An Eco-Friendly Company Since 2006!
    Join Now! 
Twitter YouTube RSS

Samina Cabral

Individuals can help us by telling others, by being involved in the Earth Blog, by sharing your ideas with us and by forwarding your support to companies who you think should get involved!

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.

Is Whistling Going to be a New Potty Training Method?

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, 30 January 2013
in Earth Blog

“Swedes have grown accustomed to the idea that babies cannot be potty trained, but that parents need to diaper-changing-station-mfilewait until they are mature, usually when they decide that they no longer want diapers,” said a recent University of Gothenburg study that explored the potty training process.

I guess we can say that the general view of potty training in America is about the same as the Swedish: most parents potty train their children at two or three years of age or when they deem them mature enough. The child usually doesn’t get to help decide when that is and sometimes the parents sick of handling diapers will expedite the process.

One article I found said the average child will end up using a total of 6,000-7,000 disposable diapers by age two. That article, written in 2010, also broke down the cost per diaper of several diaper brands and the cost per year from birth to age two: $1,000-$2,240. Cloth diapers have become popular again with parents who say they are saving money and diverting diapers from landfills.

Hits: 692 Continue reading
0 votes

How to Be Green, Lazy, and Healthy

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, 29 January 2013
in Earth Blog

The American Journal of Health Promotion has published an Oregon State University (OSU) study that tellsbeginners-exercise-porky-pug us what we already knew about exercise, in particular “lifestyle exercising,” and I love it because I am lazy. Are you lazy? Good. Keep reading.

Lifestyle exercises are all the little eco-friendly things you can do during the day (taking the stairs, standing at your desk, parking farther away from store entrances) that may in the long run end up being just as beneficial as a period of routine, sustained, structured exercise or as I call it “thirty minutes to an hour of my day without coffee and the Internet.”

Hits: 920 Continue reading
0 votes

Do You Know Where Your Local Biobank is Located?

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, 28 January 2013
in Earth Blog

“Biobanks are increasingly important to scientific advances, but our decentralized, fragmented researchNIGMS-NIH-biobank-facility enterprise system in the U.S. has encouraged their development without necessarily providing them with the tools to survive," said Gail Henderson, PhD, professor and chair of social medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Henderson is also the head of UNC's Center for Genomics and Society.

A biobank (a facility is shown at right; storing what exactly I'm not quite sure) is a place, sometimes run by a hospital or a university, that curates human specimens like blood for research purposes. Some biobanks even share their specimens or the data they’ve collected from their human body bits.

Last year Henderson and her colleagues conducted an online national survey of biobanks (facilities were offered a a $30 Amazon gift card if they participated which they should use to buy Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach) and the results are available now for us all to gawk at in morbid curiosity.  

Hits: 571 Continue reading
0 votes

Would You Drink Milk That Is Flaxseed Fortified?

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, 27 January 2013
in Earth Blog

Ten pregnant Holstein cows, the quintessential black and white farm animal but the name is also used holstein-dairy-cows-mfilewhen referring to red and white cows, at Oregon State University’s dairy were fed different amounts of flaxseed because researchers were bored with cow-tipping. Just kidding!

They were looking for the optimal amount of the supplement to a dairy cow’s current diet: mixtures of corn, grains, alfalfa hay, and grass silage.  This diet leads to dairy products that are low in concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and other polyunsaturated fats. This doesn’t mean items are unhealthy but researchers thought that products could be more nutritious.

Ideally, the supplement would transfer its nutritional properties to the milk that is then used for other dairy products but not affect the texture and quality of the final product sent to grocery stores.

Hits: 544 Continue reading
0 votes

Huanglongbing Disease Affects Trees and a Good Breakfast

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, 26 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has some good news about citrus trees affected with oranges-muyral-mfileHuanglongbing disease (citrus greening disease) or the obviously less fun to say HLB: sick trees will always affect the taste of the fruit that is used in orange juice, a delicious breakfast beverage, but sometimes we won’t be able to tell.

A research team in Fort Pierce, Florida- where the United States Horticultural Research Laboratory is located- studied Midsweet, Hamlin, and Valencia oranges with or without HLB symptoms over two growing seasons. They found that orange juice squeezed from fruit with HLB symptoms  usually contained higher amounts limonin and nomilin. These two compounds gave the juice a bitter taste but even though the amounts were higher they were generally below the level that could be detected by people.

ARS researchers say the fruit that is affected need only be mixed with healthy fruit to produce a juice that is palatable. Now if you are anything like me and have had the luxury of fresh-squeezed orange juice the liquid was never drinkable until I had poured about two or three cups of sugar in it and then chased that down with three bowls of Frosted Flakes.

Hits: 546 Continue reading
0 votes

Friday Creature Feature: The Tapir

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

Lowland tapirs, like the yaks featured last week, are making a comeback due to conservation efforts. The tapir-Mileniusz Spanowics-WCStapir is still listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List though and are still affected by habitat loss and low reproductive rate: a single birth every 2-3 years and they only live for about 30 years.

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Study looked at the tapir population in a network of five remote national parks along the border of northwestern Bolivia and southeastern Peru in South America. Using a combination of camera traps, interviews with park guards, and subsistence hunters, the researchers estimated at least 14,500 lowland tapirs in the region.

Hits: 558 Continue reading
0 votes

Researchers Still Looking to Control Asian Carp

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, 24 January 2013
in Earth Blog

I’ve talked about the Asian Carp invasion (bighead carp and silver carp) before and I can never remember jumping-carpthe details. Are they here? Where is here when wildlife officials are monitoring all five Great Lakes and interconnected waterways from the Gulf of Mexico northward? What are the control methods currently in place and why can’t I buy Asian Carp at the store if it’s comparable to walleye and can be fried? If it can be fried don’t set it aside!

Apparently one of the methods to prevent the carp from entering Lake Michigan, the Great Lake that is shared by four states and is not bordered by Canada, in Illinois is an electric fence. But researchers, including Cory Suski an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, think two barrier methods is better than one and so they drugged some fish to the point of disorientation with carbon dioxide.

Hits: 432 Continue reading
0 votes

The Howler Monkeys in Veracruz are Stressed Out

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, 23 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

There is a reason why after listening to a focus group an unknown corporation somewhere coined thehowler-monkey-Arturo-Gonzalez-Zamora phrase “one-stop shopping” because having to visit more than a couple of stores in a day for the things you need can stress you out.  

You hear the plea from friends and relatives all the time: “I just want to go in, get what I need, and get out.” When did going to the store for cereal and coffee turn into an expedition on par with fighting your way into a jungle to retrieve the artifacts of a lost civilization? We have choices though and that’s what makes being a human so nice.

But you know who doesn’t have a choice when it comes to where they get their food? The endangered howler monkeys living in the fragmented forests of Mexico.

Hits: 580 Continue reading
0 votes

Logs Thrown Into The Ocean Become Hotspots

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, 22 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Water

A team of scientists from the research organization Max Planck in Germany dumped some stuff into the logs-mfile-rjoshEastern Mediterranean Sea in the name of science! They also used underwater robot technology to study the results after dropping four wood logs (Douglas fir) with smaller logs attached on the seafloor at depths of 1,700 meters or over 5,000 feet.

Three of the logs were deployed using the remote operated vehicle (ROV) Quest 4000, the little robot NOAA used back in September of last year to study underwater volcanoes in the Lau Basin. The Max Planck study was conducted in 2006-2007 so the ROV had plenty of time to rest up for NOAA.

Hits: 493 Continue reading
0 votes

Martian Crater Could Have Been A Lake

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, 21 January 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Yesterday “the strongest evidence yet that the red planet may have supported life” was published onlineMRO-NASA-layered-rock-mclaughlin-crater-Mars over at Nature Geoscience.

Shut down Curiosity! It’s all over! Except not really because the key words here are “evidence” and “may have.” The authors of the paper and NASA scientists sound like they aren't interested in throwing in the towel on Mars and still want to uncover all of its secrets.

Curiosity has yet to comment on the paper called “Groundwater activity on Mars and implications for a deep biosphere” that contained data supplied by its cousin the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or MRO.  Curiosity’s latest tweet was on Friday when it boasted that a life-sized model of itself referred to as “Ms. Curiosity” would be rolling in today’s inaugural parade. The rover, still playing in the dirt, seems largely unconcerned about the paper.

Hits: 465 Continue reading
0 votes

A Look At Chicago's Urban Gardens

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, 20 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Doctoral candidate John Taylor, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Crop onions-garden-1971ks-mfileSciences,  was skeptical about the lists of urban gardens that were being circulated by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Taylor told the university’s news office that of the NGO lists he saw one reported almost 700 urban gardens in Chicago.

700 urban gardens may seem like a lot but when you start to think about the size and population of the city that one list didn’t seem accurate to Taylor. He surmised that there were actually more than what the lists presented. The content of the lists weren’t always accurate either and Taylor said some of the greenery was just well, greenery: planter boxes or landscaping that did not produce food, at least not food for humans.

So Taylor partnered with Assistant Professor Sarah T. Lovell at the same department to obtain a more accurate count of urban gardens with the help of everyone’s favorite time-waster and map on the Internet- Google Earth.

Hits: 488 Continue reading
0 votes

Talking Trash at Staples Center

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, 19 January 2013
in Clean Fun

Lately there hasn’t been a lot of happy news coming out of Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles if you staples-center-green-drop-stationfollow Lakers basketball. Don’t lie and tell me you’re a Clippers fan the other basketball team that plays there. No one is a Clippers fan. But the good news is the next time Jack Nicholson gets up (Adam Sandler not available at all games) and walks out in disgust he can throw his trash away sustainably thanks to new recycling stations designed by GreenDrop!

“Partnering with GreenDrop allows Staples Center to incorporate a convenient waste-diversion system that patrons can easily utilize without increasing operational costs,” explained Lee Zeidman the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Staples Center. “We evaluated other containers, but GreenDrop was the best option for the arena’s recycling needs.”

The GreenDrop is the best option for sports arenas because the containers were designed in part by a sports arena. They were even designed to have advertising slapped on them. In Los Angeles this means ads for Smart Water, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Carl’s Jr.

Hits: 529 Continue reading
0 votes

Friday Creature Feature: Yaks

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, 18 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

“Wild yaks are icons for the remote, untamed, high-elevation roof of the world,” said Joel Berger, who led Bos-grunniens-Letdar-on-Annapurna-Circuit-flickran expedition for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Montana. “While polar bears represent a sad disclaimer for a warming Arctic, the recent count of almost 1,000 wild yaks offers hope for the persistence of free-roaming large animals at the virtual limits of high-altitude wildlife.”

Berger and a team of scientists from China and America took a census of the yak population in a rugged and remote area called Hoh Xil in China: a nature reserve about the size of West Virginia. In Mongolian the name means “blue ridge” or “beautiful girl” and no matter what you want to call the place, it’s were the wild yak (Bos mutus) makes its home.

They counted 990 yaks to be exact and they are excited about what this new data might mean: the yak population is now flourishing because of conservation efforts.

Hits: 654 Continue reading
0 votes

Tijuana Gets An Urban Composting Facility

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, 17 January 2013
in Earth Blog

Yesterday the EPA, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, and the Municipality of Tijuana (TJcompost-EPA as the locals tend to call the border town) opened the Urban Composting Center. San Diego’s own Miramar Greenery composting facility was brought in to help the new center with institutional composting practices.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of this center, a model for communities throughout Baja California as they incorporate composting into their everyday practices,” said Jared Blumenfeld the EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, “The composting center will help protect the environment on both sides of the border by reducing waste within our shared San Diego/Tijuana watershed that would have gone to landfills.”

Blumenfeld is in the area for a short visit to San Diego and Mexico. He is scheduled to meet with tribes in San Diego, tour a solar panel plant in Tijuana, and visit the Toyota Manufacturing plant in Tecate, Mexico. The plant makes Tacoma pickup trucks and the Tacoma truck bed.

Hits: 601 Continue reading
0 votes

Futuristic Kitchen Comes With Robot

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, 16 January 2013
in Classic & Cutting-Edge Technology

The Dream Lab is a program sponsored by the British Council. In 2008 they asked universities in the UK tostandard-kitchen-mfile create competitions that would help develop science and design education in China.  Kingston University answered the call and was selected by the British Council to run their contest focused on how farming, cooking, and eating will change during the next four decades.

“The competition wasn't simply about food,"  said Professor Catherine McDermott, a Kingston University curating expert and the project’s leader, "It was also about biotechnology and the massive advances being made in farming techniques and considering how designers - the very people who create our restaurants and kitchens - react to these changes."

A team of students from Dalian Nationalities University, in northern China, took the theme and ran with it to design a contest-winning “eco-kitchen” that sounds less like an organic garden and sustainable kitchen and more like something out of the Jetsons.

Hits: 701 Continue reading
0 votes

NASA Says: "The climate dice are now loaded."

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, 15 January 2013
in Climate Change

Last year was the ninth warmest year since 1880 according to NASA scientists. The agency added: red-sky-sun-lightfootwith the exception of 1988, the nine warmest years in the 132-year record all have occurred since 2000. 2010 and 2005 are ranked as the hottest years on record. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is no longer a relevant song because of science!

This new data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York and NOAA was presented today at a joint conference. Representatives remarked that their comparison is accurate but does differ slightly due to where on the planet measurements are taken or not taken.

Hits: 489 Continue reading
0 votes

An Obligatory Blog About The Flu

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, 14 January 2013
in Earth Blog

It’s Monday and no one is feeling this whole beginning of the work week thing but maybe this time it’ssick-in-chair-penywise because you have the (insert menacing music here) the flu.

It’s going around according to every media outlet and Google has even provided a map that shows how severe they think the flu will be across the country. At first the map, based on search data, indicated that Connecticut would be spared but now they are in the same boat as the rest of us. A software glitch caused the discrepancy.

Andrew Duxbury, M.D., an associate professor in the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, has given us three rules to follow that will help “older adults”-people 65 years or older who are more susceptible to the flu due to weakened immune systems- avoid the flu.

Hits: 542 Continue reading
0 votes

NOAA Continues to Fight IUU Fishing

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, 13 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

On Friday NOAA submitted a mandated biennial report to Congress that identified 10 nations that hadfresh-fish fishing vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 2011/2012. A few of these countries weren’t doing enough to prevent the unintended catch (bycatch) of protected species last year. The report is a part of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act.

The U.S. will start work with or continue where they may have left off after the 2011 report with these 10 nations: Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Venezuela, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Ghana, and Mexico. Portugal and the five countries listed above in italics have corrected some of their IUU issues with new laws and regulations.

Hits: 613 Continue reading
0 votes

The Bread Industry Made Me Do It!

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, 12 January 2013
in Earth Blog

Label reading at the grocery store has become for many shoppers a good habit. However, when we are in a rush andbread-basket-smann-mfile need to make snap decisions we only have time to look at the front packaging which is why companies slap easy to understand phrases and symbols on their products: “Low Fat!,” “0 Trans Fat,” and “No HFCS.” 

Stores, for example Walmart, have created in-house symbols to direct us to the healthiest products they sell but as we have all heard a million times before packaging phrasing is not always accurate or standardized.

A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at foods that are “whole grain" because even though we know we should eat whole grains that are nutritionally better for us than say a sweet, delicious vending machine honey bun, “no single standard exists for defining any product as a ‘whole grain.’

Hits: 542 Continue reading
0 votes

Friday Creature Feature: Giant Squid

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, 11 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

A handful of still images that give us a glimpse of a 10 foot giant squid have been circulating on the giant-squid-Tsunemi-Kubodera-National-Science-Museum-of-Japan-AP-2006Internet and they are definitely real.

The thought of a giant squid is terrifying and fascinating and the images are from a video taken 2,000 feet below the North Pacific Ocean about 260 miles south of Tokyo with a special camera called a Medusa by a team of scientists.

The actual video footage will air on the Discovery Channel’s Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real on January 27th and a Japanese television station will air the footage this weekend. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet we may be treated to some bootleg footage of the Japanese airing but until then let’s take a look at this marine creature of mythical proportions.

Hits: 610 Continue reading
0 votes
Image Caption

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

Image Caption

1945: Delivered to US Army.

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

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.

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

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.

Image Caption

2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

Image Caption

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

Image Caption

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

Image Caption