Home / The Lede / The Lede Cleaning Up Mother Earth. And Busting California’s Succulent Flower Thieves
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The Lede Cleaning Up Mother Earth. And Busting California’s Succulent Flower Thieves

The Lede, Monday, April 23, 2018
By David Royse

Good Day. Welcome to a new week.

The LEDE
 Earth Day (Plus One)

Since yesterday was Earth Day, a couple of stories about our mother worth a quick read.

CLEANING UP:
A giant tube is about to go to work in the Pacific Ocean garbage patch, sucking up some of that refuse. More from Fast Company

RELATED: Much of that garbage is plastic. We may soon be able to attack that on another front. A team of researchers has accidentally stumbled on an enzyme that may eventually be used to eat up unwanted plastic. More from City Lab

CLEANER AIR, TOO: And in Denmark, enormous windmills are making clean energy mainstream. Check These Things Out, in the New York Times

The FOLLOW

The Weekend’s Best Story: Don’t steal from Mother Earth

You maybe have read the Orchid Thief. It’s got a nicer ring than the Powdery Liveforever Thief, but the story of an Asian ring of succulent thieves and how they were busted recently by undercover California investigators – tipped off by a lady who was annoyed at the guy holding up the post office line, as he shipped a bunch of packages to China – is nearly as compelling.

From a story late last week in the San Jose Mercury News:

“The caller, frustrated at being stuck in a long line while trying to mail a package last December in Mendocino’s tiny post office, was suspicious. A man in line ahead of her was shipping 60 packages to China. ‘What are you shipping?’ she asked, as the line grew, snaking out the door. ‘The man put his finger up to his lip and said, ‘Shhhh, something very valuable,’”

Epilepsy Treatment Could Come frm CBD

Late last week a key advisory group recommended the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve a drug that is basically a CBD syrup – made from cannabidiol, an ingredient in cannabis – for certain rare, hard-to-treat childhood epilepsies. If the FDA approves the drug, expected by June, it would be the first cannabis-based drug to gain federal approval for use in the United States. Read More
Nutrition: Are you a Fun Guy? Mushrooms are Actually Pretty Good For You

You probably shouldn’t eat pizza much. But when you do, order it with mushrooms. They’re good sources of protein, B-vitamins, fiber, immune-enhancing sugars found in the cell walls called beta-glucans, and other bioactive compounds. More from Penn State Food Science Professor Robert Beelman

NOTES FROM THE AGE OF DISRUPTION: 

Walmart
Is closing in on a $12B-plus deal for Flipkart. Bloomberg

The Goods Mart
Is hoping to succeed with a healthy convenience mart. Fast Company

Tencent Music
Is heading for an IPO. Fortune

Fetch
Is building robots for the warehouses of the future. TechCrunch

And, in crypto news:

How Malta Became a Hub of the Cryptocurrency World. Bloomberg

JUST BECAUSE IT’S INTERESTING

100 Years Ago, (Plus A Few Days), this appeared in the April 18, 1918 edition of the Journal Nature:

The possibility of an aerial mail has often been commented upon … and it is very interesting to note that a company has actually been formed in Norway for the purpose of establishing a mail service between Aberdeen and Stavanger. This trip was made just before war broke out … in about five hours’ flying, and it is estimated that the mail services will reduce this to four and a half hours with modern machines. An extension of the system to Christiania and Copenhagen is contemplated, and it is hoped that letters leaving Aberdeen in the morning would be delivered in both these cities in the afternoon … The value of such a mail service would be very great at a time when the oversea service is so seriously hampered by the German submarine campaign, and the satisfactory establishment of the contemplated Norwegian service would undoubtedly soon lead to a general use of the aeroplane for rapid international communication.”

About David Royse

David Royse
David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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