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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.

Now, That's A Smart Little Jacket!

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, 11 March 2013
in Classic & Cutting-Edge Technology

At the end of February Greenpeace celebrated the news that Royal Dutch Shell would not be conducting nediset-SINTEF-Ragnhild Lundmark Daaeoff-shore drilling in Alaskan Arctic waters this year.

Phil Radford, Greenpeace USA’s executive director said in a press release, “This is the first thing Shell’s done right in Alaska - calling it quits. Shell was supposed to be the best of the best, but the long list of mishaps and near-disasters is a clear indication even the ‘best’ companies can’t succeed in Arctic drilling. Secretary Salazar and President Obama gave drilling a chance; now the responsible decision is to make Arctic drilling off limits, forever.”

Off-shore drilling in the world’s pristine Arctic is not yet off-limits and despite the vilification of the oil industry, finger-pointing, and that “long list of mishaps and near-disasters” Shell is calling their decision “a pause.”

The NY Times quoted, Marvin E. Odum, the president of Shell Oil Company, “Our decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people.”

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The Daffodil: A Not Very Detailed Look at a Flower

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, 10 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

The first day of spring is still more than a week away but the University of Oxford is helping us poor Narcissus-closeup-Jasssmit-wikiunfortunate souls stuck between winter and spring pull through with the story of how the daffodil got it’s trumpet!

During the long winter days when the sun was seldom seen there was a girl who couldn’t stand the cold and the darkness any longer. She vowed to grab the sun the next time it peeked out from behind the layer of clouds and stick it in a jar forever to hoard the warmth.

Finally the day arrived when the weak winter sun made an appearance so the girl grabbed the sun and crammed it into the jar. But on her way to hide the sun from the rest of the world she tripped and fell. The jar flew out of her hand and rolled away from her.

The sun struggled to get out but its head got stuck halfway out of the opening and it’s yellow and white light seeped out around it creating a halo. The sun was left there and its light seeded the ground for daffodils to grow.

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Actions to Reduce Deforestation In Brazil are Working

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, 09 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

There have been a few creatures I’ve featured on Fridays whose populations have been affected by pete-newton-brazil-rainforest-UMdeforestation- especially animals that live in the Amazon rainforest like the lowland tapir and the giant armadillo.

Animals aren’t usually the first thing that pops into a person’s mind when deforestation is mentioned. The air is usually the first topic of discussion because clearing trees affects air quality and most of us learn that in elementary school: “Trees help us breathe!”

Conserving biodiversity and Brazil’s recent commitment to reduce deforestation in order to lower carbon emissions in the country’s two million square miles of Amazon rainforest are probably what led to a University of Michigan (UM) study that explored the efficacy of Brazil’s policies.

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Friday Creature Feature: High Arctic Camel

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, 08 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Dr. Natalia Rybczynski is a vertebrate paleontologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature and is extinct-high-arctic-camel- Julius-T-Csotonyiwell-acquainted with the Canadian High Arctic. She has led numerous expeditions into the area with the museum including three summer expeditions in 2006, 2008 and 2010 when she found 30 fossil fragments of a leg bone approximately three-and-a-half million years old.

"The first time I picked up a piece, I thought that it might be wood. It was only back at the field camp that I was able to ascertain it was not only bone, but also from a fossil mammal larger than anything we had seen so far from the deposits," said Rybczynski in a press release last week announcing the publication of the paper in Nature Communications that describes this giant mammal: a now extinct camel.

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Study Finds Bats Do Well After a Forest Fire

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, 07 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Science

In 2002 what is considered to be one of the worst brush fires (as if there was ever a “good brush fire” and pallid bat-Antrozous pallidus-w-frickcontrolled burns don’t count) in California’s history ripped through  the Sequoia National Forest and a portion of the Inyo National Forest.

The fire burned from July 21st to August 29th, destroyed a total of 150,670 acres, 14 structures, and cost approximately $45.7 million to extinguish.  The fire was eventually linked to a woman from Bakersfield named Peri Dare Van Brunt. She let a campfire she had been using to cook a meal burn out of control at Road's End Resort.

A United States Forest Service day-by-day breakdown of the cost, acres contained, and staggering amount of personnel needed to fight a brush fire can be found here at ponderosaca.com. Ponderosa is a Census-designated place in Tulare County. The tiny town was one of the two communities threatened by the fire.

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Curiosity Update #7: The System Was Down

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, 06 March 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about the rover.jpgrover 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.

The biggest news from Mars is that Curiosity was suffering from technological difficulties that forced NASA to suspend the literally ground-breaking work the rover was doing on the Red Planet. The rover was analyzing portions of a sample of rock powder collected from the inisde of a Martian rock with its internal laboratory instruments.

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NOAA and NASA Study the Weather

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, 05 March 2013
in Earth Blog

Yesterday NASA officially announced that they have handed the keys to the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Suomi-NPP-artists-rendering-NOAAPartnership (NPP) satellite over to NOAA.

Launched in October of 2011 by NASA, Suomi NPP is an environmental satellite that collects data for two reasons: to help predict weather more accurately, especially the awful stuff like hurricanes, and to study long-term climate change.

Suomi NPP, 512 miles above the surface, circles the planet in a north-south motion between the poles about fourteen times a day. The satellite observes any given point on the Earth’s surface twice a day: once in daylight and once at night. After completing an orbit the data is sent to a station in Svalbard, Norway and then sent to the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Maryland.

The satellite is named in honor of the late Verner E. Suomi. He was a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin and is considered to be the father of satellite meteorology. He passed away in 1995 at the age of 79.

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Nutrition Facts

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, 04 March 2013
in Earth Blog

March is National Nutrition Month®. This year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy) chose red-apple-colussus-mfile“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” to be the theme.

Let’s celebrate the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month® with a round-up  of nutritional topics suitable for discussion at lunch time or the dinner hour and some tips from the Academy and one from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Clean Snowmobile Challenge Scheduled to Begin Tomorrow

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, 03 March 2013
in Clean Energy Technology

This year a total of 21 teams from United States and Canadian universities have registered their Clarkson-winner-internal-combustion-category-2012-SAE-Clean-Snowmobile-Challengesnowmobiles for this year’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

Queen’s University in Ontario and Rochester Institute of Technology in New York are the two rookie teams that are helping make this year’s batch the largest ever since the first challenge in 2003 according to the Michigan Snowmobile Association.

“Students learn critical lessons about hands-on engineering and designing for the environment, plus the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a huge asset to our local community,” said co-organizer Jay Meldrum. Meldrum is the director at Michigan Tech University’s Keweenaw Research Center (KRC).

The facility’s mission is: “To generate and conduct externally funded research in science and engineering in support of the University's overall educational mission.” They conduct research for the military and corporations to fine tune everything from tanks to dishwashers.

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How the Dust of Asia Ends up in the Sierra Nevada

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, 02 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Science

Did you know that there are two songs that poetically exaggerate the lack of rain in southern California?snow-sierra-california-a-conant-mfile

One was written by two British guys in 1972 and the chorus is: “It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya. It pours, man it pours." The other is a 90’s R&B hit by Tony! Toni! Tone! which immediately opens with the famous line: “It never rains in southern California.”

Besides being boring songs about other things, the former about how Hollywood is cruel town and the other about a relationship, they are factually inaccurate. It rains and sometimes it even snows in the Golden State!

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Friday Creature Feature: Sea Lamprey

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, 01 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

At right is a photo that first appeared over on Reddit. The photo was uploaded this month, about two sea-lamprey-redditweeks ago by a user named jlitch, and made the rounds on the Internet like all good horrifyingly confusing photos tend to do.

The human subject of the photo, probably some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise in the eel-infested waters of New Jersey on a summer day, has speared what obviously looks to be a monster.

Those who were bored enough to question the authenticity of the photo crying “Photoshop!” did so while the rest of us hid under our beds clutching a butter knife, sad that we had no harpoon to defend ourselves against the monster. Jlitch posted another photo to prove the creature was real and that his friend was too.

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Big Meteorite Found in Antarctica

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, 28 February 2013
in Earth Blog

A month ago, a few weeks before a space rock with an estimated size of 55 feet (17 meters) slammed into Russia, a team of eight international scientists from Belgium and Japan were in Antarctica scanning theSAMBA-meteorite-1-IPF frozen environment for fragments of space rocks for the SAMBA project.

They hit the jackpot when they found a rock weighing 18 kilograms or 39 pounds embedded in the Nansen Ice Field. Researchers say this is the largest meteorite found in the region in over twenty years. The previous record holding rock was found in 1988.

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Ringing's Affect on Offshore Wind Farms

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, 27 February 2013
in Clean Energy News

Here is quick round-up of some of the cons associated with wind turbines: killing winged creatures, killing of maintenance workers, flicker syndrome,  and ambiguous placement on the runway for Chanel’s 2013offshore-wind-farm-  halberg - Fotolia Spring/Summer line.  

Offshore wind farms have a slightly different set of issues that have been discussed on the blog: affects (if any) on marine life, disrupting a view, and offending Donald Trump. Now we can add “ringing” to the list.

Professor John Grue from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oslo, Norway is one of the world's foremost experts on wave research.  Way back in 1989 he discovered ringing  in a 25-meter long wave laboratory located in the basement of a mathematics building.

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Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop Dies at 96

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, 26 February 2013
in Earth Blog

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop served for less than a decade from 1982 to 1989 under two C-Everett-Koop-official-portraitpresidents but he still manages to be one of the most memorable appointed government officials.

Maybe it was the beard, the bowties, and the suspenders all reminiscent of Colonel Sanders but a healthy Colonel! Or perhaps it’s the whimsical and yet official sounding name (his friends called him “Chick”) but it is more likely due to his outspoken nature and the controversial public health issues he brought to the forefront of national discourse: HIV/AIDS awareness and the anti-tobacco/smoke-free society.

Dr. Koop wished for a smoke-free society by the year 2000 and while our country isn’t quite there yet smoking is now prohibited in a number of places and even in any and all public spaces in some cities.

Yesterday Dr. Koop passed away peacefully at the age of 96 at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth College, where he received a degree in zoology in 1937 and returned in 1992 to establish the C. Everett Koop Institute at the Geisel School of Medicine, released a statement celebrating his work.

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Florida SPCA Will Help Build Community Cat Cafes

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, 25 February 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Representatives from Florida Southern College (FSC) in Lakeland, Florida estimate a herd of 100 cat-cafe-SPCA Florida-FLWun-owned, free range cats live on the campus.  In an effort to control the cat population they are going to name each cat George and hug them and pet them and squeeze them. They will also feed them, build them little Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) inspired houses, and then spay or neuter them.

SPCA Florida is partnering with the college and they have decided to call the houses Cat Cafes and because the FSC campus is apparently “home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed building structures in the world”  they decided to stick with the FLW style. The cafes will blend seamlessly into the campus’s existing architecture. Between 1938 and 1955 Wright designed eighteen buildings for the college but only eleven were actually constructed.

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H&M Wants Your Old Clothes

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, 24 February 2013
in Earth Blog

Yesterday I went to our local H ampersand M in search of a pair of black ankle boots with metal toe caps I H-M-SOPHIA-BUSH-eco-ivorysaw in a magazine. They resemble this pair from Zara.

The H&M had the boots but spending anything over $20 for a pair of shoes I would only sporadically wear was not practical. Furthermore after seeing them up close I discovered I wasn’t as enamored with them as I thought.

Now had I known that I could have brought in a bag of old clothes and received a discount on those boots I would probably be wearing them right now with my pajamas. I’m beginning to regret not snapping up those shoes. Don’t judge me.

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Ode to Sourdough

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, 23 February 2013
in Clean Factoids

Did you know that sourdough bread resists mold? I didn’t know that. But that may be because I haven’t Sourdough-miche-boule-Chris-R- Sims psdhad the luxury of letting a decent loaf (a honest-to-goodness loaf) of sourdough bread sit out to waste away since leaving the Golden State. I’m not even able to splurge on a Sourdough Jack from Jack in the Box because the fast food chain isn’t found in this region. I'm not bitter, I'm just hungry.

Fun Fact: The mascot of the San Francisco 49ers is named “Sourdough Sam” as a nod to the bread’s Gold Rush era heritage in Northern California.

The football team’s website says Samster’s favorite food is garlic fries. Shouldn’t his favorite food be sourdough bread? I’ve heard it said that you can make sandwiches with the stuff. No one could hate a sandwich.

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Friday Creature Feature: Giant Armadillo

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, 22 February 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

It’s been a while since I have presented for your reading pleasure a creature of giant proportions. The last Giant-armadillo-in-captivitygiant creature we featured was a little over a month ago: the giant squid.

So without further ado let’s look at the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) obviously the largest of all armadillo species! Take that Texas with your regularly sized boring old nine-banded armadillo!

In Spanish the creature’s name is Armadillo Gigante and the word armadillo alone means “little armored one.” Does that mean its name is really: “giant little armored one?”

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Asteroids: Now Available With Tails!

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, 21 February 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Last week Russia received a wake-up call from space at 9:30 am (local time) when a meteorite exploded asteroid-with-tail-artists-rendering-SINCand rained what are now black-market fragments of space rock across the countryside

While the impacted Russian communities scrambled to maintain order, begin cleaning up the damage, and treat the injured the rest of the world (except for Germany) watched dashcam videos stunned at the enormity and power of the meteorite.

In the not immediately stunned category were most of the people with the dashcams who as Jon Stewart surmised earlier this week are so accustomed to seeing oddities en route to their destinations they apparently didn’t think much of the meteorite.

A more likely scenario is that they didn’t have enough time to react. NASA estimated from entry into our atmosphere to explosion the entire event took 32.5 seconds. I’m sure there are people on this planet who take longer to sneeze.

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General Mills Announces New Vanilla Program

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, 20 February 2013
in Earth Blog

In the summer of 2011 General Mills announced that a team of international researchers working at the vanilla-madagascar-general-millsUniversity of California-Davis would receive a $200,000 grant to begin the Vanilla Sustainability Project.

The vanilla project, led by Dr. Sharman O’Neill,  a professor of biological sciences at UC Davis, was the winning entry in the Sustainability Challenge. General Mills invited universities to submit grant proposals with their best ideas for encouraging sustainable consumption, reducing waste, and using resources responsibly.

The research team will map the vanilla genome, research natural crop improvements, study natural and traditional plant-breeding methods to develop improved and hybrid vanilla varieties that are hardier, more disease resistant, and offer enhanced flavor.  

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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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