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    Daily Digest 1/4 – Good News Friday: Bee The Change, Trappist Monks Put Faith In Plants To Reduce Water Waste

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, January 4, 2019, 6:47 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!

Economy

U.S. Payrolls Rise 312,000, Wages Accelerate in Jobs Blowout (jdargis)

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 312,000 in December, easily topping all forecasts, after an upwardly revised 176,000 gain the prior month, a Labor Department report showed Friday. Average hourly earnings rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier, more than projected and matching the fastest pace since 2009. Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose from a five-decade low to 3.9 percent, reflecting more people actively seeking work.

Most diverse freshman class of House lawmakers sworn in amid shutdown (TS)

“23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC,” Ilhan wrote on Twitter Wednesday night. “Today, we return to that same airport on the eve of my swearing in as the first Somali-American in Congress.”

New Horizons Successfully Explores Ultima Thule (tmn)

Images taken during the spacecraft’s approach — which brought New Horizons to within just 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) of Ultima at 12:33 a.m. EST — revealed that the Kuiper Belt object may have a shape similar to a bowling pin, spinning end over end, with dimensions of approximately 20 by 10 miles (32 by 16 kilometers). Another possibility is Ultima could be two objects orbiting each other. Flyby data have already solved one of Ultima’s mysteries, showing that the Kuiper Belt object is spinning like a propeller with the axis pointing approximately toward New Horizons. This explains why, in earlier images taken before Ultima was resolved, its brightness didn’t appear to vary as it rotated. The team has still not determined the rotation period.

Renewables, led by wind, provided more power than coal in Germany in 2018 (jdargis)

Germany has made considerable strides to add renewable energy to its electricity sector, but as in most countries, heating and transportation are the most difficult sectors of the economy to decarbonize. Germany introduced the world’s first hydrogen-powered train earlier this year, but electric vehicles still only make up a small percentage of the country’s vehicles. November, however, saw electric vehicle registrations account for nearly 2 percent of all registrations.

Beer-brewing Trappist monks put faith in plants to reduce water waste (Edmund J.)

It is hoped that the new system, which has been officially consecrated, willpurify around 450,000 litres every seven hours when fully operational without any need for human intervention.

The abbey in the Dutch village of Berkel-Enschot, in Noord-Brabant, also produces 43% of its electricity from solar panels, and the monks – who also make a popular cheese – drive electric cars when they need to leave the monastery.

Pollinator connection: Bee the change (Suzie G.)

Sherri Morgan, of Morning Gardens Landscape Design, recently told me that she is now working only with clients who want to focus on native plants. When I asked her why, she said, “Because we need to support our native insects and the ecosystem they create — they provide food for birds and other wildlife. Insect populations have decreased drastically everywhere (did you read “Insect Apocalypse”?) and it is our responsibility as gardeners to support the ecosystem we are part of — and planting native plants is one easy way to do that.”

Houseplant with added rabbit DNA could reduce air pollution, study shows (tmn)

The team propose that the plants could be enclosed in a “bio-filter”, with air forced through the device by a fan. “If you just have one of these plants sitting over in the corner, it is not going to have enough contact with the home air to do any good,” said Strand, adding the device would look a bit like a miniature greenhouse, about the size of a sash window, and would need about 5-10kg of plants to clean the home’s air. It could also have a particle filter incorporated. “There aren’t any devices presently on the market for dealing with these [volatile chemicals] so what we are proposing here is a technology that can fill that gap.”

Fixing photosynthesis by engineering it to recycle a toxic mistake (jdargis)

If this is such a useful pathway and at least one of the genes was already around in pumpkins, why don’t plants already have this in place? Part of it could simply be the luck of history; for whatever reasons, chance never favored the right genes coming together for evolution to do its thing. But energetic considerations might play a role, as the researchers indicate the pathway currently used by these plants should burn through less of the ATP that cells use to power most basic functions. That may be a significant consideration on evolutionary time scales in a natural environment.

Gold & Silver

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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3 Comments

  • Fri, Jan 04, 2019 - 7:44am

    #1

    saxplayer00o1

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2923

    End of ECB buys leaves Italy, France, Spain with 64 bln euro han

    End of ECB buys leaves Italy, France, Spain with 64 bln euro hangover

    Nasdaq-22 hours ago
    That’s how much the ECB has “overbought” those countries’ debt by, according … The 2.6 trillion euro asset purchase scheme ended last month but the ECB has …

    Nearly 1 In 4 Feel They’ll Never Escape From Significant Debt

    The Albany Herald-5 hours ago
    According to the latest Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reserve, America’s total household debt has surpassed $13.5 trillion.

    Seoul citizens’ debts swell by 90 trillion won over 7 years: report

    Yonhap News Agency-12 hours ago
    SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) — Seoul citizens’ debt load has increased by 90 trillion won (US$79.9 billion) over a seven-year period starting in 2010, a municipal …

     

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2019 - 8:33am

    #2

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1085

    Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

    From ZH, “Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War”

    “January 4 is my last day at NBC News and I’d like to say goodbye to my friends, hopefully not for good,” begins an email titled ‘My goodbye letter to NBC’ sent to various contacts by William M Arkin, an award-winning journalist who has been associated with the network for 30 years.
    “This isn’t the first time I’ve left NBC, but this time the parting is more bittersweet, the world and the state of journalism in tandem crisis,” the email continues. “My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus
    ….
    Arkin makes clear that NBC is in no way the sole mass media offender in its refusal to question or criticize the normalization of endless warfare, but that he feels increasingly “out of sync” and “out of step” with the network’s unhesitating advancement of military interventionist narratives.

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2019 - 4:06pm

    #3

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 825

    Saw this electric dam for sale in NC, taylorsville

    https://www.southernthing.com/buy-this-historic-dam-in-north-carolina-an
    You’d have electricity, fish, and … anyhow, I thought I’d post the link.

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