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UWDress.com Now Unveils Its Trendy Autumn Cocktail Dresses Online

PR Web - Sat, 09/13/2014 - 02:12

Recently, UWDress.com, an experienced supplier of wedding dresses and women’s special occasion gowns, has unveiled its trendy assortment of autumn cocktail dresses online. To attract more ladies and...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12162407.htm

Categories: Environment

All-Cash Sales Declined in June, Opportunities Arise For Home Buyers

PR Web - Sat, 09/13/2014 - 02:12

The Federal Savings Bank was intrigued by many reports highlighting the data showing all-cash sales declined in June.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12167626.htm

Categories: Environment

NJIT Researchers Working to Safeguard the Shoreline

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 23:11

An NJIT research team has estimated the total mass of oil that reached the Gulf of Mexico shore in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. It’s the first time such an estimate was reported, and...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014deepwaterhorizon/09/prweb12163693.htm

Categories: Environment

Girl Scouts Opens First Aid/CPR and Outdoor Skills Certification...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 23:11

Girl Scouts offers many training course including first aid and CPR training for those that would like to be certified.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12165906.htm

Categories: Environment

Girl Scouts Opens First Aid/CPR and Outdoor Skills Certification...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 23:11

Girl Scouts is offering certification classes in first aid/CPR, archery and outdoor skills to adults 18 years or over.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12166041.htm

Categories: Environment

Millennials aren’t cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs

Grist.org - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 21:40

The New York Times crunched the nation’s cereal-eating numbers this week, and it looks like the typical American breakfast is starting to include fewer sugary flakes and moon-shaped marshmallows.

The Times’ Stephanie Stroml reports that in the past decade, Americans have been eating less boxed cereal, preferring healthier options like juiced fruits and veggies and probiotic-rich Greek yogurt. Between 2003 and 2013, sales of the once-beloved flaky cereals (Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, etc.) decreased by 5.5 percent. Children’s cereals (Lucky Charms and good ol’ Cap’n Crunch) have plummeted 10.7 percent. Meanwhile, Muesli, a favorite of health nuts everywhere, is steadily gaining popularity, increasing in sales by 1.8 percent.

The article reads:

For the last decade, the cereal business has been declining, as consumers reach for granola bars, yogurt and drive-through fare in the morning. And the drop-off has accelerated lately, especially among those finicky millennials who tend to graze on healthy options — even if Cheerios and some other brands come in whole-grain varieties fortified with protein now.

As a millennial myself, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a little something to big breakfast cereal companies to give them a heads-up on why young people like me are opting out of their morning Cap’n Crunch:

Dearest Big Breakfast Cereal Companies (BBCCs),

Hello, I am your loyal fan Liz. I am particularly fond of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch, the perfect blend of whole-wheaty oats and sun-dried raisin chewiness. It’s my favorite thing to snack on while I scroll through my Instagram feed. So, to you I extend the deepest of gratitude.

But, BBCCs, I’m writing to tell you to CUT THE CRAP. We millennials are having a tough time believing the whole “Lucky Charms are a great source of whole-grains” thing when they actually contain 40 percent more sugar by weight than typical adult cereals. C’mon, guys, we both know this is bogus. Sugary breakfast cereals are not health food, even if you pump them up with protein. It’s like trying to make “fetch” happen. And it’s not going to happen.

You see, it’s not that we don’t enjoy the taste of sugary deliciousness, it’s that we’re becoming smarter consumers. We’re smarter, BBCCs, because we’ve seen these tricks before. Other companies have been trying to sell us products that cater to millennial interests — by making cars more tech-friendly and fast-food look quaint and local. But those marketing ploys that tell us we should be slaves to the automobile, or that food products are healthy when the nutrition label reads, “sugars: 19 grams” — well, they’re starting to feel a little stale.

I probably won’t give up eating a bowl or two of cereal for dinner once in a while, but if you’re wondering why your sales continue to drop despite your new “heath conscious” advertising campaigns — it’s because when millennials want to get their daily fix of whole grains, we’ll reach for the organic barley, not the box of Fruit Loops.


Filed under: Article, Food, Living
Categories: Environment

Americans are eating better — well, some Americans

Grist.org - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 21:13

Income gap! What are you doing here?! We’re trying to have a conversation about food and you just show up uninvited and unannounced, as usual.

Just kidding, obviously — since money is intrinsically tied to every part of our lives, the growing divergence between high- and low-income households can pretty much be expected to show up all the damn time.

A new study examining data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) over the period of 1999 to 2010 found that Americans have somewhat improved our overall dietary quality. We’re eating more fresh produce, whole grains, and fish, and less meat and sugary treats. Great! People are also eating less meat, and when they do they increasingly choose pasture-raised animals.

This increase in overall dietary quality, however, is still modest. Don’t worry, America — you will still love McBrunch, no matter how terrible it is for you.

But — of course! — these modest improvements come with some larger backsliding. Positive changes in dietary health were made largely by folks who earn higher incomes. For lower-income individuals, dietary quality actually decreased from 2006-2010. So, the income gap — which has risen since the 1970s, as the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earn 22.5 percent of the nation’s income while the bottom 90 percent makes do with less than 50 percent of that — is being paralleled in food choices.

To call it a “choice” however, isn’t entirely fair. The food that’s most accessible to people who make very little money tends to be highly processed, fatty and starchy, and relatively nutritionally vacant. The fact that the quality of food that one eats is so closely tied with income seems pretty intuitive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not alarming as yet another indicator of growing inequality in the U.S.

Ah, America, land of opportunity, liberty, and kale salad — providing you’re already loaded.


Filed under: Article, Food, Living
Categories: Environment

This man wrote hundreds of letters warning politicians not to lie. It worked.

Grist.org - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 20:44

This episode of Inquiring Minds, a podcast hosted by neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas and best-selling author Chris Mooney, also features a discussion of a new study suggesting that religious and nonreligious individuals are equally moral, and new research on gender discrimination in job performance evaluations, particularly by men with traditional views of gender roles. To catch future shows right when they are released, subscribe to Inquiring Minds via iTunes or RSS. We are also available on Stitcher. You can follow the show on Twitter at @inquiringshow and like us on Facebook. Inquiring Minds was also recently singled out as one of the “Best of 2013″ on iTunes — you can learn more here.

With less than two months until the 2014 elections, the political falsehoods are rolling in. Consider the Colorado Senate race, between incumbent Democrat Mark Udall and his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner. Trying to brand himself as just as green as Udall (a longtime clean energy champion), Gardner recently ran an ad claiming that as a state senator in 2007, he “co-wrote the law to launch our state’s green energy industry.”

But when 9 News, Denver’s NBC affiliate, fact-checked the ad, it found the law Gardner was touting didn’t accomplish much at all to promote green initiatives. Asked for a statement, Gardner’s campaign responded, “Cory says that he co-wrote a law ‘to launch our state’s green energy industry,’ not that launched it.’ (The emphasis is Gardner’s.) In other words, the impression given by the ad is just wrong, as the Gardner campaign winkingly admits! “Folks, we honestly do not know if we have ever seen such a frank acknowledgement of purposeful deception from an American politician,” commented the local politics blog ColoradoPols. You can watch the 9 News segment here.

Gardner comes off, in this instance, as reminiscent of GOP pollster Neil Newhouse. While working for Mitt Romney in 2012, Newhouse infamously declared, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” Gardner’s cavalier response, like Newhouse’s brazen statement, raises the fear that despite a voluminous growth of fact-checking in the past half decade, there’s really nothing the media can do to keep politicians honest. But is that really true?

Not according to Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan, who has focused much of his research on employing the tools of social science to figure out why fact-checking so often fails, and what can be done to make it work better. The cynical view on fact-checking is “too negative,” argues Nyhan on the latest installment of the Inquiring Minds podcast. “I think you have to think about what politics might look like without those fact-checkers, and I think it would look worse.”

Nyhan hasn’t just been studying the fact-check movement; he was there at its origins. In the early 2000s, he coauthored a site called Spinsanity.com, a nonpartisan fact-checking outlet. It was the beginning of a wave: In 2003, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania launched FactCheck.org. But the real fact-checking movement kicked into gear in the late 2000s, with the launch of PolitiFact, by far the most widely known of these outlets, as well as the 2007 launch of the Washington Post fact-checker column, now written by Glenn Kessler.

Brendan NyhanBrendan Nyhan

As a result, in the last few years, a huge volume of claims have been given one to four Pinocchios by the Post, or declared “True,” “Pants on Fire,” or somewhere in between by PolitiFact. That includes the repeated debunking of the last half-decades’ mega-lies: birtherism, for instance, and claims about the Affordable Care Act creating “death panels.” So what does the evidence show about this endeavor?

First the good news: Overall, the fact-checkers have reinforced the idea that reality exists, and journalists are capable of discerning what it is. That may seem obvious, but it’s actually worth underscoring that we don’t live in a postmodern nightmare of subjectivity. “The fact-checkers, when they rate the same content, come to the same conclusion a very high percentage of the time,” says Nyhan. “So that’s a good indication that they are seeing the evidence and interpreting it in a consistent way.” For instance, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and the Post‘s Kessler all refuted Sarah Palin’s “death panel” claim; PolitiFact dubbed it the “lie of the year” in 2009.

That’s not to say that fact-checkers are themselves entirely unbiased. PolitiFact in particular has been repeatedly criticized for false equivalence in how it treats the left and the right. It’s just to say that they largely agree with one another, suggesting that facts are, for the most part, discernible.

The Backfire Effect

A far tougher issue, though, is whether minds change when fact-checkers make their pronouncements. On the level of individual psychology, repeated studies by Nyhan and others have shown that it is very hard to correct a misperception once it is out there in the media ether. We’ve previously reported on the so-called “backfire effect,” discovered by Nyhan and his colleague Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter. Again and again, they’ve found in experiments that trying to correct certain false claims that are highly politically charged — the claim that tax cuts increase government revenue, for instance — often just doesn’t work. Partisans can actually become stronger in their wrong beliefs upon encountering a refutation.

Consider the data, for instance, when Nyhan and Reifler attempted, in a classic study, to get partisans to change their minds about the tax cut claim (which they attributed to George W. Bush). In the experiment, participants were shown a fake newspaper article containing an actual George W. Bush quotation: “The tax relief stimulated economic vitality and growth and it has helped increase revenues to the Treasury.” In one version of the experiment, the article then contained a correction, refuting this claim; in another version it did not. It turned out that conservatives who read the correction believed Bush’s falsehood more strongly than did conservatives who never read the correction:

Brendan NyhanBackfire effect: Conservatives became more likely to believe President Bush’s claim that tax cuts increase revenue after reading a correction explaining that it isn’t true.

And that’s just the beginning of the difficulties related to correcting errors and making the corrections stick in people’s heads. Nyhan also notes that much research suggests that negating a claim (“the Affordable Care Act doesn’t create death panels”) actually has the effect of reinforcing it in our minds (“there are death panels”). “We should be pretty cautious about how high our hopes are for changing people’s minds,” he says. “Once those myths are out there, it’s very hard to change people’s minds.”

Fact-Checking As Deterrence

Such are some of the reasons to question the power of fact-checking. So then why does Nyhan think a world with fact-checking in it is way better than one without it? The answer is that it’s not so much about changing the minds of the partisans as it is about deterring the politicians. “They’re so often the vehicle for these myths,” Nyhan says. “If they know they’ll be called out publicly, they may not reinforce or disseminate these myths in the first place.”

So what about fact-checking as deterrence? Does it work? After all, no politician wants the campaign narrative to revolve around allegations that he or she is a liar, or detached from reality.

Mother Jones‘ David Corn has made the case that in the 2012 election, politicians like Mitt Romney just weren’t deterred. And it may well be that on the national level, and especially on the presidential level, politicians get fact-checked so often, and fact-checkers try so hard to spread around the opprobrium, that ultimately it’s a wash.

However, on the local level, this stuff seems to really matter. Nyhan and Reifler provided data to support this idea in a 2013 New America Foundation study. During the 2012 election cycle, they sent letters to 392 state legislators who had PolitiFact affiliates in their states. The letters simply noted that the politicians’ statements might be fact-checked, and that there were reputational risks associated with getting a poor rating. “We sent them a lot of letters,” Nyhan explains. “Some of them became very sick of hearing from us in the mail, as we sent them letter after letter, reminding them just what a significant threat fact-checking could be to them.” Two other groups of legislators, of similar size, received either no letters or a “placebo” letter saying the authors were studying how accurate politicians are, but didn’t bring up reputational risks or fact-checking.

The study found that the warning letters had a statistically significant effect: Legislators who received them were less likely to have their accuracy questioned by PolitiFact, or by other news sources found in a Lexis-Nexis search. Of course, it was also extremely unlikely for any legislator to be fact-checked at all. Thus, the risk declined from just under 3 percent down to 1 percent:

From Nyhan and Reifler, “The Effects of Fact-Checking Threat: Results from a field experiment in the states,” New American Foundation Research Paper, 2013

To Nyhan, this suggests that fact-checking can serve as a deterrent, and can be a particularly big deal in local as opposed to national races — which means it matters in 2014. Indeed, in one case, fact-checking already appears to have significantly damaged a campaign. In Alaska, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich ran an ad suggesting his opponent, former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan, had not been tough enough on sex offenders, going on to state that one of them got out of prison early and went on to commit a horrific crime — a sexual assault and double murder. But PolitiFact rated the ad’s claims “pants on fire,” finding that Sullivan was not responsible for the suspect’s release. Begich’s campaign soon pulled it off the air.

In other words, the ad itself became an issue, and Begich has had to contend with a major backlash, as well as the black eye of having to pull an ad.

To Nyhan, that’s the whole point. Backfires and biases notwithstanding, there remains the potential for a prominent factual correction to cause a media furor, and, in some case, to damage a politician’s reputation. Partisans may stick with their candidate, but they’ll be sticking with a candidate who has been forced to play defense.

So facts work — kind of. Sometimes. Even if politicians try to avoid them.

“I think fact-checking has caused big important changes in how we cover the news now,” Nyhan says, “and it’s gotten especially the younger generation of reporters much more interested in going beyond that ‘he-said, she-said’ reporting.”

This story was produced as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Environment

Global Epoxy Resins Market is Expected to Reach USD 10.55 Billion in...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 20:11

Transparency Market Research has published a new report titled "Epoxy Resins Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 - 2020" to its report store.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12162048.htm

Categories: Environment

MWH Joint Venture with Costain Named as Delivery Partner for Southern...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 20:11

Costain and MWH partner for Southern Water's AMP6 Programme to improve water supply to Kent and East Sussex.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12166183.htm

Categories: Environment

Golfing for Greatness Fundraiser Proves Smashing Success

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 20:11

CSRA Home Connections Preferred Providers help CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty and Citizens of Georgia Power raise over $34,000 for Easter Seals East Georgia and United Way of the CSRA.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12165892.htm

Categories: Environment

Europe Oil and Gas Sector Investigated in In-demand Kuick Research...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 20:11

In-demand research report “Europe Oil and Gas Industry Research Report (Q3 2014)- Long Term Energy Demand Outlook Remains Steady Driven By Developments in Macro Economic Growth” worked out by OG...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12165985.htm

Categories: Environment

6 reasons Groot is your new favorite superhero

Grist.org - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:55

This summer’s blockbusters gave us plenty to pontificate about: interspecies identity politics in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; the fetishization of cars/industrial weaponry in Transformers; climate resilience and the ongoing U.S. drought in Disney’s Planes II; Guardians of the Galaxy’s savior complex … you know what, let’s just not! Here are some GIFs instead.

There were a lot of good things in Guardians, Marvel’s send-up of the over-the-top space cowboy genre that won the summer. While I don’t want to give short shrift to Chris Pratt, who danced his way through a whole galaxy of danger, or the foul-mouthed raccoon, Rocket, who does NOT want you to call him Ranger Rick — I will anyway. Because easily the best character in any movie I’ve seen all summer is a walking, talking, d’aww-inducing tree named Groot. Well, technically “talking.” Let’s just say his arsenal of conversation topics is a bit limited — specifically, to one three-word phrase identifying himself.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll have to believe me when I say the guy is more eloquent than you might expect. He is also, literally and figuratively, one of the greener heroes to crack the charts of late (not counting Gamora). Here are five reasons Groot is your new favorite superhero.

1. He’s adorable.

I don’t usually consider myself a tree hugger in the literal sense — I mean, I like trees, but we’re not close like that — but this dude is surprisingly cuddly for an ambulatory bundle of sticks.

2. That smile.

 

3. He’s a badass.

This gentle giant knows how to break out a can of whoop-ass when his friends are in trouble. I’m not going to say he is the MOST badass of the Guardians, but, well, when you have the superpowers of 50 percent of the Fantastic Four and then some, it’s kinda hard for anyone else to keep up.

 

4. He makes us think

No, not JUST about how cool it would be to have your very own pet Ent (I’ll feed it and clean its box and take it for walks every day, PROMISE). At one point, Groot’s arms are destroyed in a firefight. He looks, understandably, a little put out, but his friends dismissively remind him that they’ll grow back. WHOA. Is this some kind of metaphor for the way we treat Earth’s renewable resources? Marvel, are you that sly?

 

5. He’s MAGIC.

When he isn’t busy giving life and limb to save his friends, Groot gave us rare glimpses of wonder. The wise-cracking and head-smashing and sweet ’70s soundtrack all take a break to revel in the quiet and inexplicable powers of little glowing light-y things. Maybe you even cried a little. No judgement.

 

Marvel Studios 6. He’s a giver.

By the end of the movie (a.k.a. spoilers ahead) shit gets real. Groot gets the gang together for one last group hug before they hit the ground at terminal velocity and our hardwood hero is reduced to a handful of charred toothpicks. But not before he utters his second line of original dialogue in the movie: “We are Groot.” If that’s not an easter egg of an earth-mother motto for the modern generation, then I don’t know what.

 

Oh, and p.s. — lil bro’s got moves:


Filed under: Article, Living
Categories: Environment

Faculty joins students in the call for divestment. We’re going streaking!

Grist.org - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:21

You may have already heard: Students concerned about climate change are demanding that university endowments divest from fossil fuel companies. A handful of institutions have already committed to divestment, and many others have at least offered compromises.

Now, professors are joining the on-campus divestmentfest. On Sunday, the UC Berkeley Faculty Association urged the committee responsible for managing the University of California’s 10-campus, $91 billion-with-a-B endowment to purge fossil fuels from its portfolio. Also this week Boston University’s faculty circulated a document calling for divestment from oil, coal, and gas corporations; 245 faculty members had put their John Hancock on the petition as of Wednesday, Sept. 10. Academics at Harvard, the University of Washington, and other schools are signing on to the movement as well.

The good news for divestment fans is that these scholars come armed with petitions and academic authority, giving divestment even more cred. It’s also heartening that The Wall Street Journal is taking notice, covering the intensification [paywall] of what it calls the “showdown between activists and schools” centered in California. Still, on-campus divestment haters are gonna hate:

Divestment is “really tricky” for university officers who are under pressure to deliver returns, said Charles Skorina, a San Francisco recruiter for university endowments who is the managing partner of Charles A. Skorina & Co. “Are you going to save the world or screw students that depend on endowment earnings to fund scholarships?”

Look, we’re not saying that stripping students of scholarships is good, either. However, Skorina oversimplifies university divestment as an either-or proposition. Plus, in a world where money rules — for worse or for worse — divestment is an important strategy among many in the struggle for a stable climate. And now that the scholarly community is catching on, the divestment crusade might just score an A.


Filed under: Article, Business & Technology, Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

Advanced High Strength Steels the Subjects of SAE International Book

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:11

A book from SAE International, “Automotive Lightweighting Using Advanced High-Strength Steels,” explores the role of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) in addressing the challenge of vehicle...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12159130.htm

Categories: Environment

Mike S. Robinson to Increase Solar Installations via Clean Power...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:11

Founded by Mike S. Robinson, Zero Down Solar has collaborated with Clean Power Finance to promote 'solar' installations and a better customer experience. This partnership allows Zero Down...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12164355.htm

Categories: Environment

Inmar to Demonstrate Powerful Hazardous Materials Processing Program...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:11

Inmar announced that it will demonstrate its HazApp reverse logistics application at the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) Sustainability Conference Sept. 29 - Oct. 2, 2014.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12164773.htm

Categories: Environment

Larson Electronics Releases a Four Foot 23 Watt Dimmable LED Light...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:11

Larson Electronics has developed a new 23 watt dimmable LED tube lamp that is an excellent choice for upgrading existing T8 dimming fluorescent lamp fixtures as well as a direct replacement for our...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/larsonelectronics/ledlightbulb/prweb12164777.htm

Categories: Environment

Coming to a Theater Near You: Enhanced Protection Laminated Glass...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:11

The Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association has launched a movie trailer to educate the public about the benefits of laminated glass, with emphasis on its UV solar protection properties.

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12140847.htm

Categories: Environment

Array Architects Announces Newest Principal - Laura Morris, Senior...

PR Web - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:11

Array Architects is pleased to announce Senior Interior Designer Laura Morris, AAHID, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, Lean Green Belt, as a principal and shareholder in the firm. Laura joined Array in 2012 and...

(PRWeb September 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12157903.htm

Categories: Environment

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