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A Slightly Better World Vol V

EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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3/13/2016 1:30:47 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Welcome back to another rendition of A Slightly Better World! As always, the world is trending toward improvement. Gradually, very gradually, but steadily and surely, like the tortoise.

Today we begin in Canada, that precious jewel. Ontario has committed $100 million to fighting violence against indigenous women. Premier Kathleen Wynne stated that indigenous women in Ontario are 3x more likely to experience violence or be murdered than other women.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa outlined a 3-year, 6-step strategy called Walking Together to lower the levels of violence. It includes $80 million going to support children, youth, and families as well as hiring outreach workers and improving the efficiency of outreach programs, nearly $16 million to combat human trafficking, another million for public awareness programs, and the rest goes toward better researching, data, and collaborations between First Nations.

Many prominent figures praised the measure, including the Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, the Children Youth and Services Minister, and the Progressive Conservative MPP.

Turning our attention away from Canada, we look at the environment in general. We all have a general understanding about how this one works, right? Don't litter because plastic aren't bio-degradable, don't....wait a minute.

A team of Japanese researchers have been studying a species of bacteria that break down plastic. Yes. That's right. Plastic.

More specifically, the bacteria can break the molecular bonds of polyethylene terephthalate (don't worry, it's called PET or polyester), one of the world's most commonly used plastics, making up 1/6th of the world's plastic products. Commonly used, yes, but also strong. Before this, no organism was known to be capable of decomposing it. In fact, it was found that they were capable of degrading low-quality plastic within 6 weeks (highly crystallized PET, such as that in water bottles, takes longer). The bacteria is scientifically named Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, because science doesn't frankly give a damn about your opinions on naming. It is believed that the reason these bacteria could evolve to breakdown PET is because of the abundance of plastic littering the environment for the past 70 years. The microbes adapted to eat the only food source they had in abundance.

While more research is still needed (oh, science), it is also believed that these bacteria could be used in industrial recycling practices, which would provide huge savings in the production of polymer and cut down on the need for petroleum-based starting materials.

Finally coming back to the US (because isn't the US the center of the world?), Reuters reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell even more than people had predicted. In fact, the number is at its lowest level since October, suggesting a sustained strength in the labor market to continue dispelling the fears left by the Great Recession.

On the surface, each of these are small, seemingly miniscule changes. But each of them works in their own way to help give us a slightly better world.
Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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3/13/2016 11:20:17 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/13/2016 1:30:47 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
Welcome back to another rendition of A Slightly Better World! As always, the world is trending toward improvement. Gradually, very gradually, but steadily and surely, like the tortoise.

Today we begin in Canada, that precious jewel. Ontario has committed $100 million to fighting violence against indigenous women. Premier Kathleen Wynne stated that indigenous women in Ontario are 3x more likely to experience violence or be murdered than other women.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa outlined a 3-year, 6-step strategy called Walking Together to lower the levels of violence. It includes $80 million going to support children, youth, and families as well as hiring outreach workers and improving the efficiency of outreach programs, nearly $16 million to combat human trafficking, another million for public awareness programs, and the rest goes toward better researching, data, and collaborations between First Nations.

Many prominent figures praised the measure, including the Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, the Children Youth and Services Minister, and the Progressive Conservative MPP.

Turning our attention away from Canada, we look at the environment in general. We all have a general understanding about how this one works, right? Don't litter because plastic aren't bio-degradable, don't....wait a minute.

A team of Japanese researchers have been studying a species of bacteria that break down plastic. Yes. That's right. Plastic.

More specifically, the bacteria can break the molecular bonds of polyethylene terephthalate (don't worry, it's called PET or polyester), one of the world's most commonly used plastics, making up 1/6th of the world's plastic products. Commonly used, yes, but also strong. Before this, no organism was known to be capable of decomposing it. In fact, it was found that they were capable of degrading low-quality plastic within 6 weeks (highly crystallized PET, such as that in water bottles, takes longer). The bacteria is scientifically named Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, because science doesn't frankly give a damn about your opinions on naming. It is believed that the reason these bacteria could evolve to breakdown PET is because of the abundance of plastic littering the environment for the past 70 years. The microbes adapted to eat the only food source they had in abundance.

While more research is still needed (oh, science), it is also believed that these bacteria could be used in industrial recycling practices, which would provide huge savings in the production of polymer and cut down on the need for petroleum-based starting materials.

Finally coming back to the US (because isn't the US the center of the world?), Reuters reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell even more than people had predicted. In fact, the number is at its lowest level since October, suggesting a sustained strength in the labor market to continue dispelling the fears left by the Great Recession.

On the surface, each of these are small, seemingly miniscule changes. But each of them works in their own way to help give us a slightly better world.

Yay! The world doesn't suck that much! But I did like this, keep it up. This is the first "volume" I've seen though, hope to see more!
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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3/14/2016 12:23:11 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/13/2016 11:20:17 PM, Hayd wrote:
At 3/13/2016 1:30:47 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
Welcome back to another rendition of A Slightly Better World! As always, the world is trending toward improvement. Gradually, very gradually, but steadily and surely, like the tortoise.

Today we begin in Canada, that precious jewel. Ontario has committed $100 million to fighting violence against indigenous women. Premier Kathleen Wynne stated that indigenous women in Ontario are 3x more likely to experience violence or be murdered than other women.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa outlined a 3-year, 6-step strategy called Walking Together to lower the levels of violence. It includes $80 million going to support children, youth, and families as well as hiring outreach workers and improving the efficiency of outreach programs, nearly $16 million to combat human trafficking, another million for public awareness programs, and the rest goes toward better researching, data, and collaborations between First Nations.

Many prominent figures praised the measure, including the Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, the Children Youth and Services Minister, and the Progressive Conservative MPP.

Turning our attention away from Canada, we look at the environment in general. We all have a general understanding about how this one works, right? Don't litter because plastic aren't bio-degradable, don't....wait a minute.

A team of Japanese researchers have been studying a species of bacteria that break down plastic. Yes. That's right. Plastic.

More specifically, the bacteria can break the molecular bonds of polyethylene terephthalate (don't worry, it's called PET or polyester), one of the world's most commonly used plastics, making up 1/6th of the world's plastic products. Commonly used, yes, but also strong. Before this, no organism was known to be capable of decomposing it. In fact, it was found that they were capable of degrading low-quality plastic within 6 weeks (highly crystallized PET, such as that in water bottles, takes longer). The bacteria is scientifically named Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, because science doesn't frankly give a damn about your opinions on naming. It is believed that the reason these bacteria could evolve to breakdown PET is because of the abundance of plastic littering the environment for the past 70 years. The microbes adapted to eat the only food source they had in abundance.

While more research is still needed (oh, science), it is also believed that these bacteria could be used in industrial recycling practices, which would provide huge savings in the production of polymer and cut down on the need for petroleum-based starting materials.

Finally coming back to the US (because isn't the US the center of the world?), Reuters reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell even more than people had predicted. In fact, the number is at its lowest level since October, suggesting a sustained strength in the labor market to continue dispelling the fears left by the Great Recession.

On the surface, each of these are small, seemingly miniscule changes. But each of them works in their own way to help give us a slightly better world.

Yay! The world doesn't suck that much! But I did like this, keep it up. This is the first "volume" I've seen though, hope to see more!

Thanks! The others are in my sig, if you want to see the rest of them.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,255
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3/14/2016 1:07:08 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/14/2016 1:06:26 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 3/14/2016 12:51:56 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Ok, Steven Pinker

I presume that's a compliment. So thanks.

I like Pinker.
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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3/14/2016 1:07:42 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/14/2016 1:07:08 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/14/2016 1:06:26 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
At 3/14/2016 12:51:56 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Ok, Steven Pinker

I presume that's a compliment. So thanks.

I like Pinker.

Thank you then :-)

I do too.
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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3/18/2016 2:50:27 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 2:13:54 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
Bump

Also bumping to remind myself to read.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

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EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
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4/2/2016 8:07:44 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/27/2016 2:49:35 AM, mc9 wrote:
Cool

Thank you!

To everyone, the next update will hopefully be out soon. This has just been a busy time for me.
Sapphique
Posts: 4,119
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4/2/2016 9:05:54 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Now that we're starting organic chemistry, this just occurred to me...polyester, as in multiple esters, with the C=O and the C-O...maybe?

In any case, looking forward to the next update, Endark :D
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"We wondered what happiness would look like if we could give it a physical form...the shape of happiness might resemble glass...even though you don't usually notice it, it's still definitely there. You merely have to change your point of view slightly, and then that glass will sparkle when it reflects the light. I doubt that anything else could argue its own existence more eloquently." ~Lelouch