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US: Colorado Springs Utilities to add solar panels to power 30,000 homes
23 March 2019 - Colorado Springs Utilities is taking a significant step toward renewables in seeking to finalize a contract for 150 more megawatts of solar power. This is in addition to an existing solar array at Clear Springs Ranch about 10 miles south of the city. 'We are changing the way we power the Pikes Peak region and are on a path to reduce our carbon emissions by 40 percent or more from 2005 to 2035,' the Utilities' news release said. (more)

US: New project would more than double Wisconsin's solar energy output
23 March 2019 - Dairyland Power Cooperative has announced plans to purchase 149 Megawatts from Jefferson County solar farm. Dairyland Power Cooperative plans to purchase 149 megawatts of solar energy from the Badger State Solar project. That's almost six times Dairyland's current solar investment and would more than double the state's solar production. The new partnership would create one of the largest solar farms in Wisconsin. (more)

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs
23 March 2019 - Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize the taste buds, help cure what ails you, oil the body, perfume the air, and attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Many gardeners are trying to help declining pollinator populations by providing them with the plants they need to thrive. Herbs appeal to a great variety of bee species, said Francis Drummond, a professor of insect ecology and insect pest management at the University of Maine. (more)

US professor is first woman to be awarded math's top prize
19 March 2019 - An American professor has become the first woman to be awarded the Abel Prize, one of the world's most prestigious international mathematics awards. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced in Oslo on Tuesday (19 March) that Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin was this year's winner of the prize, seen by many as the Nobel Prize in mathematics. (more)

US: Prescriptions for healthy food might save lives -- and money
19 March 2019 - Healthy food prescriptions written for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries might lower the risk of costly chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and at the same time lower the costs of care, a new study suggests. (more)

Light physical activity tied to lower heart disease risk in senior women
18 March 2019 - Senior women may be able to reduce their risk of developing heart disease by increasing the number of hours they spend in low intensity activities, such as walking and gardening, a new study suggests. In the study of nearly 6,000 older women, researchers found women in the highest category of daily low intensity activity were 42 percent less likely to experience a heart attack or die from heart disease compared to those in the lowest category. (more)

US: North Carolina's solar power output grew 36 percent in 2018; No. 2 solar state in the country
15 March 2019 - A newly released government report says the annual solar energy production in North Carolina jumped 36 percent in 2018, firmly placing North Carolina as the No. 2 solar-producing state in the nation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed North Carolina's 36 percent growth, which significantly outpaced other leading solar states. North Carolina was third in the nation for connecting new solar projects in 2018. (more)

US: Toyota driving demand for solar power in Ohio Valley
15 March 2019 - Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky. At 100 megawatts, the site would be largest solar array in Kentucky. The project ... will be built on a 700-acre reclaimed surface mine site and could create between 50 and 100 renewable-energy jobs in a region still reeling from the loss of coal employment. (more)

California leads the way as US installs more than 10 gigawatts of solar power in 2018
14 March 2019 - The U.S. installed 10.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic capacity in 2018, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). 'The total amount of solar installed in America is on track to more than double in the next five years, proving solar's resiliency and its economic strength,' [said the SEIA's president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper]. (more)

US: California declared totally drought free for first time in seven years
14 March 2019 - California was declared totally drought free for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday, following unusually abundant winter rains and snowfall statewide, according to the government's weekly report on U.S. drought conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor's latest survey reflected an astonishing turnaround -- at least for now -- from a severe, prolonged dry spell that reduced irrigation supplies to farmers, forced strict household conservation measures, and stoked a spate of ... devastating wildfires. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Demystifying happiness: At our core we are pure love, pure happiness, pure bliss (Part one of a series)
22 March 2019 - 'What makes a person happy?' asks health writer Linda Egenes. 'It's not the actual situation we are in, good or bad, that determines happiness, but how we perceive it. As everyone knows, neither money nor fame can make a person happy. . . . The essence of who we are transcends our thoughts and emotions, our hopes and dreams: at our core we are pure love, pure happiness, pure bliss. Our twice-daily sessions of Transcendental Meditation give us the time and space to explore this part of ourselves, which can get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life. The more this unseen part of our life emerges, the happier we are and the more we can spontaneously share that with others. . . . like a light bulb which, once lit, sheds light all around.' (more)

Celebrating 50 years of teaching Transcendental Meditation in African American communities, 1969–2019
18 March 2019 - From Los Angeles to Ethiopia and across the US: In 1969 a group of African American Transcendental Meditation teachers wanted to bring the TM programme directly to their communities. TM Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi supported this vision to form an organization dedicated to teaching the TM technique to communities of colour. The organization was called Transcendental Meditation Center (TMC), Inc., and its pioneering initiatives in education, health, and rehabilitation laid the groundwork for the successes of the David Lynch Foundation today. In celebration of TMC's 50th Anniversary and Black History Month, here is their remarkable story. (more)

Transcendental Meditation reduces compassion fatigue and improves resilience for nurses
14 March 2019 - Nurses can better cope with the burnout that's endemic to the profession by practising the Transcendental Meditation technique, according to a new study published recently in the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. After four months of practice, standardized assessments found that nurses in the study had reductions in 'compassion fatigue' and burnout, and increases in compassion satisfaction and resilience. The study highlights the importance that self-care plays for professional development and longevity in nursing. 'We need to invest in our nursing staff and ensure that they have rewarding careers while also providing the best possible care for their patients,' said lead author Jennifer Bonamer, PhD, RN-BC, AHN-BC, Nursing Professional Development Specialist, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in Florida, USA. 'A variety of studies have shown [TM's] effectiveness in reducing stress and promoting health and well-being.' (more)

UK: Transcendental Meditation helps military veterans with PTSD, mental health
4 March 2019 - Hollywood director David Lynch tells Forces Network (UK) how his foundation's Operation Warrior Wellness programme is specifically aimed at helping members of the armed forces and veterans learn Transcendental Meditation to overcome stress-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Lynch has been practising TM since the 1970s. A scientific study recently published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry found Transcendental Meditation to be a viable option for decreasing the severity of PTSD symptoms in veterans. (more)

Transcendental Meditation can play a significant role in rehabilitation of young women
1 March 2019 - 'The TM technique can play a significant role in rehabilitating a female prisoner at the fundamental level of her brain's health,' writes Vanessa Vidal, national director of Transcendental Meditation for Women in the USA. Dr Fred Travis describes brain research showing that TM promotes higher development of activity in the brain's frontal area, the 'CEO of the brain' responsible for higher thought functions such as impulse control, moral reasoning, and distinction between right and wrong. 'A properly developed woman's brain, Ms Vidal says, 'should allow her to be tolerant and think and act maturely in the face of frustration.' The success of TM in rehabilitation 'gives hope for our nation's future - particularly in the consideration of young prisoners - protecting both the women and society from violent proclivities that grow out of chronic stress and anxiety.' (more)

Many sleepless Americans trying meditation and yoga
25 February 2019 - Roughly half of US adults suffer from sleep problems, and research suggests that many of them are practising mind-body exercises like yoga and meditation that might help make it easier to get a good night's rest. One approach with a proven track record is what's known as Transcendental Meditation, which has been shown to ease sleep disorders with a psychological component, said Sanford Nidich, director of the Center for Social and Emotional Health at the Maharishi University of Management Research Institute in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, who wasn't involved in the study. (more)

MUM 'ChangeMakers' global webcast explores solutions to student stress - complete videos now online
21 February 2019 - A global webcast this month featured the major 'ChangeMakers' conference hosted by Maharishi University of Management - USA and the David Lynch Foundation. 'Is College Bad for your Brain?' convened a powerful panel of thought-leaders - neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and students - to explore the epidemic of stress that is overwhelming students, and what we can all do about it. The event highlighted MUM, a university that puts stress-busting Transcendental Meditation at the core of its curriculum. Complete videos of Parts 1 and 2 of the conference are now available for online viewing, including the closing Q and A with special guest, filmmaker David Lynch. (more)

US: Maharishi University of Management's MS in Computer Science fifth largest in nation
9 February 2019 - The MS in Computer Science at Maharishi University of Management had 348 graduates - the fifth largest total in the US - in the 2016-2017 academic year, the most recent for which data has been compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics. About 1,000 students are currently enrolled in the programme. They spend 8-13 months on campus taking courses, then enrol in a practicum course, working in paid positions in US companies for up to two years while finishing their degree via distance education. Students have worked for companies such as Google, Amazon, Walmart, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Verizon, FedEX, and Apple. The average starting rate for students in the practicum phase is US$80,000 per year. (more)

The power of gratitude: A new habit for the New Year
1 February 2019 - Positive thoughts and feelings, including appreciation and gratitude, have a 'nourishing, supportive effect on our minds and bodies' according to research, says health writer Linda Egenes. She goes on to say, 'When we practise Transcendental Meditation, we enjoy a silent inner oasis of peace. . . . Research has shown that during TM the body settles to a state of deep rest, with brain activity becoming more orderly and coherent - a state of ''restful alertness''. The direct result of a serene, stress-free mind as experienced in TM is to experience more appreciation, more gratitude, more joy while going about daily activities,' with higher levels of well-being and life satisfaction. In this way TM practice spontaneously helps cultivate a natural state of gratitude. (more)

Maharishi University of Management inaugurates massive solar array - MEG'Array lights up campus
28 January 2019 - One of the most advanced solar power arrays in the world is now active in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. Last month Maharishi University of Management inaugurated a 1.1 million watt state-of-the-art solar power plant. The MEG'Array Solar Power Plant will provide about a third of all the electricity needed for the campus. The amount could be more as technology and expansion take place in years to come. Dr John Hagelin, President of MUM, said the solar array moves the school considerably closer to a commitment it made two years ago to achieve carbon-neutral status within 10 years, the Ottumwa Courier reported. Civic and government leaders at the local, state, and federal level attended the inauguration. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Opioid prescriptions after plastic surgery tied to long-term use
20 March 2019 - Opioids account for more than 90 percent of the painkillers used after plastic surgery, according to a U.S. study that questions how often these addictive narcotics are necessary to ease discomfort after operations. . . . Even so, the findings add to evidence suggesting that prolonged opioid use after surgery might not be due to pain, the authors conclude. (more)

U.S. farmers face devastation following Midwest floods
20 March 2019 - Midwestern farmers have been gambling they could ride out the U.S.-China trade war by storing their corn and soybeans anywhere they could -- in bins, plastic tubes, in barns, or even outside. Now, the unthinkable has happened. Record floods have devastated a wide swath of the Farm Belt across Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and several other states. Early estimates of lost crops and livestock are approaching $1 billion in Nebraska alone. With more flooding expected, damages are expected to climb much higher for the region. (more)

US: As wildfires devour communities, toxic threats emerge
13 March 2019 - Fires like the one that razed Paradise (California) last November burn thousands of pounds of wiring, plastic pipes and building materials, leaving dangerous chemicals in the air, soil and water. Lead paint, burned asbestos and even melted refrigerators from tens of thousands of households only add to the danger, public health experts say. (more)

US: Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil
12 March 2019 - Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That's according to the company making the oil, which says it's the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S. (more)

New cancer-causing toxin found in recalled blood pressure pills
1 March 2019 - U.S. health regulators said on Friday (1 March) a third cancer-causing toxin was found in some blood pressure pills recalled by India's Hetero Labs Ltd a day earlier, adding to a global recall of commonly used drugs to treat hypertension. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also looking into whether these types of impurities could be found in other classes of drugs, a spokeswoman for the regulator said. (more)

US faces fresh water shortages due to climate change, research says
1 March 2019 - The pressures of climate change and population growth could cause water shortages in most of the United States, preliminary government-backed research said on Thursday (28 February). As many as 96 water basins out of the 204 supplying most of the country with freshwater could fail to meet monthly demand starting in 2071, a team of scientists said in the journal Earth's Future. (more)

Smoking tied to artery disease in African-Americans
27 February 2019 - African-Americans who smoke cigarettes are more likely than those who don't smoke to develop peripheral artery disease, a U.S. study suggests. Smoking has long been linked to increased risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD), which restricts blood flow to the extremities and can lead to mobility limitations, amputations, and heart attacks. (more)

50M gallons of polluted water pours daily from US mine sites
20 February 2019 - Every day many millions of gallons of water loaded with arsenic, lead, and other toxic metals flow from some of the most contaminated mining sites in the U.S. and into surrounding streams and ponds without being treated, The Associated Press has found. That torrent is poisoning aquatic life and tainting water supplies in Montana, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, and at least five other states. (more)

Hot property: U.S. mobile homes' affordability slips as corporates move in
19 February 2019 - When Russ Watson decided to move to a mobile home community in Florida in 2011, it was to be near his father and in a space that was affordable. But over the next few years, ownership of Park Place -- which has about 475 homes -- changed hands, Watson said: first to an investment group and next to one of the country's largest owners of mobile home parks, Sun Communities. After that, Watson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, things changed. The company made improvements, but it also negotiated new five-year leases with residents that included a 4 percent annual rent hike, he said. And, he added, managers became less responsive. Watson eventually moved out -- as did others, he said. ... Watson's experience echoes a pattern seen across Florida and the country ... (more)

Common weed killer glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%, study says
15 February 2019 - Glyphosate, an herbicide that remains the world's most ubiquitous weed killer, raises the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41%, a new analysis says. Researchers from the University of Washington evaluated existing studies into the chemical -- found in weed killers including Monsanto's popular Roundup -- and concluded that it significantly increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the immune system. (more)

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