Ripple plastic: The unintended life of plastic at sea

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UK artist and conservationist Mandy Barker has spent years gathering plastic items from beaches all around the world, arranging and photographing them in evocative ways. With colorful items popping against a dark background, many of her collections give a feel of outer space — a galaxy of garbage. Barker’s work is featured in Our Plastic Ocean, a touring exhibition through Impressions Gallery in the UK. The exhibition includes a virtual reality experience of Barker’s photographs produced by Stanford University students that is viewable through rippleplastic.com.

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A free lunch in Silicon Valley: Health and wealth disparity in our food system

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SILICON VALLEY – There’s no such thing as a free lunch. This household phrase harkens back to the once common practice of offering a free lunch to saloon patrons who purchased at least one drink. It was believed that the provided meals were deliberately high in salt, intended to keep bar customers thirsty. Embedded in the phrase, and its origin, is the idea that one can never get something for nothing — there is always a hidden cost.

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