Showing posts from July 11, 2010

A fabulous evening

Many thanks to Scott, Mary, and everyone who made the Swede's night extra special. Much love. :) Posted via email from Moments of Awareness

PETA names Boise among top 10 vegetarian-friendly cities | Mobile | Idaho Statesman

Local restaurants Shangri-La Tea Room and Café, Boise Fry Company and Mai Thai helped Boise secure a spot among the top 10 in PETA's 2010 survey of the most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly cities in North America. Boise came in 10th among small cities in the United States. Among the menu standouts at Shangri-La Tea Room and Café are the corn chowder (corn, potatoes, and a bit of onion in a veggie broth seasoned to perfection), the curry wrap (tofu, potatoes, and red pepper in a scrumptious red curry sauce wrapped in a warm tortilla), and for lighter eaters, the Mock Toona and Crackers. At the Boise Fry Company, French-fry connoisseurs can get their veggie burgers with a choice of frites cut four different ways from six varieties of potatoes. And diners at Mai Thai can choose from an array of delicious dishes, including veggie black-pepper steak sautéed with mixed veggies in a vegetarian sauce, vegan orange chicken sautéed with mandarin orange and mixed with veggies, and veggie c

Frenchwomen’s Secrets to Aging Well

I OFTEN see an elderly woman in my Paris neighborhood waltzing down the street to her own imagined music, flashing a slightly demented smile at everyone she passes. Anywhere else, I would cross the street to avoid her. But she always wears a matching, if slightly kooky, outfit — like the red print skirt, loose cardigan and scarlet cloche hat she wore one day this spring — has great posture and is beautifully made up. She clearly loves being herself. And she makes me think that in France, women might forget everything else as they age — but never their sense of style. If there is a secret to aging well, Frenchwomen must know it. At least that’s what Americans think. We look at actresses like Juliette Binoche , 46, or politicians like Ségolène Royal , 56, or superstars like Catherine Deneuve , 66, and figure that they must have special insights into the “maturation” process. And even the average Frenchwoman — say, shopping along the Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré or enjoying

Idaho politics: The $50 million (or so) gap facing public schools |

The 2010 legislative session was history-making bad for Idaho public schools. This isn’t spin, just brutal fact. Any way you want to measure it, the $128.5 million budget cut was unprecedented in magnitude. Not that 2009, and its $68 million cut, was a banner year. Will these two years of cuts establish the new normal for Idaho schools, and its 275,000 K-12 students? Could be. In 2011, the schools will have a lot of work just to keep up. State schools superintendent Tom Luna ran through the grim numbers when he sat down with the Statesman editorial board this week. This year’s budget uses about $38 million of one-time money to cover ongoing needs. Things have been worse. A year ago, nearly $200 million in one-time money propped up the wobbly K-12 budget — after legislators set aside their dramatic outrage over the Obama economic stimulus bill long enough to cash Uncle Sam’s checks. The state is weaning itself off of one-time “found” money, but this is still

Finally, Easy Backup for Multiple PCs - Gadgetwise Blog

Simple backup has always been an oxymoron. But I just tried out a device that could change that: The Clickfree C2N drive can automatically back up Windows PCs and Macs over a home network with real set-it-and-forget-it ease. The 500-gigabyte Clickfree C2N costs $180 (it’s $142 at Amazon ), and that’s definitely a premium over standard 2.5-inch 500-gigabyte external drives, which sell for $120 or less. But the C2N can be a truly digital-life-saving device for those who can’t commit to regular backups. I installed the Clickfree C2N on a Windows 7 Dell desktop, a Windows 7 Asus netbook, and a MacBook Pro. The small software client installed automatically on all three, and launched and completed backups flawlessly. Here’s how it works: Attach the drive via USB to the first computer. The BackupLink software automatically installs and backs up the computer. The default backup is thorough and includes text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, music, videos, financial

One Bride for 3 Brothers - A Custom Fades in India

MALANG, India — Buddhi Devi was 14 when she was betrothed. In India , that is not unusual: many marry young. Her intended was a boy from her village who was two years younger — that, too, was not strange. But she was also supposed to marry her future husband’s younger brother, once he was old enough. Now 70 and a widow who is still married— one of her husbands is dead — Ms. Devi is a ghost of another time, one of a shrinking handful of people who still live in families here that follow the ancient practice of polyandry. In the remote villages of this Himalayan valley, polyandry, the practice of multiple men marrying one wife, was for centuries a practical solution to a set of geographic, economic and meteorological problems. People here survived off small farms hewed from the mountainsides at an altitude of 11,000 feet, and dividing property among several sons would leave each with too little land to feed a family. A harsh mountain winter ends the short plant

25,000 new asteroids found by NASA's sky mapping - Yahoo! News

LOS ANGELES – Worried about Earth-threatening asteroids? One of NASA's newest space telescopes has spotted 25,000 never-before-seen asteroids in just six months. Ninety-five of those are considered "near Earth," but in the language of astronomy that means within 30 million miles. Luckily for us, none poses any threat to Earth anytime soon. Called WISE for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, the telescope completes its first full scan of the sky on Saturday and then begins another round of imaging. What's special about WISE is its ability to see through impenetrable veils of dust, picking up the heat glow of objects that are invisible to regular telescopes. "Most telescopes focus on the hottest and brightest objects in the universe," said Richard Binzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "WISE is especially sensitive to seeing what's cool and dark, what you could call the stealth objects of the universe." Mission team me

Idaho Mountain Express: INL: Fire has not released contamination - July 16, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010 INL: Fire has not released contamination Blaze skirts Materials and Fuels Complex By TERRY SMITH Express Staff Writer Firefighters battle a brush fire Tuesday at the Idaho National Laboratory. Photo by Courtesy photo The Idaho National Laboratory reported Thursday that a fire that has consumed some 170 square miles of brush land on and off the eastern Idaho nuclear site has not burned over any areas contaminated by radioactive materials. The Snake River Alliance, a southern Idaho nuclear watchdog organization, is skeptical of that statement, as is the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. "I guess I can't image DOE saying that," said Susan Burke, INL coordinator for DEQ. Burke was referring to the U.S. Department of Energy, the ag

On Florida Beaches, Let There Be Dark - Dot Earth Blog -

. The   BP oil gusher has focused attention on just one of many   threats to sea turtles . One that is likely far more significant is simply artificial light. I encourage you to watch this video shot earlier this month on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. , showing sea turtle hatchlings emerging from their sandy nests at night and, attracted by the city lights, heading inland instead of out to sea. The city has an ordinance mandating dark beaches, but it’s a tough one to enforce, it seems. Below you can read an excerpt from the blog post on the video at Ocean Wire that alerted me (along with Twitterers   Ken Peterson and ): Sea turtle hatchlings become disoriented by lights on the beach from businesses and homes. The hatchlings walk towards the light, onto roads, fall into drains or become dehydrated and use their small energy reserves wondering the beach in circles. This video was taken on 7/10/2010 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on a single night on a one-mile

- Record Collapse of Earth's Upper Atmosphere Puzzles Scientists

An upper layer of Earth's atmosphere recently collapsed in an unexpectedly large contraction, the sheer size of which has scientists scratching their heads, NASA announced Thursday. The layer of gas – called the thermosphere – is now rebounding again. This type of collapse is not rare, but its magnitude shocked scientists. "This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years," said John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. "It's a Space Age record." The collapse occurred during a period of relative solar inactivity – called a solar minimum from 2008 to 2009. These minimums are known to cool and contract the thermosphere, however, the recent collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain. "Something is going on that we do not understand," Emmert said.

Study: Why Older, Overweight Women Have Worse Memory - TIME

A study shows that being heavy may contribute to lower cognitive performance. Science Photo Library / Corbis Being overweight is certainly risky for your physical health, but new evidence suggests that it may carry an added mental-health burden as well. Studies have linked overweight to a host of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke, but research led by Dr. Diana Kerwin at Northwestern University now shows that extra weight may also contribute to lower cognitive performance. Culling data from the Women's Health Initiative, a long-term, multicenter study of postmenopausal women between the ages of 65 and 79, Kerwin's team found that for every one-point increase in body mass index (a ratio of height and weight used to measure overweight

Sperm Production Evolved 600 Million Years Ago | Ancient Sperm Gene Discovered | LiveScience

A gene responsible for sperm production is so vital that its function has remained unaltered throughout evolution and is found in almost all animals, according to a new study. The results suggest the ability to produce sperm originated 600 million years ago. The gene, called Boule, appears to be the only gene known to be exclusively required for sperm production in animals ranging from an insect to a mammal.   "Our findings also show that humans, despite how complex we are, across the evolutionary lines all the way to flies, which are very simple, still have one fundamental element that's shared," said Eugene Xu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The discovery of Boule's key role in perpetuating animal species offers a better understanding of male infertility , a potential target for a male contraceptive drug , and a new direction for future developm

German police win overtime pay for putting on their uniforms - Europe, World - The Independent

A German policeman's lot is a decidedly happier one after a court ruling yesterday which awarded an officer from the city of Münster an extra week's holiday to compensate for the time he spends donning his uniform each day. Martin Schauder, 44, was awarded extra holiday, or the equivalent in pay, by a court in the west German city after persuading judges that the 15 minutes he spent putting on the kit – vest, trousers , belt, shirt, tank top and boots together with the accompanying pistol and handcuffs – amounted to overtime. Erich Rettinghaus, the head of the police trade union in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, where Mr Schauder is based, said the ruling was "ground-breaking" because it cleared up an issue that had long been a thorn in the side of the force. He said the court accepted the officer's claim that he was giving his employers the equivalent of 45 to 50 hours a year because of the uniform requirements. "It means that each day he

Exclusive: The unseen photographs that throw new light on the First World War - Europe, World - The Independent

The place, according to a jokingly chalked board, is "somewhere in France". The time is the winter of 1915 and the spring and summer of 1916. Hundreds of thousands of British and Empire soldiers, are preparing for The Big Push, the biggest British offensive of the 1914-18 war to date. A local French photographer, almost certainly an amateur, possibly a farmer, has offered to take pictures for a few francs. Soldiers have queued to have a photograph taken to send back to their anxious but proud families in Britain or Australia or New Zealand. Sometimes, the Tommies are snapped individually in front of the same battered door or in a pear and apple orchard. Sometimes they are photographed on horseback or in groups of comrades. A pretty six-year-old girl – the photographer's daughter? – occasionally stands with the soldiers or sits on their knees: a reminder of their families, of human tenderness and of a time when there was no war. Rel

Ground Zero builders uncover centuries-old hull - Americas, World - The Independent

Archaeologists at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan are racing to dig out what appears to be remains of the wooden hull of a stubby 18th century ship that construction crews stumbled upon earlier this week as they prepared foundations for the new World Trade Centre complex. It has been almost 30 years since such a significant remnant of New York’s ocean-going past has been found beneath its pavements. As work continues unabated at the site, archeologists with a firm already hired to document finds of interest there, spearheaded efforts for the hull’s removal to safe ground and more detailed analysis. “We noticed curved timbers that a back hoe brought up,” Molly McDonald of the company, AKRF, said. “We quickly found the rib of a vessel and continued to clear it away and expose the hull over the last two days.” The section measures about 32 feet long and may have been dumped along with other landfill to expand the lower end of Manhattan into what use

A Virus Threatens Farmed Salmon - Ecocentric -

The future of fish—at least the sort that end up on our dinner plates—is not in the ocean. As we've steadily overfished the seas, the stock of wild fish have been declining fast. Only around 25% of commercial stocks are in a reasonably healthy state, and some 30% of fish stocks are already considered collapsed. A famous study that appeared a few years ago in the journal Science predicted that if current trends continued, commercial fish stocks might utterly collapse by 2048—meaning there would be virtually no wild seafood left. Instead, we may have farmed fish—and indeed, chances are the salmon in your sushi roll was raised in a pen, not caught by fishermen. The global fish farming harvest is now at 110 million tons a year and is growing at an 8% clip. Farmed fish are an important source of protein and oils, but the practice can have serious environmental consequences , with farms pouring liquid waste into waterways. One of the biggest concerns, however, is disease, which can

Firm Seeks ‘Blue Gold’ in Alaska - Green Blog

Freshwater supplies are strained in countries all over the world. But in a few places like Alaska, Greenland and Canada, there’s more than enough to go around. So why not ship water from where it’s plentiful to where it’s scarce? Associated Press Heading across a dry riverbed in Palghat, India, in a past drought. Most people would call this a fool’s errand: water is heavy and transporting it thousands of miles is tremendously expensive and energy-intensive. But not S2C Global Systems, a small Texas company now in the developmental stage that hopes to ship billions of gallons of freshwater by tanker to India and the Middle East from Alaska. The water will come from Sitka, a small town on an island in southeast Alaska that holds the rights to 6.2 billion gallons a year from a large reservoir nearby. The town recently signed a contract with S2C to export nearly half of that allocation at a price of a penny a gallon. The company’s first “water hub” is under development at

Mind - Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds

“I don’t know what I’ve done wrong,” the patient told me. She was an intelligent and articulate woman in her early 40s who came to see me for depression and anxiety . In discussing the stresses she faced, it was clear that her teenage son had been front and center for many years. When he was growing up, she explained, he fought frequently with other children, had few close friends, and had a reputation for being mean. She always hoped he would change, but now that he was almost 17, she had a sinking feeling. I asked her what she meant by mean. “I hate to admit it, but he is unkind and unsympathetic to people,” she said, as I recall. He was rude and defiant at home, and often verbally abusive to family members. Along the way, she had him evaluated by many child psychiatrists , with several extensive neuropsychological tests. The results were always the same: he tested in the intellectually superior range, with no evidence of any learning disability or mental illnes

How Microbes Defend and Define Us

In 2008, Dr. Khoruts, a gastroenterologist at the University of Minnesota , took on a patient suffering from a vicious gut infection of Clostridium difficile. She was crippled by constant diarrhea , which had left her in a wheelchair wearing diapers. Dr. Khoruts treated her with an assortment of antibiotics , but nothing could stop the bacteria. His patient was wasting away, losing 60 pounds over the course of eight months. “She was just dwindling down the drain, and she probably would have died,” Dr. Khoruts said. Dr. Khoruts decided his patient needed a transplant. But he didn’t give her a piece of someone else’s intestines, or a stomach, or any other organ. Instead, he gave her some of her husband’s bacteria. Dr. Khoruts mixed a small sample of her husband’s stool with saline solution and delivered it into her colon. Writing in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology last month, Dr. Khoruts and his colleagues reported that her diarrhea vanished in a day. Her Clostridi