Article: Uptalk

Fascinating article about the origins of Uptalk. After reading it, I will attribute it to the Vikings. I used to think it was a distinctly Canadian thing. Obviously not.

BBC News: 10 theories on how uptalk originated – the habit of making statements sound like questions

An Effective Way to Help the Third World: Peepoople

Peepoople’s products are portable, biodegradable, single-use toilets, serving the target markets of impovished people, disaster areas, and refugee areas. As the website states:

Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitising, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents faeces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem. After use, Peepoo turns into valuable fertiliser that can improve livelihoods and increase food security.

This seems a much more effective way to truly help those in the Third world, instead of  vaccinations or supplying shoes.

Read more at: Peepoople.com

Book: Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller

Read a good book by Jeff Rubin entitled Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller. It is about the price of petroleum, cheap oil, and its impact on the world economy.

He says it was the main instigator of the 2008 economic meltdown, and he expects more of these events to occur, when the price of gasoline does a sudden increase. He says eventually manufacturing will return to North America, when the cost of shipping from China becomes prohibitive. He is in favor of a carbon tax and for the current trade imbalance of importing from cheaper countries without a carbon tax is to put a carbon tariff on imported goods from countries that do not have a carbon tax. Kyoto and carbon tax puts countries at disadvantage. They must add the cost of a carbon tax onto their products, or invest to produce the products cleanly. Either way their costs go up. China is free to pollute and emit with no extra costs, and export what they produce. A tariff at our current carbon rates would mitigate that, and make our goods competitive. When it becomes more economical to produce locally, then our factories, now clean, can reopen.

It isn’t quite a doom and gloom book, but our world will change, the overall cost of things will go up, the majority of the population won’t have access to the luxuries of the current era, but we can adapt. He says it is inevitable. Either we lessen the pain and start to take the steps he outlines now, or we have those changes thrust upon us and we suffer the pain.

Rare Video: Leptocephalus, the flat and transparent larva of the eel.

The flat and transparent larva of the eel which grows about 60-300 mm. They are so hard to spot and rarely sighted.

Article: The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?

This article is from Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association, and is so vital to know, I have included the entire article. (more…)

The Story of Bottled Water

Article: The Crash You Can Avoid

Here is a great article I found via Twitter. It is a timely and articulate piece, by Tony Schwartz in the Harvard Business Review, The Crash You Can Avoid, who is one of many voices stating that the way we live cannot continue. (more…)

Who Are We?

Here is an article that explains why some of us engage in dangerous behavior, the tantalizing evidence that toxoplasmosis, a common parasite, may affect human behavior. The article is entitled A game of cat and mouse and postulates that “…entire societies are being altered by Toxoplasma. In 2006 Kevin Lafferty of the University of California, Santa Barbara, published a paper noting a correlation between levels of neuroticism established by national surveys in various countries and the level of Toxoplasma infection recorded in pregnant women… phlegmatic Britain, with a neuroticism score of -0.8 and a Toxoplasma infection rate of 6.6%, to hot-blooded France, which scored 1.8 and had an infection rate of 45%…”