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Earth Power: Hemp Batteries Better Than Lithium And Graphene

 Henry Ford’s Model T was famously made partly from hemp bioplastic and powered by hemp biofuel. Now, with battery-powered vehicles starting to replace those that use combustion engines, it has been found that hemp batteries perform eight times better than lithium-ion. Is there anything that this criminally-underused plant can’t do?

The comparison has only been proven on a very small scale. (You weren’t expecting a Silicon Valley conglomerate to do something genuinely groundbreaking were you? They mainly just commercialise stuff that’s been invented or at least funded by the state.) But the results are extremely promising.

The experiment was conducted by Robert Murray Smith – who has built up quite a following on his YouTube channel – of FWG Ltd in Kent. He observed a Volts by Amps curve of both the hemp and lithium batteries and found that the power underneath the hemp cell was a value of 31 while that of the lithium cell had a value of just 4. Although he does not claim to have proven anything, he said that the results of his experiment showed that the performance of the hemp cell is “significantly better” than the lithium cell.

It comes as no real surprise, which is presumably why he conducted the experiment. In 2014, scientists in the US found that waste fibres – ‘shiv’ – from hemp crops can be transformed into “ultrafast” supercapacitors that are “better than graphene”. Graphene is a synthetic carbon material lighter than foil yet bulletproof, but it is prohibitively expensive to make. The hemp version isn’t just better, it costs one-thousandth of the price.

The scientists “cooked” leftover bast fibre – the inner bark of the plant that usually ends up in landfill – into carbon nanosheets in a process called hydrothermal synthesis. “People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?” said Dr David Mitlin of Clarkson University, New York, in an interview with the BBC. “We’re making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price – and we’re doing it with waste.”

Dr Mitlin’s team recycled the fibres into supercapacitors, energy storage devices which are transforming the way electronics are powered. While conventional batteries store large reservoirs of energy and drip-feed it slowly, supercapacitors can rapidly discharge their entire load.

This makes them ideal in machines that require sharp bursts of power. In electric cars, for example, supercapacitors are used for regenerative braking. Releasing this torrent requires electrodes with high surface area, one of graphene’s many phenomenal properties.

Mitlin says that “you can do really interesting things with bio-waste”. With banana peels, for example, “you can turn them into a dense block of carbon – we call it pseudo-graphite – and that’s great for sodium-ion batteries. But if you look at hemp fibre its structure is the opposite – it makes sheets with high surface area – and that’s very conducive to supercapacitors.”

Once the bark has been cooked, “you dissolve the lignin and the semicellulose, and it leaves these carbon nanosheets – a pseudo-graphene structure”. By fabricating these sheets into electrodes and adding an ionic liquid as the electrolyte, his team made supercapacitors which operate at a broad range of temperatures and a high energy density.

Mitlin’s peer-reviewed journal paper ranks the device “on par with or better than commercial graphene-based devices”.

“They work down to 0C and display some of the best power-energy combinations reported in the literature for any carbon,” he adds. “For example, at a very high power density of 20 kW/kg (kilowatt per kilo) and temperatures of 20, 60, and 100C, the energy densities are 19, 34, and 40 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilo) respectively.” Fully assembled, their energy density is 12 Wh/kg – which can be achieved at a charge time less than six seconds.

At the end of 2018, Texas-based electric motorcycle company Alternet announced that it was working with Mitlin to power motorbikes for its ReVolt Electric Motorbikes subsidiary.

So there you have it. If we already knew that there is no need to use the fossil fuels that are destroying the planet’s climate, because hemp biofuel provides a better alternative, we now know that there is no need to destroy the environment by mining for lithium and the materials that are used in batteries. We can literally grow technology. Hemp can save and power the world.

This article was first published in The Quarter Leaf issue 1.

New Way to Generate Electricity From The Sun

UCLA Professor invents new way to generate electricity from the sun

Bringing light to darkness sounds good.  But using darkness to create light is something out of a manual for wizards.  Until now.

Now, it’s an idea out of the pages of a scientific journal.

It starts with a round piece of polystyrene, a thermoplastic polymer made, not by wizards but by America’s petrochemical companies.

In case you’re wondering, polystyrene is made from the petrochemicals benzene and ethylene. And of course, petrochemicals are made by breaking apart molecules of petroleum and natural gas which get turned into chemical building blocks that are found in thousands of products we use daily.

That round piece of plastic is painted black so it looks sort of like a hockey puck, sitting on a dish.  At night, when the air cools down, the top side of that “puck” loses heat faster than the bottom side.  Add a thermoelectric generator, and you can turn that difference in temperature between top and bottom into electricity. No grid, no transmission towers, no expensive infrastructure needed.  No sun needed either.  Sorry solar panels.

Now, we’re not necessarily talking megawatts or kilowatts of electricity. We’re talking watts, period.  But around the world, close to a BILLION people don’t have any electricity at all so even something that just keeps a light on at night, could be a big deal.

In fact, that’s how this idea got started.  University of California Los Angeles Professor Aaswath Raman was on a trip in rural Africa, and didn’t realize he was passing through one particular village at night, until he was already in it (and heard people), because there was no light of any kind.

So what he came up with is a potentially simple, sturdy source of electricity that can bring light to the darkness from the darkness, no magic wand required.

Importance of The Parrot Fish

PARROT FISH ARE IMPORTANT!!

i feel sorry for the parrot fishes! Yes this fish can be eaten, but for us divers this is a big No No!!! There are important reasons why we should not eat them and we should educate the fishermen to stop catching these beautiful fish! Please do spare them … the ocean needs them to regenerate. Read below to be educated. They’re lots of fish you can catch in the sea. They can sell and cook the other fish, but leave the parrot fish!

Here is why:

Parrotfish eat algae and dead coral*. They spend up to 90% of their day nibbling. In other words, they clean the reef. This is important because most of the reefs across the tropics are being smothered by algae because there are not enough parrotfish and other herbivores out there grazing.

After all that eating, get this: They poop fine white sand – lots of it! Each parrotfish produces up to 320 kilograms (700 pounds) of sand each year.

Their numbers are so depleted, and algae levels are so high, that they cannot be fished sustainably right now anywhere in the Caribbean. These flamboyant, algae-eating, sand-pooping fish need to be left in the water. And when they are left to chomp away, they do a brilliant job. A massive new report concludes that reefs where parrotfish were abundant in the 1980s are the reefs that are healthy now.

There is a reason for their existence so please let’s not eat them … To our Govt. Please educate our fishermen… Say no to catching parrot fish! Let’s not buy parrot fish so they won’t catch them anymore.

Please share..

 

Source – FB

Psychedelics and Endurance Sports: Increased Energy and Reduced Fatigue?

While anecdotal reports indicate psychedelics are useful in artistic and meditative pursuits, users have also reported them beneficial for physical activities dependent on alertness, awareness, and the rapid processing of sensory data — everything from climbing rock pitches to pitching in pro baseball, it seems.1–4

But in recent years, accounts have surfaced on internet forums of psychedelics offering a different sort of benefit for exercise: increased energy and reduced fatigue during endurance sports like cycling and running.5–8

While the scientific literature is lacking in empirical studies examining the effects of psychedelics on aerobic exercise, experts suggest there are several possible mechanisms — including the placebo effect — that may describe these users’ experiences.

What the Experts Are Saying

In his comprehensive and widely cited 2016 overview of psychedelic science in the journal Pharmacological Reviews, researcher Dr. David Nichols of the University of North Carolina addresses the effects of psychedelics on brain function, sleep, time perception, and visual perception — but nothing related to endurance.9

By email, Nichols confirmed he was unaware of any studies to date focused on this research question in humans. He did, however, suggest a potential mechanism for increased energy and stamina based on previous findings in animal models: dopamine.

“Locomotor activity in rodents is generally a product of increased activity in dopaminergic areas of the brain,” Nichols said.

Psychedelics can turn off inhibitory GABA pathways that suppress dopaminergic tone. So dopaminergic activity is disinhibited, and the effect is similar to what happens if you take an amphetamine.

More generally, research in sports physiology has shown that perceived effort, fatigue, and energy levels — especially in endurance sports — are tightly metered and mediated by the brain. Performance isn’t as closely linked to purely physiological parameters such as VO2 max and lactate threshold as researchers once thought.

In his 2018 book Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, journalist and author Alex Hutchinson argues that runners and cyclists are far more beholden to brain chemistry than they often acknowledge.10 For example, even elite athletes during serious competition have been shown to accelerate — not slow, as expected — toward the end of a race, suggesting they were subconsciously holding back until the effort was almost over.

Hutchinson cites the work of researchers like Romain Meeusen, a professor of human physiology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, who has shown that brain chemistry is involved in the regulation of fatigue during prolonged exercise — with the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (mimicked by “classic” psychedelics and mescaline, respectively) both playing important roles.11,12

“There’s no doubt that perception of effort is mediated by the brain, even though many of the inputs — temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels, and so on — are coming from elsewhere in the body,” Hutchinson wrote in an email. “And in endurance sports, if you can change perception of effort, you can change your performance. So the idea that psychedelics might boost performance isn’t totally outlandish.”

Meeusen’s team has tried — unsuccessfully, it seems — to improve physical performance during exercise through nutritional manipulation of neurotransmitter systems.13,14 But he hasn’t tested psychedelics yet, he acknowledged when contacted by Psychedelic Science Review.

Possible Role of the Default Mode Network

There is a yet another potential mechanism more germane to psychedelics that could be involved, at least in theory. Extensive research has shown that activity in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain is reduced after ingestion or injection of psychedelic drugs. The DMN, as we now know, is associated with introspective and self-reflective thought. Additionally, activity in the DMN is often inversely correlated with that of nearby networks geared toward task completion.15

If the DMN is tamped down by a psychedelic during exercise, and task-oriented networks amplified, could the result be an athlete who is less likely to dwell on discomfort or self-doubt and more likely to be laser-focused on the job at hand — all while being energized or at least distracted by a heightened sensory experience?

In her 2019 book The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage, author Kelly McGonigal notes that studies have shown that exercise (particularly in green spaces like parks) can reduce activity in the DMN, just like psychedelics.16

“If you focus on what is unique about green exercise, the class of drugs it most closely resembles is the entheogen, a category that includes psilocybin, ayahuasca, and LSD,” McGonigal writes in her book. “Like green exercise, these drugs alter consciousness by temporarily reorganizing the default state.” So perhaps there is some synergy in play.

Is it the Placebo Effect?

Or could all this be the result of the placebo effect — more cynically, an imaginary phenomenon — engendered by some people’s desire to perform better, or at least to feel better, after taking a small dose of a psychedelic? Even given all the potential mechanisms seemingly available to explain away claims on internet message boards, Hutchinson wouldn’t rule that out. At least until some treadmill tests have been run.

“There’s a difference between saying something is theoretically possible and showing something is actually true. And to make that jump requires more than anecdotes and subjective impressions,” he writes. “So to me, until proven otherwise, psychedelics are in the same category as all the supplements and wearable gadgets that I get press releases about: it’s an interesting idea, but nothing more until proven otherwise.”

Source – PsychedelicReview

Tribes Create Their Own Food Laws to Stop USDA From Killing Native Food Economies

From blue corn to bison, narrow federal food-safety codes impact tribal food systems. But advocates are writing their own food laws to preserve Native food sovereignty.

SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY, Ariz. – Jacob Butler eyed a lemon tree—its bright yellow fruit nestled among thick green leaves and set against the blue Arizona sky—then checked on the tiny pomegranates and grapes in the garden as a black-striped lizard darted into the shade of a mesquite tree. In the distance, downtown Phoenix glittered under the rising sun.

”Our garden is a platform to perpetuate our culture.“

“We try to grow what’s been here for hundreds, if not thousands, of years,” says Butler, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community garden coordinator, as he surveyed the land and the plants growing on it. “For the past 13 years we’ve been doing this, so it’s in the minds of the people now.”

Traditionally, Pima and Maricopa tribal members grew lima beans, squash, corn, and other vegetables; used mesquite trees for food, medicine, and other practical purposes; and relied on wild game for food. Today, about 12,000 acres of their reservation are used for industrial farming—cotton, alfalfa, potatoes, and other commercial crops—but, in the garden where Butler works, agriculture isn’t a financial boon: It’s a way to strengthen and cultivate culture.

“What are the stories that go along with this tree? What’s the story we tell that says when squash came to the people or corn came to the people? What are the songs that go with those things?” says Butler. “That’s what we incorporate here: Our garden is a platform to perpetuate our culture.”

According to Butler, tribal members once cultivated myriad varieties of beans, squash, and melons. Now, many of those crops have become extinct and their stories lost, and losing other heirloom foods would have irreversible effects on cultural practices.

Indigenous communities have been sustained by thousands of years of food knowledge. But recent federal food safety rules could cripple those traditional systems and prevent the growth of agricultural economies in Indian Country, according to advocates and attorneys. Of the 567 tribal nations in the United States, only a handful have adopted laws that address food production and processing. Without functioning laws around food, tribes engaged in anything from farming to food handling and animal health are ceding power to state and federal authorities.

To protect tribal food systems, those advocates and attorneys are taking the law into their own hands, literally, by writing comprehensive food codes that can be adopted by tribes and used to effectively circumvent federal food safety codes. Because tribes retain sovereignty—complicated and sometimes limited though it may be—they can assert an equal right with the federal government to establish regulations for food handling.

Recent federal food safety rules could cripple those traditional systems.

“Tribal sovereignty is food sovereignty, and how do you assert food sovereignty?” says A-dae Romero-Briones, a consultant with the First Nations Development Institute, an economic development organization. “You do that through a tribal code.”

Food codes and laws are basic legislation governing agriculture and food processing. Food codes are good things: They are designed to protect consumers from products that could make them sick or even kill them, as with a national salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter in 2008, and, more recently, E. Coli outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants in 11 states.

Since 2011, food laws have become tougher, thanks to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major rewrite of U.S. food-safety laws in more than 50 years. Under FSMA, producers must take into account everything from the packaging and refrigeration of products to how crops are grown, all in the name of safety. These safety controls raise interesting questions in Indian Country.

Traditionally Pima and Maricopa tribal members grew lima beans squash corn and other vegetables. Today about 12000 acres of their reservation are used for industrial farming. YES! photo by Tristan Ahtone.

In many Native communities, for example, access to certified kitchens and state-of-the-art facilities is slim to nonexistent. That means producers often must rely on traditional knowledge to make foods that are safe for consumption. One example, says Romero-Briones, is blue corn products.

“That’s an industry that has existed for generations,” she says. “But if you want to produce it or process it in traditional fashions, you’re probably not going to be able to do that because you’re going to have to do it in a certified kitchen.”

Under FSMA, tribal food economies face two options: Assimilate by complying with federal law or keep tribal food products confined to the reservation.

“It’s one thing to say that we have to develop food and process food in certain ways, but it’s another thing to recognize that tribes have their own versions of food safety,” says Romero-Briones. “Tribes have been developing food economies for thousands of years.”

Another example of how traditional foods are impacted is buffalo slaughter. Dozens of tribes from the Dakotas to Oklahoma are engaged in buffalo management and harvesting. But those hoping to get buffalo products into markets outside of tribal communities often face big hurdles.

”Tribes have been developing food economies for thousands of years.“

Buffalo, for example, is considered an exotic animal under federal guidelines, says Dan Cornelius, with the Intertribal Agriculture Council. And that has repercussions when it comes to what the federal government will support.

“For domestic animals, USDA will pay for the cost of that inspector. For exotics, they don’t,” Cornelius says.

Inspections can run as high as $70 an animal, and all buffalo products must be processed in an FDA-approved facility. By implementing food codes, tribes could find alternative ways to getting buffalo meat inspected and processed. Cornelius says building an infrastructure that lowers costs would allow buffalo meat to get to market faster.

“Ultimately, is it a safe process? If it is, then how can you develop a tribally specific provision that still is ensuring a safe and healthy food but is addressing that barrier where there is a conflict?” he says.

So how do 567 different tribes with 567 different traditions, needs, and goals go about writing food codes specific to their cultural heritages? They call a lawyer. Specifically, Janie Hipp, director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, a legal think tank at the University of Arkansas.

Read The Full Article at YesMagazine

Joker Meets His End w. Household Items and Photography

Editorial travel and commercial automotive photographer Arjun Menon has been exercising his creative muscles as of late by shooting cinematic scenes at home using action figures and household items.

“I was listening to this song […] when this idea popped into my head,” Menon says. “Joker falling down a skyscraper and yet showing no signs of fear or remorse! After all, being a sociopath comes with their own ups and downs.”

The above photo of Joker falling from a skyscraper was captured with an assortment of things, including an air conditioning cover and some computer equipment.

Menon began by finding the long AC cover — it was long and symmetrical and would allow light to pass through, giving it the appearance of a tall skyscraper.

“I used its filters [for] the other two surrounding buildings,” the photographer says. “Found a few more things like keyboards, Bluetooth speakers, dumbbells as buildings. Then I made a road map with rice lights. Added candle LEDs as building lights.”

The snow on the ground was shaving cream and cornflour, and the snow in the air was hairspray shot with a flash.

“Loved the way this shot came to life with practical effects,” Menon says.

You can find more of the photographer’s work on his website and Instagram.

4 Benefits of Watermelon Rind

Watermelon may be one of the most appropriately named fruits. It’s a melon that’s 92 percent Trusted Source water. It’s also got a healthy amount of vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients.

The most popular part of the watermelon is the pink flesh, but like its cousin, the cucumber, the whole thing is edible. This includes the green scraps that usually end up in the compost bin.

The rind, which is the green skin that keeps all that water-logged delicious fruit safe, is completely edible. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider not throwing it out.

1. It may make you better in bed

No, watermelon rind isn’t nature-powered Viagra, but some research shows that it may help men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Its libido-boosting powers come from the amino acid citrulline, which is concentrated in the rind.

One studyTrusted Source showed that taking L-citrulline supplements can improve erections without many of the potential side effects associated with Viagra.

Try spritzing your watermelon rind with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on it. Both additives also are good for your heart, and your, ahem, other love organ.

2. It might give your workout a boost

Besides improving your performance in bed, citrulline might improve your next athletic performance as well. However, most evidence for this is anecdotal.

Citrulline promotes the dilation of blood vessels. One studyTrusted Source suggests that citrulline supplements improve oxygen delivery to muscles, potentially improving exercise performance.

To get it naturally, try pickled watermelon rinds, an old-fashioned treat in the southern states.

3. It can reduce your blood pressure

If your doctor instructed you to lower your blood pressure, try eating watermelon — rind and all. Some research has shown that watermelon extract supplements are able to help obese adults control their blood pressure.

However, citrulline supplements are likely more effective. Most studies  suggest citrulline supplements reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Watermelon is also a potential diuretic, which often is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. Try freezing whole watermelon slices for a nice treat on a summer’s day.

4. It’s rich in fiber

Another benefit of watermelon rind is that it’s a rich source of fiber. A diet high in fiber has a whole host of health benefits, including the following:

  • Fiber helps maintain regular bowel movements and may help reduce the risk of developing diseases of the colon.
  • Fiber can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Foods with fiber fill you up faster, helping achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Only about 5 percent of adults in the United States get the recommended daily value of fiber. Consider eating the rind to boost your fiber levels!

Takeaway

Next time you slice into a watermelon, consider keeping the rind. It’s a quick and tasty way to improve your overall health.

Read more at HealthLine