ANOTHER INTERVIEW FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

from-the-horses-mouthKIERAN HOLLIDAY TELLS US ABOUT ANDYSMANCLUB

Kieran, can you tell me a bit about this club you’re involved with? ANDYMANSCLUB  is a great place for men, from all backgrounds, to get together and discuss problems like mental illnesses (I suffer from bi-polar) and alcoholism etc. We all get together and it becomes almost like a brotherhood.

Where do you meet? My main meeting place is the Shay Stadium in Halifax although we have meeting places in Hebden Bridge Town Hall, Hull (Pulse Rate Group Wincolmlee), Leigh Sports Village, S. Wales (Bridgend The Brewery Field) and one has just opened in H.M.P. Armley for the people in there. Please note that all meetings are at 7 pm on a Monday evening, everything is confidential in the room, not judgemental and no counsellors are present.

Who started the group? A professional rugby league player called Luke Ambler who has played for Halifax and represented England and Ireland.

What made Luke start the group? His brother-in-law Andrew committed suicide out-of-the-blue, having seemingly never having had a problem in his life; he left his kid and his wife behind so Luke took responsibility for them both and realised that men don’t often express their feelings and talk about their problems – they have a shield up and feel they have always got to be the ‘man’. So Luke created this safe place for men to go in order to try and stop things like this happening again.

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NEW PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

from-the-horses-mouthSubject: Nature

Open to everyone. First Prize: £100, Second Prize £50 and Third Prize £25.

Maximum entry is 3 pictures per entrant. Maximum 4MB per image file.

Email pictures as jpg or png to: deancharltonmag@gmail.com

You must join the magazine (free) via sign-up form at: http://www.deancharltonmag.com from the same email address as the address used to send the images to us.

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Hemp cant get you high, but it can get high-tech

Hemp cant get you high, but it can get high-tech

Marijuana is an ancient plant with borderline mystical properties just ask the 266 million people who smoke it every year. Hemp, the industrial strain of Cannabis sativa, has been used for many purposes food, fuel and textiles among them for tens of thousands of years. Unlike its sister strain, hemp cant get you high. But much like the drug, it has extraordinary qualities.

America is no stranger to hemp. In fact, Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag with hemp and George Washington farmed it at Mt. Vernon. Unfortunately, its full potential was never realized; drug restrictions that banned marijuana suppressed hemp, too. This spurious conflation quashed the industry for about 60 years, until a 2014 farm bill defined it as an agricultural crop, leaving the door ajar to American farmers.

As marijuana laws continue to loosen across the country and the world it looks like hemp could be brought back in a big way. With China leading in worldwide hemp production and Canada having capitalized on it during Americas drug war, now is the time to get in the game. In todays fast-paced and tech-driven world, this means re-adopting the plant for todays innovation economy.

Hemp could make a huge difference in everyday products, certainly. But even more exciting are the groundbreaking research and high-tech products its already spearheading.

Amazing properties

Before we launch into some of hemps cooler applications, its important to understand just what makes hemp so unique.

First and foremost, hemp is incredibly environmentally friendly. Instead of depleting the lands nutrients, like cotton does, hemp actually puts nitrogen back into the soil. It takes less water, but produces more plants per acre (for reference, one acre of hemp produces four times the paper an acre of trees does.) Its low lignin content and natural brightness reduces the need for pulping and bleaching, meaning fewer chemicals are needed all around.

Hemp grows in a wide variety of soils and climates, so it can be harvested in all 50 states (though only about half legally). Its one of the strongest plant fibers and is naturally resistant to weeds and pests. It harvests quickly, growing 10 to 20 feet in just four months.

Then you have hemp seeds, an incredible source of protein. More than 25 percent of their calories come from high-quality protein, considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flax seeds. Various studies have linked them to a reduction in risk of heart disease and easing of PMS and digestion.

As a form of sustainable agriculture, hemp farming holds enormous potential.

Hemp is also ideal for the production of ethanol, the cleanest-burning liquid bio-alternative to gasoline. Combustion releases water vapor and CO2, which plants absorb.

Its no wonder hemp is called a smart plant, as it seems almost too good to be true, especially in a world rife with environmental and climate concerns. Considering farmers need the DEAs approval before sowing seeds, there is still a barrier to entry for now, anyway.

Future-forward applications

Restrictions aside, preliminary research has yielded results that only confirm hemps potential, and not just as an everyday alternative to cotton and wood, but for high-tech innovations.

Ever heard of graphene? Hemp fiber is also incredibly strong and light, and Dr. David Mitlin, a scientist from Clarkson University in New York, says his team has mimicked the nanomaterials amazing qualities using hemp waste. According to Dope Magazine:

Dr. Mitlin and his team were able to recycle leftover hemp-based fiber, cook it down and then dissolve it until carbon nanosheets that resembled the structure of graphene were left behind. They proceeded to build these nanosheets into powerful energy-storing supercapacitors with high energy density, thus creating a hemp based graphene.

The best part? This graphene-like hemp costs only a fraction of the price of traditional graphene: $500 a ton compared to $2,000 per gram. Dr. Mitlin also suspects the hemp-based product could outperform graphene.

Another amazing product is hempcrete, a concrete made with hemp and lime. For construction, hempcrete is essentially a super-concrete: Its negative CO2footprint alleviates the greenhouse effect and improves air quality. Its natural insulation keeps homes warm or cool, reducing need for energy. Its resistance to cracks under high pressure makes it well-suited for earthquake-prone areas. Its even mold, fire and termite proof.

Hemp also can be used to create bacteria-fighting fabrics. As early as the 1990s, scientists in China were developing blended hemp fabrics with superior resistance to staph in order to prevent sometimes fatal infections in hospitals. Considering at least two million Americans get staph infections when hospitalized, and 90,000 die, this could be a life-saving innovation here in the U.S.

Luckily, Colorado company EnviroTextilesis on it. The companys hemp-rayon fabric blend has shown in preliminary studies to be 98.5 percent staph resistant and 65.1 percent pneumonia-free. In addition, EnviroTextiles offers hemp fabric resistant to UV and infrared wavelengths, ideal for military purposes.

Whats next?

These are just a few of the many high-tech and future-forward applications hemp has. As a form of sustainable agriculture, hemp farming holds enormous potential for the planet, the economy, and even veterans seeking employment. Once the hemp is produced, it may not get you high, but figuratively, the skys the limit.

After all, how fitting is it for an ancient plant, used both 10,000 years ago and in early America, to continue its legacy in our modern world? Betsys hemp-based flag became a symbol for the country, which is now a leader in technological innovation. It would be foolish not to take the bull by the horns and ride it.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/27/hemp-cant-get-you-high-but-it-can-get-high-tech/

 

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Please Read from the Horses Mouth magazine

Could waves become the next big renewable energy source?

Could waves become the next big renewable energy source?

(CNN)The force of crashing waves can generate huge amounts of energy.

But there’s a catch: how do you develop technology that can withstand the sea’s harsh environment with minimum disruption to the ecosystem?
One Israeli-based company, Yam Pro Energy — believes it can offer the ideal solution and is set to build a wave-energy plant on the coastline of Accra, Ghana’s capital city.
Wave technology is an endeavor that has recently been trying to catch up with the likes of solar and wind energy.
It exploits a resource — the oceans — that covers 71 per cent of our planet, it’s environmentally friendly, mostly cost-free once set up and it could be revolutionary to coastal countries.
“There’s so many wave power companies and as many different devices, so finding one that actually works best is trial and error,” said Mark Jacobson, who is a Stanford University professor and director at The Solutions Project, a company which aims to help the world move to 100% renewable energy.
However, Yam Pro Energy says its innovative technology is the “best choice in renewable energy systems.”

The

Compared to other devices — like buoys — which can become destroyed and sink in rough seas, Yam Pro Energy’s patent is more efficient, it says.
“We don’t have to send scuba divers or boats out. All the maintenance is from the land, so we just put floaters up and you (can) do whatever you need to do (then) put them back down.”
The company prides itself on providing renewable energy that’s clean and affordable in an environmentally responsible way. But Greenpeace’s UK Chief Scientist and Policy Director, Doug Parr told CNN that while it supported wave power, checks needed to be in place to ensure the technology doesn’t impact wildlife.
“No source of power has zero impact on the environment,” he said, adding that assessments need to be made to “judge whether the clean energy benefits are justified.”

Future predictions

Jacobson, from The Solutions Project, supported the development of wave technology in Ghana, but said that its growth won’t be as rapid as solar and wind. “While there’s a reasonable resource of wave power to exploit, if you’re comparing it to other technologies it’s just not going to be penetrating as much,” he said.
Instead, it will compliment other renewable energy technologies. “It’s definitely worthwhile doing … We should invest (in it) as much as we can.”
The Solutions Project predicts that if the world can transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050, Ghanaian wave energy will account for 1.4 per cent of it.
And while that may seem small, Jacobson insisted it wasn’t. “The amount of energy worldwide is enormous. So something that is large is actually small in comparison to the power demand worldwide.”
He said there was “no downside” in transitioning into a world which only uses renewable energy.
“These countries can become more energy independent. There’s less risk of conflict, less terrorism because there’s fewer centralized plants and you solve the climate problem simultaneously.”
IRENA’s Taibi was more optimistic. He said that while the growth of wave power has been gradual, it was only “a matter of time” before it became the “sixth pillar” of renewable energy that will become commercialized.
“The good news is there’s quite a lot of innovation coming from different approaches to the same resource.”

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/12/africa/ghana-wave-energy/index.html

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