Category Archives: ATTRA

You’re probably going to be driving an electric car soon.

While we’re all talking about IQ tests, here’s a math problem: Imagine you’re a tree with 56 apples to take care of. One day, a massive storm comes and knocks out about four of those apples. They’re all on the ground now, kind of smushed.

But one of those apples didn’t have the same advantages as the other ones — too many pesticides growing up, let’s say — and it’s extra-smushed. It is also $74 billion in debt. (You may ask: Who loaned an apple $74 billion? Hedge funds have long embraced predatory lending practices, but that’s a math problem for another time.)

Anyway — as the tree, it’s your job to get those apples back in shape. You decide to allocate $36.5 billion in fallen-apple assistance. But only $5 billion specifically goes to that extra-smushed, indebted apple, and then that apple has to pay it back. It has to share about $14 billion with the other less-indebted and -smushed apples.

Surprise! This isn’t really a math problem — it’s an ethics problem. The tree is the United States government, the apples are all of its states and territories, the smushed apples are Florida, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the extra-smushed apple is Puerto Rico. Donald Trump’s self-lauded aid plan for the ailing and indebted territory is a loan.

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You’re probably going to be driving an electric car soon.

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California’s out-of-control wildfires are officially the worst in state history.

While we’re all talking about IQ tests, here’s a math problem: Imagine you’re a tree with 56 apples to take care of. One day, a massive storm comes and knocks out about four of those apples. They’re all on the ground now, kind of smushed.

But one of those apples didn’t have the same advantages as the other ones — too many pesticides growing up, let’s say — and it’s extra-smushed. It is also $74 billion in debt. (You may ask: Who loaned an apple $74 billion? Hedge funds have long embraced predatory lending practices, but that’s a math problem for another time.)

Anyway — as the tree, it’s your job to get those apples back in shape. You decide to allocate $36.5 billion in fallen-apple assistance. But only $5 billion specifically goes to that extra-smushed, indebted apple, and then that apple has to pay it back. It has to share about $14 billion with the other less-indebted and -smushed apples.

Surprise! This isn’t really a math problem — it’s an ethics problem. The tree is the United States government, the apples are all of its states and territories, the smushed apples are Florida, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the extra-smushed apple is Puerto Rico. Donald Trump’s self-lauded aid plan for the ailing and indebted territory is a loan.

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California’s out-of-control wildfires are officially the worst in state history.

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Wind energy over the oceans could power the world, geophysicists say.

Sorry to ruin the party, but a report from the Food Climate Research Network casts doubt on recent suggestions that pasture-raised cattle could sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil.

By nibbling plants and stimulating new root growth, the old argument goes, cows can encourage deeper root networks, which suck up more carbon. Proponents of grass-fed meat have embraced these findings, saying that pasture-raised livestock could mitigate the impact of meat consumption on the environment.

The new report — cleverly titled “Grazed and Confused?” — acknowledges that pastured cattle can be carbon negative, but this depends on the right soil and weather conditions. In most places, according to the report, grazers produce much more greenhouse gas than they add to the ground. It is an “inconvenient truth,” the authors write, that most studies show grass-fed beef has a bigger carbon footprint than feedlot meat. “Increasing grass-fed ruminant numbers is, therefore, a self-defeating climate strategy,” the report concludes.

Fortunately, grass-fed beef is not the only solution being bandied about: Research shows that a small dose of seaweed in livestock feed could drastically reduce methane emissions. And if you really want to reduce your impact on the climate you could, you know, stop eating meat.

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Wind energy over the oceans could power the world, geophysicists say.

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Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

Sorry to ruin the party, but a report from the Food Climate Research Network casts doubt on recent suggestions that pasture-raised cattle could sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil.

By nibbling plants and stimulating new root growth, the old argument goes, cows can encourage deeper root networks, which suck up more carbon. Proponents of grass-fed meat have embraced these findings, saying that pasture-raised livestock could mitigate the impact of meat consumption on the environment.

The new report — cleverly titled “Grazed and Confused?” — acknowledges that pastured cattle can be carbon negative, but this depends on the right soil and weather conditions. In most places, according to the report, grazers produce much more greenhouse gas than they add to the ground. It is an “inconvenient truth,” the authors write, that most studies show grass-fed beef has a bigger carbon footprint than feedlot meat. “Increasing grass-fed ruminant numbers is, therefore, a self-defeating climate strategy,” the report concludes.

Fortunately, grass-fed beef is not the only solution being bandied about: Research shows that a small dose of seaweed in livestock feed could drastically reduce methane emissions. And if you really want to reduce your impact on the climate you could, you know, stop eating meat.

Visit site:  

Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

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Chaos – James Gleick

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Chaos

Making a New Science (Enhanced Edition)

James Gleick

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: March 22, 2011

Publisher: Open Road Media

Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC


The blockbuster modern science classic that, two decades ago, introduced the butterfly effect to the world and became an international sensation—now updated with video and modern graphics In the 1960s, a small group of radical thinkers upset the rigid foundation of modern scientific thinking by placing new importance on the tiny experimental irregularities that scientists had long learned to ignore. Miniscule differences in data, they said, would eventually produce massive ones—and complex systems like the weather, economics, and human behavior suddenly became clearer and more beautiful than they had ever been before. In this updated version of his seminal work, James Gleick lays out that new vision of a chaotic universe. Interviews with leading theoreticians, a video introduction from the author, and motion graphics depicting concepts such as the famous Lorenz attractor—the concept that birthed chaos theory—complement Gleick’s elegant prose. Never before has chaos been so easy to grasp. “Beautifully lucid . . . Gleick has a novelist’s touch for describing his scientists and their settings, an eye for the apt analogy, and a sense of the dramatic and the poetic.”— San Francisco Chronicle   “There is a teleological grandeur about this new math that gives the imagination wings.”— Vogue   “Gleick's Chaos is not only enthralling and precise, but full of beautifully strange and strangely beautiful ideas.”—Douglas Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach  Born in New York City in 1954, James Gleick is one of the nation’s preeminent science writers. Upon graduating from Harvard in 1976, he founded Metropolis , a weekly Minneapolis newspaper, and spent the next decade working at the New York Times . Gleick’s prominent works include Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman , Isaac Newton , and Chaos: Making a New Science , all of which were shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood ,was published in March 2011. He lives and works in New York.

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Chaos – James Gleick

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The Many Benefits of Swale Landscaping

Does your property have excessive runoff from rainwater or melting snow? All that liquid can not only make your yard a soupy mess, it may even threaten the structural stability of your home. Digging a swale in your yard will reduce or eliminate this serious problem. A swale will also help conserve water and create a lovely, low maintenance landscape for your home.

What is a swale and why build one on your property?

The landscaping term ?swale? refers to a shallow trench, which may be dug on a property for 3 important related purposes:

  1. to catch storm water
  2. to direct the water away from your home
  3. to slow the water?s movement so it can be gradually absorbed into the ground

A swale usually is designed to follow the natural contours of the surrounding landscape, often with a berm (a human-made ridge of earth, which may be sown with plantings for stability) along the lower edge.

A driveway swale flanks your drive on one or both sides, in order to keep runoff from flowing into your garage or your home.

A swale may be combined with underground piping to handle your roof runoff.

The standard swale dimensions generally range from 6-18 inches deep and 8-24 inches wide, depending on the volume of water you are dealing with.

The many benefits of swale landscaping

Digging a swale will benefit your landscape in a number of ways. You will:

Avoid storm water pooling around your house and prevent damage to the foundation.
Help hold off flooding of your house, garage, and yard ? and perhaps your neighbor?s property.
Reduce soil erosion and loss of high quality top soil.
Collect rainwater much more easily than with a barrel or tank system.
?Recycle? rainwater to irrigate your garden, for a flourishing low maintenance landscape.

Before you start to dig a swale

Contact a one-call center for clearance before you begin swale construction, or any other home improvement that involves digging. Otherwise, you run the risk of hitting underground utility pipes or cables … and the hefty fine that can result.

In addition, check with the building authority in your area to see whether you?ll need a permit for the job. Many local governments have enacted strict laws concerning landscaping work that could possibly affect the groundwater system.

Consult a professional landscape contractor to plan and implement your project in the best and greenest way.

A swale as part of your landscape design

Plan your landscape design to include your swale. Make sure that any new feature you install, such as a fence, will not block the flow of runoff through the swale.

The swale does not need to be an unappealing stretch of bare earth. You can seed it with grass, but be sure that your swale?s sloping sides won?t make it too difficult to mow your new patch of lawn. An alternative is to plant it with low care wetland species such as cattails or lovely marsh hibiscus.

You might prefer to line the swale with nice-looking pea gravel or river rocks. Besides permitting storm water to infiltrate the soil more efficiently, small stones will give your swale the attractive appearance of a dry creek bed.

Finally, permeable pavers are perfect for stabilizing the bottom of a swale which will double as a garden walkway during the dry season.

By Laura Firszt, Networx.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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The Many Benefits of Swale Landscaping

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That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion – Rachel Herz PhD PhD

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That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion

Rachel Herz PhD PhD

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: January 23, 2012

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


"A lively look at all things revolting." —New York Times Book Review Why do we watch horror movies? What is the best way to persuade someone to quit smoking? And what on earth is the appeal of competitive eating? In this lively, colorful book, Rachel Herz answers these questions and more, shedding light on an incredible range of human traits—from food preferences and sexual attraction to moral codes and political ideology—by examining them through the lens of a fascinating subject: disgust. Combining lucid scientific explanations and fascinating research with a healthy dose of humor, That’s Disgusting illuminates issues that are central to our lives: love, hate, fear, empathy, prejudice, humor, and happiness.

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That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion – Rachel Herz PhD PhD

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The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth – Richard Conniff

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The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth
Richard Conniff

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: November 1, 2010

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Seller: W. W. Norton


The story of bold adventurers who risked death to discover strange life forms in the farthest corners of planet Earth. Beginning with Linnaeus, a colorful band of explorers made it their mission to travel to the most perilous corners of the planet and bring back astonishing new life forms. They attracted followers ranging from Thomas Jefferson, who laid out mastodon bones on the White House floor, to twentieth-century doctors who used their knowledge of new species to conquer epidemic diseases. Acclaimed science writer Richard Conniff brings these daredevil “species seekers” to vivid life. Alongside their globe-spanning tales of adventure, he recounts some of the most dramatic shifts in the history of human thought. At the start, everyone accepted that the Earth had been created for our benefit. We weren’t sure where vegetable ended and animal began, we couldn’t classify species, and we didn’t understand the causes of disease. But all that changed as the species seekers introduced us to the pantheon of life on Earth—and our place within it.

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The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth – Richard Conniff

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10 Hot Ideas for a Drought-Resistant Garden

Cutting back on water doesn?t mean the end of your garden. You can take many steps to reduce the water needs of your yard without sacrificing beauty or practicality. Try some of these suggestions to make your garden more resilient in the face of drought and summer heat.

1. Prepare your soil appropriately.

Organic matter helps your soil retain water as well as supplying nutrition for your plants. It?s best to mix compost, manure, shredded leaves, lawn clippings or other organic materials into your soil before you plant anything.

An exception to this rule is when you?re planting plants that are native to desert areas. Cacti, succulents, agaves and similar plants have adapted to living in dry soils, which are typically low in nutrients. You don?t need to add any extra organic matter for these plants, using regular topsoil is fine.

2. Install permeable surfaces.

Pathways and driveways made from materials like pebbles, bark chips or irregular stones will allow rainfall to pass through and absorb into your ground. Whereas, solid cement or pavement surfaces often direct extra rainwater onto the street instead of capturing it on your property.

3. Choose water-wise plants.

You don?t have to limit yourself when deciding what to plant in your garden. Many modern hybrids and varieties of plants are bred to be drought-resistant.

Using plants native to your area is another great option. These will already be well-adapted to your local climate and able to withstand water fluctuations.

The Okanagan Xeriscape Association has an excellent plant database of many different drought-resistant annual and perennial flowers, as well as shrubs and trees. You can also ask your local garden center for recommendations.

Related: Best Drought-Resistant Plants for Your Garden

4. Reduce or remove your lawn.

Watering the lawn uses about 50 to 75 percent of a home?s water use during the summer. And this is usually treated, drinkable water. You could significantly reduce your water costs and conserve this precious resource by simply removing unneeded areas of lawn, or cutting it out altogether.

If you use your lawn as an area for recreation, consider putting in synthetic lawn or other material that doesn?t require water. There are also alternative groundcovers that can handle some foot traffic and need less water, such as thyme, clover, creeping Jenny, yarrow or chamomile.

5. Cover your ground.

Exposed soil will lose more water to evaporation than soil covered in some way. Groundcover plants, rocks, wood chips or other mulches add an attractive layer over your soil and keep in moisture.

Related: Which Type of Mulch is Best for Your Garden?

6. Provide shade.

An extra layer of protection overtop your garden will block the sun and reduce evaporation from the ground. Structures, like arbors, raised decks, gazebos and pergolas, can all provide needed shade for plants and animals.

Planting drought-tolerant trees and shrubs is another great option. Ginkgo, red maple, hawthorn, honey locust and western redbud are all trees that can handle limited water. Hardy bushes include butterfly bush, lilac, rose of Sharon, holly, forsythia and sumac.

7. Water selectively.

When you?re planning or rearranging your garden, always try to group plants according to their watering needs. For example, vegetables or fruit trees need adequate water to develop their crops. You can easily group these together in one area of your garden, leaving the other areas to more water-wise plantings and pathways.

An automatic watering system can also be helpful. You can design the system to deliver water exactly where it?s needed and nowhere else. An automatic system can also prevent overwatering. These guidelines can help determine how much to water your plants.

8. Collect rain water.

Rain water can be collected in anything from a bucket to an underground cistern. Regardless of the amount, saved water can be put to use around your garden and will help reduce your water bills.

You can also design your garden to passively collect rainwater. Try placing plants at the bottoms of your eavestroughs or next to rocks and pavers to catch the runoff.

Related: 10 Uses for Rainwater

9. Weed your garden.

Weeds take precious water away from the plants you want to grow. Weeds are much easier to remove when they?re small, so short patrols of your yard to remove weed seedlings on a regular basis are actually more efficient than putting off weeding until it becomes a large project.

10. Build raised beds.

Certain types of raised beds are excellent for retaining water despite being more exposed to the elements.

Keyhole beds are typically circular, raised beds with a composting tube through the middle and a notch in the side. They look like keyholes when viewed from above. Keyhole beds were developed by a humanitarian aid organization in southern Africa, where they were proven to effectively grow food crops in their unforgiving climate.

H?gelkultur is a style of making raised beds filled with decomposing wood. The wood provides long-term organic matter and nutrients to the plants planted overtop. It also stores water. RichSoil has detailed instructions on how to build a h?gelkultur bed.

Related
How to Create a Wildflower Garden
Best Annual Flowers That Bloom All Season
9 Mistakes to Avoid When Planting a New Vegetable Garden
20 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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10 Hot Ideas for a Drought-Resistant Garden

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Edible Landscaping: A Delicious Way to Garden

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Edible Landscaping: A Delicious Way to Garden

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