Global Choices and Scientific Results

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Sea vegetables are becoming the ‘in thing’ for enjoying a salty harvest food. This

is one of a few pieces of information which helped to brighten my day, along with

an herb which has shown positive results in killing cancer cells. There is also an

unfortunate consequence of a ‘green’ choice which I have featured a couple of

times.

When you think of seaweed, kelp, dulse, alaria and laver you may not be aware

of how they are showing up on menus. They give a ‘jolt’ of salty flavoring to such

foods as soups, salads and sushi. Their potential higher level of essential minerals

may lead us to possibilities in the following ‘goodies:

Seaweed filled bagels, ice cream and chips.

I believe they already may be on the upcoming flavor list for those weird sodas

found in delicatessens. (I wrote a blog awhile back on the strange concoctions

which were being served as healthy beverages alternatives to pop.)

Another news item concerning seaweed is it may become more frequently

‘farmed’  rather than harvested from the ocean. This makes sense since

waters and shipping areas sometimes choose to shut down in winter, less

traffic in certain climates.

Seaweed can be a ‘winter crop’ to keep people out on ships, but it also could

be managed in warehouses like many vegetables have become raised in water

beds. You may be purchasing instead of ‘hydroponic tomatoes’ you could choose

‘hydroponic sea vegetables.’

An example of someone who chooses to diversify his shipping business is

entrepreneur, Matthew Moretti. He operates Bangs Island Mussels, which is

both a shellfish farm and kelp farm.

Bangs Island Mussels is located in Casco Bay, near Portland, Maine.

Here is why Matthew Moretti has branched out, in his own words:

“Mussels are monoculture so growing sugar kelp between mussel rafts creates

a more ecological model.”

(Source: John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable

Future.)

The following news item upset me and made me quite sad. I hope you will help

to promote less wind turbine usage during nights. I had not heard this in time

to add to my article which featured more prevalence of this ‘green source’ of

energy. I still believe in wind, solar and other alternative sources of power.

Do you want to know why we must try to prevent night usage of wind turbines?

There have been up to 300,000 bats effected in Europe from the wind turbines.

They are being found dead at the bottom of the turbines, especially due to their

migratory patterns at night.

As you know, bats are vital and natural pest controllers. They save the use of

millions of pounds of pesticides and since many species are declining world wide,

we must try to protect them. The option to reduce turbine activity during times of

peak migration is being suggested. I saw a photo of one of the little soft brown

bats dead with its little wings and feet looking so pitiful.

One great fact I learned about bats is scientists have discovered their being

one of the only examples of mammals to use polarization patterns in the sky to

navigate. One of the bat species named for this trait was the ‘mouse-eared bat.’

The study showed that bats use the way sunlight is scattered in the atmosphere

at sunset to ‘calibrate’ their internal magnetic compass. This helps them to fly in

the right direction.

The researcher who published this study, as a co-author, was Richard Holland,

PhD. of Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland. The article was published in “Narure

Communications.”

Some creatures who have ‘better,’ or more easily understood, abilities to navigate

without being harmed use interesting ‘detectors.’ The bees have special adapted

photo-receptors in their eyes. Birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles all have cone

cell structures in their eyes which help them to detect polarization.

(Source: http://nerc.ac.uk)

A brilliant new natural way of possibly reducing cancer is found in ‘wild thyme.’

Wow! A study published in “Nutrition and Cancer Journal” mentions that the

herb, thyme, has been found to be much more than a cooking spice. Scientists

have tested using methanol to extract its essence. Thymus serphyllum, used in

laboratory testing, could kill cells of two types of breast cancer. Research also

found the extract was safe for normally developing healthy breast cells. The

researchers gave their results saying wild thyme may provide the means for a

promising natural cancer treatment.

I enjoy learning about scientific research and outcomes. The overall examples

using seaweed as a food source and using thyme to battle cancer cells, were

ones I felt were positive. I wish there were a way to prevent bats from flying into

wind turbines and help the population of natural insect controllers to continue

to live long and healthy lives. It is always good to figure these things out, since

most studies have two sides or positions to research. I like to ‘know’ which side

I am on, before I support one or the other.

What’s new around your piece of the world?

Does scientific news interest you?

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About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

43 responses »

  1. All of this interests me a great deal, Robin. We sometimes eat seaweed because we love all kinds of ‘greens’, especially beet-greens (beet tops). Some day those may not be easy to get and alternatives would be farmed or cultivated sea vegetables. We can leave out the salt and add lots of garlic, instead, I think. We have sauteed greens twice weekly.

    As for bats, yes, this is an awful development. We built two bat houses for Deanna and Al, since they have so many biting insects in their yard on the East Coast. Bats are a wonderful way to control pests! I hope a solution for them materialises soon.

    The future depends on science. We will have to feed a crowded world and try to preserve our environmental diversity, leaving it to the next generations in as good condition as possible.

    Love this post, Robin!

    • So glad, Beth, you found this post to be meaningful. I like eating lots of different greens, have liked kale chips from the oven with olive oil, but must try not to overcook to a ‘crisp.’ I like that you have tried seaweed, which I have not been offered this, so may have to find some.
      I also enjoy beet greens, especially newly light green sprouts, which are not as chewy!
      I was saddened a few years back when my guy friend, Bill and I went to Kentucky to look at caves, many of them were closed due to a disease humans brought into the caves. It is called, “white nose syndrome.”
      I like that you have built two bat houses, you and your husband for Deanna and Al. This is an excellent idea!
      I enjoy science, more and more, as well as history, since getting older, I see the ‘value’ in this knowledge. Sometimes, I am ashamed, I would let my eyes glaze over when I was younger, not apparently able to appreciate those subjects as I should. Smiles!

  2. What an incredible amount of information is here, Robin. You have reminded me we really need to increase our intake of fish and sea nutrients in our diet. Thank you. As for the bats, birds have been a great concern of mine regarding wind turbines, wanting to know if whoever designs them takes into consideration, bird migrations. Evidently they don’t which is so sad. What is the point of working with Mother Nature (wind) to produce energy if that source is killing as well? Does not make sense to me at all. Really thoughtful post, my friend. I’m really glad I stopped by to read it. (((HUGS))) Amy

    • Thank you, Amy, for saying such high praise for this collection of scientific articles and a bit of research into natural solutions. I am worried about bats and birds, too. Hope they can make a sound which would deter them? Maybe a mechanism of sound waves? Thanks for the hugs, sending you some back, my dear!

  3. On the positive side, I love deep fried seaweed, Robin (though deep frying can’t be a very healthy option). Negative- well, poor bats! Flight patterns must be difficult to design around. I don’t pretend to understand the endless consequences of the way we live our lives. Trying to do as little harm as possible scarcely seems to be enough any more.

    • Deep fried seaweed, Jo! I may like this idea. I think it would make you feel more ‘righteous’ than eating french fries! ha ha!
      I wonder why there cannot be a noise maker attached to wind turbines which would not irritate neighbors but would deter the bats and birds from flying into them? How do they avoid trees? I mean can’t they see the white? I can’t imagine people liking them to be painted more brightly but maybe a little stripe might help? I am like you, Jo, wondering how we can prevent harm while we do really try to do ‘good’ things.

  4. Scientific research is one of my passions.
    Sadly, I think that scientists often cherry-pick research and data from research.
    Nevertheless much good can come from the research.

    • I am one who reads a few sources and tries to collect a few which can combine into an article of sorts, Elizabeth. I am not sure about scientists and researchers. I do know that a lot of trial and error goes into this fine field of science. There are pages and pages of detailed studies on some subjects. Do you have a specific area of science or research which you feel is ‘cherry-picked?’ Just curious. Thanks for letting me know something new I need to keep in mind, Elizabeth.

      • Yes, in the area of ‘diet’ and what is healthy / not healthy for us to eat, I believe is cherry-picked by scientists.
        I am actually going to include some of this in up-coming blog posts.

    • I am not sure how we must protect birds and bats, but birds fly into windows all the time and we still have windows. I have had birds fly into my car, too. I hope they can create a noise emission that will warn the birds and bats, other than that, maybe change the color. We need wind and solar power, which I believe in!

  5. Robin, I have always loved the sciences. My mother taught high school biology for over twenty years, so science was a normal part of my growing up. My college roommate was a biochemist (now a PhD), and my sister is a biologist. My last career was in the tech industry at an R&D site, so I got to work around some super-smart, innovative people.

    I think it is important to understand how we have come so far in a relatively short time since the time of Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton. It is also humbling to realize how little we know. One of my favorite scientists, Neil deGrasse Tyson, once said, ‘As our area of knowledge increases, so too does our perimeter of ignorance.’ We owe it to ourselves to make learning a lifelong journey. – Mike

    PS – I hope we do more with solar energy since there are no moving parts.

    • I agree with solar energy being a great resource. Mike, I ventured to start some questions in another response. If birds go around trees, other tall items, maybe we could add a red stripe or something which emits a sound which would ‘scare’ the birds and bats away, trying to keep wind turbines which I do feel provide great service, too. I was talking to ‘restless Jo’ above and asking her general questions. I do know that the countries are considering not running the wind turbines at night to prevent bats from running into them. Just need someone to come up with a way to prevent and deter birds from flying into the wind turbines.
      I had a Dad who liked to figure out puzzles, mainly a nuclear engineer but his tests over and over again on the durability of rocket parts may have helped a few go up. Although, they did have a horrible accident, too, in NASA’s space program. I know he would have liked to search and try to figure out some of the best ways to solve some of the ‘glitches’ that come up with all inventions, Mike. Maybe the biologist or the bio-chemist would like to take a stab at this. Wind turbines may be less costly than the solar panels, this is a presumption why solar power is not as prevalent in the mid-west as wind power.

    • Beth, glad to hear you also are fascinated by science. You are nurturing some scientific minds and you present them with great lessons, shared on your blog, Beth. I only hope they can find a way to help the birds ‘see’ the wind turbines, maybe a red stripe? Maybe emitting a low sound that would not hurt dogs, neighboring animals and people from hearing it? I am trouble shooting, started with restless Jo, then Mike…Our little ‘inventors’ would surely come up with tying a ribbon on the ends of the turbines or something cool…. cannot paint them too brightly, as people would complain about the views… Welcome for the updates, smiles!

  6. You have the most incredible and diverse intellect. You find interesting and amazing information ….. thank you. I do worry about what we are doing. The bat information, I had not heard of before. It seems like something that would be important enough to pay attention to.

    • You are so kind, Colleen. Glad you find it interesting and amazing. Such wonderful words for my sharing facts I find.
      I just like to look up different things, which means I feel that I may save someone from searching. It is a dialogue of sorts, to help solve or listen to the suggestions of future usages of such scientific items. I have been problem solving about the wind turbines, knowing some people don’t like them being there, they would not like them to be colorful, but wondering if we could come up with a sound emission which would not hurt dogs, farm animals or people, but warn the birds and bats from running into the wind turbines? How do bats get around trees in the dark? I would think the ‘white’ in the dark would show up? Maybe use a fluorescent white? Smiles!

      • I didn’t think bats could ‘see’ as much as use some other sort of sense??? I don’t know, but surely there is a way to prevent this….. 🙂 Smiles to you!

  7. Interesting reading, will check out Matthew Moretti’s mussel farm and seaweed venture, sounds sustainable and eco friendly.
    We have bats here in Australia also, so I think that wind turbines have a use but only in certain geographical areas, then again what affects do they have on all nocturnal creatures ?.
    Cheers.

    • Ian, thanks for saying you found this to be interesting. I am wondering how nocturnal creatures get around trees? I would think white wind turbines would show up in the dark? Maybe a fluorescent color paint that would not look horrible during the day? I also wonder if there could be a whistling sound or a sound emitted to prevent or deter their paths from flying into these mechanical means of using our natural resources. I like mussels, as I enjoy oysters and clams. Think it is a smart project and hope you enjoy reading about Matthew Moretti’s ventures, Ian.

      • My knowledge of nocturnal animals tells me that they are subject to sound and vibrations at night, and some like our Wombats are blind, definitely they are affected by anything that is man made and unnatural to their environment.

      • I am so glad you explained this further, Ian. Hugs to you for this explanation about vibrations and nocturnal animals responding to sound, too. Poor wombats being blind, makes me sad, Ian! I accidentally pushed done with half a comment, my friend. Hope you come investigate the rest of my words!

  8. You bamboozle me with the information you share. I do know about the sea veg, didn’t know about the bats and turbines though. Must admit not a lover of bats, but every animal has its place in our world, to do what it must. Very informative as usual sweet. Hugs xo

    • Jen, such a friendly and sweet comment, dear! I just like to research, probably helps keep my mind busy? Anyway, was brain storming and hoping that we could come up with a sound emission which would scare birds and bats away. I also wonder how birds don’t run into other things? I mean can’t they see the wind turbines? Must we paint a stripe or something on them? What about in the night, don’t bats see white? It is part of the way my brain works, never stopping to really deeply sleep. Smiles! I know you understand my silly brain. And love me just the same! xox

  9. I spent 4 years living in Japan and got totally converted to eating seaweed. Unfortunately seems hard to find it in its natural state in the west.

    • I am glad you let me know more about your background, Claire. I hope to be more better connected with others, but will be facing a busy season for my work. If you don’t see likes and comments, I will circle back on slower days. I work in a car part warehouse, which is not air-conditioned and is quite busy during Spring through Fall. I don’t have a home computer or special cell phone with internet, so I go when I can during library open hours, to blog. Thanks for your comment! I hope to see more seaweed on menus and in the store, too. Sounds nutritious and I enjoy salty foods, too.

      • Nice to hear from you. You’re welcome any time. I’ll follow so I can catch your posts.
        I’m retired and have internet at home so I’ve no excuse for not blogging other than all the terrific sites I get caught up in, plus the great outdoors! Have a great summer, warm sun and cool breezes (hope they install an air con!)

  10. This is fantastic! I often look around the Internet for news on alternatives to regular medications, in trying to find more and more natural remedies. So it is really helpful to know how beneficial consuming thyme is. Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂

    • I am so glad you found this part about natural thyme maybe helping in cancer prevention or healing. I was so blessed to see this, since many of my friends have had cancer, lost someone due to cancer. I am hoping this to be honestly a possible solution. It will have to need more research but meanwhile, it couldn’t hurt adding higher levels of thyme to our diets, right? Thanks so much and smiles back at you!

      • Yes, exactly, natural herbs go a long way in helping us in so many ways. Sadly, cancer has become much too common and I’ve had some close relatives who’ve had to deal with it. I’d like to suggest this to them and everyone else as well to include more thyme in their diets, it could only do good. Thanks so much for this, 🙂 🙂

  11. Science always fascinates me except I don’t think I would like some seaweed ice cream. Maybe there could be some big cages placed around the blades—like a fan. Maybe that would keep the bats safe.

  12. These are interesting pieces of scientific information, Robin. I’d never have known about this without your prompts here. Thank you. I’ll eat seaweed and wild thyme if it proves healthy for me, Robin. Why not. And I think the scientists need to find a way to keep the bats from flying into the turbines, right?

    • You were so kind to find this interesting, Mark. I just happened to look at your comments and realized I had missed a few! I am so glad you agree the scientists need to figure out how to prevent the bats and birds from flying into turbines. So true, out of our hands… I will try seaweed but already use thyme in stews and with beef meals, Mark. Delicious!

    • You were so kind to find this interesting, Mark. I just happened to look at your comments and realized I had missed a few! I am so glad you agree the scientists need to figure out how to prevent the bats and birds from flying into turbines. So true, out of our hands… I will try seaweed but already use thyme in stews and with beef meals, Mark. Delicious!

  13. You remind me that ‘Men’ have changed the atmosphere of Arizona by bringing in plants that were not native and all of the swimming pools too. And also that drought stricken Californians are now on severe water restrictions.

    I’m not quite sold on seaweed. But I have seen a chef use what he harvested in the morning for his lunch crowd making a kind of coleslaw with it. Thyme, I just might use more of that… 😉

    As for the poor bats. You would think the scientists would have researched animal patterns before putting up the windmills. One could illuminate the blade with built in LED lighting in the blades, which could be soft…(and left on as they don’t take up that much electricity) as to not create light pollution at night but maybe give off enough light to deter the bats?

    Cheers, Jules

  14. Never in my life would it have occurred to me to even think about bats and turbines, even living in the city with the the world’s largest urban bat colony. When I was a little girl in Austin, the Congress Avenue Bridge was reconstructed and droves of bats started coming to roost there. Scary when you think they might have rabies. But on the upside, when 1.5 million bats fly out each night, they eat 20,000 pounds of insects. Sometimes the weatherman will be showing rain patterns going over the city, and he’ll say, “Ignore that patch of green; that’s just the bats tonight.” That’s how enormous their black cloud is!

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