Environmental

Highway through Amazon worsens effects of climate change, provides mixed economic gains

by Staff Writers
Gainesville, FL (SPX)


File image: Interoceanic Highway.

Paving a highway across South America is providing lessons on the impact of road construction elsewhere. That’s what a University of Florida researcher and his international colleagues have determined from analyzing communities along the Amazonian portion of the nearly 4,200-mile Interoceanic Highway, a coast-to-coast road that starts at ports in Brazil and will eventually connect to ones in Peru.

The results of their five-year study provide a holistic picture of the social, environmental and economic effects of the highway project, including relationships with climate change. Among the findings:

+ Highway paving facilitates migration and population growth in communities, which can result in forest clearing and conflicts over natural resources.

+ Highway paving has left the Amazon rainforest more vulnerable to clearing with fire, which results in carbon emissions.

+ Improved access to markets may give people an economic boost, however, financial security is dependent on access to a range of diverse raw materials whose availability is declining in many areas.

“The vast majority of road studies look at only one of those pieces,” said Stephen Perz, a UF sociologist and lead author on the paper, which was published in March in the journal Regional Environmental Change. “But it is necessary to consider what is gained and what is lost by paving highways.”

The southwestern Amazon, situated along the borders of Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, is considered a biodiversity “hot spot” because of its extreme variety of plant and wildlife species. Scientists are creating models to better understand how paving of the Interoceanic Highway increases deforestation and degrades forest habitats in this sensitive area.

Forest loss and degradation can cause an upsurge in susceptibility to future fires, which results in a forest-burning domino effect that raises carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. At the same time, the Amazon’s worsening droughts, which are also associated with climate change, make fires more dangerous to forests.

Perz and his colleagues found that people are often ill-equipped to control fires by themselves and live in places that firefighters cannot access in time to extinguish outbreaks.

The Interoceanic Highway was a decades-long dream of many governments seeking to develop the Amazon and it was finally paved in 2010, although several side roads remain to be connected. The process of paving gave the researchers an opportunity to examine how a road brings opportunities as well as problems to local communities.

“For an anthropologist it’s hard, because you kind of romanticize people who live sustainably,” said paper author Jeffrey Hoelle, an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder who interviewed Brazilian families when he was a UF graduate student working on the study.

“But everyone has basic needs, and if the road gets people better access to education and health care, they are going to take advantage of it.”

The researchers say economic success in the region is dependent on whether the road gave people opportunities to use a diversity of materials from the rainforest and the ability to sell their products in regional markets. These factors ultimately contributed to whether communities showed resilience to rapid changes from development.

As construction continues and new roads become off-shoots from the highway, additional rainforest resources will be diminished. Previous roads through Brazil pushed rubber tappers away from their economic livelihood that once was provided by the indigenous rubber plant of the rainforest. This forced workers to relocate to local towns, where they were unprepared to find jobs, often resulting in urban poverty.

In June, world leaders will meet in Brazil at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as the Rio+20, to discuss forests and patterns of production and consumption, among other topics.

It comes on the heels of recent protests in Brazil about proposed reforms legalizing the deforestation of millions of acres of the Amazon. And in Peru, protests continue to surround further road development that may venture into areas inhabited by some of the country’s isolated rainforest tribes.

The researchers in this study are using the information they gathered to contribute to a model that governments and communities can use when planning highways to avoid some of the negative outcomes of paving.

“Is the road good or bad? It depends on who you ask and what you choose to study,” Perz said. “But a broader planning approach requires an open, public process in which communities need to participate.”

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Research partners in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru include the following institutions: Amazonian University of Pando, Bolivia; Federal University of Acre, Brazil; and the National Amazonian University of Madre de Dios, Peru.

Related Links
University of Florida researcher
Forestry News – Global and Local News, Science and Application

 

 

 

Geoengineering: A whiter sky

by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX)


There are several larger environmental implications to the group’s findings, too. Because plants grow more efficiently under diffuse light conditions such as this, global photosynthetic activity could increase, pulling more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

One idea for fighting global warming is to increase the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, scattering incoming solar energy away from the Earth’s surface. But scientists theorize that this solar geoengineering could have a side effect of whitening the sky during the day.

New research from Carnegie’s Ben Kravitz and Ken Caldeira indicates that blocking 2% of the sun’s light would make the sky three-to-five times brighter, as well as whiter. Their work is published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter. Large volcanic eruptions cool the planet by creating lots of small particles in the stratosphere, but the particles fall out within a couple of years, and the planet heats back up.

The idea behind solar geoengineering is to constantly replenish a layer of small particles in the stratosphere, mimicking this volcanic aftermath and scattering sunlight back to space.

Using advanced models, Kravitz and Caldeira-along with Douglas MacMartin from the California Institute of Technology-examined changes to sky color and brightness from using sulfate-based aerosols in this way. They found that, depending on the size of the particles, the sky would whiten during the day and sunsets would have afterglows.

Their models predict that the sky would still be blue, but it would be a lighter shade than what most people are used to looking at now. The research team’s work shows that skies everywhere could look like those over urban areas in a world with this type of geoengineering taking place. In urban areas, the sky often looks hazy and white.

“These results give people one more thing to consider before deciding whether we really want to go down this road,” Kravitz said. “Although our study did not address the potential psychological impact of these changes to the sky, they are important to consider as well.”

There are several larger environmental implications to the group’s findings, too. Because plants grow more efficiently under diffuse light conditions such as this, global photosynthetic activity could increase, pulling more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

On the other hand, the effectiveness of solar power could be diminished, as less sunlight would reach solar-power generators.

“I hope that we never get to the point where people feel the need to spray aerosols in the sky to offset rampant global warming,” Caldeira said. “This is one study where I am not eager to have our predictions proven right by a global stratospheric aerosol layer in the real world.”

Related Links
Carnegie Institution
Climate Science News – Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

 

 

 

Standing trees better than burning ones for carbon neutrality

by Staff Writers
Durham, NC (SPX)


illustration only

The search for alternatives to fossil fuels has prompted growing interest in the use of wood, harvested directly from forests, as a carbon-neutral energy source. But a new study by researchers at Duke and Oregon State universities finds that leaving forests intact so they can continue to store carbon dioxide and keep it from re-entering the atmosphere will do more to curb climate change over the next century than cutting and burning their wood as fuel.

“Substituting woody bioenergy for fossil fuels isn’t an effective method for climate change mitigation,” said Stephen R. Mitchell, a research scientist at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Wood stores only about half the amount of carbon-created energy as an equivalent amount of fossil fuels, he explained, so you have to burn more of it to produce as much energy.

“In most cases, it would take more than 100 years for the amount of energy substituted to equal the amount of carbon storage achieved if we just let the forests grow and not harvest them at all,” he said.

Mitchell is lead author of the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Change Biology Bioenergy. Mark E. Harmon and Kari E. O’Connell of Oregon State University co-authored the study.

Using an ecosystem simulation model developed at Oregon State, the team calculated how long it would take to repay the carbon debt – the net reduction in carbon storage – incurred by harvesting forests for wood energy under a variety of different scenarios.

Their model accounted for a broad range of harvesting practices, ecosystem characteristics and land-use histories. It also took into account varying bioenergy conversion efficiencies, which measure the amount of energy that woody biomass gives off using different energy-generating technologies.

“Few of our combinations achieved carbon sequestration parity in less than 100 years, even when we set the bioenergy conversion factor at near-maximal levels,” Harmon said.

Because wood stores less carbon-created energy than fossil fuels, you have to harvest, transport and burn more of it to produce as much energy. This extra activity produces additional carbon emissions.

“These emissions must be offset if forest bioenergy is to be used without adding to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the near-term,” he said.

Performing partial harvests at a medium to low frequency – every 50 to 100 years or so – could be an effective strategy, O’Connell noted, but would generate less bioenergy.

“It’s a Catch-22,” she said. “Less intensive methods of harvesting release fewer emissions but yield less energy. The most intensive methods, such as clear-cutting, produce more energy but also release more carbon back into the atmosphere, prolonging the time required to achieve carbon sequestration parity.”

Given current economic realities and the increasing worldwide demand for forest products and land for agriculture, it’s unlikely that many forests will be managed in coming years solely for carbon storage, Mitchell said, but that makes it all the more critical that scientists, resource managers and policymakers work together to maximize the carbon storage potential of the remaining stands.

“The take-home message of our study is that managing forests for maximal carbon storage can yield appreciable, and highly predictable, carbon mitigation benefits within the coming century,” Mitchell said. “Harvesting forests for bioenergy production would require such a long time scale to yield net benefits that it is unlikely to be an effective avenue for climate-change mitigation.”

The research was funded by a NASA New Investigator Program grant to Kari O’Connell, by the H.J. Andrews Long-term Ecological Research Program, and by the Kay and Ward Richardson Endowment.

Related Links
Duke University
Forestry News – Global and Local News, Science and Application

 

 

 

Environmental injustice: One community’s story

This area is only 25 miles north of San Francisco, yet it is surrounded by 5 oil refineries, 3 chemical companies and scores of toxic waste sites. Health experts say the environment is taking a toll on residents’ health.

By Environmental Health News

Homes stand amidst the Chevron oil refinery July 14, 2008 in Richmond, California (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Homes stand amidst the Chevron oil refinery July 14, 2008, in Richmond, Calif. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NORTH RICHMOND, Calif. — From the house where he was born, Henry Clark can stand in his backyard and see plumes pouring out of one of the biggest oil refineries in the United States. As a child, he was fascinated by the factory on the hill, all lit up at night like the hellish twin of a fairy tale city. In the morning, he’d go out to play and find the leaves on the trees burned to a crisp. “Sometimes I’d find the air so foul, I’d have to grab my nose and run back into the house until it cleared up.”
The refinery would burn off excess gases, sending “energy and heat waves that would rock our house like we were caught in an earthquake,” recalled Clark, now 68. When the area was engulfed in black smoke for up to a week after one accident, “nobody came to check on the health of North Richmond.”
With all of the frequent explosions and fires that sent children fleeing schools, parks and a swimming pool within a mile of the refinery, “we just hoped that nothing happened that would blow everybody up,” Clark said. “People still wonder when the next big accident is going to happen.”
For 100 years, people — most of them blacks — have lived next door to the booming Chevron Richmond Refinery built by Standard Oil, a plant so huge it can process 240,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Hundreds of tanks holding millions of barrels of raw crude dot 2,900 acres of property on a hilly peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. About 5,000 miles of pipeline there move gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and other chemical products.
During World War II, African Americans like Clark’s family moved to homes in the shadow of this refinery because they had nowhere else to go. Coming to California looking for opportunity, they quickly learned that white neighborhoods and subdivisions didn’t want them.
The people of Richmond live within a ring of five major oil refineries, three chemical companies, eight Superfund sites, dozens of other toxic waste sites, highways, two rail yards, ports and marine terminals where tankers dock. The city of 103,701 doesn’t share the demographic of San Francisco, 25 miles to the south, or even Contra Costa County, or the state as a whole.
In North Richmond — the tiny, unincorporated neighbor of Richmond — Latinos, blacks and Asians make up 97 percent of the 3,717 residents, compared with 82.9 percent in Richmond and 59.9 percent in California, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
Most houses sell for below $100,000, among the lowest prices in the Bay Area, in the ZIP code shared with the Chevron refinery, and residents complain of a lack of paved streets, lighting and basic services. Short on jobs and long on poverty, there’s not a grocery store or cafe in sight. The median income in North Richmond — $36,875 in 2010 — is less than Richmond’s modest $54,012 and less than half of Contra Costa County’s $78,385.
Low-income residents seeking affordable homes end up sharing a fence line with a refinery and a cluster of other polluting businesses. They may save money on shelter, but they pay the price in health, researchers say.
Decades of toxic emissions from industries — as well as lung-penetrating diesel particles spewed by truck routes and rail lines running next door to neighborhoods — may be taking a toll on residents’ health. The people of Richmond, particularly African Americans, are at significantly higher risk of dying from heart disease and strokes and more likely to go to hospitals for asthma than other county residents. Health experts say their environment likely is playing a major role.
Stacks at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California (Photo: Justin Sullivan/AFP)While most coastal cities breathe ocean breezes mixed with traffic exhaust, people in north and central Richmond are exposed to a greater array of contaminants, many of them at higher concentrations. Included are benzene, mercury and other hazardous air pollutants that have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems and neurological effects. People can’t escape the fumes indoors, either. One study showed that some of the industrial pollutants are inside Richmond homes.
It’s the triple whammy of race, poverty and environment converging nationwide to create communities near pollution sources where nobody else wants to live. Black leaders from the Civil Rights Movement called the phenomenon environmental racism, and beginning in the early 1980s, they documented the pattern at North Carolina’s Warren County PCBs landfill, Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,” Chicago’s South Side, Tennessee’s Dickson County, Houston’s Sunnyside garbage dump and other places across the country.
About 56 percent of the 9 million Americans who live in neighborhoods within three kilometers of large commercial hazardous waste facilities are people of color, according to a landmark, 2007 environmental justice report by the United Church of Christ. In California, it’s 81 percent. Poverty rates in these neighborhoods are 1.5 times higher than elsewhere.
Those numbers, however, reflect a miniscule portion of the threats faced by nonwhite and low-income families. Thousands of additional towns are near other major sources of pollution, including refineries, chemical plants, freeways and ports.
Richmond is one of these beleaguered towns, on the forefront of the nation’s environmental justice struggle, waging a fight that began a century ago.
Nowhere else to go
In the San Francisco Bay Area, African Americans didn’t move next to an oil refinery by chance.
Early black settlers came to California as part of a migration between 1890 and the 1920s, many following family and friends to emerging industry in the East Bay. They escaped Jim Crow traditions of the South, but “lived a tenuous existence on the outer edges of the city’s industrial vision, trapped at the bottom of the economic and social hierarchy,” according to Sacramento State University professor Shirley Ann Wilson Moore in her book, “To Place Our Deeds.”
During World War II, blacks again arrived, mainly from southern states seeking jobs in shipbuilding plants built under government contract with industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. Henry Clark’s father, Jimmy Clark of Little Rock, Ark., came seeking opportunity as the first town barber.
Richmond turned to segregated housing in the decade after its 1905 incorporation. When Kaiser got the war contract for shipbuilding in 1941, most of Richmond’s African American population was concentrated in and around North Richmond. Early records describe North Richmond as bordering a garbage dump with few streetlights, scarce fire and police protection and unpaved streets turning to “muddy quagmires in the rain.”
The Richmond Housing Authority, in 1941, was told by the federal government to provide low-cost housing to the shipyard workers who swelled Richmond to a city five times its earlier size. But by 1952, no African American had lived in any of Richmond’s permanent low-rent housing. There was nothing in rentals or sales available to blacks in the central city.
Nonwhites were pushed to unincorporated North Richmond and other neighborhoods dominated by the refinery, chemical companies, highways, rail yards and ports.
“It was the only land available to them when they wanted to purchase property. People don’t put themselves in harm’s way intentionally,” said Betty Reid Soskin, 93, who moved to the Bay Area with her family when she was 8. She lectures on the African American experience in World War II at the National Historical Park’s Rosie the Riveter project in Richmond. “Real estate developers could determine where you lived. The local banker could determine who could get mortgages.”
“Social policy determines history,” Soskin said. “We have developed sensitivities to environmental injustice, and those sensitivities did not exist during that time.”
The pattern of neglect continues today, said the Rev. Kenneth Davis, who used to come to North Richmond from San Francisco in the 1970s to visit friends and blues clubs.
“It’s like we’re on an island,” Davis said. “No grocery store to get fresh fruits and vegetables and meat. The only things you can buy are drink and dope. There’s nothing but old nasty rotten food on the shelves and plenty of beer, wine and whiskey.”
Davis, who moved to a senior apartment in North Richmond in 2006, said he can see the refinery from his third-floor window, and blames Chevron and other companies for his chronic cough since moving here. As a pastor, he wonders about the deeper effects pollution and poverty. “I’m beginning to think there’s a correlation between the toxic fumes that we’re breathing and the violence that is so prevalent in our community.”
Joining the African Americans are newcomers from Laos, Latin America and the Pacific Islands, again seeking refuge and opportunity here amongst the factories and freeways in North Richmond.

UN food agency warns of danger to croplands in Mali and Niger from locust swarms

Desert locusts eating vegetation. Photo: FAO/G.Diana

5 June 2012 –

The United Nations warned today that croplands in Niger and Mali are at imminent risk from Desert Locust swarms that are moving southward from Algeria and Libya.“How many locusts there are and how far they move will depend on two major factors – the effectiveness of current control efforts in Algeria and Libya and upcoming rainfall in the Sahel of West Africa,” a Senior Locust Forecasting Officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said Keith Cressman, said in a news release.Groups of locusts have recently been found in northern Niger, arriving from infestations further north.According to FAO, the Desert Locust swarms can be dense and highly mobile – varying from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres, with at least 40 million and sometimes as many as 80 million locust adults in each square kilometre of swarm, and able to travel about five to 130 kilometres or more in a day.A Desert Locust adult can consume roughly its own weight in fresh food per day, equivalent to about two grams every day. A very small part of an average swarm – or about one tonne of locusts – eats the same amount of food in one day as about 10 elephants or 25 camels or 2,500 people.FAO says locust-control efforts in the region are being hindered by continued insecurity along both sides of the Algerian-Libyan border. Political insecurity and conflict in Mali could also hamper monitoring and control efforts if the locusts reach that country.Locust infestations were first reported in southwest Libya near Ghat in January 2012 and in south-east Algeria. In late March, FAO warned that swarms could arrive in Niger and Mali by June. Continued rains and the resulting growth of vegetation led to the formation of swarms by mid-May.

FAO notes that both Algeria and Libya have been working hard to treat infested areas, covering a total of 40,000 hectares in Algeria and 21,000 hectares in Libya as of the end of May.

“In a normal year, Algeria and Libya would have been able to control most of the local swarms and prevent their movement towards the south, but insecurity along both sides of the Algerian-Libyan border is getting in the way of full access by local teams and by FAO experts who need to assess the situation,” Mr. Cressman said. “Libya’s capacity to carry out control efforts has also been affected in the past year.”

Niger last faced Desert Locust swarms during the 2003-05 plague that affected farmers in two dozen countries.

The FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region has provided $300,000 in funding to tackle locust infestations in Libya, and FAO has added an additional $400,000 to address the problem.

One of FAO’s mandates is to provide information on the general locust situation to all interested countries and to give timely warnings and forecasts to those countries in danger of invasion.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Pakistan floods, West Africa food crisis top recipients from UN fund

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Cyber Space

Stanford psychologists aim to help computers understand you better

by Brooke Donald Stanford News
Stanford CA (SPX)


Noah Goodman, right, and Michael Frank, both assistant professors of psychology, discuss their research at the white board that covers the wall in Goodman’s office.

Language is so much more than a string of words. To understand what someone means, you need context. Consider the phrase, “Man on first.” It doesn’t make much sense unless you’re at a baseball game. Or imagine a sign outside a children’s boutique that reads, “Baby sale – One week only!” You easily infer from the situation that the store isn’t selling babies but advertising bargains on gear for them.

Present these widely quoted scenarios to a computer, however, and there would likely be a communication breakdown. Computers aren’t very good at pragmatics – how language is used in social situations.

But a pair of Stanford psychologists has taken the first steps toward changing that.

In a new paper published recently in the journal Science, Assistant Professors Michael Frank and Noah Goodman describe a quantitative theory of pragmatics that promises to help open the door to more human-like computer systems, ones that use language as flexibly as we do.

The mathematical model they created helps predict pragmatic reasoning and may eventually lead to the manufacture of machines that can better understand inference, context and social rules. The work could help researchers understand language better and treat people with language disorders.

It also could make speaking to a computerized customer service attendant a little less frustrating.

“If you’ve ever called an airline, you know the computer voice recognizes words but it doesn’t necessarily understand what you mean,” Frank said. “That’s the key feature of human language. In some sense it’s all about what the other person is trying to tell you, not what they’re actually saying.”

Frank and Goodman’s work is part of a broader trend to try to understand language using mathematical tools. That trend has led to technologies like Siri, the iPhone’s speech recognition personal assistant.

But turning speech and language into numbers has its obstacles, mainly the difficulty of formalizing notions such as “common knowledge” or “informativeness.”

That is what Frank and Goodman sought to address.

The researchers enlisted 745 participants to take part in an online experiment. The participants saw a set of objects and were asked to bet which one was being referred to by a particular word.

For example, one group of participants saw a blue square, a blue circle and a red square. The question for that group was: Imagine you are talking to someone and you want to refer to the middle object. Which word would you use, “blue” or “circle”?

The other group was asked: Imagine someone is talking to you and uses the word “blue” to refer to one of these objects. Which object are they talking about?

“We modeled how a listener understands a speaker and how a speaker decides what to say,” Goodman explained.

The results allowed Frank and Goodman to create a mathematical equation to predict human behavior and determine the likelihood of referring to a particular object.

“Before, you couldn’t take these informal theories of linguistics and put them into a computer. Now we’re starting to be able to do that,” Goodman said.

The researchers are already applying the model to studies on hyperbole, sarcasm and other aspects of language.

“It will take years of work but the dream is of a computer that really is thinking about what you want and what you mean rather than just what you said,” Frank said.

Related Links
Stanford
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

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Community


South Carolina man starts urban garden to feed those in need, teach people how to grow food

By Jonathan Benson,

 
(NaturalNews) The relatively modest, two-and-a-half acre plot of formerly unused land behind the Wild Radish Health Store in Greenville, South Carolina, is quickly burgeoning into a cornucopia of organic squash, kale, blueberries and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Thanks to the vision of one local man with a heart for the needy, and the efforts of hundreds of his neighbors, the Greenville area will soon have access to free, organic produce as part of a new initiative known as The Generous Garden…

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Survival / Sustainability

The Psychology of Prepping

by M.D. Creekmore (a.k.a Mr. Prepper) a

This guest post is by Non-psychologist, D.P. KYSER (aka CaptnDave),  and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

Let me preface this article with full disclosure. I am not a Psychiatrist! My background is mostly Naval Aviation (Wings of Gold, baby!), some sales, including owning my own business, running someone else’s much larger business, and lots of leadership experience. Currently I’m professionally teaching & training Military personnel.

First, if you’re freaked-out that The End-of-The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) is happening tomorrow, or December 21st, of January 13th, 2013: relax.

Stop it.

Just stop with the drama and don’t fall for the hype. Do I think trouble is coming? Absolutely. Preparedness is essential, but don’t panic.

Fortune favors the bold, and bold people are not panicked.

Let’s talk about the psychology and personalities of prepping; what drives people to behave the way do, and how we might use this information to better communicate with our spouse, and also friends & relatives that may be included in your prepper network, so you effectively communicate the reasoning behind your desire to be prepared and everyone can get “On-board” with the program.

I must first go back to Plato’s works on personalities. Plato postulated that there are four different basic personality types¹: Phlegmatic, Sanguine, Melancholy, and Choleric. Those of you that have received Sales training have probably seen versions of this (MBTI, Owls and Dolphins, etc.). I’ll spare you the boring College-level analysis of Plato’s work and ideas; I’ll give an overview of it by means of a short story analogy.

There’s a fire in a rather large building! The first person that shows up is the Phlegmatic. He stands there on the corner across the street and looks around timidly, and mumbles to himself, “Isn’t anybody going to do anything?” The second person to show up is the Sanguine. She looks at the fire and happily squeals “Wow, a fire, let’s get some weenies and have us a weenie roast!” (She’s not taking it seriously.) The third person that shows up is the Melancholy. He looks at the building on fire, and noticing the building is ten stories tall, and one-hundred feet wide by about 200 feet deep, pulls out his whiz-wheel and begins to calculate how much water it’s going to take to put the fire out. While the Melancholy is still calculating how many thousands of gallons of water are required, the Choleric shows up. He immediately looks at the first person and commands “You, call 911”, then to the other two people he yells “come on you two, grab that ladder and hose and let’s go!”

While you were reading this story, you’ve probably already thought to yourself, that one sounds like my friend, that one my spouse, and so on. Here’s the point; if we know how people behave, then maybe we can identify what in their personality is driving them to respond or to shut down, and enables us to better communicate with them.

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

genetically modified corn
Photo: ZUMA Press
Glow-in-the-dark cats? It may sound like science fiction, but they’ve been around for years. Cabbages that produce scorpion poison? It’s been done. Oh, and the next time you need a vaccine, the doctor might just give you a banana.
These and many other genetically modified organisms exist today because their DNA has been altered and combined with other DNA to create an entirely new set of genes. You may not realize it, but many of these genetically modified organisms are a part of your daily life — and your daily diet. Today, 45 percent of U.S. corn and 85 percent of U.S. soybeans are genetically engineered, and it’s estimated that 70 to 75 percent of processed foods on grocery store shelves contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Here’s a look at the some of the weirdest genetically engineered plants and animals already in existence — and many that are coming your way soon. (Text: Laura Moss)

500-Year old Indian Village Unearthed in North Carolina

Indian Country Today
lol, mine  used

© http://www.charlotteobserver.com/
An artist’s rendering of the Catawba Meadows Archaeological Interpretive Center, located at Catawba Meadows Park in the city of Morganton. Located along the Catawba River, the center will be on the actual site where archaeologists are excavating an Indian village that stood here 500 years ago.

The Charlotte Observer reported on an American Indian village unearthed in Morganton, North Carolina, in Catawba Meadows Park. Archaeologists have been pulling artifacts from the ground in Burke County for some time now. The Observer spoke to Emma Richardson, who has been part of the team researching the village.

Richardson told the Observer that village hugged the banks of the Catawba River in present-day Morganton, and was likely circled by a wooden palisade, with village structures rising in a meadow where gardens flourished thank sto the rich river-bottom soil.

“Richardson also imagines a day in the 16th-century when villagers may have looked up from their toil and seen Spanish explorers arrive,” Observer reporter Joe DePriest writes. “The story of this clash of cultures will be told in a major living history project going up on the actual site of the village, now occupied by Morganton’s Catawba Meadows Park.”

Eventually there will be a Catawba Meadows Archaeology Interpretive Center that will focus on the American Indians and Spanish explorers who lived in the Catawba Valley long before the English arrived on Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina. The center’s exhibit will also showcase artifacts found some ten miles away in the remains of another Indian village, this one called Joara, as well as artifacts from a fort built by Spanish explorer Juan Pardo in 1567. Scientists maintain that the fort was the first European settlement in the interior of the United States. Archaeologists have turned up thousands of pieces of history from the fort, including spike-like nails, lead balls for a harquebus, a type of gun. National attention in the form of National Geographic, Smithsonian and Archaeology magazines have been interested in the site. For more on this story, click here.

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