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If Droughts Are Predictable Because They Self-Propagate, Not Planning For Them Is Irresponsible

Posted by on Apr 25, 2022 in Atmospheric | Comments Off on If Droughts Are Predictable Because They Self-Propagate, Not Planning For Them Is Irresponsible

Everyone knows droughts are bad. They increase risk of wildfires and damage life in the affected region. They are not always predictable, when I lived in Pennsylvania in the early 1990s there was a drought with no known mechanism involved, but they are often cyclical, which makes them at least broadly predictable.

The Dry 2 Dry program at Ghent University believes droughts are not only predictable and cyclical, they can propagate in a kind of feedback loop; instead of being local, evaporated water is moved to other areas, so less of it is taking drought with them.

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The Next Pollution Target Is Your Dryer Lint – Fabric Softener To The Rescue?

Posted by on Apr 8, 2022 in Atmospheric | Comments Off on The Next Pollution Target Is Your Dryer Lint – Fabric Softener To The Rescue?

A new study says that drying a load of laundry in a machine releases "microfibers" into the air but chemicals made by a $76 billion company will save us.

Microfibers? Is that a thing? Sure, we have defined healthy down to such an extent that no one is without a disease of some kind. With endocrine disrupting chemicals, small micron particulate matter, and supermarket food it is amazing any of us live more than a day. 

But is it really meaningful? As with Micronauts, it sounds like something that might be the science equivalent of an MCU show but on closer examination is really more like Hasbro latching onto a fad.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Suicide Rates Among Women In Japan To Increase

Posted by on Apr 4, 2022 in Psychology | Comments Off on COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Suicide Rates Among Women In Japan To Increase

Japan has a high suicide rate, so it was news when there were reports from the National Police Agency that October 2020 had more suicide deaths in just that month than they had deaths due to COVID-19 for the year.(1) 

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Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Risk

Posted by on Apr 1, 2022 in Public Health | Comments Off on Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Risk

Though nearly everyone recognizes that smoking cigarettes is a known carcinogen, many marijuana users think marijuana smoke is safe. They may not realize it is inhaling the smoke, not that the smoke is from one plant or another, that is the worry. Nicotine or THC is as harmless as caffeine, but when combusted in a leaf with paper and inhaled, everything becomes harmful. Including marijuana plants.

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Planting Trees Can Fix The Climate, But Only If We Eliminate 80% Of Energy Usage

Posted by on Mar 31, 2022 in Energy | Comments Off on Planting Trees Can Fix The Climate, But Only If We Eliminate 80% Of Energy Usage

Nothing is more ridiculous than annual logjammed airports because celebrities use private jets to go to climate conferences and tell attendees eating four-course meals they need to do more to convince poor people using dung and wood for fuel that they should want solar panels. Environmental journalists insist they must also attend in person because it "builds relationships" and they promise to give money to some company that says it will plant a tree to assuage their guilt.

It's all nonsense, of course, the kind of rich white elitism that has a different name than in the 19th century but is still warmed over colonialism. 

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Planting Trees Can Fix The Climate, But Only If We Eliminate 80% Of Energy Usage

Posted by on Mar 31, 2022 in Energy | Comments Off on Planting Trees Can Fix The Climate, But Only If We Eliminate 80% Of Energy Usage

Nothing is more ridiculous than annual logjammed airports because celebrities use private jets to go to climate conferences and tell attendees eating four-course meals they need to do more to convince poor people using dung and wood for fuel that they should want solar panels. Environmental journalists insist they must also attend in person because it "builds relationships" and they promise to give money to some company that says it will plant a tree to assuage their guilt.

It's all nonsense, of course, the kind of rich white elitism that has a different name than in the 19th century but is still warmed over colonialism. 

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With Detection Of Earendel, Hubble Just Set A Viewing Distance Record Of 28 Billion Lightyears

Posted by on Mar 30, 2022 in Space | Comments Off on With Detection Of Earendel, Hubble Just Set A Viewing Distance Record Of 28 Billion Lightyears

Fermilab, now a tourist attraction, found the Higgs Boson before the Large Hadron Collider did, but the lack of comparative luminosity made it a struggle to know that as quickly as the LHC did. 

That's why the discovery of a star by Hubble 28 billion lightyears away, a new record, may not last long if everything goes as planned with its long-delayed successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. It's so far away that Hubble can't tell astronomers if it is even one star or two, because statistical blips in the data need more clarity that a deeper space telescope will provide.

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The Ukraine War Punctured The Myth Of Viable Alternative Energy

Posted by on Mar 29, 2022 in Energy | Comments Off on The Ukraine War Punctured The Myth Of Viable Alternative Energy

The war in Ukraine has driven oil prices to their highest levels since 2008. As crude oil is the main component of gasoline, the first place Americans encounter price pain is at the pump, with 56% of every gallon of gas reflecting the cost of crude, followed by spikes in home climate control.

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Why Your Expensive Restaurant Mac And Cheese Probably Has Velveeta

Posted by on Mar 15, 2022 in Chemistry | Comments Off on Why Your Expensive Restaurant Mac And Cheese Probably Has Velveeta

I make macaroni and cheese quite a lot. I like to eat it on Fridays and for friends and family on holidays. I have sampled mac and cheese all across the country. I am no Guy Fieri, but I have gotten around, and I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that most elite - which is to say costly - macaroni and cheese uses Velveeta. Or at least a key chemical in it.

The reason is not flavor. It is science. 

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Janssen Vs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines: A Clear Winner In Reduced Hospitalizations

Posted by on Mar 7, 2022 in Immunology | Comments Off on Janssen Vs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines: A Clear Winner In Reduced Hospitalizations

COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing vaccines but the big win for public health is reduced effects if you get it anyway. If you don't have co-morbidities your relative risk is very low but if you do have them, every precaution is worth taking.

The vaccines come in many forms but two of note are the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) and Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), distinct because Janssen only requires one dose.  And the latter made "mRNA" part of the cultural lexicon. 

Which one led to fewer hospitalizations? They were both outstanding but there is a winner.

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