Surferbird News-Links, 44th Edition


Today's edition of Surferbird News-Links includes: a renewable energy and pipeline rant, Gita the robot, how to remove arsenic from rice and information on tonight's astronomical show. But I couldn't write this post without including another earworm. After reading the renewable energy rant, I think you'll understand why. Greetings! This is an abbreviated Surferbird News-Links. I hadn't planned to post today, but when I learned about tonight's astronomical events, I thought you'd appreciate knowing about them, too. Or maybe, this is just an excuse to squeeze in another post. 

Also, I'd like to share some actions you can take to help prevent and stop projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline. I'm deeply saddened, but not surprised, that it seems most likely this project will be completed. Along with the two topics mentioned above, I've included a few additional stories from my news-links surfing — just to keep life interesting.

Last updated February 10, 2017

Night-sky happenings

If you're willing to stay up tonight, look for a full Snow Moon, a penumbral eclipse and Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova. Whoa, was that a mouthful or what? The eclipse begins much earlier than the comet event, and I'm not sure if either will be visible from your location. Here's the link ( to the article, which provides more details.



Could we prevent or stop projects like DAPL by switching to renewable energy, such as Arcadia Power? (

I don't know. But doesn't it seem like a good idea to try? The link above is to my blog post on Arcadia Power. But just in case you want to cut to the chase, here's a linkto their website. Since writing the post a few months ago, I can vouch for how easy it is to make the switch. I didn't even have to call my utility company, and I completed the whole process online. Over the weekend, I'll contact Arcadia to see how much it costs to upgrade from 50 to 100 percent wind energy.

I COULD earn credits toward my utility bill by convincing you to make the change. But I didn't sign up to do that because I feel our investment in renewable energy is so important that I personally don't want to gain financially by promoting it. But if you convince your friends to switch, YOU can earn discounts as an option. And I won't blame you for doing so.

I'm also providing a link to the green power supplier page on the EPA website in case you're interested in exploring other options. I can only speak for my confidence in Arcadia Power because I haven't researched or tried the alternatives. However, many other news sources have covered Arcadia Power, too. Here's an article from Grist on renewable energy in general, and Clean Technica features an article specifically on Arcadia Power, here.

City of Davis, CA, joins Seattle in divesting from Wells Fargo. (

I used to live there, and hopefully, I'm heading back there one day! Mind you, this divestment seems to be about the Dakota Access Pipeline in particular. But I'm seeing a trend, and it's probably just a matter of time before more cities join the movement. Is this the beginning of a tipping point?

Yesterday, I included a link to an article which lists banks that support DAPL. Because of the article, I'm renewing my financial relationship with a somewhat local credit union. I'll have to purchase an inexpensive smartphone to do that because I'll need a way to make deposits. You can bug me about following through with my intentions if you like. I won't mind a bit!

Because our current government's official policy doesn't seem to support climate science, I don't see an end to projects like DAPL anytime soon. My personal opinion is that for now, it's up to individual consumers and communities to drive the market toward renewables while decreasing demand for fossil fuels.


Removing arsenic from rice (

Did I just write that? Yes, unfortunately, I did. And it's not an urban legend. This is an excellent article on why rice contains high levels of arsenic, which kinds of rice products have the highest amounts and how to reduce your exposure.

Science and Technology

A robot that carries your groceries (

Those of you who know me personally won't be surprised to learn I'm attracted to this robot. I don't like to drive, which means I've been spotted walking home from the grocery store carrying way too many bags. I never got around to buying a cart, either. Gita the robot has a certain appeal —  hands-free shopping for humans (and silly old owls, too!).


What can I say? Talking about renewable energy made me think of windmills, which led me to this song. Other things come to mind, too. But this isn't supposed to be a political blog.

Have a great weekend!