Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/28 - Good News Friday: North America's Native Pollinator, Bright Future For Self-Charging Batteries

Friday, April 28, 2017, 10:59 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

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old (Aaron M.)

On the contrary, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that late blooming is no anomaly. A 2016 Information Technology and Innovation Foundation study found that inventors peak in their late 40s and tend to be highly productive in the last half of their careers. Similarly, professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University in Japan, who studied data about patent holders, found that, in the United States, the average inventor sends in his or her application to the patent office at age 47, and that the highest-value patents often come from the oldest inventors — those over the age of 55.

Incredible discovery places humans in California 130,000 years ago (jdargis)

What the researchers found at the site, dubbed Cerutti Mastodon, looks very much like a perfectly preserved tableau of an ancient tool-making workshop. Stone "anvils," or flat rocks, are surrounded by a scattering of smaller "cobbles" used as hammers. Mixed in with these items are shattered mastodon bones and teeth, many of them crushed in a way that could only be done by a human with a stone tool. It's clear that the stones were deliberately struck against each other because there are stone flakes that perfectly fit into the cobble hammers, possibly broken off while the bones were being worked. The breaks and scoring marks on the bones suggest that people were breaking them open to get at the marrow, as well as crafting them into tools.

Bright future for self-charging batteries (blackeagle)

The study shows that a standard cathode from a lithium-ion battery can be "sensitized" to light by incorporating photo-harvesting dye molecules. "In other words," says Dr. Andrea Paolella, the study's lead author and researcher at Hydro-Québec, "our research team was able to simulate a charging process using light as a source of energy."

Inexpensive Drug Prevents Deaths in New Mothers, Study Finds (jdargis)

In a major six-year trial involving over 20,000 women in 21 countries, researchers showed that tranexamic acid, a little-known blood-clotter invented in the 1950s, reduced maternal bleeding deaths by a third if it was given within three hours. It costs less than $2 a dose and does not require refrigeration.

The Scientists Fighting to Save Us From a World Without Coffee (jdargis)

In a recent experiment, Montagnon's team took 30 plant varieties from 20 countries and placed them in a controlled environment in Laos, where they were subjected to temperatures as low as 2 degrees Celsius. The seven varieties that survived the cold snap will now be taken to other regions, from Brazil to Guatemala, to see if they can thrive in foreign soils and uncontrolled conditions. Eventually, the coffee plants deemed most resistant to both colder temperatures and leaf-rust will be selected for planting.

The Next Place To Invest (Tiffany D.)

As goods move more freely across the country, it might raise annual gross domestic product growth by as much as 1.7% a year, according to India’s National Council of Applied Economic Research.

Meet North America’s Native Pollinator: The Blue Orchard Bee (jdargis)

What makes blue orchard bees enticing to farmers, aside from the fact that they’re inherently cool and native to this country, is that they’re actually much more efficient pollinators than honey bees. This is partly as a result of their solitary nature and partly a result of the fact that they they collect pollen with their abdomens, rather than their their legs, which is what honey bees do; BOBs perform this goofy sort of swimming motion within the flower to get pollen to stick to them. This swimming motion is really great for spreading pollen from one plant to another, if not quite as great for actually collecting pollen to give to their broods.

How a wild berry is helping to protect China’s Giant Pandas and its countryside (jdargis)

“The biggest threat to biodiversity is farming and development, not over-harvesting wild plants,” says Brinckmann.

In fact, a fifth of wild plant species today face extinction, and a third are threatened, because agriculture — more than any other factor — is consuming their habitat, according to the Kew Garden’s “State of the World’s Plants” report.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/27/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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."

10 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 4145
Broke Chicago Schools Seek Court Help as Pension Bill Comes Due
 

Canada's Largest Non-Bank Mortgage Lender Is Collapsing Before ...

Huffington Post Canada-22 hours ago

The same day, credit rating agency DBRS downgraded Home Capital's debt to ... Some blogs declared that this is the first sign that Canada's housing bubble is ..

SNB Has Room for Rate Cuts and More Interventions, Jordan Says

Bloomberg - ‎7 hours ago‎
The Swiss National Bank has additional firepower on interest rates and interventions if needed to take pressure off the franc, President Thomas Jordan said. “If necessary, we can lower the negative interest rate further or buy additional foreign ...

Broke Chicago Schools Seek Court Help as Pension Bill Comes Due

BloombergQuint-1 hour ago
The state also argued that due to sovereign immunity it is “immune from suit.” ... $10 billion of state and local debt, including some Chicago school securities.

Ontario balances budget, but debt rises to $312 billion

News1130 - ‎18 hours ago‎
Interest on debt is the fourth largest spending area, at $11.6 billion. It is also projected to be the fastest-growing spending area, at an average 3.6 per cent a year from 2015 to 2020, compared to an annual 3.3-per-cent increase in health and 2.8 per ...

CT tax revenue in free fall, adding $1.1B in red ink for next 2 years

Hartford Business-21 hours ago
That adds $1.1 billion to an already daunting $3.6 billion deficit forecast, all but ... it still hasn't paid off nearly $1 billion in operating debt from the last recession.

Brazil's fiscal deficit hits record high in 1st quarter

Xinhua-8 hours ago
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's fiscal account registered a record high deficit of 18.29 billion reals (5.75 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of ...

 

Doug's picture
Doug
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Posts: 3157
pollinators

Here is western NY it is the time of the year for maximum blossoming of most kinds of flowers, wild and domestic.  This morning I have been doing normal outdoor chores for this time of year and it suddenly occurred to me I'm not seeing any pollinators.  Within a short distance of my house the following plants are in full bloom:  cherry, apple, peach, forsythia, currant, flowering currant, dandelion, violet, veronica, tulip, blueberry, pear, strawberry, ornamental cherry, redbud, forget-me-not and a number of others I have either forgotten or don't know the name of.  On a sunny, 60 degree day with a light breeze, in the couple acres I wandered with all those flowers present in profusion I saw exactly one bumblebee in a cherry tree outside my house.  For years now I have noticed decreased numbers of pollinators but nothing like this.  I hope today is just an aberration of some sort and they will return in coming days, but this is a little alarming.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2830
Got lifeboat?

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Posts: 215
Not just the US in a parlous state

Paint "Australia" on the side of the ship and it would fit our situation rather well.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 5727
Re; Pollinators
Doug wrote:

Here is western NY it is the time of the year for maximum blossoming of most kinds of flowers, wild and domestic.  This morning I have been doing normal outdoor chores for this time of year and it suddenly occurred to me I'm not seeing any pollinators.  Within a short distance of my house the following plants are in full bloom:  cherry, apple, peach, forsythia, currant, flowering currant, dandelion, violet, veronica, tulip, blueberry, pear, strawberry, ornamental cherry, redbud, forget-me-not and a number of others I have either forgotten or don't know the name of.  On a sunny, 60 degree day with a light breeze, in the couple acres I wandered with all those flowers present in profusion I saw exactly one bumblebee in a cherry tree outside my house.  For years now I have noticed decreased numbers of pollinators but nothing like this.  I hope today is just an aberration of some sort and they will return in coming days, but this is a little alarming.

Yikes.  I hope it's just an aberration too.  I was talking with a birder yesterday and they are alarmed by the lack of a dawn chorus this year ... they were also hoping that the birds were just late this year, but in the morning all they were hearing were mostly just local birds, not the migratory birds who should be here by now.

:(

 

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2830
Re: Pollinators

PNW - Had quite a few birds earlier in the year, then we had an unseasonably cold snap. Recall seeing several crows over the past week.

Nary a pollinator in sight so far this year.

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 1222
North Korea crisis: North test-fires ballistic missile

As we waltz into yet another war of choice, I wonder. While the idea of North Korea goading Trump in their third grade school yard battle of the bullies sounds plausible. It strikes me that after one missile supposedly blew up on launch and now the second never makes it out of Korea that we have no independent confirmation that these events have really happened at all from other than the mouths of those fomenting the war itself. Korea has been shooting missiles all the way over past Japan for years and now they can't get one out of Korea at the time when they most want to show off their 'power'? All they have given is just enough provocation for another righteous war. My credulence has been stretched to the limit, when 'convenient' events like say 'sarin gas' attacks that make no sense just keep happening on cue.

North Korea crisis: North test-fires ballistic missile

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39750240

Hotrod's picture
Hotrod
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Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 183
Honey Bees

Finally, some good news.  Just got done talking with the local honeybee guru and he said all 16 of his hives survived the winter and are doing well.  We all were pretty surprised as that hasn't been the case recently.

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
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Posts: 470
Dawn Chorus

Hmmm Chris,

My experience is that some of the warblers come back or at least pass through in late April where I am almost due west of you in eastern NY, while most of the migratory birds (thrushes, orioles, grosbeaks, most resident warblers) generally return during the first week of May.  The Phoebe is an exception, returning in early April, or even late March.  So far, I'd say we're right no schedule.  It was the same schedule when I lived much closer to you just to the north.

As for pollinators, our wild bee hive in the hollow white pine is busy as are carpenter bees and flies.  I haven't noticed bumble bees, but haven't been looking closely.

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
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Posts: 470
Wood Thrush and Yellow Warbler

This morning (in New Lebanon, NY where we're staying on the Mass. border just west of Pittsfield, not at home), I heard a wood thrush and a yellow warbler.  That's about 4 days earlier than the average over the past 20 years or so if my memory serves me correctly.

There's also another warbler or two that I can't identify without some research.

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