Friday, May 30, 2008

good music

Check out

You can download Hunger Walk for free.
You can buy downloads of several other songs beautifully sung and produced by Chip Martin.

Sun screen lotion threatens coral

How ironic. Some of the sunscreen damaging the coral must be coming from divers who love to visit coral reefs. This study makes me happy I have been protecting myself from the sun with a hat and gloves. Anything we buy causes some kind of pollution. At the least, because of transportation. And with sunscreen, there's the plastic bottle, and the manufacturing of the sunscreen itself. Hat and gloves last a long time.;_ylt=AvYfndBhhfG1JTeFjdogkKas0NUE

PARIS (AFP) - Sun screen lotions used by beach-going tourists worldwide are a major cause of coral bleaching, according to a new study commissioned by the European Commission.

In experiments, the cream-based ultra-violet (UV) filters -- used to protect skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure -- caused bleaching of coral reefs even in small quantities, the study found.

Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse of ecosystems, and directly sustain half a billion people. But some 60 percent of these reef systems are threatened by a deadly combination of climate change, industrial pollution and excess UV radiation.

The new study, published in US journal Environmental Health Perspectives, has now added sun screens to the list of damaging agents, and estimates that up to 10 per cent of the world's reefs are at risk of sunscreen-induced coral bleaching.

Chemical compounds in sunscreen and other personal skin care products have been detected near both sea and freshwater tourist areas. Previous research has shown that these chemicals can accumulate in aquatic animals, and biodegrade into toxic by-products.

Researchers led by Roberto Danovaro at the University of Pisa in Italy added controlled amounts of three brands of sunscreen to seawater surrounding coral reefs in Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and Egypt.

Even small doses provoked large discharges of coral mucous -- a clear sign of environmental stress -- within 18 to 48 hours. Within 96 hours complete bleaching of corals had occurred.

Virus levels in seawater surrounding coral branches increased to 15 times the level found in control samples, suggesting that sunscreens might stimulate latent viral infections, the study found.

Pesticides, hydrocarbons and other contaminants have also been found to induce algae or coral to release viruses, hastening the bleaching process.

According to the World Trade Organisation, around 10 per cent of tourism takes place in tropical areas, with 78 million tourists visiting coral reefs each year.

An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes of sunscreen are released annually in reef areas, with 25 per cent of the sunscreen ingredients on skin released into water over the course of a 20 minute submersion.

Sunscreens are made of around 20 compounds acting as UV filters and preservatives. Seven were tested for the study, including parabens, cinnamates, benzophenones and camphor derivatives.

Program to add healthy foods for women, kids

BY JOE STUMPE The Wichita Eagle

For decades, the federal government has said one thing and done another when it comes to the diets of the youngest at-risk children.

The government's familiar food pyramid touts the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But food checks distributed as part of the federal Women, Infants and Children program can't be used to buy those foods.

That is expected to change in 19 months, when details of proposed WIC adjustments have been worked out at the state level, where the program is administered.

The proposed changes include women and children getting money to buy fruits and vegetables -- about $8 to $10 a month for women and $6 a month for children.

"This is the biggest change that has happened to the WIC program in decades," said David Thomason, a state health department employee and director of Kansas' WIC program. "This is a major, major change."

And it's not the only one. Other changes on tap in the WIC program include:

Baby foods and more whole-grain products such as bread and tortillas will be eligible for purchase with WIC vouchers for the first time.

WIC participants will get less milk, cheese, eggs and juice.

The program will increase its emphasis on breast-feeding by offering more incentives for breast-feeding mothers.

Friday, May 23, 2008

good news for licorice lovers

Since I love licorice, I think this is great. A warning : eating a lot of licorice can raise your blood pressure.

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2008)
— What common oral condition appears as shallow ulcers of different sizes, affects one in five Americans, can be caused by food allergies and hormonal changes, and also can cause severe mouth pain? Commonly referred to as "canker sores," recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU) now can be treated by an extract in licorice root herbal extract, according to a study published in the March/April 2008 issue of General Dentistry.

more food for thought

In regards to the relative prices of restaurant food and locally sourced foodstuffs noted a couple of days ago, an important fact which I didn't notice being addressed is how much locally sourced foodstuffs are consumed at home. Much of the food we buy at the grocery store is not locally sourced, anyway. If we buy food from the grocery store that comes from the same place as food we eat at a restaurant, there is no difference in environmental effects in that respect. So eating at home might not be such a good way to be a good citizen as the article suggests.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

updated songs

I updated the two versions of "A Good Dream" on myspace.
The third verse is changed, less likely to offend some people.
I will be adding lyrics and download capabilities in the near future.

Food For Thought

Environmental Cost Of Getting Food To Restaurants Far Higher, UK Study Finds

ScienceDaily (May 22, 2008) — Pioneering research from The University of Nottingham recommends a full government environmental audit of British restaurants.

The report — 'The Environmental Sustainability of the British Restaurant Industry: A London Case Study' — has revealed that the environmental cost of getting food to the restaurant plate is far higher than previously thought.

BSc student Will Brookes studied 40 restaurants in London, and carried out an extensive public survey, to test knowledge of local produce and the cost to the environment of importing food ingredients.

“Everyone knows that importing food inevitably creates more CO2­ than locally sourced foodstuffs,” he says. “But we were stunned to discover that the CO2 produced by meals based on imported ingredients from non-European countries, is on average more than a hundred times higher than that of ingredients produced in Britain.”

The study found that an average dish, using ingredients from non-European countries, produces more than five kilograms of CO2 in transport. In comparison, food which is locally sourced by environmentally aware or 'green' restaurants produces just 51 grams.

It is believed that food transport alone accounts for 35 per cent of the UK's total emissions, and the food industry is the third largest contributor with industrial use.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

another song

I added a secular version of "A Good Dream" to

I also added lyrics to "Spiritual Best"

"Spiritual Best" and both versions of "A Good Dream" were produced by Chip Martin.

The last verse of both the religious and secular versions of "A Good Dream" are in the process of being changed to be less offensive to some people. I didn't notice that I had the original version. I have written poems/song that are offensive to some by their nature, but these songs I have posted are meant to be uplifting. I have the CD with the religious version of "A Good Dream" that I will be posting, but felt that having Chip create the mp3s from his files would result in a higher quality product than to copy the CD to mp3s.

Having Less Power Impairs The Mind And Ability To Get Ahead, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (May 16, 2008) — New research appearing in the May issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that being put in a low-power role may impair a person’s basic cognitive functioning and thus, their ability to get ahead.

Maternal Exposure To Persistent Organic Pollutants Linked To Urologic Conditions In Boys

Note: this class of chemicals includes DDT, which some people defend as not very dangerous, and want brought back into use.

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2008) — Higher incidences of congenital anomalies, including cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) and hypospadias, were found in boys whose mothers had higher serum levels of certain organochlorine compounds, researchers say.
About Organochlorine Compounds: Initially lauded for their chemical stability, PCBs (such as Araclor and its congeners) and organochlorinated pesticides such as DDT are lipid-soluble compounds actively produced around the world in the first half of the 20th century. After widespread use in agricultural and manufacturing applications (as plastizers, heat-stabilizing additives for PVC electric insulation, adhesives and paints), they were discontinued in both open and closed uses in the 1970s when health risks became apparent. Lipid soluble, the compounds are absorbed and dispersed to living tissue and, as a result, can have a cumulative effect and cause toxin damage across generations. The United States banned their domestic production in 1977.

Ice Cores Reveal Fluctuations In Earth's Greenhouse Gases

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2008) — The newest analysis of trace gases trapped in Antarctic ice cores now provide a reasonable view of greenhouse gas concentrations as much as 800,000 years into the past, and are further confirming the link between greenhouse gas levels and global warming, scientists reported May 14 in the journal Nature.

They also show that during that entire period of time, there have never been concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane as high as the current levels, said Edward Brook, an associate professor of geosciences at Oregon State University, and author of a Nature commentary on the new studies.

According to the data, the current levels of primary greenhouse gases -- those that are expected to cause global warming - are off the charts.

The concentration of carbon dioxide is now a bit more than 380 parts per million, compared to a range of about 200-300 parts per million during the past 800,000 years. The current concentration of methane is 1,800 parts per billion, compared to a range of about 400-700 parts per billion during that time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

listen to my music

I have posted a couple of songs I co-wrote with Gaillyn Hope at

I will be adding lyrics and ability to buy a download as soon as I can.

They were performed/recorded by professional musician Chip Martin

In the late 70's, Chip turned his talents toward songwriting, and to date has over 200 songs in his catalog. He has an RIAA certified gold record for his song "Forget About Love" recorded by country star Mark Wills, has a song that is the title track ("Love Me or Leave Me Alone") on Randy Meisner's (formerly of The Eagles) latest CD, a tune placed on Billy Paul's record "Wide Open" (of "Me and Mrs. Jones" fame), and a cut by Grand Ole Opry star Billy Dean. The song that Billy Dean recorded was used on the popular Turner Broadcasting TV Show "Live at the Bluebird Cafe" shot here in Nashville at the famous songwriter venue.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our Great Economic U-Turn

Note: The median salary is the point where half of the people make less, half the people make more.
A surprise is that this is in the Wall Street Journal, which was slanted toward the plutocracy, even before being bought by Murdoch.

May 14, 2008; Page A19
Median "nonelderly" household income, we find, fell consistently through the first half of this decade, despite the solid economic growth enjoyed by the country as a whole.

Some nonmedian folks did just fine, of course: The top 20% of households earned more, after taxes, than the rest of the country combined in 2005, while the topmost 1% of the population took home more than the bottom 40%. The top-earning hedge fund manager of 2007, in fact, made about as much last year in nominal dollars ($3.7 billion) as J. Paul Getty, one of the richest men in the world, was worth in the mid-1970s.

Real hourly wages for most workers, on the other hand, have risen only 1% since 1979, even as those workers' productivity has increased by 60%. What's more, American workers now clock more hours per year than their counterparts in virtually every other advanced economy, even Japan. And unless you haven't read a newspaper for 15 years, you already know what's happened to workers' health insurance and pension plans.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I expect to post some good stuff on myspace very soon.
So far all I have is my "Hunger Walk" song, sung well enough for people who want to sing it in support of hunger walks, to hear how the lyrics go with the melody, but not something people will listen to otherwise, except maybe I could be another William Hung!

its at

When the good stuff is there, I'll put a note in this blog.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Next week

I was too busy this week to post anything, but I'll post some more of poems/lyrics next week.

If you live in the Atlanta area, try 1690 am radio
Unfortunately, I can only get it during the day, in my car, but that's better than nothing!