MIT Developing Floating Wind Turbines That Produce Power Even When There’s No Wind | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

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Critics of wind power keep coming back to the same old complaint: what happens when there’s no wind? A new design from researchers at MIT could finally offer a solution to this renewable energy conundrum. Engineers have conceived of an offshore wind turbine anchored by hollow concrete spheres that could also turn seawater into electricity. The turbine would allow offshore wind farm managers to store excess energy for a time when there’s no wind.

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The design would use massive concrete orbs (think: the diameter of the dome on the U.S. Capitol building) to anchor floating wind turbines to the ocean floor. When it’s particularly windy and the turbines produce more power than is needed, some of the energy could be diverted to a pump that would remove the water from the hollow sphere. Then, if there comes a time when power produced by the turbines is insufficient, water would be allowed to flow back into the sphere through a turbine attached to a generator, and the resulting electricity would be sent back to shore.

“One such 25-meter sphere in 400-meter- could store up to 6 megawatt-hours of power, the MIT researchers have calculated; that means that 1,000 such spheres could supply as much power as a nuclear plant for several hours—enough to make them a reliable source of power,” reports David Chandler for PhysOrg.

According to the researchers, the trick is finding the correct concrete wall thickness to withstand the hydrostatic pressure while also providing enough ballast mass – this will depend on the strength of the concrete used. The concrete could incorporate significant amounts of fly ash from coal-fired power plants, and the spheres could double as artificial coral reefs.


Baking Soda and Lemon: A Powerful Healing Combination for Your Health .

Despite the advances medical technology has made in cancer research and treatment, cancer remains one of the top ten killers in the United States. This had lead both medical professionals and patients to explore more natural alternatives to the traditional triad of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy as an approach to beating this disease. One of the possibilities being looked at currently is the use of lemons and baking soda for therapeutic purposes.


Benefits of Baking Soda

Research has already been done on the benefits that baking soda alone can have on a diagnosis of cancer. While further studies need to be done, preliminary results for baking soda are favorable and it is believed that bicarbonate of soda (baking soda’s chemical name) can have a positive impact on the fight against tumor growth.

In one study, for instance, on cancerous tumors in mice, researchers found that baking soda is highly effective at alkalizing the area immediately surrounding the tumor site. This is likely one of the reasons it can halt tumor growth, since cancer cells tend to flourish in acidic environments instead.

Benefits of Lemon

Lemon, also, has an excellent track record when it comes to fighting cancer. This is largely because of its high concentration of certain phytochemicals called liminoids, which have strong antioxidant properties that reduce the oxidative damage to cells that can lead to cancer development. Also, there is strong evidence of the anti-fungal properties of lemon juice and since some researchers believe that cancer in the body acts in much the same way as a fungal infection, these anti-fungal properties can be anti-carcinogenic as well.

Lemons also help to detoxify the body, including detoxifying substances which are known or suspected carcinogens. They stimulate the flow of lymphatic fluids, an important tool the body has for removing cancer-causing agents from the body. Because of its high mineral content, lemons, though acidic, have an alkalizing effect on the body and this can be important in cancer treatment, too, since cancer tends to thrive in a more acidic environment.

And Together…..

Together, baking soda and lemon can be very effective because they can make the body more efficient at cleansing itself and getting rid of the underlying problems that cause cancer in the first place. The fact that they have a highly alkalizing effect on the body helps greatly to slow the tumor growth and to even eliminate cancer cells without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.

The simplest way to use this therapy is to drink of mix of 250ml of water to which you add a ½ teaspoon of baking soda and the juice from ½ of a lemon. You can try this once a day, and in addition to detoxing the body and keeping its pH balance healthy, it is also great for an upset stomach or if you feel like you are coming down with a cold or the flu.

In short, lemons and baking soda, taken by themselves, bring you a wealth of benefits. When taken, as directed above, in combination with one another, they really help to detoxify and alkalize your body and both treat cancer or even prevent it from happening in the first place. That is a pretty mighty health drink.

Ways To Improve Your Memory

It seems like every week a new study reveals some wacky way to boost your memory. For example, chewing gum and sipping cocoa (not at the same time) were recently linked to improved recall. Not surprisingly, the evidence backing these theories is a little thin. But there are plenty of carefully researched, science-backed methods to fire up your mind’s recall and retention. Here, 10 you should definitely try.

1. Sleep
The less you sleep, the more your cognitive abilities—including your memory—will suffer, concludes a study from Finland. Some recent research from the University of Lübeck in Germany has also suggested that sleep is a time when your brain sorts and stores new memories. If you’re sleep-deprived, your brain won’t retain or recall information as well as it normally would. And no amount of catch-up sleep will bring back those lost memories, the German study authors say. (These 20 ways to sleep better every night can help.)

2. Exercise
Piles of research have linked exercise to a stronger memory. One of the most recent studies came from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Among older women, aerobic exercise (running, swimming) significantly increased the volume of the brain’s hippocampus—the structure involved in verbal memory and learning. The more you move, the more oxygen- and nutrient-carrying blood flows to and nourishes your brain, the study authors say. Basically, if you want a healthy memory, you need to exercise.

3. Chat with friends
You probably don’t realize it, but having a conversation with another person requires your brain to complete several high-level processes at once. You have to follow what the person is saying, interpret the meaning of her words, and come up with an appropriate reply. All of that requires effort. And as a result, speaking with another person—even on the phone—is enough to boost your recall significantly, shows a study from the University of Michigan. Another study found daily social interaction helps fend off memory diseases like Alzheimer’s.

4. Seek out novel experiences


If you’re not challenging your brain with new places and information, your memory suffers, shows research from University College London. Familiar activities allow your noodle to laze into autopilot. But novelty—whether you’re exploring a new hiking trail or taking up Sudoku puzzles—can stimulate your brain and memory, the UK study (and plenty of others) shows.

5. Challenge your brain

One study from Scotland found people with jobs that require lots of high-level, complex brain processes (architects, for example) tend to have better memories later in life. But what if you don’t have one of those jobs? Dissecting the information you encounter in top-down, effortful ways can keep your memory sharp, indicates research from the University of Texas, Dallas. For example, after you watch a TV show, try to distill what you just saw into its parts. What was the point of the episode? What growth did the characters experience? Make your brain work, and you’ll keep your memory sharp.

6. Laugh
Stress and everything that goes along with it (inflammation, poor sleep) have been shown to mess with your memory. Laughter not only counteracts stress, but also improves your short-term memory, shows a series of research efforts from Loma Linda University. Just 20 minutes of watching a funny video was enough to bolster short-term memory, the researchers discovered.

7. Meditate
Multiple studies have linked various types of meditation to memory benefits. Why? Retaining and storing information requires focus. And meditation involves blocking out distractions and sharpening your attention in ways that bolster memory, suggests a study from the University of California, Santa Barbara. There’s even evidence that meditation improves cerebral blood flow—another memory boosting side effect. (Try these 3 quick meditations that anyone can do.)

8. Eat berries

Several studies have tied the consumption of berries—especially blueberries—to improved memory recall and retention. Berries are packed with flavonoids, which a UK study linked to improved vascular function. Because better blood flow is good for your brain, the flavonoids in berries could explain why the fruit boosts recall, the UK study authors speculate.

9. Get your vitamin D
The past few years have seen a big surge in research linking vitamin D to all sorts of health benefits. Several of those studies drew connections between the “sunshine vitamin” and both brain health and memory. One, from Oregon Health & Science University, linked higher vitamin D levels to improved verbal memory scores. Another study, this one from the UK, hinted that D may protect the brain from dementia.

10. Daydream
Several recent experiments have found that mind wandering may allow your brain to better catalogue and store memories. One study in the journal Neuron suggested daydreaming actually helps improve your memory in ways similar to sleeping or napping. On the other hand, multitasking—that is, switching quickly from one task to another without a break—may actually harm your brain’s ability to recall information, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Here’s What Happens When You Eat Garlic On An Empty Stomach

We all know garlic’s signature odor and taste. There are garlic lovers and garlic haters. But did you know that garlic is one of the most widely used ingredients all over the world, for more than 7,000 years? Native to central Asia, its use quickly spread across the continent, adapted to the Mediterranean diet and quickly became popular in Africa as well. Almost 5,000 years ago, it was cultivated by the Assyrians, Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and Jews, later by the Romans and so on, and served both culinary and medicinal purposes. Pythagoras called garlic “the king of spices”, not only for its taste but also for its healing benefits. An Egyptian manuscript which includes almost 800 drugs proves that 22 of them were made with garlic. It is widely used in folk and traditional medicine and it’s known to treat many diseases and ailments. Eating Garlic On A Daily Basis Can Work Wonders On Your Body As simple as it is to find and consume it, it stimulates the immune system and normalizes your gut flora and can work as an effective natural antibiotic. Garlic can be really powerful, therefore it should be treated like medicine, when used as a cure, and not be over-consumed. It has the ability to kill several kinds of bacteria. Eating garlic on an empty stomach can help in the prevention and healing of a number of common diseases. Consuming it this way, enhances its effects as a powerful natural antibiotic. Could Garlic Really Substitute Antibiotics? Garlic is composed of nitrogenous substances, sodium, potassium, selenium, calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulfuric, phosphoric acid, vitamin C, D, B, phytosterols, extractives, and essential oils. Furthermore, garlic is rich in phytoncides, like allicin, which is formed by the mechanical destruction of plants, that is – crushing or grinding cloves of garlic. Allicin has a strong bacteriostatic effect which accelerates the cure of infections. Garlic can also fight fungal infections, which makes garlic a much more valuable medicine than that of many of today’s antibiotics. Garlic contains more than 400 different mineral components including a lot of antioxidants that number quite a few therapeutic properties. If you want to substitute antibiotics with garlic, it is important to consult your doctor first. Each case is different and surely requires special treatment.

The Top 10 Health Benefits Of Garlic 1. Garlic prevents aging and clogging of arteries. 2. It helps significantly reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. 3. Garlic strengthens the immune system, by supporting your body’s mechanism cope with harmful external influences. 4. It kills a large number of bacteria. 5. Garlic is extremely effective when taken to protect against heart disease. It reduces the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver which help prevent the development of atherosclerosis. 6. Garlic lowers blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties. 7. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and is an effective remedy for common colds. 8. It is recommended to use garlic for disorders of the nervous system. 9. Garlic helps kill the cells of multiform glioblastoma’s, a malignant brain tumor. 10. Garlic also acts as an anticoagulant, which thins the blood and prevents the formation of dangerous blood clots, thus, reducing the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Researchers gain insight into how earth’s crust forms

By monitoring how magma flows through cracks in the rock away from a volcano, scientists have shed light on how the earth’s crust forms.

In this Nov. 26, 2014 photo, volcanic smoke billows from Mount Aso, Kumamoto prefecture, on the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu. By monitoring how magma flows through cracks in the rock away from a volcano, scientists have shed light on how the earth’s crust forms. Photo:AP/Kyodo News

When the Baroarbunga volcano in Iceland erupted in August, scientists found that the molten rock forms vertical sheet-like features known as dykes, which force the surrounding rock apart.

“New crust forms where two tectonic plates are moving away from each other. Mostly this happens beneath the oceans, where it is difficult to observe. However, in Iceland this happens beneath dry land,” explained Andy Hooper from University of Leeds and co-author.

Image of caldera movement

“Using radar measurements from space, we can form an image of caldera movement occurring in one day. Usually we expect to see just noise in the image, but we were amazed to see up to 55cm of subsidence,” said Karsten Spaans from University of Leeds and co-author.

The rate of dyke propagation was variable and slowed as the magma reached natural barriers.

The dyke grows in segments, breaking through from one to the next by the build up of pressure.

Thus magma under central volcanoes is effectively redistributed over large distances to create new upper crust at divergent plate boundaries.

Like other liquids, magma flows along the path of least resistance, which explains why the dyke at Baroarbunga volcano in Iceland changed direction as it progressed.

“Our observations of this event showed that the magma injected into the crust took an incredibly roundabout path and proceeded in fits and starts,” Hooper concluded. The study appeared in the journal Nature.



Science | From AAAS

From the desk of Zedie.

Why Some Remember Dreams, Others Don’t

People who tend to remember their dreams also respond more strongly than others to hearing their name when they’re awake, new research suggests.
Everyone dreams during sleep, but not everyone recalls the mental escapade the next day, and scientists aren’t sure why some people remember more than others.
To find out, researchers used electroencephalography to record the electrical activity in the brains of 36 people while the participants listened to background tunes, and occasionally heard their own first name. The brain measurements were taken during wakefulness and sleep. Half of the participants were called high recallers, because they reported remembering their dreams almost every day, whereas the other half, low recallers, said they only remembered their dreams once or twice a month.

When asleep, both groups showed similar changes in brain activity in response to hearing their names, which were played quietly enough not to wake them.
However, when awake, high recallers showed a more sustained decrease in a brain wave called the alpha wave when they heard their names, compared with the low recallers.
“It was quite surprising to see a difference between the groups during wakefulness,” said study researcher Perrine Ruby, neuroscientist at Lyon Neuroscience Research Center in France.
The difference could reflect variations in the brains of high and low recallers that could have a role in how they dream, too, Ruby said. [7 Mind-Bending Facts About Dreams]
Who remembers their dreams
A well-established theory suggests that a decrease in the alpha wave is a sign that brain regions are being inhibited from responding to outside stimuli. Studies show that when people hear a sudden sound or open their eyes, and more brain regions become active, the alpha wave is reduced.
In the study, as predicted, both groups showed a decrease in the alpha wave when they heard their names while awake. But high recallers showed a more prolonged decrease, which may be a sign their brains became more widely activated when they heard their names.
In other words, high recallers may engage more brain regions when processing sounds while awake, compared with low recallers, the researchers said.

While people are asleep, the alpha wave behaves in the opposite way —it increases when a sudden sound is heard. Scientists aren’t certain why this happens, but one idea is that it protects the brain from being interrupted by sounds during sleep, Ruby said.
Indeed, the study participants showed an increase in the alpha wave in response to sounds during sleep, and there was no difference between the groups.
One possibility to explain the lack of difference, the researchers said, could be that perhaps high recallers had a larger increase in alpha waves, but it was so high that they woke up.
Time spent awake, during the night
The researchers saw that high recallers awoke more frequently during the night. They were awake, on average, for 30 minutes during the night, whereas low recallers were awake for 14 minutes. However, Ruby said “both figures are in the normal range, it’s not that there’s something wrong with either group.”
Altogether, the results suggest the brain of high recallers may be more reactive to stimuli such as sounds, which could make them wake up more easily. It is more likely a person would remember their dreams if they are awakened immediately after one, Ruby said.
However, waking up at night can account for only a part of the differences people show in remembering dreams. “There’s still much more to understand,” she said.

Top 10 Gadgets of 2014

From the desk of Zedie.

Facebook Year in Review 2014

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Scientific Review Suggests Aspirin Significantly Cuts Cancer Rates

A recent review of several studies confirms that taking a small daily dose of aspirin significantly reduces the risk of developing – or dying from several kinds of cancer.

Several clinical studies have suggested that aspirin can reduce the risk of colon, and other cancer’s of the gastrointestinal tract. (2,3,4) In order to study this further, researchers analyzed all the available evidence from studies and clinical trials evaluating taking aspirin daily for 10 years and confirmed that daily aspirin could reduce bowel cancer cases by around 35 percent and deaths from the disease by 40 percent.  These results were published in the Annals of Oncology journal.(1)

Aspirin, originally developed by the German drug maker Bayer, is a cheap, over-the-counter drug generally used to combat pain or reduce fever.  The drug when taking in smaller doses of 75-100 milligrams per day reduces the risk of clots forming in blood vessels and can therefore protect against heart attacks and strokes, so it is often prescribed for people who already suffer with heart disease and have already had one or several attacks.
The authors found that in addition to reducing the risk of developing colon cancer, the risk of esophageal and stomach cancer were cut by 30 percent and deaths from these cancers reduced by 35 to 50 percent.

The authors of the current study observed that if everyone between 50 and 65 years of age started taking aspirin daily for at least 10 years, there would be a 9 percent reduction in the number of cancers, strokes and heart attacks overall in men, and around 7 percent in women.

There are however some serious side effects of aspirin including a risk of bleeding in the stomach.  Among 60-year-olds who take daily aspirin for 10 years, the risk of digestive tract bleeding increases from 2.2 percent to 3.6 percent, and this could be life-threatening in a small proportion of people. The risk of bleeding has prevented some doctors from advising patients to take aspirin as regularly as every day. This risk of bleeding is well known and should not be ignored especially in individuals at high risk.  In this era of wellness however where many individuals look to alternative medicines, nutritional supplements and foods rich in anti-oxidants, and other nutrients to reduce their caner risk an aspirin a day may be the simplest and most cost effective way to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancers.

1.    Cuzick J, Thorat MA, Bosetti C. et al. Estimates of benefits and harms of prophylactic use of aspirin in the general population. Annals of Oncology. 10,2014 doi:10.1093/annonc/md
2.    Burn J, Bishop T, Mecklin JP, et al. Effect of aspirin or resistant starch on colorectal neoplasia in the lynch syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008; 359: 2567-2578.
3.    Burn J, Gerdes A-M, Macrae F et al. Long-term effect of aspirin on cancer risk in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer: an analysis from the CAPP2 randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Early online publication October 28, 2011.
4.    Tan X-L, Reid Lombardo KM, Bamlet WR, Robinson DP, Anderson K, Petersen GM. Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen and risk of pancreatic cancer. Presented at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), April 2-6, 2011, Orlando, FL. Abstract 1902.