BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China urged the United States on Friday to scrap plans for President Barack Obama to meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama later in the day, warning it would "seriously damage" ties between the two countries. The White House National Security Council said Obama would meet the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, at the White House on Friday in a show of concern about China’s human rights practices. China calls the Dalai Lama a "wolf in sheep’s clothing" who seeks to use violent methods to establish an independent Tibet. The Dalai Lama, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959, maintains he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet and denies advocating violence. "The United States’ arrangement for its leader to meet the Dalai would be a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and is a serious violation of the norms of international relations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement. "It will seriously damage Sino-U.S. relations. We urge the United States to take seriously China’s concerns, immediately cancel plans for the U.S. leader to meet the Dalai, do not facilitate and provide a platform for Dalai’s anti-China separatist [...]
By Lila Daniels Intermittent fasting is making headlines — sparked this time by a documentary by acclaimed medical journalist Michael Mosley and his 5:2 Diet franchise. But, Mosley and his followers aren’t the only ones touting some version of fasting. Some Paleo dieters practice intermittent fasting because they see it as a more natural pattern of eating than our modern three-squares-a-day approach. Still others are just looking for a way to lose weight and eat healthier by shedding processed foods or saturated fats from their diets. Fasting can mean not eating at all or eating a severely restricted diet. It can occur in 12 hour stretches or over the course of days. Intermittent fasting is defined by periods of fasting, followed by periods of regular eating. Fasting practitioners crow about results like weight loss and improved levels of cholesterol. Yet, the skeptics among us wonder if there is any real science behind all the fasting hype. The Science Of Fasting The practice of fasting dates back centuries. All the worlds major religions have a tradition of fasting. Christians fast during Lent. Buddhists fast during intense meditation. Muslims fast during Ramadan and Jews fast on Yom Kippur. Fasting as medicine [...]
Seventy-six percent of honey sold in major supermarkets is untraceable because it contains virtually no pollen, according to Food Safety News. Pollen in commercial honey is filtered to keep it liquid, but ultrafiltered honey from China has been found to be contaminated with antibiotics and heavy metals. Best Honey Know Your Honey If whole foods are important to you, avoid mass-produced supermarket honey. Opt to buy honey that is closer to the land, and keep the beneficial compounds in the sweet substance in your food. Read the Label: Some honey, especially the kind that comes in a to-go packet, is actually flavored high-fructose corn syrup. The ingredient list will spell it out for you. Opt for Raw: Raw honey is the consistency of peanut butter because it is unfiltered and has crystallized. Honey that stays in liquid form longer is generally Grade A honey, which means it’s been filtered, so many of the healthiest natural compounds are gone, too. Plus, you are guaranteed to avoid inferior, superfiltered honey by opting for raw. Where is it from? Choose honey that is produced close to home, if possible. Artisan producers are often available to discuss how they process their honey, if [...]
Some of the 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors, each about 7 feet high and 10 feet wide, are shown at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in Primm, Nev. (Chris Carlson, Associated Press) Associated Press By Associated Press The Associated Press on February 13, 2014 at 1:13 AM, updated February 13, 2014 at 1:22 AM PRIMM, Nev. — A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System , sprawling across roughly five square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opens Thursday after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating protected tortoises to assessing the impact on Mojave milkweed and other plants. The $2.2 billion complex of three generating units, owned by NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy, can produce nearly 400 megawatts — enough power for 140,000 homes. It began making electricity last year. Larger projects are on the way, [...]
Moving across the country isn’t the greenest thing, but it doesn’t have to be a total gas guzzler. You can incorporate some green practices into your move, ensuring it’s as Earth-friendly as possible. Follow these steps to green your move, and assert yourself as an Earth-first traveler. Plus, you’ll pick some tips up along the way, learning about some inexpensive ways to store your personal things , as well as how to save by recycling packing materials. Step 1 – Organize and Reduce You should not attempt to take it all with you. The more you plan to take, the more boxes you’ll need. On average, moving requires 60 boxes, which is the equivalent of a half-ton tree. If you can cut that down, even by just a few boxes, you’re saving trees. What’s greener than that? Reducing your move won’t be easy. You’ll have to let go of old items you don’t actually need, but which have sentimental value. Grab some post-it notes and begin tagging items. Create three categories: sell, donate, and keep. Then, organize these items into piles. At the end, you’ll likely have more in the keep category than any other category. Unfortunately, it isn’t green to [...]
Diagram on How Does Solar Power Work Solar panels, or solar modules as they are sometimes called, are typically installed on the roof. These solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power. The DC power from the solar panels is sent to an inverter, where it is converted into alternating current (AC) power, or standard electrical current used in your home. Electrical Panel AC power travels from the inverter to the electrical panel, often called a breaker box. This power is now ready to use in your home. Utility Meter The utility meter continually measures your electrical supply; when your solar power system produces more power than you need, the meter literally spins backward, accumulating credits with the utility company that will offset your next bill. Utility Grid Your home remains connected to the utility grid to supply you with electricity when you need more power than your solar power system has produced, such as at night. SolarGuard ® Solar Production Monitoring SolarGuard allows you and SolarCity to continuously monitor energy production and make sure your system is running smoothly. If production levels drop below normal, SolarCity will alert you [...]
The first place many families seek to improve in their home is the kitchen. That means replacing old energy-guzzling appliance with Energy Star appliances. They may cost a little more to purchase but can easily save you hundreds of energy dollars. Some appliances, like an energy-efficient hot water heater, may qualify for a tax credit in your state.
Other ways to make your kitchen greener—regardless of its color—include:
• Using recycled or renewable materials for the countertops, such as granite, marmoleum, or bamboo.
• For flooring, use cork, bamboo, or marmoleum. See our recent articles on these materials by clicking here and here [...]
Research-based techniques that fight depression naturally have emerged as a complement to drugs and talk therapy, for a truly integrated approach. Over the course of their lives, 10 to 15 percent of Americans will experience minor depression (and 21 percent of American women will have at least one episode of major depression) due to the interplay between genes and life circumstances. Depression is associated with changes in levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of calmness and well-being; lowered levels may trigger a powerful physical and mental response. Pros and Cons of Medication Most antidepressant medications target one or more of these key neurotransmitters; some of the most commonly prescribed are SSRIs, which are thought to work by pumping up serotonin and stabilizing neurochemical levels. There’s evidence SSRIs can treat severe depression, but it’s less clear how effective they are for milder cases. Based on the latest research, complementary therapies are being incorporated into treatments to help mitigate the symptoms of depression and to restore the sufferer’s sense of well-being and control. It’s paramount to remember that these strategies are not necessarily a substitute for medication. If you’re taking an antidepressant, talk with your doctor before reducing [...]
By Dr. Mercola The chemical industry is only 100 years old, but in this short time they’ve created substances that may now be threatening human survival. A handful of these chemicals are detailed in the film The Disappearing Male , which gives an educational glimpse into exactly why environmental chemicals, and particularly the gender-bending kind, are so detrimental. It’s becoming quite clear that chemicals in the environment are prompting significant changes to animals, especially males, and that extends to human ‘animals’ as well. Infertility Rates are Rising as Sperm Counts Drop One couple in the film described the waiting room at their infertility clinic as similar to an emergency room – packed with lines extending down the hall. Infertility is more common than many think these days. An estimated 1 in 6 American couples struggle with getting pregnant each year 1 and there’s compelling evidence that hormone-disrupting environmental chemicals are partly to blame. The problem with low sperm counts has become so severe that the World Health Organization has had to continually drop what’s considered a ‘normal’ sperm count to lower and lower levels over the last several decades, lest too many men be classified as infertile. Chemicals that [...]
By Emily Green Is perpetual youth a product of genes or lifestyle? More and more research points to lifestyle, including what we eat, as the key to looking young. A fountain of youth may be waiting for you if you learn what foods contribute to young-looking skin free of wrinkles. The best news? Not only can these foods keep you looking young, they also contribute to living longer with healthy hearts, immune systems, joints and bones and lower chances of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and other ailments associated with age. Are You Going Nuts? Nuts are full of Omega 3 acids and “good” fats. A handful of nuts each day sprinkled on a salad or cooked up in a stir fry can ward off wrinkles, and perhaps, reduce those senior moments. Nuts are high in calories, so a little goes a long way. Doctors recommend about 10 nuts per day, including almonds, walnuts, pecans and mixed nuts. Opt for the unsalted varieties. Don’t Forget Your Vitamins. Doctors say we need plenty of Vitamins A, C, D and E to protect against the signs of aging. Here’s how to get these youthful nutrients : For [...]
It’s no secret that the right lingerie can spice up the bedroom, or make you feel more sexy and confident all day long. (Making it perfect for Valentine’s Day gifting.) Luckily, there are hot new options to make sure the clothes closest to your skin are as natural, pure and toxin-free as possible. After all, the textile industry is one of the world’s most polluting, and contributing to toxic runoff and poisoned ecosystems is decidedly unsexy. It’s not just about saving the world, one bra or nightie at a time. Green intimates also engage the senses with exquisitely soft, sustainable fabrics like bamboo and organic cotton, not to mention natural silk. Try these styles on for a change. The world, as well as your lover, will thank you. ( Learn about different lingerie styles here .) Designer (and famous daughter) Stella McCartney is helping lead the pack with her gorgeous lingerie made from organic cotton, silk and chiffon.
Overwintered Vates kale Part One: 14 degrees Fahrenheit Vates kale overwintered in our garden. I’ve long been interested in how cold-tolerant various vegetables are. We had two nights at 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10C) and several others in the teens in December. What survived? We have Tyee spinach under rowcover, and Vates kale. The senposai was still alive, but some of the midribs had brown streaks. Sadly we don’t have any leeks this winter, as we lacked enough workers to tend them in late summer. We had a nice bed of Deadon cabbage, and some small heads of Melissa savoy that missed the bulk harvest were also alive. The Gunma cabbage stumps had some leaves and tiny heads still alive, but the Tendersweet were history. Our chard had all the leaves cut off in November, and seemed to be dead. Some winters it hangs on later, if we leave some foliage to help it regenerate. The oats cover crop we sowed in August and early September were pretty much dead. All the broccoli looked dead. That’s as expected for the temperatures. Often we don’t get nights this cold till January – the cold came early this winter. Our hardneck garlic [...]
By Joan Casanova The growing season isn’t over with the arrival of cool weather. Until the first hard frost hits, you have plenty of time to plant, pick and plate cool-weather crops. In fact, many cool-season crops hit their heyday as autumn temperatures drop, and some even taste better when nipped by a light frost. As long as their basic growing conditions are met, vegetable plants don’t care what season it is. If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to grow your fall garden all winter long. If, however, you live in a colder area, your growing season will be shorter. (However, growing fall crops in raised beds can help protect plants from frost damage.) In most regions of the country, gardeners plant fall vegetables in August or September for harvest in October and November. You’ll need to carefully calculate your growing season so you can ensure plants have time to produce before freezing weather arrives. Generally, you should plant fall vegetables when daytime temperatures range between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (the cooler the better), night temperatures should be above 40 degrees, and you’ll need enough sunshine to ensure plants will get at least [...]
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By Dr. Mercola A chronic lack of vitamins and minerals is a leading cause of death in the developing world. The so-called ‘hidden hunger’ impacts 2 billion people around the globe, costing $180 billion a year and leading to millions of deaths. A new series of studies published in The Lancet has revealed that 10 interventions — half of them involving micronutrients — could save close to 1 million lives every year. 1 It’s important to realize, also, that the health effects of nutritional deficiencies are not only something that affect people in Africa, India and Afghanistan; it’s also a serious issue in industrialized countries like the US. Simple Nutritional Interventions to Save 1 Million Lives In areas with the highest levels of hidden hunger, such as sub-Saharan Africa, South-Central/South-East Asia and India, 40 percent of preschool children have stunted growth, 30 percent have iron-deficiency anemia and more than half are vitamin-A deficient. Many of the children have multiple micronutrient deficiencies, especially lacking vitamin A, zinc, iron and iodine. Living in these areas was associated with a low Human Development Index score, which measures education, standard of living and health, suggesting that children will have a hard time developing [...]
By Richard Branson for TakePart.com The ocean ecosystem is being destroyed from seabed to surface due to toxic chemical waste, overfishing, and species depletion—including 70 million annual shark deaths. Whale sharks don’t want you for dinner. I know this because I’ve been halfway inside the mouth of one, swimming off the coast of Mexico, and it simply spat me out. These gentle giants can grow to weigh more than 20 tonnes and measure over 12 metres long, but they are among the most majestic and serene creatures in the sea. However, I am saddened to know that they are a highly vulnerable species, their very existence threatened primarily due to commercial fishing. Recently, I’ve had the chance to swim with many other shark species—Tiger, Lemon, Reef, even Great White!—in support of our campaign with Virgin Unite and WildAID to ban shark finning and protect the ocean. Now you might be asking yourself, what do sharks and ocean conservation have to do with business? Quite simply, the ocean sustains life on our planet, delivering half of our oxygen and providing an estimated $20 trillion worth of natural resources and services a year. Without healthy aquatic ecosystems we would lose [...]