Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘water’

Black Fish Out Of Water

Here’s a piece I created from a Portoro marble block which came from an island near Carrara, Italy.

This is the first marble I’ve attempted, which is the hardest stone. I was told that black is the most difficult, as it tends to crack easily. I guess I was lucky, as this one had no problems.

It is also one of the first I’ve done that attempted to actually look like something specific and not just go with the flow of the stone and what came as it was happening.

I tried to drill a hole in the bottom and place it on another piece of marble and a different stone, as the base, but I don’t have tools to make a deep enough hole and I was afraid it would crack. I tried using glue, but it didn’t hold and came apart. When all is said and done, it looks better by itself anyway.

Hope you enjoy this latest attempt. I’m getting a little better each time. It’s called Black Fish Out of Water.

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A Smart Home

UC Davis and Honda Unveil a Smart Home for a Zero-carbon Future
by Brandon Baker
Eco Watch & Nation of Change
3 April 2014

Honda and the University of California, Davis aren’t particularly known for constructing homes, but an ambitious project places the two entities at the forefront of designing homes capable of producing more renewable energy than they consume.

They began constructing the Honda Smart Home last spring and unveiled it less than a year later on the West Village campus of UC Davis.

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While homes and cars in the U.S. account for about 44 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, the Smart Home is expected to generate a surplus of 2.6 megawatt-hours (Mwh) of energy per year, some of which will be used to power the Honda Fit electric vehicle (EV) that comes with it. A soon-to-be-selected member of the UC Davis community will reside at the home as researchers from the company and college observe the production and consumption associated with their vision for net-zero energy living and transportation.

“What we’re trying to do here is create a vision for zero-carbon living and personal mobility,” said Michael Koenig, project leader for the Honda Smart Home.

With advanced lighting, geothermal heating and cool and a 9.5 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, the Smart Home’s design will use less than half of the energy a similarly sized new home in Davis would when it comes to heating, cooling and lighting. It’s also three times more water-efficient than the average U.S. home. Honda and UC Davis will work with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in evaluating the home as well as the potential for more efficient technologies that positively impacting housing, transportation, energy and the environment.

“In West Village, UC Davis made a commitment to build zero net energy housing and gave our research center the goal of creating the first university hub to focus and energy and transportation research,” said Dan Sperling, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. “Honda Smart Home is a dynamic environment that will help the university meet its research objectives and is a perfect example of the industry partnerships we strive to build.”

The 2.6 Mwh surplus per year, compared to about 13.3 Mwh for the average home represents a net offset of nearly 13,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, according to Honda. Researchers say the excess energy will anticipate possible future increases in energy needs like additional inhabitants or more EVs in a household.

As for water efficiency, the Smart Home contains dual-flush toilets, low-flow sink and shower faucets and a high-efficiency dishwashing machine and dishwasher. Those utilities should bring down the water consumption of the average home, which typically uses 27 percent of its water consumption on a toilet by itself.

Read entire article and more at NATION OF CHANGE

Without Clean Water

Girl_in_WaterFor a five-year-old child in Syria, peace is not even a memory.

Her childhood has been consumed by violence. As the conflict enters its fourth year, she may wonder if war is all the world has to offer her.

It’s not.

We can give this child hope – in the form of the most basic of necessities. Food. Medicine. And, crucially, clean water.

In war-torn areas in Syria, the supply of clean water has fallen by two-thirds. Millions of children are at risk of losing something we all take for granted.

Make your gift to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF today and help ensure that children in Syria and around the world have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Without clean water, children are vulnerable to deadly diseases like cholera. What they drink is a matter of life and death. Nearly 1,400 children die every day from unsafe water or poor sanitation.

It’s so easy to save these children’s lives. A water purification tablet costs less than a penny. A packet of oral rehydration salts that can save the life of a dehydrated child costs ten cents. A pump that can provide an entire community with constant water – just a few hundred dollars.

UNICEF has the infrastructure and expertise to deliver clean water and water treatment equipment to nearly any place on earth – whether by boat, by truck, by plane or by foot. Last year, UNICEF helped provide clean water to 10 million people in Syria – nearly half of all Syrians.

But countless more children need clean water and other essentials right now. Conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic are straining resources. UNICEF needs your help. A thirsty, sick child needs your help.

Save a child’s life with a donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF today.

Together, we can make sure no child dies because she does not have a simple glass of clean water. Thank you for your compassion and generosity.

With sincere gratitude,

Caryl M. Stern
President & CEO
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Sunset on the Water

Sunset on the Water
by Gabriel Constans

Persimmons are rich in carbohydrates and potassium and have a wonderful blood-red color: Asian countries have grown them for years, although the United States now leads the world in production of these sugary fruits. This smoothie is the perfect accompaniment to sitting outside and watching the sun go down.

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Yield: 4 cups

1/2 persimmon, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Pour into clear glasses and watch the colors upon the horizon.

The Tingler

The Tingler
by Gabriel Constans

For your next New Year’s Eve or Winter Solstice celebration, make a resolution with this bubbly, non-alcoholic crowd-pleaser.

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Yield: 5 cups

1/4 cup filtered cold water
3/4 cup boysenberry juice
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
3 small bananas
1/4 cup firm tofu
8 fresh or frozen strawberries
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup cashews
1 cup sparkling mineral water

Place all the ingredients, except the mineral water, in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add the mineral water, and blend on low speed for 5 seconds.

Pour into champagne glasses and raise a toast.

Super Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan

I’m writing you from the Philippines where I’m managing CARE’s ongoing response to Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Relief Efforts Continue After Typhoon Haiyan's DestructionThe situation we’re dealing with on the ground is unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my 20 plus years as an emergency response specialist.

My team of seasoned veterans and I delivered life-saving aid after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, and the drought-stricken Horn of Africa in 2011.

haiyan-e4-debrisBut none of those disastrous events were as challenging as this one. The remoteness, flooding and debris everywhere in the affected areas means that simple journeys can take days. The widespread magnitude of the damage means limited to no access by land or air and no lines of communication or electricity up and running.

There are pictures below, but they don’t truly capture the experience on the ground: the smell, the complete destruction in every direction you look, the heavy rain, the continuous exhaustion because there is nowhere for anyone to sleep, debris everywhere. And – worst of all – the desperate look in the eyes of survivors.

They’re hungry and they’ve been hungry for days. The food is just gone, picked clean.

It’s truly awful. We need your help. You can help us put food, shelter, and necessities in the hands of Filipinos and others in need.

Within the next 48 hours, we’ll be distributing food to thousands of families outside of Ormac City. Frankly, it’s frustrating that we can’t get supplies to more survivors more quickly. We plan to help an initial 150,000 storm survivors with the support of donors like you. Food and shelter are our current priorities.

Coordinating the response to Super Typhoon Haiyan has been so much more challenging than Haiti. It’s not even that the weather is horrible or that today’s office/sleeping space lost its roof and flooded out.

Communication during emergency response is critical, but here the electricity is down, the phone lines aren’t working, there is no internet. Thank goodness for our satellite phones.

In Haiti, communication was back up very quickly. And the earthquake was in a small area, so once the rubble was cleared, it was easy to drive and deliver aid. We could get everywhere affected in two or three hours. The airport was up and functioning quickly, so supplies could be brought by air, or road from the Dominican Republic.

Here in the Philippines, the disaster is spread over several islands. It takes days to get to places – not only for relief items, but for staff. You have to take a boat, and then a car, and the road hasn’t been cleared. The government and international community are working to clear the roads and open the airport, but it is taking time.

Once it does, we know what we need to do to help. I only hope you’ll be there during this critical time to support our response. Donate to CARE right away to help with disaster relief efforts in the Philippines and other places impacted by crisis and poverty.

Sincerely,

David Gazashvili
CARE Emergency Team Leader

Fracking Water Contamination

Fracking Linked to Contamination

When I’m not playing a superhero, I do my best to help out the real superheroes who are fighting to keep our water clean. That’s why I started a petition to President Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, which says:

“Preliminary studies by the EPA linked fracking to water contamination in three communities: Dimock, Pennsylvania; Parker County, Texas; and Pavillion, Wyoming. But the EPA abandoned its own findings and stopped these investigations. President Obama and new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy must reopen these fracking investigations and provide residents with safe drinking water.”

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I first got involved in the fracking fight years ago when I traveled to Dimock, Pennsylvania, to meet families who were suffering serious health impacts from using water contaminated from fracking operations. I met many people whose children and pets were suffering from skin lesions, hair loss, vomiting, severe headaches, dizziness and pain throughout their bodies—and they could light their tap water on fire!

When the going got rough, a group of concerned citizens and I stepped in to help these people get safe drinking water. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency came to the rescue and delivered families water while conducting an investigation. But when the EPA abruptly closed the case, stopped water deliveries to the residents and deemed the water safe to drink, we knew something was wrong.

Thanks to EPA whistleblowers, the Los Angeles Times was recently able to report that the fracking investigation in Dimock was shut down despite evidence from the EPA’s water tests showing that Dimock’s drinking water was severely impacted by fracking. Since that time, many residents have not had access to safe drinking water.

That’s why I started a petition to President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling on them to reopen the investigations into water contamination from fracking. We’ll deliver the petition signatures to the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday this week to show the public demand for action.

Can you add your name to my petition, and then share it with your friends?

The EPA has also shut down investigations in Wyoming and Texas. Early results of all three investigations showed that the EPA had evidence linking gas drilling and fracking operations to groundwater contamination. Yet instead of protecting people in these areas, the EPA ignored its own scientific data and abandoned the investigations.

It’s time for the EPA to do its job and protect the drinking water of the American people from toxic fracking. Join me in calling on the new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and President Barack Obama, to reopen the EPA investigations in Dimock, Pennsylvania; Pavillion, Wyoming; and Weatherford, Texas; and provide safe drinking water to the residents of these communities during the investigations.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

Mark Ruffalo
MoveOn.org

The Real Story About Syria

The Real Story About Syria

The politics around Syria’s civil war are complex, but the reason to care about Syria’s millions of refugees is simple – there is very real suffering happening with our fellow humans. Real people like you and me whose lives have been up-ended. Millions of people who have done nothing to bring this upon themselves, who are struggling to survive, and who may never be able to return home.

With or without military intervention, the flood of Syrians displaced by the conflict, both within Syria and as refugees in neighboring countries, will continue.

All the news about weapons, governmental bodies, and military actions ignores the truly massive humanitarian crisis that continues to dramatically unfold.

This is 12-year-old Amina and 7-year-old Sahed with their grandmother, 80-year-old Amina. “I miss my friends from my old school the most. I don’t know what has happened to them,” says young Amina. “My wish is to be able to see again properly,” says her grandmother, 80-year-old Amina, of her failing eyesight, “and see Syria again.”

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CARE is helping refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and people affected by the crisis in Syria. As the crisis escalates, we are also starting to work in Egypt and Yemen. The more than 8 million people affected by this disaster are looking to us to help by providing basic life saving support, such as: food, shelter, clean water, medicine and medical care, and the means to stay warm when winter approaches.

Please give what you can today to help those fleeing the violence in Syria, and others caught in the crosshairs of political unrest around the world.

I believe that – as human beings, confronted with the suffering and needs of others – you and I can and must do something to help. If you suddenly lost your home, wouldn’t you want to know that someone cared enough to reach out and support you to maintain your dignity while getting you through an unimaginably difficult time? I know I would.

Together we can make a difference to help each other in times of need. Please give what you can today.

As you listen to the radio and scan the headlines, keep the faces of the refugees above in your thoughts. They are the real story. And they need our support.

With greatest hope,

Holly Solberg
Director of Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance, CARE

Mom’s Apple Pie Smoothie

Great-Am-Smoothies

Mom’s Apple Pie

From Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers
by Gabriel Constans

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A traditional all-American non-traditional drink for the world. For a Father Knows Best (not really), The Cosby Show, Modern Family treat, try this mother.

Yield: 3 cups

2 baked apples (bake at 350*F for 10-15 minutes or until soft)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown rice syrup or honey
1 1/2 cups filtered water

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 30 seconds.

2. Pour into tall glasses and serve your mother.

Cavity Rampage

Great-Am-Smoothies

Cavity Rampage

From Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers
by Gabriel Constans
(One of the first books of smoothies. Avery Publishing, 1997)

This smoothie is decadence incarnate; it will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth!

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Yield: 4 1/2 cups

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup raspberries

1/4 cup chocolate or carob chips

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup broken peanut brittle

3 small bananas

2 cups sparkling mineral water

1. Place all ingredients, except the sparkling water, in a blender, and mix on high speed for 1 minute.

2. Add the sparkling mineral water and stir.

3. Pour into tall glasses and serve.

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