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Queen:"reflection, meditation and prayer make us better people"; remained constant is "family, friendship & good neighborliness"

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Watch the Queen's Christmas Day message 2013 in full
The Queen reflected on prominent events from the past year during her Christmas broadcast - from the service that marked the 60th anniversary of her coronation to the birth of Prince George

"balance between action and reflection"
"reflection, meditation, prayer help to renew us"
"family, friendship, neighborliness"
"principle and service"

Her broadcast began with the Queen telling her audience how a man she once knew gained a clearer insight into the world after spending a year in a plaster cast recovering from a back operation.
She said: "He read a lot, and thought a lot, and felt miserable. Later, he realised this time of forced retreat from the world had helped him to understand the world more clearly.
"We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock."

The Queen, who was dressed in a single crepe wool primrose dress which she wore to William and Kate's wedding in April 2011, also said in her broadcast: "As with all who are christened, George was baptised into a joyful faith of Christian duty and service. After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photograph.

"It was a happy occasion, bringing together four generations."

The Queen also looked back over the past 12 months to the 60th anniversary of her coronation, celebrated with a national service in June.

She said: "I myself had cause to reflect this year, at Westminster Abbey, on my own pledge of service made in that great church on Coronation Day 60 years earlier.  read more »

Why int'l experts not step in? Fukushima, Japan: 1,331 used fuel rods =14,000 x atomic bomb on Hiroshima

the spent fuel pool at the unit four reactor building of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant

process of fuel rod removal at Japan's Fukushima nulcear power plant

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Fukushima, Japan. Highly dangerous and unprecedented removal of highly radioactive nuclear fuel rods begins on Nov18
The fuel assemblies are in a 32 x 40 feet concrete pool, the base of which is on the fourth story of the damaged reactor building. The assemblies - which contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances known - are under 23 feet of water.

If the fuel rods - there are 50-70 in each of the assemblies, which weigh around 661 pounds and are 15 feet long - are exposed to air or if they break, catastrophic amounts of radioactive gases could be released into the atmosphere.

The 1,331 used fuel rod assemblies contain radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.

“Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date,” say independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt in a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

28 Signs That the West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried with Nuclear Radiation from Fukushima
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8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.  read more »

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." - George Bernard Shaw

"A problem well put is half solved."
- John Dewey

"If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions."
- Albert Einstein

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
- George Bernard Shaw

How energy efficient is your city? New report ranks 34 largest US cities... a healthier environment and growing economy

US cities ranked by energy efficiency

ACEEE 2013 US cities ranking

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How Energy Efficient Is Your City?
A new report ranks 34 major US cities by their energy-use policies.
Does your city have a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions dramatically? Is it seeking to reduce car use through bike share programs and public transit subsidies? Does it partner with utility companies to help small businesses and homeowners save energy? And does it lobby for statewide energy-efficiency legislation?

Those are just a few of the policies that have made Boston the top-ranked city for energy efficiency, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Portland, Ore., placed second, followed by New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

ACEEE ranked 34 major American cities—the 25 most populous incorporated ones, plus the central cities of nine other major metropolitan areas—according to their efforts to promote energy savings. The report looked at building codes, community-wide energy initiatives, transportation policies, energy-saving programs involving public utilities, and efforts to improve the efficiency of government building. You can see where each city ranked on the map above.

The 10 Most Energy-Efficient Cities In The U.S.  read more »

Food Education [Infographic]: nutritious lunch cuts absence by 15%, eating w/ family 5 days/wk 40%+ likely to get straight As/Bs


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[Daily Infographic] - The first time I ate a fresh pear, I was roughly twelve years old. The flavor concerned me, and I asked my mom if there was something wrong with it. You see, I grew up on Hamburger Helper, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Dole fruit cocktail in heavy syrup (still a favorite of mine–the maraschino cherries!). It wasn’t till my twelfth year that my parents finished grad school and finally had the time and money to introduce fresh foods into mine and my sister’s diet. It was a bit of an adjustment. Even at school we were used to eating processed foods.

My sister and I still give our younger brother and sister a hard time for being born a decade after us and getting to take advantage of dad’s newfound love for cooking. This is something that I talk to my dad about a lot, and he says that not finding ways for us to eat healthier earlier is one of his biggest regrets. It has taken me a while, but I have slowly but surely introduced every variety of food into my diet and learned how to cook along the way. Eating and preparing fresh foods brings me so much joy and keeps me healthy. The infographic above discusses the importance of educating children on food, and not just any food, real, healthy food.
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Image courtesy dailyinfographic.com

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