Insatiably Curious

Tag: Plastic

Plastic Bags to Be Banned in New York

Jesse McKinley, writing for NY Times:

New York State lawmakers have agreed to impose a statewide ban on most types of single-use plastic bags from retail sales, changing a way of life for millions of New Yorkers as legislators seek to curb an unsightly and omnipresent source of litter.

The plan, proposed a year ago by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, would be the second statewide ban, after California, which banned bags in 2016. Hawaii also effectively has a ban in place, since all the state’s counties bar such single-use bags.

Read More…

New Zealand is banning plastic bags

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said retailers have six months to phase out the single-use plastic bags, or face fines of up to NZ$100,000.

“We’re phasing out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” said Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister.

“Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags. A mountain of bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life, and all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business.

More than 40 countries worldwide have now imposed bans on plastic bags.

Monopoly, Cheaters Edition; LGBT rights; The Unknown Soldier

Watch: Record numbers of women are running or office in the US Midterms – France 24 viaYouTube

This is a little unsettling. Amazon has always said they don’t listen to people’s conversation, however a woman in Portland claims her Amazon Echo recorded a private conversation, and then sent it out to random contact. – KIRO7

Here’s a sad comment on today’s society and what has become acceptable in this current political culture: Hasbro has released an official “Cheaters Edition” of Monopoly, the “family game”.

Vancouver becomes first Canadian city to ban plastic straws, foam cups and containers – CBC


May 25

1859: Ground is broken for the Suez Canal. It was officially opened in 1869, connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

1995: The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the rights of homosexuals against discrimination, though sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned in the Charter.

1995: The Québec Nordiques were sold to Comsat Corporation for US$75 millions. The team was moved to Denver, Colorado, and renamed the Avalanche. They won the Stanley Cup the following year.

2000: The body of an unidentified Canadian soldier was repatriated to Canada after being exhumed near Vimy Ridge, France.

Guy Dixon, Globe and Mail:

There are few symbols as definite, as reverential, as indicative of the commonality of so many people as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The international movement to commemorate the unidentified war dead (unknown soldier monuments exist throughout the world) began after the devastation of the war that was supposed to end all wars. The British grave for the Unknown Warrior following the First World War is generally recognized as the first of these modern-day memorials. (The Duchess of Sussex continued the royal tradition of placing her wedding bouquet on the grave.) For Canada, the remains of the fallen, unidentified Canadian soldier killed during the First World War were exhumed 18 years ago from the burial grounds near the battlefields of Vimy. They were brought to Ottawa on May 25, 2000, and stayed at the Hall of Honour in Centre Block on Parliament Hill for three days. The tomb now rests in front of the capital’s National War Memorial. The arch commemorates the more than 116,000 Canadians killed overseas in battle, and those who are putting their lives on the line now and who will in the future.

Best of the best travel destinations; Punishing treadmills; Gas prices 20% higher than last year; Epidemic of dishonesty; Are you in the wrong room?; A trainable dog-like robot; Banning trans fats; Israel turns 70

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” ~ Mathieu Flamini

A Toronto mother — who donated one of her kidneys to her six-year-old son — received the greatest gift for Mother’s Day when her son was discharged from the hospital. – CTV News

Ear Worm: The Mister Softee jingle has lyrics. Who knew? – The Daily Meal

Michael Bloomberg warns of an ‘epidemic of dishonesty‘ – Associated Press

Using less plastic leads to fewer harmful chemicals in the body – Tree Hugger

24 lists combined to find the top travel destinations for 2018Forbes

  • Top 10 are: 1) Mexico; 2) Australia; 3) Italy; tied for 4th) Canada and Spain; 6) South Korea; tied for 7th) California, China, and Louisiana; tied for 10th) Argentina, Malta, and Portugal.

Boston Dynamics to start selling its dog-like SpotMini robot in 2019 – TechCrunch // Will not be as adorable but will it be easier to train than Skye, my Cairn Terrier.

The World Health Organization wants all countries to ban trans fats from foodsCBC  Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death around the world. Denmark banned them 15 years ago. Canada’s ban take effect this September.

Wowzers! The average price of gasoline in Canada has hit $1.38 a litre. That’s about $4.11 US per US dollar. And don’t expect any relief any time soon. – Globe and Mail (paywall) // That is more than 20% higher than the rate of about $1.10 a year ago. That difference adds up to an extra $14 per fill for the typical driver who pumps 50 litres of fuel a week.

Treadmills were originally designed to punish prisoners – Quartz

Israel celebrates it’s 70th by shooting and killing 41 58 Palestinians (and wounding another 1,600) protesting along the border fence over the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem – Washington Post, BBC


May 14

1643: Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France. Louis the Great rules until he died in 1715.

1948: David Ben-Gurion publicly read the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the present-day Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, officially establishing the state of Israel.

1973: The NASA space station Skylab was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1984: Jeanne Sauve is sworn in as Canada’s first female governor general. She stays in office until January 28, 1990.

Scientists create mutant enzyme that eats plastic

Damian Carrington, The Guardian:

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug.

The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. “What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. “It’s great and a real finding.”

The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic – far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans. But the researchers are optimistic this can be speeded up even further and become a viable large-scale process.

“What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic,” said McGeehan. “It means we won’t need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.”

Great Pacific Garbage Patch is ‘increasing exponentially’

An enormous amount of rubbish is floating in the northern Pacific Ocean, swarming with far more debris than previously thought, sounding the alarm that the world’s oceans are being choked by trillions of pieces of plastic.

Chris Mooney, Washington Post:

Seventy-nine thousand tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupy an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean.


‘Great Pacific garbage patch’ sprawling with far more debris than thought – The Guardian

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Isn’t What You Think it Is – National Geographic

Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 16 times bigger than previously estimated – CBC


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