MastersConnection 2020
Issue 450 In This Issue October 10th, 2015

Editors Corner

Did you know that mealworms can eat and digest Polystyrene foam without any apparent adverse effects? Apparently, what comes out the other end is carbon dioxide and "non-toxic poop pellets". Click here

Speaking of poop, are you aware that a portion of the power generated in Washington D.C. is now produced using solids from their sewage system? Click here

On a different subject, have you heard that in the eastern Netherlands, the Dutch government solved two problems at once by opening up a long-term care facility for the elderly to collage students for student housing? Instead of paying rent, the students pay for their rooms by working with the elderly. Click here

That's it from me for this week.
See you next week.

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Local News

High court reverses decision granting water rights to Yelm
The Washington Supreme Court has reversed a decision by the state to grant new water rights to the city of Yelm to serve its growing population, a ruling that has broad implications across the state. The court on Thursday ruled 6-3 that the Department of Ecology exceeded its authority in approving Yelm's water rights because doing so could permanently reduce flows in the Nisqually River and other streams below the minimum needed for fish. While such reductions can be allowed temporarily in certain cases of overriding public interest, they can't be allowed permanently, Justice Charles Johnson wrote for the majority. Together with a ruling the court issued in 2013, the decision means "Ecology cannot continue to deplete river flows to meet future water demand," the Center for Environmental Law and Policy said in a written statement. "We are taking today's ruling under advisement and we will assess what other water management tools we may use in the future to make decisions on complex water needs in water constrained basins," Ecology Director Maia Bellon said in a written statement.

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Ever Been Stuck in an Emotional Rut?
Essential Oils to the Rescue!

How we feel matters--yes, literally emotions become matter. Candice Pert, in her book, Molecules of Emotions tells us that every single thought we have stimulates our body to produce a variety of protein called peptides. Peptides are among the body’s key “information substances” and when they flood the body with message specific cells our bodies produce a physical reaction that can “affect our mind, our emotions, our immune system, our digestion and other bodily functions simultaneously.”

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Technology Watch

This Robot-Run Indoor Farm Can Grow 10 Million Heads Of Lettuce A Year
When a sprawling new "vegetable factory" opens near Kyoto, Japan in 2017, it will be the first farm with no farmers. Robots will plant lettuce seeds, transplant them, raise the vegetables, and automatically carry the fully-grown lettuce heads to a packing line, where they can get ready to be sent to local grocery stores. In a single day, the farm can harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce. On a traditional farm, a field of the same size can grow about 26,000 plants—but only harvest two or four crops a season. Spread, the Japanese company planning the factory, opened its first indoor farm in 2006, and already supplies lettuce to 2,000 stores around Tokyo. But it saw the opportunity to make its process even more efficient. It sees the new farm as a model for the future of farming. "There are several reasons vegetable factories will be needed in the future in order to create a sustainable society," says Kiyoka Morita from Spread. Like other indoor farms, Spread's new factory uses far less water than traditional agriculture; the factory's new technology also allows them to recycle 98% of that water. Because the factory is sealed, there's no need for pesticides or herbicides.

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D.C.’s crap is finally being put to good use: Generating clean energy
D.C., the American city most full of shit, is now powered by it. The Washington Post reports that utility D.C. Water recently started using a Norwegian thermal hydrolysis system to turn sewage into clean energy. From the Post:

Here’s how it works: When you flush or send soapsuds down the drain, the contents travel through miles of pipe and ultimately reach (the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant), off Interstate 295 in Southwest Washington. There, what looks like brown, murky water flows through screens that remove debris and then sits to allow solids to settle. Then, enormous centrifuges spin off the water and concentrate the remaining solids. (Don’t think too long about that part.) The liquid is sent off to be treated and then returned to the Potomac River, and the concentrated sludge is pumped into large steel Cambi reactors, named for the Norwegian manufacturer. The reactors function like pressure cookers, using 338-degree steam and pressure to cook the sludge. Then it gets pumped to another tank. …

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On The Lighter Side

Stunning Photographs That Will Leave You in Awe

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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

October 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd & 24th @ 7:30pm, 11th, 18th & 25th @ 3pm: Standing Room Only Presents - Incorruptible - An irreverent medieval comedy
A play by Michael Hollinger. Directed by Nancy Hillman. Tickets $15 in advance, $10 Military and Students, $20 at the door. Tickets on sale now at Gordens Garden Center and the Yelm Food Co-op. Call 1 (856) 67-STAGE or visit:

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Days for Girls

What if you were a wizard or sorcerer who could give the gift of an extra day of life? How about five extra days of precious life to be lived fully every single month. And what if those precious days could be spent earning an education that would lift a child and her community out of poverty as well as affect the gross national product of her country? Can you imagine the impact this miracle would have? Turns out, you don’t have to be a wizard—not even a super hero to accomplish this amazing feat. Click play on the video below and listen to the amazing simple, inexpensive solution that you can do to make this miracle happen right before your eyes!

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Nature Watch

Mealworms munch on Styrofoam without dying, shock scientists
Polystyrene foam, aka the devil’s clamshell, aka the indestructible insulator, aka green public enemy No. 1 (or maybe 500 — environmentalists have a lot of enemies), may have finally met its match: mealworms. (Polystyrene and “Styrofoam” are regularly — and incorrectly — used interchangeably. Styrofoam is a kind of polystyrene, but not the kind you’re thinking of.) That’s right. It turns out, those squirmy little grubs are more than just a hot menu item for entomophagy enthusiasts. They, too, have quite an appetite, and according to the Environmental News Network (ENN), that appetite happens to include Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene:

While this diet doesn’t sound remotely healthy for the worms, researchers have yet to identify any adverse effects. In comparison studies, mealworms that ate exclusively Styrofoam were equally as healthy as those that ate a more standard diet of bran. Researchers are currently in the process of verifying that families of worms that consume only plastic are still healthy generations from now.

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Whales Hunting Under Northern Lights
Stunning new footage shot in Norway shows humpback whales hunting herring under the Northern Lights. Norwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK) photographer Harald Albrigsten captured the video while testing equipment, including a camera that makes it possible to shoot under very dark conditions yet still retains image definition. Albrigsten already had a viral video claim to fame, having previously shot beautiful footage of reindeer grazing under the Northern Lights. Regarding his latest project, Albrigsten told NRK that as he was conducting the equipment tests, “I came suddenly upon a bunch of humpback whales that were playing under the Northern Lights. I went back the following day to see if I could get closer. After a few hours I nearly gave up, but then they turned up again.”

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In The News

Retirement homes open up to college students. Everybody wins
You might not think college students and old folks would make the best housemates. But, faced with a shortage of student housing and a decline in funding for retirement homes, the Dutch government came up with a unique approach: They combined the two. Meet Humanitas, a long-term care facility in the eastern Netherlands, where elders live side-by-side with students.

CityLab reports: Students in the Netherlands spend an average of 366 Euros (roughly $410) each month on rent, up from 341 Euros in 2012. Student housing is often cramped or dingy, and is increasingly difficult to come by. Amsterdam, for instance, was short almost 9,000 student rooms last year. Meanwhile, long-term care facilities in the country are facing problems of their own. In 2012, the Dutch government decided to stop funding continuing care costs for citizens over the age of 80 who weren’t in dire need. A large group of aging adults, who had once benefited from a free all-inclusive ticket to a home like Humanitas, found themselves unable to shoulder the costs. The new ruling resulted in fewer people seeking long-term care communities, making it difficult for those communities to stay afloat.

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