As we've come to know them, the Olympic Games are generally marked by all-out effort, serious officiating, precise timekeeping and strict regulations. This hasn't always been the case. From the start of their 19th-century renaissance until the mid-20th century, the Games seemed to have had a touch of slapdash zaniness, where disorganization resulted in everything from disappearing athletes to marathon runners drinking champagne on the course. Norwegian curling team pants aside, contemporary Olympics are a far less wacky affair. Here are some of the wildest moments from Games past.Read More »from 9 Wildest Moments in Olympics History
Blog Posts by Mother Nature Network (mnn.com)
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Green – Wed, Jul 11, 2012 3:22 PM EDT
By Shea Gunther, Mother Nature NetworkAdjustable glassesTechnology is a wonderful thing. It's hard to comprehend the level of complexity that enables our everyday life - it's a dizzying world that is getting faster week by week. There's merit in pushing the advancement of technology, but it's important to remember to take a step back and look for new ways to reapply technology to age-old problems. There's nowhere that's more vital than in the developing world.
When resources like energy, materials or education are scarce, the simplest technology is the better choice. Simple usually means reliable - and reliable can mean the difference between having a machine that functions and having a useless paperweight. When the technology cleans water or keeps food fresh, it can mean the difference between life and death. Here are five simple innovations that are making a big difference in people's lives in the developing world.
Rocket StoveRead More »from 5 Low-Tech Innovations Making a Difference in the Developing World
The rocket stove is a wonderfully efficient design that
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Wed, Jul 11, 2012 3:09 PM EDT
By Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Lately, I'm happy when my 8-year-old pooch Lulu remembers an old one: the ability to hold her potty breaks until we go outside. If I've learned anything from writing this column, I know that correcting behavior issues can take time. Whether it's aggression, anxiety or even house-training, take measures to address an adult dog's behavior changes before the problem becomes unmanageable. If your adult dog has been having accidents in the house lately, try these steps:
Schedule a veterinary exam: No, this is not a paid advertisement for the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dogs can't exactly tell you, "My tummy hurts," or "You were gone too long and I couldn't hold it." A thorough veterinary exam can identify conditions that cause dogs to behave differently, including blockages, intestinal issues or even tumors.
"A good bit of the time it has to do with some sort of physicalRead More »from Why is My Adult Dog Suddenly Going to the Bathroom in the House?
Mother Nature NetworkBy Melissa Breyer,
Our modern Olympics may not be quite as quirky as the ancient Olympic Games - athletes won't be competing naked, 100 oxen won't be sacrificed to Zeus, and unmarried virgins won't be the only females allowed to attend. But even so, there is no shortage of amusing facts about this summer's biggest sporting event.
1. From sewer to cycling: The Great Stink of 1858 - the summer when the stench of untreated human waste in the Thames nearly incapacitated London - inspired Parliament to support the construction of the northern outfall sewer, where the Olympic Park Greenway footpath and cycleway are now situated.
2. Monster spotting: British-based gambling company Ladbrokes is taking bets on Nessie, offering odds of 2012-1 for the famous Loch Ness monster to be seen in the Thames during the Games.
3. Must love frogs: About 4,000 newts and hundreds of toads were removed by hand and relocated during construction of the Olympic Park.
4. ForRead More »from 10 Curious Facts About London 2012
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Healthy Living – Mon, Jul 9, 2012 6:14 PM EDT
By Chanie Kirschner, Mother News Network
Up until the mid-19th century, major cities would set their local time by when the sun was at its highest point in that particular city. It was called local mean time. For example, when it was 12 p.m. in New York City, it was 12:23 p.m. in Boston. With the onset of railroads and rapid transit from place to place, local mean time made things increasingly more difficult, since trains arriving from a certain city would be arriving at each stop's local time. Needless to say, people were confused.Read More »from Time Zone Quirks: Why Some Countries Are 30 Minutes Off
So began the creation of an international standard of time. Delegates from 27 countries met at what was known as the Meridian Conference, and decided to implement a plan outlined by Sir Sandford Fleming (a railway planner and engineer). The plan looked like this: The world would be divided into 24 time zones based on the 24 hours in each day.
Related: 11 inventors who became nouns
Each of the time zones would be defined by a meridian,
By Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature Network
It's important to know when companies use an actual expiration date on items or a sell-by date. Often, the date printed on the package is the sell-by date, so for many items, it's safe to use things after that time. But for how long exactly?Read More »from How Accurate Are Food Expiration Dates?
The FDA points out that when a "sell-by" date is marked on an item, it is simply an indicator for stores to know how long to display something. Alternatively, some things may have a "best if used by" date - that date indicates when an item will pass its peak quality. You can still use the item after that date if stored properly. Finally, some food items will have an actual "use by" date - these food items should be used by the date on the package.
So, for example, let's take an item like eggs. Eggs are not federally required to have a sell-by or expiration date on them, but some states require it. All eggs that are graded by the USDA have to have a pack date on them, however. This date is
By Robin Shreeves, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Which is Better for You: Sea Salt or Table Salt?
Have you noticed that more snacks are being seasoned with sea salt and manufacturers are proudly announcing that information on the front of food packaging? I have. It reminds me of a couple of years ago when soda manufacturers and other processed food manufacturers started announcing that their sodas contained "real sugar" instead of high fructose corn syrup. When consumers started to become leery of high fructose corn syrup, marketers jumped on the chance to make real sugar seem like a health food.
Related: 12 tips for kicking the refined sugar habit
Consumers are also concerned about salt, or sodium. A high intake of sodium can lead to health problems. Many processed and packaged foods contain high levels of sodium to help preserve them and to make them more palatable. Some food manufacturers have begun voluntarily lowering the amount of sodium in their foods. New York City has tried to encourage restaurants and food
Stevie Wonder, a 6-month-old German shepherd mix, was adopted by Isotopes pitcher John Ely, who met the pup when the team volunteered at Watermelon Mountain Ranch, an animal shelter in Rio Rancho, N.M. The players were instantly taken with the dog and decided to give him a home at Isotopes Park.
"He won everyone over, so we all agreed to pitch in," said Ely, Stevie's primary guardian, in an interview with KOB4 TV. "Everyone loves him. The players, the coaches, clubhouse guys, everyone. Stevie's way more popular around here than I am."
Shelter workers said Stevie was a victim of abuse and was found wandering the streets. One of his eyes was so badly hurt that it had to be removed immediately, and his other eye was so infected that it had already gone blind, so veterinariansRead More »from Baseball Team Adopts Blind Dog
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Pets – Wed, Jun 27, 2012 11:53 AM EDT
By Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network
While Lulu has issues traveling by car, loud noises don't seem to bother my 8-year-old pooch. But Fourth of July festivities can be stressful for some cats and dogs. If your dog has trouble embracing the concept of bombs bursting in air, take measures now to help make the holiday a bit more tolerable. Certified dog behavior consultants Amber Burckhalter and Chris Redenbach offer a few training tips for calming anxious pets.
Desensitize anxious dogs by introducing music or similar sounds. Redenbach has been introducing loud music to prepare her Bouvier des Flandres for a potential parade of cherry bombs and Roman candles. (Fortunately, no neighbors live close by.) She also notes that desensitizing anxious pets can take time, so start early. Trial and error is part of the process.
"There are some DVDs and CDs you can buy for dogs that are firework-phobic and gunshot-phobic," says Redenbach, owner of The Balanced DogRead More »from How Can I Help My Anxious Dog Handle Fourth of July Festivities?
To answer the question, we have to examine why butter has been considered unhealthy in the past. The idea that butter is unhealthy stems from the lipid hypothesis. This theory correlates saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet with coronary heart disease and was first proposed in the 1950s.
While research has always shown conflicting information about the link between saturated fats and coronary heart disease, this idea gained ground and may have peaked in the 1990s. I have a food magazine of my mother's from that time period. The recipesare indeed low in all types of fat (and avoid saturated fat as if it would cause the plague), but were ironically full of sugar. That was the same time period that I remember my sister and mother harping on my dad for adding a pat of butter to his oatmeal in theRead More »from Which is Healthier: Butter or Margarine?