The tech of the Montgomery Plaza Chick-fil-a

Though it has more than a week since the upload of the last article about LEED certification, the author recognizes that half of the beauty of Internet publishing is the ease of access to old information which can complement the new. Hence, the show must go on, and this time around, he is talking about all the technological advances in construction, maintenance, and energy supply used at the Chick-fil-a he has taken an interest in. For the readers who may not be familiar with what he is talking about, go here for his initial article on the location, or here for his review on it.

So, without further ado, here is the list of all the awesome things the Montgomery Plaza FSU utilizes to make its carbon footprint even smaller than it already is.

Marijuana growers devastating the environment

Although states have legalized marijuana, the growing of pot has caused environmental problems. Since marijuana is illegal according to the federal government, laws regulating the growing of an illegal substance cannot be created and enforced.

The main environmental issues with growing marijuana are:

native vegetation and wildlife is killed
fish populations are killed when water is dammed, drained or diverted for the plants
one marijuana plant can consume up to 15 gallons of water daily
toxic pesticides are spread and leach into water supplies
chemical run-off flowing into storm drains and sewers cannot be controlled with permits from the Environmental Protection Agency since marijuana is illegal under federal law
rat poison capable of killing humans in small doses is being put out to protect marijuana seedlings and is killing wildlife including threatened owl species who eat the poisoned rodents
pesticides that can kill humans in small doses or just when breathed, like aluminum phosphide that turns into phosphine gas when it hits the air, are being used
greenhouse gas emissions from diesel generators used to light bunkers pollute the air
muddy, deforested slopes erode during rainy seasons and choke salmon streams
medical marijuana growers are not subject to federal laws as are conventional farmers regarding fertilizer and water use
rangers who used to be able to care for the forests and parks are now spending 100 percent of their time working on the environmental impacts of marijuana
illegal growers leave behind many garbage bags worth of trash like clothes, sleeping bags, tents, beer cans, backpack sprayers and plastic waste that pollute streams and wildlife dies trying to eat. Helicopters have to be used to carry the trash out of the remote areas at taxpayers’ expense.

An exception to a couple of these issues are the states of Colorado and Washington which have laws dictating how, where and by whom marijuana may be grown. In Colorado, where the state has a seed to sale tracking system, pot vendors’ packages must list all farm chemicals used to produce their products. Most of the crop there is grown indoors, reducing pesticide use but being highly energy intensive.

United States law enforcement officials and attorneys are saying that Mexican drug cartels plant marijuana across the border on the United States side because it is easier than smuggling it across. In remote areas of national parks and forest, secret gardens are planted using streams for irrigation and toxic pesticides which have been banned in the States.

Scott Bauer, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says cannabis farm irrigation has used up all the water that normally keeps salmon streams going through the dry season with at least 24 salmon and steelhead streams dried up in summer 2013. He considers it the number one threat to salmon in his area and says the spending of millions to restore streams, contain sediment and fix fish path barriers is a waste without water for the fish.

The U.S. Justice Department has proposed treating prosecution of these growers similar to methamphetamine producers since toxic chemicals are involved. They suggest heavily increased prison sentences in contradiction to the Obama administration’s move to cut bulging prison populations with shorter times for federal drug defendants.

The main source of the problem in the U.S. is in northern California’s Emerald Triangle of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties known for massive U.S. marijuana cultivation. California has allowed growth of marijuana for health reasons since 1996. Just in the years from 2009 to 20012, cultivating marijuana on private land doubled.

Where the U.S. Forest Service rangers used to find occasional areas of a few hundred plants, they are now regularly seeing as many as 40,000 plants. And as especially during prohibition when it was dangerous to walk in the woods where moonshiners had their stills, it is now dangerous to be in the woods near marijuana patches where guns are protecting the crops. Watch the heartbreaking Forest Service video for pictures of the environmental damage they are seeing.

Pollinator Week, Tree Hug Tuesday, and other Maryland green events

Pollinator Week will take place from June 16 to June 22. It is an international event celebrating pollinator animals like bees, bats, butterflies, and birds — and calling attention to the environmental problems many of these animals face. For more information, visit http://www.pollinator.org/pollinator_week_2014.htm or www.fws.gov/pollinators.

The Herrington Manor State Park in Oakland is offering a hike into Cranesville Swamp on June 16. It would take place 10 – 11:30 a.m. Hikers would learn about the different species that live in the swamp, what a frost pocket is, and how a swamp regulates water during floods. The hike itself is free, but there are park entry fees: $3.00 for Marylanders and $5.00 for out-of-state visitors. To learn more, contact Chris Hull at [email protected] or (301) 334-9180.

Baltimore Green Space and Blue Water Baltimore seek volunteers for Tree Hug Tuesday on June 17. The hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Every Tuesday, participants mulch, stake, and prune newly planted trees in Baltimore city and Baltimore County. BWB provides all the equipment and work gloves. Volunteers should bring water and wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty. To learn more, contact Debra Lenik at [email protected] or (856) 275-7478.

There will be a Pollinator Workshop at Dawson’s Market in Rockville on June 18. It will run 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Alison Gillespie will educate people on the importance of honeybees and other pollinators. There will be a honey tasting and an observation hive. Registration is required. To learn more, call (240) 428-1386.

The Future Belongs to Solar Systems

Especially in frosty environments, family life cannot be imagined without regular hot water supply. Solar panels have proved to be cost effective though performance goes down during the bleak winter. Yet solar panels would deliver 70% of the annual hot water requirement. The hunt for alternative energy sources has been an ongoing process with the onset of global warming. Governments in several countries like China offered subsidies for solar generating units and thus the sector saw fragrant dreams of riding the waves in the long run.

The absurdity is strange but true. On the face of it, Solar Panel Manufacturers seem to be making whopping profits, going by the innate popularity of going ethically solar. What impression do you get from the many rooftops that are installed with solar panels? Everybody has seen it. Most want it. The installation cost is the only money you would ever spend with zero running costs and little maintenance. Yet the truth is not so simple. Among European, American and Indian makers, nobody is making millions.

The only happy producers are the numerous Chinese companies that have the advantage of inexpensive loans and cheap labor too to keep the show going. The soft loans at almost zero interest granted by the Chinese Export-Import bank to customers of their products have made all the difference.

Indian companies post staggering losses. Imported equipment like the Chinese is affordable. Europe no longer offers subsidies in the midst of its economic crisis. Between crystalline silicon and thin film technology for solar panels, Moser Baer was the only company that made thin films but other companies have now joined the competition.

Thermal Heating Systems point to the future with depleting sources of energy and costly electricity. Farfetched regions untouched by electrical energy like deep in the forest would benefit from solar energy that is capable of delivering all household energy needs. Business and educational needs would also be met by such systems like heating up the community swimming pool.

Cost effectiveness and standardization have been proved beyond doubt as more and more entities take to solar heating even in the developed countries like America though the industry does not seem very profitable in terms of actual saving on power. The wealthy may fancy the solar panels on the rooftop but are more concerned with trends rather than the money being saved.

Geothermal energy indicates the future too. Heat from deep inside the earth is harnessed as electricity that runs systems similar to what the sun’s energy could accomplish. Geothermal heating exists in 70 countries. USA is the worldwide leader in generating electricity from geothermal sources. The interior of the earth like the sun presents infinite heat sources that are quite stable because the earth insulates against loss of heat.

How Gutter Cleaning Can Overcome Severe Problems

Gutter cleaning should be done from time to time. Mostly, every homeowner would probably like to avoid costly repairs whenever possible. The best way to do so is by keeping up your home’s routine maintenance. Due to routine gutter cleaning, you will be able to overcome many serious problems. Cleaning the gutters will help you in removing twigs, branches and other blockages from the gutter and that means that water can flow through more easily. If you otherwise let these things left out then you will realize that they create damns and these will ultimately cause the gutters to overflow.

It may look simple, but the truth is that your home’s gutters are of critical importance. Gutters become clogged from time to time; which means that they will no longer work as efficiently as they should. In turn, a range of adverse problems arise. In extreme cases, you may find yourself paying a huge roof repair bill.

Overcoming These Problems with Routine Gutter Cleaning

Gutter cleaning is a useful and cheap way to maintain the appearance and value of your home. By using professional services of gutter cleaning in Harrow, you should be able to overcome problems like these:

  • Foundation Problems

Gutters don’t only keep water from accumulating on the roof; but they also prevent it from pooling around the foundation of a home. When gutters are not cleaned, the water flows off the roof and pool up around the foundation, which can cause leaks sometimes. Unlike, clogged gutters the first sign of trouble is flooding in the basement. By the time it is done, you’re looking at a very costly repair bill.

  • Roof Leaks

The gutters on your home direct water away from its roof. At least, they will do so as long as they’re free of debris. But when they become clogged, water will often seeps up onto the fascia, leading to flashing, sheathing and framing. Over time, this can decay the wood, which can result to leaks. From there onwards, a range of expensive and severe problems can start to develop.

  • Damage Due to Animals and Insects

Animals and Insects love clogged gutters as plants often sprout up in the dirt and debris. Mosquitoes do not love anything else better than standing water, and they’ll find it in a clogged gutter. Birds and mice may even build nests in the gutter which will cause all kinds of damage to your roof and home.

Gutter cleaning is not difficult, but the right safety precautions need to be used. That’s why it’s good to hire a professional company to do the job for you. If you consider all of the problems, you can avoid these by doing so, and you will surely to agree that it is money well spent. Therefore, have your gutters cleaned today and help maintain the value of your home.

New bipartisan water law promotes use of public-private financing

President Obama recently signed a bipartisan bill to develop the nation’s water infrastructure – the harbors, bays, levees and coastal facilities that are essential to business and people’s day-to-day lives. Contained within the broad reach of the full law are provisions that rely on joint federal-private partnerships to promote water infrastructure.
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“As more of the world’s cargo is transported on…massive ships, we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got bridges high enough and ports that are big enough to hold them and accommodate them so that our businesses can keep selling goods made in America to the rest of the world,” President Obama said in his prepared remarks on June 10, 2014, the day he signed the bill.

“[M]any of America’s businesses ship their goods across the country by river and by canal, so we’ve got to make sure that those waterways are in tip-top shape,” the President said.

In addition to its lack of earmarks, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, supported by 48 members of Congress, is notable, in part, because it promotes use of partnerships between the government and private sector as a way to finance water improvement infrastructure.

Sometimes called joint public-private partnerships or P3s, these arrangements rely on the private sector to reduce federal risk, supposedly a net gain for both the government entity involved and its private partners who gain the right to profit from what historically have been government projects.

The new law approves a five-year pilot program to use a form of these public-private partnerships to finance flood control, waste water and water treatment facilities, among other projects, according to materials provided by the National Association of Water Companies. The Secretary of the Army and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency will administer the pilot program.

The water resources law highlights the fact that “public-private partnerships are more broadly accepted,” Petra Smeltzer, Director of Government Relations of the National Association of Water Companies, said.

For years, federal and state governments have financed certain road construction using joint public-private partnerships. “This alternative to taxes and bonds offered governments the ability to shift debt and maintenance costs off their books,” according to the American Bar Association’s Government Private Sector Innovation Committee website. “It also allowed governments to offset large upfront capital costs through lease or toll payments.”

“Increasingly, governments and government agencies are using public-private partnerships to reduce environmental harm, support renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and fund technology,” the bar association committee website said.

President’s climate change comments (ought to) resonate in Sacramento

It has been noted that “even before the early ancestors of modern humans began walking on 2 legs, climate change was a constant and ongoing process.

During an earlier warm era, trees and plants now common in areas of the United States were found near the North Pole.

Only 18,000 years ago most of the North American Continent was covered in ice.

From historical records a recent cooling period known as the little ice age occurred from the 15th to the 19th century.

This cooling caused a decline in human existence because of massive crop failures and hypothermia related disease.

The subsequent warming trend that began in the 19th century has been good for humans; however, for the first time in history our activities may be affecting the environment in ways that are contributing to global climate change.”

On June 14, 2014, President Obama gave the commencement speech at the University of California, Irvine.

When challenging political opposition to government policy to respond to ongoing global climate change, the President spoke as follows:

“Now, part of what’s unique about climate change, though, is the nature of some of the opposition to action.

It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist….

And today’s Congress, though, is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change. They will tell you it is a hoax or a fad.”

These comments ought to resonate in Sacramento as we deal with an ongoing drought.

In May 2014, a group of academic scientists published a research paper on the probable causes of the 2013-2014 California drought. Some of its results are summarized.

Severity – California 2013 – 2014 drought was historic in minimal levels of rain
Cause – upper-level drought-producing weather ridge
Influence – intensity of drought-producing weather ridge traceable to human-induced global warming
Future – persistent and cyclic California droughts will be more severe going forward

The current drought in California will impact much of Sacramento’s economy, including increasing the price of food.

Emerging scientific evidence that this drought, and its impacts on Sacramento, is influenced by human-induced global warming compels deniers to present competent and peer-reviewed scientific evidence to the contrary.

Phone app shops for pot: Canary to dispensary to your door

Seattle and Denver will be pioneer venues with a new smartphone app branded Canary. Card holders tap tablet glass or click their mouse from their house, and choose from the entire local online marketplace of all the available strains of marijuana and infused edibles. Expect delivery soon.

Dispensaries are now online, so cooperating with Canary makes the connection easy and safe, reliable and legal. By law, drivers must also be certified with current medical marijuana card. Canary is working with ride-share drivers from Lyft and Uber to handle this budding niche market in two cities.

Josiah Tullis and Megh Vakharia: ‘Go green to make green’

In a TechCrunch MeetUp conference last week, two UW students won the personal choice award for their Canary. They had virtually connected two rising volatile components of our world (legal weed in WA and on-demand providers) and lights went on, mentos hit diet coke, and POOF! – Canary is among us.

Last time you were 19, did you invent an app to go boldly where no app had gone? Josiah Tullis and Megh Vakharia are in the same shoes. Not long ago they were just learning and wondering, positing a ‘what if?’ here and a ‘what about?’ there. Ee aye, ee aye OMG!

Though just a middleman role connecting client and shops, the service includes delivery and provides the kind of practical simplicity that shops and clients both consider a win-win. Canary opens the door to convenience and anonymity in a techno-shopping app that uplifts and gratifies.

Delivery to your door: Flowers. Pizza. Pot.

Clients ID themselves in the Canary protocol by sending a picture of the Legal Marijuana Card from states. Checks and double checks provide for security and easy transfer of orders with cooperating dispensaries. Drivers pick up the goods and deliver to a person holding the same card on file with the order.

With a slight additional charge above the dispensary prices online, Canary clients enjoy a pleasant home-shopping experience, personal choice, and quick delivery (less than an hour). No longer howling in angry streets, the best minds of our generation are stark raving peaceful 24/7 at home chirping.

A canary in the gold mine

Illegal marijuana made cartels rich. Now as a legal product, the suppressed marijuana market is due for a rebound. The imminent success of a Canary shows how a simple change can have ripple effects by providing applicable technology to shrink a task and simplify the links.

Sustainable culture is made of Canaries chirping for efficiency, howling for decency and respect for our precious time on this paradise.

How Pool Safety Fence Can Protect Your Home From Danger

Pool safety fence are the first line of defence between the intruder and your home. There are a number of people who might find an incident of falling into water extremely hilarious however a person who may not know how to swim can become injured or worse drown in the water if they are not protected from such kind of accidents. It just takes about a bit of water for a person to drown or have a panic attack. Gate hardware hinges and pool safety fence can protect the people from such mishap. One can take a lot of precautions to save their home from such misfortune.

How gate hardware hinges and pool safety fence can protect your home?

There are several ways that such equipment can help you build a boundary between your home and that of your neighbors or the outside world. All you need to do is install these products at the right place. The security that these products provide is hard to find with another product. Here are a few things that it can do with its presence outside the pool area.

  1. Block passage of animals: Wild beasts can be hard to tame and they may wander to your expensive recreation facility without any warning. In order to protect the pool and stop animals from contaminating it you need to install pool safety fence. The boundary would alert the owners of the presence of another person or animal whenever they try to intrude on your property.
  2. Alert people: The security system installed on these equipments can alert the owners and the passersby about the presence of another being. This alarm can be highly sensitive to the presence of another thus any intruder would think many times before barging on the property of such owners. The alarm can allow you to sense of peace as you would be sure that no one would dare to penetrate your property with their presence outside of your home boundary.
  3. Protection to children and pets: Children tend to have a mind of their own. They don’t understand the difference between safety and danger. Thus they need to be looked after at all times however you may not even notice their absence when something mischievous makes them turn to the swimming pool area. The fun of the recreational facility may vanish if something were to happen to your children. Pets are similar to children thus they need to be looked after at all times however by ensuring heavy lock system made of the finest gate hardware hinges you protect them from any danger.

These reasons will convince you that buying such products is elemental in protecting your home sphere from any accidental mishap. There are probably many reasons which will be able to convince you about securing your home from any trouble with the installation of protective hardware. Give your mind rest by installing items that would protect your family from any kind of danger and protect your swimming pool from becoming contaminated with the presence of another.

Protect teeth from decay and breakage

Bacteria naturally occur inside the human mouth. When they come in contact with sugar and processed simple starchy foods, they grow out of control in the mouth and “poop” acid there dissolving tooth enamel and causing cavities. Teeth are either protected or attacked mostly by what is put in the mouth.

Anything that is sticky and stays on the teeth longer allows the bacteria more time to multiply within the plaque formed. Meal times are a little different in that more saliva is produced then which helps rinse away the sugars and guard against enamel-eating particles and acids.

Protect teeth by avoiding:

chewing on hard, frozen ice cubes which can crack or chip teeth and irritate soft tissue inside the teeth
bedtime bottles for babies, whether juice, milk, or formula, and creating the habit of falling asleep with a bottle in the mouth that coats new forming teeth with sugar overnight
tongue and lip piercings that crack teeth when the metal stud is bitten on, cause tooth loss from gum damage as metal rubs against the gums and act as a bacteria haven increasing infections in the mouth
starchy foods like potato chips, saltine and Goldfish crackers, and white bread. Saltine crackers are worse than candy for the teeth because they contain genetically engineered ingredients, contain a fermentable highly processed starch that increases the glycemic index and makes food more cariogenic. Avoid foods made with white refined flour.
acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes unless followed by drinking water eats tooth enamel
smoking which stains teeth, causes them to fall out due to gum disease, and causes cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue
grinding teeth, also known as bruxism, usually caused by stress and sleeping habits. Dentists will later identify this issue by worn down teeth, but jaw pain can be an early symptom. A dentist may prescribe a mouthguard to be worn at night to protect the teeth. Jaw alignment surgery is sometimes necessary.
sucking sugary cough drops, throat lozenges or hard candy that coat the teeth with plaque where bacteria thrives.
chewing gummy candies and dried fruits which stick worse than other candy in the teeth resulting in longer sugar and acid contact on the enamel. Eat them if you must with a meal and avoid snacking on them.
opening bottles and packaging with the teeth which can chip and crack them. Teeth are for eating only. Scissors and bottle openers are for opening bottles and plastic.
soft drinks which contain phosphoric and citric acids and sugar. Diet soft drinks contain more acids.
drinking sports drinks frequently which usually have a high sugar content. Drink sugar-free water instead to stay hydrated when working out.
drinking fruit juice with added sugar, sometimes as much sugar content per serving as soft drinks. Fruit juices do contain vitamins and antioxidants so reduce the sugar by diluting with plain or carbonated water.
drinking alcohol which decreases saliva production, makes teeth more porous and likely to stain, corrodes gum tissue and causes mouth and throat cancer. This includes red and white wines whose acids weaken enamel. Red wine also contains deep pigment called chromogen and tannins that help the color stick to teeth. Rinse the mouth with water after drinking wine.
drinking coffee and tea which not only stain the teeth but make them stickier, especially if the fluids contain added sugar and cream. However, green and black tea contain polyphenols that have cavity-fighting properties and suppress plaque causing bacteria. Drinking these teas during or after meals helps tooth enamel, but still may stain the teeth.
constantly snacking especially with processed sugary or starchy foods. Eat carrots or celery if you cannot wait until a next meal.
chewing on pens and pencils can crack and chip teeth. Substitute sugarless gum containing xylitol which populates the mouth with the right good to bad bacteria ratio, generates saliva production and aids digestion and oral health.
binge eating, which involves heavy sugar intake, and purging (bulimia nervosa) where vomited stomach acids weaken and erode teeth and also cause bad breath. Seek help from a physician.
participating in sports without wearing a mouthguard can result in chipped, cracked, broken and lost teeth.
taking medications which facilitate dry mouth inhibit saliva production needed to remove small food particles from the mouth and prevent them from sticking to the teeth. Ask the physician for a different medicine. Increase water intake if the medication is health critical.

An important tip in the video is why is is necessary to wait 30 minutes to an hour after eating before brushing the teeth.