Daily Digest 8/14 – Good News Friday: The Second Adventure Of Life, Reframing How We Think About Parasites

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Should We Conserve Parasites? Apparently, Yes (tmn)

“We need to reframe how we think about parasites,” says Kayce C. Bell, assistant curator of terrestrial mammals at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. “They are really important animals to keep around. They help host populations, and they are so under-studied that there’s the potential they can go extinct before we know what they are doing in the ecosystems.” Bell studies genetic diversity in ground squirrels, and over time has come to appreciate the role parasites play in keeping squirrel populations healthy. In fact, she says, specific species of parasites have evolved along with their squirrel hosts to help ward off other invading parasites that could kill them.

The Second Adventure Of Lief (000)

“The first adventure of life requires that we survive basic challenges and strive to establish ourselves in the common world. However, the second adventure leads in a different direction as it involves a descent to find the original project of the soul and the unique style that each person brings to life. This deeper adventure may require that we risk all that we have in order to learn the destination our soul is aimed at. The second adventure leads to the bridge that connects the mind and the heart as well as the individual soul and the Soul of the World. Crossing the bridge requires that we recognize our deepest longings, connect to our inner genius and find some healing for our essential wounds.” – Michael Meade

Transforming a blighted block into a community of Black women homeowners (RS)

“It takes my breath away, really, when I think about where I came from, and where I am now and then where I plan to go,” she said. Henderson was also the first in her family to graduate from college and to travel outside the country. Like those firsts, she said, “this will literally change the trajectory of what my siblings can think is possible, because now they see it.”

And that’s why Black Women Build exists, to change the trajectory of Black women by helping them build wealth through homeownership.

In Prison, Learning Magic by Mail (jdargis)

When Jay began writing a column for the now-defunct Magic magazine in 2001, he did not expect his tricks to end up in the hands of prison inmates around the world. Then the letters started to arrive. There was a man serving life without parole for murder in California. An inmate in Georgia, another in Australia. Their crimes varied. He wrote back to them all.

It made sense, Jay came to realize, that people would turn to magic in moments of despair and isolation: “If there is anything missing from a maximum-security prison, it’s wonder.”

How to turn regular bricks into electricity-storing supercapacitors (jdargis)

The process (something they had developed previously) involves heating the brick in an enclosure along with hydrochloric acid and an organic compound that mercifully shortens to “EDOT.” The two liquid substances evaporate and condense on the brick’s convoluted surface. The acid dissolves some of the iron mineral, freeing up iron atoms that help the organic molecules link up to form polymer chains (graduating to “PEDOT”) that coat the surface. The polymer makes microscopic, entangled fibers that form a continuous and electrically conductive layer on each face of the brick, which otherwise remains. (This does have the effect of turning the brick black, though.)

British & Exotic Mineralogy (JK)

British Mineralogy and Exotic Mineralogy comprise 718 illustrations by James Sowerby in an effort to illustrate the topographical mineralogy of Great Britain and minerals not then known to it. Sowerby’s plates are some of the finest examples of hand-drawn mineral illustrations ever created. The detail and care with which these illustrations were created is incredible and worthy of close examination. See the samples below.

Microsoft’s astonishing climate change goals, explained (Bill M.)

To explore the strength of recent corporate climate commitments (and their limits), I want to focus in on Microsoft, a widely acknowledged leader in the field. Earlier this year, it committed not just to reducing its emissions but to going carbon negative, wiping out all the carbon the company and its suppliers have emitted since its founding in 1975. In recent weeks, Microsoft has released a flurry of announcements updating its progress, so now seems like a propitious time to take a close look.

Farming For Change: Meet The Latinx Women Leading South Park’s New Community Farm (000)

Salsa De La Vida is a new community food project on Marra Farm, one of only two historic agricultural parcels left in Seattle still used for farming today. Marra Farm’s four-acre parcel is shared by a P-Patch and several community projects. Salsa De La Vida, on an eighth of an acre, is a food justice and economic development initiative launched last summer by nonprofit Villa Comunitaria to support South Park’s majority Latinx population.

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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