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Samina Cabral

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Samina Cabral

Samina Cabral

Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

Friday Creature Feature: Moles

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Friday, 21 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

This morning my husband found a mole in our attic. I don’t know whether the mole was alive or dead Scalopus Aquaticus eastern mole Kenneth Catania Vanderbilt Universityhaving been caught snacking on the peanut butter-laced traps we leave to catch the mice that are currently wintering in the uppermost regions of the house.

Frankly, I’m not even convinced it was an actual mole because moles like to live underground and attics are quite a ways above ground. Could it have been a weasel, or a vole or just a disfigured mutant rat?

In honor of this puzzling occasion which has already brought a pest control company to help us with the mice-and I guess now our moles- we will take a look at moles. Together we will ponder how it came to rest it’s weary extra-thumbed (the digit is called a prepollex) forepaws in our attic. Here’s hoping the rest of the creatures from Grahame’s Wind in the Willows stay near the river and out of my house.

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If You Need Me, I'll Be In My Bunker with a Cake

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 December 2012
in Earth Blog

Is the world going to end tomorrow? NASA answers that tough question for us: “The world will not end inblue marble earth NASA 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”

The “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years” part is debatable but nevertheless NASA is so certain about their prediction they have recorded a special video titled:  “Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday.”

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No Sir, That's Paper Waste We Made Into Bricks

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 December 2012
in Earth Blog

This little piggy built his house with bricks that were made of paper and ceramic but the bricks and the paper bricks C. Martinez et al.-UJAENhouse aren’t quite ready to withstand a big bad wolf. However, the good news is that the piggy’s house is energy-efficient.

Researchers at the Upper Polytechnic School of Linares, University of Jaen (Spain) collected cellulous waste from a paper factory and the sludge from the purification of its waste water. Then they mixed the recycled waste materials with clay used in construction and forced the mixture through a pressure and extrusion machine to make bricks. The bricks come out “like sausages” and are then cut to resemble a building material and not food.

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All Eyes are Still on Walmart

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 18 December 2012
in Earth Blog

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and the University of South Carolina (USC) have completed the wind-energy-sams-club palmdaleWalmart Sustainability Case, a three-year collaboration that began not long after Walmart’s then CEO Lee Scott gave a speech titled “Leadership in the 21st Century.”

In that speech (available here for your viewing pleasure) Scott outlined the retail giant’s sustainability goals and that speech became the first case study researchers wrote. It also includes a brief biographical sketch of Scott and his history with Walmart.

“The goal of the Walmart sustainability case project is to lead students through an in-depth analysis of Walmart’s journey of formulating, implementing and measuring an ambitious corporate sustainability strategy. Because we have written multiple, interconnecting teaching cases, we are able to have students look across organizational levels and across time to evaluate and learn from Walmart’s experience,” said Andrew Spicer, an associate professor at USC’s Darla Moore School of Business.

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Champagne Safety 101

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 17 December 2012
in Clean Fun

The American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO) wants to take the pain out of champagne this holiday serving champagne a mannseason.

“When a champagne cork flies, you really have no time to react and protect your delicate eyes,” said Dr. Monica L. Monica (yes that is her real name and she is an actual doctor, she doesn’t just play one on the Internet), an ophthalmologist and a spokesperson for the AAO. “Uncontrolled champagne corks can lead to painful eye injuries and devastating vision loss. We don’t want anyone to end up ringing in the year on an ophthalmologist’s surgery table.”

Corks have been clocked at a speed of 50 miles per hour after being launched from the top of a bottle that contains more pressure than what is contained in a regular car tire. If you happen to be in the path of the cork, like the person opening the bottle usually is, a miscalculation can result in retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, damage to the eye’s bone structure, and in extreme cases even blindness.

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Not Feeling Creative Today? Try Camping

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 16 December 2012
in Clean Fun

The next time someone tells you to “Take a hike!” it may not be because they want you to simply go away, hiking trail mbairdthey may want you to go away and be refreshed by nature!

Psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and Paul Atchley recently published Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings at PLOS ONE. The study explored the relationship between our electronically over-stimulated brains, what effects it may have on cognition-or the many ways our brains work and think- including creative problem solving, and Attention Restoration Theory (ART). ART suggests that exposure to nature can help the brain restore cognition.

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Frosty the Salesman....

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 15 December 2012
in Earth Blog

Four years ago two researchers, one from Royal Holloway, University of London and the other from i want presents cohdra mfileColumbia University, wrote an essay and its conclusion is still applicable today: pleasant, background music piped into a store is designed to lull you into buying stuff. The suggestion is that you can blame it on the “muzak” when you open your credit card bill and see that you’ve spent too much this holiday season.

“Festive jingles are force-fed to Christmas shoppers in a bid to change their mood, influence their sense of time and what sort of products they buy. In other words, this is an attempt to manipulate your shopping habits in a way that you might barely be aware of,” said Dr. Alan Bradshaw a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Royal Holloway.

Did you hear that? Stores are controlling you with holiday music like the Pied Piper leading you into a Williams & Sonoma to buy Peppermint Bark and Thermo-clad cookware.

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Friday Creature Feature: Not So Musical Monkeys

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Friday, 14 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

The Rhesus monkey is a “highly intelligent, lively animal that is docile when young” but new research saysrhesus monkeys Petr Malyshev Fotolia beat induction or the ability to pick up the beat from a varying rhythm is not something a rhesus monkey is capable of doing.

Rhesus monkeys are patient and do well in captivity and so they have been the default Old World Monkey used in health and science research: they have been cloned, helped develop vaccinations, and launched into space.  

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Saying Goodbye to Ebb and Flow

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 13 December 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Today NASA answered the question I posed last week about Ebb and Flow: What is next for the twins and GRAIL ebb flow artists depictthe GRAIL mission now that the prime mission is complete and the extended mission will end at the beginning of next week?

Maria Zuber, the GRAIL principal investigator, emphasized that the mission has achieved everything they could have possibly hoped for, they are happily surprised with the flawless performance, but it’s still curtains for Ebb and Flow.

"It is going to be difficult to say goodbye," said Zuber of MIT, "Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the GRAIL family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because of their contributions."

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More Secrets of the Ooze

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Wednesday, 12 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Have you heard the story about the frogs in the bucket? To make a long story short two frogs accidentallysunning frogs loretta fell into a bucket of milk. One frog grew tired trying to escape over the bucket's tall sides and drowned in the milk while the other persevered.

The second frog churned the milk until it was butter and then used it as a platform to escape a milky death. Or it could have been one frog who almost drowned and then cleverly escaped, either way: frogs in milk.

From my understanding of the literature (this press release) it is from that story the Russians decided if you would like to keep your milk from souring you just throw a frog in and voila! you have butter or a dead frog in your milk -in Russia prize comes out of milk jug and not cereal box.

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Sea Shepherd Welcomes New Vessel

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Tuesday, 11 December 2012
in Earth Blog

Yesterday the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the anti-whaling activist group founded by Captain Paul CAC Sam-Simon exterior-view at-sea bow IMG 9753Watson, announced the addition of the SSS Sam Simon SSS Sam Simon to their fleet.

It’s scheduled to leave with a crew of 24 for the Antarctic on Operation Zero Tolerance next week but will be open for public tours Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Hobart, Tasmania where it is currently docked.

Operation Zero Tolerance is the name of Sea Shepherd’s 2012-2013 direct-action campaign to end Japanese whaling. The organization’s efforts have saved the lives of over 3,000 whales in eight seasons and some of those seasons were documented for Animal Planet’s Whale Wars.

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Saving Frankincense and Christmas For Future Generations

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Monday, 10 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

“Whilst we are all familiar with gold (especially in this Olympic year), it is the mention of frankincense andFrankincense and matchbox myrrh that really says ‘Christmas’ to us and and takes our imaginations back to ancient times,” opened an Oxford University Press news release about a study published earlier this month in the journal Annals of Botany called “Resin secretory structures of Boswellia papyrifera and implications for frankincense yield.”

Does it take your imagination back to “ancient times?” Do the the three gifts the Wise Men brought to welcome baby Jesus and “resin secretory structures” evoke Christmas like chestnuts roasting on an open fire or pink aluminum trees?

I think the majority of us wonder what frankincense and myrrh are- spices, plants, or are they candy? Please let them be candy!

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Adopt-an-Octopus or a Sea Turtle or a Polar Bear!

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 09 December 2012
in Clean Fun

Oceana’s online adoption center is open all year for virtual adoptions but this year they are introducing a adopt a octopus oceanaselection of five exciting marine creatures for the gift-giving season: the puffin, blue whale, ray, clownfish, and octopus.  These five new creatures double the options at the center and Oceana has not discontinued perennial favorites: the sea turtle and polar bear.

“Adopting an ocean animal at Oceana.org makes a fantastic gift for a loved one,” said Matt Littlejohn, the Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications, “It is a great way to both protect the world’s oceans and give a gift that means something.” For an amusing anecdote about dolphins please see Littljohn’s bio here.

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Ebb and Flow Provided NASA With That Map They Wanted

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Saturday, 08 December 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Ebb and Flow, NASA’s twin washing-machine sized spacecraft, are making important contributions in anGRAIL scan artists depiction NASA-JPL-Caltech-MIT area study similar to the Curiosity rover: providing information taken from places in our solar system to help us understand how Earth and other rocky planets were formed. Except Curiosity has a laser that it uses to shoot rocks so it gets way more press than Ebb and Flow.

At the beginning of fall NASA announced they were waking the twins up after their summer nap. At the time Ebb and Flow were about to start the science phase of the mission after completing the primary phase earlier than anticipated.  On December 17th, just a few weeks shy of the one year anniversary marking their successful placement in orbit around the moon, the extended science phase will come to an end as well.  

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Friday Creature Feature : Nyasasaurus parringtoni

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Friday, 07 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

10 million years before “more familiar” dinosaurs like the Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus were hanging Nyasasaurus  parringtoniaround, a dinosaur known as Nyasasaurus parringtoni lived during the Middle Triassic period.

When they say Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus are “familiar” they must mean to dinosaur obsessed children or paleontologists because there is nothing about those two creatures that is recognizable, to me at least, other than the suffixes in their names.  It’s okay if Nyasasaurus parringtoni is unfamiliar because it’s a “new” dinosaur and scientists think it’s the oldest dinosaur or the closest relative found to early dinosaurs.

Paleontologist Alan Charig, who passed away in 1997 and was posthumously credited as an author for a recent study, named the dinosaur Nyasasaurus parringtoni after Francis Rex Parringtoni who originally collected the fossilized bones in the 1930s from Tanzania near Lake Nyasa. After that not much else was done with Parringtoni.

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Curiosity Update #4

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 06 December 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about therover.jpg rover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

At the end of the last month NASA announced Curiosity had made a discovery that was “one for the history books” but after much media speculation the agency downplayed the discovery they were keeping under their hat.

Tags: Mars, NASA
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Urban Birds in Mexico Building Nests with Cancer Sticks

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 05 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Once upon a time I wrote about how marine insects were adapting to life with the Pacific Garbage Patch byleaf and cig butt clarita living on it and laying their eggs on the floating detritus.

This morning the BBC reported that birds are adapting to the presence of nasty discarded cigarette butts in a way similar to the marine insects.

A group of scientists from the Instituto de Ecologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, studied the nests of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in Mexico City and discovered that the birds are using an average of 10 used cigarette butts in nest construction.

Some nests had no cigarette butts and others were noted to have up to as many as 48 butts or slightly more than two whole packs. It seems a selection of the urban bird population in Mexico have a two pack a day habit in their homes.

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If the plastic is sugar, do I have to unwrap the candy?

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Tuesday, 04 December 2012
in Earth Blog

People like to complain about the price of gasoline but if consumption is consumption than those same pink plastic cuppeople should be whining about the cost of any item that is made of plastic or packaged in plastic for that matter.

Why? According to the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland: “The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five percent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 percent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil.”

Perhaps it’s not the price of milk that is rising, it’s the added cost of that plastic jug; or consider toys both made of plastic and packaged in the material. Double the plastic, double the price!

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Brooklyn Based Artist Wants to Show You a Coral Reef

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Monday, 03 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Water

Paul Hunt wants to bring the threatened coral reefs to Brooklyn, Paul Hunt sea creatures mock-upencourage marine conservation, and foster of a love of the ocean.  To do this he will create a multimedia installation art project called “Sea Creatures.”  

"I feel there's an urgent need to share this beautiful landscape before it's gone," he said in press release announcing his need for funding. "Since 1980, more than 30% of all the coral reefs in the world, including 50% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean, have vanished. Coral reefs take thousands of years to form, yet are rapidly disappearing."

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Ethical Diamond Buying Tips

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 02 December 2012
in Earth Blog

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then you are going to want to purchase an ethical diamond so it will d is for diamond jdiurham mfileprovide a girl with sound moral advice. Consider the ethical diamond to be the Chuck Klosterman-New York Times Magazine’s current Ethicist- of diamonds. Wait, that’s not right.

Once again let’s turn to an expert, but not Klosterman, to help us wade through the implications of our purchases this gift-giving season.

Trina Hamilton, a University of Buffalo expert in corporate responsibility, and her students surveyed 94 retailers who promote themselves as sellers of conflict free diamonds. Of those retailers 13 were selling ethical options from countries other than Canada giving consumers more choices about how to spend their money.

Our neighbors to the north have been the popular country for options that are not “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds.”

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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