taken from the ancient tree trunks still smelled like sap. Ben Raines, who was one of the first divers to explore the underwater forest, described swimming through the stumps and logs as like entering a "fairy world."
According to Live Science, the ancient underwater forest, which sits about 60 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico several miles from the Alabama coast, spans an area of about .5 square miles. The collection of bald Cypress trees was part of an ancient river channel that ran through the area. Divers can still see where the riverbanks once were and where the edges of the river dropped off. Some of the bald Cypress tree stumps are the size of pickup trucks.
The underwater forest was uncovered in 2005 when it was exposed by the waves from Hurricane Katrina.” More at: http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/5583/20130709/underwater-coast-alabama-coast-primeval-forest-gulf.htm
Research on Antibiotics Reveals Silver Acts as a Booster, While Mixing Certain Antibiotics with Statins Can Be Devastating
“The frivolous use of antibiotics, not just in medicine but also in food production, is the root cause of skyrocketing antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic-resistant disease is a major threat to public health, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics—both in medicine and agriculture
Researchers have discovered that gut viruses known as bacteriophages, a.k.a. “phages” are instrumental in conferring antibacterial resistance to bacteria
Under normal conditions, phages help you stay healthy by destroying harmful bacteria and encouraging beneficial bacteria to flourish in and on your body
According to a new study, low doses of silver can make antibiotics up to 1,000 times more effective, and may even allow an antibiotic to successfully combat otherwise antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Statin drug users should avoid the antibiotics clarithromycin and erythromycin, as these antibiotics inhibit the metabolism of statins, increasing your risk for muscle or kidney damage, and even death.” More at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/03/antibiotics-colloidal-silver.aspx
“Environmental pollution is a significant problem. But while most of the focus is placed on polluting industries, toxins like mercury and small particle traffic pollution, a major source of environmental devastation is caused by modern food production. Far from being life sustaining, our modern chemical-dependent farming methods:
- Strip soil of nutrients
- Destroy critical soil microbes
- Contribute to desertification and global climate change, and
- Saturate farmlands with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that then migrate into ground water, rivers, lakes and oceans.
For example, many areas of Minnesota, which is prime farmland, now face the problem of having dangerously elevated levels of nitrogen in their drinking water. More than half of 40 lakes surveyed in China also suffer from fertilizer runoff.
Earth's soil is now being depleted of nutrients at more than 13 percent the rate it can be replaced. We may also be facing looming shortages of two critical fertilizer ingredients: phosphorous and potassium.
The conversion of grasslands and pastures into chemical-driven, industrial crop land has eliminated much of the natural filtering of ground water that such native landscapes typically provide. Health risks of nitrogen include a potential connection to cancer, as well as thyroid and reproductive problems in both humans and livestock.
According to soil science expert, fertilizers are unnecessary. Healthy plant growth is dependent on having the right helper organisms in the soil, which take the mineral material from the soil and convert it into a plant-available form
Organic farming practices use natural, time-tested techniques that naturally prevents soil depletion and destruction, and doesn’t use chemical fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals that pollute our soil, air, and waterways” More at: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/07/03/how-organic-farming-could-release-us-from-the-curse-of-fertilizer/ and more at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/07/02/fertilizer.aspx
A Mixed Blessing
If we don’t watch out, agriculture could destroy our planet.
“N. Nitrogen. Atomic number seven. Unnoticed, untasted, it nevertheless fills our stomachs. It is the engine of agriculture, the key to plenty in our crowded, hungry world.
Without this independent-minded element, disinclined to associate with other gases, the machinery of photosynthesis cannot function—no protein can form, and no plant can grow. Corn, wheat, and rice, the fast-growing crops on which humanity depends for survival, are among the most nitrogen hungry of all plants. They demand more, in fact, than nature alone can provide.” Article at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/fertilized-world/charles-text
Fetuses Drugged in Attempt to Prevent Obesity
“Trying to make newborns healthy by drugging them before they’re born is pure insanity—but that’s exactly what’s happening in a string of studies. The diabetes drug, metformin, is being trialed on overweight pregnant women. Concerns of birth defects are ignored in this insane rush to profit off existing drugs.
Finding new uses for old drugs is big money. To that end, metformin, a generic diabetes drug, is being given to fetuses to see if it can prevent them from becoming obese.
An editorial in The Medical Journal of Australia worries about the potential of adverse effects from metformin. The authors refer to adverse effects listed in the manufacturer’s insert. Wrong Diagnosis lists it as a teratogen, a substance that induces birth defects. Drugs.com discusses metformin’s association with ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition.
Metformin is known to cross the placenta, making it enter a fetus’s bloodstream directly. That means they’ll get the full dose. Whatever dose the mother takes, the fetus gets without modulation—along with all the adverse effects.
In spite of the known risks, and in spite of having absolutely no idea what effects metformin might have on a developing fetus or its effects after birth, Big Pharma is putting money behind giving it to fetuses.” More at: http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2013-05-23/fetuses-drugged-in-attempt-to-prevent-obesity/
An Amazing Fact: Never Slumbers
Here’s how it supposedly happened: James Polk’s term as the 11th president expired on Saturday, March 3, 1849. President-elect Zachary Taylor did not want to be inaugurated on a Sunday; he preferred the ceremonies to be held on Monday, March 5. Yet the United States could not be without a leader, even for 24 hours, so the next person in line was President Pro-tem of the Senate, who happened to be Senator David Rice Atchison. He, therefore, took over the office for that Sunday.
Atchison later explained his “sleeping term” by saying that his last day of work in congress was so heavy and busy that he went to bed very late Saturday night exhausted. He slept soundly, even snoring, all through the day that he was president—March 4, 1849. How sad to be president for a day and not remember a single minute!”
An Amazing Fact: Big Numbers
“There are a lot of big numbers in the world. Americans spend $300,000,000 per day on clothes. The human body contains 70,000 miles of blood vessels. And the earth weights approximately 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons!
Numbers are fascinating, and people enjoy counting things. For instance, more than 15,000,000,000 prizes have been given away in Cracker Jack’s boxes. People have about 100,000 hairs growing on their heads (some of us have a few less!). There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year. And there are about 8,000,000 words in the English language.
The largest number in the English language with a word naming it is googolplex. This number is equal to 10 to the power of a googol, or 1010^100, which would be written as 1 followed by 10100 zeroes. There are fewer particles in the entire universe than this huge number. The words “googol” and “googolplex” were both suggested in the 1930s by the nine-year-old nephew of mathematician Dr. Edward Kasner.
As technology has increased, the methods of “people counting” has also become more sophisticated. Pointing at people as they walk by was replaced with handheld tally counters to count people. Now you can use infrared beams, computer vision, thermal imaging, and even synthetic intelligence to count people.
According to the Bible, King David was tempted to count people when it was not the Lord’s will. “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). It appears David felt threatened by a military opponent, and instead of consulting with God, he counted the size of his army. Even Joab, his commanding officer, didn’t like the idea.
We can be tempted to count out big numbers to make ourselves look better than we are. It can lead us to trust in our own power, our own money, or our own things instead of realizing that our numbers will never add up to what God can provide. You can count on the Lord!”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
- Revelation 7:9
On This Day
Construction begins on Fort Phil Kearny, Jul 13, 1866:
“Colonel Henry Carrington begins construction on Fort Phil Kearny, the most important army outpost guarding the Bozeman Trail.
In 1863, a Georgia-born frontiersman named John Bozeman blazed a wagon road that branched off from the Oregon Trail and headed northwest to the gold fields of western Montana. The trail passed through the traditional hunting grounds of the Sioux, and Chief Red Cloud attacked several wagon trains to try to stop the violation of Indian Territory. Despite the questionable legality of the Bozeman Trail, the U.S. government decided to keep it open and began building a series of protective army forts along the route.
Unfortunately, Carrington's mighty fortress had one important flaw: the nearest stands of timber lay several miles away. To obtain the wood essential for heating and further construction, a detachment had to leave the confines of the fort every day. The Indians naturally began to prey on these "wood trains." In December, a massive Indian ambush wiped out a force of 80 soldiers under the command of Captain William Fetterman.
Despite this weakness, Fort Phil Kearny was still a highly effective garrison. Nonetheless, the U.S. Army found it nearly impossible to halt completely the Indian attacks along the trail. In 1868, the government agreed to abandon all of the forts and close the trail in exchange for peace with the Indians. Immediately after the soldiers left, the Indians burned Carrington's mighty fortress to the ground.”
First World Cup, Jul 13, 1930:
“On July 13, 1930, France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football (soccer, to Americans) matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. The World Cup has since become the world’s most watched sporting event.”
Live Aid Concert, Jul 13, 1985:
“On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. Continued at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and at other arenas around the world, the 16-hour "superconcert" was globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations.
In a triumph of technology and good will, Live Aid eventually raised $127 million in famine relief for African nations, and the publicity it generated encouraged Western nations to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in Africa. Geldof was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.”
Misty went back to her bed after her breakfast, and didn’t want to go ‘walkies’ at Jay’s when I went to pick him up. So I took her for a little walk around here in the evening after it had cooled off. She is acting differently these days, and her time might be coming. She had inoperable mammary tumors when I got her. I am so grateful that she has lived 2-1/2 years past her ‘prognosis due date’, so far. As long as she has a good appetite, I am not going to worry about her, too much. This week she is having some of my organic ground bison with her dinner. Sometimes she has it raw, and then other times cooked. I froze some of it raw in tiny containers, so she can have some later, too.
Jay took down most of the mobile home siding that the contractors had put on the front of my house, and replaced it with cedar. We (my late husband and I) had put cedar board skirting around the back part when we built it. Now, the front matches the back of the house.
Ray and I installed a bracket with zip ties, on the inside of the puppy-pen where the top lifts up from the side. It is so much easier not having to lock it when I have to turn around for a second to get something while tending the kittens. The bracket stops the top from falling in and hurting one of them.
Then he primed more of the board fence in front of my front door.
The rain that we were supposed to get, never came here, so it was another hot day.