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May 2009, Page 2


Swimming is a tremendously fun activity with a great number of health benefits, including cardiopulmonary health, increased strength and endurance, muscle toning, all in a relaxing and mostly low-impact exercise. I grew up on the east coast, learned to swim by the time I was five, and was a competitive swimmer as a teen.… Read the rest

The Wild Microbial World

There has been a lot of talk about the Swine Flu, (er, I mean, H1N1) lately, but it hasn’t turned out to be the big bad pandemic the world had begun preparing for. Although there have now been cases discovered in almost every state , it has not been shown to be any more dangerous than any other flu.… Read the rest

Marilyn French

Renowned feminist author Marilyn French passed away this month at age 79. She is best remembered for her novel The Women’s Room (1977).


I remember reading The Women’s Room when I was entirely too young (9 or 10!), simply because it was in the enormous family bookcase, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on, and some of it was very, very interesting, if ultimately confusing.… Read the rest

World News

This week I saw two interesting news stories from around the world – one rather sad, the other fascinating.




Yahoo! Green reported on rising sea levels and associated environmental dangers from the World Ocean Conference in Manado, Indonesia.

“Dealing with environmental refugees will have a much more serious impact on the global economy and global security in fact than what wars have ever done to this planet,” said Rolph Payet, a presidential adviser from the African island nation of the Seychelles.… Read the rest

Meet the i-house

Clayton Homes, the largest manufactured home company in the United States, recently unveiled the revolutionary i-house, a modular, energy-efficient, customizable dwelling. According to the Associated Press:

“A 1,000-square-foot prototype unveiled at a Clayton show in Knoxville a few months ago was priced at around $140,000.… Read the rest

The Economics of Mother’s Day

Mothers. They give us the gift of life, and we give them greeting cards. Anna Jarvis , the creator of Mother’s Day in the United States (first celebrated in 1908), became so dissatisfied with the over-commercialization of the holiday that she spent her life protesting it.
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Ultraman Rocked My World

“Ultraman, Ultraman: here he comes from the sky.
Ultraman, Ultraman: watch our hero fly.
In a superjet he comes from a billion miles away,
From a distant planet land comes our hero Ultraman.”



In the early 1970s, a strange phenomenon reached American shores in the guise of a tall silver alien: Ultraman landed, and for some lucky children like me, life would never be the same again. … Read the rest

Free Books Online

The web can be a valuable resource for just about anything, and literature is no exception. There are multiple websites where you can find free books to read online, download, listen to, or even use on a portable reading device. Following are some of the major outlets.… Read the rest

African DNA

BBC News recently reported on the largest genetic study of Africa to date. According to the article:

“The work revealed the continent to be the most genetically diverse place on Earth, and identified descendents of our earliest human ancestors….The research also located the origin of modern human migration in south-western Africa, near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola.… Read the rest

Web Overload

The Guardian UK recently reported on potential problems for the internet, including future bandwidth overload and the web’s carbon footprint.  According to Subodh Bapat, a Vice President at Sun Microsystems:

“We need more data centres, we need more servers. Each server burns more watts than the previous generation and each watt costs more.… Read the rest

Students Aim to Wring Pollution – And Millions – Out of India’s Dirty Water

8205_photo_1_high_resNewswise — If you live in the “Knitwear Capital of India,” your water probably doesn’t taste very good, if you can drink it at all. That’s because dyeing cotton for Banana Republic T-shirts, Reebok socks and truckloads of similar clothing bound for Europe and the United States requires tons of water, and the small textile firms that dominate the industry in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu cannot afford traditional wastewater treatment, so they simply dump toxin-filled water into the local rivers.… Read the rest

Go Velo!

The summer I turned twelve, I got my first 10-speed bike. Too impatient to walk and too young to drive, biking was a great way for a kid to get around in an area with no public transportation. To me, it meant freedom.Read the rest

Friend Benefits

A recent New York Times article revealed many of the benefits that we gain from having good friends, including higher cancer survival rates, a longer life, and improved brain health.

“In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn’t terribly well appreciated,” said Rebecca G.

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