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The Creation

In the beginning

Was the proposed rule

And then came the assumptions

And the assumptions were without form

And the proposed rule was completely without substance

And the darkness was upon the face of the bankers

And they spaketh amongst themselves, saving

“It is a crock of crap and it stinketh.”

And the bankers went unto their Associations and sayeth,

“It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odour thereof.”

And the Associations went unto the Sub-Committees

And sayeth unto them,

“It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong

Such that none here may abide by it.”

And the Sub-Committees went unto their Congressmen & Senators and sayeth,

“It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”

And the Congressmen & Senators spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another.

“It contains that which aids plant growth,

And it is very strong.”

“It promotes growth and is very powerful.”

And the Congressmen & Senators went unto the President and sayeth unto him,

“This new rule will actively promote the growth

And efficiency of all banks, and these areas in particular,

And will serve as a comfort and protection for our constituents.”

And the President looked upon the rule and saw that is was good

And the rule became

Regulation O.

~anita garriett

via Links 5/9/13 « naked capitalism.

via Links 5/9/13 « naked capitalism.

Scientists Engineer Extreme Microorganisms To Make Fuel From Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide


Scientists Engineer Extreme Microorganisms To Make Fuel From Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

A University of Georgia team tinkered with the genes of Pyrococcus furiosus, and the new breed is hungry for the smoggy stuff.

P. furiosus Bacterium Missouri University of Science and Technology

To find a way of fending off global warming, scientists sometimes look to nature. Plants, after all, use photosynthesis to snap up carbon dioxide, the biggest source of our climate change woes. So we get inventions like artificial leaves and ambitious projects like a plan to give fish photosynthesizing powers. One of the more interesting plans: genetically alter microorganisms so they can chow down on some CO2, too.

University of Georgia researchers recently used the mighty Pyrococcus furiosus, which usually eats carbohydrates and lives in super-heated waters or volcanic marine mud (ideally, for it, at about 100 degrees Celsius). By toying with the genome-sequenced microorganism’s genetic material, they were able to make it comfortable in much cooler waters, and to eat carbon dioxide. After that, using hydrogen gas to form a chemical reaction in the microorganism, the researchers got the microorganism to produce 3-hydroxypropionic acid, a common chemical used in household products. That’s been done before, but the researchers are looking into turning the process into one that could eventually produce fuel.

If it is able to produce fuel, that wouldn’t make it the first bacteria-like organism to do so. Others have been able to make that happen in a lab. But for anyone working on it, the next move after proving it works is scaling up. Then, ideally, we’ll start getting water bottles that can power our homes.

via Scientists Engineer Extreme Microorganisms To Make Fuel From Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide | Popular Science.

via Scientists Engineer Extreme Microorganisms To Make Fuel From Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide | Popular Science.

New €150m Glanbia plant to create 2,000 jobs!!!


New €150m Glanbia plant to create 2,000 jobs

A new milk processing plant could give a huge boost to the south-east of the country creating over 2,000 jobs in spin-off industries.

And now the rub

the plant will only employ 76 people when it opens in two years’ time,

And now a bit of pure speculation

both the Government and the company claim it could spur about 1,000 extra farm jobs and another 600 local jobs as a knock-on effect of its construction.

There will also be 450 construction roles as the factory is built.

Glanbia said the plant will contribute around €400m a year to the local economy.

And now a bit of PR nonsense 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the plan was a “massive vote of confidence in Ireland and our agri-food sector”.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney hailed the news as “the biggest jobs announcement” of the year.

He also rejected concerns that the mooted 1,600 jobs may not end up being created.

“Anyone who questions that does not understand the agriculture sector. These numbers are based on reliable economic models and they are conservative figures. Now I just begin to wonder how much the minister really knows about agriculture. By bet is he is far more familiar with the word spin …

“These are real, Irish jobs. They cannot be moved overseas,” he claimed…. but they might well be invisible

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton claimed the announcement was of “major strategic significance”.

Glanbia is building the plant to deal with a huge increase in the amount of milk its suppliers will produce when EU caps on milk production are removed in 2015.

Almost all of the milk  will be exported to Asia, Africa and South America. Most of it will be sold as dry milk powder which can be used for infant milk formula, cheese and nutritional products.

What we are not told

No figures seem to emerge from this PR splurge as to how much Glanbia received in grants

After construction my bet is we will be lucky to see 200 jobs in total

The Top 10 Plants for Removing Indoor Toxins


Common indoor plants may provide a valuable weapon in the fight against rising levels of indoor air pollution. NASA scientists are finding them to be surprisingly useful in absorbing potentially harmful gases and cleaning the air inside homes, indoor public spaces and office buildings.

The indoor pollutants that affect health are formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds (benzene and trichloroethylene or TCE), airborne biological pollutants, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, pesticides and disinfectants (phenols), and radon. These pollutants contribute to ‘sick building syndrome’, which causes symptoms ranging from allergies, headaches and fatigue through to nervous-system disorders, cancer and death.

Through studies conducted by NASA, scientists have identified 50 houseplants that remove many of the pollutants and gases mentioned above. Dr. B. C. Wolverton rated these plants for removing chemical vapors, ease of growth, resistance to insect problems, and transpiration (the amount of water they expire into the air). NASA, with assistance from the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, conducted a two-year study directed by Dr. B.C. Wolverton, an environmental engineer from Picayune, Mr. Wolverton has worked as a research scientist for NASA for some 20 years. His study, in the late ’80s and early ’90s, of the interaction of plants and air found that houseplants, when placed in sealed chambers in the presence of specific chemicals, removed those chemicals from the chambers.

More information on this study as well as references and details on specific chemicals can be found on Dr. Wolverton’s website.

Dr. B.C. Wolverton, researcher and author of “How to Grow Fresh Air – 50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office”, conducted plant studies for NASA that determined that plants can clean pollutants in homes, offices, factories and retail outlets. Later, Wolverton expanded the study and assigned plants a rating from one to 10, based on a plant’s ability to remove chemical vapors or indoor air toxins, ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to insect infestation and the rate at which water evaporates from the leaves.

Top ten plants for removing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air:

1. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

2_ladypalm

Also called the “Butterfly Palm”. An upright houseplant that is somewhat vase shaped. Specimen plants can reach 10 to 12 foot in height. Prefers a humid area to avoid tip damage. Requires pruning. When selecting an Areca palm look for plants with larger caliber trunks at the base of the plant. Plants that have pencil thin stems tend to topple over and are quite difficult to maintain.

2. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

Also called the “Lady Palm”, this durable palm species adapts well to most interiors. The Rhapis are some of the easiest palms to grow, but each species has its own particular environment and culture requirements. The “Lady Palm” grows slowly, but can grow to more than 14′ in height with broad clumps often having a diameter as wide as their height.

3. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

Also called the “reed palm”, this palm prefers bright indirect light. New plants will lose of some interior foliage as they acclimate to indoor settings. This plant likes to stay uniformly moist, but does not like to be over-watered or to sit in standing water. Indoor palms may attract spider mites which can be controlled by spraying with a soapy solution.

4. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta)

Grows very well indoors, preferring semi-sun lighting. Avoid direct sunlight, especially in summer. Young plants may need to be supported by a stake. The Ficus grows to 8’ with a spread of 5’. Wear gloves when pruning, as the milky sap may irritate the skin. Water thoroughly when in active growth, then allow the soil to become fairly dry before watering again. In winter keep slightly moist.

5. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis)

The Dracaena grows to 10’ with a spread of 3’. Easy to grow, these plants do best in bright indirect sunlight coming from the east/west. They can adapt to lower light levels if the watering is reduced. Keep the soil evenly moist and mist frequently with warm water. Remove any dead leaves. Leaf tips will go brown if the plant is under watered but this browning may be trimmed.

6. Philodendron (Philodendron sp.)

One of the most durable of all house plants. Philodendrons prefer medium intensity light but will tolerate low light. Direct sun will burn the leaves and stunt plant growth. This plant is available in climbing and non-climbing varieties. When grown indoors, they need to be misted regularly and the leaves kept free of dust. Soil should be evenly moist, but allowed to dry between watering.

7. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

A hardy, drought-tolerant and long-lived plant, the Dwarf Date Palm needs a bright spot which is free of drafts. It grows slowly, reaching heights of 8-10’. The Dwarf Date Palm should not be placed near children’s play areas because it has sharp needle-like spines arranged near the base of the leaf stem. These can easily penetrate skin and even protective clothing.

8. Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii “Alii”)

The Ficus Alii grows easily indoors, and resists insects. It prefers a humid environment and low to medium light when grown indoors. The Ficus Aliii should not be placed near heating or air conditioning vents, or near drafts because this could cause leaf loss. Soil should be kept moist but allowed to dry between watering.

9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)

The Boston fern grows to 4’ in height with a spread up to 5’. It has feathery ferns which are best displayed as a hanging plant. It prefers bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and mist frequently with warm water. This plant is prone to spider mites and whitefly which can be controlled using a soapy water spray. Inspect new plants for bugs before bringing them home.

10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”)

The Peace Lily is a compact plant which grows to a height of 3’ with a 2’ spread. This hardy plant tolerates neglect. It prefers indirect sunlight and high humidity, but needs to be placed out of drafts. For best results, the Peace Lily should be thoroughly watered, then allowed to go moderately dry between waterings. The leaves should be misted frequently with warm water.

The Top 10 Plants for Removing Indoor Toxins – StumbleUpon.

via The Top 10 Plants for Removing Indoor Toxins – StumbleUpon.

Bosco Verticale: The World’s First Vertical Forest Nears Completion in Milan


00055-BoscoVerticale05

Milan is one of the most polluted cities in the world, and the Bosco Verticale project aims to mitigate some of the environmental damage that has been inflicted upon the city by urbanization. The design is made up of two high-density tower blocks with integrated photovoltaic energy systems and trees and vegetation planted on the facade. The plants help capture CO2 and dust in the air, reduce the need to mechanically heat and cool the tower’s apartments, and help mitigate the area’s urban heat island effect – particularly during the summer when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

The two towers measure 260 feet and 367 feet tall respectively, and together they have the capacity to hold 480 big and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, 11,000 ground-cover plants and 5,000 shrubs (that’s the equivalent of 2.5 acres of forest). The types of trees were chosen based on where they would be positioned on the buildings’ facades and it took over two years of working with botanists to decide which trees would be most appropriate for the buildings and the climate. The plants used in the project were grown specifically for the building, pre-cultivated so that they would gradually acclimate to the conditions they would experience once placed on the building.

01-Bosco-verticale

via Bosco Verticale: The World’s First Vertical Forest Nears Completion in Milan – NEW PHOTOS Bosco Verticale – photo by Peri Gmbh – Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

via Bosco Verticale: The World’s First Vertical Forest Nears Completion in Milan – NEW PHOTOS Bosco Verticale – photo by Peri Gmbh – Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

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