Tag Archives: bacteria

Friday Linkage 3/15/2019

It’s Spring Break week…well, it will be.  This will be the last Friday Linkage until the end of the month so please try and make do without.  I promise I will be back.

On to the links…

The First Green Terawatt Was the Hardest—Consider that the first “green” terawatt of power came at the highest average cost.  The next terawatt or more will come at a price orders of magnitude lower because the highest price is today’s.  The prediction is that the next terawatt will be installed by 2023 at half the cost of the first.  So, a little more than a fourth the amount of time at half the cost.  That is change that I can believe in.

Trump’s Monument Review Was A Big Old Sham—Are we surprised that the process was really about allowing oil, gas, and uranium extraction interests get access to sealed off lands? No one else matters in this criminal administration.

Trump’s Climate Policies Face 6 Big Legal Battles this Year—Here is the thing I wonder about.  If Trump loses his bid for reelection in 2020, what happens to all of this stuff in January 2017 when a Democrat walks into the White House and reverses every executive action that the man took over four years?

Five Things a Democratic President Could Do By Declaring a National Emergency Over Climate Change—I would just love to watch Mitch McConnell clutch his pearls and cry about how decorum is gone from U.S. politics even though no one is more to blame for the degradation of politics in this country than he.

Republicans are the Real Threat to Hamburgers, not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—Are Republicans really this stupid?  No matter how genuine the policy proposal, Republicans—goaded by Fox News—will turn the discussion into an argument about something that is not even germane to the discussion.  It is the ultimate “hey, look, a squirrel” kind of distraction to keep people from talking about real change.

Trump said to Again Seek Deep Cuts in Renewable Energy Funding—Trump’s 2020 budget is dead on arrival in Congress.  It is now about the negotiations between the House and Senate as to what the budget will look like.

Cost of Adding New Wind, Solar Energy Continues to Fall in Minnesota—It’s not just cheap, but it is getting cheaper to build out renewables versus continue to operate coal plants.

Harnessing the Sun in Coal Country—Naming the two solar farms Hatfield and McCoy is a little hokey, but I love the juxtaposition of old mountain top removal coal mines being transitioned to solar photovoltaic farms.

Norway’s $1tn Wealth Fund to Divest from Oil and Gas Exploration—This is a little “pot calling the kettle black” as the wealth fund is driven by profits from North Sea oil and gas.  However, it is a positive step forward.

Renewables Generated a Record 65 Percent of Germany’s Electricity Last Week—Say what you will, but that is an impressive number.

Tiny Costa Rica Has a Green New Deal, Too. It Matters for the Whole Planet.—I want to know why the United States is getting beat to the punch by a small country like Costa Rica?  Why can’t we think big when it comes to addressing the problem presented by climate change?

Coal Power Stations Disrupt Rainfall—As if we needed another reason to stop burning coal.

Scientists Capture Bacteria That Eat Pollution and Breathe Electricity—This sounds like something out of a comic book that gets repurposed by a super villain to defeat our intrepid heroes.

America’s Light Bulb Revolution—LEDs are amazing.  How anyone—looking at you Republicans—can be against using less electricity for lighting is beyond me.  Oh wait, Fox and Friends does not like LED lightbulbs because, uh, socialism?

The Backyard Mechanic Who is Taking on Tesla—Trust me, Tesla is painted in a bad light here for refusing to sell this guy repair parts but this is not different from a lot of other car companies.  You might be able to buy parts for more mainstream cars, but the prices are crazy compared to what the replacement parts actually cost.  Just spend some time with Porsche enthusiasts looking at repair parts online.

Why India is a World Leader in Waste Paper—As our trash gets sent around the world, it is important to think about the market forces that drive a country to literally buy something that we consider garbage of little to no value.

Friday Linkage 11/9/2018

The midterm election is over save for the inevitable recounts, runoffs, and lawsuits.  So, it is not really over.  Heck, if you are anything like Donald Trump you will never get over the last election.  Just saying.

If anyone thought that Democrats taking back the House of Representatives was going to serve as a check on Trump’s worst instincts think again.  Within twenty four hours he was already back to his Orwellian self when he held a press conference full of combative lies and followed it up with a Soviet style doctored video to support his banishment of Jim Acosta from the White House.  We live in strange times indeed.

On to the links…

How ‘Makers’ Make the Classroom More Inclusive—Maybe we need to make school a little less about preparing for tests and more about making things.  I do not care if kids are making art or wooden clocks or theater productions because being responsible for the creation of something is instruction in and of itself.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might Face a Criminal Investigation—Right now is not a good time to be a grifter in the employ of Donald Trump.  Ryan Zinke is not facing an ethics complaint, he is facing a freaking criminal investigation for being a con artist and thief.

UN says Earth’s Ozone Layer is Healing—It was not all political news.  Too bad China is not honoring commitments to phase out certain ozone destroying compounds and is, instead, allowing for unregulated use.

Voters Raise Nevada Renewables Goal to 50%, NV Energy Has $2B Plans—Nevada’s goal of 15% renewable energy by 2025 was rejected by voters in favor of 50% by 2030.  Way to go Nevada.

Navajo Nation Eyes Utility-Scale Solar with Growing Interest—The Navajo Nation possesses a lot of land with a lot of solar potential in the southwest United States.  Think about some of that land being deployed to produce clean, green utility scale solar fed into the grid.

Indiana Utility Submits Plan to Move from Coal to Renewables—Losing Indiana to renewable energy is pretty bad for coal because the Hoosier State is surprisingly reactionary in its right wing attitudes toward anything that might be labelled progressive.  You know that the economics favor renewables when this is the headline.

Scottish Utility goes 100% Renewable, Pushes Electric Vehicles too—If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!  Could not help myself.  I love me some So I Married an Axe Murderer.

British Renewables Hits 42 Gigawatts & Surpasses Fossil Fuels—I am sure that someone will put a half dozen caveats on these numbers, but renewables are a big part of the grid.  There was a time when most “experts,” probably just shills hired by coal and gas companies, said that renewables could not be more than a sliver of the grid because of unreliability, etc.  Reality has proven them wrong.

The Secret Power of the Flexitarian—The power is in being flexible in achieving your goal.

American Diet Changes Gut Bacteria of Immigrants—This might not be so bad, but apparently the resulting changes lead to an increase in conditions like diabetes, obesity, etc.

One Third of Britons has Drastically Reduced Meat Consumption—This was not done in response to any major external stimuli like a war or depression.  Imagine what is possible in this world if we would just decide to live less destructive lives.

Fish Fingers Surprisingly Sustainable, say Conservationists—Fish sticks, or fish fingers to those of you across the pond, are the offal of the seafood aisle.  In my house fish sticks still get some love, but we also happen to be big fans of catfish.

Finland: Where Second-Hand Comes First—Think about the impact if we all thought about buying something secondhand before buying new.  Sure, new stuff would need to be made to feed the consumption cycle at some point but a world of more durable and high quality goods is a better place.

Embracing Inconvenience—We could all use a little more inconvenience in our lives.

Friday Linkage 6/16/2017

What will the mass shooting in Alexandria, VA this week lead to?  My guess is that Republicans will push for less stringent gun laws—although it is hard to see how much less stringent our non-existent gun laws could become—and a crackdown on political speech that is counter to their aims.  Do not believe me?  In the first few moments after the shooter was identified there were Republican operatives calling for the rhetoric regarding Donald Trump and his policies to be toned down.

WTF?  This is the single person responsible for more coarseness in our political discourse over the last eighteen months than anyone else and we are supposed to suddenly simmer down because of a completely unrelated incident?  Can’t stop, won’t quit.

On to the links…

These Five Charts Show the Seismic Shifts Happening in Global Energy—If there is anything that you can do to accelerate any of these trends do it.  Do it today.

In Trump Country, Renewable Energy Is Thriving—I live in “Trump country” as much as it pains me to say it and I still cringe every time I see someone sporting a bumper sticker, shirt, or freaking red hat.  However, renewable energy is a very big deal in this red state and it is a similar story in a lot of other red states.

When You’ve Lost Iowa: Wind-Loving Heartland State Says “Buh-Bye, Coal”—What allegiance to coal does a state like Iowa have?  We do not mine or produce any coal, so every dollar we spend on coal for power is a dollar that is leaving our state.  On the other hand we have a lot of wind and those dollars can stay home.

Coal Can’t Compete on its Own—Remove the subsidies and preferential policies makes coal an even bigger loser than it already is in today’s marketplace.  Now, supposed free market Republicans will never actually allow the free market to work when it comes to their beloved fossil fuels.

This is How Big Oil will Die—Imagine I could replace an essential machine in your house with over 2000 moving parts and filled with flammable or toxic fluids.  Imagine that the replacement machine would have 20 moving parts and no flammable or toxic liquids.  Oh, and it is cheaper to operate on a per mile basis.

Renewables Provide More than Half UK Electricity for First Time—So, during mid-day renewables were knocking out over 50% of the U.K.’s electricity needs.  Who says that we cannot deploy more wind and solar?

Three Nations Plan 500% Increase in Global Offshore Wind—That is a big increase.  Once the basic technologies are even more mature and cost effective the adoption rates will soar.  What would happen if the people working in offshore oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico were deployed to develop offshore wind?

A Quarter Of EU’s Electricity Demand Could Be Met By Offshore Wind At €54/MWh—The future may be out to sea.

Chevrolet Bolt Will Hit Remaining Dealer Lots in August—It’s going to be available nationwide a month or so earlier than forecast.  Here is to hoping that sales follow availability.

Resistance to Last-Ditch Antibiotic has Spread Farther than Anticipated—This health crisis is happening because we demand cheap meat.  There is no other reason to feed farm animals huge amounts of antibiotics which breeds antibiotic resistant bacteria.  We are literally staring into the precipice of going back to the dark ages in terms of fighting infections.

Trump Wants to Cut EPA’s Scientific Research in Half—Of course the ignorant buffoon wants to cut research staff.  These are people who spend their careers trying to actually discover answers to hard questions rather than watching Fox News constantly.

In Praise of ‘Scruffy Hospitality’—We just need to put the smartphones away and stop posting everything to Instagram or Facebook.  We need to get back to enjoying the analog moments of life.

You Must Read—Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling our Modern Plagues

The truth is always obvious in retrospect. How could people really have thought that the sun revolves around the Earth or that Earth is flat? Yet dogma are powerful and to their adherents infallible. [Page 219]

The complex and true role that bacteria play in our lives as humans is a dark place in terms of knowledge. For most of the period during which we have known of the existence of bacteria our mantra has been, quite simply, the only good bacteria is a dead bacteria. In that vein we have pursued a medical regime that assaults bacteria with broad spectrum antibiotics in the hopes of killing what ails us in a microscopic genocide.

9780805098105However, according to Martin J. Blaser in Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling our Modern Plagues this approach is misguided and may be at the root of many modern ills.

First and foremost among those modern ill is the specter of antibiotic resistant bacteria. With the introduction of penicillin, mankind was able to beat back infection for the first time in a safe and systematic way. Until penicillin the leading killer on the battlefield was not directly from enemy action, but through infection. However, modern medicine has perverted the practice of using antibiotics as the time to diagnose patients has decreased, patients seek pharmaceutical solutions, and the threat of litigation hovers. It is easier for a doctor, primarily pediatricians, to prescribe a course of antibiotics for an ailment that may only have a 10% chance of being bacterial rather than to tell the patient that it is likely the antibiotics would be nothing more than placebo.

In conjunction with medical overuse the primary user of antibiotics is agriculture. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has read any book critical of the livestock industry. While animals increasingly require antibiotics to survive the conditions of CAFOs, the original intent of prescribing animals antibiotics was to increase their size in shorter period of time.

Apparently, the same mechanism that allows that practice to work in animals may also work in humans. What works to cause a cow to be fatter for slaughter may be the same mechanism behind our great increase in obesity during the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Surely our diets of crap have contributed and our predominantly sedentary lifestyles contribute, but it is Blaser’s assertion that there is a culprit in the changing composition of our microbiome. No summary could do his analysis and explanation of the published literature justice given the succinct nature in which he writes about the topic in the book. Suffice to say, our conquering—however temporary—of bacteria through the use of antibiotics may have given us a host of modern plagues.

At times I feel like the author is using the change in our microbiome as a panacea to answer our modern ills. So much so that it feels a little new age, but there is a compelling argument made that we have subverted tens of thousands of years of co-evolution with bacteria by conducting a scorched earth war inside our bodies.

If you are not feeling up for reading the entire book—at 220 pages of text it easily fits into a summer weekend of reading—then check out the Daily Show’s interview with the author. It hits the high points with the snark that only Jon Stewart can provide.

Friday Linkage 11/22/2013

The holiday season is almost upon us and that means…shopping!  When did shopping become a newsworthy item that is covered in all sorts of outlets?  I remember people going out the day after Thanksgiving when I was a kid, but now people prepare for the day weeks in advance like armies preparing for an invasion.  Granted, the parking lot of your average big box store can seem like an uncoordinated amphibious landing.

On to the links…

It’s Time to Rethink America’s Corn System—Corn is king.  Spend any time in Iowa, rural Illinois, or other parts of the middle United States and you will begin to understand the power of King Corn.  However, we should not think of corn as food.  It is primarily grown for fuel and feed.  It’s also time to rethink our obsession with growing the stuff at any cost.

Amendment To Farm Bill Could Be End To Humane Farming Standards—Steve King, from the great state of Iowa, is a complete ass.  It looks like he is further showing how he is a hypocrite and in the pocket of industry.  When it comes to issues that he supports, like denying women choice and being a bigot when it comes to marriage, he wants the states to decide if it favors his position.  On the other hand, he wants to deny states their rights when it impacts his pocket book.

How Industrial Agriculture Has Thwarted Factory Farm Reforms—We live in an era when mega sized agriculture companies ride herd over the interests of public health and safety.  Just look at the inability of anyone to address the rampant use of prophylactic antibiotics in the factory farms of the U.S.  It’s disgraceful.

Kauai County Council Override Frees Way For GMO Bill—The Kauai County Council, which is what the island wide government is called, has overridden the veto of a bill that would place regulations and restrictions on pesticides and GMO crops.  The bill had pretty widespread support on the island and was obviously opposed by the agriculture cartels that have major operations on the island.  In response there was pretty healthy protest.

Hawaii’s Big Island Bans Biotech Companies & GMO Crops—It looks like biotech will have to cross the Big Island off their list of places to operate.  The anti-GMO sentiment on the Big Island is pretty heavy.  Recently, some papaya trees have been chopped down in what is thought to be a protest about GMO crops as most papaya trees are grown from GMO stock.

Google Earth Launched High Resolution Deforestation Map—In business school you are beat over the head with the maxim that “you get what you measure.”  Measurement requires easily accessible tools and it looks like the problem of deforestation just got a powerful new tool in the form of Google Earth.  Never underestimate the power of putting information in the hands of motivated individuals.

Look Who’s Eating Your Plastic Now: A Whole Unprecedented Ecosystem—I would like to say I am surprised by this development, but nature was sure to respond in some way to the glut of discarded plastic that is mucking up the planet.  The scary part is that this new ecosystem might wreak massive changes to the existing order.

A Carbon Tax Would Cut The Deficit By $1 Trillion—These numbers are nothing new.  The problem arises from the fact that obstructionist Republicans, owned outright by anti-tax zealots like Grover Norquist, won’t even entertain the idea of a tax on something because they fear losing a primary battle to someone even more extreme.  It’s hard to imagine some candidate more extreme than most of the Republicans in Congress but just wait until the primary season prior to the 2014 midterms heats up.

WalMart’s Carbon Emissions Soar Despite all the Green Talk—I would like to see WalMart be a good actor, but let’s just call it like it is…WalMart sucks at life.  No matter what changes this company makes it will be a community and planet destroying menace until it goes the way of so many retail giants before it.

Country’s Largest Public Power Provider Takes Next Major Step to Move Beyond Coal—When a large player in the power market makes a move away from coal it’s a big deal because their absence from the market reduces the demand for coal which starts the supply chain down a death spiral.  As more coal plants shut down it becomes harder for the existing supply chain to produce coal at an attractive price which leads to more shutdowns and so forth.

Too Much Public Funding Is Going Into Coal Projects in Key Countries—Why are countries still subsidizing coal?  Developed countries are investing billions in coal projects worldwide and that is a damn shame.  There needs to be a global moratorium on the development of coal.

Arizona Solar Energy Fight Ends With $5 Monthly Fee—Rooftop solar in Arizona was fighting a pitched battle with the utilities in the state.  In the end, a small concession was made to the utilities in the form of a $5 fee.  This is a big win for distributed solar in the southwestern U.S.

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It’s Complicated—The composition of the bacteria in our stomachs has gotten a lot of attention lately and the research coming forth shows that a great deal of our current health malaise may be related to changes in that composition.  The problem that is being discovered is how to reverse the trend.

Splenda’s Dirty Little Secret: It’s Terrible for the Environment—Put down the little packet of artificial sweetener!  All artificial sweeteners are a fool’s errand in trying to fool our bodies that we are eating sugar.  Too bad it turns out that you get the bad effects of sugar without actually getting to eat something sweet.  Oh, and it’s accumulating in our water.  Great.

How Can Deserts Turn Into Grasslands?—The ideas presented here are interesting.  The other component to remember is that these are environments that have already been severely impacted by humans already.  Using livestock to remediate our damage is interesting.

‘Digesting’ Food Waste Can Turn Trash Into Money—Why we even have trash is beyond me?  We pay to throw away something that could be used to generate electricity.  Silly.

Biofuels and Climate Change: Pulpwood to the Rescue?—I am still hopeful that developments in second and even third generation biofuels will prove fruitful.  As much as I want to see the future of personal transportation electrified I know that the adoption curve will never be fast enough to mitigate the horrors of climate change.

Why Toyota Constantly Improving the Prius’ Fuel Economy is Something of a Fool’s Errand—I would not say it’s a fool’s errand as long as the technology utilized in the Prius flows down into more mass-market and less fuel efficient models.  I think of the Prius not as the answer, but as the vanguard of the technologies that will proliferate making all vehicles more efficient.

Friday Linkage 9/6/2013

Some of these links may be a little dated given that it is the news that I have been interested in over the past couple of weeks.  Obviously, I had some stuff going on at the homefront.

On to the links…

Beer vs. Oil: Beer Wins—Enbridge Oil is a ship of fools.  First, they spill a bunch of nasty tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.  When they get ordered to clean up their spill completely, which they probably tried to get out of using some technicality, the plan was a joke.  At least the good guys won this one.

The Untold Story Of Western Ranchers And Their Epic Battle Against Coal—Has the coal industry found a way to piss off everyone in the U.S.?  Now it looks like they have lost the rugged ranchers of the western U.S.  Who is left on their side?  Congress.  Damn.

Climate Change’s Original Sin—There is no discrete “environmental” journalism anymore because climate change is the single issue that is enmeshed with every decision that we will make for the foreseeable future.

Cattle—not climate change—killing the Great Barrier Reef—It looks like the obsession with eating meat is the primary cause of destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.  Enjoy the hamburger, mate!

The Real Reason Kansas Is Running Out of Water—So, we suck water out of the ground to grow corn that we stuff down the gullets of feedlot cattle.  Great system.

A Nevada Tribe’s Epic Battle To Replace A Deadly Coal Plant With Solar—Even if the Moapa Paiutes are successful in cleaning up the Reid-Gardner power plant there is a chance that natural gas development will follow.  Given the history of suffering of native people, is there an end in sight?

The Fracking Rig Next Door—Do you wonder what it would be like to have a fracking rig move in down the street?  Well, here are the photos.  Think about what it would be like before you spout off that fracking is our pathway to energy independence.

Four New Wind Farms In The Upper Midwest Could Power 750,000 Homes— Every week or month seems to bring news of a windfarm development in my neck of the woods that is bigger and badder than the prior announcement.  One of the numbers in the article that is crazy is 1,650.  That is the number of windpower megawatts that Xcel is awaiting on approval.  Blow, baby blow!

With Rooftop Solar on Rise, U.S. Utilities Are Striking Back—Utilities are scared of the rise in rooftop solar because it shakes their business model to its very foundations.  They also like total control.  Bullies don’t like it when someone takes away their toys and control.  Get ready for the playground fight of the next decade.

The Latest Clean Energy Cocktail: Bacteria And Fungus—It is crazy to see what scientists are doing with simple organisms in the pursuit of biofuels.  As the technology develops and matures there may be a hope for next generation biofuels to fulfill the promise of the current generation of biofuels.

Why Pushing Alternate Fuels Makes for Bad Public Policy—John DeCicco makes a salient point that there is no environmental reason to make a headlong rush into promoting alternative fuels for transportation use.  His point is that cleaning upstream power generation—in terms of both pollutants and carbon dioxide—is more important than cleaning up downstream users—e.g. you and I.  I am down with this point to a certain level.  I believe that we need to attack the problem from both ends, but the political reality is that there is only so much political capital to tackle these problems.

The United States uses 39% of the energy it produces, wastes 61%…—If you thought that there was not room for efficiency in the portfolio of climate change solutions, I give you this graphic:

llnl-usa-energy-usage-2012.png.0x545_q100_crop-scale

Six Tips to Buying Better Olive Oil—Olive oil is such a huge part of my culinary regime that it is hard to read an article like this and not wonder about the liquid in my cabinet.  Of course, I try to buy oil sourced from U.S. farms so some of my concerns are overblown. As it says in the final tip, “If there’s a shorthand way of looking for quality, reach for olive oil from the Golden State.”

Building a Better Mass-Market Tomato—There is not better way to improve the lot of grocery store vegetables than to finally develop a tomato that actually tastes like something more than acid water.  We can all hope, right?

The Obesity Era—This has to be one of the most thought provoking and depressing things that I have read in a long time.  Do we live in the obesity era?

Where Sand Is Gold, the Reserves Are Running Dry—Is there a more unsustainable state than Florida?  It’s beaches are eroding, the ground literally swallows buildings, and the landscape is a haven for invasive species.  Does it ever end?  I cannot wait for vacation in Orlando.

After the Fire: The Uncertain Future of Yosemite’s Forests—Our management policies and climate change may have conspired to create a fire regime that now threatens to permanently alter the landscape of the western U.S.  Uh oh!

Friday Linkage 7/26/2013

The heat of the last couple of weeks broke over the last couple of days and we have been treated to those perfect Iowa summer days: warm days and cool nights.  It is so nice to be able to open the windows and enjoy the cool fresh air.

On to the links…

Landmark ‘Ag Gag’ Lawsuit Fights Threat to Freedom of Speech—Watch this court case closely because the future of our ability to expose bad practices may be in danger.  Conversely, this may end up like the “McLibel” case where winning the case was not as important as the information that was exposed by the winning side.

Climate Change is Making Poison Ivy Grow Out of Control—If you thought rising seas and weird weather were bad, wait until you get a load of this.  Poison ivy, every hikers friend in the woods, is going gangbusters in the newly changed climate.  Great.

How Do We Use Electricity—If you asked people how they used electricity the answer would probably be “Flipping on a switch.”  That is the amount of thought that most of us put into our energy use on a daily basis.

Americans Continue to Use More Renewable Energy—This report from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has some really interesting charts about the sources of our electricity.

Cool Ways to Save this Season—Does anyone ever really think about how successful of a program Energy Star has been?  I never hear about it.  Here’s a nice little infographic from the folks at Energy Star:

Cool_Ways_to_Save_Infographic

Intermittency Of Renewables? … Not So Much—One of the major problems with renewable energy has been its intermittency.  That is to say, it does not produce power on a steady stream like a coal or nuclear plant.  As the amount of renewable power has increased, however, the intermittency has decreased.  Interesting.

How Twelve States Are Succeeding In Solar Energy Installation—Solar is kicking ass in several states as new and innovative programs are launched to get people access and take advantage of the dramatically lower costs.  In Iowa we are focused on wind energy over solar, but with the state producing over one quarter of its electricity from wind power I am not one to complain.  Much.  I still want solar panels on my roof.

The Community Solar Holy Grail—This idea just might be ticket to get me my solar power.  Interesting.

Zero Carbon Britain Possible by 2030—I see these studies a lot and the key component that is not ever factored in is political will.  The technology exists.  The tools for analysis exists.  The rationale exists.  But no politician is ever going to stand behind such an idea for more than five minutes.

Saudi Arabia to invest $109 billion to get 1/3 of its energy from renewables by 2032—Saudi Arabia has lots of empty land, sun, and money.  Seems like a perfect marriage of factors for a solar revolution.

U.S., Europe Launch Center for Smart Grids and Plug-in Vehicles—Speaking of intermittency.  As plug-in vehicles become more widespread the batteries in these vehicles represent a huge opportunity because taken as a whole they can help regulate the power grid.

Why A Nerve Eating Chemical, Cancer Causing is Still on the Market—This is what I hate about our regulatory regime.  Products that are harmful are allowed to be sold until the harm that they cause is considered so great the product is pulled.  Rather, the products should be proven safe before being allowed onto the market.

Staying Healthy May Mean Learning to Lover Our Microbiomes—There is so much that we do not understand about bacteria because we have spent the better part of the last century conducting all-out war on all bacteria.  The concept that some of these bacteria may be beneficial is gaining a lot of ground.

Nothing to See Here: Demoting the Uncertainty Principle—This article is one of those fun philosophical arguments that I miss so much now that I am no longer in college.  No one in the military-industrial complex has a discussion about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.  Schrodinger’s cat on the other hand…

Re-Imagining Rubber: PLUSfoam’s Flip Flop Recycling Revolution—This product from PLUSfoam is pretty sweet.  Unlike a lot of recycling, where the product is actually downcycled, the foam in these flip flops can easily be turned into new flip flops.  The trick with the Foreman grill is sweet.