Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Message from Naperville Illinois

 The bitter cold may have put a chill on the proceedings, but several hundred Naperville residents still took a break from the Black Friday shopping frenzy to send a message of goodwill for the holiday season.  Residents began to assemble at the downtown Millennium Carillon (tower) about 1:30 p.m. Friday in preparation for the city’s holiday card community photo shoot. City staff in orange vests handed out tickets to help participants arrange themselves in one of the five letters of the word “PEACE.”
High atop the Carillon ( tower), several city of Naperville photographers prepared to shoot the photo for the city’s electronic holiday card, which will be posted on the city’s website at www.naperville.il.us where everyone will be able to view it and share it with friends and family.

“Naperville is a community that comes together time and time again to support and encourage each other,” Mayor A. George Pradel said. “We’re telling the world that Naperville is a city that promotes peace on earth, peace throughout our nation and peace right here at home.”

The photo shoot, which drew national attention to Naperville, had another purpose: City staff thought a unifying community event would lift residents’ spirits in the midst of a still-struggling economy. City staff estimated that about 500 residents turned out for the photo shoot  despite frigid and windy conditions. “I’m thrilled with the crowd that’s here braving the elements,” Pradel said.
As the crowd gradually filled in the letters stenciled onto the lawn, the carillon chimed out familiar holiday tunes, and residents stamped their feet and rubbed their gloved hands together to keep warm.

Grandparents Tom and Dawn Cooney, who live in Aurora’s Stonebridge neighborhood, brought their four grandchildren to the event because the Naperville Riverwalk has been a favorite family destination. The Johnson children, Brooklyn, Matthew, Kiersten and Ben, ranging in age from 5 to 9, were bundled against the chill. “We liked the idea of it,” Tom said. “We thought it would be a nice thing to do with the grandkids. This will be a great keepsake to look back on.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

2 Videos by My Grandson Zach

Listen to grandma Zach and change those dirty socks.

'The Ramelans Search for a Christmas Tree'  is a struggle
against the elements which, sadly, ends in defeat.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen : 'Naked Gun' Funnyman Dead At 84

The funnyman Roger Ebert once referred to as the "Laurence Olivier  of spoofs" passed away after suffering complications from pneumonia .

News of Nielsen's death was reported on Canadian radio station CJOB  Sunday .

Nielsen's nephew told CJOB that the actor had been in the hosiptal  in Ft. Lauderdale , Florida for 12 days  and  with family and friends  by his side at 5:30pm Sunday , "he  just fell asleep and passed away."

The Canadian-born Nielsen came to Hollywood in the mid 1960's after performing in 150 live television dramas in New York . With a craggily handsome face , blond hair and 6-foot-2 in height , he seemed ideal for a movie leading man.

Nielsen was indeed a lead actor for decades in Hollywood , appearing in the 1966 sci-fi classic  'Forbidden Planet' as well as 'The Poseidon Adventure.' But his turn came in the 1980's  classic comedy 'Airplane' as a deadpan docror on a doomed flight  changed his career forever as he switched gears to become one of Hollywood's top comic talents.

His turn as detective Frank Drebin in  'The Naked Gun'  was a smash and was followed by two sequels . The role in the actual film was born in the short-lived TV series   'Police Squard' which had followed on the heels of Nielsen's success in 'Airplane !'
My spin : Like Nielsen or not ...he was a great actor and a very funny actor ... he made you laugh , I mean laugh out loud and laughter is  is good for what ails you , even if it's just for a little while.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reply to Hunky ...In Drafts

Obama Gets 12 Stitches ...Basketball Injury

President Obama  walks to his car with Secret Service Agents after a game of basketball with friends and aides at Fort McNair in Washington. After receiving an accidental elbow in the lip by an over-enthusiastic opponent, he left in haste to go the hospital where he received 12 stitches.

Sugarplum Biscotti

Dunk these fruitcake-inspired whole-grain biscotti in a cup of hot tea or coffee.
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Nutrition Profile: Diabetes appropriate, Low carbohydrate

1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (see Tip)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small, uneven chunks

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
Toss dried cherries and raisins with rum in a small bowl. Set aside.
Pulse oats in a food processor until ground to a coarse, but uniform, meal.
Whisk the ground oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom in a medium bowl. Beat eggs, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the reserved dried fruit, along with any unabsorbed rum, pecans and chocolate and mix on low until evenly distributed.

On one of the prepared baking sheets, shape the dough into two 12-by-2 1/2-inch logs. (The dough is sticky: wet or oiled hands make it easier to shape into a log.) Bake in the center of the oven until lightly browned and feels set when gently touched, about 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300°; reposition the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Using a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion, slice the partially cooled logs on a slight angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices, cut-side down, on the 2 baking sheets.

Bake the biscotti until they’re dry on top and lightly toasted on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Turn over and bake for 15 minutes more on the second side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Nana's Creole Pecan Cake Bars

These decadent pecan, date bars are a bite-size alternative to holiday pecan pie.

Makes: 4 dozen bars
Active time: 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours
To make ahead: Store airtight for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Equipment: 17-by-12-inch baking sheet, parchment paper

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups chopped pecans
1 cup raisins, preferably golden
1 cup finely chopped pitted dates

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a large (17-by-12-inch) baking sheet with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until well combined. Add cinnamon and nutmeg; stir until blended into the mixture completely. Add pecans, raisins and dates to the rest of the flour mixture. (Coating the dried fruit and nuts helps distribute them in the mix.) Stir the flour-coated fruit and nuts into the batter. Do not overstir. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared baking pan with a spatula. (Coat the spatula with cooking spray, if necessary, to make spreading easier.)
5. Bake for 45 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Invert onto a large cutting board and remove the parchment. Cut into 48 squares.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sites You Can Access For Information on Global Warming/Climate Change/













List of Top Climate Change Sites

Pew Center on Global Climate Change
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change brings a new cooperative approach and critical scientific, economic and technological expertise to the global debate on climate change.

Climate Institute
Working to "to protect the balance between climate and life on earth."

US Global Change Research Program
The USGCRP provides the foundation for increasing the skill of predictions of seasonal-to-inter-annual climate fluctuations (which can bring excessively wet and dry periods) and long-term climate change.

United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
World Meteorological Organization coordinates global scientific activity in several areas, including: air pollution research, climate change and ozone depletion studies.

Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Environment
A project of the Atmosphere, Climate, & Environment Information Programme at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

EPA Global Warming Page
“Explains climate change science, U.S. climate policy, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental effects, and what you can do.”

Climate Change Solutions
An online resource centre of success stories, opportunity areas, tools, and resources on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Earth System Research Laboratory
Identifies the nature and causes of climate variations on scales ranging from months to centuries.

Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
Provides the UK government with up-to-date assessments of both natural and man-made climate change.

What's Up With the Weather?
NOVA and Frontline examine the issues of global warming and its link to the burning of fossil fuels.

Centre for Atmospheric Science
Promotes and encourages funding for atmospheric research

New Scientist Environment
Special report on climate change. News articles, an expert guide, and editorials.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The IPCC assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.

Climate Prediction Center
Assess and forecast the impacts of short-term climate variability, emphasizing enhanced risks of weather-related extreme events, for use in mitigating losses and maximizing economic gains.

Climate Change
This site explains what the Government of Canada is doing to address the problems of climate change and how all Canadians--individuals, communities, businesses, industries and every level of government--can take action to help protect our environment.

Cities for Climate Protection
Encourages cities to reduce local emissions of carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming (climate change), and related air pollutants.

Destination: Earth
ESE is studying our global environment in order to better the lives and improve the health of people around the globe.

Climate Ark
Performs full text searches educational and activist Web sites. Also includes an archive of "popular media and environmental group information" on climate change and other environmental topics.

Environmental Change Network
Conducts scientific research and global climate monitoring to detect and interpret environmental change.

New Hope Environmental Services
An advocacy science consulting firm that produces cutting-edge research and informed commentary on the nature of climate.

IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme
Provides an introduction to climate change as well as information on technical solutions.

Climate Change Research Library
A treasure trove of information and resources for the study of climate change.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Includes methodologies and tools to evaluate strategies for adaptation to climate change.

CO2 Science Magazine
A weekly review of scientific research findings pertaining to carbon dioxide and global change.

Climate Solutions
Works to stop global warming by supporting the rapid acceleration of clean energy technologies and more livable, less auto-centered community development.

"A digital forum on global climate policy."

Climatic Research Unit
The Climatic Research Unit is widely recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

World Wildlife Fund: Climate
Mission: "By 2001 we aim to ensure that industrialized nations set in motion a permanent downward trend in their domestic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the leading global warming gas - as a first step towards substantial reductions in emissions by 2010."

Energy Star
ENERGY STAR-labeled products use less energy than other products, save you money on utility bills, and help protect the environment.

Climate Trust
Carbon dioxide offset projects and greenhouse gas programs. "Your path to a stable climate."

Conducts atmospheric research programs and helps transfer new technologies to the private sector.

Friends of the Earth: Climate
Sign up for the Climate Online e-mail campaign and help stop catastrophic climate change.

The Woods Hole Research Center: Global Warming
"A beginner's guide to understanding the issue of global warming."

Reporting on Climate Change: Understanding the Science
A good starting place to begin to understand the issues and terminology of climate change.

National Climatic Data Center
The world's largest active archive of weather data. NCDC produces numerous climate publications and responds to data requests from all over the world.

World Resources Institute: Climate, Energy, & Transport
"WRI's goal is to protect the global climate system from further harm due to emissions of greenhouse gases and help humanity and the natural world adapt to unavoidable climate change."

Climate Research
Studies the interactions of climate with organisms, ecosystems, and human societies.

Green Power Market Development Group
"A project of the climate, energy, and pollution program."

Global Warming: Understanding Greenhouse Gases
This program helps students discover why climate change is a very real issue.

Scientific Facts on Climate Change and Global Warming

U.S. Global Change Research Information Office
Provides access to data and information on global environmental change research, adaptation/mitigation strategies and technologies, and global change related educational resources.

Rising Waters
Brings forward the severe issues associated with rising sea levels caused by global warming.

National Council for Science and the Environment
"Improving the scientific basis for making decisions on environmental issues."

Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change
The Center is a coordinated research program interested in the interactions of society and the environment.

BBC News: Global Climate Change
News site exploring the issues, impact, and politics behind global warming.

Sierra Club
Learn about the Sierra Club's campaign to reverse one of the largest experiments in history--global warming.

The Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS)
Conducts research centering around how global ozone and climate relate to changes occurring in the composition and distribution of trace constituents in the troposphere and stratosphere.

Western Regional Climate Center
Projects and resources dealing with the climate and weather in the Western United States.

Center for Global Change
Examines physical, biological and social processes of the Arctic as they interact with the Earth, and their relationship to global change.

World Climate Research Programme
Develop the fundamental scientific understanding of the physical climate system and climate processes needed to determine to what extent climate can be predicted and the extent of man's influence on climate.

Institute of Global Warming and Ecological Issues
IGWES is an international institute devoted to enhance the understanding of global warming, mitigation options, and technical and social adaptation required to deal with the consequences of warming.

Environmental Defense Fund
A not-for-profit environmental advocacy group with four main goals: stabilizing the Earth's climate, safeguarding the world's oceans, protecting human health, and defending and restoring biodiversity.

Greenpeace: Climate
Greenpeace campaigns for governments to face up to their responsibilities and to urgently address global climate change as one of the greatest threats to the planet.

Synoptic Climatology Lab
The synoptic climatology group performs research into a variety of applied climatological issues that affect humans and other organisms around the world.

Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change
An effort to understand what climate change means in the United States.

Environmental Change and Security Project
Since its inception in 1994, the Project has served as an information clearinghouse on the views, activities and policy initiatives falling under the rubric of "environment, population and security."

Mission: "To be a leading international interdisciplinary research centre for Global Environmental Change issues and problems."

Students United for a Responsible Global Environment
SURGE is a national student organization working to build a coalition among the many student and community organizations working for social and economic justice.

Resources for the Future (RFF)
Research areas include: air, water, climate, solid waste and more.

Global Climate Change Student Guide
a comprehensive work for geology, geography and environmental science students studying climate change

Global Change Master Directory
A comprehensive directory about Earth science and global change data.

U.S. Geological Survey
Products and data include the Atlas of Antarctic Research, topographic maps, water use and more.

U.S. National Assessment
Provides a detailed understanding of the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the nation.

Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists works to ensure that all people have clean air and energy, as well as safe and sufficient food.

Global Hydrology and Climate Center
The GHCC studies a variety of climate and environmental issues that all connect in a complex, interactive Earth-Atmosphere system.

Fresh Energy
Incorporates research, advocacy and community engagement to approach the global warming problem.

Scott Polar Research Institute
The oldest research center in the world covering both the Arctic and Antarctic.

This popular weekly journal covers a variety of scientific areas, including climate change and other environmental issues.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
The primary global-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Free the Planet!
Helps build support for environmental protection and vitalizes the political core of the environmental movement.

Research areas include environment and health risk assessment, environmental monitoring and technology assessment.

Environmental News Network
Provides environmental news, chat, and forums. Includes special "Weather and Earth" section.

University of Cambridge Centre for Atmospheric Science
Take a tour of the ozone hole or learn about the university's various atmospheric research projects.

Cities for Climate Protection
The goal of the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.

Climate Dynamics-Geophysics & Geodesy
"Provide an international journal for the publication of high-quality research on all aspects of the dynamics of the global climate system."

Acid Rain
The overall goal of the Acid Rain Program is to achieve significant environmental and public health benefits through reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), the primary causes of acid rain.

Center for Health and the Global Environment
Studies the link between human health to the health of the global environment.

Climate Action Network
A coalition of 269 environmental organizations pushing for cuts in greenhouse gases

NERC is the leading body in the UK for research, survey, monitoring and training in the environmental sciences.

The Minnesota Climatology Working Group
Presents a broad view of the influence of climate on the myriad of interactions which occur between various human interests and the environment.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
A nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting both economic prosperity and environmental protection.

Science Magazine
A leading scientific research journal. Site includes a guide to science online and regular updates on climate change research developments.

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is an environmental research organization undertaking high quality, internationally recognized research.

Green Teacher
Green Teacher is a magazine by and for educators to enhance environmental and global education across the curriculum at all grade levels.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

50 Things You Can Do to Slow Global Warming

Just in Case the Video Went By You Too Quick:
1) Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
 We recommend you purchase your CFL bulbs at 1000bulbs.com, they have great deals on both screw-in and plug-in light bulbs.

2) Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

3) Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.

4) Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

5) Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most energy efficient products available.

6) Do not leave appliances on standby
Use the "on/off" function on the machine itself. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

7) Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.

8) Move your fridge and freezer
Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

9) Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

10) Don't let heat escape from your house over a long period
 When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

11) Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing
This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.

12) Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

13) Cover your pots while cooking
Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

14) Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when
they are full
If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting.
 There is also no need to set the temperatures high. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.

15) Take a shower instead of a bath
A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximize the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.

16) Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

17) Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

18) Insulate and weatherize your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. Energy Efficient has more information on how to better insulate your home.

19) Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.

20) Recycle your organic waste
Around 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.

21) Buy intelligently
One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

22) Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can
You will also cut down on waste production and energy use... another help against global warming.

23) Reuse your shopping bag
When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.

24) Reduce waste
Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.

25) Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

26) Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. In some of these, you can even get refunds by government if you choose to switch to a clean energy producer, and you can also earn money by selling the energy you produce and don't use for yourself.

28) Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

29) Seek out and support local farmers markets.They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. Seek farmer’s markets in your area, and go for them.

30) Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

31) Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

32) Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

33) Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Look for transit options in your area.

34) Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. eRideShare.com runs a free service connecting north american commuters and travelers.

35) Don't leave an empty roof rack on your car
This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight - removing it is a better idea.

36) Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

37) Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car mantainance.

38) Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
Proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

39) When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency on FuelEconomy and on GreenCars websites.

40) Try car sharing
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar - offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

41) Try telecommuting from home
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

42) Fly less
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel carbon emissions by investingin renewable energy projects.

43) Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions
You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.

44) Join the virtual march
The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.

45) Encourage the switch to renewable energy
Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them. U.S. citizens, take action to break down those barriers with Vote Solar.

46) Protect and conserve forests worldwide
Forests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere - deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Conservation International has more information on saving forests from global warming.

47) Consider the impact of your investments
If you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming. Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.

48) Make your city cool
Cities and states around the country have taken action to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation. If you're in the U.S., join the cool cities list.

49) Tell Congress to act
The McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would set a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions and then use free market incentives to lower costs, promote efficiency and spur innovation. Tell your representative to support it.

50) Make sure your voice is heard!
Americans must have a stronger commitment from their government in order to stop global warming and implement solutions and such a commitment won’t come without a dramatic increase in citizen lobbying for new laws with teeth. Get the facts about U.S. politicians and candidates at Project Vote Smart and The League of Conservation Voters. Make sure your voice is heard by voting!

 Share this list!
Send this page via e-mail to your friends! Spread this list worldwide and help people doing their part: the more people you will manage to enlighten, the greater YOUR help to save the planet will be (but please take action on first person too)!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Polar Bears Still Struggling...Awareness Growing


Effects of Global Warming on Polar Bears:

Global warming is melting the polar ice caps, robbing polar bears of the ice floes they need to hunt prey. As the annual sea ice melts, polar bears are forced ashore to spend their summers fasting. If the Arctic ice cap continues to melt sooner and form later, polar bears will become too thin to reproduce and they will become extinct by the end of this century.
The polar bear's home – the Arctic – is experiencing the effects of global warming more than any other place. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at almost twice the rate of that of the rest of the world, and this is threatening to place the entire Arctic ecosystem in jeopardy.
Sea ice is shrinking by what appears to be a greater rate every year – sea ice that not only provides hunting ground for polar bears, but shelter and transportation for seals, walrus, arctic foxes, and the Inuit people. The underside provides a surface for algae that support cod, char, beluga, and narwhal. The white sea ice also has a cooling effect on climate by reflecting light away from Earth's surface. As it melts, the global warming advances even more quickly.

Facts on Polar Bears:
- Size: - Males are typically between 2 and 3 m long and weigh up to 500 kg, though a few weigh as much as 800 kg. Females weigh between 150 to 250 kg.
- Population: 22,000 to 27,000
- Life Span: 20 to 25 years
- Range: Most polar bears live in Canada, but other populations exist in Alaska, Russia, Greenland and Norway.

Sign the Petition to Save the Polar Bears.....At... http://www.naturecanada.ca/advocate/polar_bears.html?gclid=CPen16SstqUCFY64Kgod9zrIYg

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Polar Bears Found Swimming Miles From Alaskan Coast
ScienceDaily — An aerial survey by government scientists in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea  in 2008  found at least nine polar bears swimming in open water – with one at least 60 miles from shore – raising concern among wildlife experts about their survival.

Geoff York, the polar bear coordinator for WWF's  ( World Wildlife Federation)  Arctic Programme, said that when polar bears swim so far from land, they could have difficulty making it safely to shore and are at risk of drowning, particularly if a storm arises.
“To find so many polar bears at sea at one time is extremely worrisome because it is an indication that as the sea ice on which they live and hunt continues to melt, many more bears may be out there facing similar risk,” he said. “As climate change continues to dramatically disrupt the Arctic, polar bears and their cubs are being forced to swim longer distances to find food and habitat.”
Scientists say the Arctic is changing more rapidly and acutely than anywhere on the planet, noting that 2007 witnessed the lowest sea ice coverage in recorded history.
Satellite images indicate that ice was absent in most of the region where the bears were found on August 16, 2008.
The discovery of the nine bears at sea came as the US Minerals Management Service was conducting marine surveys in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in advance of potential offshore oil development.
In May of 2008, the US Department of Interior listed polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne citing the strong body of science pointing to the significant loss of Arctic sea ice habitat as the primary reason for protecting the bear with federal legislation.

However, the state of Alaska  opposed the listing and  sued the federal government over its decision to list the bear.
Professor Richard Steiner of the University of Alaska’s Marine Advisory Program said: “While these bears are swimming around in an ice-free coastal Arctic Ocean, the only thing the State of Alaska is doing is suing the federal government trying to overturn the listing of polar bears.
“The bottom line here is that polar bears need sea ice, sea ice is decaying, and the bears are in very serious trouble. For any people who are still non-believers in global warming and the impacts it is having in the Arctic, this should answer their doubts once and for all.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Best Darn Christmas Sugar Cookies

60-70 Servings Size
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (NOT olive oil!)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 1/8 cups flour

Directions:Prep Time: 3 hrs
1 Cream sugar, butter, powdered sugar, and oil. 2 Then cream in eggs and vanilla. 3 In a separate bowl mix baking soda, cream of tartar, and flour. 4 Start adding dry ingredients to creamed ingredients less than 1 cup at a time. 5 Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours. 6 Drop 1-2" balls on the cookie sheet. 7 If you would like, you can flatten the balls with the bottom of a drinking glass that has been dipped in sugar. 8 Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are browned. 9 You can also sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar, colored sugar sprinkles, etc.

1 cup confectioners' sugar 2 teaspoons milk 2 teaspoons light corn syrup 1/4 teaspoon almond extract assorted food coloring. Dries nice and hard 

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Gingerbread Men for Christmas

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup (160 ml) unsulphured molasses (To prevent molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, first spray the cup with a non stick vegetable spray.)

Confectioners Frosting:
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk or light cream
Assorted food colors (if desired)

Gingerbread Men Directions:
 In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside while you roll out the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies. With an offset spatula lift the cut out cookies onto the baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 inch (2.54 cm) apart. If you are hanging the cookies or using as gift tags, make a hole at the top of the cookies with a straw or end of a wooden skewer.
Bake for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. Small ones will take about 8 minutes, larger cookies will take about 12 minutes. They are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minutes. When they are firm enough to move, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, you can press raisins, currants, or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, confectioners frosting can be used to decorate the cookies. You can also use the icing as a glue to attach candies, raisins, and sprinkles.

Confectioners Frosting Directions: In an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beater. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk if too dry. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the gingerbread men as desired.
Tint portions of frosting with desired food color (I use the paste food coloring that is available at cake decorating stores and party stores).
Makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on the size of cookie cutter used.
Store in an airtight container.

A nice Christmas treat, very traditional, and the kids love to decorate them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tigers Completely Gone in 12 Years

 Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts told a "tiger summit" Sunday.

The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, a dramatic plunge from an estimated 100,000 a century ago. James Leape, director general of the World Wildlife Fund, told the meeting in St. Petersburg that if the proper protective measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger. Their habitat is being destroyed by forest cutting and construction, and they are a valuable trophy for poachers who want their skins and body parts prized in Chinese traditional medicine.

The summit approved a wide-ranging program with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. The Global Tiger Recovery Program estimates the countries will need about $350 million in outside funding in the first five years of the 12-year plan. The summit will be seeking donor commitments to help governments finance conservation measures.

"For most people tigers are one of the wonders of the world," Leape told The Associated Press. "In the end, the tigers are the inspiration and the flagship for much broader efforts to conserve forests and grasslands."
The program aims to protect tiger habitats, eradicate poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade of tigers and their parts, and also create incentives for local communities to engage them in helping protect the big cats.
The summit, which runs through Wednesday, is hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has used encounters with tigers and other wild animals to bolster his image. It's driven by the Global Tiger Initiative which was launched two years ago by World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

Leape said that along with a stronger action against poaching, it's necessary to set up specialized reserves for tigers and restore and conserve forests outside them to let tigers expand. "And you have to find a way to make it work for the local communities so that they would be partners in tigers conservation and benefit from them," Leape said. "To save tigers you need to save the forests, grasslands and lots of other species," he added. "But at the same time you are also conserving the foundations of the societies who live there. Their economy depends very much on the food, water and materials they get from those forests."

About 30 per cent of the program's cost would go toward suppressing the poaching of tigers and of the animals they prey on. Russia's Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said that Russia and China will create a protected area for tigers alongside their border and pool resources to combat poaching. Leape said that for some of the nations involved outside financing would be essential to fulfil the goals. "We need to see significant commitment by the multilateral and bilateral institutions like the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank plus individual governments like the U.S. and Germany," Leape told the AP.

For advocates, saving tigers has implications far beyond the emotional appeal of preserving a graceful and majestic animal. "Wild tigers are not only a symbol of all that is splendid, mystical and powerful about nature," the Global Tiger Initiative said in a statement. "The loss of tigers and degradation of their ecosystems would inevitably result in a historic, cultural, spiritual, and environmental catastrophe for the tiger range countries."
Three of the nine tiger subspecies — the Bali, Javan, and Caspian — already have become extinct in the past 70 years. Much has been done recently to try to save tigers, but conservation groups say their numbers and habitats have continued to fall, by 40 per cent in the past decade alone. How sad to see such a magnificent animal disappear from the planet through our own carelessness.

Erase All your Traumatic Memories....Achieve EternaISunshine....Interested ??

“Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.” When philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote this in 1885, he couldn't have imagined that one day people might join the blessed ranks of the forgetful simply by swallowing a pill. Yet this may soon be a reality; several studies suggest we may be able to selectively erase human memories in coming years—yes, just like in the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"—and NYU neuroethicist S. Matthew Liao tells us that this is a great idea.

If and when scientists perfect this technology, it will have tremendous potential for blunting painful memories in those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and it may also help to combat addictive urges. Even though there are some ethical considerations that must be addressed, the choice should ultimately be up to the individual, Liao says: "As long as you don’t harm other people, you should be allowed to use these memory modification drugs in order to improve your personal well-being."

Liao says that some memory modification drugs "may change what you believe to be true about yourself," but these problems are not so worrying, because small bits of misremembered falsehoods (believing that you had a good holiday so that you can feel more relaxed) don't affect anyone else.

But how far away is this technology really? Researchers, including NYU psychology and neuroscience professor Joseph LeDoux, have already been able to target and eliminate certain memories in rats. Based on the knowledge that memory formation relies on certain proteins in the brain, LeDoux administered protein inhibitors to rats to see what would happen. “We conditioned a rat to be afraid of a tone," LeDoux recounted in his Big Think interview. "So, the next day, he hears the tone and he freezes, because that’s how rats express their fear of the stimulus. But immediately after presenting that tone, we give the rat a certain kind of drug...and we test the rat the next day; the memory is no longer present—or at least can’t be accessed.” Next, LeDoux tried administering the protein inhibitors when the rat retrieved that memory of the tone at a later time,  not during memory formation.  Again, the result was the same: no  memory.

LeDoux’s experiment triggered a wave of similar studies. One researcher, Dr. Ted Sacktor of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, pinpointed a specific protein in the brain called PKMzeta, which seems vital for long-term potentiation (the strengthening of connections between two neurons, which scientists see as an important mechanism underlying memory). With this in mind, he conducted a new study using rats in an electrified chamber. First the rats were conditioned to avoid areas of the chamber whose floor was electrified, something the rats would never forget. Later the rats were injected which the drug ZIP, which interferes with PKMzeta, causing them to forget which parts of the floor were electrified; in other words, these long-term memories had been wiped clean. This discovery challenged the prevailing view that memories were a structural mechanism and could not be erased chemically.

Meanwhile, studies in humans have successfully softened the negative emotions attached to certain memories, in lieu of erasing the memory altogether. In 2009, Dutch researchers at the University of Amsterdam tested the effect of beta-blockers (drugs normally used to treat heart conditions) on minimizing fear responses. They artificially created fearful memories in subjects by showing them unnerving pictures of spiders coupled with small electric shocks. A day later, half of the subjects were given beta blockers and again shown pictures of the spiders. The fear response that they had exhibited a day before was gone; the same was true on following days, suggesting the response had been permanently erased.

Eternal sunshine in pill form is closer than you may think. Researchers have already selectively erased memories in rats, and they have been able to dissociate memories from their negative emotions in humans. As for zapping memories like in Michel Gondry's 2004 film, Liao tells us this would be "pretty difficult" but that with FMRI brain scans, which pinpoint the parts of the brain that activate when someone thinks or remembers something, this might even be possible in the future.

Why We Should Reject This:
Memory is a very complicated phenomenon, with many parts of the brain implicated in the storage of a single memory. "Memory is a network of neurons," explained Liao, admitting that erasing one negative memory might unintentionally damage important positive ones. Plus, so much of our understanding of ourselves and the world is predicated on our memories; tampering with them could radically alter our inner narratives.

Legend Of The Dreamcatcher

Native Americans of the  Great  Plains believe the air is filled with both good and bad dreams. Historically,  dreamcatchers were hung in the teepees or lodges and on a baby's cradle board.

According to legend , the good dreams pass through the center  hole to the sleeping person. The bad dreams are trapped in the web , where  they perish in the light of dawn.

Sleep well dear sweet child
Don't worry your pretty little head
Your dreamcatcher is humming
Above your bed

Listen  ever so softly
I know you can hear
The tone of beyond
Close to your ear

Love is alive
and living in you
Beyond all your troubles
When  good dreams come true

My spin : This is an ancient legend , since dreams will never  cease , hang a dream net above your bed . Dream on and be at peace.