Choice at the Supermarket is a Mirage, New Analysis Finds
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 12:49:42 PM
Today, Food & Water Watch released an in-depth analysis of the consolidation of the grocery industry and the range of impacts it has on the food chain. Grocery Goliaths: How Food Monopolies Impact Consumers examines 100 types of grocery products and found that the top four or fewer food companies control a substantial majority of the sales of each item. Most often, the biggest food manufacturers offer multiple brands in each type of grocery, giving consumers the false impression that they are choosing between competing products when in fact all the sales can go to the same parent company. Over the past few years as food companies and supermarket chains have consolidated, this illusion of choice has coincided with increasingly expensive grocery bills.
Study Shows Driving Decline in U.S. Cities
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:46:43 AM
A first-of-its-kind report by U.S.PIRG Education Fund details reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in America's most populous urbanized areas, as well as greater use of public transit and biking in most cities.
Climate Change: Is Your Morning Joe in Jeopardy?
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:29:59 AM
Veteran journalist Justin Catanoso knows the Amazon cloud forest's critical role in global climate change can be hard to comprehend for the vast majority of Americans.
Even urgent warnings about imminent tipping points described in the recently released National Research Council report – from melting ice caps to increased extinction rates – seem far removed from everyday life.
Stanford School of Engineering names new engineering heroes
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 7:22:51 AM
A Nobel Prize winner, the founders of Google and the first woman in space are among the six people selected as this year's Stanford Engineering Heroes, an honor recognizing those who have advanced the course of human, social and economic progress through engineering and science.
First-Ever Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Captive Chimpanzees to Demand Courts Grant Them Right to Bodily Liberty
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 7:05:01 AM
The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) announced today that it has filed the first-ever lawsuits on behalf of captive chimpanzees demanding that the courts grant them the right to bodily liberty via a writ of habeas corpus. The suits, filed in New York Supreme Court, are based on scientific evidence proving that chimpanzees are self-aware and autonomous, and therefore entitled to be recognized as "legal persons" with certain fundamental legal rights.
National Media Coverage Increases Public Awareness of Light Pollution
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 12:01:13 PM
Light pollution is a serious environmental problem. It wastes billions of dollars each year, harms wildlife and jeopardizes human health. Thanks to recent coverage by national media outlets, this important message is reaching more people than ever before.
EPA and DOE Release Annual Fuel Economy Guide with 2014 Models
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 10:13:42 AM
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are releasing the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to identify and choose the most fuel efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs. The 2014 models include efficient and low-emission vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes, ensuring a wide variety of choices available for consumers.
Expedited U.S. Passport Services for Winter Travel
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 7:23:21 AM
The U.S. Department of State offers expedited passport services to U.S. citizens throughout the year. This winter we remind citizens planning international travel of their expedited service options, including families going on vacations for the holidays and students participating in study abroad programs. While we urge U.S. citizens to apply as early as possible for their passport needs, the Department offers convenient options for those who need their travel documents sooner than our standard 4 to 6 week processing time.
NBC Universal Asked to Drop Trophy Hunting Programming
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 10:32:16 AM
Melissa Bachman, host of NBC's Winchester Deadly Passion, has sparked controversy by shooting and killing an African lion and then posting a photo where she posed and smiled while kneeling beside the carcass. As a matter of broadcast industry standards and practices because of the offensive and violent nature of the underlying behavior, The Humane Society of the United States has called on NBC to drop Bachman from all future shows and to reexamine its programming that promotes the vivid, inhumane and unsustainable trophy hunting of wildlife, including rare species.
Archaeological discoveries in Nepal confirm early date of Buddha's life
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 6:52:37 AM
Pioneering excavations within the Sacred Garden of Lumbini, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site long identified as the birthplace of the Buddha, uncovered the remains of a previously unknown timber structure under a series of brick temples. Laid out on the same design as those above it, the timber structure contains an open space in the center that links to the nativity story of the Buddha himself.
Consumer Reports Reveals Annual List of Company Policies and Practices That Help or Hinder Shoppers
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 8:28:19 AM
Consumer Reports today unveiled its fourth annual Naughty & Nice List of company policies and practices. The list includes retailers, airlines, telecomm companies, and others that have been dinged for fees, fine print, or other punitive practices, or lauded for outstanding customer service or other customer-friendly policies.
NFPA urges attention to safety as peak days for cooking fires approach
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 7:16:01 AM
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today released the most recent "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report, detailing national statistics from 2007 to 2011. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. It is responsible for two of every five reported home fires and is the leading cause of home fire injuries. The top three days for cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. NFPA urges cooks to pay attention to fire safety throughout the year and to be especially cautious during the holidays due to the increased risk.
College Students More Likely to Be Lawbreakers if Spanked as Children, New UNH Research Finds
Published Nov 25, 2013 - 6:30:42 AM
No matter where they live in the world, university students who were spanked as children are more likely to engage in criminal behavior, according to new research by Murray Straus, co-director of University of New Hampshire Family Research Lab. Even young adults whose parents were generally loving and helpful as they were growing up showed higher rates of criminal behavior.
Things are not looking up for dark-sky watchers
Full story: Seattle Times
Sick Birds, Sick Production Methods--Think Twice About Your Holiday Turkey
Published Nov 20, 2013 - 8:14:07 AM
Thanks to humane scandals at Butterball, Aviagen Turkeys and House of Raeford, many are aware of the cruel handling in commercial turkey production. Fewer people are aware of the food additives and fast-growth methods that put both turkeys and the people who eat them at risk.
The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is...
Published Nov 19, 2013 - 7:32:55 AM
It’s that time of the year again. With a fanfare and a drum roll, it’s time to announce the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. The votes have been counted and verified and I can exclusively reveal that the winner is...
More to Love and Learn About Birds: 10 Holiday Gift Ideas
Published Nov 19, 2013 - 7:07:55 AM
From new birdsong collections to smartphone apps, online learning, and a kit for beginning birders, here are 10 holiday gift suggestions for the bird and nature lover in your life. All these items are available from the nonprofit Cornell Lab of Ornithology at www.birds.cornell.edu/BirdGifts. Your purchases "pay it forward" by supporting the Cornell Lab's bird conservation efforts.
"What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" A Lot. Injuries from the Tough Mudder
Published Nov 18, 2013 - 8:08:54 AM
The Tough Mudder, an extreme sports event that bills itself as "probably the toughest event on the planet," resulted in injuries ranging from multiple electrical burns to seizure-induced Todd's paralysis. A case series of serious injuries sustained by participants in one such race was reported online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("Unique Obstacle Race Injuries at an Extreme Sports Event: A Case Series")
Books: "Holidays and Other Disasters" an Antidote to Sarah Palin's Cockeyed Christmas Canon
Published Nov 18, 2013 - 8:03:49 AM
In a plea for a world where Christmas and other religious holidays are not a seen as default observances to be accepted in a positive light and welcomed by everyone, author John G. Rodwan Jr. takes a journey through history to explore the backgrounds of U.S. holiday rituals in Holidays and Other Disasters, released today by Humanist Press.
Guinness World Records Day 2014
Published Nov 14, 2013 - 10:35:17 AM
The ninth annual Guinness World Records Day on November 14th, 2013 has united the globe with thousands of people taking part in today's celebration of record-breaking. This year's front running talent includes American Tim Wade breaking the Most Consecutive Handsprings (Male) record in Texas, USA, Japan's attempt at the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Penguins in the UK, and the Most Darts Caught by Hand in One Minute in Germany.
2013 National Outdoor Book Award Winners Announced
Published Nov 14, 2013 - 9:47:52 AM
A clash between politics and nature is front and center among the winners of the 2013 National Outdoor Book Awards.
For Baby Boomers, Denying Aging Can Have Psychological Repercussions
Published Nov 13, 2013 - 7:10:47 AM
Aging, while a natural part of the human experience, is something our culture attempts to deny. The myth exists that individuals can delay aging as they get older, or even evade it all together, by using measures such as diet, exercise, plastic surgery and Botox. As Baby Boomers age, they are bombarded with messages that they can feel, look, and live like they did ten, twenty, even thirty years earlier. Dr. Mary E. Doheny, Pdh, is available to discuss the psychological repercussions for Baby Boomers that result from denying aging.
Thanksgiving is the Leading Day for Cooking Fires
Published Nov 13, 2013 - 7:07:30 AM
Thanksgiving Day has more than double the number of home cooking fires than an average day according to the U.S. Fire Administration. More than 4,000 fires occur annually on Thanksgiving Day as celebrants deep fry turkeys, boil potatoes, bake pies and more. "Cooking remains a major mechanism of injuries for adults, and for children who are underfoot," said Dr. Richard L. Gamelli, director of the Burn & Shock Trauma Research Institute, Chief of the Burn Unit and senior vice president and provost of health sciences at Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago.
Gun use in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985
Published Nov 11, 2013 - 6:46:11 AM
The amount of gun violence shown in PG-13 films has more than tripled since 1985, the year the rating was introduced.
In fact, the most popular PG-13 movies of 2011 and 2012 showed significantly more gun violence than R-rated movies of the same time period, a new study reveals.
Books | Christmas Nevermore: Ecological Fable Tackles Impact of Industry through Bold Question – What if Christmas Ceased to Exist?
Published Nov 7, 2013 - 8:41:12 AM
What if Christmas ceased to exist? While it may first sound implausible and even outrageous, a powerful new ecological fable by Marc Cadieux and Herve Bastien depicts it as a very real possibility as the result of humankind's careless actions. The upcoming young persons' and family novel uses this thought-provoking premise as a platform from which readers can open a dialogue into culture, family and the impact of big business on nature's delicate balance.
Halloween Leftovers Become Treats for Zoo Animals
Published Nov 7, 2013 - 8:17:38 AM
Halloween has passed, but thousands of leftover pumpkins are now becoming sweet treats for Oakland Zoo's animals. In the last few days, truckloads of donations from local pumpkin patches have been arriving at the Zoo and zookeepers are making sure to put the orange edibles to good use. Zoo guests can see animals feasting on the orange goodies well beyond October. Besides being edible for many creatures, zookeepers transform the pumpkins into enrichment items such as food containers for geese, carved puzzles for meerkats, and play toys for tigers to tear apart.
Sheldon Danziger: Poverty remains high because the public and policy makers have not made reducing poverty a high priority
Published Nov 7, 2013 - 8:16:36 AM
The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) released by the U.S. Census Bureau today (November 6, 2013) shows that the poverty rate for all persons was 16.0 percent in 2012, virtually the same as in 2011, 16.1 percent. A key finding in today's Census release is that millions of people would have been poor in 2012 in the absence of our safety net programs. For example, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) raised about 5 million people above the poverty line; the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other refundable tax credits raised more than 9 million people above the poverty line.
U.S. Media Consumption to Rise to 15.5 Hours a Day - Per Person - by 2015
Published Nov 7, 2013 - 7:07:10 AM
A new study by a researcher at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, says that by 2015, the sum of media asked for and delivered to consumers on mobile devices and to their homes would take more than 15 hours a day to see or hear. That volume is equal to 6.9 million-million gigabytes of information, or a daily consumption of nine DVDs worth of data per person per day.
Yelling Doesn't Help, May Harm Adolescents, Pitt-Led Study Finds
Published Nov 6, 2013 - 10:02:49 AM
Most parents who yell at their adolescent children wouldn't dream of physically punishing their teens. Yet their use of harsh verbal discipline—defined as shouting, cursing, or using insults—may be just as detrimental to the long-term well-being of adolescents.
HRC Launches "Love Conquers Hate" Campaign Supporting Russia's LGBT Community Ahead of Sochi Games
Published Nov 4, 2013 - 9:16:16 AM
With the Sochi Olympic Games just a few months away, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today launched its “Love Conquers Hate” campaign to support the members of Russia’s LGBT community, who are being targeted by a hateful “anti-propaganda” law that prohibits public support for equality in the country.