7 Food Ingredients Your Children Should Never Eat

March 8, 2017 by  
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As parents, it’s our job to make sure our children are being raised in the healthiest environment possible. One of the keys to this is ensuring they are getting the proper nutrition through their diet. While some kids can be picky eaters, we…

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7 Food Ingredients Your Children Should Never Eat

Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

February 28, 2017 by  
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Prince Charles reportedly backs a plan to sterilize Britain’s grey-squirrel population, and it involves Nutella . The monarch-in-waiting is said to have met with members of the U.K. Squirrel Accord , a coalition he helped establish three years ago, to discuss ways to reduce the animal’s numbers without culling. Originally from North America, the Eastern grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis , has been the bane of the region’s native red squirrels since the late 19th century, when the Victorians first imported the animals to add color to their estates. There was one problem, however. Not only do grey squirrels compete for the same resources, but they also carry a pox virus that is harmless to them but fatal to their ruddier rivals. According to a recent census , the number of red squirrels have plummeted from roughly 3.5 million in the 1950s to about 130,000 today. Meanwhile, grey squirrels, which have gone on to thrive, are some 2.5 million strong. So where does the hazelnut spread come in? Per members of the Accord, which include the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Scottish and Welsh governments, oral contraceptives slipped into bait could dramatically yet humanely reduce the number of grey squirrels by up to 90 percent. And like we humans, squirrels have a weakness for Nutella. Related: Squirrels were introduced to U.S. Parks to “maintain people’s health and sanity” Field testing by the Animal and Plant Health Agency has led its scientists to devise the perfect trap, one that allows grey squirrels to squeeze through but leaves red squirrels, mice, and other smaller mammals out in the cold. No risk of accidental dosing here. “It is the most exciting prospect I have seen for controlling greys,” Charles Kinnoull, chairman of the U.K. Squirrel Accord, told the Times . “I don’t harbor a great extermination instinct but I am interested in protecting our broadleaf trees and there being red squirrels around for my children to see.” The Prince of Wales himself roots for the red squirrel, even at one point suggesting installing the critter as a national mascot. “I put nuts in the lobby and leave the door open and the red squirrels come up the steps into the house,” he told the Telegraph in 2011. “Very often you get four or five running around inside the house, chasing each other to get at the nuts. My great ambition is to have one in the house, I hate to tell you. Sitting on the breakfast table and on my shoulder!” Via the Guardian Photos by likeaduck and Brian Cantoni

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Prince Charles is waging war on Britain’s grey squirrels – with Nutella

6 impressive structures built around living trees

February 28, 2017 by  
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Treehouses hold a special magic. They hint at escape, and an opportunity to transcend the busyness of life; connect with nature. An example of man-made structures that harmonize with the environment , treehouses have inspired architects and designers around the world to build homes and offices that do the same. We’ve rounded up six examples of architecture influenced by treehouse design: four homes , one office, and one tearoom. All are designed around living trees , allowing inhabitants to breathe easy surrounded by greenery. Uncle’s House by 3 Atelier The living area of this light-filled home in Vietnam centers around a flourishing tree that is large enough for children to climb. The architects at 3 Atelier built this home for their uncle and his family, using materials reminiscent of the parents’ childhood homes. Not only does Uncle’s House inspire kids to engage with nature, they can even grow vegetables in the dirt around its base. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka One tree wouldn’t suffice for the Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka in Tokyo, Japan . From the outside, the cubic home is simple and modern. Inside, multiple trees and plants bring the outdoors inside. Sliding glass doors offer flexibility, and natural light permeates the home through skylights , creating a serene sanctuary in which humans and cats coexist. Symbiosis office by Cong Sinh Architects New developments are increasingly crowding out green spaces in the southern part of Hue, Vietnam. So Cong Sinh Architects designed Symbiosis, a peaceful office rooted in the environment in the midst of the bustling city . Expansive windows on both floors of the office overlook a green oasis full of vines and a tree. The shade from the greenery even helps regulate the office temperature. Tree House by A. Masow Design Studio A. Masow Design Studio unveiled astounding plans for the ultimate treehouse: an entire tree wrapped in a glass facade in Kazakhstan . A spiral staircase would allow the owner to move between four levels, circumnavigating the tree as they moved from floor to floor. The glass allows natural light to stream in and provides an unobstructed view of the surrounding woods. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects This cantilevered Echo Park home takes the treehouse concept to new heights. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects rests on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles , and was carefully constructed so as not to harm neighboring mature cypress trees, one of which extends through a bedroom in the home. Fire-treated Western red cedar siding, reclaimed chestnut floors, and walnut cabinetry add to the woodsy , natural feel of the cozy California dwelling. Bird’s Nest Atami by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP A 300-year-old camphor tree in Japan now includes a tiny teahouse nestled among its branches. Bird’s Nest Atami, designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP with the help of Takashi Kobayashi , is part of the country’s largest treehouse. Inspired by how crows utilize coat hangers in nests , Nakamura designed the freestanding teahouse to rest among the 22-meter-tall tree on light structural elements without harming the tree. The earthy interior also includes wood furnishings, inviting tea drinkers to relax in nature . Images via Quang Dam , © Koji Fujii by Nacasa & Partners Inc., Hiroyuki Oki , A. Masow Design Studio , Anonymous Architects , and Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP , by Koji Fujii/Nacasa and Partners Inc.

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6 impressive structures built around living trees

One in 11 US public schools are plagued by toxic air

February 20, 2017 by  
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When parents send their kids off to school, they might worry their child forgot their homework or won’t eat enough lunch. Air quality isn’t usually among their worries. But a joint investigation from The Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting shows almost 8,000 public schools in the United States are located within 500 feet of highways or roads – that’s one in 11 schools. As vehicles travel those roads, they spew pollutants that may seriously impact children’s health . Around 4.4 million students across all 50 states attend the nearly 8,000 public schools threatened with toxic air – and that’s not even counting private schools and Head Start centers. Many parents and teachers aren’t even aware of the issue, according to the joint investigation, since air pollution isn’t always visible. Related: WHO finds 92% of the world’s population exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution But health issues stemming from air pollution could harm children for a lifetime. According to the joint investigation, pollution near highways can lead to stunted lung growth and asthma attacks . It can increase the risk of cancer or play a role in heart disease. Pollution coming from tailpipes could hinder a child’s ability to learn and even contribute to brain maladies typically found in the elderly. New York University School of Medicine professor George Thurston said, “The expectation of every parent is that they’re sending their child to a safe environment. And with this kind of pollution, they’re not.” As part of the article on the investigation, The Center for Public Integrity included a tool so you can see if your child’s school is close to a road on which 30,000 vehicles or 10,000 vehicles and 500 trucks pass on an average day. What can you do if your child’s school is near such a highway? Parents at El Marino Language School located near Interstate 405 in a Los Angeles suburb pushed for high-grade air filters and pollution-trapping plants . A test run of the filters found they snagged over 90 percent of the unhealthy particles inside. Via The Center for Public Integrity Images via screenshot and Matthias Ripp on Flickr

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Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

February 20, 2017 by  
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BIO Architects recently completed a modern modular cabin, proving yet again how beautiful homes can be affordable with the help of prefabrication . Commissioned by a young couple that desired a cost-effective home on the lake, the prefabricated cabin is the latest iteration in the Russian firm’s line of modular Dubldom homes. The dwelling, located at Pirogovo Lake in the suburbs of Moscow, was installed in roughly ten days with minimal site impact. The lakeside cabin, named DublDom 2.110, is the client’s second Dubldom commission following BIO Architects’ completion of a compact 40-square-meter Dubldom house in 2015. Since none of the firm’s standard prefabricated models were suitable for the site, the architects created a custom design that still retained the Dubldom’s iconic gabled shape and full-height glazing . To keep costs at a minimum, the new 185-square-meter build was constructed with natural and affordable materials that help blend the home into the forested environment. “Most of the individual decisions are based on a simple technology and inexpensive materials, so we managed to follow one of the basic principles of DublDom company—quality of architecture at an affordable pricing,” wrote BIO Architects. “The front facade with the maximum number of glazing was dictated by location of the house on the site. All the technical and utility rooms are located along the rear facade, and the children’s room, office, main entrance and the living room with fireplace look at the site with a wonderful view on the water.” Related: Affordable DublDom prefab home pops up in just one week The modules were prefabricated in Kazan and were delivered with the interior trim, utilities, furniture, and electrical equipment pre-installed. Installation on-site took roughly ten days to complete. + BIO Architects

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Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

Chinese circus ties up endangered tiger so that visitors can take selfies

January 12, 2017 by  
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A horrifying video posted on Chinese video platform iQiyi shows circus trainers brutally binding a tiger to a metal table – all for the sake of selfie photographs. The animal is believed to be an endangered Siberian tiger, and it was cruelly lashed down so that children and adults could sit on its back for photos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4SDV_Xi3To The video’s description says the circus was performing in the Hunan province, and that the tiger was strapped down “to be safe for everyone to take pictures – but the expression of the tiger is very desperate.” When the tiger was finally freed, it bounded up and dashed away from the table. Related: Tigers punched for fun at horrifying “sanctuaries” in China Mashable reports that in China the God of Wealth is often portrayed sitting on tigers, and the act is associated with the deity. In the video a small child can be heard saying (as translated by Mashable), “I’m scared, I’m scared,” and one trainer responded, “Isn’t it cool to sit on a tiger? It can keep you away from the devil and earn you promotions and wealth.” Many commenters condemned the actions of the trainers and the parents who gleefully allowed their children to sit on the poor tiger. One iQiyi user said, “What kind of values are these parents teaching their children?” Another user wrote, “You can’t earn much from this, and instead you’ve brought so much pain to the animal, do you think it’s worth it?” Siberian tigers, also called Amur tigers, are found in the Russian Far East, China’s border areas, and possibly in North Korea, according to the World Wildlife Fund . There are only up to 540 of the endangered tigers left in the world. Via Mashable Images via screenshot

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Chinese circus ties up endangered tiger so that visitors can take selfies

7-year-old California boy saves 10K for college with his own recycling company

January 10, 2017 by  
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A 7-year-old boy from California has demonstrated it’s never too early to start recycling . When he was three, Ryan Hickman ventured to a local recycling center in Orange County with his father. The experience moved him to such an extent he declared his intentions to start collecting recyclables from his neighbors the following day. Thus started Ryan’s Recycling Company , through which Ryan has recycled around 200,000 bottles and cans, saving thousands of dollars in the process. Ryan asked his parents if he could give their neighbors empty plastic bags to fill with cans and bottles. The neighbors were happy to cooperate with him – as were friends, his parents’ co-workers, and family members. Roughly four years later, Ryan has recycled 49,000 pounds of trash from customers throughout Orange County. His website reports he spends “part of every week” sorting through and cleaning the plastic or glass bottles and aluminum cans he then totes to the recycling center with the help of his family. Ryan has saved around $10,000 for college (although his website warns he might actually tell you he’s saving up for his own garbage truck), and $1,624 for charity. Related: How two amazing teenage girls convinced Bali to ban plastic bags Ryan told The Capistrano Dispatch people should recycle to make a few extra dollars and “because it helps the world” as birds might eat discarded trash and “get sick or die.” Ryan’s efforts ensure all that trash stays out of the landfill and the oceans , and he’s become a Youth Ambassador for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center . He also offers t-shirts for $13, and all proceeds go to the center. Ryan’s mother Andrea told The Capistrano Dispatch, “He’s very passionate about it, and he likes to get everybody else passionate about it as well. I think he’s rubbed off on all of us now. You find yourself walking past a can on the ground and needing to pick it up instead of walking away and leaving it there.” If you live in Orange County, you can pitch in too. Schedule a pickup or learn more about recycling on Ryan’s website . + Ryan’s Recycling Company Via One Green Planet and The Capistrano Dispatch Images via Ryan’s Recycling Company

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7-year-old California boy saves 10K for college with his own recycling company

Obama: The United States’ clean energy transition is ‘irreversible’

January 10, 2017 by  
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President Barack Obama just published an opinion piece in the journal Science , writing that the “trend toward clean energy is irreversible” – in other words, the transition to a low-carbon economy is Donald Trump -proof. The President-elect is skeptical of both climate change and clean energy and has nominated cabinet officials with similar views. However, Obama gives four reasons why he believes that renewables will continue to increase regardless of who sits in the Oval Office: the decoupling of emissions and economic growth, the private sector’s embrace of emissions reductions, the market moving toward cleaner electricity, and global momentum for climate action. “Despite the policy uncertainty that we face, I remain convinced that no country is better suited to confront the climate challenge and reap the economic benefits of a low-carbon future than the United States and that continued participation in the Paris process will yield great benefit for the American people, as well as the international community,” Obama writes. “Prudent U.S. policy over the next several decades would prioritize, among other actions, decarbonizing the U.S. energy system, storing carbon and reducing emissions within U.S. lands, and reducing non-CO2 emissions.” Related: Elon Musk says Trump administration may be “positive on renewables” When Trump is sworn into office on Jan. 20 he will inherit a booming domestic clean energy sector . Renewables accounted for a majority (50.5 percent) of new US electrical generation put into service in the first 11 months of 2016, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) monthly Energy Infrastructure Update. Solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, biomass and other renewables beat out natural gas, nuclear power, coal and oil combined with 9,655 megawatts of newly installed capacity. Trump will also be in the driver’s seat in the global clean energy race and the competition is fierce as China makes massive investments in renewables that are starting to pay off. China increased its foreign investment in clean energy by 60 percent to reach a record $32 billion, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. If Trump spurns investments in clean energy, China and the rest of the world could be looking at the US in the rear view mirror as they race toward a future powered by renewables. + Science Policy Forum: The irreversible momentum of clean energy Via Grist Images via Wikimedia 1 , 2

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Obama: The United States’ clean energy transition is ‘irreversible’

Trump fails to nominate leadership to secure US nuclear arsenal

January 10, 2017 by  
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A report published by Gizmodo on Monday made a troubling claim: The Trump transition team hasn’t lined up new leadership for the National Nuclear Security Administration – and they have not announced plans to keep the heads of the department until replacements can be been found. This means that the $12-billion-a-year agency entrusted with maintaining “the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile” is leaderless for the foreseeable future. While the Gizmodo report initially claimed that the Trump team asked NNSA director Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon, to step down on Jan 20, the NNSA is pushing back against those claims . Instead, NNSA officials claimed “There have been no discussions between the president-elect’s transition team and any of NNSA’s political appointees on extending their public service past Jan. 20.” While Trump may not be technically firing the heads of the agency, it seems clear the department may simply be without leadership altogether for weeks or even months while any nominees go through a Senate confirmation process . Along with these high-profile roles, there are a number of smaller appointed roles that will need to be filled in the coming weeks. Related: Rick Perry tapped to run the Department of Energy – which he once promised to shut down There is a small sliver of silver lining to this story: the civil servants within the agency will still be able to serve in their regular roles, even without appointed leadership. While this affects the agency’s ability to secure funding or begin new programs, day-to-day operations will continue. Even if you feel ambivalent about maintaining America’s nuclear arsenal, it’s good to know it’s not going to be left completely unmonitored for months as the NNSA awaits new leadership. Via Gizmodo Images via Steve Jurvetson , Frank Trevino , and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Haunting Human Gyre made of over 200 underwater figures warns of climate change

January 10, 2017 by  
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A haunting sight awaits scuba divers on an Atlantic seabed. Over two hundred life-size human figures have been arranged in a circle to create the ‘Human Gyre,’ the last exhibit in Museo Atlantico , Europe’s first underwater museum officially completed this month. Located off the coast of Lanzarote, Spain, the artistic installation forms a complex reef for marine species to inhabit and speaks to the fragility of our ecosystem and our relationship with the natural marine environment. The monumental Museo Atlantico complex is the project of British artist Jason de Caires Taylor , who installed over 300 works across a dozen large-scale installations. Constructed around 14 meters underwater, the sprawling museum was created to promote conservation and education. The sculptures, made from environmentally friendly, pH-neutral inert materials, were specially created to double as artificial reefs and attract local fish species. The installations are made to last for hundreds of years and help raise awareness about the threats facing our world’s oceans and climate. Early works installed less than a year ago—construction began in February 2016—have already seen an increase of over 200 percent in marine biomass. Related: Haunting drowned figures send a chilling message in Europe’s first undersea sculpture museum Some of the hauntingly beautiful artworks double as political commentary, such as ‘Deregulated,’ which depicts suited businessmen in a playground-like environment to suggest that corporations are irresponsibly abusing nature as their play area. The life-size human figures used in the Human Gyre and in other installations are based on models of all ages and from all walks of life. “The artistic installation reminds us that we have evolved from marine life, and are all subject to the movements and will of the ocean,” says a statement in the museum press release. “The piece embodies our naked vulnerability to its inherent power, and our fragility in the face of its cycles and immense force. It provides the oxygen we breathe, it regulates our climate and it provides a vital source of nutrition to millions of people. A visit to Museo Atlantico may lead us to a closer understanding of our relationship with the natural marine environment and appreciate the need to value and protect this fragile ecosystem in order to save ourselves.” + Museo Atlantico Images via Jason de Caires Taylor

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Haunting Human Gyre made of over 200 underwater figures warns of climate change

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