Surferbird News-Links, 46th Edition


In today's edition of Surferbird News-Links, we journey into the fog of California's Central Valley, learn about small town revitalization in northern Mississippi, turn down the heat in Louisville, KY, reduce air pollution in London, mourn additional glacier loss in Antarctica and nibble on some Indian millet — all while watching Bill Nye's new series on Netflix. We're going to be busy. :)

As a note of interest, I've decided to up my publishing schedule. I'm getting faster at writing these posts, and I have more articles in my news funnel than I know what to do with. Have you tried using Feedly as a news aggregate? I love it and use the free version. It's even possible to read my blog through Feedly too. As you might imagine, I've created all kinds of Surferbird folders on Feedly for each type of news category. I have so many articles saved that I could skip reading the news for weeks and still post Surferbird News-Links daily.

I don't earn commission by sharing this tip with you, though. Honestly, I'm so uncomfortable with that kind of marketing that I might have to write an ebook in order to finance my blog. And yes, that's a hint. I have plans.

But for now, we have places to visit, such as Mississippi, Kentucky, India and London. I've packed millet, quinoa and butter for us to snack on. And if anyone falls ill, there's a stash of healing berries from the Brazilian peppertree tucked away in my backpack. Well, let's get hopping!


Snow geese in California (

This photo of California's Central Valley lends an ethereal quality to thousands of snow geese taking off in the fog. It looks more like a painting than a photograph. Except for imagined honks and flapping from noisy geese, you feel a magical stillness that only fog can bring.



Revitalizing Water Valley, Mississippi (

Being a native Mississippian, I found this story so inspiring. But I'll confess — I've never been to Water Valley, MS. Indeed, some of the residents are doing more than simply revitalizing Main Street. They're creating opportunities for local kids by starting a code school and an art studio. But most of all, I envy the slower pace and lower cost of living.


More ice loss from Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica (

Besides the growing crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica continues to experience calving woes. Pine Island Glacier just had a calving event about the size of Manhattan. This one wasn't nearly as large as the one in July of 2015, though. That one was 225 square miles, or roughly "10 times the size of Manhattan."

Faith-based groups are lowering the temperature in Louisville, KY (

The religious community in Louisville, KY, is joining efforts with the Nature Conservancy to lower temperatures in and around the city by planting trees and participating in other measures that deflect heat. Does this give you hope? It certainly does.

Green technology

Paying London motorists to ditch their diesel burning cars (

Air pollution in London is bad. Really bad. And automobiles are the largest contributing factor. Perhaps the $650 million plan will reduce health costs and city expenses, thereby offsetting the price tag.

Food and farming

The benefits of switching to millet-based grains in India (

Up until about 40 years ago, people in India consumed many different varieties of millet. It's more nutritious than wheat or rice and needs far less water to thrive. Additional advantages to growing millet are its ability to handle saline soil and extreme heat. Supposedly, it also has a lower glycemic index. But because people's taste buds have adjusted to wheat and rice, making the change won't be easy. Yet in light of a changing climate, millet might play an important role in feeding India's growing population.

The future of quinoa along with a few recipes (

New and less expensive forms of quinoa are headed our way. Like millet, quinoa is appealing because of its ability to grow in saline soils. I'm not sure how I feel about new breeding technologies, but nevertheless, scientists are  breeding quinoa to be lower in saponins, which are bitter and toxic. It's the removal of these toxins during processing that makes quinoa so expensive.


Butter is back on the menu. (

I switched back to eating butter back in the 90s. Vegetable oils don't come out looking so hot, according to the cited study. It mentions corn oil and margarine in particular. We stick with natural fats in our house, such as butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Besides, have you ever tried expressing oil from a corn kernel?

Science and technology

Bill Nye is back with a new show geared toward adults. (

He's back, and although he claims Bill Nye Saves the World has nothing to do with the U.S. election results, Bill Nye's timing couldn't be better. I certainly hope his show makes a difference, especially in regards to climate change and protecting the environment. Besides, based on the description, this new series sounds entertaining!

Using Brazilian peppertree to fight superbugs (

Brazilian peppertree works by preventing bacteria from communicating. In some parts of the U.S., where Brazilian peppertree thrives, homeowners consider it a pest and spray the plant with herbicides. The research behind Brazilian peppertree is fascinating and offers hope for fighting antibiotic resistant superbugs.