Climate Change: ‘Sand battery’ Could Solve Green Energy’s Big Problem

Finnish researchers have installed the world’s first fully working “sand battery” which can store green power for months at a time. The developers say this could solve the problem of year-round supply, a major issue for green energy. Using low-grade sand, the device is charged up with heat made from cheap electricity from solar or wind.

The sand stores the heat at around 500C, which can then warm homes in winter when energy is more expensive. Finland gets most of its gas from Russia, so the war in Ukraine has drawn the issue of green power into sharp focus. It has the longest Russian border in the EU and Moscow has now halted gas and electricity supplies in the wake of Finland’s decision to join NATO.

Concerns over sources of heat and light, especially with the long, cold Finnish winter on the horizon are preoccupying politicians and citizens alike. But in a corner of a small power plant in western Finland stands a new piece of technology that has the potential to ease some of these worries. The key element in this device? Around 100 tonnes of builder’s sand, piled high inside a dull grey silo.

These rough and ready grains may well represent a simple, cost-effective way of storing power for when it’s needed most. Because of climate change and now thanks to the rapidly rising price of fossil fuels, there’s a surge of investment in new renewable energy production. But while new solar panels and wind turbines can be quickly added to national grids, these extra sources also present huge challenges.

The toughest question is about intermittency – how do you keep the lights on when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Adding more renewables to the electricity grid also means you need to boost other energy sources to balance the network, as too much or too little power can cause it to collapse. The most obvious answer to these problems is large scale batteries which can store and balance energy demands as the grid becomes greener.

Right now, most batteries are made with lithium and are expensive with a large, physical footprint, and can only cope with a limited amount of excess power. But in the town of Kankaanpää, a team of young Finnish engineers have completed the first commercial installation of a battery made from sand that they believe can solve the storage problem in a low-cost, low impact way.

“Whenever there’s like this high surge of available green electricity, we want to be able to get it into the storage really quickly,” said Markku Ylönen, one of the two founders of Polar Night Energy who have developed the product. The device has been installed in the Vatajankoski power plant which runs the district heating system for the area. Low-cost electricity warms the sand up to 500C by resistive heating (the same process that makes electric fires work).

This generates hot air which is circulated in the sand by means of a heat exchanger. Sand is a very effective medium for storing heat and loses little over time. The developers say that their device could keep sand at 500C for several months. So when energy prices are higher, the battery discharges the hot air which warms water for the district heating system which is then pumped around homes, offices and even the local swimming pool.

Cost-cutting grains

The idea for the sand battery was first developed at a former pulp mill in the city of Tampere, with the council donating the work space and providing funding to get it off the ground. “If we have some power stations that are just working for a few hours in the wintertime, when it’s the coldest, it’s going to be extremely expensive,” said Elina Seppänen, an energy and climate specialist for the city.

“But if we have this sort of solution that provides flexibility for the use, and storage of heat, that would help a lot in terms of expense, I think.” One of the big challenges now is whether the technology can be scaled up to really make a difference – and will the developers be able to use it to get electricity out as well as heat?

The efficiency falls dramatically when the sand is used to just return power to the electricity grid. But storing green energy as heat for the longer term is also a huge opportunity for industry, where most of the process heat that’s used in food and drink, textiles or pharmaceuticals comes from the burning of fossil fuels.

Other research groups, such as the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory are actively looking at sand as a viable form of battery for green power. But the Finns are the first with a working, commercial system, that so far is performing well, according to the man who’s invested in the system.

“It’s really simple, but we liked the idea of trying something new, to be the first in the world to do something like this,” said Pekka Passi, the managing director of the Vatajankoski power plant. “It’s a bit crazy, if you wish, but I think it’s going to be a success.”

By : Gary Tansley

Reported By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

Source: Climate change: ‘Sand battery’ could solve green energy’s big problem – BBC News

Related contents:

Brussels green lights €5 billion in energy subsidies for German industry EurActiv.com

12:36
11:58
08:19
14:19
14:49
14:40
More Remote Working Apps:

https://dealcheck.io?fp_ref=armin16     Dealcheck Real Estate

https://quintexcapital.com/?ref=arminham     Quintex Capital

https://www.genesis-mining.com/a/2535466   Genesis Mining

 http://www.bevtraders.com/?ref=arminham   BevTraders

https://www.litefinance.com/?uid=929237543  LiteTrading

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/369164  prime stocks

  https://jvz3.com/c/202927/361015  content gorilla

  https://jvz8.com/c/202927/366443  stock rush  

 https://jvz1.com/c/202927/373449  forrk   

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/194909  keysearch  

 https://jvz4.com/c/202927/296191  gluten free   

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/286851  diet fitness diabetes  

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/213027  writing job  

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/108695  postradamus

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/372094  stoodaio

 https://jvz4.com/c/202927/358049  profile mate  

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/279944  senuke  

 https://jvz8.com/c/202927/54245   asin   

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/370227  appimize

 https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524  super backdrop

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/302715  audiencetoolkit

 https://jvz1.com/c/202927/375487  4brandcommercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/375358  talkingfaces

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375706  socifeed

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/184902  gaming jobs

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/88118   backlinkindexer

 https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376361  powrsuite  

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/370472  tubeserp  

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/343405  PR Rage  

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/371547  design beast  

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/376879  commission smasher

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376925  MT4Code System

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375959  viral dash

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376527  coursova

 https://jvz4.com/c/202927/144349  fanpage

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376877  forex expert  

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/374258  appointomatic

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377003  woocommerce

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377005  domainname

 https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376842  maxslides

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376381  ada leadz

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/333637  eyeslick

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376986  creaitecontentcreator

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/376095  vidcentric

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/374965  studioninja

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/374934  marketingblocks

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/372682  clipsreel  

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/372916  VideoEnginePro

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/144577  BarclaysForexExpert

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/370806  Clientfinda

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/375550  Talkingfaces

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/370769  IMSyndicator

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/283867  SqribbleEbook

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524  superbackdrop

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376849  VirtualReel

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/369837  MarketPresso

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/342854  voiceBuddy

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377211  tubeTargeter

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377557  InstantWebsiteBundle

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/368736  soronity

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/337292  DFY Suite 3.0 Agency+ information

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/291061  VideoRobot Enterprise

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/327447  Klippyo Kreators

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/324615  ChatterPal Commercial

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/299907  WP GDPR Fix Elite Unltd Sites

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/328172  EngagerMate

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/342585  VidSnatcher Commercial

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/292919  myMailIt

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/320972  Storymate Luxury Edition

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/320466  iTraffic X – Platinum Edition

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/330783  Content Gorilla One-time

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/301402  Push Button Traffic 3.0 – Brand New

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/321987  SociCake Commercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/289944  The Internet Marketing

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/297271  Designa Suite License

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/310335  XFUNNELS FE Commercial 

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/291955  ShopABot

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/312692  Inboxr

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/343635  MediaCloudPro 2.0 – Agency

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/353558  MyTrafficJacker 2.0 Pro+

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/365061  AIWA Commercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/357201  Toon Video Maker Premium

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/351754  Steven Alvey’s Signature Series

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/344541  Fade To Black

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/290487  Adsense Machine

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/315596  Diddly Pay’s DLCM DFY Club

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/355249  CourseReel Professional

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/309649  SociJam System

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/263380  360Apps Certification

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/359468  LocalAgencyBox

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377557  Instant Website Bundle

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377194  GMB Magic Content

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376962  PlayerNeos VR

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381812/  BrandElevate Bundle information

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381807/ BrandElevate Ultimate

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381556/ WowBackgraounds Plus

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381689/  Your3DPal Ultimate

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/380877/  BigAudio Club Fast Pass

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/379998/ Podcast Masterclass

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/366537/  VideoGameSuite Exclusive

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381148/ AffiliateMatic

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381179  YTSuite Advanced

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/381749/  Xinemax 2.0 Commercial

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/382455  Living An Intentional Life

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381812  BrandElevate Bundle

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381935 Ezy MultiStores

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381194/  DFY Suite 4.0 Agency

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381761  ReVideo

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381976/  AppOwls Bundle

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381950/  TrafficForU

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/381615/  WOW Backgrounds 2.0

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381560   ALL-in-One HD Stock Bundle

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/382326/   Viddeyo Bundle

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381617/  The Forex Joustar

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/384044/   ADA Web Accessibility Compliance 

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383942/  10 Bold Actions In Positive Life & Work

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383700/   Adtivate Agency

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/384099/   My Passive Income Blueprints

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/329145/  Content Tool Kit

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/382663/    ReviewReel

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383940/    QR Verse Bundle

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/379307/    VIADZ Ad Template

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/383051/    EngageYard Ad Creator

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381011/   Videevolve

 

 

Science Says You Don’t Have To Exercise Every Day To Be Healthy

I exercise multiple times a day. As a yoga and group fitness instructor, it’s kind of comes with the territory — though I don’t actually get paid for all of it. I add in daily cross-training because I love it, and I know it’s good for me. But according to a new study, working out every day isn’t necessary. This new research suggests that weekend warriors reap similar health benefits as folks who work out every day. Let’s discuss.

The study, which was published on Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at health data for more than 350,000 people between 1997 and 2013. The scientists conducting the research had only one question: Do people who exercise frequently — several times a week — have more health benefits than so-called “weekend warriors”? The answer, surprisingly, was no — at least when it comes to lifespan.

In the 10-plus years when the data was collected, 22,000 of the participants died — as is bound to happen. But researchers found no significant difference in the mortality rates from cancer or cardiovascular disease between people who worked out regularly versus those who did it in spurts. The takeaway: As long as you get the W.H.O. recommended amount of exercise, when or how you do it doesn’t seem to affect your mortality rate.

“The findings of this large prospective cohort study suggest that individuals who engage in active patterns of physical activity, whether weekend warrior or regularly active, experience lower all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates than inactive individuals,” the authors wrote in the study. I can, to an extent, see the appeal in getting all of your requisite activity done in a couple sessions rather than having to think about it or make time for it every day.

But it’s important to note that the amount of exercise W.H.O. recommends is kind of a lot — 150–300 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75–150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise. That’s quite a bit to fit into a Saturday, no? This study, while fascinating, leaves me feeling a little sad. Are we really just exercising to not die? Where’s the joy in that?

Exercise is shown to have numerous social and mental health benefits. I know this new study may come as really good news to those who work a lot or just don’t love hitting the gym. Personally, I’d rather die younger than live chained to a desk chair. Look: It’s one thing if you’re using your time in other fulfilling ways — but if not, exercising regularly can be a crucial component of being a happy person.

By:Tracey Anne Duncan

Source: Science says you don’t have to exercise every day to be healthy

Critics:

Gary O’Donovan, a research associate in the Exercise as Medicine program at Loughborough University in England, and his colleagues analyzed data from national health surveys of more than 63,000 people, conducted in England and Scotland. People who said they exercised only one or two days a week lowered their risk of dying early from any cause by 30% to 34%, compared to people who were inactive. But what was more remarkable was that people who exercised most days of the week lowered their risk by 35%: not very different from those who exercised less.

The findings support the idea that some physical activity—even if it’s less than what the guidelines prescribe—helps avoid premature death. Researchers saw benefits for people who squeezed the entire recommended 150 minutes per week into one or two days, as well as for people who didn’t quite meet that threshold and exercised less.

Exercise was also effective at reducing the risk of heart-related death. The people who exercised regularly and those who exercised a couple days a week both cut their risk by about 40%. Again, the frequency of exercise didn’t seem to matter.

The same was true for risk of death from cancer. Those who exercised—whether it was every day or only a few days—lowered their risk of dying from cancer by 18% to 21%, compared to those who didn’t exercise. This risk reduction was true whether they met the recommended physical activity requirements or not.

“The main point our study makes is that frequency of exercise is not important,” says O’Donovan. “There really doesn’t seem to be any additional advantage to exercising regularly. If that helps people, then I’m happy.”

The results remained significant even after O’Donovan accounted for other variables that could explain the relationship, including a person’s starting BMI. In fact, the benefits were undeniable for people of all weights, including people who were overweight and obese.

That should be heartening to anyone who finds it hard to carve out time for physical activity every day. Not that you can slack off: O’Donovan stresses that his results focus specifically on moderate-to-vigorous exercise people did in their free time, and they do not apply to housework or physical activity on the job, since the surveys didn’t ask about those. The study does, however, include brisk walking, which he says is a good way to start an exercise regimen for people eager to take advantage of the findings.

By Alice Park

Related contents:

‘I did the easiest workouts possible for two weeks, and the results seriously surprised me’ Women’s Health UK

Exercise Health & Fitness

Physical fitness is important for our bodies, but our brains also needs proper diet and exercise Northern Kentucky Tribune

Is Your Smartphone Ruining Your Memory? Rise of Digital Amnesia

‘I can’t remember anything’ is a common complaint these days. But is it because we rely so heavily on our smartphones? And do the endless alerts and distractions stop us forming new memories? Last week, I missed a real-life meeting because I hadn’t set a reminder on my smartphone, leaving someone I’d never met before alone in a café. But on the same day, I remembered the name of the actor who played Will Smith’s aunt in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1991 (Janet Hubert).

Memory is weird, unpredictable and, neuroscientifically, not yet entirely understood. When memory lapses like mine happen (which they do, a lot), it feels both easy and logical to blame the technology we’ve so recently adopted. Does having more memory in our pockets mean there’s less in our heads? Am I losing my ability to remember things – from appointments to what I was about to do next – because I expect my phone to do it for me? Before smartphones, our heads would have held a cache of phone numbers and our memories would contain a cognitive map, built up over time, which would allow us to navigate – for smartphone users, that is no longer true.

Our brains and our smartphones form a complex web of interactions: the smartphonification of life has been rising since the mid 2000s, but was accelerated by the pandemic, as was internet use in general. Prolonged periods of stress, isolation and exhaustion – common themes since March 2020 – are well known for their impact on memory. Of those surveyed by memory researcher Catherine Loveday in 2021, 80% felt that their memories were worse than before the pandemic. We are – still – shattered, not just by Covid-19, but also by the miserable national and global news cycle. Many of us self-soothe with distractions like social media.

Meanwhile, endless scrolling can, at times, create its own distress, and phone notifications and self interrupting to check for them, also seem to affect what, how and if we remember. So what happens when we outsource part of our memory to an external device? Does it enable us to squeeze more and more out of life, because we aren’t as reliant on our fallible brains to cue things up for us? Are we so reliant on smartphones that they will ultimately change how our memories work (sometimes called digital amnesia)? Or do we just occasionally miss stuff when we don’t remember the reminders?

Neuroscientists are divided. Chris Bird is professor of cognitive neuroscience in the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex and runs research by the Episodic Memory Group. “We have always offloaded things into external devices, like writing down notes, and that’s enabled us to have more complex lives,” he says. “I don’t have a problem with using external devices to augment our thought processes or memory processes. We’re doing it more, but that frees up time to concentrate, focus on and remember other things.” He thinks that the kind of things we use our phones to remember are, for most human brains, difficult to remember.

“I take a photo of my parking ticket so I know when it runs out, because it’s an arbitrary thing to remember. Our brains aren’t evolved to remember highly specific, one-off things. Before we had devices, you would have to make a quite an effort to remember the time you needed to be back at your car.” Professor Oliver Hardt, who studies the neurobiology of memory and forgetting at McGill University in Montreal, is much more cautious. “Once you stop using your memory it will get worse, which makes you use your devices even more,” he says. “We use them for everything.

If you go to a website for a recipe, you press a button and it sends the ingredient list to your smartphone. It’s very convenient, but convenience has a price. It’s good for you to do certain things in your head.” Hardt is not keen on our reliance on GPS. “We can predict that prolonged use of GPS likely will reduce grey matter density in the hippocampus. Reduced grey matter density in this brain area goes along with a variety of symptoms, such as increased risk for depression and other psychopathologies, but also certain forms of dementia.

GPS-based navigational systems don’t require you to form a complex geographic map. Instead, they just tell you orientations, like ‘Turn left at next light.’ These are very simple behavioural responses (here: turn left) at a certain stimulus (here: traffic light). These kinds of spatial behaviours do not engage the hippocampus very much, unlike those spatial strategies that require the knowledge of a geographic map, in which you can locate any point, coming from any direction and which requires [cognitively] complex computations.

When exploring the spatial capacities of people who have been using GPS for a very long time, they show impairments in spatial memory abilities that require the hippocampus. Map reading is hard and that’s why we give it away to devices so easily. But hard things are good for you, because they engage cognitive processes and brain structures that have other effects on your general cognitive functioning.”

Hardt doesn’t have data yet, but believes, “the cost of this might be an enormous increase in dementia. The less you use that mind of yours, the less you use the systems that are responsible for complicated things like episodic memories, or cognitive flexibility, the more likely it is to develop dementia. There are studies showing that, for example, it is really hard to get dementia when you are a university professor, and the reason is not that these people are smarter – it’s that until old age, they are habitually engaged in tasks that are very mentally demanding.”

(Other scientists disagree – Daniel Schacter, a Harvard psychologist who wrote the seminal Seven Sins Of Memory: How The Mind Forgets and Remembers, thinks effects from things like GPS are “task specific”, only.) While smartphones can obviously open up whole new vistas of knowledge, they can also drag us away from the present moment, like it’s a beautiful day, unexperienced because you’re head down, WhatsApping a meal or a conversation. When we’re not attending to an experience, we are less likely to recall it properly, and fewer recalled experiences could even limit our capacity to have new ideas and being creative.

As the renowned neuroscientist and memory researcher Wendy Suzuki recently put it on the Huberman Lab neuroscience podcast, “If we can’t remember what we’ve done, the information we’ve learned and the events of our lives, it changes us… [The part of the brain which remembers] really defines our personal histories. It defines who we are.” Catherine Price, science writer and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone, concurs. “What we pay attention to in the moment adds up to our life,” she says. “Our brains cannot multitask. We think we can. But any moment where multitasking seems successful, it’s because one of those tasks was not cognitively demanding, like you can fold laundry and listen to the radio.

If you’re paying attention to your phone, you’re not paying attention to anything else. That might seem like a throwaway observation, but it’s actually deeply profound. Because you will only remember the things you pay attention to. If you’re not paying attention, you’re literally not going to have a memory of it to remember.”

The Cambridge neuroscientist Barbara Sahakian has evidence of this, too. “In an experiment in 2010, three different groups had to complete a reading task,” she says. “One group got instant messaging before it started, one got instant messaging during the task, and one got no instant messaging, and then there was a comprehension test. What they found was that the people getting instant messages couldn’t remember what they just read.”

Price is much more worried about what being perpetually distracted by our phones – termed “continual partial attention” by the tech expert Linda Stone – does to our memories than using their simpler functions. “I’m not getting distracted by my address book,” she says. And she doesn’t believe smartphones free us up to do more. “Let’s be real with ourselves: how many of us are using the time afforded us by our banking app to write poetry? We just passively consume crap on Instagram.” Price is from Philadelphia. “What would have happened if Benjamin Franklin had had Twitter?

Would he have been on Twitter all the time? Would he have made his inventions and breakthroughs? “I became really interested in whether the constant distractions caused by our devices might be impacting our ability to actually not just accumulate memories to begin with, but transfer them into long-term storage in a way that might impede our ability to think deep and interesting thoughts,” she says. “One of the things that impedes our brain’s ability to transfer memories from short- to long-term storage is distraction.

If you get distracted in the middle of it” – by a notification, or by the overwhelming urge to pick up your phone – “you’re not actually going to have the physical changes take place that are required to store that memory.” It’s impossible to know for sure, because no one measured our level of intellectual creativity before smartphones took off, but Price thinks smartphone over-use could be harming our ability to be insightful. “An insight is being able to connect two disparate things in your mind. But in order to have an insight and be creative, you have to have a lot of raw material in your brain, like you couldn’t cook a recipe if you didn’t have any ingredients:

You can’t have an insight if you don’t have the material in your brain, which really is long term memories.” (Her theory was backed by the 92-year-old Nobel prize-winning neuroscientist and biochemist Eric Kandel, who has studied how distraction affects memory – Price bumped into him on a train and grilled him about her idea. “I’ve got a selfie of me with a giant grin and Eric looking a bit confused.”) Psychologist professor Larry Rosen, co-author (with neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley) of The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, also agrees: “Constant distractions make it difficult to encode information in memory.”

Smartphones are, of course, made to hijack our attention. “The apps that make money by taking our attention are designed to interrupt us,” says Price. “I think of notifications as interruptions because that’s what they’re doing.” For Oliver Hardt, phones exploit our biology. “A human is a very vulnerable animal and the only reason we are not extinct is that we have a superior brain: to avoid predation and find food, we have had to be really good at being attentive to our environment. Our attention can shift rapidly around and when it does, everything else that was being attended to stops, which is why we can’t multitask.

When we focus on something, it’s a survival mechanism: you’re in the savannah or the jungle and you hear a branch cracking, you give your total attention to that – which is useful, it causes a short stress reaction, a slight arousal, and activates the sympathetic nervous system. It optimises your cognitive abilities and sets the body up for fighting or flighting.” But it’s much less useful now. “Now, 30,000 years later, we’re here with that exact brain” and every phone notification we hear is a twig snapping in the forest, “simulating what was important to what we were: a frightened little animal.”

Smartphone use can even change the brain, according to the ongoing ABCD study which is tracking over 10,000 American children through to adulthood. “It started by examining 10-year-olds both with paper and pencil measures and an MRI, and one of their most interesting early results was that there was a relationship between tech use and cortical thinning,” says Larry Rosen, who studies social media, technology and the brain. “Young children who use more tech had a thinner cortex, which is supposed to happen at an older age.”

Cortical thinning is a normal part of growing up and then ageing, and in much later life can be associated with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as migraines. Obviously, the smartphone genie is out of the bottle and has run over the hills and far away. We need our smartphones to access offices, attend events, pay for travel and to function as tickets, passes and credit cards, as well as for emails, calls and messages. It’s very hard not to have one. If we’re worried about what they – or the apps on them – might be doing to our memories, what should we do?

Rosen discusses a number of tactics in his book. “My favourites are tech breaks,” he says, “where you start by doing whatever on your devices for one minute and then set an alarm for 15 minutes time. Silence your phone and place it upside down, but within your view as a stimulus to tell your brain that you will have another one-minute tech break after the 15-minute alarm. Continue until you adapt to 15 minutes focus time and then increase to 20. If you can get to 60 minutes of focus time with short tech breaks before and after, that’s a success.”

“If you think your memory and focus have got worse and you’re blaming things like your age, your job, or your kids, that might be true, but it’s also very likely due to the way you’re interacting with your devices,” says Price, who founded Screen/Life Balance to help people manage their phone use. As a science writer, she’s “very much into randomly controlled trials, but with phones, it’s actually more of a qualitative question about personally how it’s impacting you. And it’s really easy to do your own experiment and see if it makes a difference. It’s great to have scientific evidence.

But we can also intuitively know: if you practice keeping your phone away more and you notice that you feel calmer and you’re remembering more, then you’ve answered your own question.”

By:

Source: Is your smartphone ruining your memory? A special report on the rise of ‘digital amnesia’ | Memory | The Guardian

Related contents:

Scientists Find Brain Mechanism Behind Age-Related Memory Loss

DOI star Matt Richardson is suffering from memory loss after having a brain infection Mail Online

15:35 Fri, 01 Jul

Fact-Checking Claims That COVID Vaccines Cause a Brain Disorder The Dispatch

Brain disorder caused by a lack of vitamin B-1 Daily Nation

13:38 Tue, 14 Jun
05:12 Tue, 14 Jun

This Is Where We’re Most at Risk From Toxic Microplastics

Australians are eating and inhaling significant numbers of tiny plastics at home, our new research shows. These “microplastics”, which are derived from petrochemicals extracted from oil and gas products, are settling in dust around the house. Some of these particles are toxic to humans — they can carry carcinogenic or mutagenic chemicals, meaning they potentially cause cancer and/or damage our DNA.

We still don’t know the true impact of these microplastics on human health. But the good news is, having hard floors, using more natural fibres in clothing, furnishings and homewares, along with vacuuming at least weekly can reduce your exposure.

What are microplastics?

Microplastics are plastic particles less than five millimetres across. They come from a range of household and everyday items such as the clothes we wear, home furnishings, and food and beverage packaging. We know microplastics are pervasive outdoors, reaching remote and inaccessible locations such as the Arctic, the Mariana Trench (the world’s deepest ocean trench), and the Italian Alps. Our study demonstrates it’s an inescapable reality that we’re living in a sea of microplastics — they’re in our food and drinks, our oceans, and our homes.

What we did and what we found

While research has focused mainly on microplastics in the natural environment, a handful of studies have looked at how much we’re exposed to indoors. People spend up to 90% of their time indoors and therefore the greatest risk of exposure to microplastics is in the home. Our study is the first to examine how much microplastic we’re exposed to in Australian homes. We analysed dust deposited from indoor air in 32 homes across Sydney over a one-month period in 2019.

We asked members of the public to collect dust in specially prepared glass dishes, which we then analysed. We found 39% of the deposited dust particles were microplastics; 42% were natural fibres such as cotton, hair and wool; and 18% were transformed natural-based fibres such as viscose and cellophane. The remaining 1% were film and fragments consisting of various materials. Between 22 and 6,169 microfibres were deposited as dust per square metre, each day.

Homes with carpet as the main floor covering had nearly double the number of petrochemical-based fibres (including polyethylene, polyamide and polyacrylic) than homes without carpeted floors. Conversely, polyvinyl fibres (synthetic fibres made of vinyl chloride) were two times more prevalent in homes without carpet. This is because the coating applied to hard flooring degrades over time, producing polyvinyl fibres in house dust.

Microplastics can be ingested by various animals, ranging in size from tiny creatures like zooplankton to sharks and whales. The likelihood of microplastics being eaten is influenced by the amount in the environment and how closely they resemble food. Laboratory studies indicate that microplastics can potentially transfer through the food web when marine, terrestrial and freshwater species that have previously ingested microplastics are preyed on by other animals.

Microplastics eaten by larger marine animals will generally pass through their bodies. However, research does show that microplastics can be retained in the gut for extended periods where they may cause abrasion and damage to internal tissues. Nanoplastics can pass through the gut wall and travel to different parts of the body, such as the lungs and liver, where they can cause damage. Further research is required to understand the potential health implications from ingesting microplastics.

Microplastics can be toxic

Microplastics can carry a range of contaminants such as trace metals and some potentially harmful organic chemicals. These chemicals can leach from the plastic surface once in the body, increasing the potential for toxic effects. Microplastics can have carcinogenic properties, meaning they potentially cause cancer. They can also be mutagenic, meaning they can damage DNA.

However, even though some of the microplastics measured in our study are composed of potentially carcinogenic and/or mutagenic compounds, the actual risk to human health is unclear. Given the pervasiveness of microplastics not only in homes but in food and beverages, the crucial next step in this research area is to establish what, if any, are safe levels of exposure.

How much are we exposed to? And can this be minimised?

Roughly a quarter of all of the fibres we recorded were less than 250 micrometres in size, meaning they can be inhaled. This means we can be internally exposed to these microplastics and any contaminants attached to them.

Using human exposure models, we calculated that inhalation and ingestion rates were greatest in children under six years old. This is due to their lower relative body weight, smaller size, and higher breathing rate than adults. What’s more, young children typically have more contact with the floor, and tend to put their hands in their mouths more often than adults.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about plastic pollution?

More than 90% of plastic is never recycled, and a whopping 8 million metric tons of plastic waste are dumped into the oceans annually. At this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. The Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) is a collaboration between businesses, international donors, national and local governments, community groups and world-class experts seeking meaningful actions to beat plastic pollution.

In Ghana, for example, GPAP is working with technology giant SAP to create a group of more than 2,000 waste pickers and measuring the quantities and types of plastic that they collect. This data is then analysed alongside the prices that are paid throughout the value chain by buyers in Ghana and internationally. It aims to show how businesses, communities and governments can redesign the global “take-make-dispose” economy as a circular one in which products and materials are redesigned, recovered and reused to reduce environmental impacts.

Children under six inhale around three times more microplastics than the average — 18,000 fibres, or 0.3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per year. They would also ingest on average 6.1 milligrams of microplastics in dust per kg of body weight per year. For a five-year-old, this would be equivalent to eating a garden pea’s worth of microplastics over the course of a year. But for many of these plastics there is no established safe level of exposure. Our study indicated there are effective ways to minimise exposure.

First is the choice of flooring, with hard surfaces, including polished wood floors, likely to have fewer microplastics than carpeted floors. Also, how often you clean makes a difference. Vacuuming floors at least weekly was associated with less microplastics in dust than those that were less frequently cleaned. So get cleaning! Some pollutants and heavy metals can also adsorb or stick to plastic surfaces. As a result, plastics can act like sponges in the environment, passively collecting chemicals onto their surfaces.

While plastics can remove some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from the surrounding water, there is concern about what happens when plastics containing these adsorbed pollutants are ingested by animals. The ability of some POPs to bind to plastics is particularly concerning due to their toxicity at low doses. These toxic and persistent chemicals are widely distributed in the marine environment and are readily concentrated onto plastic surfaces at up to 1 million times the concentration than in the surrounding water.

Studies have shown that these chemicals can transfer from ingested plastics to animal tissue where they can become concentrated within the animal and transfer through the food chain. Plastics are beneficial to human health through their use in medical applications and for protecting our food and beverages. Plastics have revolutionized healthcare through improving sterility by the use of disposable syringes, gloves, IV tubes and catheters and providing increased comfort with hypoallergenic medical devices, heart valves, and flexible prosthetics (artificial body parts).

Plastic bottles and containers provide a way of distributing water that is safe to drink in locations where there are major issues of water contamination. Plastic packaging limits food and beverage spoilage through microbial contamination. It is likely that we are ingesting some level of plastics in our diet. A rapidly growing body of research is showing that ongoing accumulation of toxins associated with plastics poses a risk to our food safety and public health. However, the levels of plastics and associated chemicals we are exposed to in our diet compared with other everyday activities has not been assessed.

Source: This is where we’re most at risk from toxic microplastics | World Economic Forum

More contents:

Microplastic Ingestion by Zooplankton”

Where Does Marine Litter Come From?”

Chemical mapping of tire and road wear particles for single particle analysis”.

“Plastic free July: How to stop accidentally consuming plastic particles from packaging”

Development solutions: Building a better

“Proceedings of the International Research Workshop on the Occurrence, Effects and Fate of Microplastic Marine Debris”

Annual variation in neustonic micro- and meso-plastic particles and zooplankton in the Bay of Calvi (Mediterranean–Corsica)”

Restricting the use of intentionally added microplastic particles to consumer or professional use products of any kind”.

Microplastics have spread right to the sea bed, study finds 

90% of table salt is contaminated with microplastics, according to a new report

The water where baby fish are outnumbered 7 to 1 by plastic

More Remote Working Apps:

https://quintexcapital.com/?ref=arminham     Quintex Capital

https://www.genesis-mining.com/a/2535466   Genesis Mining

 http://www.bevtraders.com/?ref=arminham   BevTraders

https://www.litefinance.com/?uid=929237543  LiteTrading

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/369164  prime stocks

  https://jvz3.com/c/202927/361015  content gorilla

  https://jvz8.com/c/202927/366443  stock rush  

 https://jvz1.com/c/202927/373449  forrk   

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/194909  keysearch  

 https://jvz4.com/c/202927/296191  gluten free   

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/286851  diet fitness diabetes  

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/213027  writing job  

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/108695  postradamus

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/372094  stoodaio

 https://jvz4.com/c/202927/358049  profile mate  

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/279944  senuke  

 https://jvz8.com/c/202927/54245   asin   

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/370227  appimize

 https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524  super backdrop

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/302715  audiencetoolkit

 https://jvz1.com/c/202927/375487  4brandcommercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/375358  talkingfaces

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375706  socifeed

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/184902  gaming jobs

 https://jvz6.com/c/202927/88118   backlinkindexer

 https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376361  powrsuite  

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/370472  tubeserp  

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/343405  PR Rage  

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/371547  design beast  

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/376879  commission smasher

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376925  MT4Code System

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375959  viral dash

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376527  coursova

 https://jvz4.com/c/202927/144349  fanpage

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376877  forex expert  

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/374258  appointomatic

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377003  woocommerce

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377005  domainname

 https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376842  maxslides

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376381  ada leadz

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/333637  eyeslick

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376986  creaitecontentcreator

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/376095  vidcentric

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/374965  studioninja

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/374934  marketingblocks

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/372682  clipsreel  

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/372916  VideoEnginePro

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/144577  BarclaysForexExpert

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/370806  Clientfinda

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/375550  Talkingfaces

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/370769  IMSyndicator

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/283867  SqribbleEbook

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524  superbackdrop

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376849  VirtualReel

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/369837  MarketPresso

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/342854  voiceBuddy

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377211  tubeTargeter

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/377557  InstantWebsiteBundle

https://jvz6.com/c/202927/368736  soronity

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/337292  DFY Suite 3.0 Agency+ information

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/291061  VideoRobot Enterprise

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/327447  Klippyo Kreators

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/324615  ChatterPal Commercial

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/299907  WP GDPR Fix Elite Unltd Sites

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/328172  EngagerMate

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/342585  VidSnatcher Commercial

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/292919  myMailIt

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/320972  Storymate Luxury Edition

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/320466  iTraffic X – Platinum Edition

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/330783  Content Gorilla One-time

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/301402  Push Button Traffic 3.0 – Brand New

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/321987  SociCake Commercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/289944  The Internet Marketing

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/297271  Designa Suite License

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/310335  XFUNNELS FE Commercial 

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/291955  ShopABot

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/312692  Inboxr

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/343635  MediaCloudPro 2.0 – Agency

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/353558  MyTrafficJacker 2.0 Pro+

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/365061  AIWA Commercial

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/357201  Toon Video Maker Premium

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/351754  Steven Alvey’s Signature Series

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/344541  Fade To Black

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/290487  Adsense Machine

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/315596  Diddly Pay’s DLCM DFY Club

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/355249  CourseReel Professional

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/309649  SociJam System

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/263380  360Apps Certification

 https://jvz2.com/c/202927/359468  LocalAgencyBox

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377557  Instant Website Bundle

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377194  GMB Magic Content

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376962  PlayerNeos VR

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381812/  BrandElevate Bundle information

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381807/ BrandElevate Ultimate

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381556/ WowBackgraounds Plus

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381689/  Your3DPal Ultimate

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/380877/  BigAudio Club Fast Pass

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/379998/ Podcast Masterclass

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/366537/  VideoGameSuite Exclusive

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381148/ AffiliateMatic

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381179  YTSuite Advanced

https://jvz1.com/c/202927/381749/  Xinemax 2.0 Commercial

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/382455  Living An Intentional Life

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381812  BrandElevate Bundle

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381935 Ezy MultiStores

https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381194/  DFY Suite 4.0 Agency

https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381761  ReVideo

https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381976/  AppOwls Bundle

https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381950/  TrafficForU

https://jvz3.com/c/202927/381615/  WOW Backgrounds 2.0

Despite The Crypto Crash, Bitcoin Still Has a Bright Future

You might call it the cable that changed history. In the mid-19th century there were various attempts to lay cables across the Atlantic Ocean between Britain (Ireland) and the US.

It took several failures, numerous bankruptcies and over ten years before they got it right. But eventually they did and on July 27 1866 Queen Victoria broadcast a message to US President Johnson…

Money is a form of communication technology

Here’s what the first transatlantic cable said:

Osborne, July 27, 1866 

To the President of the United States, Washington 

The Queen congratulates the President on the successful completion of an undertaking which she hopes may serve as an additional bond of Union between the United States and England.

Johnson replied:

Executive Mansion Washington, July 30, 1866 

To Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 

The President of the United States acknowledges with profound gratification the receipt of Her Majesty’s despatch and cordially reciprocates the hope that the cable which now unites the Eastern and Western hemispheres may serve to strengthen and perpetuate peace and amity between the governments of England and the Republic of the United States.

To send a message by ship could take ten days or more; now it was a matter of minutes. So somebody came up with the slogan “two weeks to two minutes”.

Transmission speeds improved rapidly; Morse code became words and it was soon possible to send multiple messages at once. By the end of the 19th century, Britain, France, Germany and the US were all linked by cable.

Personal, commercial and political relations were altered for all time.  Back then gold was money, of course, as were paper notes representing gold. You couldn’t send gold down the cable, however, nor paper. But you could send a promise.

And, within a fortnight of Queen Victoria’s message, that’s what two parties who trusted each other did. An exchange rate between the dollar and the pound was agreed and then published in the New York Times on 10 August. That is why, to this day, GBP/USD exchange rate is known as “cable”.

My purpose with this story is to illustrate a point: what is money, but a form of communication?

Look at a £20 note (if you still use them) and you will see the words “I promise to pay the bearer”.  Of course, promises disappear; gold doesn’t. The two are quite different forms of money: one is belief, the other is real.

Nevertheless, since the dawn of civilisation, we have been using promissory money. In Ancient Mesopotamia, people used mud tokens, representing sheep or barley, baked inside clay balls to log debts owed. They found it more efficient to draw pictures of the tokens in the mud for the same purpose, which is how the first system of writing developed.

In Ancient China, people recorded their debts on bits of leather; after the invention of printing they started using paper. Today the promises are recorded and exchanged between trusted third parties on computers.

Millions, probably billions, of promises are sent across the internet every second, transferring as quick as words, probably quicker. Not only does (promissory) money evolve with communication technology, it is often the spur, the impetus for communication technology to evolve.

Now bitcoin, with its blockchain, obviates the need for trusted third parties altogether – that is one of many reasons it is so special. Here is a money communication network backed instead by mathematical proof and the most powerful and resilient computer network ever known to man: the trusted third party is the blockchain.

Why would you not want to own a share of such a breakthrough technology? That, effectively, is what owning some bitcoin is – owning shares in a new monetary technology. And it’s not like they are doing any roll backs.

Money has evolved like language

I want to explore this idea of money as communication further.  It’s often said (by me at least) when considering politicians: look at what they do, not at what they say. What we do says more about us than what we say – what we do with our money says even more.

And what we do with our money communicates value, not just between buyer and seller, but across the economy. What is the price of this thing? What is its value? The answer is constantly being sent and received, digested and acted upon; and so does the economy constantly, incrementally evolve and develop with each new signal: the how, why and when, of what needs producing and where.

Money, then, is like a language, constantly evolving and changing. Nobody is really in charge – it wasn’t really planned, it has just constantly evolved. The architects of fiat money did not plan what we have today, they just used it to get out of a tight fiscal spot – extenuating circumstances at the time.

Similarly, nobody planned the language we speak today. Language is hard to plan and regulate, try as many have over the years – and still do. The English we speak today is a long way from the English of Chaucer, Shakespeare or Dickens. There are probably fewer words; certainly fewer tenses. Grammar is simpler. Yet English is far more widely spoken. The network has grown.

Mandarin may have three or four times more native speakers, but English is more widely spoken. There may well come a time when everybody in the world speaks it. It is the dominant linguistic network.

Meanwhile, other languages fade away. Cornish has gone. Few now speak Welsh or Gaelic. The local dialects of France and Italy are disappearing. Similarly, there are no doubt a plethora of African, Asian and American languages that are on the way out, if they haven’t already gone.

The question to ask is this: how scalable is the language? English has the potential to become the default language of the world. Despite having more native speakers, that’s unlikely to be the case with Mandarin. It’s certainly not going to happen to Gaelic, Neapolitan or Swahili.

How many different monies have there been in history? Shells, whale teeth, metals, paper, cigarettes, mackerel packs, cognac, Zimbabwe dollars, reichsmarks, denarii, farthings, shillings. Most have died. Only gold goes on.

But, as with transatlantic cables, you can’t send gold over the internet. Only golden promises between trusted parties.

Bitcoin is money for the internet

The US dollar is the global reserve currency. You can send that over the internet. But it’s hard for people who aren’t American to get US dollar bank accounts. Foreign exchange fees are expensive. Money transfers can take several days sometimes.

It’s a national currency that is used internationally. A country – and several do – could use it as their national currency, but they would be importing US monetary policy too, and so subjecting themselves to US political whims. Which is why most countries with their own political agenda issue their own currencies.

Thus, though “international”, as a national currency, the US dollar is limited by its national borders and its politics. The same goes for any national currency.

But language is not limited by national borders – or at least English isn’t. If only there was an apolitical, borderless currency for the borderless economy that is the internet, then that really would be scalable in a way that no national currency is. A network that has evolved organically, and is constantly growing.

You don’t need a bank account to start using bitcoin. You only need a phone with an internet connection. We are not far off that point when everyone who wants one has one. My argument is this: if money is language, then bitcoin is English. It has a potential to scale that no other currency has.

Just as an aside on how quickly money evolves – it’s worth remembering that as recently as the 19th century, the pound had greater global recognition than the dollar. In emulation of Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg, who went Around The World in 80 Days, in 1889-1890 American journalist Nellie Bly went on a trip around the world in 72 days.

She took pounds, but she also brought some dollars, “as a test to see if American money was known outside of America”. She went east from New York, and did not see American money until Colombo, Sri Lanka, where $20 gold pieces were used as jewellery. They accepted her dollars – but only at a 60% discount.

It’s a bit of an ask – though possible – to get people to accept bitcoin in the physical world. But that is not what it is for. It is money for the internet.

Dominic Frisby author headshot

Source: Despite the crypto crash, bitcoin still has a bright future | MoneyWeek

More contents:

%d bloggers like this: