• One million people still without power after Northeast storm

    About 1 million people remained without power in the Northeast on Wednesday after an uncommonly robust and deadly fall snowstorm last weekend pounded a half-dozen states and sparked widespread outages. As the snow was steadily melting across the region, utility crews struggled to restore electricity to many towns because of complications from fallen trees that tangled lines. The bad weather has been blamed for at least 15 fatalities, mostly due to slippery roads but also from unvented toxic fumes in homes where people were running alternative power sources, such as gas generators and propane stoves. Officials across New England pleaded with residents to exercise extreme caution when using such devices, as two more deaths were blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning on Tuesday in Massachusetts. A 57-year old man, a 22-year-old woman, and two dogs perished from toxic fumes in a home in Palmer, Massachusetts in an incident officials said was related to the storm. The source was a propane canister with a heating attachment that was running in the home for many hours. >> Read the Full Article
  • Of Mice and Men

    Mice are often used to test whether substances in food are harmful to humans. This requires that mice and humans metabolize substances in the same way. This may not be perfectly true (after all mice and men are different). The health risk associated with harmful substances in food may therefore be underestimated. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have adopted a mouse type where human enzymes have been inserted to examine whether people may be more sensitive to certain carcinogenic substances from heat-treated foods. They have obtained a better model to assess negative health effects in humans from substances in food using these mice. >> Read the Full Article
  • Happiness Associated With Longer Life

    Happy people don't just enjoy life; they're likely to live longer, too. A new study has found that those in better moods were 35% less likely to die in the next 5 years when taking their life situations into account. >> Read the Full Article
  • Zombie Attack

    Can or do zombies exist? How can they and what are they? Zombie is a Haitian term used to denote an animated corpse brought back to life by mystical means such as witchcraft. It has evolved since then. The term is often figuratively applied to describe a hypnotized or infected person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli. Since the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, especially in North American and European folklore and urban legend. The living dead are a year-round affair these days, and not just in movies. Around the world, a growing number of people are dressing up as zombies for parties, festivals, walks and pub-crawls in every season. To explain the undying boom in all things zombie, experts point to the versatility of zombies as a metaphor. >> Read the Full Article
  • Social Enterprise in Korea to Create Jobs for People with Disabilities

    Goodwill Industries International in South Korea is on a mission to build a successful social enterprise model that will provide jobs for people with disabilities. Goodwill Industries, in partnership with the Together Foundation, has come up with a entrepreneurial growth plan that includes the launching of 100 new stores that will serve 3,000 people with disabilities and create 1,000 jobs for them over the next five years. >> Read the Full Article
  • Everything you might want to know about Carbon Offsets

    Companies, and individuals concerned with their impact on climate try a number of measures to reduce their emissions of air pollutants which impact the greenhouse effect of our atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is the reality that our atmosphere traps a portion of the heat we get from the sun, and from fires (both natural and man made) and other anthropgenic heat sources. Some of the gasses released by our industrialization, home heating and cooling, and transportation activities contribute to the atmosphere trapping more heat than would occur in the absence of these activities. There are emissions which CANNOT be eliminated or reduced as much as we would like. For these, companies turn to Carbon Offsets. What are Carbon Offsets? When companies or individuals purchase Carbon Offsets they are paying someone else to reduce THEIR carbon emissions (a major contributor to global warming). There are companies which assist other companies and individuals in purchasing Carbon Offsets. As in any new market, there is a learning curve for participants. Are the offsets real, are the being sold more than once? These and other questions illustrate how much needs to be learned. >> Read the Full Article
  • Why Population Matters to the environment

    Environmentalists agree on the issues facing us, including collapsing diversity, climate change and resource insecurity. We also agree on the causal factors, including pollution, invasive species, resource over-exploitation, waste, population growth, global industrialisation, unsustainable consumption and poor business practices. Solutions are harder. None will solve all our problems and all face obstacles and opposition. Technological solutions, such as biofuels, fracking, shale oil, GM foods and nuclear have side effects, while renewables have limited scope. Environmentally conscious lifestyles, including less waste, travel and consumption, are increasingly adopted, but the impact may by limited given the billions seeking to improve their low living standards. Changes to corporate and governmental practices have occurred, but are far from universal, particularly in the developing world. In my lifetime, human numbers have grown from 3 billion in 1960 to 7 billion today. By 2085, they are projected to grow to 10 billion. One can argue about the impact this makes, but it clearly does not help. We believe that a smaller population would help us to preserve the environment and live within the limit of renewable resources, as part of a comprehensive approach to the environment and sustainability. Most would agree that improving living standards for the poor, women's rights and access to health, including family planning, are desirable and they all tend to lead to women choosing to have smaller families. We would argue that aid for family planning to developing countries should be prioritised, both for environmental reasons and because it contributes to poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment and better health. While individual consumption in those countries is low, growing populations do affect the environment and they will not always be poor as the world industrialises. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Benefit of Aspirin: Preventing Cancer

    Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. It is proven to lower fevers, relieve minor aches and pains, and to reduce inflammation. It also has the long-term use of preventing heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots due to its antiplatelet characteristic, which prevents blood from clotting too large within the blood vessel. A new study from Queen's University in Belfast has found that the regular intake of aspirin can lower the risk of developing hereditary cancer by 50 percent. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tens of thousands flee Bangkok as flooding continues

    Traffic clogged roads out of the Thai capital Friday as tens of thousands of people fled ahead of a high tide expected to worsen floods that have inundated factories and prompted foreign governments to warn their citizens to stay away. The main concern is that Bangkok's Chao Phraya River will burst its banks over the weekend during the unusually high tide that begins Friday. Buildings across Bangkok have been sand-bagged for protection, and some vulnerable streets were nearly deserted. Thailand's worst flooding in half a century, caused in part by unusually heavy monsoon rain, has killed 377 people since mid-July and disrupted the lives of nearly 2.2 million, until now mostly in the north and central provinces. Television footage showed cars and trucks bumper-to-bumper leaving the city and the main airport's departure lounges packed, but the traffic department said it could not put an exact figure on the size of the Bangkok exodus because much of its monitoring equipment was under water. >> Read the Full Article
  • Five of the best eco friendly shampoos

    All are surfactant, pollutant and paraben free but which eco shampoo is best? Ruth Styles put them to the test Much has been said and written about surfactants in shower gels and dodgy colorings in lipstick, but one beauty product that is commonly overlooked is shampoo. But shampoo and other haircare products are one of the beauty industry’s biggest earners, with some to be found in every bathroom in the country. Not surprisingly, annual sales figures are impressive, with haircare worth around £712 million a year, 41 per cent of which comes from shampoo. >> Read the Full Article