Happy Wednesday, dear friends. Well, it turned “wicked cold” last night here on Paumanok. For the first time in years, all 50 US states, including Hawaii, are under a freeze warning, a month before the official start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
I ask you all to send love and light, especially to those hit hardest by this early winter weather here in the northeastern US. Our first article details the massive lake-effect snowfall sustained in the Buffalo, New York area.
Lake-effect snow occurs when weather fronts come across the Great Lakes, from Canada, and pick up additional moisture from these large bodies of water. While folks who live in the region are used to dealing with snowy winters, this early storm is unprecedented, and more snow is expected today.
Yes, if you are wondering, this odd weather makes me wonder too, and that is why I request your love and light in the situation. When we all intend for the best possible outcome in any situation, we begin to build a world that works for everyone!
Transgender activist, who led the way in early gender equality battle, has died.
Leslie Feinberg, activist and author of the 1993 classic transgender novel, Stone Butch Blues passed away this week at age 65. Feinberg led the charge in advocating for a broadening of the term gender, as so many individuals did not fit this static and restrictive social norm.
Feinberg’s life work extended past gender rights, to take up the cause of any disenfranchised group who needed help getting their voices heard above the crowd.
She led the way for all who enjoy the level of openness around gender that exists today. Her absence means that others must take up the load and continue on with the work she started, so that all may experience complete gender equality in this world.
In this article, Katia Hetter discusses Feinberg’s work and how it influenced her life as a young woman struggling with her own gender identity.
A billionaire uses his own money to create a cure for blindness.
Alfred Mann is 89 years old and he is a billionaire. When asked about retirement, he says he will think about it when he is 144 years old. Alfred Mann does not donate his money to charities. He finds an issue that he can get behind and then he develops a company, pouring his own wealth into it, and solves the issue. He is doggedly determined and truly believes he can make a difference, using a proven business model, to solve the large issues he tackles.
One of his companies, MannKind, received FDA approval for a new inhalable insulin product to treat both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. As that product comes to market, he has set his sights on blindness.
His most recent company, Second Sight Medical Products, is launching its Initial Public Offering very soon. The company aims to create a prosthetic device that is implanted in the retina of retinitis pigmentosa patients. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetically transmitted progressive eye disease that leads to blindness.
Their research has also led them to technology that will directly stimulate the optic centers of the brain, and may lead to a prosthetic device that will address all forms of blindness.
The Philae probe finds organic molecules on the comet it is investigating.
It took ten years for the European Space Agency’s Philae probe to reach its comet destination. It immediately set to work upon landing to collect data and send it back to earth for analysis.
Researchers say, the probe has discovered organic molecules in the thin atmosphere of the comet. While they have not indicated which molecules are present, or their level of complexity, it is well known that organic molecules are the basis for life on our planet.
The discovery may lead to a better understanding of how comets seeded the earth with organic matter during its formative period. Currently, the probe has gone into stand-by mode due to a low battery. The agency is hoping, as the comet approaches the sun, the solar panels on the probe will be able to recharge it and more extensive tests can be performed.
Hydrogen fuel-cell cars launched by Toyota this year.
This week, Toyota announced that it would be rolling out a limited production of its Mirai model, which is powered by compressed hydrogen. They will begin selling the cars in Japan on December 15th, and Europe and the US by mid-2015. The first run will include 700 vehicles as a test market.
Toyota says that fuel-cell technology will eventually become mainstream in the auto industry, and they want to be on the cutting edge of technology. Honda and Hundai are also working on hydrogen-fueled prototypes.
Hydrogen fuel-cell technology has advanced to the point where cars can be powered with no green house gas emissions, though fossil fuels are used in the creation of the hydrogen and its pressurization. The main roadblocks for the technology include limited refueling stations and a high sticker price.
A blind owl named Zeus is given a forever home.
A resident in Southern California recently found an injured Western Screech Owl on their porch. The owl was rushed to the veterinarian to treat its injuries, and at that point they discovered the owl was blind.
His damaged eyes look like the starry night sky and so they named him Zeus. He has found a loving home at the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar, California, where he will be a wildlife ambassador. He is very friendly to people, and seems to be adjusting well to his new surroundings and duties.
That’s the news for today. Have a warm and wonderful day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!