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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking April 28, 2017
    La mente maravillosa de Stephen Hawking ha deslumbrado al mundo entero revelando los misterios del universo. Ahora, por primera vez, el cosmólogo más brillante de nuestra era explora, con una mirada reveladora, su propia vida y evolución intelectual. Breve historia de mi vida cuenta el sorprendente viaje de Stephen Hawking desde su niñez […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking April 28, 2017
    Una manera clara y amena de acercarse a los misterios del universo. En esta esclarecedora obra, el gran físico británico Stephen Hawking nos ofrece una historia del universo, del big bang a los agujeros negros. En siete pasos, Hawking logra explicar la historia del universo, desde las primeras teorías del mundo griego y de la época medieval hasta las más com […]
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  • Inteligencia emocional para niños. Guía práctica para padres y educadores - Mireia Golobardes Subirana & Sandra Celeiro González April 28, 2017
    ¿Cómo podemos enseñar a los más pequeños a gestionar sus emociones? ¿Cómo ayudar a nuestros hijos a mejorar en sus relaciones con los demás? ¿Cómo facilitar a nuestros alumnos su capacidad para identificar sus emociones y la de los demás y favorecer relaciones sanas y positivas, con empatía y respeto? ¿Cómo contribuir a que padres y profesores puedan también […]
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  • ¿Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? - Maria Konnikova April 28, 2017
    Ningún personaje de ficción es más conocido por sus poderes de intuición y observación que Sherlock Holmes. Pero, ¿es su inteligencia extraordinaria una invención de la ficción o podemos aprender a desarrollar estas habilidades, para mejorar nuestras vidas en el trabajo y en casa? A través de ¿ Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? , la periodista y psicóloga Ma […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku April 28, 2017
    Un recorrido asombroso a través de los próximos cien años de revolución científica. El futuro ya se está inventando en los laboratorios de los científicos más punteros de todo el mundo. Con toda probabilidad, en 2100 controlaremos los ordenadores a través de diminutos sensores cerebrales y podremos mover objetos con el poder de nuestras mentes, la inteligenc […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach April 28, 2017
    Bachrach es Doctor en biología molecular y explica el funcionamiento del cerebro. A través de ello, da consejos y herramientas para ser más creativos y felices en el trabajo y en la vida. La neurociencia es clara: el cerebro aprende hasta el último día de vida. La creatividad puede expandirse. Tu mente, mediante la aplicación de las técnicas correctas, puede […]
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  • El gran diseño - Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow April 28, 2017
    Aun antes de aparecer, este libro ha venido precedido, en todos los medios de comunicación, de una extraordinaria polémica sobre  sus conclusiones: que tanto nuestro universo como los otros muchos universos posibles surgieron de la nada, porque su creación no requiere de la intervención de ningún Dios o ser sobrenatural, sino que todos los universos pro […]
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  • Tricks Any Dog Can Do! - Susan Day April 28, 2017
    This great book comes with advice and guidance as to the best way to teach these tricks. It offers more than one method which the reader can choose depending upon their own situation. There is also advice to using treats and shows you how to not end up with a treat junkie! This books is from the desk of Susan Day, a canine behaviourist. Susan teaches obedien […]
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  • Sobre la teoría de la relatividad especial y general - Albert Einstein April 28, 2017
    Entre el Electromagnetismo y la Mecánica newtoniana existe una fórmula de bisagra: la teoría de la relatividad especial y general. La importancia del nuevo marco planteado por Albert Einstein se entiende por lo siguiente: la percepción del tiempo y el espacio es relativa al observador. ¿Qué significa esto? Si usted viaja a una velocidad mayor que la de la lu […]
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  • El mundo y sus demonios - Carl Sagan April 28, 2017
    ¿Estamos al borde de una nueva edad oscura de irracionalismo y superstición? En este libro conmovedor, el incomparable Carl Sagan demuestra con brillantez que el pensamiento científico es necesario para salvaguardar nuestras instituciones democráticas y nuestra civilización técnica. El mundo y sus demonios es el libro más personal de Sagan, y está lleno de h […]
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California is gearing up to pass a cap-and-trade law. Again.

For years, oil and gas companies have plumbed the earth beneath Los Angeles. And in most cases the companies and city — surprise! — allegedly sidestepped environmental laws in the process. Poor communities of color have suffered the most. “The city disproportionately exposed people of color to greater health and safety impacts,” says attorney Gladys Limón of the environmental justice nonprofit Communities for a Better Environment.

In 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity and two local youth groups, Youth for Environmental Justice (which is affiliated with CBE) and the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, sued L.A. The lawsuit claimed that Los Angeles unlawfully allowed oil companies to drill hundreds of oil wells in residential neighborhoods across the city without assessing environmental threats, and that black and Latino residents disproportionately faced health and safety risks.

The city settled out of court in September 2016. As a result, officials created new procedures that oil and gas operators have to follow, including environmental impact studies, and hearings that include residents when the companies want to expand drilling sites.

“I’m really happy that the city listened,” says 16-year-old Giselle Cabrera of Youth for Environmental Justice. “But I still think the fight isn’t over.”

Cabrera is right: Two days before Los Angeles settled, an oil lobbying group called the California Independent Petroleum Association countersued both youth groups, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the city. It was a retaliatory move, Limón says, meant to send a message. If a judge agrees with Limón, the pending countersuit will be struck down as meritless. Turns out the kids ruffled a few oily feathers.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

[…]

White House officials are gearing up for a showdown over the Paris agreement.

Raj Karmani was a graduate student in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when his frequent trips to the neighborhood bagel store opened his eyes to food waste. Most of the unsold bagels usually went into the trash. Karmani’s obsession with efficiency got him thinking: What if there were an app that would sync up businesses with fresh, excess food and organizations in need of it? In 2013, he started Zero Percent, an online platform for food donation.

Here’s how it works: First, a food producer at a commercial kitchen, say a restaurant or bagel shop, opens an Uber-style app and drops in detailed data about the excess food: the amount, where to pick it up, when to pick it up, etc. Then, a delivery person, hired by Zero Percent, scoops up the food and drops it off at any number of youth groups, community centers, or nonprofits that have also signed up for the app and signaled a need.

Right now, Zero Percent operates in the Chicago area and in Urbana-Champaign (but plans to expand), and its biggest clients include the University of Illinois and the local Salvation Army. Karmani says Zero Percent has delivered more than 1,000 meals. As a well-educated and relatively well-off immigrant, the experience has been eye-opening for him. “Some of these kids have never seen strawberries.”


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

[…]

A black community in Oakland says pollution is violating its civil rights.

You can’t fight what you can’t measure. But Davida Herzl has a solution: Her company, Aclima, builds sensor networks that monitor environmental impacts at a hyperlocal scale. Clients can deploy sensors on city streets, inside buildings, even on vehicles, to compile data on pollutants, carbon footprint, and more.

Think of it as a Fitbit for a planet trying to take more steps toward carbon reduction. In addition to working with the Environmental Protection Agency, Aclima has partnered with Google’s Street View fleet to map greenhouse gas emissions and air quality in California.

Herzl ultimately wants her sensor networks to create changes in behavior, both from large institutions and from individuals who can follow their lead. “One of the things we know is that emissions from non-electric vehicles influence climate change — but now we’ve learned that the proximity of my house to a freeway increases my health risk,” she says. “That can influence whether I choose to buy an electric vehicle or a nonrenewable-fuel-based vehicle … That personal moment motivates me every day.”

Workplace culture matters to Herzl, too: She sees Aclima’s multiracial, gender-diverse crew as part of a new vanguard in Silicon Valley dedicated to solving the world’s biggest problems through industry and innovation.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

[…]

Reversing Obama’s course, the Trump administration has declined to ban a dangerous pesticide.

Some kids dream of being a movie star or an astronaut, but not Karina Castillo. “Hurricane Andrew hit when I was 6, and it changed who I was,” she says of the historic storm that devastated a swath of South Florida near where her family lived. She decided right then to become a hurricane forecaster.

The youngest daughter of Nicaraguan immigrants, Castillo pursued her dream with the intensity of the storms that fascinated her, earning two meteorology degrees at the University of Miami, then working at NOAA and the Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management. But the young scientist soon made an important discovery: “I didn’t want to sit behind a computer and program models,” she says. “I knew I could help communicate science to the public.”

After a stint developing climate curricula at the Miami-based CLEO Institute, she took a job with Moms Clean Air Force, a national coalition of parents and caretakers fighting climate change and air pollution. Castillo is now the point of contact for Florida’s nearly 100,000 MCAF members, guiding them through meetings with policymakers, media appearances, and other climate and clean-air advocacy work. She also conducts national Latino outreach for the group, work she’s eager to ramp up in 2017.

“In the Latino community, the ideas of legacy and conservation are really important,” says Castillo. “When you talk about protecting children, the mama bear comes out of people. And that’s an unstoppable force.”


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

[…]

Surprise: This Republican governor now wants his state to ban fracking.

U.S. cities are packed with about 5 million medium-sized buildings — schools, churches, community centers, apartment buildings. Most use way more energy than they should. Many also have poor airflow and dirty, out-of-date heating and electrical systems. Those conditions contribute to high inner-city asthma rates and other health concerns.

“These buildings are actually making children sick,” says Donnel Baird, who grew up in such a place. His parents, immigrants from Guyana, raised their kids in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, relying on a cooking stove for heat. Baird eventually moved to the South and then attended Duke University, before returning to New York as a community organizer in 2008.

In 2013, Baird launched BlocPower, which provides engineering and financial know-how to retrofit city buildings. The technical part is cool: Engineers survey structures with sensors and smartphone apps, figuring out the best ways to reduce energy use, like replacing oil boilers with solar hot water. But the financing is critical; BlocPower builds the case for each project and connects owners with lenders. It has already retrofitted more than 500 buildings in New York and is expanding into Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

“The biggest way for us to reduce carbon emissions right now,” Baird says, “is efficiency.”


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

[…]

EPA’s justice work helps many groups, says ex-official. Trump’s cuts will scrap that.

When reports detailed the Trump administration’s planned budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency leaked earlier this month, it seemed like Mustafa Ali was a marked man.

Ali, an agency vet who helped lead the EPA’s environmental justice efforts for 24 years, oversaw an office that was going to lose close to 80 percent of its funding under Trump’s plan. That proposal sent a clear signal that the Trump White House wasn’t all that interested in helping vulnerable communities living amid environmental contamination.

Within a week of the budget leak, new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had a three-page resignation letter from Ali on his desk. It was gracious in tone, encouraging Pruitt to seize his “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring people together,” and beseeched him to protect initiatives like the Collaborative Problem-Solving Model and Environmental Justice Small Grants Program that had helped more than 1,400 communities, according to Ali.

Neither Pruitt nor anyone else in the Trump administration has acknowledged his letter, says Ali. Since then, he’s taken a new role at the non-profit Hip Hop Caucus, where he’ll continue to work on environmental and economic justice, as well as voting rights, aiming to “move vulnerable communities from surviving to thriving.”

Ali spoke to Grist about the struggle for environmental justice and the effect that the Trump administration’s proposed cuts would have on veterans and young people. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Q. The EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice was created during President George H.W. Bush’s administration, and you worked at the agency through three other administrations after that. During that time, did you feel like there was always progress?

A. Yes, I did. Of course some administrations are a bit more wedded to the issue, but there was always at least incremental progress, moving toward improving the public health and the environment for communities of color, low-income communities, and indigenous populations.

Q. But your assessment is that environmental justice wasn’t going to be a priority any longer?

A. I was worried about being able to continue this very critical work that many leaders and lots of community folks have invested in for decades. I didn’t want to take steps backward by rolling back regulations that are necessary to protect the health, the environment, the lives of our most vulnerable communities. And that was it for me. I tried to be as patient as I could to see if we were going to prioritize the lives of these communities. And I just didn’t see it.

Q. Is the environmental justice movement only focused on communities of color?

A. There is a false narrative out there. Yes, these issues are definitely about disproportionate impacts that are happening in communities of color, but we also have strong relationships with brothers and sisters who are in Appalachia, who are in the Rust Belt, and many other places. And many low-income white communities are facing very, very similar challenges. This is a movement about people and about health. The environmental justice movement is inclusive, and it touches lots of different people.

Q. What will happen without a fully-staffed Office of Environmental Justice?

A. It means less information. Communities for years have been struggling to capture the information needed to verify and support what they’re seeing on the ground — health impacts, those types of things. Information is critical. The geographic information systems (like the EJSCREEN mapping tool) allow people to plug in their address and get a much better understanding of what contaminants are in the air or water near their community and what are some of the possible health impacts. Not having information means you’re weakening those systems and you’re weakening the ability for people to be able to protect themselves. So that’s a challenge.

Q. Who can fill that information gap going forward?

A. There are some really great organizations that have already been helping out. You have the Union of Concerned Scientists who have been doing work with some of vulnerable communities. Thriving Earth Exchange is another one. And then there are a number of colleges and universities.

Q. Are there other unforeseen consequences to the sharp budget cut the Trump administration is proposing for the EPA?

A. The EPA has been hiring a lot of veterans over recent years, because veterans get a preference for federal government jobs. So when you’re talking about cutting 3,000 jobs, or maybe 5,000 jobs, a big part of that is going to be veterans. And then some of the newer hires are young people who have done everything right. They went to school, did well, got a job. And now you’re going to cut those positions.

I always think about that quote from Dr. King, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re all connected. The communities I focus on, the most vulnerable communities, a number of veterans live in those communities after they come back home. And young people live in those communities. So the question to be answered is: Do you really care about these folks’ lives?

[…]

Watch Stephen Colbert take a swipe at EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

Mustafa Ali helped to start the EPA’s environmental justice office and its environmental equity office in the 1990s. For nearly 25 years, he advocated for poor and minority neighborhoods stricken by pollution. As a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator, Ali served under both Democratic and Republican presidents — but not under President Donald Trump.

His departure comes amid news that the Trump administration plans to scrap the agency’s environmental justice work. The administration’s proposed federal budget would slash the EPA’s $8 billion budget by a quarter and eliminate numerous programs, including Ali’s office.

The Office of Environmental Justice gives small grants to disadvantaged communities, a life-saving program that Trump’s budget proposal could soon make disappear.

Ali played a role in President Obama’s last major EPA initiative, the EJ 2020 action agenda, a four-year plan to tackle lead poisoning, air pollution, and other problems. He now joins Hip Hop Caucus, a civil rights nonprofit that nurtures grassroots activism through hip-hop music, as a senior vice president.

In his letter of resignation, Ali asked the agency’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt, to listen to poor and non-white people and “value their lives.” Let’s see if Pruitt listens.

[…]