FALL COLORS MAY BE DICTATED BY KIND OF SOIL
SCIENTIFIC BLOGGING - Science Soils may dictate the array of fall colors
as much as the trees rooted in them, according to a forest survey out of
By taking careful stock and laboratory analyses of the autumn foliage of
sweetgum and red maple trees along transects from floodplains to
ridge-tops in a nature preserve in Charlotte, N.C., former University of
North Carolina at Charlotte graduate student Emily M. Habinck found that
in places where the soil was relatively low in nitrogen and other
essential elements, trees produced more red pigments known as
anthocyanins. . .
"The rainbow of color we see in the fall is not just for our personal
human enjoyment -- rather, it is the trees going on about their lives
and trying to survive," said Habinck's advisor, Martha C. Eppes, a soil
scientist and assistant professor of Earth sciences at the University of
North Carolina at Charlotte.
OREGON'S DEATH WITH DIGNITY POLICY PASSES TEN YEAR MARK
BARBARD COOMBS LEE, OREGON LIVE - Oregon [has just passed] the 10-year
milestone for the Death With Dignity Act. For 10 years, that law has
been a still, small voice of hope for dying patients -- a quietly
powerful message that no one will be forced to suffer needlessly or
endure the relentless loss of body and mind because there are no other
options. . .
It has prevailed in both Oregon's Legislature and in Congress. It has
overcome extended legal attacks by right-to-life groups and the John
Ashcroft-led Justice Department, until Oregon's lawmaking authority was
finally vindicated in the U.S. Supreme Court. . .
End-of-life care in Oregon is now both better and more accessible, and
there is no evidence the law has harmed anyone. Most importantly, the
law has brought peace, choice and dignity to thousands of dying
Oregonians who have considered aid in dying and been comforted by its
mere availability. . .
Encouraged by the Death With Dignity Act, doctors throughout Oregon
recognized the importance of proper pain treatment, referred more
patients to hospice and improved their ability to recognize depression
among the terminally ill. Approximately 50 percent of Oregonians now die
in hospice care. Fewer Oregonians die in hospitals and more die in the
familiar, loving environment of their homes than in any other state.
Legalizing aid in dying has given people a potent option, but one that
still is chosen only rarely, and as a last resort. Since 1997, 292
Oregonians have used aid in dying. . .
[Barbara Coombs Lee is president of Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit
group focused on end-of-life issues]