Browsing articles from "July, 2017"
Jul 31, 2017

The Menace of the Pacific Garbage Patch

The planet is in the grip of a major sanitation crisis. Not only are landfills running out of room, the waste we have dumped in the oceans over the decades has collected into huge masses of non-biodegradable trash, like plastic bottles. Sargasso Sea garbage levels are of particular concern. The clockwise tides of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean cause plastic to become enmeshed with the area’s sargassum sea weed.

Known as the North Atlantic Garbage Patch, these floating islands of trash have been around for decades. However, it has been in the past decade or so that they have reached truly daunting sizes and are causing a great deal of concern. Fish and other marine life can mistake these bits of trash for food and swallow them. That often leads to gastronomical distress and even death. Only about 1/3 of the trash floats at the surface; the rest sits on the bottom of the ocean.

Humans produce well over 100 billion pounds of plastic every year and about 10% of that ends up being dumped in the ocean. Scientists are at a loss as to how to clean it up. Snaring the garbage seems like the logical answer, but a huge number of small marine animals would undoubtedly also perish. That could cause even greater eco-system damage than the plastic.

Even if the waste could be collected without throwing off the oceans’ balance to such a degree, there is the tough question of what to do with it. With regular landfills already full to bursting, where would these billions of other tons of plastic go?

These questions need answers and scientists around the world are working on this very real problem. In the meantime, you can do your part by not contributing any more waste than there already is out there. Don’t pollute, especially in the water.

Jul 31, 2017

What is Solar Energy Used for?

As worries about the effects of climate change increase, countries are turning to alternative forms of energy that have little or no harsh effects for the planet. Amongst the most widely adopted of these is solar energy. The sun is one our greatest natural resources and, contrary to the lies perpetuated by some politicians, it is not a resource that will run out because of solar energy collection.

Alternative to Electricity

Solar collectors, such as the panels you see on the roofs of some houses, collect energy from the sun. This energy is then used for as a power source. You may have seen small solar panels alongside signs in your neighborhood; those use solar energy to illuminate instead of electricity.

Powering Transportation

One of the main causes of pollution these days is the gasoline burned by the countless millions of cars and trucks that transport people and goods. Solar energy has the capability to power all manner of vehicles, and not just the ones you see on the highway. Even sizeable passenger trains can be powered by this clean and entirely renewable energy.

Wearable Solar-Powered Tech

Most of us have a smartphone or iPod on our persons for much of the day, but the batteries in them don’t last. In fact, they seem to run out of juice just when we need them the most. Instead of having to search for an electrical outlet, wouldn’t it be great to have a small solar-powered charging panel? These devices and more (tablets, rechargeable flashlights, speakers, etc) could all be charged using one of these instead of built-in batteries or ones that you have to purchase.

Use of solar energy will undoubtedly increase going forward. If you wish to add solar panels to your home, contact your local solar energy authority to learn more.

Jul 31, 2017

Things You Might Not Know About Tarantulas

Tarantulas are often depicted in movies as fierce predators that cause all manner of death and horror (try watching KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS sometime!). In THE BEYOND, several even eat part of a man’s face off! As with sharks, tarantulas have gotten a raw deal in cinema as they are really not that destructive. In fact, they can even make very good pets.

If you are thinking about getting a pet tarantula, here are some facts you might not know about them:

Tarantulas are Pretty Laid Back

No, they aren’t sitting around thinking about ways to attack any humans that are nearby. A tarantula’s venom is also not anywhere near as potent for a human as you would get from a rattle snake bite. You will feel ill for awhile, but a tarantula bite is not a life-threatening emergency.

Tarantulas are More Fragile Than They Look

One of the appeals of tarantulas is that they look very intimidating. Unfortunately, they are actually rather fragile. If you handed your pet tarantula to a friend and they dropped it, the fall could be fatal. Thus, it is best to not handle tarantulas at all.

Female Tarantulas Live Much Longer

While males generally live 5-10 years in captivity, female tarantulas can last as longas two decades. The reason is simple: the females tend to eat males after mating with them.

Tarantula Legs Grow Back

If a human loses a leg, they will have to rely on a prosthetic for the rest of their life. Tarantula legs are more resilient; if they lose one, a new leg will regenerate in its place. Depending on the spider’s age, it might not be full length after just one molting period, but will eventually reach its proper size with subsequent molting. Tarantulas will also sometimes eat their own severed legs (yuck).

Jul 31, 2017

Basic Hygiene for Men

There can be a certain rugged appeal to any man who does not automatically confirm to the social norms of grooming. Walking around with a two day growth of beard, a torn shirt, and strategically ripped jeans can make you stand out from the pack in a way that others find to be enticingly sexy.

However, it is also possible to go too far in that direction, particularly if a lack of basic hygiene leaves you smelling rather ripe. Men tend not to be as vigilant when it comes to this basic task, so here are some tips you can use as reminders:


Whether you are working hard on the job, playing some sports with the guys, or just forgot to shower yesterday, guys can start to smell pretty unpleasant after awhile. Even worse, we are less likely to notice our own odors than the ones given off by other people. Use deodorant and shower every day, and do your laundry regularly so that you always have something clean to put on.

Nose and Ear Hair

Having excess hair growing out of your nose or ears is just plain unappealing. As guys age, it can even start growing on your ears. Keep a trimmer handy and remember to check those areas each morning.

Bad Breath

Depending on your diet and whether or not you smoke, your breath can be pretty rank. Be sure to gargle each morning and carry some breath mints on your person. Also, brush and floss your teeth three times daily.


Men often use cologne to mask other smells they might not have noticed. Unfortunately, using too much can be just as offensive to others.


Those pesky white flakes can really mar your appearance, especially if you like to wear dark colored clothing. If you have dandruff, use a dandruff shampoo each morning.