Digging Graves and Cord Cutting


Don't Rake Your Leaves, Scientists Say

The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging people to leave the leaves. On its website, the NWF says dry, dead leaves are important habitats for all kinds of critters.

Butterflies, salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms, and other creatures live, lay eggs in or eat from leaves, according to NWF's plea with the public to let the leaves stay where gravity left them...



Farming of the Future

Japanese technology giant Toshiba has unveiled a huge factory farm where it is growing various types of lettuce leaves without sunlight or soil for sale in its new healthcare business. Located in disused 21,000-square foot electronics factory in Yokosuka, Toshiba claims to have created a perfect ‘germ free’ environment where it will grow three million bags of lettuce a year.

Completely cut off from conditions outside the temperature and humidity controlled isolation tank, lettuce inspectors wear full body suits while making notes on the quality and growth of the leaves on their tablet computers in order to prevent the air around the plants becoming contaminated...




Growing Winter Crops

Based on how many unproductive patches of dirt you see in winter time (doing nothing but sitting and waiting for spring), it would seem most folks think you can't grow food during the winter. Well, guess what? You totally can; it's not even that difficult  (unless you live near the arctic circle). To enjoy fresh vegetables in December all it really takes is a little know how - and maybe the odd piece of construction...



Harkin On Keystone: Let's Stop 'Digging The Graves Of Our Grandchildren'

"Every dollar that we spend on fossil fuel development and use is another dollar we spent digging the graves of our grandchildren," the Iowa Democrat told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. "And I'm not going to be a part of it anymore. I'm through. That's just how strongly I feel."

"I know we can't solve it overnight, but we have to be on a steep glide-path in getting rid of fossil fuels as a source of energy," he said...



Cord cutting accelerates as 150,000 cancel TV service

Cord cutting is accelerating as more people in the U.S. turn to Internet services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to watch their favorite programs.

About 150,000 pay-TV customers canceled video service in the three months that ended June 30, according to estimates published on Friday by Leichtman Research Group. Pay-TV systems lost 25,000 subscribers during the same time period last year, Leichtman said.

Sony, satellite-TV provider Dish Network and other companies have announced plans to start pay-TV systems that transmit channels over-the-Internet and offer smaller, less-expensive bundles. Sony and Dish said their aim is the attract younger consumers who have so far never signed up for traditional cable TV service...



BIZARRO - by Dan Piraro


Gillette gets a less than optimal response on Facebook -

Reduce consumption. Keep It Simple.


Failed Pipelines and NFL Farmers


There’s growing evidence that global warming is driving crazy winters

Back in 2012, two researchers with a particular interest in the Arctic, Rutgers' Jennifer Francis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Stephen Vavrus, published a paper called "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes." In it, they suggested that the fact that the Arctic is warming so rapidly is leading to an unexpected but profound effect on the weather where the vast majority of us live -- a change that, if their theory is correct, may have something to do with the extreme winter weather we've seen lately...



Worm Farming: How to Vermicompost

Composting using worms comes with a lot of benefits to soil health. Put those little guys to work.



Once a $37 million center, Jason Brown gave up NFL for farming

Brown played for the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams from 2005-11. In 2009, his five-year deal with the Rams for $37.5 million made him, at that time, the highest-paid center ever. He made more than $25 million from that contract and despite not even being 30 and having interest from other NFL teams after the Rams cut him, he gave up football. He wanted to get into farming....



Amazon Vows to Run on 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Apple made the pledge. So did Google and Facebook. But Amazon stayed silent.

Over the past few years, Apple, Google, and Facebook pledged to run their online empires on renewable energy, and considering how large these empires have become—how many data centers and machines are now required to keep them going—this was a vital thing. But despite pressure from the likes of Greenpeace, the environmental activism organization, the other big internet name, Amazon, didn’t budge.

That all changed on Wednesday. With a post on its website, Amazon’s cloud computing division—Amazon Web Services—said it has a “long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.”...



Keystone XL pipeline bill fails to pass US Senate by 1 vote

The US Senate failed to fast-track the Keystone XL pipeline project, falling one vote short of breaking a filibuster against the bill, which would have allowed the transport of crude oil from Canada's tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico.

The bill failed despite garnering 59 “Yes” votes to 41 “No” votes. All Republican senators voted “Yes,” and they were joined by 14 Democrats. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who co-sponsored the bill, needed one more vote to pass it but could not persuade another Democrat to go along...




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