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!
Are Walkers Smarter Than Drivers? (jdargis)
Christopher Leinberger, professor at the George Washington University School of Business and one of the study’s authors, says that walkable urban places “have a much higher propensity to have highly educated people — about one third higher than drivable metro areas, like Orlando, Tampa, and Phoenix.”
Then there are the Martian landers. Eight of NASA’s nine missions to the surface of Mars have been successful, with only its Mars Polar Lander failing to safely reach the surface. By contrast, four of five Soviet landers failed to reach Mars safely, and the one that did, Mars 3 in 1971, survived for only about 15 seconds. No other nation or agency has landed on Mars. Since NASA’s last high-profile failure in Solar System exploration, the polar lander in 1999, Japan, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom have all lost various orbiters and landers sent to the Martian system. (In the meantime NASA put Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix, and Curiosity on the Martian surface).
The immediate aftermath of June’s shock Brexit result saw the pound crash to lows not seen in 30 years against the dollar, which means investing in prime pieces of Scotland’s history just got that much more affordable (for Americans, at least). Although the prospect of a second Scottish referendum on independence may temper the future, here are seven castles to dream on now.
Lynch and colleagues examined data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which had been tracking 1,037 kids born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between 1972 and 1973. In that study, parents were surveyed on their kids’ thumb-sucking and nail-biting ways when the kids were 5, 7, 9, and 11 years old. Most of the kids were also given skin-prick allergy tests at ages 13 and 32. Those tests looked for responses to common allergens, such as dust mites, grass pollen, cats, dogs, horses, wool, and mundane molds. The researchers also collected information on other factors that may influence allergy development, including breastfeeding, cat and dog ownership, parental smoking and allergies, crowded living conditions, and socioeconomic status.
“We already have 16 samples in our blood bank,” Smit said. “And now we’re considering taking a blood sample from every bird we treat, to aid in the saving of the next bird that would come.”
The blood bank has already helped save a common buzzard that was brought to the hospital in serious condition. The blood transfusion the bird received helped it recover, and it has already been released back to nature.
Adding to the bikeshare, the city is launching an electric car-sharing program at the end of the summer. Twenty Nissan Leafs will be available for hourly rental, and the car-charging courts will also be available to any resident with an electric or hybrid vehicle to charge their own car for free. The cost of the electricity to run the cars will be offset by three solar power generation sites currently being installed. “This car share program touches on public health ideals,” says Stefanie deOlloqui, an environmental health specialist with Prova Group. “Zero emission vehicles promote clean air. Increased transportation choice allows people to access new parts of their community. Being part of this movement, makes people feel more connected. It is all about improving quality of life.”
But the consumer demand is accelerating the conversion process. Sales of organic products grew 11 percent last year to $43.3 billion, or roughly four times the growth in sales of food products over all, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales would have been even higher had supply, particularly in organic dairy and grains, kept up with demand.
Her apartment is an attempt to cram a country house into a Brooklyn apartment. None of that is really possible in the city, but Oakes does her best: a vermiculture kit beneath the kitchen sink, a compost bin, LED lighting systems, a sub-irrigation system for certain plants, and plants, plants everywhere. Succulents line the bathroom. An old sled on which her pots and pans are hung also include low-light-tolerant philodendrons.
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