5 Emerging Renewable Energy Sources to Watch Out For — The Green Living Guy ®

In recent years, renewable energy has become more affordable. For this reason, most researchers have started looking for alternative sources to reduce the escalating costs of energy. The emergence of new sources of renewable energy is expected to result in a less polluted environment. Below are 5 renewable energy sources poised to make a difference. […]

via 5 Emerging Renewable Energy Sources to Watch Out For — The Green Living Guy ®

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Ninth Planet May Have Been Discovered, Researchers Say

You might have a replacement, Pluto. There could be another planet in our solar system. 5dcf8bbaa2d419038e0f6a706700bdb4

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence in the outer solar system of an object that could be a real ninth planet.

There could be another planet in our solar system. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence in the outer solar system of an object that could be a real ninth planet. Nicknamed Planet Nine, it "has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun" than Neptune. That means "it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun," according to a Caltech.

There could be another planet in our solar system. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found evidence in the outer solar system of an object that could be a real ninth planet. Nicknamed Planet Nine, it “has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun” than Neptune. That means “it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun,” according to a Caltech.

Nicknamed Planet Nine, it “has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun” than Neptune. That means “it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun,” according to Caltech.

Researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown haven’t actually seen the planet, but other research helped lead them to conclude that there is one. Basically, they found that certain objects in the Kuiper Belt — the field of icy objects and debris beyond Neptune — had orbits that peculiarly pointed in the same direction.

Over time, mathematical modeling and computer simulation led them to the conclusion that a planet was exerting the gravity necessary to shape these orbits.

Brown says “there have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.”

Already, Caltech is pretty confident Planet Nine is large enough to rule out any debate about whether it’s a true planet — unlike Pluto, which got the boot in 2006

Source: Ninth Planet May Have Been Discovered, Researchers Say

Should you Drop out of School?

Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg

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“The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg

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Julien Blanc’s Social Media:

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Related: 70’s interview with Margaret Thatcher:  

A Portrait of the Plains: Documenting A Changing Landscape

Beautiful: Absolutely Fabulous: 2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

Fourchette Creek
by Robin Walter

Morning light spills
through grass thick
with dew,
small whorls of dust
rise
from hooves
stamping their lives
into this ground.
Listen,

I rise
to the clatter
of birds:
small,
fierce,
and brown.

2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

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2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

Emilio Cogliani

Fourchette Creek
by Robin Walter

Morning light spills
through grass thick
with dew,
small whorls of dust
rise
from hooves
stamping their lives
into this ground.
Listen,

I rise
to the clatter
of birds:
small,
fierce,
and brown.

2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

2015-09-10-1441917893-7041547-dsc_0652.jpg

2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

This blog is part of an ongoing series following the Rediscover the Prairie expedition, a horseback journey across the Great Plains. To learn more please visit http://ift.tt/1B02Abg
All photos © Robin Walter or Sebastian Tsocanos. All rights reserved.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


from Green – The Huffington Post http://ift.tt/1QDVvXP

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The Dangers of Over-Prescribing Antibiotics

CDC: Over-prescibing Antibiotics promotes stronger More Resilient Bacteria Growth. This new Bacteria Growth is more resistant to medications, and often causes infections and cancer-type skin spots (these spots appear red and brown) that are much more serious than the original infection being treating.

Antibiotic prescribing in hospitals is inconsistent and often inappropriate—contributing to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, according to an analysis of hospital antibiotic prescribing by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But simple steps, such as implementing checklists, could help hospitals more wisely use these vital medications, the CDC says.

The CDC has launched an increasingly urgent campaign to combat antimicrobial resistance. A report issued by the agency last fall found that antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect 2 million US individuals each year, causing 23 000 deaths and accounting for $20 billion in health costs. The report also raised the specter of the emergence of untreatable infections.

But in a March press briefing, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said that it is possible to reduce drug resistance rates by establishing antibiotic stewardship programs at hospitals and improving coordination between facilities. “We want to develop the infrastructure in every hospital, so every physician knows how to prescribe properly in the context of [his or her] hospital,” said Arjun Srinivasan, MD, associate director for health care–associated infection prevention programs at the CDC.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises more judicious use of antimicrobials to treat urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

For its part, the CDC is providing checklists for hospitals and physicians. And with the help of an additional $30 million in funding in the Obama Administration’s proposed 2015 budget, the CDC also plans to build an improved surveillance system to rapidly detect the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

More than half of hospital patients receive an antibiotic during their stay, and nearly a third receive a broad-spectrum antibiotic, according to the CDC’s analysis of data from 323 hospitals. These statistics aren’t terribly surprising, but the wide variations among hospitals are. Frieden noted that some of the 26 hospitals reporting data to the National Healthcare Safety Network prescribe 3 times more antibiotics than others.

“This provides a warning bell that improvement is possible,” Frieden said.

The analysis found frequent mistakes in the treatment of common conditions. Using data from its Emerging Infections Program, which included information on about 11 000 patients at 183 hospitals in 2011, the CDC found that half of all antibiotics were prescribed for 3 conditions: lower respiratory infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and gram-positive infections that are presumed to be resistant. In a review of 296 cases at 36 hospitals in which physicians treated patients with intravenous vancomycin or treated patients with a UTI who did not have a catheter, the CDC found that more than one-third of those cases involved mistakes that could contribute to resistance. For example, samples were not taken before initiating therapy, doses were incorrect, therapy was not reevaluated after 48 hours, or antibiotics were administered for too long.

“The data on surveillance are no surprise, but it is important to have numbers to support stewardship programs,” said Helen Boucher, MD, a physician at Tufts Medical Center and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s board of directors. She noted that the society has advocated for better stewardship of antibiotics for years.

More judicious use of antimicrobials in hospitals could have a big effect. Based on its models, the CDC estimates that a 30% reduction in the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospitals—representing a 5% reduction in overall hospital antibiotic use—could prevent 26% of Clostridium difficile infections related to antibiotic treatment. These reductions could also help prevent spillover transmission of C difficile into the community.

To aid all these efforts, the CDC plans to use its anticipated funding boost to build the infrastructure necessary to more quickly identify the emergence of resistant strains. Boucher explained that European public health officials are far ahead of the United States in this regard and can provide detailed information on resistance patterns by country and region.

John R. Combes, MD, senior vice president at the American Hospital Association, said that hospitals recognize the need for improvement and that the association is partnering with other organizations to build a toolkit for stewardship programs.

“We must improve our processes, not only to protect our patients, but to protect our antibiotics,” he said.

STEWARDSHIP INFRASTRUCTURE

The CDC recommends that each hospital build an antibiotic stewardship program to provide physicians with the information and tools they need to make the right decisions.

“Antibiotics are a precious resource, yet for decades we have not had a systematic approach in hospitals across the US to ensure they are used wisely,” said Sara Cosgrove, MD, MS, chair of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America antimicrobial stewardship taskforce, in a statement. “Antimicrobial stewardship programs are a critical step toward stemming the tide of antibiotic resistance and ensuring patients are receiving the right antibiotic, at the right dose and for the right duration.”

The CDC recommends that stewardship programs include 7 components:

  • Dedicated human, financial, and technology resources

  • A physician or other leader responsible for overall outcomes

  • A pharmacist leader focused on prescribing

  • An action to improve prescribing, such as requiring reassessment of prescriptions after 48 hours for drug choice, dose, and duration

  • Monitoring of prescribing and resistance patterns

  • Regular reporting of resistance information to clinicians

  • Education about resistance and judicious prescribing

Boucher, who was hired by Tufts to lead its stewardship program, said that not only were these steps reasonable, but that taking them may also bring other benefits for hospitals. She explained that Tufts has saved millions of dollars by improving its stewardship of antibiotics.

Combes emphasized that the recommendations are not intended to limit physicians’ autonomy but to give them the information they need to provide the best care possible. In an age when “health care has become more of a team sport,” he said, the expertise of pharmacists and infectious disease specialists can help a physician choose the right drug.

“This shouldn’t be viewed as a bureaucratic obstacle to good clinical care,” he said. “This is good clinical care.”

The CDC is also recommending that hospitals work more closely with local public health agencies and neighboring health care facilities to better control the spread of microbes between facilities.

“Our hospitals are just one part of a continuous system of care,” said Combes. Courtesy of: Zedie @ wordpress.com

China to Invest $1 Billion in Russian Solar Energy

CHINA TO INVEST $1 BILLION IN RUSSIAN SOLAR ENERGY

Chinese power giant Amur Sirius plans to invest up to 45 billion rubles ($1 billion) in Russian solar energy starting next year, business daily Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Russia has blazing summers to match its harsh winters, and despite the country’s wealth of hydrocarbon resources, the government is making moves to encourage the emergence of green energy.

Solar Systems, a subsidiary of Amur Sirius, will start construction of a solar panel factory in the Alabuga special economic zone in Russia’s Tatarstan region next year, the company’s investment and finance chief Olga Bykova told the newspaper. Costing between 6 billion and 9 billion rubles, the plant should be completed by 2016, she said.

Solar Systems this summer also won tenders to build 175-megawatt solar power plants in three Russian regions, which will be commissioned between 2016 and 2018. Amur Sirius plans to continue bidding for new energy projects, and the company’s total investment in Russia could reach 45 billion rubles, Bykova said.

The government offers to subsidize green energy sales to guarantee a return on investment, but to qualify for the scheme, solar plants must use domestically produced equipment — hence the Tatarstan factory, Vedomosti reported.

Solar Systems is also considering new projects in Kazakhstan, Armenia and Eastern Europe, Bykova said.

FIGHT BOREDOM, SPREAD HAPPINESS

Chinese power giant Amur Sirius plans to invest up to 45 billion rubles ($1 billion) in Russian solar energy starting next year, business daily Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Russia has blazing summers to match its harsh winters, and despite the country’s wealth of hydrocarbon resources, the government is making moves to encourage the emergence of green energy.

Solar Systems, a subsidiary of Amur Sirius, will start construction of a solar panel factory in the Alabuga special economic zone in Russia’s Tatarstan region next year, the company’s investment and finance chief Olga Bykova told the newspaper. Costing between 6 billion and 9 billion rubles, the plant should be completed by 2016, she said.

Solar Systems this summer also won tenders to build 175-megawatt solar power plants in three Russian regions, which will be commissioned between 2016 and 2018. Amur Sirius plans to continue bidding for new energy projects, and the company’s total investment in Russia could reach 45 billion rubles, Bykova said.

The government offers to subsidize green energy sales to guarantee a return on investment, but to qualify for the scheme, solar plants must use domestically produced…

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This Technology Lets You Become a Dolphin.

Dolphins are the friendliest, most intelligent, human-like creatures in the ocean.

(Photo: Max and Haley LLC)

Couple Running on Beach in Hawaii

October 24, 2014

 

David Kirby has been a professional journalist for 25 years. His third book, Death at Seaworld, was published in 2012. full biofollow me.. 

Would you be more likely to save a dolphin if you could become one?  

Scientists hope to save the marine mammals with an online game that lets players get inside the mind and body of a real-life dolphin.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the National Aquarium in Baltimore hope so. They’ve created a new online game, I Am Dolphin, that lets players get inside the mind of a dolphin and help it swim, leap, forage for prey, and fend off predators. Players using a smartphone or pad can direct cybernetic cetaceans through the sea and watch as the animals respond to commands issued with the flick of a finger.

I Am Dolphin

“It’s very hard to describe in words; you really need to play the game for yourself,” said codeveloper Omar Ahmad, director and chief engineer at Johns Hopkins’ Kata Project, part of the BLAM (Brain, Learning, Animation, and Movement) Lab.

The technology behind the game was initially developed to help stroke patients regain critical motor function by providing a stimulating, fully immersive rehabilitation environment. Currently in clinical trials, the therapy lets patients put an arm in a robotic sling to maneuver a realistic but simulated dolphin on a screen.

Researchers and trainers at the National Aquarium worked with the Johns Hopkins team to develop the technology, which took about five years to complete. The game app was launched two weeks ago and is available for download in the iTunes store.

(Photo: Max and Haley LLC)

“We are not animating; we are simulating something with bones, muscles, and many complicated things,” Ahmad said. “When you play, it’s like you’re playing with a real creature in your machine, reacting to forces and acting on its own, almost. You see the subtle play-out of all the physical forces involved.”

The game allows players to look at dolphins in a completely different way by spending time inside their motor systems, Ahmad said.

Players begin with a dolphin named Bandit, who initially chases and eats fish and later must take on snapping mackerel and deadly bull sharks. Other games include a Commerson’s dolphin and a killer whale, a member of the dolphin family.

Why dolphins?

“I’ve always loved and been fascinated by them,” Ahmad said, adding that everyone on the development team—including a neuroscientist, an artist, engineers, and marine mammal experts affiliated with the National Aquarium—agreed.

“We all think it’s a very beautiful, smooth, and harmonious creature in its movement,” Ahmad said. Dolphins, he added, are also one of the few creatures that seem to be curious about humans.

The idea is to get humans more interested in helping dolphins.

(Photo: Max and Haley LLC)

“We think it’s a very powerful tool for conservation, because the emotional reality of this animal is becoming embedded in the player through this motor connection,” Ahmad said.

Diana Reiss, a marine mammal scientist and a psychology professor at New York’s Hunter College, who consulted on the project, said she hopes the game will get people to empathize with dolphins.

“We hope it will really draw people into the dolphin’s world,” Reiss said. “When you start working with it, you really do get engaged, and you do feel empathy doing these motoric movements, where you sort of become the dolphin. It creates this corresponding feeling. I was amazed.”

editors-nctj-to-develop-higher-on-the-job-journalist-training/

Reiss said that type of engagement can inspire support for conservation.

“What’s really important is giving people more than factoids,” she said. “They can read a lot and they’ll learn a lot, but that doesn’t necessarily connect with their hearts and minds. But when you start feeling like you’re this dolphin, that’s a deeper form of engagement.”

Eventually, the technology could be installed at museums and even in marine parks. The developers hope it might one day replace the display of captive dolphins altogether. The National Aquarium recently announced it is considering retiring its dolphins to sea pens.

“I hope it does replace dolphin shows,” Ahmad said. “It was bittersweet to study these dolphins at the aquarium, because it’s heartbreaking to realize how confined they are. Putting them in these small bathtubs, basically, I just think it’s something we need to stop.”

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