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Posted on Techdirt - 21 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Eat Less Red Meat. Cows Rejoice!

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Recently, it seems like there are an increasing number of studies supporting the idea that eating too much red meat is bad for our health. Consumption of red meat has been linked to cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and the list goes on. Here are just a few more studies that will have cows dancing in the pasture.

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Posted on Techdirt - 7 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: The Science Behind Flavors

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Part of the enjoyment of eating is indulging in the sensory experience of food. Whether we like a food depends on the texture, consistency, temperature (both physical and perceived, as in cool mints or hot peppers), smell, taste, and even its appearance. Flavor is primarily determined by our sense of taste and smell, and is often a main deciding factor in whether we like a food. Here are just a few links related to the chemistry of flavors.

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Posted on Techdirt - 20 December 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: 'Disgusting' Alcoholic Drinks (Besides Egg Nog)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Some people like egg nog, some people don't. With the main ingredients being sweetened milk/cream and whipped eggs (and maybe salmonella), it's no wonder people added alcohol to make it drinkable. But the beverage is popular enough that there are tons of variations on it. Pretty much any kind or combination of hard liquor can be added, and it can be spiced up with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. If you like egg nog, especially the alcoholic part, maybe you'll also like the following "disgusting" alcoholic drinks.

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Posted on Techdirt - 19 December 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: About those TPS Reports...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's probably safe to say that most managers and employees look forward to annual performance reviews as much as they would a painful root canal. Some companies like Adobe have eliminated them altogether, in favor of less formal check-in conversations throughout the year that focus on ongoing feedback. Here are some other companies that are changing the way they evaluate their workers.

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Posted on Techdirt - 18 December 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Dysfunctional Capitalism

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

As we get closer to the most commercial holiday of the year, let's spend some time reflecting on capitalism and what it has become. Here are some capitalism-related links to get you started.

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 December 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Here Comes Santa Claus

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's that time of year again, when parents warn their kids to be good, because a big old guy with a white beard in a red suit is watching their every move and is going to find out if they've been naughty or nice. Well, Santa, we've got news for you. We're watching you too, sort of. Both Microsoft and Google have "Santa trackers" that will let kids and parents monitor Santa's location on a map on Christmas Eve as he delivers presents all over the world. For even more Santa fun, check out these links.

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Posted on Techdirt - 16 December 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Tis The Season To Catch The Flu

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

December is a time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but it's also when flu season starts ramping up. Several states have already reported an increase in flu activity, and it appears that the predominant strain of flu found in patients who have been hospitalized so far is H1N1 -- the "Swine Flu" that caused a global pandemic in 2009 but is now a human seasonal flu virus. Here are a few links about the flu season, pandemics, and vaccines.

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Posted on Techdirt - 13 December 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Sriracha Apocalypse Watch

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Many people are freaking out about the potential shortage of Sriracha, the popular hot sauce (aka "rooster sauce") that has taken the world by storm, after it was reported that the new Sriracha factory in Irwindale, California, was facing a potential shutdown due to noxious fumes coming from the plant -- generated by chili pepper processing -- that were causing eye and throat irritation, as well as headaches, in nearby residents. A judge has now ordered the makers of Sriracha, Huy Fong Foods Inc., to stop any work that generates irritating fumes. While the smelly factory may not be welcome in Irwindale, at least two other cities (Philadelphia and Denton, TX) have suggested that the makers of Sriracha sauce relocate to their neck of the woods. In the meantime, here are a few links with more information about Sriracha, as well as potential alternative hot sauces.

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Posted on Techdirt - 27 November 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Rediscovering Heirloom Plants

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It turns out that many Americans aren't paying much attention to the ongoing battle over labeling genetically modified foods. A recent survey by researchers at Rutgers University found that half of Americans know very little or nothing at all about GM foods, while a quarter have never even heard of them. Furthermore, they found that many Americans are also confused about what types of GM foods are on the market. Meanwhile, heirloom fruits, vegetables, and grains are gaining popularity. These are plants that have been grown and passed down from one generation to another -- some for more than 100 years -- often selected for their superior flavor, as well as other characteristics such as productivity, hardiness, and adaptability. If you want to avoid GM foods, why not spend some time rediscovering heirloom varieties? Here are a few links to get you started.

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Posted on Techdirt - 26 November 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Will Renewable Energy Be Enough To Curb Global Warming?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists are 95% certain that human activities have been responsible for most of the climate change observed on the planet since the 1950s. Apparently, we've already burned 54% of the 1 trillion tons of carbon that would need to be emitted into the atmosphere to increase the average global temperature by 2°C (3.6°F) -- a threshold set by climate negotiators in Copenhagen in 2009 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Unfortunately, even as we try to reduce carbon emissions now, some predict that we'll still surpass the 2°C limit by the end of the century. Will renewable energy be able to curb global warming while also satisfying our energy-hungry ways? Here are some energy-related links.

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Posted on Techdirt - 22 November 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Safe Until Proven Harmful

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It seems like every other day we hear about yet another chemical in our food supply that's bad for our health. Maybe it's because the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which is supposed to help regulate the use of chemicals in consumer products, has failed us with its assumption that "chemicals are safe until proven harmful," and has turned us into unwitting human guinea pigs. Phthalates in vinyl, perfluorinated chemicals in non-stick cookware, brominated flame retardants in electronics, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in coolant/dielectric fluids, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in insecticides -- these are just a few chemicals that, over the years, have been discovered to be unsafe, long after they were introduced in consumer products. Here are a few more:

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Posted on Techdirt - 20 November 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: The U.S. Postal Service

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The U.S. Postal Service hasn't been doing well for a while now. Even though it achieved its first revenue increase in five years, it still lost $5 billion in fiscal year 2013. This marks the seventh consecutive year of losses for the USPS, which lost a record $15.9 billion last year. Part of the reason is that people just aren't sending as much mail these days. Why send a physical letter when you can send a message online? The Postal Service's most profitable product, first-class mail delivery, has been going down -- mail volume peaked in 2000 and has decreased by almost a third since then. On the brighter side, it seems that people are buying more things online now, and the USPS's package volume has been on the rise. As the Postal Service struggles to survive, it will be interesting to see how it adapts to the changing economy in the coming years. Here are a few links to some things about the USPS that you may not know.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 November 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Measuring Scientific Impact Is Far From Simple

from the dept

How do you measure the impact of a scientist's research? Some common metrics include the number of publications in peer-reviewed and high-impact journals, the number of citations, etc. But it's more complicated than just using the quantity and quality of a scientist's peer-reviewed publications to determine their significance in the scientific community. Here are a few more things to consider.

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Posted on Techdirt - 25 October 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Better Tasting Fruits And Vegetables

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If fruits and vegetables tasted even better, maybe people would include more in their diet. Part of what researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are trying to do is to improve the taste and nutritional profile of specialty crops like fruits and vegetables, in the hope that Americans will adopt a healthier diet. For generations, humans have been inadvertently breeding the nutrients out of fruits and vegetables, by selecting varieties that are more palatable (i.e., higher in sugar and starch). Then, somewhere along the way, appearance became important, and farmers began breeding aesthetically pleasing varieties, often at the expense of taste. So, now we're stuck with some pretty bland products. Here are some more tasty links.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 October 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Strawberries Are Technically Not Berries

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Which of these are berries: bananas, watermelon, avocado, strawberries? Surprisingly, all of them, except strawberries. According to the botanical definition, a "berry" is a fleshy fruit that's produced from a single ovary. Strawberries are actually "accessory fruits" which consist of many small individual fruits embedded in a fleshy receptacle. The "seeds" that you see on the surface of strawberries are the actual fruits, and each of them surrounds a tiny seed. Here are some more strawberry-related links.

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Posted on Techdirt - 27 August 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Mistakes In Science Publishing

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's amazing some of the stuff that gets published in peer-reviewed scientific journals these days. For example, recently there was a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal in which the images appeared to be photoshopped. The photoshopping was so badly done that it was obvious upon looking at the images that they were doctored. The paper was withdrawn after this was discovered, but why didn't the journal editors catch this before it was published? Here are some other examples of questionable things that have made their way into journals.

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Posted on Techdirt - 21 August 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Supersonic Flights

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Remember the Concorde? It was the longest operating commercial supersonic aircraft that flew its last flight in 2003 after 27 years of service. With a cruising speed of 1,350 mph (Mach 2), the Concorde could fly from New York to London in under 3 hours. For more than 20 years, the Concorde was the fastest and safest airliner in the world, but a deadly crash in 2000 that killed all 109 people on board, as well as 4 people on the ground, precipitated the demise of the Concorde, which was already suffering from a general downturn in the aviation industry. There hasn't been a successor to the Concorde since it was retired, but perhaps the following are some possibilities.

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Posted on Techdirt - 14 August 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Bizarre Sea Life

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Our oceans harbor some of the world's most bizarre lifeforms, like alien-like isopods, vampire squid, and blobfish. In fact, one of the aliens featured in the movie "Men in Black 3" was closely modeled on the creepy and weird-looking blobfish. Here are a few more examples of deep sea creatures that are the stuff of nightmares.

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Posted on Techdirt - 8 August 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: The Disappearing Bee

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

People usually don't think too much about how important bees are to the quality of human life. As pollinators, bees play an important role in the survival of crops that depend on them. The mass die-off of bees, also known as "Colony Collapse Disorder," can have detrimental effects on economies that depend heavily on pollinator-dependent crops. Scientists are just starting to figure out what might be causing these mass die-offs, while others are working on alternatives to using bees for pollination. Here are a few links related to the disappearing bee.

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Posted on Techdirt - 31 July 2013 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Scientists, You Too Can Be Rich And Famous!

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Science isn't glamorous. It says a lot when kids these days are more familiar with Mark Zuckerberg than they are with Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, or Isaac Newton. So, what better way to inspire and encourage scientists than to recognize and reward them for their innovative work with huge cash prizes? Here are just a few examples of some lucrative science prizes that are being awarded to exceptional researchers.

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