Surferbird News-Links, 35th Edition

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Welcome to the 35th edition of Surferbird News-Links! It's good to be back. Honestly, having my site go down over the weekend took the wind out of my sails - for a moment. However, the news isn't lacking for stories these days - both the good and the bad. Consequently, it wasn't long before I was itching to be back online. I had actually entertained the idea of waiting to post until Friday, but the sheer volume of relevant and interesting stories drove me back to surfing the news-links with the Surferbird and you.

Today's highlights include: well-preserved dinosaur feathers, the Amazon company bus, dancing with sourdough starter, seltzer water, mountain glaciers, the effects of different lighting on milk, and more.

Warm up

Amazon workers in Scotland can't afford to take the company bus (qz.com)

Amazon warehouse workers are camping in sub-zero conditions near work to avoid paying 17% of their daily income toward riding the Amazon bus, but that's not the only bone the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader has to pick with the online giant. To learn more, take a look at the article. In addition, I touched on a few topics relating to Amazon in my book buying guide, here.

News-Links

Environment

Repealing and replacing the Endangered Species Act (eenews.net)

Because it interferes with recreation and development, House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) would like to scrap the famed 1973 law and start over.

climate change

The Department of energy will not provide names of workers to Trump administration (npr.org)

You probably already heard about the Trump transition team requesting the names of everyone in the Department of Energy who worked on climate change. As a point of interest, the Department of Energy just said no.

Scientists backing up climate science data - just in case (washingtonpost.com)

I can't believe I'm even writing about this, but scientists are backing up years of climate science data just in case the Trump administration tries to destroy all or parts of it. However, it's important to note that no actual threats have been made. Hopefully, that's a scenario scientists will never face.

Infographics from What's Really Happening to Our Planet by Tony Juniper (greenbiz.com)

This looks like an interesting book to add to my holiday reading list. Since the print is so small, I wasn't able to read the infographics, but I think you'll get the idea. The author seems to favor a multi-dimensional approach to the challenge of mitigating runaway climate change. Furthermore, we have the opportunity to solve additional environmental problems in the process.

New study focuses on retreating mountain glaciers around the world (washingtonpost.com)

Most of the ice melt attention is on the poles. Yet, this new study, which focused on 37 mountain glaciers from Russia to South America, proves that climate change is responsible for ice loss in these locations, also. Before this study, scientists considered the odds that climate change was the cause of retreating mountain glaciers to be only "likely."

Food

Sourdough - it's not just for bread. (saveur.com)

I have a confession. I've never messed around with sourdough. Have you? If this question makes you feel uncomfortable, it's OK to refrain from answering. :) Seriously, though, most people associate sourdough with bread, but what about pancakes and waffles? One day, I'll try my hand at nurturing sourdough starter.

LED lights and the taste of milk (qz.com)

Would you believe that LED lighting make milk taste better than fluorescent lighting? New research indicates that it does. Because so many grocery stores are switching to LED bulbs, consumers will soon have the opportunity to enjoy improved taste benefits. It leaves me wondering about the effects of LED lighting on other foods and beverages, also.

Health

History of seltzer water as a health treatment (theatlantic.com)

In 2009, I contracted a virus that took years from which to recover. One of the side effects was a difficulty drinking water - until I discovered sparkling mineral water. For some reason, I could drink the bubbly stuff as long as I sipped it slowly and didn't drink too much at once. Thankfully, I'm able to drink regular water, now, which is good for our bank account. If you have some time, listen to the podcast in the link above on the medicinal history of seltzer water. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

New FDA drug approval process (vox.com)

It took the 1962 thalidomide tragedy, which occurred outside the U.S., to launch the FDA into a strong consumer protection agency. After the 1962 incident, drug companies were forced to prove the safety of new drugs through data review from independent FDA scientists - using randomized clinical trials. These trials are considered the gold standard for safety evaluation. However, the 21st Century Cures Act aims to speed up the drug approval process. Although this seems advantageous, are there unintended risks involved?

Science and technology

A dinosaur tail  preserved in amber (treehugger.com)

Dinosaur bones are one thing, but what about a 99-million-year-old section of a dinosaur tail covered in feathers? What's remarkable about this discovery is the excellent condition of feathers, which are clearly associated with a dinosaur.

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