Surferbird News-Links, 7th Edition


Welcome to Surferbird News-Links. Join me on an exploration of health, food, science, and the environment. For more information on the name and origin of Surferbird News-Links, see here. Oh, I almost forgot; there's always an earworm at the end of every edition.What's an earworm? you ask. Well, scroll on down to discover!

Surferbird News-Links, a weekly summary from across the web


Village Enterprise, an organization with the goal of ending extreme poverty and one that I've written about extensively, was recently nominated a Classy Award finalist. Out of 1,300 applicants, only 100 were chosen. Congratulations, Village Enterprise! If you have a Facebook account, you can stay updated and follow them here. (I'm not affiliated with Village Enterprise.)



It's heating up out there - In which zone do you live? I live in the red zone, and when one is looking at maps, red is generally not a good color. It's supposed to be really hot this summer. So far, we've had nice California East Bay weather with only one hot spell. Let's check back in later in the season. I would like to know how things are faring in your part of the world.

Five success stories - We've come along way sine the debut of An Inconvenient Truth ten years ago, and this article highlights five climate success stories: China, the Pope, job growth in the clean energy sector, the Paris Agreement, and the emergence of a global movement - Climate Reality.

Moving to Wales (I wish!) - Would you drop everything and move to the coast of Northern Wales for a yearly rental payment of only $1.50?  This deal includes a four bedroom house, plenty of sheep, scenic views of the Irish Sea, and unique wildlife - all at no additional cost to you. I  know; you would have packed your bags already, but you're waiting for the catch. Watch the short video and learn about this internationally significant preservation program. Here's a hint about the catch: can you herd sheep?



Check out these five facts on pesticides on fruits and vegetables. I appreciate the recognition that not everyone can afford organic food; here's an informative guide on what are sometimes difficult food choices.

GMOs - There's no way for me to briefly summarize this excellent report on the results of the National Academy of Science's review on GMO safety. If GMOs are on your radar, you'll want to take a look.


Sunscreen - Ah, it's that time of year, and many of us are spending more time outdoors. What about sunscreen? Did you know that many sunscreens contain ingredients that are both harmful to people and to coral reefs? This is a wonderful article on the best types of sunscreens that protect both humans and coral reefs. A hat and long sleeves can also go a long way in providing protection from UV rays. Happy sunning!

Borax - Do you make your own green cleaning products or add borax to your wash cycle? Although the topic is controversial in the DIY community, I'm not sure that using borax is such a good idea.Here's a good article on borax and its safety.

Healthier workstations - Recently, I read a post on setting up a healthy workstation on Mark's Daily Apple. I stashed the post somewhere in the recesses of my mind, intending to go back and read it later. Well, later has arrived. I've been having some health related issues from all of the sitting I've been doing while researching and writing. This is an excellent article - perhaps the best I've seen on how to set up a work area and other ways to use computers besides sitting and standing. If you've been thinking of creating a standing workstation, check out the portable cardboard unit, which you simply place on top of your desk. And the best part is that it's only $25 and environmentally friendly. I'll be ordering one for myself and one for my youngster, who is a budding computer programmer. (I'm not affiliated with Mark's Daily Apple.)

Science, technology, and living

ReGen Village - How would you like to live in a completely self-sustaining village? Take a look at this lovely community on the outskirts of Amsterdam that will grow about half of its food, produce its own energy, and deal with its own waste. The project is due to be completed by 2017. I would take living in one of these communities over suburbia any day; perhaps our modern suburbs will eventually be heading this direction.


If I were to post my true earworm, you wouldn't be particularly happy with me as the authentic one is a collection of songs from prior weeks. I just can't get those 60's and 70's folk songs out of my head.

So for this edition of Surferbird News-Links, I did a bit of research and found this beautiful Welsh folk music in honor of the above habitat restoration project in Northern Wales, for which I know you're going to apply! If you buy me a ticket to Wales, I'll come visit you. I promise.

Until next week, enjoy Catrin O'Neill's lovely voice and the Welsh and Irish scenery.      Laura