Back in September, I wrote about Mosaic, a forward thinking company based in Oakland, CA that puts people together with solar projects. The idea is to fund projects via crowd sourcing and pay investors interest on the loans they make. For as little as $25, you can invest in any number of projects that are posted on the company’s site.

When I first ran across the idea, it appealed to me on several levels. I am a firm believer in solar energy and had solar panels installed on my condo. Doing so has lowered my utility bills by about $1,000 annually. I was familiar with crowd sourcing, having participated in KIVA loans for several years, but earning income was a new twist that intrigued me. I investigated Mosaic and decided to stick my toe in the water to see what would happen. I am fortunate to have a nest egg to usher me through my golden years and I sold some stock in Exxon—something I have been doing slowly over time to avoid paying huge capital gains taxes—and invested $2,500 divided evenly between two projects. One of the projects, U.S. Foods in Albuquerque, NM, pays 5.75% over 120 months. The other is a bee farm in Red Bluff, CA and that one pays 5.5% over a period of 144 months.

On October 22, I was notified that U.S. Foods was fully funded and had signed the note. My payback was soon to begin! I have not yet received notification that the bee farm has signed their note, but upon checking the Mosaic site, it should be soon because the loan is now fully funded.

Today I am reporting that I have received my first payment from U.S. Foods in the amount of $13.57. That represents my interest earned as well as repayment of part of the principal on the loan.

If U.S. Foods is any indication of how this thing works, I should be getting a payment from the bee farm next month. I have no doubt that I will. The bee farm is round 2 of a project that was fully funded and has been up and running since before I invested in the second phase.

I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider the interest rate I’m earning, it’s a great deal more than I made in dividends from Exxon, which pays under 3% annually. Not to mention that I believe—no, I am certain—that not only are fossil fuels harming our environment, they are part of the past. I wish to go forward into a sustainable future and I think it’s great that I can put my money where my mouth is and make money while doing so. As I said in my first article, it gives a whole new meaning to going green. I feel good about investing in green energy and making a bit of green by doing so. You can be sure that I will be looking into more projects and investing more of my money with a company that is on the cutting edge of a new direction for small investors.

Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at ARK Stories.

Visit her on Twitter @MsWerner and Facebook


“Circumstantial evidence should also be considered… You look at the world and you hang your head in shame. It is so sad to see mankind destroying each other and choosing this world over God. In every aspect of life, we see the God of the universe and His creation on two different roads. One is filled with love, patience, kindness, and salvation, where the other is filled with hate, murder, adultery, and perversion. No wonder our world is in such a mess. Creation is groaning for the day when the Father will make all things new.

The United States should have never taken its protection off Israel!. The US is slowly distancing itself from Israel while aiding her enemies. As the US is drawing away, Israel will soon find another protector which will bring her real salvation, namely Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). The situation in the Middle East is precarious, and at any given moment hostilities can break out. Iran and Russia are using Syria to draw Israel into a war, and they may be successful. In February, Iranian President, Ahmadinejad visited Egypt and received a welcome from Morsi the Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood… this is also to be a warning alarm! At the same time that all this was taking place, a surprise announcement that Obama would be visiting Israel in March… a first since visit since he was only a candidate for presidency? We suspect it is to push for a peace treaty and Palestinian state! In any case, we have the enemies of Israel’s military might playing out before our very eyes. There are various indications that the tension between Israel and her Muslim neighbours are close to breaking-point. Iran’s president and religious leaders have made renewed calls for the complete annihilation of Israel. Their nuclear programme has been accelerated and they have armed Hezbollah in Lebanon to the teeth.

We have the withdrawing of the United States from the world scene, a weakened yet dangerous Syria, and Russian army personnel in the Middle East ready for war. It only takes a spark to get it all going! The next weeks are very important to see how the region will spend the next few months. It could be very eventful… as the Middle East is lining up to prophecy!

We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,

Alf & Julie Saunders”

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Powering the ships of the future? Navy develops technology to turn seawater into fuel

Published April 09, 2014

Navy researchers say they have developed a “game changing technology” for creating fuel from seawater – a process that could keep ships out at sea longer.

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Materials Science and Technology Division announced Monday that it had already flown a radio-controlled replica of a World War II plane using hydrocarbon fuel made from seawater.

The fuel is created with the help of an electrolytic cation exchange module, a machine which removes carbon dioxide from seawater while simultaneously producing hydrogen. The gases are then formed into liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system, the lab said in a statement.

“In close collaboration with the Office of Naval Research P38 Naval Reserve program, NRL has developed a game changing technology for extracting, simultaneously, CO2 and H2 from seawater,” said Dr. Heather Willauer, an NRL research chemist. “This is the first time technology of this nature has been demonstrated with the potential for transition, from the laboratory, to full-scale commercial implementation.”

Fuel produced this way would cost an estimated $3-6 per gallon, the NRL says, and could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years with proper funding and partnerships.

“Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution,” the NRL said in a statement.

The laboratory, which is based in Washington, D.C., focuses on overcoming technological challenges that the Navy faces.

Czeslaw Zalech shared a link.
20 hours ago
Hello dale, this April 2014, we’re commemorating the 99th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide. Would you be kind and join us in this remembrance? Sharing this link with your friends would
be greatly appreciated! Below is our Tribute composition commemorating this horrific tragedy
” Published on Jan 11, 2014

Armenian Genocide is unwanted for convenience sake’s truth about the Islam, and the Genocide.
Horrific endurance of abounded by the world of Armenian people is shoved in the corner, under the dirty carpets of the politics of the day then, and now 100 some years later.
Outside of the election times in the States, or other “western” countries, the truth is unwanted, and most of the time is discouraged, even forbidden.
For a liter of crude oil, an American will not want to hear about Armenian Genocide, and similar issues. The case boils down to a liter of crude oil vs. human life, and a liter of crude oil wins with hands down on the human issues every time.

The price “shocker” at the gas pump is leading the way of obedience to the oil gods, not ethics or human life. This is where the humanity is in the United States, and the western world. The race for success never ends here.”

How Sex Affects Intelligence, and Vice Versa
New research says sexual activity can grow brain cells. Keeping them may be another matter.
Dan Hurley Jan 13 2014, 9:00 AM ET

brain - particle

Forget mindfulness meditation, computerized working-memory training, and learning a musical instrument; all methods recently shown by scientists to increase intelligence. There could be an easier answer. It turns out that sex might actually make you smarter.

Researchers in Maryland and South Korea recently found that sexual activity in mice and rats improves mental performance and increases neurogenesis (the production of new neurons) in the hippocampus, where long-term memories are formed.

In April, a team from the University of Maryland reported that middle-aged rats permitted to engage in sex showed signs of improved cognitive function and hippocampal function. In November, a group from Konkuk University in Seoul concluded that sexual activity counteracts the memory-robbing effects of chronic stress in mice. “Sexual interaction could be helpful,” they wrote, “for buffering adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recognition memory function against the suppressive actions of chronic stress.”
Even brief viewing of pornographic images does interfere with people’s “working memory.”

So growing brain cells through sex does appear to have some basis in scientific fact. But there’s some debate over whether fake sex—pornography—could be harmful. Neuroscientists from the University of Texas recently argued that excessive porn viewing, like other addictions, can result in permanent “anatomical and pathological” changes to the brain. That view, however, was quickly challenged in a rebuttal from researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, who said that the Texans “offered little, if any, convincing evidence to support their perspectives. Instead, excessive liberties and misleading interpretations of neuroscience research are used to assert that excessive pornography consumption causes brain damage.”

Whether or not porn “addiction” literally damages the brain, even brief viewing of pornographic images does interfere with people’s “working memory”—the ability to mentally juggle and pay attention to multiple items. A study published last October in the Journal of Sex Research tested the working memory of 28 healthy individuals when they were asked to keep track of neutral, negative, positive, or pornographic stimuli. “Results revealed worse working memory performance in the pornographic picture condition,” concluded Matthias Brand, head of the cognitive psychology department at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
If having sex can make people smarter, the converse is not true: being smarter does not mean you’ll have more sex.

One myth about sex—or perhaps it’s just a joke?—is that “testosterone poisoning” makes young men stupid. Actually, a 2007 study in the journal Neuropsychologia measured the level of testosterone in the saliva of prepubertal boys, including some who were intellectually gifted, with an IQ above 130, some who were average, and some who were mentally challenged, with an IQ less than 70. They concluded that “boys of average intelligence had significantly higher testosterone levels than both mentally challenged and intellectually gifted boys, with the latter two groups showing no significant difference between each other.”

But if having sex can make people smarter, the converse is not true: being smarter does not mean you’ll have more sex. Smarter teens, in fact, tend to delay their initiation of coital activities. A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that high working memory decreases the likelihood of early adolescent sexual debut. Some researchers have attributed the delay to greater overall “competence” among smarter teens. But a 2010 study found that adolescents at both the upper and lower ends of the intelligence distribution were less likely to have sex. Most recently, a study of 536 same-sex twin pairs concluded that intelligence may be a red herring: the association is really between school achievement, not IQ per se, and age at first sexual experience.

In old age, too, cognitive abilities affect one’s chances of getting lucky. A study published just last month found that older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a forerunner of Alzheimer’s disease, were only about half as likely to have engaged recently in sexual activity as were their cognitively healthy peers. Of those with MCI, just 32.5 percent had recently engaged in sex, compared to 62.3 percent of those without MCI.

Perhaps, however, the dream of getting smarter through sex is just an alluring fantasy. Tracey J. Shors, a psychologist at the Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University, has reported that while many activities can increase the rate at which new brain cells are born, only effortful, successful learning increases their survival. As she said at a meeting on “Cognitive Enhancers” at the Society for Neuroscience in 2012: “You can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex. If you do mental training, you’ll keep alive more cells that you produced. And if you do both, now you have the best of both worlds—you’re making more cells and keeping more alive.”