It’s a Free-Range Friday!

An Assortment of Odds and Ends for Your Weekend Reflections

Let’s Rummage Around a Bit

I am calling this post a Free-Range exercise, in part because that sounds better than the Messy Drawer Day. I have several short items for your review today.

Pretty well all of us have “that drawer.” You know, the one that seems to collect everything. For some reason, it seems to be a kitchen drawer most often. It has odds and ends from all over the house. You can never seem to find what you are looking for in that drawer.

It’s Time for a Free for All Friday

Enjoy a Grab Bag of Interesting Articles and Notes Found Around the Internet. Trick or Treat!

Every so often in this space, we round up short, interesting articles to share. Today is such a day. This collection deals with science, medicine, society, and a dash of humor. There are links provided for each article mentioned.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

Just When You Thought You Had Heard All the Amazing Things About Nature

A wonderful article in the Atlantic details how spiders can fly hundreds of miles using electricity.

Holy Smokes! They Can Do That?

Science News We Can Use. Snippets from the World of Science.

 

Part of our Hey! Look at That! series.

 

Three Words that can Save Your Life

This is the story of someone who saw a need, dreamed up a solution, and found the technical support to make it happen. In so doing, he changed the world in a small but important way.

I have tried this thing. Darned if it doesn’t work as advertised. This could save a lot of lives. The story is from the BBC and several other sources.

Trillions of Trees, High Tech Salads, and Star Trek Food

 

A Review of Fascinating Bits of News from the World of Science and Technology

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Science Series

 

Trees, Glorious Trees

This space has more than a few times lamented our march toward the cliff of global warming. I am among those who have come to think we may well have already crossed the Rubicon. It may be too late to avoid catastrophe. Given what passes for political leadership these days, we would seem doomed.

But, a ray of hope appears.

Time for Some Amazing Science. News You Should Know About

 

Part of our “Hey! Look at That!” Series.

It’s Friday. Let’s take a short break from you-know-who’s latest Twitter temper tantrum. Let’s ignore from political gridlock for a day. Be gone, gloom and doom news. Heck, if we take an hour or so off, we might find we have gained a couple more presidential candidates!

Today I offer short summaries and hot links to some amazing stories in science and medicine. Some fascinating and encouraging things are happening all around us folks. Let’s take a look, shall we?

First, a Few Health Notes

A Blockbuster Gene Therapy: A harbinger of things to come (with a price).

Is Nature Striking Back? Are We Getting a Message?

Some Interesting Things are Happening on This Planet.

Those of a certain age will remember a very popular TV commercial some years ago. In that commercial, a man offers Mother Nature a taste of something. She tries it and says, “Ah, yes, that is my natural, sweet butter.” To which the man replies, “Fooled you, Mother Nature. It’s [Brand X] margarine.” An angry Mother Nature says, “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature,” as a terrible storm begins.

A Warning?

Sometimes it seems like we are living in that commercial.

“I Think That I Shall Never See…”

 

There might be something more wonderous on this planet than trees, but I haven’t seen it.

Trees Are The Best

Longtime friends of mine know that I think pretty strongly that Joyce Kilmer got it right with that poem we all learned in childhood: “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree….” I don’t connect to the theological elements of that little poem, but as for the sense of wonder and joy about trees? Count me in.

I have long thought that if an alien space craft were to scoop me up and demand that I show them one wonderous thing that made our planet worth saving,

What do Robots, Fast Food, & Guaranteed Income Have in Common?

 

More in common than you might think. Interesting how different things intersect in life.

 

I read an article recently that noted something like 90,000 fast food jobs go unfilled daily. I can believe it – every such place I pass has signs out advertising jobs. Many proclaim free meals, signing bonuses, and other enticements. The industry is in a hurt for hires everywhere it seems.

Automation and Fast Food. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I stopped off at a McDonalds to get a snack recently while on a trip and I saw one potential solution.

Science News You Should Know About – and It’s All Good News

 

Part of Our Hey! Look at THAT! Science Series

I enjoy bringing you some of the delightfully amazing stories I come acres in the world of science. That is the plan for today, and happily, it is all good news for this round. We could all using some cheerful news, could we not?

Science and technology can be two edged swords, bringing both risk and reward. But overall, much of what ails us as a species and as a planet stand the best chance of being resolved by science. Equally important,

There is a Killer Out There, Stalking Us All

The superbug MRSA is killing patients in American Hospitals. In Europe? Not So Much

 

We are at Risk

By now, most have heard of MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.This is a bacterial infection, most commonly referred to as a staph infection, that is often fatal. It is highly resistant to the drugs we have available to us and is getting more so over time.

How bad is this? Take a look at the numbers. Each year, about 90,000 Americans are infected with MRSA. Many are children and others with weak immune systems.