New antimicrobial edible films increase lifespan of cheese — ScienceDaily

tired of trimming mold off your brie? “New coatings to apply to soft cheese have been developed by researchers. These coatings are totally edible and have an antimicrobial capacity, which increases the lifespan of the cheese. These films incorporate oregano and rosemary essential oils as antimicrobial agents, and chitosan, a by-product that comes from crustacean shells.”

Drought Map for November 25 2014

Malcolm Hargraves 20th Anniv. Radio Program

Malcolm Hargraves had a radio program on KROC-AM in Rochester, MN for 28 years, finishing in 1968. I went looking for audio of his show but the only copy I could find was on vinyl at the Olmsted Co History Center… got it converted to mp3 at 170kbs… Here for your edification is a version at 32kbs.

The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture

just cuz The Atlantic and some Amish guy says so doesn’t make it true… but if their claims can verified…


Attention Birders… A Feeder Invention!

here’s a great invention by Patricia Ann Walker in Wisconsin Birding… take a small log, drill multiple 1 inch holes, stuff holes w suet, hang it in a tree n watch the fun…

Solar Panels That Glue On Roofs Eliminate Installation Costs

Solar-Power System Is Easy to Install, and Therefore Much Cheaper

A new solar power system is easy to add to a roof, and performs its own safety checks.

MIT TECH REVIEW By Kevin Bullis on November 20, 2014

Why It Matters

Installation costs more than hardware for a typical solar installation.



Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute install novel, flexible solar panels with an adhesive backing and quick-connect cables.

Ordinarily, installing and connecting a new array of rooftop solar panels takes days, weeks, or even months because the hardware is complex and various permits are needed. Yesterday, on a frigid day in Charlestown, Massachusetts, researchers completed the process in about an hour.

Homeowners can install the system themselves, by gluing it to a rooftop. The permitting is handled by a combination of electronic sensors and software that communicates with local jurisdictions and utilities.

Installation and permit-related expenses currently account for more than half of the overall cost of a new solar power setup. “By simplifying the system so that it’s like installing an appliance, we envision that the soft cost will be virtually eliminated,” says Christian Hoepfner, director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, which developed the system. Doing so would lower the cost of a typical residential solar installation from $22,000 to as little as $7,500, he says.

“It’s impressive to see how quickly the installation went up,” Fouad Dagher, manager of new products and services at the utility National Grid, said after the demonstration. “It makes it easier for consumers and utilities.”

Solar power can be dangerous if not installed properly. Heavy components may be blown off a roof if not secured properly, and solar panels can produce potentially deadly voltages if not properly grounded, and every wire protected.

The Fraunhofer system uses light, flexible solar panels encased in durable plastics. The panels can be securely attached to a shingled roof via an adhesive backing that anchors the panels even in winds up to 110 miles per hour.

The solar panels use electrical equipment, developed by the startup VoltServer, that breaks DC power into discrete, addressed packets, something like the data packets sent over the Internet. If one of these packets fails to reach its destination—for example, if someone were to touch a damaged wire, the current is instantly cut off, preventing injury—a feat demonstrated by a brave EnerVolt employee at the Charlestown demonstration when he purposely touched an exposed wire on the new solar installation.

The whole system is connected to the grid via a plug similar those used for fast-charging electric cars, which can handle high voltages safely.

Once plugged in, the system performs several tests to ensure it’s safe. Hoepfner says the software probably does the job more consistently than inspectors would. Test information would be sent to the local utility for approval over the Web.

While all the hardware exists now, and will go on sale soon, the automated permitting still needs work. Fraunhofer had preapproved the system with the authorities, who’d had inspected the process ahead of time. Commercialization will require developing new standards for solar power systems.

Homes will also need preinstalled outlets designed for solar panels, similar to the high voltage dryer connections in new homes. For now, installing the outlet will require a trained electrician, though it can be done in just a couple of minutes via a device that can be quickly attached to a meter.

Meanwhile, testing is ongoing to make sure the adhesive will keep the solar panels anchored in very hot weather. Because the panels are flush with the roof, rather than mounted on racks that allow air to flow under them, they get hotter than conventional panels, which also lowers the amount of power they can produce.

Drought Map for November 18, 2014


David Suzuki Targeted by Edelman PR Outfit

David Suzuki Foundation

You should know…

Dear Ray,

Earlier this week, we sent an email to our supporters in Quebec on an issue that affects all Canadians. I want to share this with you, too. And ask for your help.

You may have heard that Edelman, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, has targeted the David Suzuki Foundation and three other organizations in a campaign to change public opinion on pipelines by creating fake citizens’ groups and equipping them to attack us. They were hired by TransCanada — the company behind the Keystone XL and Energy East pipeline projects.

I was personally named in the documents as an opponent to be discredited.

But I won’t be intimidated. I have no intention of backing down. And I hope you will stand with me.

Like so many of you, I am dedicated to protecting the planet. My inspiration: the future of my two children, Anais and Simon-Olivier.

I also work for you. I know you rely on the David Suzuki Foundation’s researchers and experts to speak up, even in the face of well-funded opposition. It has never been more important to find clean, healthy solutions to Canada’s critical climate and energy challenges.

Please make a donation to fund science-based solutions.

Decisions about our energy future must be based on evidence and an open and transparent public debate, NOT intimidation tactics funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Please join me today.

Let’s work towards a country with sustainable energy policies and healthy communities. We are stronger together.

With respect,

Signature: Karel Mayrand

Karel Mayrand
Director General, Quebec,
David Suzuki Foundation

YES – I want to make a donation!

P.S. Let’s make 2015 a year for change. More than 1,200 people have joined us so far, and we hope that 2,015 of you will make a donation to help us lead change in Canada. Stand with us today — we are stronger together.

Donate Today

Support the David Suzuki Foundation! Our dedicated team ensures that even the smallest contributions go a long way towards protecting nature in Canada.

The David Suzuki Foundation is a registered charity in both Canada (BN 127756716RR0001) and the United States (94-3204049). We are located at 219-2211 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V6K 4S2, and we also have offices in Montreal and Toronto. Please visit our website for more information on how to contact us.

Cranberry and Urinary Tract Infections – PubMed-NIH

Drugs. 2009;69(7):775-807. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200969070-00002.

Cranberry And Urinary Tract Infections.

Guay DR. Author information


Urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to the presence of clinical signs and symptoms arising from the genitourinary tract plus the presence of one or more micro-organisms in the urine exceeding a threshold value for significance (ranges from 102 to 103 colony-forming units/mL). Infections are localized to the bladder (cystitis), renal parenchyma (pyelonephritis) or prostate (acute or chronic bacterial prostatitis). Single UTI episodes are very common, especially in adult women where there is a 50-fold predominance compared with adult men. In addition, recurrent UTIs are also common, occurring in up to one-third of women after first-episode UTIs. Recurrences requiring intervention are usually defined as two or more episodes over 6 months or three or more episodes over 1 year (this definition applies only to young women with acute uncomplicated UTIs).

A cornerstone of prevention of UTI recurrence has been the use of low-dose once-daily or post-coital antimicrobials; however, much interest has surrounded non-antimicrobial-based approaches undergoing investigation such as use of probiotics, vaccines, oligosaccharide inhibitors of bacterial adherence and colonization, and bacterial interference with immunoreactive extracts of Escherichia coli. Local (intravaginal) estrogen therapy has had mixed results to date. Cranberry products in a variety of formulations have also undergone extensive evaluation over several decades in the management of UTIs.

At present, there is no evidence that cranberry can be used to treat UTIs. Hence, the focus has been on its use as a preventative strategy. Cranberry has been effective in vitro and in vivo in animals for the prevention of UTI. Cranberry appears to work by inhibiting the adhesion of type I and P-fimbriated uropathogens (e.g. uropathogenic E. coli) to the uroepithelium, thus impairing colonization and subsequent infection. The isolation of the component(s) of cranberry with this activity has been a daunting task, considering the hundreds of compounds found in the fruit and its juice derivatives. Reasonable evidence suggests that the anthocyanidin/proanthocyanidin moieties are potent antiadhesion compounds. However, problems still exist with standardization of cranberry products, which makes it extremely difficult to compare products or extrapolate results. Unfortunately, most clinical trials have had design deficiencies and none have evaluated specific key cranberry-derived compounds considered likely to be active moieties (e.g. proanthocyanidins).

In general, the preventive efficacy of cranberry has been variable and modest at best. Meta-analyses have established that recurrence rates over 1 year are reduced approximately 35% in young to middle-aged women. The efficacy of cranberry in other groups (i.e. elderly, paediatric patients, those with neurogenic bladder, those with chronic indwelling urinary catheters) is questionable. Withdrawal rates have been quite high (up to 55%), suggesting that these products may not be acceptable over long periods. Adverse events include gastrointestinal intolerance, weight gain (due to the excessive calorie load) and drug-cranberry interactions (due to the inhibitory effect of flavonoids on cytochrome P450-mediated drug metabolism). The findings of the Cochrane Collaboration support the potential use of cranberry products in the prophylaxis of recurrent UTIs in young and middle-aged women.

In light of the heterogeneity of clinical study designs and the lack of consensus regarding the dosage regimen and formulation to use, cranberry products cannot be recommended for the prophylaxis of recurrent UTIs at this time.



[PubMed – indexed for