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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Earth Rotating

Earth Rotating
Correct Way
Earth Spinning
the WRONG Way !

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Alternative To An Air Purifier: House Plants

A Surprising Alternative
To An Air Purifier
Purify the air without an air filter by buying potted plants that naturally clean your air. Some good choices are Rubber trees, Corn plants, Bamboo Palm, Ficus, Gerbera Daisies, English Ivy, Peace Lily and Philodendrons. 

 15 Houseplants 
to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Plants help clean indoor air, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Find out what common toxins these plants can filter out of the air in your home.
In the late 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Lucky for us the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. 
Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science further proving the science. Here's our handy of list of the best air-filtering plants. (Plus, at the bottom of this story, you'll find links about plants that are good for the air and also safe for your pets.)

(Aloe Vera)

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.

Spider Plant
Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you'll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries.  Great indoor plant for removing toxins or impurities. Spider plants are one of three plants NASA deems best at removing formaldahyde from the air.

Gerbera Daisy
(Gerbera Jamesonii)
This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It's also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom - presuming you can give it lots of light. Not only do these gorgeous flowers remove benzene from the air, they’re known to improve sleep by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off more oxygen over night.

Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Snake Plant
(Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
This plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it'll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants. Found by NASA to absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldahyde.
Golden pothos
(Scindapsus aures)
Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (Bonus: Golden pothos, also know as devil's ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.)

(Chrysantheium morifolium)
The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. This plant loves bright light, and to encourage buds to open, you'll need to find a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.
Red-edged dracaena
(Dracaena marginata)
The red edges of this easy dracaena bring a pop of color, and the shrub can grow to reach your ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.
Weeping fig
(Ficus benjamina)
  A weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Caring for a ficus can be tricky, but once you get the watering and light conditions right, they will last a long time.
(Rhododendron simsii)
Bring this beautiful flowering shrub into your home to combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because azalea does best in cool areas around 60 to 65 degrees, it's a good option for improving indoor air in your basement if you can find a bright spot.
English Ivy
(Hedera helix)

A study found that the plant reduces airborne fecal-matter particles. It has also been shown to filter out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products.
Warneck Dracaena
(Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii')
Combat pollutants associated with varnishes and oils with this dracaena. The Warneckii grows inside easily, even without direct sunlight. With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.
Chinese Evergreen
(Aglaonema crispum 'Deborah')
  This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.
Bamboo Palm
(Chamaedorea sefritzii)
Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. It's also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde. According to NASA, it is also said to act as a natural humidifier.

Heart Leaf Philodendron
(Philodendron oxycardium)
This climbing vine plant isn't a good option if you have kids or pets — it's toxic when eaten, but it's a workhorse for removing all kinds of VOCs. Philodendrons are particularly good at battling formaldehyde from sources like particleboard.
Peace Lily
Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA's list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene. Peace lilies could be called the “clean-all.” They’re often placed in bathrooms or laundry rooms because they’re known for removing mold spores.

Top 10 Air-Purifying Houseplants

 These plants filter hazardous chemicals from the air. Improve your air quality the natural way.

Most people spend a majority of their time indoors in increasingly well-sealed buildings surrounded by paints and other synthetic materials which off-gas noxious chemicals. These conditions are related to increasing incidences of asthma, allergies and cancer. Indeed, indoor air quality can be much more polluted than outdoor air, up to tenfold.
When “sick building syndrome” was first becoming recognized as a growing problem, NASA conducted a study of various houseplants and their effectiveness at filtering out hazardous chemicals from the air. Their findings? Many of the plants were highly effective at removing hazardous chemicals from the air. Not only that, but they can regulate humidity as well. They are also much less expensive than air purifying machines or humidifiers. 
The following are the top 10 indoor plants, as rated for ease of maintenance and effectiveness at purifying the air, summarized from NASA's studies. For more information, see B.C. Wolverton's “Eco-friendly Houseplants.”
1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
The best performer at removing airborne toxins, it also releases moisture into the air to regulate humidity, and is attractive to look at. It's also effective at removing salt from soil. It is easy to take care of and very resistant to pests. Enjoys semi-sun, temperatures between 65-75 degrees. 
One of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness.

2. Lady Palm (Rhapsis excelsa)
The lady palm is easy to care for because it is resistant to pests and grows slowly. Enjoys semi-sun and 60-70 degrees, and not less than 50 degrees during winter.
3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
The bamboo palm can grow to 6 feet and is more resistant to pests than the areca palm. It is also more effective than the areca and the lady palm at removing airborne chemicals. Also an excellent humidifier. Enjoys semi-sun and 60-75 degree temperatures, and not less than 50 degrees.
4. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta, shown above)
The rubber plant, named for the appearance of its leaves, is known for being a plant that requires little light and can tolerate lower temperatures than the previously mentioned plants. It is especially effective at removing the ubiquitous chemical formaldehyde from the air. It can grow to 8 feet. Enjoys semi-sun to semi-shade and 60-80 degree temperatures, and as low as 40 degrees for short periods.
5. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”)
This plant is one of the most effective at removing trichloroethylene from the air, which is a chemical commonly emitted by photocopiers and similar devices. While the standard variety can grow to 10 feet, the smaller “Compacta” variety reaches only 1-3 feet and requires less maintenance. Enjoys semi-shade (even poorly lit areas) and 60-75 degree temperatures, and not less than 50 degrees. 
6. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
English ivy grows well in hanging baskets. It can benefit from some time spent outdoors in the spring or summer. It is especially good at removing formaldehyde from the air. Enjoys semi-sun to semi-shade and 60-70 degrees temperatures, 50-60 degrees at night.
7. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
The dwarf date palm can reach a maximum height of about 6 feet and grows slowly. It thrives without much light and can survive for decades. It is very effective at removing xylene from the air, which can come from caulking, adhesives, floor coverings, wall coverings, paints and particle board. Enjoys 60-75 degrees temperatures, but not below 50 degrees.
8. Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii)
You can find ficus alii grown three ways: one solitary plant, a bush (with multiple stems from one pot), and braided (with multiple stems intertwined). These plants may molt some of their leaves until they adapt to a new space. Enjoys 60-75 degree temperatures, and 55-68 at nights.
 9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis,” shown above)
The Boston fern grows lush foliage but does not flower. This plant is best grown in a hanging basket or on a pedestal. It is highly effective at removing chemicals and humidifying, but requires a bit more attention than the previous plants. It should be misted regularly. Enjoys 65-75 degrees, and 50-65 at night.
10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
I know, cute name, right? It boasts white, shell-like flowers reminscent of the more common calla lilly and is one of a handful of plants that successfully bloom indoors. Aesthetically pleasing, easy to take care of, and excellent at removing chemicals ... what more could you ask for? Enjoys 60-75 degrees temperatures, and 55-68 at night.

* For an average home of 2,000 square feet, the study recommends using at least fifteen samples of a good variety of these common houseplants to help improve air quality.
They also recommend that the plants be grown in six inch containers or larger.
(But starting out with one or two to get the hang of having plants is a great start- your collection of plants can then grow from there!)
Also on MNN:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Foods that Fight Spring Allergies

Foods that Fight Spring Allergies 

Work vitamin C-rich foods (like citrus and broccoli) into your diet and turn to stinging nettle as a potent natural form of allergy relief.

broccoli in a strainer

Thanks to climate change, every allergy season is the worst allergy season ever. Warmer temperatures have led to earlier springs and longer allergy seasons, while higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have led to more potent and allergenic pollen.

The good news is that natural allergy relief is within an arm's reach of your refrigerator: Foods rich in vitamin C and folic acid help reduce the inflammation associated with allergic reactions, and studies are finding that some herbs are just as effective as expensive drugs.
Grab your grocery cart and stock your produce bin with these 10 natural allergy remedies:
1. Broccoli
This precious piece of produce serves two purposes in annihilating your allergy symptoms. It's high in allergy-relieving vitamin C and it's a member of the crucifer family, plants that have been shown to clear out blocked-up sinuses. Researchers have found about 500 milligrams (mg) of Vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, and just one cup of raw broccoli packs about 80 mg.
2. Citrus fruits
To hit that 500-milligram vitamin C level from whole food sources, you can also turn to oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. A large orange contains nearly 100 mg of C, while half of a large grapefruit contains about 60 mg.
3. Kale
Don't just admire kale as a garnish. Eat it! This superfood packs a one-two punch against allergies; like broccoli, it's a member of the crucifer family, but it's also rich in the carotenoid department, pigments believed to aid in fighting allergy symptoms.
4. Collard greens
Highjacked by hay fever? Put collard greens on the menu for the same reason as kale. Their phytochemical content, mainly, carotenoids, eases allergy issues. To increase the amount of carotenoids your body absorbs, eat the veggie with some sort of fat source. One idea? Lightly cook it in olive oil.
5. Stinging nettle
You can't discuss natural allergy remedies without hailing stinging nettle. It helps stifle inflammation that occurs when you're experiencing allergy symptoms. Stinging nettle contains histamine, the chemical your body produces during an allergic reaction, so it helps you acquire tolerance. Look for 500-mg freeze-dried nettle capsules in your natural health store, and take three times a day. That's the best form for allergy relief; it won't sting because it's freeze-dried. Long-term use of the herb is not recommended, since it can deplete your potassium stores.
6. Butterbur
Leaves and roots of the butterbur shrub contain compounds called petasines, which can block some reactions that spark allergies. Does this plant really work? Science says yes, though its use is not generally recommended for young children, people older than 65, or those with ragweed allergies. A large British meta-analysis of six studies looking at butterbur as an allergy reliever found five studies supported the claim. The roots of the perennial shrub generally contain high levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can damage the liver, so herbalists recommend looking for butterbur products that specify no pyrrolizidines, or ones that use a CO2 extracting process, which limits the amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Swiss and German researchers found that butterbur was just as effective as the prescription antihistamine cetirizine (Zyrtec) after two weeks of treatment. It's also been shown to relieve sneezing, itching, runny nose, stuffiness, and watery eyes in just five days.
7. Elderberries
Immune-strengthening elderberries are often hailed as a natural flu treatment, but the berries serve a purpose in natural allergy relief, too. Try elderberry wine, juice, or jam to tap the fruit's beneficial flavonoids that reduce inflammation.
8. Onions and garlic
Quercetin is another secret weapon that helps fight allergies by acting like an antihistamine. Onions and garlic are packed with quercetin, as are apples. (If you go with eating apples, just make sure they don't stimulate oral allergy syndrome.)
9. Parsley
According to Michael Castleman, author of "The New Healing Herbs" (Rodale, 2009), parsley inhibits the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine. (Parsley is a diuretic, so talk to your doctor before taking supplements or eating large amounts of it.)

10. Anti-allergy soup!
There's nothing like a warm bowl of soup when you're feeling sick, and while this usually pertains to chicken soup for the flu, an expert on herbs developed this soup to naturally battle allergies. In "The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods: Proven Natural Remedies to Treat and Prevent More Than 80 Common Health Concerns" (Rodale, 2008), herb expert James Duke, PhD, recommends this allergy-fighting soup recipe:
Boil an onion (with skin) and a clove of garlic. Add half a cup chopped leaves and diced taproots of evening primrose. After boiling for about 5 minutes, add a cup of nettle leaves and a cup of diced celery stalks, and boil gently for another 3 to 10 minutes. Before eating, remove the onion skins and eat the soup it's while still warm. Season with wine vinegar, black pepper, hot pepper, turmeric, curry powder or celery seed. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1992 - 2010

1992 - 2010
Bright areas highly correlate with high population density – such as the densely populated cities like London, Paris and Rome.
Coastal areas are also more populated than inland regions, making the outline of Europe clearly visible in these night images.
Increased illumination in the second image is also an indicator of economic growth.  
For example, lights in Poland in 1992 appear dim, but are multiplied in the 2010 image.  Over that 18-year period, the country’s gross domestic product jumped some $377 billion.
This is evident in all areas pictured in the animation.
But by indicating population and economic growth, bright spots on these images also represent areas of high energy consumption, emissions and pollution – factors that greatly contribute to climate change.

On 31 March, millions of people around the world will switch off their lights for 60 minutes in a demonstration against climate change and to promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

This sixth annual 'Earth Hour' is organized by the World Wildlife Fund and supported by ESA. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

You Might Be a Schoolteacher if...

The Evolution
of a Math Problem
A lumberjack sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of this price. 

* What is his profit?
1960    (traditional math):
A lumberjack sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of this price, or in other words $80. 

* What is his profit?
1970    (new math):
A lumberjack exchanges a set L of lumber for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 100, and each element is worth $1. Make 100 dots representing the elements of set M. The set C is a subset of set M, of cardinality 80. 

* What is the cardinality of the set P of profits, if P is the difference set MC?
1980    (equal opportunity math):
A lumberjack sells a truckload of wood for $100. His or her cost of production is $80, and his or her profit is $20. 

* Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
1990 (outcome based education):
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, a lumber-person makes $20. What do you think of his way of making a living?

* In your group, discuss how the forest birds and squirrels feel, and write an essay about it.
1995    (entrepreneurial math):
By laying off 402 of its lumberjacks, a company improves its stock price from $80 to $100. 

* How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his stock options at $80? Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.
1998    (motivational math):
A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to its Indonesian subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its US workers (the higher-paid half). It clear-cuts 95% of the forest, leaving the rest for the spotted owl, and lays off all its remaining US workers. It tells the workers that the spotted owl is responsible for the absence of fellable trees and lobbies Congress for exemption from the Endangered Species Act. Congress instead exempts the company from all federal regulation. 

* What is the return on investment of the lobbying?
You Might Be a Schoolteacher if...
  1. You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work from 8 to 3 and have your summers free!"
  2. You have no time for a life from August to June.
  3. when out in public you feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior.
  4. You refer to adults as "boys and girls."
  5. You encourage your spouse by telling them they are a "good helper."
  6. You've ever had your profession slammed by someone who would never dream of doing your job.
  8.  Meeting a child's parents instantly answers the question, "Why is this kid like this?"
  9. You believe "extremely annoying" should have its own box on the report card.
  10. You know hundred good reasons for being late.
  11. You don't want children of your own because there isn't a name you can hear that wouldn't elevate your blood pressure.
The teacher brings a statue of Venus into class and asks, "What do you like best about it, class? Let's start with you, Robert."
"The artwork," says Robert.
"Very good. And you, Peter?"
"Her tits!" says Peter.
"Peter, get out! Go stand in the hall," responds the teacher with disgust. "And you, Johnny?"
"I'm leaving, teacher, I'm leaving..."

8 Tips For Teachers

1. Don’t tell the student “slow down” or “ just relax.”

2. Don’t complete words for the student or talk for him or her.

3. Help all members of the class learn to take turns talking and listening. All students — and especially those who stutter — find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listener’s attention.

4. Expect the same quality and quantity of work from the student who stutters as the one who doesn’t.

5. Speak with the student in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.

6. Convey that you are listening to the content of the message, not how it is said.

7. Have a one-on-one conversation with the student who stutters about needed accommodations in the classroom. Respect the student’s needs, but do not be enabling.
8. Don’t make stuttering something to be ashamed of. Talk about stuttering just like any other matter.

Compiled by Lisa Scott, Ph.D., The Florida State University