The ocean is the heart of our planet. It needs our help to be healthy.
The ocean covers over 71% of the Earth’s surface and serves as our planet’s heart. Ocean currents circulate vital heat, moisture, and nutrients around the globe to influence and regulate our climate, similar to the human circulatory system. Cool, right?
Our ocean systems provide us with everything from fresh oxygen to fresh food. We need it to survive and thrive—and when the ocean struggles to function healthfully, the whole world is affected.
Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are the three biggest challenges preventing the ocean from doing its job, and it needs our help now more than ever. Humans created the problem; now humans are responsible for solving it.
#BeOceanWise is a global rallying cry to do what you can for the ocean, because we need the ocean and the ocean needs us. If you’re wondering how—or if—you can make a difference, the answer is a resounding YES. There are a myriad of ways you can help, even if you don’t live near a body of water. For example, you can focus on reducing the amount of plastic you purchase for yourself or your family.
Another easy way to help clean up our oceans is to be aware of what’s known as the “dirty dozen.” Every year, scientists release an updated list of the most-found litter scattered along shorelines. The biggest culprit? Single-use beverage and food items such as foam cups, straws, bottle caps, and cigarette butts. If you can’t cut single-use plastic out of your life completely, we understand. Just make sure to correctly recycle plastic when you are finished using it. A staggering 3 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone recycled!
The 2022 "Dirty Dozen" ListOcean Wise
If you live near a shoreline, help clean it up! Organize or join an effort to take action and make a positive impact in your community alongside your friends, family, or colleagues. You can also tag @oceanwise on social if you spot a beach that needs some love. The location will be added to Ocean Wise’s system so you can submit data on the litter found during future Shoreline Cleanups. This data helps Ocean Wise work with businesses and governments to stop plastic pollution at its source. In Canada, Ocean Wise data helped inform a federal ban on unnecessary single-use plastics. Small but important actions like these greatly help reduce the litter that ends up in our ocean.
Ocean Wise, a conservation organization on a mission to restore and protect our oceans, is focused on empowering and educating everyone from individuals to governments on how to protect our waters. They are making conservation happen through five big initiatives: monitoring and protecting whales, fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity, innovating for a plastic-free ocean, protecting and restoring fish stocks, and finally, educating and empowering youth. The non-profit believes that in order to rebuild a resilient and vibrant ocean within the next ten years, everyone needs to take action.
Become an Ocean Wise ally and share your knowledge with others. The more people who know how badly the ocean needs our help, the better! Now is a great time to commit to being a part of something bigger and get our oceans healthy again.
"This thing has been cycling 10,000 cycles and it’s still going."
There's an old saying that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.
There's no better example of that than a 2016 discovery at the University of California, Irvine, by doctoral student Mya Le Thai. After playing around in the lab, she made a discovery that could lead to a rechargeable battery that could last up to 400 years. That means longer-lasting laptops and smartphones and fewer lithium ion batteries piling up in landfills.
A team of researchers at UCI had been experimenting with nanowires for potential use in batteries, but found that over time the thin, fragile wires would break down and crack after too many charging cycles. A charge cycle is when a battery goes from completely full to completely empty and back to full again.
But one day, on a whim, Thai coated a set of gold nanowires in manganese dioxide and a Plexiglas-like electrolyte gel.
"She started to cycle these gel capacitors, and that's when we got the surprise," said Reginald Penner, chair of the university's chemistry department. "She said, 'this thing has been cycling 10,000 cycles and it's still going.' She came back a few days later and said 'it's been cycling for 30,000 cycles.' That kept going on for a month."
This discovery is mind-blowing because the average laptop battery lasts 300 to 500 charge cycles. The nanobattery developed at UCI made it though 200,000 cycles in three months. That would extend the life of the average laptop battery by about 400 years. The rest of the device would have probably gone kaput decades before the battery, but the implications for a battery that that lasts hundreds of years are pretty startling.
"The big picture is that there may be a very simple way to stabilize nanowires of the type that we studied," Penner said. "If this turns out to be generally true, it would be a great advance for the community." Not bad for just fooling around in the laboratory.
This article originally appeared 12.22.22
Sometimes anger is hiding something bigger than a fleeting emotion.
Anger is such a weird emotion and it's totally not anger's fault. It's just existing for valid reasons but shows up when we feel like it shouldn't. The thing with anger is that in many cases it acts as a coat for an underlying emotion hiding that for some reason or another isn't ready to be revealed.
But sometimes anger is hiding something bigger than a fleeting emotion. Emma McAdam, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and host of the YouTube channel, Therapy in a Nutshell, posted a video explaining how anger and irritability can actually be a symptom of depression.
The video really breaks down how the media portrays depression versus some of the lesser known symptoms of depression. When people think of depression, they often imagine someone that's extremely sad all the time and struggling to do basic skills. But depression can show up hidden behind other symptoms like irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite, and lack of focus.
"Depression isn't just feeling sad. It's a whole body experience that can impact every aspect of your life," McAdam says.
The therapist points to research that shows that rage or anger is reported by 30% to 40% of people as part of their depressive symptoms. With one researcher even going as far as calling the anger people feel with their depression as anger attacks. One of the reasons McAdam lists for anger showing up in people with depression is externalization.
"Some people externalize these feelings, so instead of pointing their pain inward they project it outward onto other people and situations, McAdam reveals. "It can feel really comforting to blame others for your pain."
"So when depression shows up as anger or irritability, it's often because the person is grappling with these feelings of despair or worthlessness, and the way they manage these feelings is through hostility or aggression," she adds later.
Watch the video below to learn more:
30 dump truck loads and two years later, the forest looks totally different.
One of the biggest problems with coffee production is that it generates an incredible amount of waste. Once coffee beans are separated from cherries, about 45% of the entire biomass is discarded.
So for every pound of roasted coffee we enjoy, an equivalent amount of coffee pulp is discarded into massive landfills across the globe. That means that approximately 10 million tons of coffee pulp is discarded into the environment every year.
When disposed of improperly, the waste can cause serious damage soil and water sources.
However, a new study published in the British Ecological Society journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence has found that coffee pulp isn't just a nuisance to be discarded. It can have an incredibly positive impact on regrowing deforested areas of the planet.
In 2018, researchers from ETH-Zurich and the University of Hawaii spread 30 dump trucks worth of coffee pulp over a roughly 100' x 130' area of degraded land in Costa Rica. The experiment took place on a former coffee farm that underwent rapid deforestation in the 1950s.
The coffee pulp was spread three-feet thick over the entire area.
Another plot of land near the coffee pulp dump was left alone to act as a control for the experiment.
"The results were dramatic." Dr. Rebecca Cole, lead author of the study, said. "The area treated with a thick layer of coffee pulp turned into a small forest in only two years while the control plot remained dominated by non-native pasture grasses."
In just two years, the area treated with coffee pulp had an 80% canopy cover, compared to just 20% of the control area. So, the coffee-pulp-treated area grew four times more rapidly. Like a jolt of caffeine, it reinvigorated biological activity in the area.
The canopy was also four times taller than that of the control.
The forest experienced a radical, positive change
The coffee-treated area also eliminated an invasive species of grass that took over the land and prevented forest succession. Its elimination allowed for other native species to take over and recolonize the area.
"This case study suggests that agricultural by-products can be used to speed up forest recovery on degraded tropical lands. In situations where processing these by-products incurs a cost to agricultural industries, using them for restoration to meet global reforestation objectives can represent a 'win-win' scenario," Dr. Cole said.
If the results are repeatable it's a win-win for coffee drinkers and the environment.
Researchers believe that coffee treatments can be a cost-effective way to reforest degraded land. They may also work to reverse the effects of climate change by supporting the growth of forests across the globe.
The 2016 Paris Agreement made reforestation an important part of the fight against climate change. The agreement incentivizes developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, promote forest conservation and sustainable management, and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
"We hope our study is a jumping off point for other researchers and industries to take a look at how they might make their production more efficient by creating links to the global restoration movement," Dr. Cole said.
This article originally appeared on 03.29.21
Here’s what people facing food insecurity want you to know about solving the hunger problem in America
Even though America is the world’s wealthiest nation, about 1 in 6 of our neighbors turned to food banks and community programs in order to feed themselves and their families last year. Think about it: More than 9 million children faced hunger in 2021 (1 in 8 children).
In order to solve a problem, we must first understand it. Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released its second annual Elevating Voices: Insights Report and turned to the experts—people experiencing hunger—to find out how this issue can be solved once and for all.
Here are the four most important things people facing hunger want you to know.
Hunger is still an urgent crisis despite signs of economic recovery. In the months following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, headlines report that the nation’s economic health is bouncing back after years of hardship. However, a big chunk of our population is experiencing a different reality. Recovery has been uneven nationwide, and grocery prices are still higher than normal despite easing supply chain issues. With the end of the federal support offered throughout the pandemic, child poverty rates have shot up, and families like Donnette McManus’ are feeling the squeeze.
“Even though you have your list, you have your budget, things are changing so quickly. Your salary can’t keep up. So, you get to the store with the same exact list, the same 10 items can cost you 50% more,” said McManus, who lives in Massachusetts.
Feeding America Insights Report
People facing hunger say that ending food insecurity is about more than just food. Ending hunger may sound like a simple task: make sure everyone, regardless of who they are and where they live, has access to the food they need. However, as neighbor-advocate Jennifer Estrada of Wisconsin pointed out, the reality is a bit more complex, especially considering that hunger is only a symptom of bigger economic challenges.
“As much as you work, the system is set up for you to continue in a cycle of food insecurity,” said Estrada. “Your whole check goes to a rent payment if you’re not fortunate enough to own a house, with nothing leftover. But you get kicked off if you make $2 more. There needs to be some security, there needs to be a revamping of the whole system ... It seems like instead of creating less barriers to help the families in our community, it seems like policies and procedures continue to make more barriers.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the 2023Insights Report is that housing is unaffordable. Working 40+ hours a week still isn’t enough to get by for many folks. Stopping hunger in its tracks is as much about strengthening economic well-being as it is about providing equitable access to enough nourishing food.
Hunger is an issue that intersects with more than what we put on our plates. Hunger strikes without discrimination, affecting anyone, anywhere, at any time. Millions of people in the U.S. are just one job loss, missed paycheck, or medical emergency away from experiencing food insecurity. Due to a long history of racism, discrimination, and oppression in our country, hunger impacts some communities more than others, including communities of color and communities in rural areas.
While the impact of hunger is widespread, people facing it note that the stigma associated with it can strip people of their dignity or deter them from accessing the food assistance programs they’re eligible for and need. There are also inequitable systems in place that do not work for everyone.
“Your basic clerk at your local DHS [Department of Human Services] office is only employed to input information and output information back to you. A lot of times, you feel like you’re not even a human. You’re just a number to them. And if I’m just going to be a number to you, I have a mental meltdown,” said Kimberly Harris, a resident of Washington, D.C.
Feeding America Insights Report
Ending food insecurity requires a catalyzing movement. While hunger remains a widespread and persistent problem, our country already has the tools to eradicate it forever—they just need to be utilized. Most people facing hunger said that federal and local governments should treat hunger as an urgent crisis—signaling that it will take all of us to bring hunger to a halt.
So how can you take action right now? Do your part and visit FeedingAmerica.org/ElevatingVoices to read the 2023 Elevating Voices: Insights Report and sign a petition to encourage Congress to pass legislation that will help ensure no one in America goes hungry. Let’s all pitch in to make the wealthiest nation become the happiest and most prosperous—for all.
Sorry, but you can't drive from New York to LA.
While the United States is undeniably one of the most culturally dominant countries in the world, its depth and complexity go far beyond what most people understand before seeing it for themselves.
The U.S. is a melting pot of diverse cultures, histories and landscapes, creating a rich and complex national tapestry that takes time and travel to truly comprehend. Heck, even Americans ourselves have a hard time understanding each other from time to time.
It's a place where every state can feel like its own little world, each with its own traditions, accents and cuisines. So, it’s understandable that when many people from around the world visit for the first time, there are some things they probably wished they had known ahead of time.
To help people better understand America’s unique quirks, a Reddit user named AlainasBoyfriend asked the online forum, “What should a foreigner avoid while visiting the United States?” While it’s reasonable to assume the comments would be about avoiding dangerous neighborhoods or tourist traps, the conversation was a lot more positive. It was centered around the vastness of the U.S. geography and the regional differences that people from another country may not expect.
The big takeaway is that America is a huge place where our states can be as different as most countries. Any place with regions as diverse as Hawaii, Oklahoma, Alaska and New York will be hard for most people to grasp on the first visit.
Here are the 13 things foreigners should “avoid” when visiting the U.S.
1. Watch for wildlife
"If you go to the national parks, don’t attempt to take selfies with the wildlife. A full grown bison will throw you through the air like a crumpled piece of paper." — Juergen2993
"I want to really emphasize this. There are US Park Rangers who are full-time employees of the National Park Service. Their job is to protect the park, the wildlife, and visitors. Take the posted signs seriously and listen and do what rangers advise. Yearly, a dozen or so people die in the Grand Canyon National Park, often tourists who go hiking without enough water or food and are not aware of how treacherous the terrain and weather can be. Same for Big Bend NP in Texas." — aaby-rose
2. Don't underestimate the 'rural-ness'
"If you are visiting a more rural area, like Montana where I live, don't underestimate the rural-ness. You might not be able to get a hotel in a small town and there are plenty of places where there aren't any hotels or accommodations. You can take the highway and run out of gas because there aren't any gas stations for 70 miles. Also, if it is a dirt road, and there are a lot of them in the rural U.S., don't ever assume that you will have cell/GPS reception or that the dirt road goes anywhere besides 50 miles into the mountains where you can get stuck or break down." — Violet624
3. America is huge
"The flight from London to New York is only about an hour longer than the flight from New York to Seattle." — UnspecificGravity
"And we don’t have any kind of sensible train infrastructure connecting cities." — NobodyCool1234
4. You can't drive from NY to LA
"We had an exchange student from France staying with us (NY). One day, we saw her with a map of the US, said she was going to take a bus to California because she had heard so much about it on television. We had to sit down and explain it was going to take a week, each way." — MedicinalTequila
"Lol I have some German friends who flew into Texas and wanted to make a day trip to Los Angeles during the week they were in the US. After that first trip, they planned much better and now visit the country by regions and give themselves more time." — MarbleousMel
5. Give us space
"I find a lot of foreigners have about 2 1/2 inches of a personal space bubble, while us Americans value our space. Keep at least a 2-3 feet distance when conversing with strangers. I've had an Italian guy come so close I thought he was going to kiss me. Very uncomfortable for someone who isn't used to a lack of personal space." — MasterPip
6. Forget the stereotypes
"Leave all your stereotypes about America home, it's a hugely diverse country and your experience in one part of the US will be very different to your experience in another. Keep an open mind and have fun." — Zerbey
"But.. Murica!!! Seriously I try to get this across to people. The United States is not one place. Or even 50 places. It’s huge and a cultural melting pot like no other. There is absolutely no way to stereotype 'America.' Remember guys, Hawaii, Florida, New York, Alaska and Oklahoma, etc, are vastly different places. And they’re all their own unique thing, different from the next state over." — BlueIsBlackbird
7. Don't travel with pot
"Taking weed across state lines. It’s not legal everywhere." — Gromit801
8. Avoid the chains
"Don't go to the big chain-type places. Go to the mom-and-pop little restaurants and coffee shops and specialty shops. You will usually find new cool things you enjoy." — Election Proper8172
"To add to this: FOOD TRUCKS!!!" — OpeusPopeus
9. Avoid sensitive topics
"When visiting the U.S., it's best to avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics and religion with strangers, even if they bring it up." — Vexina1997
"I'm a huge fan of Bill Burr's catch-all non-committal response: 'Hey, fair enough!' You just say, 'Hey, fair enough' to any baiting comment." — Heretic Jones
10. Be sure to tip
"Generally, you should tip at sit-down restaurants with full service (ie waiter comes and takes your order, brings food, refills drinks and clears your dishes). At these places, traditionally the minimum is 15%, but most people I know tip closer to 20% standard." — Heliawe
11. Don't get the large
"Ordering a large at a restaurant, or especially a movie theater. I don't care how hungry you think you are, you will not eat/drink it all in one sitting." — Amazing_Excuse_3860
12. Buy travel insurance
"Medical travel insurance that goes into the 7 digits. Someone from my country had the misfortune of having a stroke in the USA. 150k+ in expenses. When I went there it was my number 1 concern: getting insurance." — N0t_N1k3L
"Underrated comment. You can run, but hospital debt might find you unable to return. Use a fake name. Get a fake name and a story ready now. You do not speak English nor any modern language. When discharged, run. This also applies if you have health insurance." — univ06
"Avoid a hospital visit. Whatever you think it costs, it’s more." — pug_fugly_moe
13. Be careful around police
"Don't interact with the police unless you absolutely need to." — Snackdoc189
"If you didn't call them, don't talk to them, at all." — Shastadakota
"Yeah they're honestly not there to help you, and some will be annoyed if you ask for so much as directions." — Honestnt
The other dogs can't believe what they are seeing.
Double H Canine Academy in Louisville, Kentucky is a place where dog owners can take their rambunctious pets and have them turned into respectable members of the family.
However, as you can tell in this hilarious video, not all dogs are meant to follow orders.
Ladies and gentleman, meet Ryker.
Double H Canine Training Academy... Epic Service Dog Training FailureRyker giving it his all before flunking our of Service Dog Training School
As you can see below, Ryker is living his life to the fullest. While he may never be the world's greatest service dog, he continues to provide an invaluable testament to being true to one's self.
RYKER “The Purpose Driven Dog"🐕........
This article originally appeared on 02.26.20