How long can you go without checking email, or glancing at your smartphone? Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University, says today’s nonstop multitasking actually wastes more time than it saves—and he says there’s evidence it may be killing our concentration and creativity too. NPR
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s largest energy company announced plans Wednesday to spend $1.9 billion to install hundreds of wind turbines by the end of 2015, marking what the governor described as the largest economic development project in the state’s history…. The company wants to build 656 turbines, though the locations have yet to be chosen…. MidAmerican began building wind turbines in 2004, and it currently has 1,267 wind turbines in Iowa.
Coal burning, gold mining, and other human activities release mercury into water bodies or the atmosphere, where it can travel great distances before settling back to Earth. Mercury contamination is ubiquitous and hotspots are common around the world, with fish and human hair collected in 14 countries regularly exceeding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, according to a BRI report released just before the Geneva negotiations. And while mercury emissions are declining in North America and Europe they are rising quickly in the developing world, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the treaty coordinator.
“For the first time, Canada’s food safety regulator is allowing Nova Scotia salmon infected with a flu-like virus to be processed for supermarkets and restaurants.
Last week the Canadian Food Inspection Agency declared fit for human consumption 240,000 Atlantic salmon with infectious salmon anemia — a disease it says poses no risk to human heath. The ruling is the first time the CFIA has opted not to destroy fish carrying the virus since it started regulating the fish farming industry in 2005. Because the U.S. won’t import fish with the virus, the fresh whole salmon, fillets and steaks will have to find dinner plates to land on somewhere in Canada.”
WHO MOVED MY FRACK?
Wildlife That Isn’t Wild And Isn’t Alive
WE’VE SCREWED EARTH…LET’S SCREW MARS!
About 78,000 people have applied to become Red Planet colonists with the nonprofit organization Mars One since its application process opened on April 22, officials announced Tuesday. Mars One aims to land four people on the Red Planet in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent colony, with more astronauts arriving every two years thereafter.
“With 78,000 applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history,” Mars One Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Bas Lansdorp said in a statement.
Intelligent Robots Will Overtake Humans by 2100, Experts Say
Some believe in a utopian future, in which humans can transcend their physical limitations with the aid of machines. But others think humans will eventually relinquish most of their abilities and gradually become absorbed into artificial intelligence (AI)-based organisms, much like the energy making machinery in our own cells.
THE ACID ARCTIC…
The Arctic seas are being made rapidly more acidic by carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a new report. Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region.
They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels. They forecast major changes in the marine ecosystem, but say there is huge uncertainty over what those changes will be.
OBAMA SAYS SEND GAS TO CHINA!
LNG-oriented companies like Cheniere Energy (LNG) and Southern LNG Company LLC (SO) would have been delighted to hear President Obama speaking Saturday at a development forum that ended his three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica. Obama said the U.S. might be able to help relieve Central America’s growing energy demands by exporting LNG (UNG). Helping Central America would be a factor in the decision-making.
Obama added that the U.S., profiting from a surge of natural gas production, is likely to be a net natural gas exporter as soon as 2020. Seeking Alpha
Scientists say that foxes in Arctic regions who feed on ocean prey are being exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.
On one Russian island where the population of foxes has crashed, the researchers believe the toxin has played a key role in the decline. They say the findings could have important implications for conservation………
The study raises some important questions about the how mercury is accumulating in the marine food chain in the Arctic region. Mercury levels there have for decades been linked to industrial pollution but recent research from Nasa has suggested that declining levels of sea ice in the region could be helping to push up levels of the substance. BBC News
A famed rainforest in Nicaragua is under growing threat from illegal loggers, say indigenous leaders.
The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is Central America’s largest tropical forest with clouds constantly drifting over the hilly terrain. But the Mayangna and Miskito people who live there say 30,000 hectares a year are being deforested by “colonists”.
Next week, indigenous peoples from all over the country will bring their demands for better protection for their forests to the capital Managua.
“We are going to have a march here in Managua so that the government can see it has a responsibility to comply with the laws and the property rights of the country,” said [Arisio Genaro, president of the Nacion Mayangna] . “We believe that if there is no intervention, there will be no Biosphere reserve in five to 10 years.” BBC News
CALLING ALL FISH STICKS
Climate change is gradually altering the fish that end up on ice in seafood counters around the world, according to a new study.”The composition of the [global] fish catch includes more and more fish from the warmer areas, and cold water fish are getting more rare, because the temperatures are increasing,” says Daniel Pauly at the University of British Columbia, a co-author of the study. (excerpt, NPR)
‘CALLING ALL CARS’
China topped the U.S. in overall auto sales in 2009 and surpassed Europe in 2012. Although demand kept rising last year, some predicted it would flatten as new government controls took hold and the country’s once-feverish economic growth continued cooling. Instead, the market is off to its best start since 2010. Passenger-vehicle sales were up 16% year-over-year during the first four months of 2013. And in April, SUVs — China’s fastest-growing market segment — surged 46% from a year earlier.
BUILDING BOOM LOOMS?
Builders appear to be ramping up for more construction projects. Newly issued building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 14.3 percent from a month earlier to an annual rate of 1.017 million, the highest level since June 2008….Permits for single-family homes, which comprise about two thirds of the total, rose 3 percent to a 617,000-unit rate, the highest since May 2008.
SNOW MELT BLUES
Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studied historic snowpack variations in the Rocky Mountains and found that warmer spring temperatures since 1980 are triggering an estimated 20 percent decline in snow cover throughout the range, which runs for more than 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) in western North America. Yahoo News
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