• Food Security Collapses in Haiti as Machete-Wielding Gangs Fight in the Streets

    Overnight, Haiti has gone from an organized, civil nation to a scenario of total chaos with gangs running wild through the streets, ransacking shops and fighting over food with machetes. Learning this, many an ignorant westerner might naively say, "That could only happen in Haiti. It's because those people are so poor, so uncivilized. It could never happen here..." Oh but it could. Haiti isn't so different from wherever you live -- a city in America, Canada, Australia, the UK or anywhere else. >> Read the Full Article
  • Haiti Relief Update

    The United Nations in New York is sharing its internal situation reports on Haiti relief efforts with the media. ENN is publishing key points of the first report we received and recommends readers to follow the developing news and where possible to contribute to the relief efforts. The UN United States Fund has waived all administrative fees for anyone donating to Haiti relief efforts, so that 100% of every dollar donated will go directly to save the children of Haiti. http://www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake >> Read the Full Article
  • Radon in Homes an Invisible Danger

    Many areas of the US have high background radon levels in the ground. When radon gets into a home it can increase the resident's cancer risk. How does radon get into a home? The most common way is through cracks in basement floors, walls, and sump pump sumps. In the winter, if a furnace or boiler is in the basement, the chimney can act as a depressurization device since combustion air is vented to the outdoors. If the basement is tight, and there is no source of combustion air, the heating system (and water heater too) can depressurize the basement. If there is radon in the soil gas below the house, this depressurization will increase radon infiltration through cracks and sumps. Another infiltration route is through groundwater. In areas with elevated radon in rock formations, and in homes using on-site wells for water, the water carries radon into the shower where it vaporizes to gaseous radon. January is National Radon Action Month, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is touting three initiatives to raise awareness about the risks of radon. >> Read the Full Article
  • Rats, Humans and Strokes

    A stroke (sometimes called an acute cerebrovascular attack) is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field. Two new studies by UC Irvine biologists have found that a protein naturally occurring in humans restores motor function in rats after a stroke. Administered directly to the brain, the protein restores 99 percent of lost movement; if it's given through the nose, 70 percent of lost movement is regained. Untreated rats improve by only 30 percent. >> Read the Full Article
  • Why Do Most People Feel Happier on the Weekend?

    From construction laborers and secretaries to physicians and lawyers, people experience better moods, greater vitality, and fewer aches and pains from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, concludes the first study of daily mood variation in employed adults to be published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. And that 'weekend effect' is largely associated with the freedom to choose one's activities and the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, the research found. >> Read the Full Article
  • Haiti Earthquake: Why did it Happen?

    The major earthquake that struck Haiti Tuesday may have shocked a region unaccustomed to such temblors, but the devastating quake was not unusual in that it was caused by the same forces that generate earthquakes the world over. In this case, the shaking was triggered by much the same mechanism that shakes cities along California's San Andreas fault. The 7.0-magnitude Haiti earthquake would be a strong, potentially destructive earthquake anywhere, but it is an unusually strong event for Haiti, with even more potential destructive impact because of the weak infrastructure of the impoverished nation. >> Read the Full Article
  • Processed foods contribute to obesity in Guatemala

    The increase in consumption of processed foods contributes significantly to the high rate of obesity and overweight in Guatemala, the ninth poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to study published in the Journal Health Economics (December edition 2009). Obesity and overweight, some of the major risk factors for death from non-contagious diseases, is increasing in developing countries due to dietary changes. In the past, it was preferable to consume staple foods and whole grains, now the trend is to eat highly processed foods, high in salt, sugar and saturated fat, and with few fibers and other essential nutrients. >> Read the Full Article
  • Parking Lot Problems

    Coal tar based seal coat, which is the black, shiny substance sprayed or painted on many parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds, has been linked to higher concentrations of the contaminants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in house dust. Apartments with adjacent parking lots treated with the coal-tar based seal coat have house dust with much higher concentrations of PAHs than apartments next to other types of parking lots according to new research released today on-line by Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T). The main purpose of using a quality sealer is that the sealer coats the asphalt surface protecting it from harmful ultra violet as well as road salts and engine oils which dissolve the asphalt and create soft spots. If untreated areas are ignored, deterioration will occur and you will end up spending much more money trying to patch and repair the asphalt than if you properly maintain it. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tilapia Found to be Invasive in Fiji

    The poster child for sustainable fish farming—the tilapia—is actually a problematic invasive species for the native fish of the islands of Fiji, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups. Scientists suspect that tilapia introduced to the waterways of the Fiji Islands may be gobbling up the larvae and juvenile fish of several native species of goby, fish that live in both fresh and salt water and begin their lives in island streams. >> Read the Full Article
  • Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Hits Haiti

    The earthquake that has hit Haiti, raising fears that thousands have been killed, is the latest in a long line of natural disasters to befall a country ill equipped to deal with such events. Hurricanes and flooding are perennial concerns for the poorest country in the western hemisphere, which has time and again been dependent on foreign aid in emergencies. >> Read the Full Article