Surferbird News-Links, 30th Edition


Welcome to the 30th edition of Surferbird News-Links! Today's stories focus mostly on green technology and textiles - from steampunk light bulbs to mending clothes. There's not one iota of information on climate change. But if you want something more serious to dig into, take a look at the safety of GM foods, the relationship between sunlight and nearsightedness, and how creativity lowers death anxiety. You must be wondering, Where DOES she find all this stuff?



Green tech

Way cool steampunk LED light bulbs (

Thanks to a Canadian company, light bulbs can be hip and efficient at the same time. Chinese companies are working on this, also. Take a look!

Solar roadways coming to Route 66, USA (

Tempered glass covers these roadway solar panels. In addition, LED lights inside them create road signs and lines on the highway, while heating elements prevent snow and ice from covering up the solar panels. Pretty cool.

Home goods and clothing

Keeping clothes out of landfills - Eileen Fisher (

Eileen Fisher is on the cutting edge of the circular economy. Part of the company's environmental success rests on refurbishing damaged items, reselling clothing that consumers retire, and recycling garments that are beyond mending or selling. This goes above and beyond their commitment to sustainable fabrics. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Eileen Fisher accepts clothing (made by Eileen Fisher) for any of these programs by mail.

The dryer ate my socks problem solved (

Made from organic cotton, these socks don't come in pairs. Instead, they're sold in packages of fives or sevens, and they all match without being exactly alike. The packaging is made from cardboard, which can be used as a drawer divider, also. But those of you who live in the U.S. aren't going to like me very much for wetting your appetite for these socks because they're not available here - only in the EU. Here's a link to the website. And for those of you lucky enough to get your feet into these mismatched socks, there'll be no more blaming the washing machine and dryer for your favorite disappearing friends!

The art of mending revisited (

Please don't do what I did a few months ago - throw away a perfectly good shirt because it had a few tiny moth holes. It was one of my favorites, too. Mostly, I didn't want to contaminate my other garments - just in case moth larvae were still roaming about. But this was such a waste. The link above has its own links to tutorials on mending sweaters, socks, and other items. I don't plan on throwing away anymore clothing. But more on that topic, later.

How West Elm has elevated the working conditions of the global artisan industry (

One would think that global artisans have better working conditions than factory workers abroad, but that isn't necessarily true. In fact, it's actually more difficult to trace the working conditions of global artisans. West Elm thrives on the contributions of these highly skilled workers and is setting new standards.


A tiny house with a saltwater battery (

The saltwater batteries that store energy for this tiny house are cradle to cradle certified. Additionally, the house is completely off-grid, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing - at least in my opinion. You'll be hearing a lot more about the cradle to cradle movement from the owl in upcoming months.


Do scientists agree on the safety of GM foods? (

This is a heated topic and one that often gets tangled up with glyphosate, also. But what about GM foods in and of themselves? Leaving glyphosate, other herbicides, and pesticides out of the equation, most scientists agree that GM foods are safe. At some point I'll be writing a lengthy post on GM foods. But for now, let's try to keep an open mind.


Increased exposure to sunlight and reduced risk for nearsightedness (

This was an interesting study, however, the reduced risk had no correlation with vitamin D levels. Higher levels of lutein, which is found in leafy greens, also decreased the risk of myopia. But higher levels of education increased the risk. Scientists remain unclear as to why.


Does creativity offer protection from death anxiety? (

In this study, those with the most creative drive tended to worry less about death. Is it because they take comfort in knowing they're leaving a legacy? I don't doubt the research, but I do wonder if it has as much, or more, to do with finding so much fulfillment from the creative process. What do you think?


Well, I dunno. I'm not planning on taking off for Georgia anytime soon. Earworms just kind of happen sometimes. I could get philosophical about why this song chose me. Nah. Let's just just enjoy the music.   Laura