Gypsum, a rocky mineral is abundant in desert regions where fresh water is usually in very short supply but oil and gas fields are common. Writing in International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Peter van der Gaag of the Holland Innovation Team, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has hit on the idea of using the untapped energy from oil and gas flare-off to release the water locked in gypsum.
Chemically speaking, gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate, and has the chemical formula CaSO4.2H2O. In other words, for every unit of calcium sulfate in the mineral there are two water molecules, which means gypsum is 20% water by weight.
van der Gaag suggests that a large-scale, or macro, engineering project could be used to tap off this water from the vast deposits of gypsum found in desert regions, amounting to billions of cubic meters and representing trillions of liters of clean, drinking water.
That is so cool! And not the kind of thing I expect to read in the Medical News Today newsletter. There’s always something interesting in it, though. This was also in it.
Body clocks determine whether people are early birds or late risers, “homebodies” or “party animals”. As Professor Hanspeter Herzel (Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany) now reported at the international conference “Computational & Experimental Molecular Biology” in Berlin, Germany, these biological watches not only regulate the sleep-wake cycle, but also blood pressure and blood temperature. “They are controlled by a master clock which consists of 20,000 neurons in the brain,” Professor Herzel illuminated, “where they operate together to adapt us to the changing demands of day and night.”
So much for those idiots who think that being a morning person is a character issue.
I must have slept wrong. My right arm isn’t working properly. It’s annoying.
But Sam fixed a great breakfast (yes, on Father’s Day). And we’ve got Firefly.