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Archive for September, 2010

My eyes and ears tend to veer away from pro cycling during the off season, and it is rare that headlines are made on the likes of CNN.com, but today is unique. A small amount of a steroid was found in Alberto Contador’s blood on a rest day during the Tour De France. This same steroid is used on meat, and it sounds like Alberto had meat that day. After reading what CNN had to say, VeloNews had to say, and what Alberto himself said, it doesn’t sound like this will come to much. Its a shame it went this far. If anything this put him in the spotlight a bit more. I’m surprised he didn’t “fingerbang” us after his speech.

In other more important cycling news, Fabian Cancellara won the Worlds time trial for a fourth time! I happen to like Fabian. He seems like a nice guy in a sport among many jerks. Congratulations Fabian Cancellara!

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Who cares about sustainability? by Nicki Holmyard

It’s safe to say that the majority of people do care about sustainability, but they don’t care enough to sort it out for themselves and want someone else to do it for them. So perhaps it is just as well that the environmental organisations are powerful enough to make the supermarkets, restaurants and suppliers care. This should not make us apathetic or underestimate the educational work still to be done, but it should make us aware that being preached at too much can turn off consumers.

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Organic Can Feed the World by Maria Rodale

(September 2010) — You probably buy organic food because you believe it’s better for your health and the environment but you also may have heard criticism that “organic cannot feed the world.”

Biotech and chemical companies have spent billions of dollars trying to make us think that synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are necessary to feed a growing population. But science indicates otherwise.

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Ned Breslin: Thinking Beyond the 2015 MDGs

Young girls like Anita, a 10-year- old from Mozambique, continuously miss school to instead scoop water from the top of a dirty puddle.  She hoists it on her head and returns home, passing the school where her friends are learning. And as she turns for home she passes one of those handpumps that failed, keeping her out of school.

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If your a climber in Massachusetts and like to go bouldering you’ve no doubt heard of Lynn Woods. There’s been a lot of development there over the past few years and it continues today. I’ve been gone for two years and have no idea the current extent of the development besides what’s on Lynn Woods Bouldering .com, but I’m sure it’s been productive. That place is huge, and I’m sure more boulders will be found and more problems sent as time ticks by. Today I decided to explore an area in the same vein as Lynn Woods but just to the north called Gowdy Playground. Its actually located in Peabody but right on the Lynn line. A few years back I went in through Troy Street in Peabody and only found a few good sized boulders, but today I went in at Sunset Drive in Lynn and found a bunch. I spent about an hour bushwhacking through the woods all the way to the utility corridor that cuts through the middle of the area and looped back around. Below you’ll find photos of what I found. Keep in mind that the loop I did was relatively small compared to the area and there must be dozens upon dozens of boulders in there just waiting to be climbed on. I found some very faint trails, but most of these boulders don’t have any nearby trails. My plan is to head back after the leaves start falling and take some more pictures. Today I only had my crappy phone camera, but I think you’ll get the idea.

From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2
From Gowdy Playground Boulders_2

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Today in the Boston Globe there was an editorial written by Jeff Jacoby entitled The Waste of Recycling. Mr Jacoby has been know to write ridiculous things in the past that show how little he actually thinks about things, but this went a bit too far. Here is a sample quote:

Add up all the energy, time, emissions, supplies, water, space, and mental and physical labor involved, and mandatory recycling turns out to be largely unsustainable — an environmental burden, not a boon.

He finishes things off with a touch of conspiracy. Yes Mr. Jacoby, Big Brother it must be. I usually don’t get so flustered at idiotic opinion pieces but this one got me mad. People will actually believe his garbage. So, I wrote a letter to the editor. Here is what I wrote:

Dear Globe,

Mr. Jacoby has missed the point of recycling. We recycle to close the source material supply loop. For example, to make plastic from scratch we require petroleum, which is a finite material. In other words, it will eventually run dry. If we recycle the waste plastic, it returns to the beginning of the cycle as source material. I agree it requires more energy to recycle, but we as a people must get in the habit to ensure sustainability of our source materials into the future. We must also remember that using energy is not inherently unsustainable. Eventually the extra trucks and added facilities will run on renewable, sustainable energy and the oil to make our plastic will be gone. Also, we do not recycle to keep garbage out of the landfill. We recycle to keep source material in positive supply. Lets not forget recycling is just one third of the sustainable source material mantra: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Raw source material is finite, and we’re running out.

I encourage you to read Jacoby’s piece where at the end he actually seems to be encouraging us to throw things in the landfill with the confidence that there won’t be any problems as the decades tick by because, well gee, the EPA is in charge. What about when the oil runs dry? or the forests are gone? What about when the raw materials of the earth begin to dwindle? Will the EPA be there to help us mine our landfills for the plastic we threw away decades, if not centuries before?

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VBS has done it again. Vice Guide to Travel opens our comfy American eyes to the realities of the world. This documentary takes us into rural India where in just one small region tens of thousands of young girls in one area become prostitutes in the name of a god and are their family’s only hope for survival.

Here is link to the first episode of four. As of today, three are available. I’ve also included links to some of the other episodes of Vice Guide to Travel that do what nobody else has done. Keep it up Vice!

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/the-vice-guide-to-travel/prostitutes-of-god-episode-1

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/the-vice-guide-to-travel/the-vice-guide-to-liberia

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/the-vice-guide-to-travel/vice-guide-to-north-korea-1-of-3

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