A Pitcher of Health, and Reasons to Love Slime

first_imgPitcher plants contain chemicals that just might help medicine and agriculture, reported PhysOrg.  A Japanese team found a myriad of interesting proteins in this “evolutionary marvel,” a plant that eats insect meat.    Now for some slimy good news.  PhysOrg said, “You know algae.  It’s the gunk that collects on the sides of a fish tank when you forget to clean it.  It’s the slime that makes you slip on rocks while crossing a stream.  You probably think of algae as a nuisance, if you even bother to think of it at all.”  How should you love slime?  Let me count the ways.  “Milt Sommerfeld and Qiang Hu [The Laboratory for Algae Research & Biotechnology, University of Arizona] think of algae as one of the most useful substances in existence.”    Here are some of the slimy good things in your future: environmentally friendly fuel, pollution control, food, fertilizer, wastewater treatment and animal feed, among other things.  Algae can take wastewater or manure and convert it into environmentally-friendly biodiesel fuel.    With their flasks and beakers full of green fluid, Sommerfield and Hu are excited about the prospects of harnessing these highly efficient, photosynthetic factories to produce environmentally green solutions to human problems.    Another team is investigating a gene that relieves stress in plants, reported Science Daily.  Why?  It may lead to a cure for cancer.  Agricultural crops more resistant to environmental stress may also be in the offing.    Scientists are still trying to harness the water-splitting power of bacteria to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel.  They’re getting warmer, said a report in PhysOrg.  Five years ago (03/14/2003) and six years ago (10/08/2001), we reported how auto makers were envious of an enzyme called hydrogenase that splits water efficiently without the large expenditure of energy required in artificial processes.  Now, Thomas Wood of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering is corraling barrels of genetically engineered E. coli to work their magic for mankind.  If his reactor can continue to increase its efficiency, you may someday drive a hydrogen car that produces water as waste and runs on sugar.Good science seeks understanding of things with at least one tentacle on how it can help improve our lives.  Why reinvent solutions from scratch when many of them are literally right under our feet?  Think of something yucky around you – mold, maggots, cobwebs, slime – and there is probably a miracle product waiting to be discovered.  Forward-looking, productive science owes nothing to evolutionary theory.  The only “evolutionary marvels” are the professors who cling to a dead, useless ideology.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Recycled cricket gear creates jobs

first_imgThe colourful Kriki for Shore sets are ingeniously constructed from a variety of everyday waste items. Yandiswa Mazwana runs the workshop in Kommetjie.(Images: Steven Booth) MEDIA CONTACTS • Danielle Pannack  CLE Communications  +27 21 762 6001 RELATED ARTICLES • Rugby sewing initiative kicks off • Recycled corks, safer communities • Maasai hope to bowl Cape Town over • Cartridge recycling helps babies • Recycling as a way of lifeJanine ErasmusWith the new Kriki for Shore initiative, cricket-mad and green-minded South Africans can now play their game with the added knowledge that they are helping to clean up our beaches and create jobs in communities.Kriki for Shore produces colourful cricket sets using plastic waste gathered from beaches. Each set consists of a bat, ball, wickets and bails, and an extra wicket for the bowler’s end. It comes in a bag for easy carrying.It’s the successor to the well-received Touch rugby ball project, which provided work for unemployed seamstresses around the period of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The women made rugby balls by hand, using recycled billboards for the outer casing and plastic bags for the stuffing. All material was gathered on the streets of their communities. This gave them an income of up to R200 (US$23) a day, and addressed the waste of both talent and material.“Kriki was designed to address the same issue,” says Thurlow Hanson-Moore, founding partner at social communication company Mbongiworks, a division of creative consultancy Thewinwingroup, “creating useful items out of waste and cleaning up at the same time.”Hanson-Moore is the brains behind Touch and Kriki.Like Touch, Kriki is part of the CSI efforts of Gauteng-based waste management company EnviroServ, through its Play Clean campaign, which aims to put the fun into recycling and reclaiming.“We would like to take the initiative into a new sport every year,” says Hanson-Moore, mentioning football and netball as potential future projects, “so that whatever sport you prefer, when you use your recycled sport set you become an advocate for everything that Kriki stands for.”Interested in a Kriki set? Order yours through the initiative’s Facebook page or Twitter @kriki4shore. You can also email [email protected] or call +27 76 656 8370. Kriki for Shore sets sell for R185 ($21) each, and there are hopes that they will be available in retail stores soon.Turning waste into workEach Kriki for Shore set is made from waste collected by seaside communities in the Western Cape.The waste collection is overseen by the Kommetjie Environmental Action Group (Keag) and is reworked by non-profit Harlequin Foundation into functional items. Harlequin administers the eMzantsi Mapiko project, a community-building entrepreneurship initiative that includes an annual carnival in the suburbs of the peninsula proper.Mapiko recently received a grant from Unesco’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity to the tune of around R719 000 ($81 000), to enable it to expand its reach. Trained workers in recycled art have gone on to work at the Gauteng and Cape Town carnivals.Earlier in the year the workshop was burgled, resulting in the loss of equipment and tools worth thousands of rands. But in October Mapiko was approached by representatives from Keag, asking them to produce the Kriki sets – this helped ease the pain as each Kriki set provides work for two days for an individual.Currently 14 women who are their families’ sole bread winners, as well as six disabled crafters, have benefited from Kriki for Shore, but as more people support the initiative by placing their orders, more community members will receive training.“We are keeping up with all orders,” says Hanson-Moore, “and so far over 400 sets have been made.”The wickets are made from a total of 64 bottle tops joined together, with pipe lengths and wood from the Port Jackson acacia – an exotic species – adding stability, while the bails are constructed from eight bottle top lids with a length of wood down the middle. Bats are creatively made from fabric softener bottles and Port Jackson wood.To date, 6 400 bottle top lids, 400 fabric softener bottles, 6 000cm of Port Jackson and 20 000cm of pipe have been used in the making of Kriki sets.“Besides the job creation aspect, Kriki is functional art,” says Hanson-Moore, “which adds extra appeal.”last_img read more

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awards $25,000 in ag grants

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A new round of almost $25,000 in grants by Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation will help educate consumers about agriculture and energy, develop leaders and provide resources for teachers to teach agriculture in the classroom. The foundation’s Action & Awareness grants are designed to promote and improve Ohio’s agricultural industry as well as local communities. The grants, which ranged from $750 to $9,000, focus on four core areas: economic development, education, environment and the human-animal bond.Her are the grant recipients and projects.AgriPOWER to support programming for the 17 members in Class XII. An elite leadership program created by Ohio Farm Bureau, AgriPOWER is helping develop and train Ohio farmers and representatives from agricultural stakeholders to become effective leaders, spokespersons and advocates for agriculture. Seven AgriPOWER Institutes are held throughout the year with one in Washington, D.C., and the other in another state.Ohio Soybean Council for its Ag Bio-Technology Academy 2020. In June, 30 teachers will participate in a two-workshop designed to promote agriculture careers and provide hands-on, inquiry-based programming focused on integrating an ag bioscience curriculum into high school science classrooms. Teachers will meet agricultural experts in the field and visit various agriculture industries. Each teacher will receive an electrophoresis intro kit.Ohio Energy Project to sponsor educators participating in its professional development workshops, the Energy Sources Tour and Energy Sources Blitz. These programs give teachers behind-the-scenes access to the energy industry by visiting sites involved with the production, generation and distribution of energy around Ohio, as well as the environmental and economic impact of energy use. Teachers receive classroom lessons, curriculum and lab equipment.Ohio Corn Marketing Program to support professional development of 35 Ohio science teachers participating in a two-day “Feed the World” workshop. Teachers will learn about modern agriculture practices in ethanol production, water quality and soil science. Each teacher will receive $350 of supplies to conduct labs in their classrooms.Northwest State Community College Fund for two summer camps that will expand the knowledge of agriculture among northwest Ohio youth. The camps will teach students the fundamentals of agricultural science and its impact in their daily lives, provide information about careers in agriculture and promote mentorship and networking between youth and local agricultural businesses.Summit County Farm Bureau for its annual Farmers Share Breakfast, which typically draws more than 700 people who enjoy breakfast on a farm and hear from local farmers about where their food originates. Two free healthy soil seminars will be held and a canned food drive will help local food banks.Hopewell to support its farm life program for adults with serious mental illness. Residents care for and work with a variety of farm animals on the 300-acre working farm in Mesopotamia. Hopewell is the only residential therapeutic farm community in Ohio and one of only five in the United States.The next application cycle for an Action & Awareness Grant is Jan. 1 to April 30, 2020. Grants may be used for general support, startup funding for new organizations or program expansion. Learn more at ofbf.org/foundation/aagrants/.last_img read more

Vergissmeinnicht – Geocache of the Week

first_img SharePrint Related Difficulty:4Terrain:3 Location:Niedersachsen, GermanyN 52° 28.379′ E 007° 33.964′ Vergissmeinnicht tells the story of Wilhelm, a scientist who is obsessed with building a time machine. After a few failed attempts (one of them leading to the untimely demise of a wiener dog) Wilhelm and his friends, Conrad and Carl Eduard, are ready for another promising test. And while everything looks good at the beginning, a catastrophic failure causes the electricity which powers the time machine to short circuit and go out with a loud bang.Wilhelm was gone — but where in time did he end up?His story is re-discovered when you, the cacher, find a letter from Wilhelm to his lover Sophie, in which he asks her to return to his house, restart the time machine, and set things right. He left clues within the house to help you figure out how to reactivate the time machine and bring Wilhelm back.DiePastorentöchter is a team of six geocachers who found an abandoned house and immediately thought it was a great place to design an elaborate Multi-Cache. They rented the property and developed the background story so the cache had a central theme. Each room was decorated in a different way and contains different challenges for cachers to solve. It took about a year to build everything before the cache was available to the public and the cache owners are still making small refinements to enhance the experience.The cache is designed for a group of three cachers with a maximum of four at the same time, and takes four to six hours to complete. It has accumulated over 1100 Favorite points and is so popular that a reservation is required. Currently, there are no open spots until summer 2020.What is the most impressive geocache that you have found?Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img Multi-CacheGC6Z4NPby DiePastorentöchter Cache owners are the cornerstone of geocaching and many of them spend a lot of time, energy, and money to create memorable caches for the geocaching community. Some cache owners may even rent an entire house and turn it into a Multi-Cache which everyone who visits it will never forget.last_img read more