Tag Archives | Water

15,000 Gallons of Animal Fat Clog the Houston Ship Channel

beef-tallow-ship-channelWhat spills threaten to contaminate our waters? Well, I bet beef fat wasn't your first guess. 2010 ended with 100,000 gallons of raw sewage leaked into the Buffalo Bayou which was estimated to take three weeks to repair. 2011 brings animal fat. NPR reports:
Workers with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Texas General Land Office used pitchforks on Wednesday to pierce and remove chunks of beef fat clogging the Houston Ship Channel, shutting down nearly a mile of one of the nation's busiest marine arteries.No ship traffic is delayed, however, because the spill occurred at the end of the waterway, said Richard Brahms, a spokesman with the Coast Guard.Some 15,000 gallons of animal fat poured into the channel through a storm drain on Tuesday after an onshore storage tank owned by agricultural company Jacob Sterns and Sons leaked 250,000 gallons of the greasy substance, Brahms said.
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Erin Brockovich Where Are You? Hexavalent Chromium Found In 31 American Cities

Animation by Chris 73 (CC)

Animation by Chris 73 (CC)

This is the best advertisement for reverse-osmosis walter filters that I’ve seen yet. Mind you, the intentionally-added fluoride in many public water systems is just as bad — although interested parties would have you believe otherwise. Don’t think that bottled water is the answer, either — many bottled waters contain chemicals too because 40% of bottled water is drawn from municipal supplies. From the Washington Post:

A new analysis showing the presence of a probable carcinogen in the tap water of 31 cities across the country, including the District and Bethesda, has raised questions about what consumers in those communities can do to reduce their exposure.

The chemical, hexavalent chromium, got public attention via the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” and has been deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Although basic water filters such as those made by Brita and PUR do not remove hexavalent chromium, several reverse-osmosis systems designed for home use can take the chemical out of water.

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Who’s Afraid Of ‘Gasland’?

Who could possibly want to squelch the anti-fracking movie Gasland? Hmmm, let me think .... while considering this story from SFGate (submitted by 'Rainer' - thanks!):
Actor Mark Ruffalo has been placed on a terror advisory list by U.S. officials after organizing screenings for a new documentary about natural gas drilling.
The "Zodiac" actor arranged showings for "GasLand" earlier this year and voiced his concerns about the practice in relation to the national water supplies...
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NASA Discovers Oasis on the Moon

It’s not a mirage, it may actually be an oasis. From The New York Times:

The Moon, at least at the bottom of a deep, dark cold crater near its south pole, seems to be wetter than the Sahara, scientists reported Thursday.

In lunar terms, that is an oasis, surprisingly wet for a place that had long been thought by many planetary scientists to be utterly dry.

If astronauts were to visit this crater, they might be able to use eight wheelbarrows of soil to melt 10 to 13 gallons of water. The water, if purified, could be used for drinking, or broken apart into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel — to get home or travel to Mars.

“That is a very valuable resource,” said Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator of NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite — or Lcross, for short — which made the observations as it, by design, slammed into the Moon a year ago.

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Portable Solar Powered Desalination System A Reality

I’ve been clamoring for this kind of tech to break out of development status and into marketability for most of the last decade, and it’s just great to see it finally manifest in a way that allows for ease of transport and comparatively simple maintenance. In a world top-heavy with serious issues, this is a breath of fresh air … or more to the point, a drink of fresh water. Stephen C. Webster writes on RAW Story:

Desalination System

About one in eight humans do not have access to clean drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. That’s approximately 884 million people.

The repercussion of this reality are a daily reality in developing nations: an estimated 1.4 million children perish each year due to diarrhea brought on by waterborne bacteria. In spite of breathtaking advances in human technology, over 97 percent of the world’s water is still undrinkable.

And while salty or impure water can be cleaned through existing water desalination technologies, the facilities needed are massive and consume vast amounts of energy.… Read the rest

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Want To Lose Weight? Simple – Drink Water!

Photo: Matthew Bowden (www.digitallyrefreshing.com)

Photo: Matthew Bowden (www.digitallyrefreshing.com)

Can it really be this easy? It certainly won’t cost much to try it out (just don’t use bottled water!). From Business Week:

Close the diet books and skip the pills. The latest weight-loss trick may be as simple as gulping a couple of glasses of water before you eat.

A new study found that middle-aged and older adults who drank two cups of water before each meal consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who skipped drinking water.

Researchers divided two groups of overweight and obese men and women aged 55 to 75 into two groups: one group was told to follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet; the other group was told to follow the same diet and to drink two cups of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

After 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals had lost 15.5 pounds, compared to 11 pounds for the non-water drinkers, a nearly 30 percent difference.

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I’m Done With Celebrity Endorsements

banner_tapped_homeStephanie Soechtig, director of the disinformation documentary Tapped, writing at Huffington Post:

At the risk of career suicide I’m calling bullshit on the hypocrisy of Hollywood and its celebrity endorsements. From Reese Witherspoon endorsing Avon — a company that loads its products with phthalates and parabens (chemicals linked to breast cancer) — to Jennifer Aniston, a woman who says she cares about conserving water resources and then endorses bottled water.

You can’t turn around these days without seeing a Hollywood A-lister endorsing a product. Here’s my problem with the whole situation: often they are endorsing products that aren’t good for us and aren’t good for the environment.

Seriously people, WTF? Am I the only one who saw Spider-Man? You know, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility?”

Take Reese Witherspoon and her colleagues Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymoore, Jessica Biel, et al — all these women endorse various brands of cosmetics that contain parabens, phthalates, and other endocrine-disrupting, cancer-causing ingredients.

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The Fluoride Fraud

By Abby Martin for Mediaroots.org:

When was the last time you stopped to think about the one thing you can’t live without? I don’t mean the Internet – I’m talking about water. Without clean drinking water, life could not go on. This is why it’s so important that we know what is in our water. For the past sixty-five years, city governments nationwide have been adding a controversial substance called fluoride to municipal water supplies.

You probably recognize the word fluoride from the back of your toothpaste tube or from your visits to the dentist. But the fluoride added to our water is not the same as that in our toothpaste. The chemical added to our water is a fluorine compound called hexafluorosilicic acid that is generated as a by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry.

Phosphates are minerals that are used to make fertilizer, and phosphate mining industry is a giant moneymaker.

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