Save the Grocery Store, Save the Town

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When markets fail people, then the people need to replace the market. Ir, to put it more directly: when a profitable grocery store isn’t profitable enough for a company then small towns need to buy that grocery store and turn it into a publicly owned asset which keeps the community alive. That’s what small towns in the USA are starting to do. By saving their local, downtown, grocery stores they keep people employed, returning to the town, and overall make life easier for everyone. The future of America might be the small box store.

The city hadn’t had a full-scale grocery store since 1985, and Giefer decided to change that. In 2008, he used city funding to get a new store, St. Paul Supermarket, off the ground. In 2013, when the couple who ran the store was staring down retirement, Giefer convinced the city to buy it outright.

In 2019, Schoenhofer drove to St. Paul to meet with that city’s clerk, who gave her some tips. The experiment, Schoenhofer found, had been a success. The St. Paul grocery employs ~15 people, and it turns a profit of 3%, slightly better than the average for rural grocery stores.

It has also kept people — and spending money — in town. Similarly, in Erie, residents show up to Erie Market for fresh lunches, like a BBQ pulled-pork sandwich or a taco on Taco Tuesday.

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Woman’s Nose Evolved Into Skin Swab Test for Parkinson’s

When Joy Milne‘s husband started to smell bad, she thought something was wrong. Her concern was met with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, which is a neurological condition impacting hundreds of thousands around the world. The causes of Parkinson’s are still being investigated and diagnosing it is also a challenge; this is where Milne’s nose coms in. A team of researchers worked with Milne to develop a new at to test for Parkinson’s.

Now a team in the University of Manchester, working with Joy, has developed a simple skin-swab test which they claim is 95% accurate under laboratory conditions when it comes to telling whether people have Parkinson’s.

The researchers analysed sebum – the oily substance on skin – which was collected by using a cotton swab on patients’ backs, an area where it is less often washed away.

Using mass spectrometry, they compared 79 people with Parkinson’s with a healthy control group of 71 people. 

The research found more than 4,000 unique compounds in the samples, of which 500 were different between people with Parkinson’s and the control group.

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Move Up Stream To Lose Weight


It’s been established that our modern diets make it harder to lose weight, and keep that weight off. Yet, people who eat all natural foods tend to have the same problem as those with modern processed food diets, why? Thanks to a growing field of research we’re uncovering multiple theories, and perhaps the most promising is that chemicals in the water are the cause behind our dieting struggles.

People who live at higher altitudes have lower rates of obesity. This is the case in the US, and also seems to be the case in other countries, for example Spain and Tibet. When US Army and Air Force service members are assigned to different geographic areas, they are more at risk of developing obesity in low-altitude areas than in high-altitude ones. Colorado is the highest-altitude US state and also has the lowest incidence of obesity.

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Stay Calm by Reading This Graphic Novel About Stoicism


Getting angry at things is easy, understanding one’s anger is hard, but by practicing the hard part you can become a better human. As always, it’s useful to learn from the work of people that came before us. Donald Robertson and Zé Nuno Fraga wrote and illustrated a graphic novel to help people understand that work in Stoicism. Their graphic novel Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius is nice and easy to read and look at iy.
Stoicism is a philosophy that embraces calmness and thinking about oneself in relation to others (and what makes other people think too). If you’ve ever wondered about it then grab this book and give it a try.

I think this attitude of humility is central to Stoicism. We tend to minimize or ignore our own weaknesses in a way that makes us all slightly conceited and narcissistic. The more angry we feel, the more unforgiving and self-righteous we tend to become. We may disapprove of the actions of another but we tend to become less acutely enraged when we consciously accept that we’re capable of exhibiting similar flaws ourselves. Psychologists used to call this “projection” — when you point a finger at someone, three of your own fingers are pointing back at you! Marcus thought that as soon as we notice ourselves becoming irritated with another person, therefore, we should take it as a signal that we must have lost sight of this. We’re being arrogant and ignoring our own weaknesses and should, instead, stop and think — we should look within ourselves.

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Plastic-Free Cucumbers Hit the Shelves in Canada

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Canadians love putting food in petroleum products so much that we ship cucumbers and milk in plastic (yes, you can buy milk in plastic sacks). Thankfully, Canadians are starting to understand that plastic wrapping is wasteful and really bad for the environment. An agricultural company in Ontario has created a way to replace the plastic wrap put on cucumbers with a plant-based alternative.

These plastic-free cucumbers hit shelves the same week the federal government announced new details about its plan to ban some single-use plastics over the next 18 months, including straws, takeout containers, grocery bags and cutlery.

A 2019 Deloitte study found less than one-tenth of the plastic waste Canadians produce is recycled, equating to 3.3 million tonnes of plastic being thrown out annually, almost half of it is plastic packaging.

“Everybody wants to do their share when they’re talking about being [a] good environmental steward,” said DiLaudo.

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