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Reusable sponge material can collect oil from both the surface and depths of seawater

This revolutionary new material can be wrung out allowing the oil and the sponge to be used again. […]

Handsome wooden furniture uses its own offcuts cured in resin

Wooden offcuts are reused to make the seat and more in this striking set of furniture and accessories. […]

Watch a bumblebee get pollen from a flower through the power of buzzing (video)

Bees experience forces 30 times greater than gravity as they buzz for pollen — near the limit of human endurance. […]

How to Make Classic Guacamole

It’s pretty hard to make a bad guacamole. Unless you use an unyielding avocado or a colorless tomato, people will always like you more if you bring guacamole to the party. By willingly tasting as you go (and obviously that is what you will be doing), there are endless ways to land on your own best combination of tang, salt, and spice. But who says you can’t learn to make an even better one? Can you be even more popular at the party? No one, and yes. The guacamole recipes in life tend to fall into two categories: The Chunk: You chop up onion, chile, cilantro, maybe garlic, maybe tomato, then stir the avocado all around it, so you stumble on crunches of sweet or hot as you go. It’s a bit like you’ve hidden pico de gallo in your otherwise plain avocado. The Blend (a.k.a. The Tableside): You start by pummeling your flavorful ingredients (in a molcajete, if you’re really serious), then grind the avocado in too. Everything usually becomes one creamy, well-blended mass. Then chips go in it. Both are good; both disappear quickly. I’m still going to tell you about a third method, one that I heard about from both FOOD52er LLStone and Caitlin Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee. Freeman called it “the best guacamole I’ve had in my life (from my hands or the hands of any other).” It skates between The Chunk and The Blend, and it might change the way you think about guacamole. The technique comes from Roberto Santibañez’ Truly Mexican, a contender for our 2012 Piglet trophy. (Just so you know, there are 75 pages of salsas and guacamoles in there, all of them bookmark-worthy.) It’s in his Classic Guacamole that Santibañez takes the traditional ideal for guacamole from his native Mexico and defines it for modern American kitchens, using everyday tools. Amanda‘s pretty, but rather impractical, mortar and pestle might not look like your everyday tools — don’t worry, you have other options. What Santibañez wants cooks to realize, he told me, is this: “There is a very important textural thing to guacamole — we never really mush up the avocado. You want to feel everything.” In his recipe, the ingredients are what you’d expect; he just handles them differently. With a mortar and pestle, or the side of a big knife, or even a fork, he first pulverizes chile, onion, cilantro, and salt into a bright green slurry, then gently folds in cubed avocado. […]

INDEX: The ZeroFly storage bag can significantly reduce food waste

As much as 30% of food is lost to vermin. This bag can help save much if it and stop those bugs. […]

Muzzle Taping, Water Boarding and 3 Other Dog Training Techniques That Should Be Illegal

I’m taking a short break from my dog-loving blog to address the serious topic of animal abuse. It’s a concern that shadows my thoughts; I offer up this piece in the hope I can inspire you to take a stand. When I first saw images of Caitlyn, the dog whose mouth was taped shut, I nearly lost consciousness. I’ve tried since early June to put it out of my mind, but the sight of her bulbous, blue tongue bulging from a mouth swollen like a squeezed balloon is hard to shake. If you haven’t seen it, don’t go looking. Few things could upset you more. But then it happened again. A similar crime was reported in Texas July 12th, to a German Shepherd Dog who was found in the middle of the roadway with her mouth and legs tightly taped together. What is going on in our world? There is so much brutality. It would appear that these animal abusers are bullies of the worst kind – people who can’t even pick on their own species. And most of them are. But some–if you were to probe–would justify their actions and curse their dog’s reactivity. They’re often mirroring techniques they witnessed as children, believing that violence is affective motivation. How do we change their minds? The sad truth is that our country has few laws to prevent people from repeating this cycle of cruelty. With little more than a slap on the hand, these abusers are released into the general public and all but forgotten about. Maybe it’s time for a shift in the way Americans view their dogs. I know I speak for many dog lovers who view their dogs as children and believe dogs should have the same protection under the law as children. As it stands now, dogs are considered private property, unregulated by state laws. Next week, I’ll be back with a fun-in-the-sun post for you and your puppy, but before we skip down that path, I need your help to face these cruelties head on. When lawmakers finally get around to criminalizing animal abuse and transforming our outdated dog laws, join the movement. I’ll meet you there. In the meantime, if you see abuse happening, report it. Here are 5 practices that should be outlawed immediately. If others come to mind, add them to the list in the comment section below. 1) Muzzle Taping The thinking behind this method goes: if a dog’s mouth is taped shut, they can’t bark or chew and will learn to stop. And it works – in the moment, when the mouth is taped – I guess. But imagine the terror. 2) Water Boarding This practice is used to stop dogs from digging holes. It involves filling holes with water and holding the dog’s muzzle down until he’s all but drowned. Imagine a dog struggling for his life, just for digging a hole. 3) Helicoptering When I was 19 years old (I’m now in my 40s), I witnessed a large, well-known dog trainer swinging a 5-month-old Labrador puppy around by her choke collar. He proudly announced this Helicoptering technique would cure her hyperactivity. After swinging her until she was limp, he let go of the leash, and I watched helplessly as the puppy’s head slammed to the floor. As I slumped down next to her, the trainer pointed out that her eyes–which were scanning the room involuntarily–were a sign that he’d timed the release just right. He reassured his horrified onlookers that she’d regain consciousness shortly. Nearly 30 years later, people still use this technique on their dogs. 4) Car Isolation Dogs should not be left in a car alone, especially in extreme temperatures. Cars are like ovens and can rise to fatal temperatures of 105oF in minutes. Some people bring their dogs in the car for companionship. I get that. Other people use the car to isolate their dog for misbehaving – sort of like a crate. This technique isn’t bad in and of itself, but dogs cannot be shut in a car without supervision and should never be isolated in one on a sunny day. Tricia Underwood recently made headlines when she had to break into her own car after her dogs stepped on the auto-lock. Although unintentional, her mishap sheds light on the danger of leaving dogs locked inside a closed car. 5) Nose Burning Here’s one that’ll make your skin crawl. This technique involves a lighter, a flame and a dog’s tender nose. It’s used to teach the dog to release and avoid certain household objects. Yes, the dog will drop it, but they’ll learn other things too – like to fear fire and the hand that holds it and, ultimately, to outsmart everyone by stealing things when no one is looking. You don’t have to be a dog to know these techniques are wrong. Animal advocates everywhere need to unite and demand that these actions and others be outlawed, with stiff sentencing. Dogs – more than ever in our history – are being recognized as devoted, emotional and intelligent beings. Help me make a dent in animal abuse by keeping your eyes open and reporting these and other acts of cruelty. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Scientists may have found a way to eliminate antibiotic-resistant infections

Scientists may have found a way to eliminate antibiotic-resistant infections

By on 19 May 2015 6:23 pmcommentsShare

You know how sometimes humans freak out about genetic engineering? It’s time to freak out again! Except this time it’s a good thing: Scientists are figuring out how to use new gene-editing technologies to eliminate antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

The Tel Aviv-based researchers, whose work was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science yesterday, used a new method of gene therapy called CRISPR to selectively slash the DNA of an antibiotic-resistant strain of E. coli. The method uses a virus as its vector to infect the bacteria’s cells (it doesn’t affect human cells at all) and target the exact sequence of genetic base-pairs that confers antibiotic resistance. When it locates that sequence, the virus latches on and excises the offending gene with surgical precision. With the one-two punch of CRISPR and conventional antibiotics, even the toughest infections might soon be easily mopped up.

It’s worth repeating that when it comes to GMO panic, some of that fear is founded while some is a knee-jerk uneasiness with anything that seems “unnatural” — and all of it is a little confused. As Grist’s Nathanael Johnson has pointed out, genetic engineering is a tool, and like any tool — a shovel, a gun, a Facebook post — it can be used for good things or bad ones or just scary sci-fi stuff that we don’t know enough about to start Frankenstein-ing around with.

I happen to believe eliminating antibiotic-resistant infections that infect 2 million people a year would be a very good thing indeed.

This New Gene Editing Technique Could Turn The Tide on Antibiotic Resistance

, Motherboard.



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Small-scale farmers fight back against the climate monster

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