Iowa’s Earthpark: Rain Forest, Green Hotel And More
October 11, 2007 02:08 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
NEW YORK—Maxon Holdings LLC (Maxon), a leading energy and environmental development company, announced a partnership with Earthpark, North America’s first center for science literacy and the environment. Maxon will provide $10 million of in-kind financial and technical support toward the completion and opening of Earthpark, scheduled to open on Earth Day, 2011. Maxon will give this support through its infrastructure asset financing operations, part of the company’s asset optimization business. Maxon’s contribution will facilitate ongoing support and involvement with educational and research efforts in the areas of global sustainability and restorative living practices.
Drugmakers recall infant cold medicine
October 11, 2007 12:26 PM - Debra Sherman, Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson Wyeth and other makers of infants' nonprescription cough and cold products are recalling certain medicines in the United States because of the danger of overdose, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association said on Thursday.
Novartis and Prestige Brands Holdings are recalling their oral infant cough and cold medicines, as well, because data show that when the medicines are misused, it can lead to overdose, especially in children under 2 years old.
At least one U.S. pharmacy pulled the products from its shelves. CVS Pharmacy said it will immediately remove those recalled medicines and store-brand equivalents.
A spokeswoman for Consumer Healthcare, a trade association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines, said overdoses have led to death and serious injury in rare instances, but stressed that the medications are safe when used as directed.
Earth Getting Wetter and Stickier, Researchers Say
October 11, 2007 08:39 AM - Reuters
Greenhouse gases are making the earth's atmosphere wetter and stickier, which may lead to more powerful hurricanes, hotter temperatures and heavier rainfall in tropical regions, British researchers reported on Wednesday.
The findings, published in the journal Nature, are some of the first to show how human-produced greenhouse gases have affected global humidity levels in recent decades and could offer clues on future climate change, the researchers said.
Norway leads, US lags on environment policy-report
October 11, 2007 08:36 AM - Reuters
Norway leads and the United States trails on a list of 21 wealthy nations when it comes to environmental policy, according to an annual index by the Washington-based Center for Global Development.
The index looked at such things as global warming gas emissions and low gasoline taxes that encourage consumption when it came to the environment, which is one of seven areas that make up the Commitment to Development Index, or CDI.
Vocal Joystick uses voice to surf the Web
October 10, 2007 05:50 PM - Hannah Hickey, University of Washington
Washington - Doctoral student Brandi House uses Vocal Joystick to control the movement of a robotic arm. The screen on the lower right shows how the software analyzes her vocalizations to create instructions for the arm's movement.
The Internet offers wide appeal to people with disabilities. But many of those same people find it frustrating or impossible to use a handheld mouse. Software developed at the University of Washington provides an alternative using the oldest and most versatile mode of communication: the human voice.
"There are many people who have perfect use of their voice who don't have use of their hands and arms," said Jeffrey Bilmes, a UW associate professor of electrical engineering. "I think there are several reasons why Vocal Joystick might be a better approach, or at least a viable alternative, to brain-computer interfaces." The tool's latest developments will be presented this month in Tempe, Ariz. at the Assets Conference on Computers and Accessibility.
Lead found in toys, backpacks in U.S. stores:
October 10, 2007 12:44 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Curious George doll bought at Toys "R" Us was found to be tainted with 10 times the legally-allowed lead level, and vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks also had high amounts of lead, the nonprofit group Center for Environmental Health said on Wednesday.
The Curious George doll found with high amounts of lead was made by Marvel Entertainment Group Inc, the Oakland, California-based group said in a statement. A Marvel spokesman said he was unaware of the advocacy group's finding and had no immediate comment.
Millions of toys made in China have been recalled over the last three months due to unsafe levels of lead paint, which is toxic and can pose serious health risks, including brain damage, in children.
The Center for Environmental Health also said it found high lead levels in vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks made by Sassafras Enterprises of Chicago.
Nintendo to launch Wii Fit game
October 10, 2007 09:58 AM - Reuters
Nintendo Co Ltd said on Wednesday it would start selling its "Wii Fit" home fitness game in Japan in time for the critical year-end shopping season, sending its shares to a record high.
Nintendo's announcement comes just a day after Sony Corp said it would cut the price of its PlayStation 3 by 10 percent in Japan and launch a new, lower-priced PS3 model, to battle Nintendo's dominance.
Britons top table of carbon emissions from planes
October 10, 2007 09:53 AM - Reuters
Britons are the world's worst offenders when it comes to carbon emissions from air travel, according to figures published on Wednesday by market research company Global TGI.Not only are Britain's average air emissions per adult the highest out of the 20 countries covered at 603 kg per year, they are also a third higher than second-placed Ireland's 434 kg and more than double the 275 kg from third-placed Americans.
China "e" bikes silently drive lead demand
October 10, 2007 09:48 AM - Lucy Hornby -Reuters
As the red light changes, Han Zhang turns the handlebar of his battery-driven bike, pushes off with his foot, and whirrs silently along a Beijing boulevard.
His yellow bike looks like something between a bicycle and a scooter, but to the lead industry, he's driving a car.
Laborers happily scrap "toxic" ship
October 10, 2007 09:45 AM - Rupam Jain Nair -Reuters
After over a year of protests by environmentalists, poor workers in west India have happily begun dismantling a controversial cruise liner, ignoring potentially serious risks to their health. The breaking of the 46,000-ton Blue Lady was given the go-ahead by India's Supreme Court last month after a long-running legal battle led by environmentalists, who said the Norwegian ship contained 900 tons of toxic waste like asbestos.