Fate can take strange forms, and so perhaps it does not seem unusual that Captain Charles Moore found his life's purpose in a nightmare. Unfortunately, he was awake at the time, and 800 miles north of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.It happened on August 3, 1997, a lovely day, at least in the beginning: Sunny. Little wind. Water the color of sapphires. Moore and the crew of Alguita, his 50-foot aluminum-hulled catamaran, sliced through the sea.Returning to Southern California from Hawaii after a sailing race, Moore had altered Alguita's course, veering slightly north. He had the time and the curiosity to try a new route, one that would lead the vessel through the eastern corner of a 10-million-square-mile oval known as the North Pacific subtropical gyre. This was an odd stretch of ocean, a place most boats purposely avoided. For one thing, it was becalmed. "The doldrums," sailors called it, and they steered clear. So did the ocean's top predators: the tuna, sharks, and other large fish … [Read more...] about Our Oceans are Turning Into Plastic . . . Are We?
Toilet smells like sewer
My son is 3. Here's what I have taught him so far: "Dad, what are these?""Those are your testicles, Bruno. Some people refer to them as balls.""I want to throw them."On the day Bruno was born, I thought, I want to teach this kid. I want to put a baseball in his hand and show him how to cock his elbow. I want to hand him a putter and show him how to read a green. I want to stand behind him on the diving board, encouraging him to leap into the unknown. I want to tell him about navigating friendships. I want to be his coach, his friend, his mentor.And yet . . . "What's that, Daddy?""That's some sort of construction truck.""You mean an excavator?""Is that what it's called?""It's an excavator, Daddy.""Oh."Last spring, a letter arrived at the house. "Mr. and Mrs. Haas," it read, "we are pleased to inform you that Bruno has been accepted into private school. Classes begin in September. Bruno must be potty trained. This is mandatory!" Yes, the last two sentences were actually in boldface -- as … [Read more...] about Get This Potty Started
gastrointestinal (GI) tract deals with the dirty work of your body: digesting food for nutrients and sending out the trash. This noisy, smelly, squishy system includes the esophagus, a 10 inch-long tube; the stomach, a fist-size bag of muscle; 20 feet of small intestine; and 6 feet of large intestine (aka the colon). With no Google map, we're often left wondering what the holdup (or the rush) is in there and why normally dependable routes suddenly cause trouble. But because of the unappealing issues that arise, talking about your own highway problems isn't as easy as discussing rush-hour traffic. "There's definitely embarrassment, and women tend to suffer in silence," says Jacqueline Wolf, M.D., a women's GI disease specialist at Harvard Medical School. Still, considering that digestive problems — from constipation to acid reflux — affect up to 70 million people, we should muster the guts to find out what's going on beneath our navels.How long does it take for food to … [Read more...] about Your Digestive System
With climate change back in the public mind following the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last month, we thought we’d take a look at some homegrown green innovators in cities across our country. Starting with Vancouver, the Olympic city, and working east, we’ve profiled some of the greenest mayors and their penchants for making green changes both in their own lives and in the lives of their citizens. Vancouver, BCVancouver is aiming to become the greenest city on the face of the earth by 2020. Behind such lofty branding stands a politician who is staking his reputation on beating out some pretty stiff competition, particularly in Europe. Mayor Robertson Robertson won the mayor’s job just over a year ago and immediately began making the environment a centrepiece of his civic administration, appointing a panel of environmentalists and economists to develop short- and longer-term actions aimed at taking Vancouver to the number-one spot on matters … [Read more...] about The Great Canadian Cleanup