Happy Friday, dear friends. I know I said that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but the day after, I have my favorite meal of the year. The left over Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich. Yes, I capitalized it, because it is that important to me.
There is such joy in creating the perfect day-after sandwich, and it has become a tradition in our family. Even though my mother cooked Thanksgiving this year, I readily volunteered to do all the dishes so I could sneak the leftovers. Don’t think I fool her for a minute. She knows the deal.
Heaven, to me, is sinking my teeth into all those delicious flavors, snuggled on the couch watching old movies surrounded by my family. It also tickles me to find joy in the simple things in life. My grandmother taught me to enjoy the little things, and it was one of the best presents she ever gave me.
Today we jump into some environmental news from Central and South America, and we move on from there.
Amazon rainforest destruction dropped significantly over the past year.
The Amazon rainforest extends over 6.1 million square kilometers, and about 60% of it falls within the borders of Brazil. About one-third of the planet’s biodiversity finds a home inside this natural wonder. Deforestation in the area reduces habitat and contributes to green house gases in the earth’s atmosphere.
This year, Brazil’s environmental minister announced that deforestation dropped 18% over last year. The significant decrease was surprising, because regulations were eased for small land holders, related to clear cutting near river banks in 2012. The numbers are the second-lowest in the past 25 years and are a very good indicator that Brazilians are managing the rainforest with greater care.
Indigenous communities in Guatemala stand up to Monsanto.
This link was sent in by a dear reader. Massive protest crowds from indigenous communities, labor, and farming groups crowded the streets of Guatemala City for four straight days in September. They wanted to put pressure on the Guatemalan legislature to repeal Decree 19-2014. Their efforts were successful, and the government reversed their previous decision.
The decree, also termed “The Monsanto Law”, was passed last June. It privatized seed in the country to protect the intellectual property rights of the multinational company. The decree was initially introduced to bring Guatemala in line with the Central American Trade Agreement. This agreement is similar to NAFTA, which has ravaged the rural farming areas of Mexico. Indigenous peoples believed this law would interfere with their sacred farming heritage, and culture of seed sharing. They want their traditions to be respected and not interfered with by outside interests.
Popular News outlets hacked by Syrian Electronic Army.
Websites, using the Gigya comment platform, were hacked on Thursday by the Syrian Electronic Army. Users saw a notice on their screens indicating the attack.
Sites such as CNBC, The Guardian, and The Telegraph were affected, and many internet users reported having trouble with other sites. The pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army, was also involved with other cyber-attacks on Facebook, high-profile Twitter accounts and deploying malware.
Growing a back bone, in the lab.
The field of regenerative medicine has come a long way. The idea of growing new organs was, only recently, a thing of pure fantasy, and now it is a reality. Researchers have successfully grown windpipes, urethrae, vaginas and bladders in the lab, and some have actually been transplanted into patients.
Recently, Andrea Meinhardt of the Dresden University of Technology, in Germany, reported that her team has grown spinal cords in the lab. Using a complex series of signaling molecules, in suspension with stem cells, the cells automatically go through self-directed morphogenisis. This natural embryonic process is what creates the folding of the spinal cord during fetal development.
This new discovery will give researchers a more focused way to study the spinal column, and may lead to advances in treating embryonic spinal development defects like spina bifida.
Scientists are puzzled by massive storms on the planet Uranus.
This past August, astronomers at the Keck Telescope in Hawaii observed a number of massive storms in the atmosphere of Uranus. The storms were so huge, that even amateur astronomers could view them.
The atmosphere of Uranus is usually very quiet, with almost complete cloud cover. The clouds consist of methane ice, as the planet is so far away from the sun. In 2007, astronomers also witnessed smaller storms during the equinox which occurs once every 42 years. They have no idea what is happening on the planet, and admit to knowing little about the atmospheres of the planets in the outer solar system.
You can do anything!
A beautiful inspirational video that shares the miracles of the natural world and some spectacular human feats as well!
We all need a little inspiration to set the tone for our weekend.
That’s the news for today. Have a sensational day ! I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!