Tiny but dangerous

March 16th, 2017

The Guardian: Single clothes wash may release 700,000 microplastic fibres, study finds. (September 27, 2016) “Tiny plastic particles released by synthetic fabrics can cause harm to marine life when they enter rivers and oceans.”

“Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.
Inside the lonely fight against the biggest environmental problem you’ve never heard of
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A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed.

They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.”

So far, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot we consumers can do, except not wear synthetic clothing. However, there’s a company called Guppyfriend that is developing a washing bag designed to catch those microfibers. Here’s their Kickstarter page.

Only 25% on 150 Million?

March 15th, 2017

By the way, here in Germany the top income tax rate is 47.48%.

NPR the two-way: Trump Paid About $38 Million In Federal Taxes In 2005, Leaked Returns Say.

“Donald Trump and his wife Melania earned about $150 million in 2005 and paid federal taxes of about $38 million, the White House said tonight.

The Trump administration made the revelation after copies of the tax returns anonymously were put in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Stephen Pulls A ‘Rachel Maddow’. “The Late Show has acquired a long-awaited joke that has Americans on the edge of their seats. He’s going to share it with the world. Shortly. Keep watching.”

Wandern? Wandern!

March 14th, 2017

Mal ein paar Tage ‘raus in die Natur? Die Seite Top Trails of Germany, Deutschlands beste Wanderwege bietet Informationen zu 16 Wanderwegen mit mehreren Etappen in (fast) ganz Deutschland.

This site is also available in English: Top Trails of Germany – Germany’s best hiking trails.

Einige dieser Wege kenne ich bereits aus eigener Erfahrung bzw. Erwanderung:

“You were used to having no one share the reward but now there was no one to share the work, either.”

March 13th, 2017

Washington Post Opinion: The day they disappeared. By Alexandra Petri.

“At first it seemed as if it might be heaven.

You could walk down the street and attend school free from the uncomfortable presence of a woman who had chosen distracting attire. There were no women in sweatpants or yoga pants or skirts of any length, with hair covered or with hair uncovered — or women, indeed, of any kind at all. Finally, you did not have to worry about feelings. The world was one big locker room.”

“In general, I like trees, but here, they are against our theory.”

March 10th, 2017

The Atlantic: Welcome to Pleistocene Park. “In Arctic Siberia, Russian scientists are trying to stave off catastrophic climate change—by resurrecting an Ice Age biome complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths.” By Ross Andersen, April 2017 Issue.

Includes a documentary film (26 minutes) and the audio version of the article (1 hour).

““Pleistocene Park is meant to slow the thawing of the permafrost,” Nikita told me. The park sits in the transition zone between the Siberian tundra and the dense woods of the taiga. For decades, the Zimovs and their animals have stripped away the region’s dark trees and shrubs to make way for the return of grasslands. Research suggests that these grasslands will reflect more sunlight than the forests and scrub they replace, causing the Arctic to absorb less heat. In winter, the short grass and animal-trampled snow will offer scant insulation, enabling the season’s freeze to reach deeper into the Earth’s crust, cooling the frozen soil beneath and locking one of the world’s most dangerous carbon-dioxide lodes in a thermodynamic vault.

To test these landscape-scale cooling effects, Nikita will need to import the large herbivores of the Pleistocene. He’s already begun bringing them in from far-off lands, two by two, as though filling an ark. But to grow his Ice Age lawn into a biome that stretches across continents, he needs millions more. He needs wild horses, musk oxen, reindeer, bison, and predators to corral the herbivores into herds. And, to keep the trees beaten back, he needs hundreds of thousands of resurrected woolly mammoths.”

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