Experiment Confirms Space-Time Vortex Around Earth




In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein postulated a theory of gravitation he called Relativity. In it, he said a bunch of seemingly crazy things about light bending, objects with mass dragging space and time along with them, and how the universe is hurtling away from itself–an expansion occurring at the speed of light. According to NASA, another facet of his theory has now been verified.

for more read: Experiment Confirms Space-Time Vortex Around Earth, Makes Our Heads Hurt | PCWorld.

The State of Food

Tomato by Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden on Flickr

Food is often a topic of discussion, everyone needs it, everyone has their own taste, and in the world today much of the food can rarely be classified as such. As a former vegetarian of ten years, I still eat as healthy as possible, not just to eat healthy but because it usually tastes better. Food that is grown organically nearby is by no doubt fresher than anything that travels thousands of miles refrigerated or chalk full of preservatives. One lesson I’ve learned over the years is, “If you can’t say it, don’t eat it.” Jamie Oliver illustrates that well in this video.

More often than not I choose to eat alternatives to meat as I feel they go better with some meals. Many dishes we eat didn’t have meat in them until they were americanized, that is why I choose tofu when I cook stir fry, cook an all veggie curry, or go for many other vegetarian style dishes. When I do eat meat I look for locally raised meat that has been treated with respect. I do my best to avoid fast food, but the life of a musician leads to eating on the road and it is hard to convince a bunch of guys with little money to eat healthy, in fact I am often the butt end of a joke for doing so. After seeing a video like this, it is really hard to bring yourself to eat fast food again…

It just goes to show how the mentality of today is screwed up when it comes to food. People go for what is cheep and easy without thinking twice about what is in their meals. What is considered cheap now can lead to health problems and expensive hospital bills. People also go for what they know, afraid to try new things they stay in a cycle of eating unhealthily without giving anything else a chance.

I lived a sheltered life for many years in the City of Madison, Wisconsin where in many of the neighborhoods I lived, it was the norm to eat healthy. There was a wonderful food coop a short walk away that I tended to use as my pantry, I was there almost every day. To top it off, every Saturday there is a large farmer’s market down on the Capital Square.

Then I moved away and soon realized that Madison is abnormal. I knew this in the back of my mind, but it hit home when I went to the grocery store in the little town of Weyauwega and couldn’t find anything I was used to. I found the closest grocery that had rice milk was 20 minutes away.

Living in Appleton, isn’t as bad. Most grocery stores have natural food isles and there is the Free Market and Red Radish that remind me of a smaller versions of the Willy Street Coop in Madison. There are a few Farmer’s Markets and local CSA farms as well. We also have a small garden to supplement our groceries.

When eating out we often choose The Stone Cellar Brewpub for they cook locally grown meat and vegetables as well as compost their leftovers. They even give up their used grains from brewing to the farms where they get their meat to use as feed for the animals.

If you noticed, I have been trying to chose my words wisely in this post. I don’t always eat the healthiest foods, nor do I always eat organic and free range, but I do try to whenever possible. I try to respect my body as well as other people’s cooking. I’m not trying to tell people what to eat, I’m just giving reasons to why I eat the way I do, and if someone chooses to learn from my habits and the information presented in this post I’l be happy.

Other resources:

Local Havest – “The best organic food is what’s grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.”

Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution Hulu Website

Food Inc. “An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.” Netflix IMDB

Super Size Me “Morgan Spurlock explores the consequences of a one month diet of solely McDonald’s food.” Netflix IMDB

Adventures in Backpacking

Across the Swinging BridgeEvery once in a while we like to get out of the city, far away from the hustle and bustle. We tend to go a bit further than most. With everything we need strapped to our backs, we head a few miles into the woods to really get away.

Jada's first Expedition

We began our trek into Jay Cook State Park, just west of Duluth, Minnesota and south of the Thomson Reservoir, a powerhouse that expands 3 miles outward. It was quite a site as we prepared to pack as little supplies necessary for ourselves and our daughter. We started out with a full carload of supplies and narrowed our necessities down to two night packs. Having our daughter along for the hike appeared to present challenges to a ranger on duty, who offered us a closer, more convenient site to camp at. We were confident we could hike the two miles, regardless.

Which Way?

Accumulating the gear for trips like this can take awhile. Zach bought a tent and backpack from REI last summer for our trip into the Sawtooth mountains and Sarah just picked up a new pack from Outdoor Outlet last week. Zach’s pack weighs 4 lbs. 4 oz. and holds 65 liters while Sarah’s pack holds 48 liters and is 3 lbs. 6 oz. The bulk of both packs are taken up by a pair of low priced 3 lb sleeping bags (the next thing on the list to replace). The Tent weighs in at 4 lbs. 15 oz. and Zach has a 7 oz. therm-a-rest pillow that compacts down to save space while Sarah uses a pillow case full of clothes. To make sleeping a bit more comfortable, Zach just picked up a sleeping pad that only weighs 1.5 lbs. For those times when a fire doesn’t work for cooking, ie during the hike or if weather doesn’t permit, Zach has a little stove, pot, and silverware. Both packs hold a 2 liter water reservoir and have a slot on either side to make the straw readily available. We generally carry an extra water bottle or two for cooking and one for Jada. Add some extra clothes, food, a first-aid kit, and our camera to round out each load at about 25 lbs. The duty of carrying a 30+ lb. girl after she could no longer walk on her own was shared between the two of us, either on Zach’s shoulders or in a carrier on Sarah’s belly.

Traveling in Style

The trail to the backcountry campsite led us down a newly paved path to a long bridge that swings nearly 40′ above the crashing tidal waters of the St. Louis River. As we crossed the swinging bridge, we began hiking up rolling hills that crossed paths with various life forms. Among many trees were the box elder, quaking aspen, and black ash. The sites and scents of the abundant wildflowers were a great pleasure. Jada, our daughter enjoyed picking the brightly colored flowers in amazement along the way. The columbine wildflower is an attractive  blossom that occurs in May-June, it’s nectar is known to attract various hummingbirds. During the hike we often caught eye of a symbol of happiness, the eastern bluebird. This we certainly experienced in fullness.

Everything is a Jungle

By far this was the furthest our 1 1/2 year old daughter Jada had ever hiked. She soon tired out and fell asleep, cradled in our arms. Once we arrived at our destination, Silver Creek, she woke up from her peaceful slumber. She then proceded to turn the campsite into a Jungle Gym as there were planks of wood laid across stumps to form benches, a natural born gymnest 🙂 She also found the creek entertaining, making it her mission to throw every pebble into the water to watch it splash.

Home Sweet Home

Waiting for us at the site was a stack of firewood, so we were saved from having to gather some ourselves. With a fire going we heated up the chili and rice that we had brought with and opened a bottle of wine. We had brought just enough to eat so we didn’t weigh down our packs. We also chose to finish the wine so we could lighten the load for the trip back.

Sitting By the Creek

The creek nearby provided the perfect soundtrack to fall asleep. After we had all laid down Jada proceeded to tell us a tale with great enthusiasm. We figured that she was telling us all about everything she had seen and how much fun she was having. She eventually wound down and only woke up once when she was hungry for some milk. Zach got up out of the tent to bring the fire back to life to heat it up and found that the Sky was full of stars, so he stayed up a bit to stare through the trees into the big open sky.

St. Louis River

The morning sun came invitingly to light up our camp. It was as beautiful when we opened our eyes as when we closed them. It felt cool so we bundled up. We packed our belongings and hiked the Silver Creek Trail that continued alongside the St. Louis River. Slate formed from compressed mud that has been hardened over two billion years, folded into unique formations that feel smooth and intricate to the touch, guided the downstream flow of the river. There were many rocks to carefully maneuver across as we hiked closer to the shore of the river. Jada enjoyed traveling on her Daddy’s shoulders and quickly learned how to grab nearby leaves as she was much taller now. Zach had used a variety of  foot techniques as he balanced his stance to cross the changing terrain. Greywacke beds became visible with its fractures. Red clay overlies the bedrock as remnants from the end of the Ice Age that was ten thousand years ago.

Swinging Bridge

The hike was beautiful and was definitely a workout. On the first day we missed a turn to hike an extra half mile or so and the second day we wanted a more scenic route so we hiked nearly an extra mile. When it was all said and done we went 5-6 miles. It was great when we were near the end Sarah was wondering how far we had to go, and I said see the bridge right there, her eyes lit up as it had magically appeared before her eyes.



Jay Cooke State Park Map Excerpt
The Hike to Silver Creek and Back

Antidepressants Kill Bacteria in Great Lakes

Analysis by Marianne English

Great Lakes

Prescription drugs flushed down the toilet can travel beyond local water treatment plants to local bodies of water. But amid concerns about harming the environment, one analysis presented at the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology shows a compound found in antidepressant medications may limit E. coli populations and other potentially harmful bacteria from growing in Great Lakes ecosystems.

Fluoxetine, the active ingredient in antidepressants such as Prozac, Sarafem and other medications used to treat mental health disorders, was found in small amounts in Lake Erie. The research team told National Geographic News that the amount of the drug found, roughly one nanogram per liter of water, is too small to affect humans, but enough to kill off other bacteria also introduced by humans, including excess E. coli bacteria.

But the source of the drug is yet to be found.

“There’s no particular fallout. We don’t have a direct sewage outfall located anywhere near the beaches,” said Steve Mauro in the article.

NEWS: Diluted Pollution Still Pollutes: Opinion

Mauro previously sampled Lake Erie but conducted more research to assess the amounts of specific contaminants more closely this past year. Because antidepressants also have the potential to kill off good bacteria, it’s unclear what the cumulative effects of pharmaceutical pollution will be for human health and that of surrounding ecosystems.

The research highlights a growing problem: Intentionally or not, we’re flushing the medications we depend on down the drain.

For instance, if you take a pill, there’s still a chance you’ll excrete some of the active ingredients in your urine. In addition, many people still flush their expired or unused prescription drugs down the toilet, with active ingredients often finding their way past the water treatment process and into local streams, lakes and oceans.

NEWS: Side Effects of Drugs in Water Still Murky

Disposing prescription drugs with little impact on the environment is doable, according to the FDA. Some drug labels state it’s OK to flush the doses down the toilet, while others instruct consumers to return the product to drug programs or even place it in containers with cat litter or coffee grounds to be disposed of in land fills. Generally speaking, most labels help direct consumers on how to dispose of drugs safely.

There are also recycling programs for unused medications as well.

But limiting pharmaceutical pollution won’t truly be an option until waste water facilities are equipped to filter out drug waste, even if it’s diluted in urine.

Photo by Breadchastick/Wikimedia Commons

via Antidepressants Kill Bacteria in Great Lakes : Discovery News.

Extreme window sticker: Tesla Roadster 2.5 estimated at 119 MPGe

Tesla MPGe

At an event in Palo Alto this afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA announced its new window stickers to be implement on 2013 models, and Tesla Motor shared a mock-up what its Tesla Roadster 2.5 fuel economy label will look like once officially released.The sticker for the Roadster 2.5 shows 119 miles per gallon equivalent: 112 MPGe on the highway and 124 MPGe in the city. In addition, it shows the Tesla Roadster will go 245 miles on an eight-hour charge. The EPA’s 245-mile figure is what Tesla uses for its own range claims. We haven’t tested the $120,000 sports car, so can’t vouch for either the range or energy usage figures.In the emissions section of the fuel economy label, the Roadster scores a perfect “10” in both greenhouse gas and smog ratings. However, those ratings don’t count emissions from the powerplants that produce electricity for the car. How clean the source energy is really depends on where you live.

via Extreme window sticker: Tesla Roadster 2.5 estimated at 119 MPGe.

Spotted: Awesome Brewery Container Garden | greenUPGRADER

Already used containers are a great way to reuse. Old milk containers, water bottles, and soup cans can be used as well when planting your garden. The reusable items can be painted to add a creative touch, doing this could cost more $ and may not be the greenest option. However, there are recycled paints that are sold for a cheap price at the Habitat ReStore. We have a very small yard so expanding to pots are needed. We have onion bulbs that need planting and searching for a reusable container will be beneficial for the limited yard space we have. This will help our family reuse and create a nice display for our plants.


A New York brewery and cafe is growing lots of its own of food in a discarded keg container garden.The Brooklyn brewery Sixpoint Craft Ales features damaged kegs and reclaimed bathtubs full of edibles like eggplants, strawberries,

via Spotted: Awesome Brewery Container Garden | greenUPGRADER.

Solar panels to be fitted in all Japan’s new homes and buildings by 2030

Japan is expected to announce plans to make it compulsory for all new buildings and homes to be fitted with solar panels by 2030.

Japan is expected to announce plans to make it compulsory for all new buildings and homes to be fitted with solar panels by 2030.

By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo 1:53PM BST 24 May 2011

Naoto Kan, the prime minister, is expected to confirm the “Sunrise Plan” initiative in a statement on the nation’s energy policy at the forthcoming Group of Eight Summit opening this week in France.

Mr Kan is expected to tell other leaders that Japan will continue to use nuclear energy following industry-wide improvements on safety standards, according to Japanese media reports.

However, he is also expected to highlight the nation’s future efforts to boost the use of renewable energy sources, in particular solar power for which the nation is already among the world’s top users.

The exploration of alternative energy sources is timely, following the recent closure of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant due to its sensitive position on a fault line and the ongoing repair work at the tsunami- hit Fukushima plant.

The crisis resulted in Mr Kan recently announcing plans to halt the nation’s plans for nuclear expansion and redshift policy focus towards renewable energy sources.

The Sunrise Plan builds on earlier solar plan initiatives, including a target of using solar power energy in 12,000 schools as part of its School New Deal, with the company Kyocera Corporation already installing panels in over 1,200 establishments.

Millions have also been spent encouraging home solar power use on a domestic level, with one initiative involving utilities having to purchase excess solar power from homes and businesses for higher amounts than standard electricity rates.

Other energy sources being investigated by the government include geothermal, wind, biomass and hydropower, as the nation explores ways to increase its energy independence.

via Solar panels to be fitted in all Japan’s new homes and buildings by 2030 – Telegraph.

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Expanded Partnership with Industry to Advance Next-Generation Automotive Technologies

US Drive
Washington, DC – U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced U.S. DRIVE, a cooperative partnership with industry to accelerate the development of clean, advanced, energy-efficient technologies for cars and light trucks and the infrastructure needed to support their widespread use. This partnership is part of DOE’s broad strategy to expand the availability of advanced vehicles to American families to help protect them from future spikes in gas prices and reduce our nation’s reliance on imported oil. Formerly known as the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, U.S. DRIVE – Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability – brings together top technical experts from DOE, the national laboratories, and industry partners to identify critical research and development (R&D) needs, develop technical targets and strategic roadmaps, and evaluate R&D progress on a broad range of advanced vehicle and energy infrastructure technologies.

“Government-industry partnerships like U.S. DRIVE can quicken the pace at which affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles reach and succeed in the commercial market,” said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.   “By bringing together the best and brightest in government and the automobile, electric utility, and fuels industries, we can develop promising, innovative technologies that move rapidly from the lab into cars on the road, along with the infrastructure to support them.”

Today’s announcement of U.S. DRIVE marks the addition of two new members that bring additional focus on electric-drive vehicle technologies to the partnership.  The Electric Power Research Institute and Tesla Motors will join DOE and long-standing industry partners that have renewed their strong commitments to collaborative, pre-competitive R&D.

via Department of Energy.