Surferbird News-Links, 31st Edition


Welcome to the 31st edition of Surferbird News-Links! Today's stories include: soil and climate change, treating depression with an all-nighter, eco-friendly textiles, a2 milk, and more.

First of all, I'd like to thank my new subscribers for following the owl. I don't know how wise I am, really. But I enjoy learning and looking at life from many different angles.


An argument for U.S. post-election and post-Brexit humility by Stephen Hawking (

At a time when it's convenient to separate ourselves from those who might have voted differently in recent elections, Stephen Hawking calls for us to show humility. And this doesn't apply only to recent political events in the U.S. and Britain, but also for the world at large. Stephen encourages us to break down barriers, rather than build them up. We live in dangerous times and will need to pull together in order to survive the vast changes that lie ahead. Thank you, Stephen Hawking.



Dakota Pipeline

Victory for halting the Dakota Pipeline, for now (

For now, at least, the Army Corp of Engineers has stopped construction on the Dakota Pipeline in order to conduct an extensive environmental review, which could take months or years ( Because of the election results, however, many "water protectors" will remain at the camp. This is indeed a victory, but it's not over, yet.

Climate change

Climate system feedback loop has begun (

The climate feedback pertains to the release of carbon from Earth's soil. As the planet warms, the microorganisms in the soil increase their respiration rate, which in turn, releases more CO2 and methane - warming the planet even further. An equal amount of carbon will need to be sequestered through better agricultural soil management and through carbon sequestration in plants. It's important to note that deforestation doesn't capture carbon.


A new eco-friendly clothing company (tonlé.com)

Tonléhas achieved almost zero waste in manufacturing and uses environmentally friendly fabrics. They even make their own paper from fabric waste.

List of thirty-five ethical clothing companies (

Tonlé made the list along with Patagonia and Eileen Fisher. With so many options, I feel encouraged about the future of the fashion industry.


Things to consider when buying a home (

When we lived on the other side of the Carquinez Strait, in Benicia, we like to take walks in the old part of town, sometimes speculating as to which parts would be affected by climate change. But it all seemed so far off into the future. However, if you're thinking about buying a house, it's important to take climate change into consideration. This article is an excellent resource - a checklist of sorts to ensure the integrity of your purchase.

Holiday gift wrapping

Ah, this link is from moi - one of my first posts, actually. I purchased the materials used in this project mostly from Amazon, but I suspect they're available elsewhere, also. I've seen wooden stencils on the Hearthsong website, which would actually work better for small hands.


An interesting read on a2 milk (

Have you heard about a2 milk? I've known about it for a while. The scientific data I've read in the past is mixed. But I'd like to point out that I haven't read much on the topic, lately. I'm too busy trying to slow down climate change! I thought you might be interested, though. Furthermore, I'm curious if any of you have tried a2 milk and if you found it easier to digest.


A temporary way to ease symptoms of depression: stay up all night (

Well, I already stay up til 3 a.m. But I doubt that counts. The process is more complicated than simply staying up all night for a single night, however. The best results, so far, seem to combine an initial all-nighter with "chronotherapy light." The details are in the article, but early trials look promising. Participants remained symptom free without medications for 7.5 months.

Is there a link between household chemicals and diabetes? (

Wow! The results of this study suggest that reducing exposure to certain household chemicals by 25% could reduce the incidence of diabetes by 13%. The reduction rate was most noted when participants decreased all four chemicals in the study vs. reducing a single chemical. Check out your laundry supplies and personal care products for harmful ingredients. The EWG website is an excellent resource for this in the U.S.


A super fast charging battery that lasts all week (

This is a battery for the absentminded.  Now, let's be honest. I think everyone forgets to charge their cellphones and other electronics. But what if your phone had a battery that charged in seconds and lasted all week, using super-capacitors made from nano-particles? Another benefit to this tiny battery is that it would outlast your phone and could potentially be used in electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the battery isn't available yet, but imagine the future. And remember, you learned about it from the owl

Today's video

This video can't be posted on my blog. But here's a link to Al Gore's new website called 24 Hours of Reality. Alternately, the livestream is also on Grist, which you can check out here.