Lowe’s Home Improvement begins removing bee killing pesticides

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Chemicals, Environment | Posted on 16-04-2015

Due to a sustained pressure by environmental groups and the public the home improvement mega chain Lowe’s has agreed to begin to discontinue the use of pesticides that contain the ingredient neonicotinoid which has been linked by numerous scientific studies to the recent alarming decline in the worldwide bee population.

The decline of the bee population is troubling to many in the scientific community. Bees not only produce honey which is a major food stable in some countries- they also are one of the largest pollinators of trees and plants. Bees are considered a keystone species and a decline in their population could lead to far reaching effects in the ecosystem as a whole.

Neonicotinoid laced pesticides result in Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. This disorder leads bees to abandon their hives which leads to the mass death of the colony. CCD has been spreading throughout the United States and the world as a whole. Scientists were unable to determine what the exact cause of colony collapse disorder was but many signs pointed to neonicotinoids. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/3843/lowes-agrees-to-phase-out-bee-toxic-neonicotinoid-insecticides

Lowe’s Home Improvement outlined the changes to their policy in their 2015 Social Responsibility report. Folks at Anastasia Date have found that they have decided over the next two fiscal years they will stop carrying any products that contain neonicotinoids. Many pundits have noted that this may the beginning of an industry wide ban of the additive and that many of Lowe’s competitors such as Home Depot or Walmart will begin to phase them out as well.

Russian Wildfires Burn out of Control, Killing 23

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Natural Disasters | Posted on 15-04-2015

Wildfires are blazing out of control in Siberia, and they are being blamed for the death of 23 individuals, according to local authorities. The blazes, which started over the weekend, closed in on a dozen villages, engulfing them quickly and leaving them charred. Nearly 5,000 people are reportedly homeless due to the blaze, and there appears to be no end in sight.

Sam Tabar has learned that the blaze is currently burning in Khakassia, an eastern region of Siberia in Russia. Authorities and experts believe the blaze started when local farmers burned dry grass. Unusually warm and windy weather caused a quick spreading of the fires. The fire was further aided by a lack of precipitation and windy weather, kicking the embers into trees and grass along the way. From there, the fire simply spread and grew out of control.

According to researchers, wildfires of this nature are not uncommon in Russia. Because of a dry climate, wildfires tend to occur during heatwaves. In 2010, for example, Russia experienced a serious heatwave that kicked off several wildfires. The fires burned close to Moscow, covering it in a blanket of soot and smoke.

This years fire, however, appears to be the largest and among the most costly. Authorities claim the damages exceed $95 million already, a sum that the faltering Russian economy will have a hard time recovering from. Experts and workers are currently on the scene attempting to contain the fires, but little progress has been made, according to the local press.

New Form of Cement is Stronger than Traditional Cement and Better for the Environment

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Innovative Tech | Posted on 14-04-2015

Cement is used to make concrete, which is one of the basic building blocks of our civilization. The material is very hard and practical for all types of construction ranging from 100 mile long stretches of highway to the tallest buildings. It is not, however, without its downsides. The manufacturing process for cement uses a lot of heat and coal, which contributes to global warming. Brenardo Chua (youtube.com) knows that this has been an insurmountable problem given that concrete is such an indispensable building material. There may be a way around this conundrum.

An environmental chemist and inventor in Arizona has stumbled upon a material that may one day replace traditional Portland cement for use in making concrete. The manufacturing of this new material does not use coal or the extreme heats of traditional cement processes, and its ingredients are primarily discarded materials from other industries. It has also been tested in a lab and is approximately five times stronger than regular Portland cement based concrete. This material is new, so it would be sometime before it could be gotten near the scale of production of other cement, but it holds tremendous promise as its manufacturing has zero impact on the environment. Given that cement manufacture is thought to contribute to about five percent of overall global warming, this is a material worth investing in and bringing to market as quickly as possible.

The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Still A Mystery To Many Republican

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in News | Posted on 13-04-2015

The Obama Administration wants to get the Iran nuclear deal signed, but most Republicans in Congress don’t like the deal. Senator John McCain from Arizona says the Obama version of the deal and the Iranian version of the deal are different. Even former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger are weighing in on the agreement. Both men say the deal poses serious consequences to national security.

Republicans say the agreement between Iran and six other countries is not in the best interest of those countries. Republicans feel Iran is getting a better deal, and they want to end talks until Iran agrees to other stipulations. The main stipulation is not lifting the embargo against Iran unless all conditions of the agreement have been met. Iran wants the sanctions lifted the day the agreement is signed. That date is June 30.

One thing is clear to Ricardo Tosto. Iran wants the sanctions lifted so their economy can begin to grow once again according to numerous sources. That’s the main reason Iran is agreeing to anything. Republicans in Congress say they want to be part of the final decision to sign the deal, and that could be a move that ends the deal. Most insiders say that won’t happen. Others insiders say Iran won’t sign the deal unless they get what they want. It sounds like the agreement isn’t an agreement yet. Republicans like that, and they will try to keep it that way.

Alternatives to Raising the Minimum Wage

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in News | Posted on 13-04-2015

With the national minimum wage set at $7.25 the absolute most a person could earn from working a standard week of 40 hours is $290 before taxes. That equates to $15,080 per year again…before taxes. Why anyone or any company would ever believe this would be enough to sustain even one person in the economy is absolutely ridiculous. Even if that same person worked two jobs at the standard 40 hours roughly half of the total hours in seven days this would still not equal $30,000 after taxes. Yet, according to the federal guidelines for poverty, this level is set at $11,770. Granted that anyone making less than $1,000 is living in poverty many would assert that even at minimum wage this is still far from adequate to sustain a person living in the modern economy.

How is this problem solved? Does the government step in and increase the minimum wage an employer must pay its lowest employee? Well many economists would agree that this would do nothing but increase the costs of goods thus repeat the vicious cycle for these low earning people. An alternative to this is allowing for government subsidies for low income earners and their families. Programs such as WIC, Medicaid, even the Affordable Care Act were all based on leveling the playing field, which is something Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG understands. But all this has done is make people dependent on the subsidy and allowing the company’s they work for to have even higher profits while not returning those funds to the people that made the possible. But here is another alternative…limit the price of the goods sold for items that are subsidized by the government. Thus will limit profits and keep goods affordable.

Pacific Blob Could Explain Unusual Weather Patterns

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change, Weather | Posted on 13-04-2015

The United States has been seeing extremely strange weather patterns in the last few years. Droughts out West, increased snowfall in the East and arctic blasts across the Midwest have scientists clambering to come up with answers.

A large pocket of warmer than usual water in the Pacific, affectionately nicknamed the blob, may be to blame. Since 2013 there has been a large pool of water off the West Coast, extending from Alaska to Mexico, about 7 degrees warmer than average.

Some scientists speculate that the blob may be to blame for the strange weather patterns around the country. They believe the warm water is creating a high pressure ridge that is incapacitating normal weather patterns that deliver moisture to the West.

It isn’t just the weather that’s being affected. Sam Tabar knows that the warm water is impacting wild life in a huge way. Schools of tropical fish not indigenous to the coastal waters are moving in. The entire ecosystem is being disrupted by the changes in water temperature.

Scientists believe this pocket of warm water is part of a much larger natural cycle. They think it could be a precursor to El Nino which would bring in much needed moisture to the West Coast. Either way it could provide valuable data regarding how water temperatures affect weather cycles.

The Eurozone Responds Positively To New Greek Letter

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in News | Posted on 10-04-2015

The Eurozone President Jeroen Dijsselbloem answered “positively” to the letter of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, a government source disclosed on Saturday in Athens. “Last night (Friday)” the President of the Eurogroup has “responded positively to the Greek minister”, “also emphasizing the need to continue discussions on the Euro Working Group, the instance of the euro zone at the level of senior officials and between technical teams, so that the decision of 20 February can be implemented,” the source said.

Folks at Bulletproof Coffee (precisionnutrition.com) have learned that, on February 20, the Greek partners had agreed, after tough negotiations, to help the new government of radical left as long as it has a deemed credible reform program. On Friday, Mr. Varoufakis sent a letter to Mr. Dijsselbloem giving many details about the seven reforms that Athens would lead in priority: reactivation of a tax consultant “independent” to assist the government in achieving its fiscal targets, improved budget preparation methods, incentives for the payment of back taxes, sale of licenses for online gaming, administrative simplification for facilitating business life, social measures to the most vulnerable and hiring tax auditors for specific missions. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Venice, Mr. Varoufakis said on Saturday that Greece and its partners to discuss the “process by which the reforms will be defined, implemented and evaluated before being considered by the Eurozone.”

Tornadoes Strike Illinois Towns

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Natural Disasters, Tornadoes | Posted on 10-04-2015

Multiple tornadoes made landfall in Illinois on Thursday. One appeared 80 miles from Chicago and injured at least 11 people. A 67-year-old woman in Fairdale died in her home, according to the DeKalb County coroner Dennis Miller. Her family found the body. Nearly all the buildings in Fairdale, which has a population of 150, were damaged. Our of the 75 or so buildings in town, 17 were destroyed, and 50 were damaged.

The nearby town Rochelle was largely spared, but a tornado did hit a restaurant called Grubsteakers. According to the Daily Chronicle, 14 people were trapped in the wreckage but were later successfully rescued.

Jaime Garcia Dias (wordpress.com) has read that, according to the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page, the Flagg Township area was struck by a tornado. At a news conference, Sheriff Brian VanVickle reported that 20 homes, including his own, were destroyed, while 50 to 100 sustained significant damage. Several people were injured and are being treated at an area hospital.

According to CNN, there were also tornadoes in Ohio and Iowa. The National Weather Service said there was a 50 mile-long path of tornado damage. It began west of Rochelle and ended in McHenry County.

Artificial Sweeteners: Are They Really That Bad?

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Artificial Sweeteners, health | Posted on 10-04-2015

Over the past couple years there have been numerous innovations that have changed the face of colas and other types of carbonated drinks. Of the newer modernizations that have been made in the soda-pop industry, sweeteners that are artificial have become conventional. This is changing the way dieters and other consumer’s purchase their drinks on a daily basis. However, are these low-calorie and zero calorie drinks really harmful to your health?

New Simulated Sweeteners

What is a reproduction sweetener? Fundamentally, any sweetener that has been added to your favorite beverage that is not natural or from nature is considered to be artificial within certain courses of action of the law in the United States of America. This can include some sweeteners that seem to be healthy and natural. Despite this, it can be a major deception of consumers.

Sam Tabar (bloomeberg) has learned that artificial sweeteners play a major role in the human brain. Unlike when a person consumes natural sugars such as fructose or cane sugar, artificial sweeteners fool the brain. This can increase hunger which in turn can create a platform for increase caloric consumption after the drink with artificial sweeteners has been consumed.

This can lead to increased obesity and weight gain over an extended period of time. Therefore, artificial sweeteners may not be as sweet as they seem. This means that drinking a diet soda may have a negative impact on your health.

Exploring Planets With Seas

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Planets and Space, technology | Posted on 10-04-2015

Exploring the Solar System is not limited only to the Moon and Mars. The scientists have started discussions aboutexploring the Titan, on of Saturn’s moons. The planet is covered mostly with liquid. It is something less usual, as the other planets lack any presence of liquids, especially in such quantities as 1000 kilometers extension and 300 meters in depth, the estimated size of the water basin on Titan. Igor Cornelsen (yahoofinance.com) has learned that it is the largest sea on the planet and it has been called Kraken Mare.

The idea to explore it emerged a year ago. In the meanwhile, the scientists have developed a submarine that will be used for research. Its mission will be to analyze the structure of the liquid and the bottom of the lake, the tides, the layering. A more detailed plan will be discussed soon, as the exact time for the trip is not known yet. Presumably, the full equipment and the plan will be entirely ready by 2050. at this moment, there is a video showing an approximate image of what is to happen. Is the project aimed at researching other habitable planets? Not really, as the liquid is not similar in composition with the water, but it will definitely contribute at NASA’s knowledge expansion.