Surferbird News-Links, 28th Edition


Welcome to the 28th edition of Surferbird News-Links! There's a touch of politics in today's post. However, it mostly relates to the environment. In addition, you'll find articles on buckwheat pillows, congee, fires, a glacier in Antarctica, an elegant bike hook (honestly!), and more.


This article ( covers a story about an organization that adds a professor's name to a leftist, anti-American watch list ( for her political writings. Interestingly, the professor doesn't appear to even be affiliated with a political party and claims to have worked with both Democrats and Republicans. These are interesting times, my friends.



Climate change

Official policy of president-elect's administration appears to be anti-climate science (

Even though various newspapers reported last week that our president-elect might have an open mind about climate science, I'm afraid it's wishful thinking.

Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is breaking up from the inside out (

This glacier might collapse within the next 100 years, which could cause a sea level rise of almost 10 ft (3.048 meters). Here's another article about the Pine Island Glacier in Scientific American.

Fire and rumors of fires

California has lost 102 million trees since 2010. (

Drought, rising temperatures, and diseased trees have created an increased risk of wildfires in California. Most of the dead trees are in the Sierra Nevada. And unfortunately, a simple solution, such as removing the dead trees, isn't a desirable or viable option. For a longer and more informative read, which also contains a couple of videos, take a look here ( I included one of the videos as today's featured video, below.

Fire in the Great Smoky Mountains (

I never saw the likes of anything like this when I was a youngster growing up in the southeastern part of the U.S. As a point of interest, I have fond memories of riding the ski lift in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with my grandfather.

Drought and record high temperatures are responsible for these historic fires. Scientists aren't sure if climate change will increase drought conditions or, potentially, increase rainfall in this region. But warming temperatures combined with droughts, don't bode well. Would you like to read more? Here's an article in the Washington Post, which also features a video.


An elegant hook for bike storage (

Once you take a peek at this chrome and wood  wall hook for bicycles, you're going to want one to go along with your tiny house. It's a work of art, even without the bike.

Buckwheat pillows (

These buckwheat pillows get stellar reviews and provide a non-toxic alternative to pillows stuffed with foam. Some consumers claim these pillows have cured their migraines, insomnia, sleep apnea, neck and back pain, allergies, and snoring. That's a lot of claims. Here's a link to the store, Additionally, buckwheat pillows are known to last a long time. You might not need to ever buy another pillow.


An easy recipe that uses leftover rice - congee (

What struck me about this recipe is that it uses leftover frozen rice, and it's easy. So, why not begin stockpiling leftover rice in the freezer instead of tossing it? We waste a good bit of rice in our house. But now, I know what to do with my leftovers. Maybe I should actually try congee before I get too excited!

What's it like to buy food when you live below the poverty line? (

I don't think people who've never lived on the edge understand how stressful it is to buy food and still pay for other living expenses. But what if you had to pay $24 for a gallon of milk? Read all about living below the federal poverty line. And then, enter your annual salary on the Tipping Point Community website. They'll give you the opportunity to make a donation, but I'm only suggesting you visit the website to gain perspective.


Can technology help you make wiser food choices? (

This is a fascinating read, and personally, I would like to be able to take advantage of this technology. Because a healthy diet for one person is a nightmare for another, these tests could one day make food and lifestyle choices much easier. Maybe it's a way to solve the age-old question of What should I eat?.


Fighting Zika without harming bees and the environment (

I cringe at the thought of mosquito fog. When I was a child, the kids in my neighborhood ran behind the mosquito fogging trucks, inhaling and absorbing large amount of pesticides, I'm sure. My response was to run inside the house and close all the windows. But you could still smell the bug spray.

Well, I also cringe at the thought of Zika. However, some scientists aren't so sure about the effectiveness of naled, the chemical used to combat Zika spreading mosquitoes. And it's highly toxic to bees. This articles explore alternatives to naled and promising mosquito abatement treatments for the future.

Today's Video

That's all for today. But before you go, see what it's like collecting data in a heavenly giant sequoia.  Laura