Surferbird News-Links, 24th Edition


Welcome to the 24th edition of Surferbird News-Links. Today's highlights include: pumpkin pie ice cream, planting redwood trees in Ireland, carbon talk, Tesla, washing machine filters, and more.

A bit of news

Look for a short video at the end of each Surferbird News-Links post on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Video subject matter will vary. I thought you'd appreciate the element of surprise! Earworms will continue, as usual, on Fridays.

Posting schedule

Surferbird News-Links posts late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. So, for example, Tuesday's edition posts late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. One way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to by entering your email address in one of the subscription windows on the homepage or in the sidebar. Posts to subscribers are sent out via email at 9:00 a.m. (ET). Some weeks, I publish an additional article on a specific topic either over the weekend, or on Monday morning. Drop on by, and hang out with the night owl!


A richly descriptive and poignant excerpt from Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet (, explores food scarcity and the underemployment of today's youth. I have children in this age group. It's real. But the interactions and sense of community that spring up around a single plum tree also form ephemeral bonds that otherwise wouldn't have occurred - a somewhat painful, but excellent read.



Planting redwood trees in Ireland ( - Giants Grove project aims to plant 2,000 redwoods on an estate in Ireland. Interestingly, redwoods are native to Ireland but disappeared, for the most part, after the last ice age. The project will help preserve Ireland's biodiversity and, hopefully, mitigate some of the effects of climate change through carbon capture.

Climate change

A realistic look at the world with a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures ( - The effects from a 1.5°C increase in temperatures above pre-industrial levels won't seem all that drastic at first, according to this article. Storms come and go. And it's the same with heat waves. The most drastic changes evolve slowly. Nevertheless, uncomfortable choices lie ahead - a fascinating read that made me squirm a bit, to say the least.

Economy and environment

Circular economy, changing our view of carbon ( - Is carbon the enemy? Or perhaps, humans have placed carbon in the wrong place, for example, the atmosphere. Since humans, other animals, plants, soil, and even diamonds all contain carbon, maybe it's time to use a different language. Could this be a way to talk about the environment with climate science deniers? And didn't I just mention this in a more recent Surferbird News-Links? Well, it looks like I've come full circle, or rather, I'm talking in circles. :)

Green technology

The future of Tesla under our new president-elect climate science denier ( - I still can't put his proper name into print, at least not here. Anyway, the upshot of this article is that Elon Musk thinks Tesla is financially safe. First of all, his company has an excess of ZEV (zero emissions vehicles) credits to sell. Secondly, you'll have to read the article and explain the details to me. I'm out of my comfort zone. However, Musk is reassuring about the future.


A microfiber catcher for your washing machine ( - I reported on the dangers of microfibers in this post last spring. But a solution may soon be available - a microfiber catcher for your washing machine. I hope this product becomes available sooner, rather than later.


Pumpkin pie ice cream ( - This is a dessert that even I might attempt making - minus the crust. That's the beauty of this recipe. You can decrease the sugar, omit the crust or change the crust ingredients to gluten-free, or both. However, some of you, I'm guessing, will brave the pumpkin pie ice cream without any alterations. Enjoy.

A turkey buying guide - what do the labels mean? ( - Most of you are savvy shoppers. I know that because you probably wouldn't be interested in my blog if you weren't. But even though this piece on the meaning behind turkey labels might be redundant, I still found it helpful. No matter how much we know or think we might know about our food, often we still need to make compromises due to finances. Bummer. I hope this guide helps.


A skin patch for peanut allergies ( - It's still too early for conclusive evidence, but initial trials appear more than promising. The patch contains the antigen that causes peanut allergies, which is absorbed through the skin - stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies. Half of the participants who wore the patch in the described trial were able to increase their consumption of peanut protein tenfold.

Autism and ADHD can exist simultaneously ( - My father, who was a psychotherapist, often wondered why therapists and schools didn't simply work with behaviors presented, rather than focus on the labels themselves. Can you imagine a society like that? Nevertheless, I found this article interesting in that studies now recognize the relationship between autism and ADHD. Before the DSM 5, a simultaneous diagnosis of autism and ADHD was prohibited.

Science and technology

Using stem cells to grow human intestinal tissues ( - These laboratory developed tissues have functioning nerves and huge implications for regenerating damaged intestines in the future. But for now, this technology can be used to test the effects of drugs on intestinal tissue. Other possible projects include research on nutritional health, diabetes, intestinal diseases, and the biochemical effects of gastric by-pass surgery.

Today's video

Would you like to take a ride in a Tesla self-driving car? ( The video, below, is from the link above, which also lists surprising facts on the future of self-driving cars. They're headed our way, soon.   Laura