Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

Shoe Made From Recycled Ocean Trash

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I’m currently posting this from the beach, and it makes my blood boil when people litter. So, it seemed fitting.

Laura Feinstein via GOOD:

As a rule I’m skeptical of big brands “going green,” but it seems adidas might just be on to something. Recently the sporty retail giant teamed up with Parley for the Oceans—an idealistic group of “creators, thinkers and leaders” attempting to re-purpose the ocean’s overwhelming amount of trash into reusable material—for a mystery project. Monday at the United Nations the brand unveiled their collaboration: the world’s first ever shoe upper made solely from harvested ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. The nets were retrieved after a 110-day expedition by Parley partner organization Sea Shepherd, where they tracked an illegal poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa.

The prototype is just the first in a yet-to-be-released line of consumer-ready ocean-plastic products the brand will launch later this year.

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Colonial Americans Drank Roughly Three Times as Much as Americans Do Now

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All day drinking was common among early Americans.

Emma Green via The Atlantic:

It was a pretty common belief among the founders [regarding] America’s experiment with republicanism, that the only way that we were going to keep it was through the virtue of our citizens,” said Bruce Bustard, the curator of a National Archives exhibit on American alcohol consumption. As Rush observed the effects of alcohol consumption, he had the young nation’s future in mind: People experiencing what he saw as the “Melancholy,” “Madness,” and “Despair” of intemperance surely wouldn’t make for very good participants in democracy.

Early America was also a much, much wetter place than it is now, modern frat culture notwithstanding. Instead of binge-drinking in short bursts, Americans often imbibed all day long. “Right after the Constitution is ratified, you could see the alcoholic consumption starting to go up,” said Bustard. Over the next four decades, Americans kept drinking steadily more, hitting a peak of 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person per year in 1830.

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Rajneeshpuram [Free Documentary]

In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from India, and thousands of his disciples, set out to build a new city, a utopian community in the desert — Rajneeshpuram — on what had been the Big Muddy Ranch in Eastern Oregon. Thousands of people from around the world gathered here to celebrate life and transform the landscape. But by 1986, they were gone.

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Why Are Beggars Despised? by George Orwell

Sandra Druschke (CC BY 2.0)

Sandra Druschke (CC BY 2.0)

via Reddit (r/books):

It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary “working” men. They are a race apart–outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men “work,” beggars do not “work”; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not “earn” his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic “earns” his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable.

Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no essential difference between a beggar’s livelihood and that of numberless respectable people.… Read the rest

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Chimps are sensitive to what is right and wrong

Rhys Davenport (CC BY 2.0)

Rhys Davenport (CC BY 2.0)

via ScienceDaily:

How a chimpanzee views a video of an infant chimp from another group being killed gives a sense of how human morality and social norms might have evolved. So says Claudia Rudolf von Rohr of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, lead author of a paper in Springer’s journal Human Nature. It provides the first evidence that chimpanzees, like humans, are sensitive to the appropriateness of behaviors, especially those directed toward infants. It also shows that these primates might only take action when a member of their own group is being harmed.

The researchers filmed two social groups of chimpanzees living in two Swiss zoological gardens while the animals repeatedly viewed film clips. The films portrayed the actions of other chimps unknown to them. The control clip showed chimps doing neutral activities such as walking or cracking nuts. The experimental clips included aggressive scenes, such as an infant chimpanzee being killed by its own kind, a small colobus monkey being hunted and killed by chimps, and socially aggressive behavior between chimpanzee adults.

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Increased Anxiety Linked to Sitting Down

Joana Coccarelli (CC BY 2.0)

Joana Coccarelli (CC BY 2.0)

Sitting down has been linked to an increase in anxiety.

via Psyblog:

Sitting down all day has been linked to increased anxiety, a new study finds.

Low energy activities like watching TV, working at a computer or playing electronic games may all be linked to anxiety.

The link between sedentary behaviours and worse physical health is well-established.

This study is the first to review the evidence on sedentary behaviours and the psychological impact on anxiety.

Dr Megan Teychenne, who led the study, said:

“Anecdotally — we are seeing an increase in anxiety symptoms in our modern society, which seems to parallel the increase in sedentary behavior.

Thus, we were interested to see whether these two factors were in fact linked.

Also, since research has shown positive associations between sedentary behavior and depressive symptoms, this was another foundation for further investigating the link between sedentary behavior and anxiety symptoms.”

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Scientists discover ‘permanent’ dust cloud around Moon

An artist's conception of the thin dust cloud surrounding the Moon and the LADEE mission orbit. (Credit: Daniel Morgan and Jamey Szalay, University of Colorado)

An artist’s conception of the thin dust cloud surrounding the Moon and the LADEE mission orbit. (Credit: Daniel Morgan and Jamey Szalay, University of Colorado)

A curious dust cloud surrounding the moon has been discovered.

via Russia Today:

There is a permanent, but asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon, created by tiny dust grains lifted up from the lunar surface, scientists have found. Its density may increase during annual meteor showers such as, for example, Geminid.

According to scientists from, the cloud is comprised of dust grains swept up by other high-speed, interplanetary particles passing by, often in the wake of comets.

Many of the dust particles are traveling at thousands of miles per hour in the opposite orbital direction of the solar system’s planets, causing high-speed, near head-on collisions with the moon’s leading surface, said Professor Mihali Horanyi.

According to Horanyi, even a single dust particle from a comet striking the moon can excite thousands of smaller particles on the surface.

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