Gongol.com Archives: January 2008
Brian Gongol

January 14, 2008

Weather and Disasters New sunspot cycle begins: Here come 11 years of solar storms and disruptions

Threats and Hazards Former Soviet states in central Asia are running dangerously low on energy
First, there's the humanitarian cost. But it's a problem for other reasons, too: Shortages and crises create fertile ground for extremism, and that's not a good thing when it's happening in Tajikistan, conveniently located on the border with Afghanistan, just a few miles north of Pakistan, and on the western edge of China. Tajikistan is trying to join NATO, but it's still the poorest part of the former USSR.

Humor and Good News How to figure out what's in a secret project by reading logos

Humor and Good News What makes the Christmas season feel like living in North Korea?

Agriculture Food prices set to rise for the next ten years
A larger population is increasing demand. The crops needed for biofuels are competing for land. Prices for the fertilizers used to raise the crops are rising at a serious clip. All together, those factors are set to push food prices higher for at least the next decade, says the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at ISU.

Iowa Return of the train?
They're talking seriously about bringing passenger rail service back to Dubuque

Science and Technology Edison's forecasts of the future
His future, of course, is now the present. One sublime observation: "Communication with other worlds has been suggested. I think we had better stick to this world and find out something about it before we call up our neighbors."

Science and Technology GM buys into company making ethanol from waste
Coskata claims that its use of microorganisms and proprietary designs allows it to make ethanol for less than $1.00 per gallon

Water News Nebraska NRDs resist calls for irrigation changes

Science and Technology Chimps learn by emulating; kids learn by imitating
The difference means that human kids end up as better learners

Health Statins might help reduce cancer risk
Drugs like Lipitor, which are used to lower cholesterol in the blood, might also have an anti-cancer effect. A study of Massachusetts residents getting treatment for high blood pressure indicated a lower rate of cancers among patients using statins than among those who didn't use them, but the data available and the patient base were both considered incomplete to draw a conclusive relationship between statins and cancer.