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Thoughts and comments about making life even better
Curated by Kenneth Weene
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These prison inmates are saving the Earth as they serve their time.

These prison inmates are saving the Earth as they serve their time. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

An inmate feeds a butterfly honey water from a Q-tip. Photo by Benj Drummond and Sara Joy Steele, used with permission from Sustainability in Prisons Project

Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is much better than using inmates as slave labor to serve industry. While they may be making only pennies for their work, they are at least helping the Earth and hopefully learning not only a skill that will help them find employment later in life but also a reverence for life and the world around them. 
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Obama creates 3 new national monuments to protect 1.8 million acres of California desert

Obama creates 3 new national monuments to protect 1.8 million acres of California desert | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
President Obama designated three new national monuments in the California desert Thursday, expanding federal protection to 1.8 million acres of landscapes that have retained their natural beauty despite decades of heavy mining, cattle ranching and off-roading.
The designation was requested by U.S....
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another reason to consider Obama a great president, his efforts in protecting the environment and especially areas of unique beauty in America. He has used his office to protect over 265 million acres of land and water, more than any other administration. 

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Progress at climate talks as world agrees cardboard to go out on a Tuesday night | NewsBiscuit

Progress at climate talks as world agrees cardboard to go out on a Tuesday night | NewsBiscuit | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
An agreement that cardboard for recycling will be put out on a Tuesday night has been reached at the UN climate summit in Paris. The historic deal will see cardboard across the developed world kerbside and ready for collection on a Wednesday morning, though it is acknowledged that some less developed countries may not manage until after lunchtime.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

With the state of the world rapidly decaying it's good to know our political leaders are making progress towards total ineptitude.

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Indonesian fires: rain clears haze over south-east Asia for first time in months

Indonesian fires: rain clears haze over south-east Asia for first time in months | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore enjoy cleanest air in two months, amid demands for Jakarta to take action against those who started the fires
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The goal of personal economic gain unbalanced by concern for the environment is one of the greatest threats to the world. The fires that have ravished Indonesia are primarily caused by unchecked greed; the respiratory distress that they produce all over the world are reason enough for all nations to help.

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Illuminating the Plight of Endangered Species, at the Empire State Building

Illuminating the Plight of Endangered Species, at the Empire State Building | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A filmmaker and collaborator will project images of endangered species on a huge New York — and global — canvas on Saturday night.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What a wonderful effort to make the world more aware of what is happening to so many species. Extinction is forever.

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He was supposed to kill these 2 bear cubs. He saved them instead. Now he might lose his job.

He was supposed to kill these 2 bear cubs. He saved them instead. Now he might lose his job. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Thousands of people are trying to get him his job back.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is one of those feel good but wait a minute stories. Sure the cubs are cute and who would want to harm them, but do we really need to save black bear cubs? The species is hardly endangered, especially in the Vancouver Island region. Which brings us to a reality—nature is cruel. We humans are strangely ambivalent about the creatures that surround us. We fight for them and then decry the reality when they become a problem for us, for example when deer raid our gardens or coyotes eat our dogs and cats. Anyway, I think it wrong to tell a firefighter that he has to kill animals. If you want to euthanize an animal, the least you can do is get somebody to do the job who is willing, not somebody who is dedicated to saving life.

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The longest floating structure in world history is about to hit the ocean to fix a very big problem.

The longest floating structure in world history is about to hit the ocean to fix a very big problem. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The design might seem simple, but it's definitely not.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A great attempt to make the world a better place, and started by a teen—well, now he's 20. The goal is to remove the plastic that is littering our oceans with a device that won't harm sea life of any kind and won't use man-made energy in the process. It ain't easy being green, but we should all try.

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Is that a rock? Look again. It's an Appalachian hellbender, and finding one is a big deal.

Is that a rock? Look again. It's an Appalachian hellbender, and finding one is a big deal. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Got a healthy stream? You've probably got a hellbender.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As a child I never caught polliwogs or fireflies or fished for sunnies. It wasn't that I didn't want to, it was that I cared about life too much to waste it, too much about nature to harm it. One of the great traumas of my young life was the death of my tropical fish—a story I will someday share. Anyway, here are some little critters that I never knew about before and find fascinating, a species of salamander native to Appalachian streams.

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NASA made an adorable video explaining climate change. l think a lot of people will FINALLY get it.

NASA made an adorable video explaining climate change. l think a lot of people will FINALLY get it. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
You've probably *heard* that the earth is warming. But how do scientists actually *know* it's happening?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

First and foremost, people have to understand that warming is actually the wrong word. We are like a huge bowl of ice and water. As head is absorbed. the temperature doesn't change so much as the ice melts. When the ice is all gone the temperature rises continually. We should all be aware that what we are really talking about is net energy absorption. Second, even if you don't believe that this is a man-made problem, we still should be trying to do something about it. Why? Because without the Earth we don't have a home. So what do we do? Science is suggesting some very clear actions. Sadly, one change in behavior that is being totally ignored is to stop fighting, stop using weapons and armies. Just think of all the energy released in a battle from all that fuel burned and ammunition exploded. Then think of all the CO2 and other gasses released. Sure, we have to take action at the personal level, but we have to insist that governments and corporations do likewise. Or perhaps it's just time for us to stop; I mean just stop being. Maybe this is the end of the cartoon, and I'm Bugs Bunny saying "That's All Folks."

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Francesca Gallina's curator insight, April 2, 2015 9:48 AM

Here's how in a minute the NASA explains climate change! take a look!!

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If You Want Healthy Cows, Feed Them Magnets

If You Want Healthy Cows, Feed Them Magnets | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Dairy farmers routinely feed their cows a finger-sized magnet, which settles in the digestive tract to help keep the cows healthy. Wait what? This is no bizarre homeopathy, but rather a legitimate treatment for a stomach-churning ailment called "hardware disease."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

My mother used to feed me calf's liver because it had iron in it. Now, I wonder what she knew. Meanwhile what a sad commentary on the waste we human's distribute throughout the environment.

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Food Waste Grows With the Middle Class

Food Waste Grows With the Middle Class | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The estimated one-third of food left uneaten is a serious threat to the global environment and economy.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As consumers we must be aware of what we buy and what we prepare. Eating leftovers is not a reason for shame but pride that we are not being wasteful. Sharing with neighbors does not mean we are showing off but that we are caring. Not allowing packaged and canned foods to languish on the shelf but rather bringing them to food banks is not a sign that we have been wasteful but that we have taken responsibility. Food is a precious resource, let's not waste it. Let's not despoil our world. And let's not allow our neighbors to go hungry.

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The Ancient Greeks, Pacific Islanders, And Maya All Ignored This One Thing. Big Mistake!

The Ancient Greeks, Pacific Islanders, And Maya All Ignored This One Thing. Big Mistake! | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
As Vandana Shiva, an advocate for sustainable farming, says, a war on the soil is like suicide. Past cultures, like the Maya, ancient Greeks, and Easter Islanders, cleared land for farming, but left the soil exposed to wind and water, which carried away the rich topsoil. Topsoil is the fertile layer where all the action is. Without it, crops struggle to grow, produce less, and are vulnerable to diseases. That means less food for people.Things that matter. Pass 'em on.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When the first humans landed in New Zealand there were great birds, the flightless moas. The humans wanting food killed the birds faster than they could reproduce. In the end, the birds had gone extinct and the humans were again hungry. Now we dumb phosphates and the like into the soil. It may take longer for the Earth to stop keeping up with that depredation, but in the end we will again be going hungry having despoiled yet another treasure. Sic semper homanes.

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Feathered friends: researchers unveil bird 'family tree'

Feathered friends: researchers unveil bird 'family tree' | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unveiled the most comprehensive bird 'family tree' ever devised, using genetic data from 48 species to trace how modern bird lineages arose and flourished after the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs. The work by researchers from 20 countries helps clarify the evolutionary relationships of modern bird groups and reveals the genetic underpinning of traits such as singing, toothlessness, colorful feathers and color vision. ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Imagine that hummingbird outside your window, that robin singing, that parrot talking trash: all the wonder of birds. Now thing they all survived and were descended from the dinosaurs. Wow! Will they survive man? Will we cause another mass extinction?

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Scientists Have Discovered a 600-Mile Coral Reef

Scientists Have Discovered a 600-Mile Coral Reef | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It’s at the mouth of the Amazon River.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not as diverse or colorful as other great reefs, but still significant and already endangered. Preserve nature; let us be stewards of the Earth not just parasites.
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China pollution: Beijing issues first red smog alert - BBC News

China pollution: Beijing issues first red smog alert - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Schools in Beijing are to close and outdoor construction to stop after the Chinese capital issued its first "red alert" over smog levels.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One can only imagine the toll this kind of smog takes on the health of the people. Urbanization, industrialization, and population growth come with a price for our species and our planet. It is time for us all to consider the environmental consequences of our lives.

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Greater than the sum of its parts

Greater than the sum of its parts | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It is rare for a new animal species to emerge in front of scientists’ eyes. But this seems to be happening in eastern North America
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The coywolf, a new species or just a hybrid? Either way a major new player in the ecology of eastern North America.

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First we had windmills. Then wind turbines. Now it's time to meet the Windwheel.

First we had windmills. Then wind turbines. Now it's time to meet the Windwheel. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Those delightfully zany Dutch have done it again!
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Tesla would have loved this. While there would be some cost to build and maintain this system (not free electricity), it would certainly be a lot cheaper then the current methods and of course there's no pollution, which is a big plus. Now how will coal and oil companies react? How will governments respond? Those are always the big questions, but hopefully this is a great leap forward  from the lovely city of Delft, the Netherlands.

 

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The way we pay for wildfires could be making them worse

The way we pay for wildfires could be making them worse | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The West is burning up, and we don't have the cash to fight it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course, forest fires don't just have the cost of fighting them but also the cost of the damage to resources and the pollution caused by smoke. Prevention should have its own budget and there should be emphasis not only on forest land management but also on building the best fire-fighting infrastructure possible, including new tanker plane.

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Obama Hits the Links in California Amid Drought

Obama Hits the Links in California Amid Drought | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Golf courses in the Coachella Valley have been asked to reduce water use.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I don't begrudge him a round of golf, but while he is in California perhaps Mr. Obama can encourage not simply cutting down on water usage but also finding methods for reclaiming waste water and especially desalinization of sea water. Reclamation, especially when so much water is used in fracking and agriculture and when the Salton Sea becomes more and more contaminated threatening the Imperial Valley, well that's just good long-term thinking. By the way, hidden is this story is one of the most damning water-use factoids in California; they don't consider water direct from the Colorado as quality water. Yes, it needs to be treated, but it is still one of their primary water sources.

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She helped unlock mysteries of one of earth's most remote, beautiful places.

She helped unlock mysteries of one of earth's most remote, beautiful places. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Gorgeous.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So nearby and yet so remote. The question that always haunts me: Is nature better off observed by well-meaning humans or simply left alone?

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Rising Levels of Toxic Gas Found in Homes Near Fracking Sites

Rising Levels of Toxic Gas Found in Homes Near Fracking Sites | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Levels of radon, a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, have been rising measurably in Pennsylvania since the controversial practice of fracking started there, r...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Golly, gosh, if you attack the earth, the earth fights back. What a concept. Seriously, does anybody remember Buckminster Fuller? And let there be no mistake about it, fracking is as aggressive an approach to getting oil as you can find, much more disruptive of the geology than drilling. There is no question that we need to be more careful of our planet; it's the only one we have.

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Pamela Hills's curator insight, April 15, 2015 9:14 AM

 Good Grief how many red flags can we raise against Fracking and the list is growing.

(1) The millions of water used and then contaminated and put back in to the earth. There are reports they are using this process to get rid of Nuclear waste.

(2) Proof is can cause earth Quakes

(3)  Now this with Radon

(4) California needs fracking there like hole in the head with worst drought ever and lakes going dry ! How many more states will face same thing ?

 How many ways can the world scream "STOP FRACKING " ?

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These kids aren't all right. 7 photos show you a world of change.

These kids aren't all right. 7 photos show you a world of change. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Photographers from around the world share photos of kids to help us see what climate change really looks like. It's literally about fire and ice.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

No, the world isn't getting that much warmer at this point, because the ice is melting and that keeps the temperatures down. But the climate is changing and the net-absorption of energy from the sun is rising. As a result, disasters are looming larger and greater. Meanwhile, for some it's all about business as usual. Perhaps it's time for us all to see the threat we are creating for all our children.

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Genetics reveals where emperor penguins survived the last ice age

Genetics reveals where emperor penguins survived the last ice age | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A study of how climate change has affected emperor penguins over the last 30,000 years found that only three populations may have survived during the last ice age, and that the Ross Sea in Antarctica was likely the refuge for one of these populations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sure, I know this is very intellectual and not very relevant to today, but who can resist penguins? Not me!

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Australia's Oldest Man Knitted Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins

Australia's Oldest Man Knitted Tiny Sweaters for Injured Penguins | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The great-great-grandfather now keeps his hands busy by knitting scarves for friends and hats for premature babies
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What a great story.

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Council supports entire Walnut Canyon area for conservation

Council supports entire Walnut Canyon area for conservation | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Flagstaff City Council will join county supervisors in recommending to Congress a conservation zone around Walnut Canyon National Monument
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There are many wonderful places in this country that should be protected for future inhabitants. Certainly the beautiful areas around Flagstaff, Arizona, should be on that list. However, I always wonder when conservative parts of the state (or the country) suddenly want the federal government involved. You can't starve the beast and then expect it have the necessary resources to help you.

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