Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
U.S. life expectancy has risen to a new high, now standing at nearly 78 years, the government reported Wednesday. The increase is due mainly to falling death rates in almost all the leading causes of death. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2007 is nearly three months greater than for children born in 2006.
The United States continues to lag behind about 30 other countries in estimated life span. Japan has the longest life expectancy — 83 years for children born in 2007, according to the World Health Organization.
The nation's infant mortality rate rose slightly in 2007, to 6.77 infant deaths per 1,000 births, but the rise was not statistically significant. It has been at about the same level for several years.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Wine is a funny thing. At one time, wine was said to be awful for you. But Italian scientists who were drinking the wine outlived everyone and so they were able to get the last word in ... wine's great for you as long as you don't overconsume it.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Crops most likely to succumb to warmer winters include apples, cherries and pears, which have a very high reliance on winter chill, and the area suitable for growing these crops had already declined to just four percent of the Central Valley – which produces most of the state’s fruit and nuts – by 2000. The findings suggest that none of the Central Valley’s area will be suitable for growing apples, cherries or pears by mid-century. Many nuts and stone fruits are also at risk.
“Our projections showed that for many tree crops that now cover large areas within the Central Valley, climatic conditions will become less suitable and in many cases potentially prohibitive for production,” the authors wrote. “Areas where safe winter chill exists for growing walnuts, pistachios, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries…are likely to almost completely disappear by the end of the 21st century.”
The situation could be particularly severe for the walnut and pistachio industries that rely on male and female flowering at the same time to allow for cross-pollination.
Now that we've all accepted that someone has turned the thermostat up, regardless of the causes, it will certainly end up having an impact on our food supply. In this uncharted territory, however, it's only now becoming clear what that will end up looking like.