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Ancient beavers as big as bears died out because of their woodless diet

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

The giant beaver did not eat wood, which led to its extinction

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What happens to oil spills after dispersant is used?

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Dispersant breaks oil down into droplets, where bacteria break them down further,

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Scientists create robot-like biomaterial with key traits of life

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Building machine-like biomaterial with key traits of life

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Fungus fossils shows the complexity of Earth’s life a billion-years-ago

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

Billion-year-old fungus fossils shed light into ancient evolutionary history

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Flying food for fish? Tiger sharks are somehow eating songbirds

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  Anonymous

How have sharks developed a taste for twittering songbirds?

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Comment: ‘This Is Bigger’: Palestinian and Israeli Teens Strike Together for the Climate

Posted  May 24, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 4 mins

Jerusalem climate strike

By Michael Bäcklund. This article originally appeared on Climate Home News.

At a climate march in Jerusalem, students put hatred aside to tell the government that nothing matters more than a safe climate.

The Israeli school strike branch had a very successful strike on Tuesday, which was three times bigger than the last one in March.

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Saturday Stories: Ultra-Processed Kids, Un-Dead Cons, And Modern German Antisemitism

Posted  May 25, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Bettina Elias Siegel, in her blog The Lunch Tray, on what that recent ultra-processed study means for our children.

Nathaniel Penn, in GQ, with the case of the curious con who wouldn’t die.

James Angelos, in The New York Times, on Germany’s modern day antisemites.

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Op-Ed: Climate Change: ‘We’ve Created a Civilization Hell Bent on Destroying Itself – I’m Terrified,’ Writes Earth Scientist

Posted  May 26, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 17 mins

dead fish, live fish

By James Dyke, University of Exeter

The coffee tasted bad. Acrid and with a sweet, sickly smell. The sort of coffee that results from overfilling the filter machine and then leaving the brew to stew on the hot plate for several hours. The sort of coffee I would drink continually during the day to keep whatever gears left in my head turning.

Odours are powerfully connected to memories. And so it’s the smell of that bad coffee which has become entwined with the memory of my sudden realization that we are facing utter ruin.

It was the spring of 2011, and I had managed to corner a very senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a coffee break at a workshop. The IPCC was established in 1988 as a response to increasing concern that the observed changes in the Earth’s climate are being largely caused by humans.

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Secrecy Versus Sunshine: Efforts to Hide Government Records Never Stop

Posted  May 27, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 6 mins

Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen testifying

By Brent Walth, University of Oregon

It’s spring, and in America’s state capitals legislatures are winding up their business and, too often, bringing out the padlocks.

All 50 states give the public the right to see government records and documents, but many state legislatures are weighing changes in their open-records laws.

These changes rarely end up making our government more transparent. Instead, lawmakers often try to conceal public records from the people who own them — that is, you and me.

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Op-Ed: Exxon’s Climate Denial Again Under Pressure at Investors Meeting

Posted  May 28, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 4 mins

Exxon sign

This is a guest post by Zorka Milin, Senior Legal Advisor for Global Witness.

The world was recently stunned to see the highest ever recorded concentration of carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere: 415 parts per million, and rising. This figure, the highest in the millions of years that humans have existed, is unthinkably ominous to most of us. Yet it was no surprise for the company responsible for emitting a good share of that CO2: Exxon’s own scientists predicted this grim milestone with eerie accuracy way back in 1982.

If Exxon knew back then, what is the company doing to tackle the growing greenhouse gas emissions that are already causing a climate and extinction crisis? ExxonMobil investors, and the public, deserve to know. The company’s response has been to bury its head in the sand and continue with business as usual. But that is not cutting it, and this week’s annual general meeting (AGM) is a major test, with the company facing a push by some of its investors such as New York state pension fund to oust the entire board.

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New Poll Shows Widespread Bipartisan Interest in Electric Cars

Posted  May 29, 2019  by  Ben Jervey

Read time: 3 mins

Electric car charging station parking spot graphic

The vast majority of Americans have a positive impression of electric vehicles (EVs), according to a newly released nationwide survey of registered voters by Climate Nexus.

The poll, conducted in partnership with Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, finds that 77 percent of American voters have a positive opinion of electric cars. This strong majority carried across all demographic groups, with seven out of every 10 self-identified Republican voters viewing electric vehicles positively.

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Trump Admin’s Latest Rail Safety Rollback Sets up Industry to Make Its Own Rules

Posted  May 30, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 8 mins

Metro North train crash in Valhalla, New York in 2015

This week, the Trump administration’s Department of Transportation (DOT) withdrew another rail safety recommendation originally proposed during the Obama administration. In the process, the agency made quite clear that it has no plans to further regulate the rail industry, especially the dangerous and continued transportation of oil and ethanol in unsafe tank cars.

The latest proposed rule to be withdrawn would have required two-person crews on trains. Supporters of this rule argue that two-person crews are safer because the job of operating a train is too demanding for one person, new technologies are making the job more complex, and fatigue becomes a more serious issue with only one crew member. Since 2017, the Trump administration has already repealed a regulation requiring modern brakes for oil trains and canceled a plan requiring train operators to be tested for sleep apnea.

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As Natural Gas Infrastructure Decisions Loom, Massachusetts Gov. Baker Invests in Fossil Fuel Companies

Posted  May 30, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 4 mins

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

Amidst growing controversy over his administration’s support for new natural gas projects, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker personally invested in the fossil fuel industry, DeSmog has found.

According to Baker’s recent financial disclosure, filed last week with the state’s Ethics Commission, the governor invested last year in a specialty energy fund composed almost exclusively of oil, gas, and coal companies.

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Right whales were in the wrong place because of the wrong climate

Posted  May 31, 2019  by  Anonymous

Right whales are dying from ship strikes thanks to climate change

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Did our ancestors evolve to walk upright because of supernovae?

Posted  May 31, 2019  by  Anonymous

Supernovae might have been the trigger for our ancestors to descend from the trees

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Drink like an Egyptian – 5000 year old yeast is resurrected to brew ancient beer

Posted  May 31, 2019  by  Anonymous

Ancient beer comes back to life using 5,000 year old yeast

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Don’t bury or cremate – soon you may compost your corpse

Posted  May 31, 2019  by  Anonymous

People in Washington will soon be able to turn their loved ones into soil

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Video games aren’t corrupting young minds – they may be building them

Posted  May 31, 2019  by  Anonymous

Video games might be just the homework your kids need this summer

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Breaking: Environmental Justice March Hits Road Block in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley

Posted  May 31, 2019  by  Julie Dermansky

Read time: 9 mins

March against Death Alley

On May 30, around 100 people took part on the first day of a planned five-day march for environmental justice in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley. Amid sweltering heat, the march kicked off in St. John the Baptist Parish, but extreme obstacles have developed on their route to Baton Rouge, about 50 miles away. Today a judge ruled that the organizers did not have permission to cross two bridges along the route. 

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Saturday Stories: Let Downs, Incels, And Unlimited Mothering

Posted  June 1, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

AC Shilton, in The New York Times, on the personal crash that sometimes follows a great accomplishment

Alice Hines, in The Cut, with just a bonkers and disturbing story on incels (involuntarily celibates) and plastic surgery.

Lindsay Jones, in Topic Magazine, on mothering without limits.

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Infection Following Natural Disasters – Take Care

Posted  June 2, 2019  by  Marijke Vroomen-Durning

Following every natural disaster, we see television news and online videos of destruction. Images of destroyed homes, cars and trucks flipped over, and boats well inland instead of in the water, show us the massive damage nature can cause. But for the thousands who are living through the seemingly unprecedented number of tornadoes, serious storms, and flooding, it’s not a video. It’s very real. The disasters are leaving thousands of families uprooted, with some losing loved ones.

But after the storms have passed over and the waters have receded, after the news cameras leave and people stop taking videos, the residents are left with not only putting their lives back together, but with the potential of serious illness or injury, after the fact.


While the emergency is occurring, the most important issue is survival. This means taking cover or evacuating. But once the imminent threat has left, other dangers may lurk. From broken water and sewage systems to terrified wild animals, survivors may be exposed to dangers they’ve never faced before.


Infection following a natural disaster is common in many areas. Infections can spread quickly in crowded shelters. People who walk around the disaster area can injure themselves by tripping on debris. They can cut themselves while trying to move things or be hit by material that may still be falling. Frightened pets and wild animals may be driven into unfamiliar territory and may bite.


With so many tornadoes touching down in North America this spring, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the topic. A while ago, I wrote about the connection between national disasters for Sepsis Alliance, an organization I work with. If you would like to read more about the types of infections that could follow a natural disaster, visit Sepsis and Natural Disasters, found on the Sepsis Alliance website.


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#491 The Party Save aka The Party Rescue

Posted  June 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

The Party Save happens anytime a friend yanks you from a bad party conversation by pulling off a thrilling and daring rescue mission. Here’s how it all goes down: Step 1:  The Plan. Say tonight you’re heading to a housewarming, office Christmas party, or New Year’s bash. As you and your date walk into Stranger […]

The post #491 The Party Save aka The Party Rescue appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Bullying Or Teasing Kids With Obesity Doesn’t Lead Them To Lose Weight But It May Lead Them To Gain

Posted  June 3, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

The recently published Weight‐based teasing is associated with gain in BMI and fat mass among children and adolescents at‐risk for obesity: A longitudinal study is an important paper for many well-intentioned parents, educators, and physicians who think that weight based teasing might help motivate a child to make behaviour changes that will lead them to weight loss.

In it authors followed 110 children at risk or with overweight or obesity for 8.5 years and tracked their weight and its association with weight-based teasing. They found that after adjusting and controlling for baseline sex, race, age, socio-economic status, BMI and fatmass, kids who reported the most teasing gained the most weight (p≤.007). Quantified, the authors found that the most teased kids’ fat masses increased by 91% more per year (1.4lbs/yr) than those not reporting weight based teasing.

While it’s important to note that causality can’t be proven here, certainly these results fit with the notion that if any amount of teasing led kids to lose weight, we’d be seeing dramatic reductions in childhood obesity rates because weight is far and away the number one target of school based bullies, and even at home, 60% of kids with excess weight report being teased about same.

If you have a child with obesity, sadly you can rest assured that they’ll receive plenty of shame, blame, fear, and bullying from the world around them, and if you’re worried about your child’s weight, instead of burdening them with it, ask yourself what you as a parent can do to help, where if nothing else, one thing for certain you can do is to make your home a safe space where weight is not something anyone’s welcome to joke about or comment on.

(and if you live in Ottawa, and you have a child between the ages of 5 and 12 whose weight is concerning, and you’re interested in our office’s parent-centric, Ministry of Health funded, inter-professional, Family Reset childhood obesity treatment program feel free to call us at 613-730-0264 and book an appointment to chat)

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It’s Time to Stop Calling Natural Gas a ‘Bridge Fuel’ to a Safe Climate, Says New Report

Posted  June 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 6 mins

natural gas flare

Natural gas, marketed for years as a “bridge fuel” to cleaner energy sources, cannot be part of any climate solution, according to a new report from Oil Change International.

While its authors outline a range of arguments, the report, Burning the Gas “Bridge Fuel” Myth: Why Gas is Not Clean, Cheap, or Necessary, highlights this simple reason: There is no room for new fossil fuel development — natural gas included — within the Paris Agreement goals. Therefore, plans to transition to a natural gas-based system are incompatible with international climate goals.

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Lobbying Against Key US Climate Regulation ‘Cost Society $60 Billion,’ Study Finds

Posted  June 3, 2019  by  guest

Read time: 8 mins

US Capitol

By Josh Gabbatiss, Carbon Brief. Originally posted on Carbon Brief, CC BYNCND 4.0.

Political lobbying in the U.S. that helped block the progress of proposed climate regulation a decade ago led to a social cost of $60 billion, according to a new study.

Environmental economists Dr. Kyle Meng and Dr. Ashwin Rode have produced what they believe is the first attempt to quantify the toll such anti-climate lobbying efforts take on society.

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#490 Driving around with all the car windows down on warm summer nights

Posted  June 4, 2019  by  Anonymous

Kids cruise on wobbly bikes, toddlers race on tipsy trikes, and you drift deep into the hot summer night. Swerve and curve on windy roads as darkness slowly falls and stars pop out to reveal a twinkly twilight glow. As you hit the gas and drop your windows the warm beating rush of summer air […]

The post #490 Driving around with all the car windows down on warm summer nights appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Of Course This ‘Highly Biased Poll’ By Oil-Funded Koch Groups Claims that Americans Don’t Like Electric Cars

Posted  June 4, 2019  by  Ben Jervey

Read time: 5 mins

Koch-not-science logo

Which would you trust: a poll commissioned by a nonprofit philanthropic group and conducted with academic partners, or a survey paid for by an advocacy group with financial ties to the industry in question and conducted by a for-profit lobbying firm with clients that are directly impacted by the issues discussed?

Two conflicting opinion polls concerning electric vehicles have just been released, and — surprise! — the one tied to the oil refining billionaire Koch brothers claims that American voters don’t support electric cars or the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. 

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#489 Watching the sports highlights of the game you literally just finished watching

Posted  June 5, 2019  by  Anonymous

Couch potatoes of the world, hear my call. We all know it’s great capping off three crumb-covered hours on the sofa by watching the highlights of the game you just watched. Yes, you lasted through all the timeouts, challenges, and pitching changes, so now’s your chance to relive that Sunday afternoon investment with a quick-clicking […]

The post #489 Watching the sports highlights of the game you literally just finished watching appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Trump Admin Argues No Constitutional Right to a Safe Climate Two Years After Ditching Paris Accord

Posted  June 5, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 5 mins

Texas National Guard carrying young girl through floodwaters in Texas in 2016

Almost exactly two years after President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, a groundbreaking youth climate change lawsuit challenging the federal government’s promotion of fossil fuel energy was back in court for a long-awaited hearing. Before a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Trump administration, which has tried numerous times to derail the suit, argued that the case is an “attack on the Constitution” and that there is no right to a stable climate system capable of sustaining human life.

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Will Ohio River Get Optional Pollution Limits as New Fracking-Reliant Plastics Industry Moves in?

Posted  June 5, 2019  by  Sharon Kelly

Read time: 10 mins

Shell's petrochemical and plastics plant in Potter Township, Pennsylvania

Tomorrow, June 6, in Covington, Kentucky, a routine quarterly meeting of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), an eight-state compact responsible for setting water pollution control standards for the 981-mile Ohio River, is expected to fall under unusual scrutiny from both industry and environmentalists.

ORSANCO is considering a proposal to make its water pollution standards — designed to coordinate pollution rules the length of the river — voluntary amid a brewing battle over the fate of a river that’s both the source of drinking water for 5 million people and central to the petrochemical industry’s plans for a new fossil-fueled plastics manufacturing network.

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A March Through Heat, Felony Threats, and Pollution Brings Louisiana’s Cancer Alley to Governor’s Attention

Posted  June 5, 2019  by  Julie Dermansky

Read time: 9 mins

Coalition against death alley on the steps of the Louisiana Capitol

On June 3, at the end of a five-day march through stifling heat in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, activists fighting against environmental racism reached their goal of bringing attention to their area’s injustices to the state capitol. 

The Coalition Against Death Alley (CADA), a group of Louisiana-based residents and members of various local and state organizations, were met with praise on the steps of the capitol building by State Representative Randal Gaines, the head of the Louisiana Black Caucus.

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#488 Using your pants as a towel

Posted  June 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Swipe your dripping paws on those handy leg towels and let’s get back to business, baby. AWESOME!       — Check out my Youtube channel —

The post #488 Using your pants as a towel appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Congressional Dems to EPA’s Wheeler: Stop Spreading Oil Industry Lies About Clean Car Rules

Posted  June 6, 2019  by  Ben Jervey

Read time: 5 mins

EPA head Andrew Wheeler

Two Democratic Congressional leaders are calling out U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Wheeler for knowingly deceiving the public and Congress on the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule.

Senator Tom Carper, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, sent a letter to Wheeler expressing concern that the EPA head “[has] made numerous public statements, including statements to Congress, that directly conflict with the information and analyses prepared by EPA’s career experts.”

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Exclusive: Enbridge Is Behind This Front Group Pushing the Company’s Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project

Posted  June 6, 2019  by  Anonymous

Read time: 6 mins

Enbridge building

Minnesotans for Line 3, a group established last year to advocate for an Enbridge oil pipeline project, presents itself as a grassroots organization consisting of “thousands of members.”

But a DeSmog investigation has found that behind the scenes, the Calgary-based energy giant is pulling the strings. Enbridge has provided the group with funding, public relations, and a variety of advocacy tactics.

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#487 Fitting back into the jeans you haven’t been able to wear for a while

Posted  June 7, 2019  by  Anonymous

Brother, my closet is stuffed as a scarecrow. See, I’ve got too many clothes because I keep all my old faves from years gone by. My drawers are packed with tattered jerseys, fraying undies, and lonely socks praying for their partners to please come home. On top of all that, I’ve got dusty gems I […]

The post #487 Fitting back into the jeans you haven’t been able to wear for a while appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Canada is using science to lay claim to the North Pole

Posted  June 7, 2019  by  Anonymous

How we’re trying to prove we own the North Pole

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Do auroras occur on other planets and moons?

Posted  June 7, 2019  by  Anonymous

They occur on Mars and other planets, not on the moon

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Concussion symptoms reversed in mice using magnetic therapy

Posted  June 7, 2019  by  Anonymous

Magnetic stimulation may reverse concussion symptoms in the future

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Depressing conclusion as new research reverses 25 years of research

Posted  June 7, 2019  by  Anonymous

25 years of research on the genetics of depression is wrong

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The elephant’s mathematical trunk can smell numbers

Posted  June 7, 2019  by  Anonymous

Elephants can smell numbers – sort of

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