Tea–Earl Grey–Hot

I occasionally drink hot tea, and Earl Grey is okay, but there may be reason to increase my intake.

Drinking Earl Grey tea could help guard against heart disease, it has emerged, after a study found that bergamot extract – a key ingredient in the hot drink – is just as effective as statins at controlling cholesterol.

Scientists believe bergamot, a fragrant Mediterranean citrus fruit which gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavour, can significantly lower cholesterol.

The article doesn’t link to the study itself, and it is unclear how much tea one would have to drink to get the benefits. It does mention a bergamot supplement tablet that is 1000 mg, but I cannot find the amount of bergamot in Earl Grey anywhere.

We know that Jean-Luc Picard was fond of Earl Grey, but it wasn’t for the health benefits–the good Captain of NCC 1701-D had an artificial heart.

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How does one go about reducing cow flatulence?

As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.

This comes despite falling methane emission levels across the economy since 1990.

The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

Some of these methane emissions come from cow flatulence, exhaling and belching — other livestock animals release methane as well.

“Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence,” according to How Stuff Works. “Statistics vary regarding how much methane the average dairy cow expels. Some experts say 100 liters to 200 liters a day… while others say it’s up to 500 liters… a day. In any case, that’s a lot of methane, an amount comparable to the pollution produced by a car in a day.”

Just how do you reduce methane emissions from cattle, other than reducing the number of cattle in the country? The EPA talks about “new technology” and “methane capture”. I’m going to invest in Beano stock, me.

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A clean water project that deserves support

Around the world, 768 million people don’t have access to safe water, and every day 1,400 children under the age of five die from water-based diseases. Designer Arturo Vittori believes the solution to this catastrophe lies not in high technology, but in sculptures that look like giant-sized objects from the pages of a Pier 1 catalog.

His stunning water towers stand nearly 30 feet tall and can collect over 25 gallons of potable water per day by harvesting atmospheric water vapor. Called WarkaWater towers, each pillar is comprised of two sections: a semi-rigid exoskeleton built by tying stalks of juncus or bamboo together and an internal plastic mesh, reminiscent of the bags oranges come in. The nylon and polypropylene fibers act as a scaffold for condensation, and as the droplets of dew form, they follow the mesh into a basin at the base of the structure.

A lot of money has been spent on expensive wells in underdeveloped parts of the world, which may need (unavailable) electricity to pump, require a lot of maintenance, and can become contaminated. These collectors are in the high desert in Ethiopia, but would work in other climates as well.

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Can a liquid freeze and boil at the same time?

Of course!

In thermodynamics, there’s a concept known as triple point: it’s a combination of temperature and pressure where a substance can exist as a solid, liquid and gas, all at the same time. This is what it looks like.

It’s not often people outside a lab get to see what this looks like, because you need a vacuum pump and some chemistry kit to achieve it. But it is amazing to see a fluid freeze and bubble and look like still liquid all at the same time.

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Suspended between life and death

Doctors will try to save the lives of 10 patients with knife or gunshot wounds by placing them in suspended animation, buying time to fix their injuries

NEITHER dead or alive, knife-wound or gunshot victims will be cooled down and placed in suspended animation later this month, as a groundbreaking emergency technique is tested out for the first time.

Surgeons are now on call at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to perform the operation, which will buy doctors time to fix injuries that would otherwise be lethal.

“We are suspending life, but we don’t like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction,” says Samuel Tisherman, a surgeon at the hospital, who is leading the trial. “So we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation.”

The technique involves replacing all of a patient’s blood with a cold saline solution, which rapidly cools the body and stops almost all cellular activity. “If a patient comes to us two hours after dying you can’t bring them back to life. But if they’re dying and you suspend them, you have a chance to bring them back after their structural problems have been fixed,” says surgeon Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the technique.

Interesting proposal for study…I see a problem with informed consent, however. The Food and Drug Administration does provide a waiver for emergency procedures, but doing a study would require Institutional Review Board approval as well. I suspect that in an institution like mine, where a mere survey study takes 6 months for approval, this study would never fly.

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