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Planet Earth

Going GREEN…?!

 Personally we feel this “term” (Go Green) may actually be a bit miss-leading or giving a wrong concept. What is really behind this or should be behind this, is;

LOVE your environment and LOVE this planet and remembering that what you GIVE is what you GET. This also works on this subject even if not really felt so directly. But more important is, that this is also about LOVING YOURSELF!

Considering our current state and our environment, thinking about this in large terms may seem like an impossible challenge and on a personal level more complicated, expensive and troublesome than really worth it. However, when you come to think of the individual points and changes, it becomes a lot moreREAL and POSSIBLE, step by step so to say.

Unfortunately, over time we have kind of come to adopt this false attitude and thinking or conviction, that, if we as individuals do something good in our life, it’s like a drop of water on hot stone and it doesn’t really change anything? well, that is NOT TRUE and proper BRAIN WASH in friendly terms!

So… WAKE UP and get back to REALITY! Think about it? if YOU change, your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours or others, may see this and respect you for it (even if at first they don?t fully understand). You may have just encouraged someone else to do the same and this chain reaction continues. The more do this, the more the markets and economy will also adapt to provide exactly ?that? more and more commonly. Remember that sadly money is still a driver for a lot and when they see that the consumption goes down in one area, they will produce and provide more of where the consumption is now increasing.

If you look around you, we can already see that happening in more and more countries. Now, even if it doesn’t? you know what?
YOU are making a CHANGE and that counts, no matter how small or pointless it may seem.

There we go? but what can you do and where should we start? Here are some suggestions from hundreds of further possibilities for “Going GREEN” and “LOVING YOURSELF MORE” 😉

… and NO, you don?t have to do it ALL at ONCE… even if you do just ONE, it?s ONE more!

  • Water… Use water filters or purifiers (Distillers, Reverse Osmosis) to use your own tap water instead of buying it. If you buy it, get it in recycled glass or carton bricks and recycle them again after use. You can also add-on or install “low-flow” taps, shower heads and flushes. If you can, collect your rainwater and make use of that whenever you can instead of tap water. Some more tips on saving water are;
    • Bath less and Shower instead
    • Shower with your partner, this is not only eco but fun 😉
    • Take shorter showers
    • Don’t let the water taps run when you don’t need them, an example would be when brushing your teeth
    • Don’t rinse your cutlery if you use a dishwasher
    • Believe it or not 🙂 use Car washes over washing your own car (unless you use the rain water) it is very often a lot more efficient and uses less water.
    • etc…
  • Energy and Heating… Switch to or start installing and using Solar, Wind, Water or Geothermal Energy in your home. There are many, many, many more “little” ways to save energy in your daily life too, such as;
    • Adjust your “temperature”, lower the overall temperature of your thermostats, adjust rooms temperatures according to their use, make use of your doors, keeping the warm rooms warm and the cooler cool. Each °C may save you up to 10% on your energy usage.
    • Use Energy saving lights? IMPORTANT, don’t get the “common” ones with the “twisty” tubes! They contain Mercury (Quicksilver) and are everything BUT eco- friendly, not to mention the health risk. You can get LEDs, even Halogen or then the normal ones (it?s more a question ?How? you use them)
    • Turn the lights off when you leave the room, don’t turn on the lights for as long as you can and use the natural light instead (open the curtains, decorate using light colours install more windows etc?
    • Turn of Computers, TVs, Stereos and other electronics at night or when you don’t use them.
    • Wash your laundry using Cold or Warm water instead of Hot
    • Hang dry your cloths, don’t use the tumble dryer
    • Use as little Hot water as possible, even when washing or showering yourself or any other general “sink jobs”
    • Don’t pre-heat the oven.
    • Use rechargeable batteries
    • Get yourself “solar chargers” for you cell phones, tables and even laptops
    • etc…
  • Transport… This is a difficult topic for many and really depends on your options. The overall statement is, to reduce driving your car. If you live in a city, stop driving, use public transport, bike and walk. If you live outside of a cities, try car-sharing or public transport if and where available. You can also change your car for a new more Eco friendly one (Hybrid or a Flintstones version, etc?), sure there is someone to make you a good deal 😉 Other little tips for when you have a car and use it are;
    • Maintain your car well
    • Use your cruise control when you have it
    • Sounds silly? but drive the actual speed limit indicated not slower and not faster
    • Try to reduce the amount of “trips” you make? combine your tasks
    • Depending on your job, check with your employer if you can work form home some days
    • etc…
    • Plastics and Teflon (PFOA / PTFE)… Try to eliminate these materials from your life and home completely. They are not only bad for your environment but also your health! We strongly suggest you inform and research this subject deeply. Replace your cooking ware with stainless-steal, iron, glass, wood etc? Toys and other house or usage accessories too with with wooden, metal, ceramic and generally recycled materials. In addition to this there are as usual many ways to reduce the use of plastic;
    • Stop using plastic bags altogether or reuse the ones you have
    • Use matches instead of lighters (can you imagine all the plastic lighters in circulation these days)
    • Don’t use throw away cups, plates and cutlery, get your own real stuff
    • etc…
  • Eating… Make the switch to Organic food (it will save you (money and health) on the long run). If you eat meat, try to reduce your intake and add more meatless meals a week, the environmental impact of large scale produced meet goes far beyond what you may expect (research it, it’s really shocking). Get locally raised and produced products whenever you can and get what’s “in season” where you are. Other points on this topic could include;
    • Don’t buy more than you really need (make your list at home and when in the shop, stick to the list and nothing else).
    • Eliminate Fast food? it?s not only bad for your health but the environmental impact they have goes beyond all reason? as it promotes extra driving/traffic, plastic, carton/paper, general waste, energy and the list just goes on and on?
    • Make your own garden (herbs, vegetables & fruits) if you can (oh and if you do, try to get “organic” seeds or learn how to harvest your own seeds, in short, do everything you can to NOT support Monsanto)
    • etc…
  • General Consumption & Recycling… Well? the title already says it? think about what and how you consume. Think before you buy, start recycling in all ways possible. There are many ways to support this and change your ways on a daily bases, even for those that already do a lot in this direction, there is always more one can do. Here some general suggestions;
    • Use Recycled materials everywhere and anywhere you can, in our days you can get nearly everything from recycled materials (glass, toilette paper, napkins, packing, paper etc?)
    • Make your own cleaning products or buy ECO friendly ones only and get the “refill” packs instead
    • Recycle anything and everything you can, especially electronics, glass, metal and plastics
    • Change the “purpose” of a used object, you would be surprised with the amount of ideas you can come up with to use something you don’t need anymore or that is slightly damaged for something else or give it to someone who doesn’t mind or then give it to a charity
    • Get more second hand? it doesn’t always mean second best?
    • Use both sides of your paper and reuse it if you can to pack, heat etc?
    • Put a “NO ADVERTISEMENT” sticker on your mail box and cut down on general junk mail
    • Read your Newspaper, magazines, books etc online
    • Make use of the Web, computers, tablets and phones, do your research online instead of using phonebooks and catalogues, pay your bills online, keep your notes, numbers and info on your device instead of paper or tell your Bank to send you online statements instead of mail
    • Borrow more and buy less
    • Shop, Buy and Go-out locally as much as you can
    • etc…

These are just a few examples of many other possibilities, new ways and discoveries are made all the time. This really is an interesting subject and for some even a hobby and challenge. We are sure you can think of so many more simple gestures that YOU could be doing immediately…



Wake Up! Message

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Planet Earth

Previously Unknown ‘Ghost’ Chimp Species Discovered 

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, a previously unknown species of ape roamed the forests of Central Africa. We know this not because archeologists have unearthed physical evidence but because there are clues in bonobo DNA, New Scientist reports.

Bonobos would have co-existed with this mystery ape and even mated to produce fertile offspring. Hence, the species lives on, if only in its descendants’ genes.

Martin Kuhlwilm from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain, presented the research at the AsiaEvo conference in China. He “discovered” this mystery (or “ghost) ape after comparing the genes of bonobos and common chimps, searching for any odd traces or bizarre fragments of DNA that could not be explained either by mutations or mating between the two species.

And he found some in the genes of the bonobos. In fact, roughly 1 percent of the bonobos’ genes was inherited from this ghost ancestor. He calculated that the two chimp species likely interbred 400,000 or so years ago.

This would not be the first case of two separate species mating to produce so-called viable offspring. For example, there is the beefalo – a cross between a cow and a buffalo, not a chunk of meat. Then there are studies suggesting that red and eastern wolves are not so much their own species but coyote-grey wolf hybrids.

Evolutionarily speaking, hybrids can in fact help strengthen a species by introducing useful DNA. Big cats have a long history of interbreeding, even before humans sought to get a fast buck from ligers and tigons, and hybrids may be responsible for improving jaguars’ vision.

As for humans, new research confirms our ancestors got busy with some of our hominid relatives. Around 1 to 3 percent of DNA in people outside of sub-Saharan Africa is Neanderthal, and Denisovan DNA is what allows people in Tibet to survive in high altitudes.

Which brings us to so-called “ghost species”, species that are only known through fragments of DNA passed down to their descendants. A 2017 study discovered a lost hominin via modern human spit. It was this study that inspired Kuhlwilm to search for odd bits of DNA in bonobos and chimps, and it makes you wonder, how many more “ghost” species are lurking in genomes across the animal kingdom?

[H/T: New Scientist]

Rosie McCall

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Planet Earth

Nasa revives ‘weird life forms’ trapped in giant underworld crystals

NASA decided to revive lifeforms which had been dormant for nearly 60,000 years.

The reanimation of these organisms, which had been surviving inside of crystals, raises the troubling prospect that alien organisms could be found – and revived – in extreme environments on other planets.

Penelope Boston, one of the key NASA members behind this and the director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, has spent years exploring Mexico’s Naica Mine in Chihuahua looking for extremophiles witch her team.

The mine is filled with enormous gypsum crystals that look so extraordinary that Dr. Boston believed they must have been photoshopped when she first saw a picture of them.

However, what was inside of the crystals astounded her even more. There she found tiny bugs in a state of what her team of government scientists is calling ‘geolatency’ – where living organisms remain viable in geological materials for long periods of time.

Around 100 different organisms, most of which were bacteria, were found inside of the crystals. 90 percent had never been observed before anywhere on Earth.

“Much to my surprise we got things to grow, said Dr. Boston. “It was laborious. We lost some of them – that’s just the game. They’ve got needs we can’t fulfill. That part of it was really like zoo keeping.”

The cave itself sits above a large pocket of magma and can reach temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius as a result. Some of the astrobiologists go so far as to nickname the location “Hell”.

Very few lifeforms could survive in such a location, but scientists discovered some organisms have evolved to feed on the sulfides, iron, manganese or copper oxide in the cave.

“They’re really showing us what our kind of life can do in terms of manipulating materials, “said Dr. Boston.

“These guys are living in an environment where there’s not organic food as we understand it. They’re an example at very high temperatures of organisms making their living essentially by munching down inorganic minerals and compounds. This is maybe the deep history of our life here.”

She described working in the cave as:

“A transformative experience. it really felt strange. It was a very hard environment to work in, but tear-inducingly beautiful. It’s like being inside a geode.”

Some of the extremely rare and unusual sparkling white giant crystals are as long as five meters.

“I can’t even put my arms round the biggest ones, “she added.

Scientists report that they detected signs of what they would only call “weird life forms” in other caves, but decided to access those areas was too dangerous.

NASA scientists shared concerns that this discovery proved that dangerous bugs could hitch a ride back to Earth if humans one day send spacecraft to other planets and back.

Nonetheless, NASA has plans to bring back rock and ice samples from Europa, one of Jupiter’s icy moons. It is frequently considered, one of the most likely locations for extraterrestrial life due to the salty ocean beneath its crust.

Dr. John Rummel, from the Seti Institute in California, said it would be “pretty easy” for bugs to survive space journeys if they could be somehow shielded from the sun’s radiation.

“If we bring samples back from either Europa or Mars, we will contain them until hazard testing demonstrates that there is no danger and no life, or continue the containment indefinitely while we study the material.

“It is assumed that such life would be hardy – to survive the trip to Earth; not easy – and precautions taken would provide a very high degree of containment.

All of this information is terrifying, but perhaps most shocking is the fact that NASA scientists were willing to revive these bugs without even considering whether they might be dangerous or not. Over 90 percent of them had never been seen before, but these scientists, apparently thinking that they could play God, did not even bother to consider whether these newly discovered creatures could be dangerous. Who knows what else might be in that cave.

Some observers have been quick to point out that the bugs that originated from the cave that scientists have literally named “Hell” might not be of this world. They have been dormant for 60000 years, and how did they get down in such a deep cave, to begin with? Some believe that this could be closer to a literal Hell than scientists have been willing to admit.

Regardless of whether there is a natural, extraterrestrial, or even supernatural explanation for these bugs, some information is being covered up by the government. Whether this case of scientists playing God comes back to harm our planet or not, this is all very scary stuff, and not nearly enough precautions are being taken.

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Planet Earth

New WATER HARVESTER delivers fresh water from air

Researchers from the University of California, Berkley managed to successfully extract clean, drinkable water at very low humidity and at a low cost using their newly built next-generation water harvester.

Omar Yaghi, the James and Neeltje Tretter chair in chemistry at UC Berkeley and inventor of the technology said: “There is nothing like this.

“It operates at ambient temperature with ambient sunlight, and with no additional energy input you can collect water in the desert.

“This laboratory-to-desert journey allowed us to really turn water harvesting from an interesting phenomenon into a science.”

In October 2017, scientists created a prototype water harvester, which they propped into the backyard of a tract home as the device sucked water out of the air using just sunlight as energy.

Their initial discovery led them to create an even larger water extractor machine, brining them closer to their goal of providing life-long clean and drinkable water to people living in water-scarce areas.

Mr Yaghi, a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and his team are set to report the results of the water-collecting harvester’s first field test in the June 8 edition of the scientific journal, Science Advances.

The trial was conducted in Scottsdale, where the relative humidity drops as low as 8 percent a day.

Scientists have discovered a ground-breaking way to extract pure water from air

Despite low humidity levels, the harvester demonstrated its ability to extract water from even the most scarce places, after scientists added more of the machine’s water absorber – a highly porous material comprising of a metal-organic framework, or MOF.

Researchers estimate that the harvester’s current MOF (MOF-801), made out of the expensive metal zirconium, will be able to extract about 200 millilitres of water per kilogram of MOF.

Mr Yaghi also created a new MOF made out of aluminium, called MOF-303, that is almost 150 times cheaper and captures twice as much water compared to MOF-801.

This will enable scientists to produce a new generation of harvesters capable of producing more than 3 cups of water per day from one kilogram of MOF.

Mr Yaghi said: “There has been tremendous interest in commercialising this, and there are several startups already engaged in developing a commercial water-harvesting device.

“The aluminium MOF is making this practical for water production, because it is cheap.”

He added: “The key development here is that it operates at low humidity, because that is what it is in arid regions of the world.

“In these conditions, the harvester collects water even at sub-zero dew points.”

Mr Yaghi is awaiting his next field test, where he is set to test the alumnium-based MOF (MOF-303) in the Death Valley in late summer, where temperatures reach up to 43 degree Celsius in the day, with humidity levels as low as 25 percent.


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