MastersConnection 2020
Issue 451 In This Issue October 17th, 2015

Editors Corner

Did you know that bees like caffeine? Apparently flowers sometimes use caffeine as an incentive to attract pollinators, and can get away with a nutritionally inferior product as a result. Click here

On a slightly different subject, have you heard that California has banned all products containing microbeads? Apparently over 800 trillion microbeads enter US wastewater daily. A lot of them are so small, they basically just slip through water treatment plants and end up in lakes and rivers. Click here

While we're on the subject of water and plastic, have you heard that the University of Vermont banned selling bottled water in 2013 only to find, two years later, that banning it actually made the total number of bottles on campus increase? Click here

That's about it from me for this week. If you haven't seen the short "Nature Rx" video in On The Lighter Side yet, I encourage you to watch it. Click here
Have a wonderful week.

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Nature Watch

Bees Get A Buzz From Caffeinated Flowers
Bees enjoy caffeine, and new research suggests its appeal is so potent that plants can get away with offering pollinators a nutritionally inferior product if they lace it with something a little extra. Pollinators and flowering plants have a symbiotic relationship. Pollinators get food in the form of nectar and plants get their pollen transported in a manner more reliable than blowing in the wind. If something happens to either, the other can be in big trouble. However, this mutual dependence doesn't mean they always look after each other's best interests. "We describe a novel way in which some plants, through the action of a secondary compound like caffeine that is present in nectar, may be tricking the honey bee by securing loyal and faithful foraging and recruitment behaviors, perhaps without providing the best quality forage," said Dr. Margaret Couvillon of the University of Sussex in a statement. "The effect of caffeine is akin to drugging, where the honey bees are tricked into valuing the forage as a higher quality than it really is," added colleague Dr. Roger Schürch. Previous studies have shown that honey bees learn better when given caffeine. Couvillon wondered how this affects their behavior in the wild.

Click here to read full article

In The News

Alaska Gov. Says State “Urgently” Needs More Oil Drilling to Pay for Climate Change Damage 
Yep. In an interview with the BBC’s Matt McGrath, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker just made perhaps the most remarkable statement I’ve ever encountered. “We are in a significant fiscal challenge. We have villages that are washing away because of the change in the climate,” Walker said. Relocating these villages is proving to be “very expensive,” he continued. McGrath asked, “So you’re saying that given the climate change impacts in Alaska, you need to be allowed to continue to drill and explore and produce oil to pay for some of those impacts in Alaska?” Walker's response: “Absolutely.” Unfortunately, this is the situation we find ourselves in as America trends toward petrostate politics. As the Hill notes, Alaska has no sales or income tax and derives a significant portion of its revenue from fossil fuel production on public lands. In a very real way, the recent dip in oil prices has hit the state hard—just as climate change impacts have begun to intensify. In one particularly stark example, although this year’s wildfire season was a record-breaker, the state had fewer resources with which to attack the blazes due in part to budget cuts linked to lower oil prices.

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Health Watch

California Bans Plastic Microbeads
Victory! TreeHugger Maggie wrote last year about California’s proposal to ban microplastics from cosmetic products (tiny plastic beads in toothpaste and soaps, for example). It might sound like a small problem, literally, but the numbers are staggering: Over 800 trillion microbeads enter US wastewater daily, and because water treatment plants were never designed to handle this new source of pollution, a lot of the microplastics end up in rivers and lakes, get ingested by various creatures, and then make their way up the food chain back to us. But the tide could be turning. California is a big player when it comes to consumer products, so when it bans something, it becomes easier for those who make toothpaste and soap to just remove the stuff across the board. So it was really good news when California governor Jerry Brown signed a legislation last month that bans plastic microbeads in a fairly tight way, trying to avoid loopholes (even biodegradable microbeads are banned, just to be safe).

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Plastic water bottle ban leads to unexpected results
The University of Vermont banned selling water bottles in 2013 after a student-led campaign to reduce waste on campus. Seems like a good idea, right? Bottled water is one of humanity’s more wasteful inventions: In America, we use about 50 billion of the damn things a year — only a small percentage of which gets recycled — and it takes as much energy to make them as it does to power 190,000 homes. Plus, there’s the cost — you pay roughly 200 times as much for bottled water as you would pay for city water, and — surprise! It’s usually the same fucking thing. So when UVM nixed bottled water, a round of applause went up around the Maple Syrup State. Alas, they cheered too soon. Two years after the bottle ban went into effect, the results are in, and they are … not great. NPR reports that a study by UVM professor Rachel Johnson found that banning bottled water actually made the total number of bottles on campus increase. “When we compared the spring of 2012 to the spring of 2013,” Johnson told Vermont Public Radio’s Tyler Dobbs, “the number of bottles shipped per capita or per person to the UVM campus actually went up by 6 percent.”

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On The Lighter Side

Nature Rx Part 1

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Passing of a Master
Becky Ann Perry- Bott
July 7th, 1946 - September 26th, 2015

Becky Ann Perry- Bott made her transition from her home in McKenna WA by the light of the full moon. She is loved and missed By her six remaining children, seven grandchildren, her sisters and Friends. Becky will be eternally remembered and we knew she Always did the best that she could.
“and that’s all there is”. Becky Ann Perry Bott. July 7 1946 / September 26 2015
Her service is to be held Nov.7 2015.
For more information please call Rebecca 360-339-0346

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Water Watch

This chart shows why even a powerful El Niño won’t solve California’s water issues
In California, news of a historically powerful El Niño oceanic warming event is stoking hopes that winter rains will ease the state’s brutal drought. But for farmers in the Central Valley, one of the globe’s most productive agricultural regions, water troubles go much deeper — literally — than the current lack of precipitation. That’s the message of an eye-popping report from researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey. To understand it, note that in the arid Central Valley, farmers get water to irrigate their crops in two ways. The first is through massive, government-built projects that deliver melted snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains. The second is by digging wells into the ground and pumping water from the region’s ancient aquifers. In theory, the aquifer water serves as a buffer — it keeps farming humming when (as has happened the last three years) the winter snows don’t come. When the snows return, the theory goes, irrigation water flows anew through canals, and the aquifers are allowed to refill.

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California lawmaker hopes to refill state’s wells … from Alaska
Despite the current freakout and media storm over the drought in California, parched conditions in the state are hardly new. Although you can’t always tell when lush green laws and golf courses dot the landscape, much of California — and the entire Southwestern United States — is technically desert. And that’s the thing about deserts — they just don’t have a lot of water. Now, in search of solutions to the current drought, up pops an old idea: Shipping water from Alaska. In the 1960s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a wacky scheme to divert water from Alaska and send it Southwest-wards, by way of Canada and the northern states. The project, called the Parsons Plan after the corporation who developed it, was ultimately scrapped — probably because it was a horrible idea. As Alissa Walker wrote on Gizmodo last year:

The hundreds of dams and power plants needed to complete the system would have basically eradicated the wildlife habitats of most of the rivers in Western Canada, Montana and Idaho, and the act of removing freshwater from Alaska could have had an irrevocable effect on the formation of Arctic ice.

Click here to read full article

Food Watch

4 Exotic (and Healthy) Flour Alternatives You’ve Never Heard Of
The world of flour alternatives can seem monotonous at times — rice flour, garbanzo flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, sorghum, et cetera. But, there is a whole wide world of foods out there, so it’s time to expand your horizons. Give these 4 exotic flours a whirl, especially if you’re looking for gluten/grain free options!

Tigernut flour. Tigernuts are nonallergenic, slightly sweet tubers that originate from the Middle East and Africa. They contain a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, and are high (40% per serving) in gut-balancing resistant starch. (Resistant starch remains undigested in the digestive tract and may be a powerful component in addressing diabetes and obesity.) Research also shows that they are the ultimate Paleo food, as tigernuts played a hugely important role in our development as early Paleolithic humans. Grain-free, nonallergenic, and highly nutritious, tigernut flour is certainly worth a try!

Coffee flour. Made from the waste — the dried coffee fruit — of the coffee bean cleaning process, coffee flour is truly unique. Not only does it utilize the leftover, highly nutritious coffee fruit that is usually tossed after the coffee prepping process, but it is also nutritiously rich, boasting high fiber, protein, iron, and, of course, a moderate amount of caffeine.

Click here to read full article

Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

October 17th @ 9am: Amateur Ham Radio Meeting and Demonstration
This will be held at the Carlton Lions Club Cabin. Very important to know about this for emergency preparedness. The Head guy explains all the hazards we are facing in this community should the grid go down and how the low frequency of Ham Radios are the way to still connect with the outside world. This group has legally been declared separate from the state and fed govt so this is only to help LOCAL citizens in an emergency..(to my understanding).

October 17th, 23rd & 24th @ 7:30pm, 18th & 25th @ 2pm: 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:

October 18th: The Sunday viewing of the Sea Hawks' Game has been cancelled this week due to conflict with times of the live production's matinee performance.

October 28th @ 6:30pm: Toastmasters International

October 31st @ 4pm: Rocky Horror Picture Show and Zombie Parade

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