Water from Stone?

Water From Rock, Eas­i­er Than Blood From Stone

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 Dic­tate The Beat Of Life

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.