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"It's Magical." Roger Federer wins record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title at 35 years old, 19th Grand Slam

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Roger Federer, at 35, wins Wimbledon for a record eighth time
WIMBLEDON, England - Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27 and 30, won it again Sunday at 35, further cramming his name into a men’s tennis record book in which it appears almost as rampantly as it would in a biography.

At 35 years, 342 days old, he became the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open Era, as well as the oldest Grand Slam champion since Ken Rosewall won the Australian Open in 1972, a category in which Federer surpassed the 2017 Australian Open champion Roger Federer. He also extended his Grand Slam title total to 19 to arrange an arrival in New York in late August with a stunning yet realistic chance at 20, which would have seemed farfetched only six months ago.

Back in mid-January, Federer had just come off a six-month hiatus in deference to a left knee that kept yelling for attention on court while he tried to plot strategic points. With that knee rested, Federer up and won the Australian Open from a No. 17 seed, and set off on a year he has called "a fairy tale"”  read more »

Eight US flags that could have been: Grand Union, Liberty Tree, Betsy Ross, Don’t Tread on Me, Serapis...


1. Grand Union Flag, 1775
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When, on 1 January 1776, Washington’s Continental Army was mustered formally on Prospect Hill (Mount Pisgah) in Somerville, Massachusetts, it was under this flag favoured by the American general during the previous year’s Siege of Boston. John Paul Jones, the first well-known American admiral raised the Grand Union Flag at sea in December 1775. The Grand Union Flag was an adaptation of the British Red Ensign, with six white stripes overlain on the red backdrop to create thirteen alternating red-and-white stripes symbolising the first states of the American union.


2. Liberty Tree flag, 1775
The lofty white pines of New England were much prized by the Royal Navy for the construction of its grandest warships. Dating from the Massachusetts Charter of 1691, prize specimens were marked with a broad arrow symbol denoting property of the Crown and shipped to England. This form of compulsory purchase led to the Pine Tree Riot of 1772, a precursor to the famous Boston Tea Party of 1774 and war with Great Britain a year later.

Flown from the masts of American warships, the Pine Tree flag was a powerful symbolic riposte to the Crown and its Royal Navy. A lone pine was shown on a white background with the inscription "An Appeal to Heaven" ("An Appeal to God" was a less common alternative). These words were taken from the British philosopher John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government (1690), which refuted the notion of the Divine Right of Kings.


3. The Betsy Ross, 1776 (or not)  read more »

Impact of pollution, climate change - lethal heat waves threaten third of world population, 75 percent by 2100

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Deadly Heat Waves Threaten Third of the World
Currently, nearly a third of the world's population is exposed to lethal climate conditions for at least 20 days a year, according to findings published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a monthly peer-reviewed journal. As the planet's temperature rises, more of the world's population will be exposed to conditions that trigger deadly heat waves, the report said.

For a city like New York, which currently sees about two days per year that surpass the heat threshold, that could mean 50 deadly days per year by 2100.

The researchers analyzed more than 1,900 cases of fatalities associated with heat waves in 164 cities across 36 countries between 1980 and 2014 to define a global threshold for life-threatening conditions based on heat and humidity. Researchers found the overall risk for heat-related sickness or death has increased steadily since 1980.

The study notes well-documented heat waves, including a five-day stretch that claimed hundreds of lives in Chicago in 1995, the European heat wave in 2003 that saw tens of thousands of heat-related deaths and lethal temperatures in Moscow in 2010 that killed more than 10,000. Across Russia, the heat wave in 2010 claimed more than 50,000 lives. But the research team found that heatwaves are more common than most people think, and humidity levels combined with heat play a major role in heat-related heath risks.  read more »

World Meat Free Day: plant-based diet vs carnivorous diet, which way health-wise, earth-friendly?

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Why take part in World Meat Free Day? Experts say that by 2050 the world’s population is set to increase to over nine billion people, which is 30% higher than today. If we don’t make any changes to our diet by then, the increase in meat production is forecast to reach 200 million tonnes. This is a demand that simply cannot be met.

Food’s carbon footprint is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. Changing the foods that you eat, such as reducing meat consumption, can have a big impact on your carbon footprint. The CO2 kilos equivalent for producing a kilo of beef is 27 miles; you need to drive 63 miles to produce the same emissions as eating one kilogram of beef.

Recipes from Around the World, Kid Friendly, Family Favorites...

One-third of world now overweight, with US leading the way
More than two billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight, a new study reports.

This equates to one-third of the world's population carrying excess weight, fueled by urbanization, poor diets and reduced physical activity.

The United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adultcs, at 13%, while Egypt led in terms of adult obesity, with almost 35%, among the 195 countries and territories included in the study.  read more »

World's largest floating solar plant online in China at 40 megawatts - enough electricity to power 15,000 homes

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China is now home to the world’s largest floating solar power farm, a huge expanse of solar panels stretching across what was once a coal mining town in the central province of Anhui.
The farm connected to the grid last month, is thought to be the world’s largest in terms of capacity at 40 megawatts, providing enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

It occupies more than 800,000 square meters in an area hit by flooding and subsidence due to coal mining, a problem many coal mining regions in China are plagued with. After the ground sank, residents moved away, an employee at Sungrow, the company behind the panels, told Reuters.

Proponents of water based solar panel farms say they have the advantage of being placed in areas that would not have been utilised for other purposes, as well as being less likely to overheat due to the cooling effect of the water.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.  read more »

Endangered Species Day May 19 2017: world wildlife population halved in 40yrs; 1447 endangered species in US, now includes bees

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Many species in peril on Endangered Species Day
From climate change to habitat fragmentation, pollution and human conflict, species around the world are facing a slew of threats to their survival.
The National Geographic Photo Ark project aims to capture photos of every species living in the world's zoos and other protected areas before they disappear. Throughout the summer, more than 45,000 digital screens across the country will feature Photo Ark images as part of the National Geographic Society and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) #SaveTogether campaign aimed at saving species at risk in the wild.

As the world marks Endangered Species Day on May 19, here's a look at some of the species that have been featured in the Photo Ark project, and some of the startling statistics about endangered species:

* More than 23,000 species on the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction.
* 41% of the world's amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals and 13% of birds, are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red list database.
* 59% of all the carnivore species weighing 33 pounds or more are listed as threatened. Likewise, 60% of all the herbivore species weighing 220 pounds or more are listed as threatened, according to the National Geographic Photo Ark.
* 700 or fewer Sumatran tigers remain in the wild.
* 1447 species in the U.S. are on the threatened and endangered species list, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.  read more »

May is US National Bike Month: 61.6% increase in bicycle commuting from 2000 to 2012; "preventative medicine", scientists find

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The number of bicyclists is growing rapidly from coast to coast. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.
For bicyclists of all stripes, there's nothing like Bike to Work Day (BTWD), an annual celebration of active transportation. Thanks, in part, to encouragement efforts like BTWD, the number of bike commuters is on the rise, as well — especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). From 2000 to 2013, bicycle commuting rates in large BFCs increased 105% — far above the national average of 62% and more than double the rate in non-BFCs (31%).

According to the ACS, in 2012 about .64% of commutes are made by bicycle, which represents an almost 10% increase from 2011. This is the largest year-on-year increase since 2007-2008, showing that people are choosing to use their bicycles for transportation not just in response to economic crisis, but because bicycles are leading the way to recovery. In total, there were 864,883 bike commuters in 2012.
Since 2000, ACS data shows a 61.6% increase in bicycle commuting.  read more »

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