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No really. This pencil grows into a tomato

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 13:50
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Where we like being touched, where we don't and why

Health - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 13:45

Categories: Health

Female genital mutilation: Inside Kenya's illegal "Cutting Room"

Health - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 13:44
The "cutting room" is grim, dark and grubby. Fraying gray ropes are set into the rough dirt floor, and a curtain flutters at the open door.

Categories: Health

New report: Energy security is viable through use of CO2-EOR

MSU News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 13:10

Contact: Carol Gifford

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Using CO2-EOR as a framework could lead to energy security and result in a new United States energy policy, according to a new report released today [Nov. 4] by the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC), a research unit at Mississippi State University. CO2-EOR is a process that provides a way to use CO2 to recover oil still trapped in the ground.   

“CO2-EOR can advance a ‘triple-e’ approach resulting in energy security, environmental quality and economic viability,” said Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi, executive director of NSPARC. “A world without energy would be a dark place to live. We need that energy.

“While renewable energy is important and relevant, it is not capable of generating a supply sufficient to meet energy demands,” Parisi said. “We are dependent on fossil fuels to provide most of our energy supply.”

Parisi said CO2-EOR is a mature technology that creates a safe, secure and economically viable supply of fossil fuel-based energy and reduces CO2 emissions. The CO2-EOR technology generates around 300,000 barrels of oil each day in the U.S., or about three percent of all the oil produced, leaving room for substantial growth. In Mississippi, in the latest year reported, around 50 percent of oil produced was extracted by means of CO2-EOR, Parisi said. Another economic advantage of the CO2-EOR technology in Mississippi, he added, is that pipeline infrastructure continues to expand with private sector investment, which has the advantage of not being subject to common carrier provisions.

“Our report found that increasing the use of CO2-EOR technology can reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, decrease greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, create jobs and help generate electricity to meet domestic demand.”

To ramp up CO2-EOR technology, there is a need for additional CO2. There are not enough natural sources of CO2 to expand production, but manmade, or anthropogenic, CO2 can provide the necessary supply if new clean-coal technology is used.

Parisi said the NSPARC report is the result of discussions begun at a Jackson conference in March 2014, convened by MSU and Rice University to discuss ways to expand oil production. At that symposium, academic and industry experts discussed the importance of CO2-EOR to both extract oil and help capture GHG. Gov. Phil Bryant was the keynote speaker, and he noted the role of EOR in helping Mississippi become an energy state.

“Research has proved that already-existing clean-coal technology can reduce GHG,” Parisi said. “This technology, which will store CO2 as a commodity rather than release it into the atmosphere as a waste product, has the potential to significantly enhance environmental quality and spur innovation. Public support for this technology is a critical component in a new energy security strategy.”

The energy sector plays a large role in economic development, Parisi said. The sector creates jobs for Americans and provides a significant amount of disposable income and tax revenues.

“In Mississippi, the energy sector supports a total of 59,734 jobs: 13,930 direct jobs and 35,048 indirect jobs,” Parisi said. “CO2-EOR supports a total of 9,701 jobs in the state, including 1,872 direct jobs and 6,507 indirect jobs.”

Other key report findings are:

—With current CO2-EOR methods, an estimated additional 19 billion barrels of crude oil could be obtained. “Next generation” methods could yield as much extra oil as nearly 60 billion barrels.

—CO2-EOR can further add to the already thriving U.S. oil production boom by tapping into depleted fields and extracting stranded oil in residual oil zones and offshore fields.

—Among 10 recent technologies listed by the International Energy Agency for saving energy and decreasing CO2 emissions, carbon capture and reuse has been identified with the highest potential and could account for cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half by 2050. The 2DS approach could result in an 80 percent chance of limiting average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

—Carbon Capture and Storage, or CCS, is the only potential option that would enable major industries, such as steel, cement and natural gas/oil, to reduce their emissions significantly. Development and widespread use of CCS is instrumental in reaching international climate goals without sacrificing the industrial economy.

To view the report, visit For more about NSPARC, visit Parisi may be reached at 662-325-9242.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

MSU team helps improve local community garden

MSU News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:51
A design model created by MSU architecture majors shows shade areas planned for a community garden improvement project at the Starkville Boys and Girls Club. Involving a significant campus collaboration, the project also will feature six raised garden beds, two shade areas and storage space. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Zack Plair

A design model created by MSU architecture majors shows shade areas planned for a community garden improvement project at the Starkville Boys and Girls Club. Involving a significant campus collaboration, the project also will feature six raised garden beds, two shade areas and storage space. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Several Mississippi State groups are working with the Starkville Boys and Girls Club to help promote long-term healthy eating habits among local youths.

First, university students in a fourth-year School of Architecture design studio are making plans to transform the club’s community garden into a larger, more accessible and efficient horticultural space.

The class is taught by assistant professor Alexis Gregory, who said the team soon will begin construction of six raised garden beds, two shaded pavilions and a storage space for tools. An Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible ramp leading from the club’s main building on Lynn Lane to the back garden area also will be built.

Gregory estimated that the project should be complete by mid-spring, weather permitting.

The architecture majors are joining with others on campus to organize a sustainable program in which club members learn to maintain the garden and take home vegetables they grow.

The larger effort involves the MSU Horticulture Club, assistant professor Brittney Oliver of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ food science, nutrition and health promotion department and assistant professor Kenneth Anthony of the College of Education’s curriculum, instruction and special education department.

“We’re wanting to educate children on healthy eating and food sustainability,” Gregory explained. “Hopefully, through this program, these ideas will transfer to their parents.”

After determining total project costs at approximately $10,000, Gregory said the team opened a GoFundMe account. Members also are soliciting material donations from local businesses, she added.

A mini-grant provided by MSU’s Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence is enabling senior Lorianna A. Livingston of Columbus, a CASLE Service-Learning Scholar, to provide graphic design services.

An art/graphic design major, Livingston said that in addition to finding new ways for incorporating various building materials into her creations, the project has provided many positive interactions with a diverse group of clients and project team members.

“It is extremely rewarding to work collaboratively with groups of students and faculty from all over campus to serve our community,” Livingston said. “The faculty and staff at the Boys and Girls Club have been very appreciative of our efforts, and we are so excited to be able to complete this project for them.”

Once the new beds are built and ready for planting, students in the MSU Horticulture Club will supply and recommend plant materials, conduct educational sessions on gardening preparation and maintenance, and help guide Boys and Girls Club members through the planting process.

Richard Harkess, horticulture club faculty adviser, said the highly coordinated approach that all involved have brought to the project ultimately will help make a positive difference in the lives of many Starkville families.

“When children pull radishes out of the ground that they grew from seeds, they are more likely to take a bite of one than they would be if their mom brought it home from the grocery store and put it on their plate,” the professor of plant and soil sciences observed. “This will help give these kids a better idea of where their food comes from.”

According to Gregory, a Healthy Hometown grant in 2011 funded the club’s first community garden project, with volunteers from the community and MSU helping maintain it since that time.

Healthy Hometown grants are provided by the Jackson-based Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

Boys and Girls Club director Jeffrey Johnson said the current construction project, when combined with curriculum and support provided by the Mississippi State academic partnership, should help the organization’s young members become even more involved.

“We’ll have programs that will promote health and nutrition, boost the kids’ self-confidence, and also this garden is going to look great,” Johnson said. “This is a great example of how the club can branch out to better connect with Starkville and MSU.”

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Food assistance resources available to members of Mississippi State community

MSU News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:29

The MSU Food Security Network has partnered with the Student Association's Block by Block meal program to connect members of the Mississippi State community who lack food to available food resources. While the network connects students, faculty and staff to a local food pantry, Block by Block provides block meals specifically for students in need.

Anyone who feels they are in need of food assistance should contact Shayla Jefferson at 662-325-1820 or

In addition, local food pantries have numerous volunteer opportunities available to students, faculty and staff. Individuals looking to volunteer at a local pantry can contact the network for more details, or sign up for the Maroon Volunteer Center newsletter at

You love Apple's stock. Here's why.

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:20
With apologies to the many fans of the late, great Patrick Swayze ... nobody puts Apple in a corner.

Janet Yellen: The U.S. economy is 'performing well'

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:12
Watch out savers, home buyers and investors: America's interest rates could finally go up in December.

NFL says it has tech to eliminate pylons and first-down markers

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:10
The NFL is experimenting with technology that could shape the future of football.

This new site lets you create a timeline of your life

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:09
The internet already acts as a personal time capsule. Google allows us to measure the size of our digital footprint, while apps like Timehop show us what we were doing on Facebook and Twitter a year ago. In that spirit comes The History Project, a new storytelling platform that launched Wednesday.

Ohio says no to legalized marijuana

CNN - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:09
Even as Americans remain transfixed by Donald Trump and the feisty presidential contest that won't actually be decided for another 12 months, Election Day this year arrived Tuesday with plenty at stake.

Categories: National News

Russian-built cargo plane crashes in South Sudan

CNN World - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:34
A Russian-built Antonov-12 cargo plane crashed shortly after take-off from the airport in Juba, South Sudan on Wednesday, according to local media and news agencies.

Categories: International News

Murdoch tries to ease fears of National Geographic layoffs

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:27
Rupert Murdoch tried to calm fears Wednesday about layoffs hitting National Geographic in the weeks before a new partnership with his 21st Century Fox takes effect.

Looking for a better job? Try the Steve Jobs approach

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:21
When young Americans complain they can't find a decent job, ask them a simple question: Who have you called or written to lately?

Red Sox owner launches science site Stat

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:06
Veteran journalist Rick Berke says he's "not a science geek." And he's never been on the ground floor of a startup before.

France lifts ban on gay men as blood donors

CNN World - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:02
France is lifting its ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood, the French health minister announced Wednesday.

Categories: International News

What college costs this year: $43,921

Business News - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:00
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