The Sixth Mass Extinction and Sand

The world is running out of sand.

According an article from Mental Floss (We’re Running Out of Sand), the world is depleting this valuable resource which is essential for construction world-wide. One would think that with all the deserts, there would be enough sand for an infinite number of buildings, but the article is quick to note that desert sand is too fine and cannot be used for most construction projects.

Also keep in mind that when we do take sand from riverbanks, beaches and digging in the earth, we are usually tampering with ecosystems upon which we and our planet depend. Many scientists believe that we are already at the beginning of the Sixth Mass Extinction caused primarily by such human activity.

What can go wrong? Watch the video below!

Stanford researcher warns of sixth mass extinction.

Related to the Video:

“Published on Jun 19, 2015

There is no longer any doubt: We are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity’s existence. That is the bad news at the center of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Read more:

If this is a topic in which you are interested, I can highly recommend an intriguing book:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert

The book is spellbinding because of the gravity of its message, but Elizabeth Kolbert is capable of putting it all in perspective in interesting and sometimes amusing ways. She clearly points out the follies of humankind as she explains how human activity, in the briefest of scientific time spans, has changed the earth’s ecology to the detriment of all living things.

STATUS QUOtes — 20150625

“As I don’t know about tomorrow, I never save the best for later.” — Paulo Coelho

“Don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.” — Adam Lindsay Gordon

“Be someone who makes someone else look forward to tomorrow.” — Anonymous

“Staircase wit – thinking of the perfect retort too late, i.e. after you have left the room.” — Based on the Urban Dictionary

STATUS QUOtes — 20150624

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” — Henry Winkler

“The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles Du Bos

“Grace meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” — Anne Lamott

“I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.” — Clint Eastwood

Ten Essential Pickleball Tips

Gale Leach has written about Pickleball and is an avid fan of the sport.** She has a newsletter which includes hints and strategies about the game (see below).

In a recent email to her subscribers, she included the graphic below with Ten Essential Tips for Pickleball.

10 Essential Pickleball Tips

You can download the small size here or the full-sized image here.

In the newsletter, Ms. Leach explains a bit about each of the elements in the graphic:

  • 1. Get your serve in the box. If you miss the serving box, you lose your chance to make a point.
  • 2. Keep the ball in play. Let others make the errors. If you keep putting the ball over the net inbounds, you will win the rally.
  • 3. Get to the net quickly. If you are serving, use the third shot to get there.
  • 4. Communicate with your partner. Talk ahead of the game about strategies. Call shots and out balls. Tell her when she makes good plays. Keep the bond between you strong.
  • 5. Keep your eye on the ball.
  • 6. Stay fit physically and mentally. Warm up before play. If injured, take time to rest. Keep your mind clear and don’t dwell on poor performance. Be positive.
  • 7. Don’t run backward. That is the easiest way to be injured. Instead, turn and run to get in position or shuffle sideways.
  • 8. Anticipate outbound balls. Then let them go, and call them for your partner.
  • 9. Use the soft game. Be patient before breaking out. The right moment will present itself if you wait.
  • 10. Stay calm and focus. Don’t psych yourself out. Concentrate on the ball; use a mantra; find a focus and don’t let your mind wander.
  • **Gale Leach is the author of The Art of Pickleball which presents an A-Z compendium for the sport. For many of the elements of the game, she explains a variety of strategies with the understanding that different players may benefit from each one. To read excerpts and reviews, visit the site linked above.

    Thanks to Gale Leach for allowing me to share this on my blog!

    I hope you found this helpful and I hope to see you on the courts!

    Flight of the Bumblebee w/o Instruments

    Many of us have heard the musical piece The Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It seems to be quite a challenging piece with those fast-paced notes and changes in register and it is something to see, I mean hear!

    I don’t think you have ever heard it like this though…a capella. How can they perform this without instruments and how good can it be; You decide.

    For those who want to compare, here is a version played by an orchestra.

    STATUS QUOtes — 20150622

    “You can waste a lot of time waiting for Superman to arrive.” — Michael Wade

    “The problem with holding a grudge…is that your hands are then too full to hold onto anything else.” — Seth Godin

    “If you want to be with someone you truly love, aren’t you already there?” — Richard Bach

    “Hors d’oeuvres: A sandwich cut into 20 pieces.” — Anonymous

    Samsung’s Safety Truck Saves Lives

    The camera and screen technology is demonstrated in Argentina where, as the video points out, a person dies in a traffic accident nearly every hour. With all of the one-lane roads, a number of those deaths are attributable to cars trying to pass on the narrow roadways.

    Samsung shows how current technology in its Samsung Safety Truck can be put to use to save lives. After all, what is the value of a human life?