Hanging in There

The Only Good Thing About the
Day After Is Another Day After

Congrats. You’ve made it through the first part of the holidays. Barely, to be sure, but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re still not aware what hit you. Oh, that’s right, you’ve got a big hangover.
Most of what you’ll read about it throughout the day will make it worse. The headache will be on. The feeling of being bloated, still around. The maximized credit cards, yup, that won’t change.
Still, you’ll try a few things that may help a little and hurt you a lot, later. Or not make a dent on your pain at all but still cost you a few bucks.
We’d advise you to not even try them, but who are we kidding here? If you need to keep going, as a board-certified 99 Percenter that you are, you have no choice.
So you’re likely to swallow some pills, wash them down with coffee, and try not to think about it. Or check your banking account. It may help to Continue reading

Worlds Away

New Earth-Like Planet May
Have Everything But a Moon

It’s almost as warm as our planet. It may have liquid water on its surface. It orbits a twin of our own sun. Kepler-22b, the newest exoplanet found by NASA’s space hunter mission Kepler, is but one of hundreds already found that could harbor life. But it’s somewhat unique in what its size is comparable to earth’s in ways many before it aren’t.
No astrophysicist is hyper ventilating about it just yet, though. The observations are based in a lot of assumptions and, at this point, we have no idea whether the new discovery is a rocky or a gaseous body. There’s also no word yet on whether it has a moon.
The Kepler mission has accelerated a thousand-fold the hunt to find a place fit for life as we know it, and a few obscenely massive black holes to boot.
In fact, the mission’s findings will be combined with observations made by the S.E.T.I. project, one of the oldest searches for alien life that was recently revived.
It’ll now direct the eyes of its system observatories to the same area in the sky that Kepler has been pointed to.
As for us, in the meantime, all we have managed was to multiply threats to the environment and to our own survival on this planet.
BUILDING A NEW BODY
But no one is ready to pack and board the first rocket to the unknown just yet. In fact, we’re far to even being able to consider the possibility of a mass exodus from earth as a viable survival option to our species.
Never mind diminishing budgets and interest in space travel, as sad as it may be. Or the creeping malaise of conformism and settling for the Continue reading

Cooling Off

Against Heatwave, Common
Sense Beats Talking About It

You may complain about the scorching weather until cows can’t come home, because they all died of sunstroke. Or you may do something about it. As we speak, at least two initiatives are ready to start making a difference for thousands of Americans.

This summer, as U.S. cities bake under record temperatures, many of them seem to be getting on board for a simple and cheap idea: paint the rooftops white.
It’s a proposal that has been percolating for years, but its time Continue reading

Thirsty Future

Water Supplies and Access
To Define Mankind Survival

Human Rights Now Include Access to Clean Water
____________________

The U.N. General Assembly has declared access to clean water and sanitation a human right last month, in a Bolivia-drafted resolution approved by 124 nations. The vote was considered unanimous, even though 41 countries, including Canada, abstained from voting. The fact that there even were abstentions at all is nothing short of surprising. For within or very near the Canadian borders, for example, sit some of the world’s greatest glaciers, but never mind about that for now.
It is an unrestricted victory for an increasing number of scientists who for years have been calling attention to the serious issue water, or its lack thereof, may represent to the future of this planet. In fact, it’s one of those threats that’s grave enough to end civilization, and it’s safe to say, it’s way more likely to happen than the catastrophic collision with an asteroid we all rightfully fear.
According to the UN, more than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion are without basic sanitation. Every eight seconds a child dies of a waterborne disease, in every case preventable if their parents had money to pay for water. In fact, more lives have been lost after World War II due to contaminated water than from all forms of violence and war. And a World Bank report says that by 2030, global demand for water will exceed supply by more than 40%.
But let’s not get too wrapped up Continue reading