sacramento connect sacramento blogs & community news around sacramento california Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:53:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Laggies Blu-ray Review Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:51:00 +0000 Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Keira Knightley ( The Imitation Game, Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) headlines the cross-generational comedy, Laggies, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) February 10th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Theatrically released by A24 and referred to as "a feel-good, crowd-pleasing comedy" (The Playlist), the hilarious rom-com also features Chloë Grace Moretz ( If I Stay, Carrie, Kick-Ass franchise), Ellie Kemper ( Bridesmaids, TV's "The Office") and Sam Rockwell ( Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Way Way Back).
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High School Videos About Sacramento Non-Profits Awarded by Access Sacramento Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:38:18 +0000 0 Greek Salad Dressing Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:24:00 +0000 0 Greek Orzo Salad Fri, 06 Mar 2015 21:59:00 +0000 0 Welcome to New Advertiser ASR Restaurant in Roseville Fri, 06 Mar 2015 21:15:00 +0000 0 Arrests made in Rocklin crime spree Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:54:27 +0000 ROCKLIN – Rocklin Police Department is reporting today that arrests were made for a crime spree that occurred between the evening of February 28th and the early morning hours of March 1, 2015.  During that time the Rocklin Police Department responded to 22 separate crimes that occurred across the city. A News Release was immediately […]

The post Arrests made in Rocklin crime spree appeared first on Placer County Online.

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SYRCL Organizes Growing Green for the Yuba: Best Management Practices Workshop on River-Friendly Cultivation, March 21 Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:39:06 +0000 Growing_green_poster.jpg
NEVADA CITY, Calif. March 6, 2015 - California’s current “Green Rush” has attracted many farmers to grow medical marijuana, or cannabis, in Nevada County where land is relatively cheap, water seems plentiful and the sun shines 250 days out of the year. By some accounts, the County may be producing $50 to $600 million worth of cannabis annually (The Union, 1/17/15).

“While most of the attention surrounding cannabis cultivation has focused on economic, medical or social issues, we call upon our community to make sure that the negative environmental impacts to the Yuba River are not overlooked,” said Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL).

“Every new economic ‘rush’ from hydraulic mining to clear-cutting has had profound impacts on the Yuba River over the past 160 years. Maybe this time we can find collaborative, local solutions to protect this watershed we all love so much,” said Hank Meals, local historian, author and member of SYRCL’s Community Advisory Board.

On March 21st, the public is invited to attend “Growing Green for the Yuba,” SYRCL’s daylong informational workshop, to learn from local and regional experts about practices for cultivation that will safeguard the Yuba watershed. The presenters will address a variety of topics including water management systems, soil health and nutrient use, pest management and alternative energy. There will also be two panel discussions focused on “Local Growers Issues” and “Local Grow Shop Issues,” including local and statewide regulations and products that are available locally.

“With this event, we hope to draw attention to the cumulative impact of small grows across our watershed, which is already starting to have a visible impact on the Yuba and its tributaries from dry creek beds to toxic algae blooms,” said Rachel Hutchinson, SYRCL’s Science Director.

“People will come away from this workshop with the tools they need to grow cannabis in a way that does not harm the water quality, fish and wildlife we cherish here in the Yuba watershed,” said Amigo Bob Cantisano, a renowned leader in the organic gardening movement and a confirmed speaker at the workshop. “If all growers agreed to farm using environmentally sustainable methods, we can foster a truly ‘green’ Green Rush in the foothills.”

“As responsible business owners in the Yuba, we want to encourage cannabis cultivators to be sustainable. There should be no controversy between thriving farms and a healthy river,” said Darlene Markey, owner of Sweetland Garden Supply and a sponsor of SYRCL’s workshop.

“SYRCL is not taking a position - pro or con - on cultivation; we’re not endorsing or opposing it. We’re simply saying that if you are going to grow, adopt best practices and do it in a way that doesn’t harm our waterways,” said Holly Mitten, SYRCL Vice President and chair of the Marijuana is a Watershed Issue Committee.

The “Growing Green for the Yuba” workshop is sponsored by Forever Flowering, Vital Garden Supply, Sweetland Garden Supply and Americans for Safe Access-Nevada County.

WHAT: Growing Green for the Yuba

A Best Management Practices Workshop on Sustainable Cannabis Cultivation

WHEN: March 21, 2015 from 9:30am-5:30pm

WHERE: Shady Creek Event Center, 18601 Pathfinder Way, Nevada City (on the Ridge)

TICKETS: $20 (includes lunch) in advance/$30 at door; Tickets at SYRCL Office and website (313 Railroad Avenue, Nevada City), BriarPatch Market, Mother Truckers and at the door.

MORE INFO: (530) 265-5961 and
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“Is that pretty?” Adorable Young Stockton Girl Covers Herself in Sharpie Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:36:50 +0000 ]]> 0 PCWA honors retiring General Manager Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:23:46 +0000 AUBURN – David A. Breninger, who has managed the Placer County Water Agency since 1992, was honored Thursday (Mar. 5) on the eve of his retirement. Breninger’s accomplishments were recognized at Thursday’s meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors by members of the board and staff and by others attending the ceremony. PCWA Board Chairman Primo […]

The post PCWA honors retiring General Manager appeared first on Placer County Online.

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Empowering Women Through Dance Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:40:34 +0000 ]]> 0 Irish-Inspired Dishes in Time for St. Patrick’s Day Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:37:43 +0000 ]]> 0 Blissful Bridal Affairs Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:36:08 +0000 0 Midtown Farmers Market Gets a Fresh New Look Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:33:55 +0000 ]]> 0 Aerial Mulching Operations to Resume Next Week in King Fire Burned Area Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:19:29 +0000 0 Republican Rocky Chavez Enters US Senate Race in California Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:04:06 +0000 ]]> 0 PCWA Honors Retiring General Manager David Breninger Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:02:52 +0000 Jennifer-Persike-and-Dave-Breninger.jpg
Jennifer Persike, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of California Water Agencies presenting Mr. Breninger with a resolutionAUBURN, Calif. (Mar. 6, 2015) – David A. Breninger, who has managed the Placer County Water Agency since 1992, was honored Thursday (Mar. 5) on the eve of his retirement.

Breninger's accomplishments were recognized at Thursday's meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors by members of the board and staff and by others attending the ceremony.

PCWA Board Chairman Primo Santini noted some of the key advances made by the agency under Breninger's leadership. "To me, your biggest accomplishment is the staff you developed," Santini said. "You're leaving us with a bright future. I believe that is the biggest monument you have built."

In attendance was Jennifer Persike, deputy executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), who lauded Breninger's leadership on water issues at the regional and statewide levels and presented a resolution of appreciation on behalf of the ACWA Board of Directors.

Breninger's March 6 retirement closes out a 48-year career in public service, including the past 23 years with PCWA. Agency accomplishments during his tenure include the construction of the PCWA Business Center, American River Pump Station, and Ophir Pump Station and the successful federal relicensing of the PCWA Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project.

He is being succeeded as general manager by the agency's director of strategic affairs Einar Maisch.
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A Tale of Two Sign Designs – Elk Grove Planning Commission Approves One, Pushes Back on Another Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:00:00 +0000
The Elk Grove Planning Commission told fast food 

developer Gil Moore to change several element on 
this billboard. 
March 6, 2015 |

Last night's meeting of the Elk Grove Planning Commission might be called the tale of two sign designs - it was the best of designs; it was the worst of designs. Such was the case for two applicants seeking design approval of billboards to be installed on Highway 99.

Those two applicants, local fast food and gas station impresario Gil Moore and Tsakapoulos Investments will be erecting billboards on the east side of Highway 99 south and north of the Sheldon Road interchange respectively.

With very little discussion or criticism, the planning commission approved by a 4-1 vote Tsakapoulus' sign that will part of a shopping center they are developing on the northeast corner of the 99-Sheldon Road interchange. The sign will advertise tenants of the forthcoming development dubbed Sheldon Crossing and other nearby businesses, and will be about 80-feet high with nine panels.

The only design change the planning commission ordered was the removal of the City of Elk Grove logo. Aside from that, the commissioners praised the billboards design elements.

While the planning commissioners were pleased with the Sheldon Crossing sign, they were less impressed with Moore's 60-foot high billboard design. Among other elements they told the father of Elk Grove's billboard explosion to redesign were the base of the billboard's pillars, the number of panels, and the elk on top of the structure.

Specifically, they told Moore to make replace the cross-hashed aluminum covering at the base of the pillars with brick, reduced the number of panels to six, and remove the elk decorative panel at the top of the billboard. Pending those changes, the commissioner indicated they would approve the design.

Moore is scheduled to come back to the Commission on March 19.  

With the exception of the Elk Grove City logo,
the planning commission praised the billboard design
for the Sheldon Crossing development. 

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11-year-old Sent Home from School for Christian Grey Costume Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:55:52 +0000 ]]> 0 Best day ever Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:50:54 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 0 What is a fire adapted community? Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:50:39 +0000
With the looming expectation of another year of drought, our communities face another challenging year of wildfire threat. January finished as one of the driest Januaries on record and while the recent storms were welcomed, they did little to increase snow pack throughout the state. As a result, fire agencies are preparing for another long fire season. “The drought has set the stage for another busy fire season,” said Michael Brown, Fire Chief for North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District. “All the Federal, State and Local Fire Agencies are working together to protect the people, property and unique natural resources within the Lake Tahoe Basin.”


In 2014, there were over 1000 more wildfires in California than the previous year. In fact, fire season never really ended. The fuels that burn in wildfires, such as grass, brush and trees, remained extremely dry and susceptible to ignition all year long. This year is looking to be no different. As an example, the Round Fire, which started on February 6, 2015, just north of the town of Bishop, quickly consumed 7,000 acres and destroyed 40 structures. “A fire of this significance in the month of February should raise our awareness and lead to positive actions to prepare our communities for fire,” said Tim Alameda, Fire Chief for Meeks Bay Fire Protection District.


Depending on where we live in the United States, natural destructive forces abound, whether they are hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods or fire. It is certainly no secret that we live in an environment where large damaging and costly wildfires occur on a routine basis. While the odds may not seem to be in our favor, our communities can adapt to the threat of wildfire and we can diminish the risks to our livelihood. “A Fire Adapted Community is one in which the community places a high priority on the common vulnerability to destruction by wildfire,” said Dr. Elwood Miller of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “The adapted community is one that includes the perspective of wildfire threat, and the high probability of serious loss, as a routine way of viewing and characterizing the community. As a result we change our behavior and implement measures to mitigate the threat.”


“We can’t do this alone,” said Fire Chief Michael Schwartz of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. “Motivated residents who work with their neighbors and local fire department to prepare their communities for fire is the key to a successful outcome when wildfire strikes.” A Fire Adapted Community can survive a wildfire with little or no assistance from firefighters. These communities are characterized by homes that are modified to reduce the chance of ignition and where vegetation and flammable items have been reduced around a home to provide good defensible space. A fire adapted community is buffered by fuel breaks where flammable vegetation has been modified to slow the spread of flames and provide a zone where firefighters can aggressively fight a fire. “When wildfire comes, Fire Adapted Communities reduce the potential for loss of human life and injury, minimize damage to homes and infrastructure and reduce firefighting costs,” adds Dr. Elwood Miller. “For more information on Fire Adapted Communities, I encourage everyone visit our website at .”

About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, Cal Fire, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and educating the public on becoming a Fire Adapted Community.

For more information, visit]]> 0 37.7668 -122.245 39.0214 -120.045 36.1135 -115.147
CELEBRATE: International Women’s Day Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:29:00 +0000 0 Urgent campaign to curb pollutants’ deadly effects causing millions of premature deaths Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:15:24 +0000 CROP-nepal-cooking.jpg
A woman cooking on a smoky wood-burning clay stove in Nepal. Image: Chris deRham via FlickrLONDON, March 6, 2015 - They are called short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), but they play a significant role in global warming, as well as leading to serious health problems.

Although they exist for far shorter time spans in the atmosphere than CO2, the SLCPs can cause serious changes in climate in that time, particularly in urban areas or in highly climate-sensitive zones such as the polar regions and major mountain ranges.

The SLCPs − which include methane, black carbon or soot, and hydrofluorocarbons − are particularly prevalent in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Soot and fumes

Firewood, cow dung and other fuels, incompletely combusted on millions of household fires, give rise to high levels of SLCPs − as does the black soot and fumes belching from the exhaust pipes of hundreds of thousands of trucks and buses. The smoke and fumes originating from small industrial concerns, such as brick factories, also contain high levels of black carbon.

This pollution is swept by the winds up onto high mountain ranges, falling on the snow and glaciers and darkening the surface. Losing its ability to reflect the sun’s heat, the surface warms and a process of melting is set in motion.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) − initiated by the governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the US, and the United Nations Environment Programme, and also comprising private sector groups and environmental organisations − was formed three years ago with the aim of curtailing SLCP emissions.

At a recent meeting in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, delegates were told that climate change was happening faster and in a dramatically more visible manner in the Earth’s cryosphere – the regions of ice and snow – than anywhere else on earth.

The consequences of increased melting in the Himalaya-Hindu Kush region are particularly serious.

According to the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the area’s mountains store nearly 10% of the world’s freshwater. And many millions of people across one of the planet’s most densely populated regions are dependent on mountain waters for agriculture and other purposes.

The CCAC is launching a series of schemes to combat SLCPs, including giving funds to city authorities for soot-free bus fleets and programmes to encourage less polluting agricultural practices.

“Our work will contribute to the pathway of limiting global warming to 2˚C, harness health, food and energy benefits, and spur sustainable development,” says Hanne Bjurstroem, Norway’s special envoy for climate change, and a co-chair of CCAC.

The SLCPs are also a serious health hazard. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than four million people die prematurely each year as a result of household air pollution.

The WHO estimates that 2.8 billion people cook and heat their homes by burning coal and biomass – wood, dung, crop wastes and other solid fuels – on open fires or basic stoves.


Fumes from these fires contain minute levels of toxic substances, such as carbon monoxide, nitrous and sulphur dioxides and formaldehyde. They often also contain particles of cancer-causing substances that can penetrate deep into the lungs.

Women and children, who spend most time in the home, are particularly vulnerable. More than 50% of premature deaths among children under five around the world, the WHO says, are due to pneumonia caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.

Solving the problem of SLCPs caused by household fires and other sources is not easy, but progress is being made in some areas.

In Nepal, the government says it is aiming for big cuts in SLCPs through various programmes, including the mass introduction of improved cooking stoves. The goal, it says, is to make Nepal free of indoor pollution by 2017. – Climate News Network
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Sierra College presents:”The Spirit of John Muir” featuring Lee Stetson on March 20 Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:54:58 +0000 NHM_muir-662.jpg
ROCKLIN, CA, March 6, 2015 - On March 20th the Sierra College Natural History Museum and Sierra College Press present the renowned actor Lee Stetson in his annual Rocklin appearance as California’s legendary naturalist John Muir. This two-act play will be held on Friday, March 20, 2015 in Dietrich Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets at: or at the box office one half hour before show time. Ticket pricing: $15 general, $10 students, seniors and museum members.

“The Spirit of John Muir” is a fun romp through some of the very best of Muir’s grand, thrilling adventures in his beloved western wilderness. “The Perilous Night on Mt. Shasta” – with Muir freezing in the midst of a howling blizzard while simultaneously being boiled and blistered in hot springs, his astonishing ride down a Yosemite Valley canyon wall on a snow avalanche, and climbing the 500’ wall of the winter ice cone beneath the Yosemite Fall are only a few of the amazing – and true – adventures. They also include Muir’s encounters with a mighty Yosemite earthquake, dangerous Alaskan ice crevasses, snow blindness, and much more – all liberally salted with Muir’s wilderness philosophy. This show’s theme revolves around the health and invigoration one acquires when one fully and joyfully engages wildness.

This presentation is part of the Sierra College Natural History Museum’s 2014-2015 lecture series, and will be held on Friday, March 20 at 7:30 pm in Dietrich Theatre. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets at: or at the box office one half hour before show time. Ticket pricing: $15 general, $10 students, seniors and museum members. All proceeds benefit the Sierra College Natural History Museum.

The Sierra College Rocklin Campus is located at 5000 Rocklin Road in Rocklin. There is no charge for parking after 4pm on Friday. For more information, call the Sierra College Natural History Museum at 916-660-7926.
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Harrison Ford Found Slumped Over in Crashed Plane, Says Doctor Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:43:42 +0000 ]]> 0 Snuggie, Perfect Brownie Pan Seller Pays $8 Million to Settle Fraud Claims Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:34:25 +0000 ]]> 0 California Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.9% in February Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:29:54 +0000 ]]> 0 Ouija Blu-ray Review Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:49:00 +0000 Reviewed by Allie Schembra
After Debbie (Shelley Hennig, “Teen Wolf”) suddenly dies, her best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke, “Bates Motel,”) attempts to contact her using an antique Ouija board she finds in Debbie’s room. When the curious teen begins asking the board questions and stumbles upon the mystery of her friend’s death, Laine discovers a resident spirit calling itself DZ, and eerie, inexplicable events begin to follow her. The group of friends digs deeper into the history of Debbie’s house and are shocked to find that Debbie wasn’t the first victim—and won’t be be the last if they don’t figure out how to close the portal to the spirit world they’ve opened.
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Video: OTech Chief Davood Ghods Discusses California’s Cloud Initiative Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:33:50 +0000 0 How Will California Deal with the IT ‘Silver Tsunami’? Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:30:14 +0000 0 Three-Decade Study: Men Tend to Be More Narcissistic Than Women Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:28:41 +0000 Emily-Grijalva.jpg
A study by Emily Grijalva, PhD, assistant professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management, has found that on men, on average, are more narcissistic than women.BUFFALO, N.Y. March 4, 2015 – With three decades of data from more than 475,000 participants, a new study on narcissism from the University at Buffalo School of Management reveals that men, on average, are more narcissistic than women.

Forthcoming in the journal Psychological Bulletin, the study compiled 31 years of narcissism research and found that men consistently scored higher in narcissism across multiple generations and regardless of age.

“Narcissism is associated with various interpersonal dysfunctions, including an inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, unethical behavior and aggression,” says lead author Emily Grijalva, PhD, assistant professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management.

“At the same time, narcissism is shown to boost self-esteem, emotional stability and the tendency to emerge as a leader,” she says. “By examining gender differences in narcissism, we may be able to explain gender disparities in these important outcomes.”

The researchers examined more than 355 journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical manuals, and studied gender differences in the three aspects of narcissism: leadership/authority, grandiose/exhibitionism and entitlement.

They found the widest gap in entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than women to exploit others and feel entitled to certain privileges.

The second largest difference was in leadership/authority. “Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power,” Grijalva says. “But there was no difference in the exhibitionism aspect, meaning both genders are equally likely to display vanity or self-absorption.”

In addition, the study looked at data from college students between 1990 and 2013, and found no evidence that either gender has become more narcissistic over time.

Research has shown that personality differences, like narcissism, can arise from gender stereotypes and expectations that have been ingrained over time. The authors speculate that the persistent lack of women in senior leadership roles may partially stem from the disparity between stereotypes of femininity and leadership.

“Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva says. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women, more so than for men, to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.”

Future research could further investigate the social, cultural or biological factors that contribute to these gender differences.

Grijalva’s co-authors on the study were Daniel A. Newman, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Louis Tay, PhD, assistant professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Purdue University; M. Brent Donnellan, PhD, professor of social psychology at Texas A&M University; P.D. Harms, PhD, assistant professor of management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Richard W. Robins, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis; and Taiyi Yan, an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit
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Fog on the Columbia Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:26:00 +0000 0 Mars: The planet that lost an ocean’s worth of water Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:23:43 +0000 87789_web.jpg
This artist's impression shows how Mars may have looked about four billion years ago. The young planet Mars would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 140 meters deep, but it is more likely that the liquid would have pooled to form an ocean occupying almost half of Mars's northern hemisphere, and in some regions reaching depths greater than 1.6 kilometers. Credit: ESO/M. KornmesserMarch 5, 2015 - About four billion years ago, the young planet would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 140 metres deep, but it is more likely that the liquid would have pooled to form an ocean occupying almost half of Mars's northern hemisphere, and in some regions reaching depths greater than 1.6 kilometres.

"Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space," said Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA, and lead author of the new paper. "With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars."

The new estimate is based on detailed observations of two slightly different forms of water in Mars's atmosphere. One is the familiar form of water, made with two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen, H2O. The other is HDO, or semi-heavy water, a naturally occurring variation in which one hydrogen atom is replaced by a heavier form, called deuterium.

As the deuterated form is heavier than normal water, it is less easily lost into space through evaporation. So, the greater the water loss from the planet, the greater the ratio of HDO to H2O in the water that remains [1].

The researchers distinguished the chemical signatures of the two types of water using ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile, along with instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii [2]. By comparing the ratio of HDO to H2O, scientists can measure by how much the fraction of HDO has increased and thus determine how much water has escaped into space. This in turn allows the amount of water on Mars at earlier times to be estimated.

In the study, the team mapped the distribution of H2O and HDO repeatedly over nearly six Earth years -- equal to about three Mars years -- producing global snapshots of each, as well as their ratio. The maps reveal seasonal changes and microclimates, even though modern Mars is essentially a desert.

Ulli Kaeufl of ESO, who was responsible for building one of the instruments used in this study and is a co-author of the new paper, adds: "I am again overwhelmed by how much power there is in remote sensing on other planets using astronomical telescopes: we found an ancient ocean more than 100 million kilometres away!"

The team was especially interested in regions near the north and south poles, because the polar ice caps are the planet's largest known reservoir of water. The water stored there is thought to document the evolution of Mars's water from the wet Noachian period, which ended about 3.7 billion years ago, to the present.

The new results show that atmospheric water in the near-polar region was enriched in HDO by a factor of seven relative to Earth's ocean water, implying that water in Mars's permanent ice caps is enriched eight-fold. Mars must have lost a volume of water 6.5 times larger than the present polar caps to provide such a high level of enrichment. The volume of Mars's early ocean must have been at least 20 million cubic kilometres.

Based on the surface of Mars today, a likely location for this water would be the Northern Plains, which have long been considered a good candidate because of their low-lying ground. An ancient ocean there would have covered 19% of the planet's surface -- by comparison, the Atlantic Ocean occupies 17% of the Earth's surface.

"With Mars losing that much water, the planet was very likely wet for a longer period of time than previously thought, suggesting the planet might have been habitable for longer," said Michael Mumma, a senior scientist at Goddard and the second author on the paper.

It is possible that Mars once had even more water, some of which may have been deposited below the surface. Because the new maps reveal microclimates and changes in the atmospheric water content over time, they may also prove to be useful in the continuing search for underground water.


[1] In oceans on Earth there are about 3200 molecules of H2O for each HDO molecule.

[2] Although probes on the Martian surface and orbiting the planet can provide much more detailed in situ measurements, they are not suitable for monitoring the properties of the whole Martian atmosphere. This is best done using infrared spectrographs on large telescopes back on Earth.

This research was presented in a paper entitled "Strong water isotopic anomalies in the Martian atmosphere: probing current and ancient reservoirs", by G. VIllanueva et al., to appear online in Science on 5 March 2015.

The team is composed of G.L. Villanueva (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, USA; Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., USA), M.J. Mumma (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), R.E. Novak (Iona College, New York, USA), H.U. Käufl (ESO, Garching, Germany), P. Hartogh (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany), T. Encrenaz (CNRS -- Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, Paris, France), A. Tokunaga (University of Hawaii-Manoa, Hawaii, USA), A. Khayat (University of Hawaii-Manoa) and M. D. Smith (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).
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Semi-veggie diet effectively lowers heart disease, stroke risk Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:09:39 +0000 Vegetables_at_the_market.jpg
BALTIMORE, March 5, 2015 - A pro-vegetarian diet - one that has a higher proportion of plant-based foods compared to animal-based foods is linked to lower risks of dying from heart disease and stroke, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting.

In an observational study, researchers analyzed the eating and lifestyle habits of 451,256 Europeans. People who ate the most pro-vegetarian style diets (?70 percent of food coming from plant sources) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who were the least pro-vegetarian (
"A pro-vegetarian diet doesn't make absolute recommendations about specific nutrients. It focuses on increasing the proportion of plant based foods relative to animal-based foods, which results in an improved nutritionally balance diet," said Camille Lassale, Ph.D., lead author and an epidemiologist at Imperial College London's School of Public Health.

Participants were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, started in 1992. The study included nearly half a million people from 10 countries who were free of chronic diseases at the start of the study, 35 to 70 years and followed for 12 years on average. Information was collected on their height, weight, food consumption by self-reported food frequency questionnaires, lifestyle and physical activity habits. Causes, and dates of death were obtained from record linkages with boards of health, and active follow-up of participants.

Researchers scored participants based on the types of foods they ate. Points were given for eating foods from seven plant food groups: vegetables, fruit, beans, cereals, potatoes, nuts, and olive oil. Points were subtracted for five animal food groups: meats, animal fats, eggs, fish, and other seafood or dairy products.

Based on their scores, participants were categorized from the least pro-vegetarian to the most. The results were adjusted for age at the start of the study, gender, daily calories, body mass index, smoking status, physical activity, education, alcohol intake and study center.

Researchers analyzed the relationship between eating habits and death risks from heart disease and stroke.

"Instead of drastic avoidance of animal-based foods, substituting some of the meat in your diet with plant-based sources may be a very simple, useful way to lower cardiovascular mortality," said Lassale. These findings are in line with the wealth of evidence on benefits of eating plant foods to prevent CVD.

The American Heart Association recommends following a heart-healthy diet, which could also be described as a pro-vegetarian diet. It is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, skinless poultry, and fish. It encourages eating foods low in saturated and trans fats and sodium, and limiting added sugars and red meats.

Co-authors are Joline Beulens, Ph.D.; Yvonne Van der Schouw, Ph.D.; Nina Roswall, Ph.D.; Elizabete Weiderpass, M.D., Ph.D.; Dora Romaguera Ph.D.; Elio Riboli, M.D., Ph.D. and Ioanna Tzoulaki Ph.D.

No outside funding was received for this study
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Direct evidence that drought-weakened Amazonian forests ‘inhale less carbon’ Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:05:00 +0000 87648_web.jpg
Researcher on ladder measures tree diameters in Tambopata National Park, Peru, soon after the 2010 drought. This was one of 13 plots across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia that was monitored closely for a week every month in a coordinated effort. Credit: Jake BryantMarch 4, 2015 - For the first time, an international research team has provided direct evidence of the rate at which individual trees in the Amazonian basin 'inhale' carbon from the atmosphere during a severe drought. They measured the growth and photosynthesis rates of trees at 13 rainforest plots across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, comparing plots that were affected by the strong drought of 2010 with unaffected plots. They found that while growth rates of the trees in drought-affected plots were unchanged, the rate of photosynthesis - by which trees convert carbon into energy to fuel their activities - slowed down by around 10 percent over six months. Their paper, published in the journal, Nature, concludes that trees may be channelling their more limited energy reserves into growth rather than maintaining their own health. Computer simulations of the biosphere have predicted such responses to drought, but these are the first direct observations of this effect across tropical forests.

The three-year international study is the first detailed, large-scale examination of the complete carbon cycle, looking at both the growth and metabolism of forest plots at different sites across the Amazon basin. Each of the plots is one hectare and contains around 400-500 trees. The rainforest plots chosen were representative of the varying climatic and soil conditions of the Amazon basin. The study is the product of a new effort, co-ordinated by Oxford University, to closely track the functioning of tropical forests across the world: the Global Ecosystems Monitoring network (GEM).

The findings are the result of a huge and challenging field effort: over a three-year period, local students and technicians spent several weeks every month at each site to measure each tree's woody growth rate and the number of small roots that had grown. Researchers weighed monthly leaf fall, using nets, to establish the number of leaves each tree was producing. They also used infra-red gas analysers to track the release of carbon dioxide from living wood, roots, and leaves to estimate the metabolic activity of the forest. By chance, the Amazon drought of 2010 occurred right in the middle of this observation window, but only affected some parts of Amazonia.

Researchers found that while the rate of photosynthesis was constant among trees on plots unaffected by drought, rates on the six drought-affected plots dropped significantly (as compared with before the 2010 drought). They also discovered that while the growth rates of drought-affected plots were unchanged, levels of tissue maintenance and the general health of trees were reduced. The paper reasons that growth rates of drought-affected trees did not change, despite their limited energy supplies, because otherwise they would be at a disadvantage when competing for light, water or nutrients. But it adds that this neglect of maintenance came at a cost, and is likely to have led to the increase (up to a trebling in some sites) in numbers of trees dying in the years after the drought.

Study lead author Dr Christopher Doughty, from the Environmental Change Institute in School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, said: 'Tropical rainforests have been popularly thought of as the "lungs" of the planet. Here, we show for the first time that during severe drought, the rate at which they "inhale" carbon through photosynthesis can decrease. This decreased uptake of carbon does not decrease growth rates but does mean an increase in tree deaths. As trees die and decompose, the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase, potentially speeding up climate change during tropical droughts.'

These results support the findings of an earlier paper in Nature, published last year, based on aircraft data. Taken together, the research data provides a picture, from the leaf scale to the global scale, suggesting that droughts in the Amazon basin are affecting levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere globally, both on a short-term basis though decreasing photosynthesis and on a longer term basis, by increasing tree mortality.

The GEM network plans to continue to closely monitor tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia over the coming decades, to understand how these forests are affected by changing climate.

'These plots are our canaries in the climate change coal mine,'said co-author and GEM co-ordinator Professor Yadvinder Malhi, also from the Environmental Change Institute in the School of Geography and the Environment. 'As this study demonstrates, they can give us important early insight into the actual mechanisms of how these complex forests are responding to extreme climates. Only through painstaking monitoring, like this, can we hope to understand and realistically model and predict the two-way interactions between climate change and the biosphere.'

The paper, 'Drought impact on forest carbon dynamics and fluxes in Amazonia', is due to be published by Nature on 5 March 2015.

The lead institution on the paper is the University of Oxford, UK, with co-authors from Lund University, Sweden; Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Peru; Museo de Historia natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Bolivia; Universidade Federal do Pará, Brazil; Amazon Environmental Research Institute, Brazil; College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK; University of Edinburgh, UK; Australian National University, Australia; University of Leeds, UK.
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Losing 30 minutes of sleep per day may promote weight gain Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:59:19 +0000 0 Walking Away From Toxic Mold – Why You Must Leave Everything Behind Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:44:13 +0000 Hybrid Rasta Mama

Apparently I hit a nerve with a lot of you. A big one. Seems as though “leaving everything behind” isn’t seen as a necessity but rather a luxury. Ahem. Yes, leaving all our possessions behind is a luxury. Come on! There is nothing at all luxurious about walking away from your entire life! Based on ... Keep Reading! You Know You Want To!

The post Walking Away From Toxic Mold – Why You Must Leave Everything Behind appeared first on Hybrid Rasta Mama.

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Baby mantises harness mid-air ‘spin’ during jumps for precision landings Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:38:27 +0000 0 NASA Spacecraft Becomes First to Orbit a Dwarf Planet Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:34:26 +0000 15-034_1.png
Ceres is seen from NASA's Dawn spacecraft on March 1, just a few days before the mission achieved orbit around the previously unexplored dwarf planet. The image was taken at a distance of about 30,000 miles (about 48,000 kilometers). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDAMarch 6, 2015 - NASA's Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles (61,000) kilometers from Ceres when it was captured by the dwarf planet’s gravity at about 4:39 a.m. PST (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday.

Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California received a signal from the spacecraft at 5:36 a.m. PST (8:36 a.m. EST) that Dawn was healthy and thrusting with its ion engine, the indicator Dawn had entered orbit as planned.

"Since its discovery in 1801, Ceres was known as a planet, then an asteroid and later a dwarf planet," said Marc Rayman, Dawn chief engineer and mission director at JPL. "Now, after a journey of 3.1 billion miles (4.9 billion kilometers) and 7.5 years, Dawn calls Ceres, home."

In addition to being the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet, Dawn also has the distinction of being the first mission to orbit two extraterrestrial targets. From 2011 to 2012, the spacecraft explored the giant asteroid Vesta, delivering new insights and thousands of images from that distant world. Ceres and Vesta are the two most massive residents of our solar system’s main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The most recent images received from the spacecraft, taken on March 1 show Ceres as a crescent, mostly in shadow because the spacecraft's trajectory put it on a side of Ceres that faces away from the sun until mid-April. When Dawn emerges from Ceres' dark side, it will deliver ever-sharper images as it spirals to lower orbits around the planet.

"We feel exhilarated," said Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). "We have much to do over the next year and a half, but we are now on station with ample reserves, and a robust plan to obtain our science objectives."

Dawn's mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team.

For a complete list of mission participants, visit:

For more information about Dawn, visit:
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NASCIO Brief Focuses on Best Practices for IT Vendor Relationships Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:30:03 +0000 0 Elk Grove Police Seek Help Locating At-risk Missing Youth Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:30:00 +0000

March 6, 2015 |

Elk Grove Police is asking for the public's assistance locating a missing person who is considered at-risk due to his age. 

At about 3 p.m yesterday afternoon 12-year old William Mann ran  away from his residence and is believed to be with an unknown friend who lives in the area. William Mann is described as a Caucasian male juvenile, 5’4”, 140 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes.  He was last seen wearing a white shirt with blue sleeves, blue jeans and was possibly carrying a basketball.  While officers were searching for William, they learned that he had left a friend's house (9000 block of Camden Lake Way) around 6:30 p.m. William left the friend's house with a skateboard for an unknown destination. 

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of William Mann is asked to contact the Elk Grove Police Department Dispatch Center at (916) 691-5246. 

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