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Sunday, October 30, 2011

J.Lo wants to keep next romance ‘out of public eye’

Jennifer Lopez has said that she will do her best to keep her next relationship out of the public eye.
The 42-year-old singer gave her opinion on dating after her divorce from her Marc Anthony.
"I think to give something a chance, to really get to know somebody, you want to do it out of the public eye," the New York Daily News quoted the `American Idol' judge as telling Glamour magazine.
"You know the media -- they want to rush everything," she added
READ MORE - J.Lo wants to keep next romance ‘out of public eye’

Madonna, daughter feature in spoof film to launch model hunt

Madonna has hit upon an interesting idea to look for a model to represent her Material Girl clothing range.
The pop star and her daughter Lourdes, trade insults in a dressing room as an aide styles her hair in a four-minute spoof film to announce the competition.
As the pop star tells Lourdes her image of the perfect model for the range, her daughter adopts the guise of a sulky teenager, texting on her phone and eating a plate of fruit while ignoring her mum.
As the mum says ‘you’re not taking this seriously’ and dismisses her with ‘whatevs,’ the spoof takes a hilarious turn as Lourdes remarks ‘we don’t say that anymore’.
It all ends with Madonna accusing her daughter of being ‘lookist and ageist’ before asking the quintessential mom question “Have you done your homework?”
The Like a Virgin hitmaker describes her choice of model as a ‘woman-girl-female-child’.
READ MORE - Madonna, daughter feature in spoof film to launch model hunt

Katie Price to write fifth tell-all book

Katie Price is set to write her fifth autobiography, at the age of just 33.
The former glamour model’s first book ‘Being Jordan’ was published in May 2004.
“I’ve had a s*** three years but it’s all getting back on my feet now,” the Sun quoted her as saying.
“There’s lots going on,” she added
READ MORE - Katie Price to write fifth tell-all book

Paris Hilton to donate clothes for charity

Paris Hilton is going through her extensive clothing collection to find outfits she no longer wears and donate them to charity.
The 30-year-old socialite recently tweeted that she is clearing out her closet to raise money for good causes.
“At home going thru (though) my closets, so I can donate my clothes to charity. Feels good to give back,” Contactmusic quoted her as writing on her Twitter page
READ MORE - Paris Hilton to donate clothes for charity

Elton John raises 1.3 mn pounds for AIDS

Singer Sir Elton John raised more than 1.3 million pounds for his AIDS charity by throwing a star-studded gala event here.
The singer hosted his 10th annual Enduring Vision event at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, reported.
Stars like Alec Baldwin, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Rutherford and Sarah Ferguson turned out in support.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also attended the event.
John took the opportunity to thank him for the state's recent recognition of gay marriage, praising the politician for "taking a stand in New York and making the dream of marriage equality a reality in the state."
READ MORE - Elton John raises 1.3 mn pounds for AIDS

Health Benefits Of Vinegar

We always are curious to know about the celebrities, their life style their beauty regimen and all about them. One thing which we remain to be concerned is about their fitness and battle with bulge. If we follow the diet advice of celebrities as Megan fox says in one of her interview that she drinks apple cider vinegar to clean her system.
She revealed the fact by saying” It’s just water and raw apple cider vinegar, and it just cleans out your system entirely. It will get rid of, for women who retain water weight, from your menstrual cycle and all that, it gets rid of it really fast.
From our childhood we have seen in our kitchen a bottle of apple cider vinegar for marinating of chicken, fish and meat. It is also used in dressing of different salads. In spite of all these the apple cider vinegar is used in weight management as the MEGAN FOX revealed in her statement, various blood sugar readings and in various blood fats maintenance. In ancient days it has been used as remedy for different ailments.
There is something extra ordinary in it that the father of medicine, Hippocrates used it from 400 B.C.Due to its health giving qualities. It has been researched that he has only two remedies; honey and apple cider vinegar.
It is fermented from fresh apples and undergoes the astringent process for obtaining the final product. It contains different vitamins, beta carotene, pectin and different minerals as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus chlorine, sculpture, iron and fluorine etc.
Pectin in it is used to reduce the blood cholesterol and also regulating the blood pressure. It contains calcium which is extracted from fruits and helps in strengthening the bones.
Potassium deficiency causes the hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth and sinuses and premature running nose. Potassium deficiency is also causes the stunted growth. So the apple cider vinegar is used to recover all these ailments.
The beta carotene present in it is used to recover the damage caused by free radicals and helps in maintaining the firmer skin and youthful appearance. It may be said as the wonder drug for recovering many ailments.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND WEIGHT LOSS: Apple cider vinegar and weight loss have been used from centuries. It is the natural way of reducing the weight and tried and true remedy used throughout the world. It helps in breaking down the fats from the waist line. According to apple cider vinegar increases the body metabolism of the body and causing the body to use more energy and store less fats .It act as appetite suppressant and reduces the water retention form the body and gives the feeling of well being.
HOW TO USE: It has been suggested to take the apple cider vinegar one or two table spoons in a glass of water before each meal. If you add the one or two table spoons of honey in this water then you will double the health benefits of it and also have sweetened yummy drink.
READ MORE - Health Benefits Of Vinegar

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Extra vitamin E linked to prostate cancer, but diet still merits study

Taking vitamin E supplements appear to increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer, according to a study that appears in the Oct. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A multi-institutional team of researchers reported findings from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), a study begun in 2001. They found that men age 50 and older who took 400 units of vitamin E daily were diagnosed with prostate cancer at a 17 percent higher rate than men who popped placebos.
UCSF’s June Chan, ScD, is no stranger to studies of dietary supplements and cancer that turn out to be a bust, including studies of vitamin E.
Earlier, as a graduate student, Chan investigated vitamin E. Working with Harvard epidemiologist Walter Willet, she found no epidemiological evidence that vitamin E prevented prostate cancer in men generally. However, the researchers did see a trend toward fewer prostate cancers in smokers.
Chan remains optimistic about identifying dietary and lifestyle interventions that prove beneficial to health.
“Healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, not smoking, and avoiding overweight and obesity remain important tools for us to prevent several major chronic diseases,” she says.
Disappointing Clinical Trials for Vitamins
Supplements, despite promising signs from earlier epidemiological studies, have fared poorly in controlled clinical trials, in which participants are randomly assigned to different treatment arms. These controlled clinical trials remain the gold standard by which to evaluate any health claims.
An early disappointing milestone in anti-oxidant supplement research was a 1994 study of vitamin E and beta-carotene as a means to lower lung cancer risks among smokers. Daily supplementation with 50 units of Vitamin E had no benefit, while beta-carotene was associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.
However, in that same clinical trial researchers observed that there were more than 30 percent fewer cases of prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths among the men who took the vitamin E supplements. This association spurred interest in launching the SELECT trial, focused specifically on prostate cancer.
Although there were more cancers among men in SELECT who took supplements, it’s too soon to say whether or selenium supplementation will lead to more prostate cancer deaths among the study participants, Chan says. More cancers does not necessarily mean more deadly cancers.

“The majority of these cancers were earlier-stage disease detected by PSA screening. It is likely that a fair proportion of these are indolent tumors – meaning cancers that would not cause morbidity or mortality if left undiagnosed.”
The study is another reminder that more is not always better, Chan says. “Supplements are not the same as eating a healthy diet,” she adds.
Prostate Cancer Outcomes and Lifestyle
For several years Chan has been working with UCSF urologists to investigate whether lifestyle factors can affect cancer outcomes and quality of life in prostate cancer patients.
There will be nearly 241,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States in 2011, and more than 33,000 men will die of the disease, according to American Cancer Society estimates.
“It has become increasingly important to identify what aspects of diet, exercise, or other lifestyle practices may improve cancer survivorship,” Chan says.
“Prostate cancer is often a relatively slow-growing tumor – compared to tumors that arise in other organs. We wanted to address the question of whether even after diagnosis, lifestyle changes could have an impact – especially because a cancer diagnosis often motivates people to make changes.”
Chan’s recent research has supported this hypothesis. With colleagues at UCSF and at Harvard, she reported that among men diagnosed with prostate cancer localized within the gland, eating poultry without the skin, red meat and fish was not associated with worsening disease. However, in the same study eating eggs or poultry with skin might have increased the likelihood that prostate cancer would worsen.
Chan led another study in which men with low-risk prostate cancer were assigned to take supplements of fish oil or lycopene – an anti-oxidant found in tomatoes. The supplements activated genes in metabolic pathways in the prostate gland that affect sex hormones. Sex hormones drive prostate cancer, and these results help researchers understand how diet may influence whether tumors form and how they grow, Chan says.
In a larger study of men with prostate cancer, Chan found that prostate cancer was about 60 percent less likely to advance further in those who ranked in the top 25 percent in reported consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale.
Other lifestyle factors, including smoking and exercise, also matter for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.Biking, playing tennis, jogging, or swimming for more than three hours every week may substantially lessen the likelihood of dying from the disease, Chan found.
Even milder forms of exercise, such as brisk walking, were associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer recurrence in one of Chan’s studies, and with reduced risk of dying from any cause.
On the other hand, in another study smoking at the time of diagnosis was associated with greater overall mortality and more heart disease deaths – not a surprise. But smoking also was associated with a higher likelihood of dying from prostate cancer.
“Our results reaffirm the benefits of non-smoking, exercise, and eating vegetables not just for overall health, but also for prostate cancer,” Chan says. “While these are recommendations that patients can act on themselves, we also hope to use our data to understand the biology of better, so that we can develop better therapeutics and management strategies.”
Reported Supplement Consumption Associated with Death in Women
In another study of supplements that appeared in the Oct. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that women who reported taking any of a variety of vitamins and minerals – multivitamins, vitamins B6 and folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper – were more likely to die. Calcium supplements were associated with lower mortality in the study.
“This study was observational in nature and while it generally underscores the importance, again, of getting nutrients mainly from a balanced diet rather than from supplements, it is also challenging to interpret because of the way the study was designed,” Chan says.
“The study was unable to completely account for the possibility that women who felt bad because of some underlying illness may have started to take more without a clear diagnosis.
“It will be interesting to see the results of the Physicians Health Study II, which is a randomized clinical trial examining multivitamins versus placebo for mortality outcomes. This study will be reported on in the near future.”
READ MORE - Extra vitamin E linked to prostate cancer, but diet still merits study

Leonardo DiCaprio Joins Social Media Firm Mobli

Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest Hollywood star to move into social media after signing up as an advisor for a start-up company.

The actor's new role will see him advise bosses at Mobli, a visual media firm which was introduced to him by a friend while the technology was still being tested several months ago.

Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg tells the Huffington Post, "Leo is not a tech guy and we're not looking for advice on technology, but he is a very, very smart guy concerning marketing, so he will be advising us in this territory - branding marketing and stuff like this."

"Leo is very excited. He believes in the vision of the company and thinks that this is the future of media. He wanted to get on board in the beginning, influence it, and give his input into the company."

Other stars who are investing in technology include Ashton Kutcher, who has funded companies including Flipboard, Chegg, GroupMe and Hipmunk, and Justin Timberlake, who is working to revitalize social networking site
READ MORE - Leonardo DiCaprio Joins Social Media Firm Mobli

Cocktail waitress Jessica Donaldson: Prince Harry is sweet but I'm not sleeping with him

Jessica is actually loved-up with boyfriend of 3 years
Tattooed US cocktail waitress Jessica Donaldson says Prince Harry is a 'real-life Prince Charming' - but has denied reports suggesting that they're having a hot romance. 
Jessica, who met Harry when he partied with friends at San Diego's Ivy Nightclub earlier this month, was flattered when the young royal asked for her number via one of his bodyguards.
She and her friend Christie met the 27-year-old Prince and his mates for brunch the next day before heading for cocktails - but nothing more.   
'I am not sleeping with Prince Harry and he has never been anything but a total gentleman to me,' says dark-haired Jessica, 26.
'I am very upset that all this has blown up.
'He is just a regular guy who enjoys a few beers with his buddies. He's really cool and down-to-earth and that's what I liked about him.
'I'm flattered he showed me attention but there is nothing more to it than that.'
Harry is on an Apache helicopter training course 2 hours away from San Diego in El Centro and a dark-haired girl - who Jessica fiercely denies was her - was snapped leaving his hotel in the early hours of Saturday morning last week.
'Harry is so sweet,' she tells The Mail On Sunday. 'He was kind of goofy with me.
'I really like him but I have a boyfriend. I just want all this to go away.' 
READ MORE - Cocktail waitress Jessica Donaldson: Prince Harry is sweet but I'm not sleeping with him

Booker Prize 2011 Goes To Julian Barnes

I think it is the associated prestige that goes with winning it, rather than the cash prize that makes the Booker Prize so coveted. The Booker Prize for 2011 was awarded recently to the British writer, Julian Barnes for " The Sense of an Ending", a relatively short book at a mere 150 pages.
Barnes is no stranger to these awards as he was nominated but did not get the prestigious award on as many as three previous occasions in 1984, 1998 and 2005. His prize winning book is about how fuzzy human memory can be. Apparently it took the judges, Stella Rimington, former head of Britain's MI 5, Chris Mullin MP, Susan Hill author, Gaby Wood of the Daily Telegraph and Matthew D'ancona formerly editor of The Spectator just 31 minutes to decide on the winner. It was described as being "exquisitely written".
Barnes was born in 1946 and lives in London. See details of his earlier books in his website. Barnes has also written forty seven pieces for The New Yorker since 1989. I loved his description of his stay with a lady who owned a pig!

I have not read it yet and undoubtedly "The Sense of an Ending" must be a fine book. In purely a lighter vein, considering his earlier nominations it would appear the memories of the distinguished judges were stronger than that of Tony Webster in the book.
READ MORE - Booker Prize 2011 Goes To Julian Barnes

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kris Humphries Spotted Moving Out Without Wedding Ring!

Trouble in paradise? We hope not! On Thursday, newlywed Kris Humphries was spotted leaving his New York City hotel carrying boxes and luggage with his wedding ring to Kim Kardashian noticeably absent.
The moving boxes are easily explained since Kris and Kim are moving out together.
The reality star tweeted: "Can't believe we are done w New York! 3 months went by so fast! Boxes everywhere in our hotel! All ready to go home! #BeenFunNY"
As for the wedding ring, its absence remains a mystery. Maybe he's just not a jewelry guy!
READ MORE - Kris Humphries Spotted Moving Out Without Wedding Ring!

Justin Timberlake & Amanda Seyfried Hit the Red Carpet for 'In Time' Premiere in L.A.

Justin Timberlake attends the 'In Time' premiere held at the Regency Village Theater on Oct. 20 in Westwood, California.
Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried hit the red carpet on Thursday night for the premiere of their new flick, In Time, in L.A.
The sexy duo was joined by fellow costars of the sci-thriller, including Johnny Galecki and Olivia Wilde, who was stunning in a black gown.
After the premiere, Justin's on-again-off-again girlfriend, Jessica Biel, joined him for the after-party, where they were seen canoodling throughout the evening.
It looks like these two have officially rekindled the flame!
READ MORE - Justin Timberlake & Amanda Seyfried Hit the Red Carpet for 'In Time' Premiere in L.A.

Christina Aguilera Covers Up in Cali

Christina Aguilera shops at Fred Segal in Hollywood on October 20.
Christina Aguilera couldn't keep the smile off her face when enjoying a nice shopping trip to Fred Segal this Thursday in Hollywood.
The singer, who has recently come under fire about her weight, hid her figure under a red scarf, baggy t-shirt and bulky leather jacket.
Though, the Burlesque star didn't display any qualms about showing off her curvier legs in black tights.
READ MORE - Christina Aguilera Covers Up in Cali

Kim Kardashian Says Turning 31 Is "Even Worse" Than Her 30th Birthday

Kim Kardashian turns 31 today! The reality queen has accomplished a lot in her 31 years, launching her own brand to superstardom and most recently becoming the loving wife of NBA star Kris Humphries. But the newlywed is a bit freaked out about being in her 30s.
"I think 31 is even worse," Kim told E! News of her new age, as compared to turning the bit 30. "It's like now I'm really an adult!"
She also said it feels "freaky" being 1 digit into her 30s.
Kim will be partying in Las Vegas this weekend, celebrating at Marquee nightclub inside the Cosmopolitan resort.
She has also received an abundance of well wishes and love on Twitter from family, friends and followers.
"Happy Birthday to my favorite Sister of the day @KimKardashian! Let's boogie!" brother Rob Kardashian Tweeted.
Momager Kris Jenner Tweeted, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY @KimKardashian !!! I love you so much Kimmie and I hope you have the MOST amazing day filled with lots of love and surprises!"
Still not wishes from hubby Kris on Twitter yet. The couple has been busy packing up from their penthouse suite in NYC as they are moving back to the West Coast
"Can't believe we are done w New York! 3 months went by so fast! Boxes everywhere in our hotel! All ready to go home! #BeenFunNY" Kim Tweeted.
We hope you have a fabulous birthday Kim!
READ MORE - Kim Kardashian Says Turning 31 Is "Even Worse" Than Her 30th Birthday

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kate Middleton may be in line to be styled by designers at luxury brand Calvin Klein.

Kate Middleton may be in line to be styled by designers at luxury brand Calvin Klein.
Francisco Costa, from the world famous design house, told a newspaper that he believes that the Duchess of Cambridge looks like "an all-American girl".
He told the Daily Telegraph that he would like to work with Kate and believes that she could become a style icon.
Francisco is quoted as saying: "She's very Calvin, when you think about it.
"She's athletic looking, with great teeth and amazing hair - in many ways she looks like an all American Girl.
He added: "So yes, I'm putting it out there: I'd love to dress her".
Kate is building a name for herself as a champion of high fashion and her Alexander McQueen wedding dress by Sarah Burton is reportedly worth nearly £1million.
READ MORE - Kate Middleton may be in line to be styled by designers at luxury brand Calvin Klein.

Kim Kardashian Celebrates her Birthday

Newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries put on a big show of unity amid rumors of marriage trouble, kissing in front of other partygoers at The Darby in New York night while celebrating the socialite's 31st birthday. Reports Friday indicated that Kardashian had celebrated her birthday at the Museum of Natural History without Humphries.
With a camera crew recording the couple's every move, Kardashian and Humphries stood up and locked lips in front of the crowd at the small party that included sister Kourtney and her boyfriend Scott Disick, singer Pink and her husband, and several friends.
Pink gave an impromptu performance with the house band, singing "Killing Me Softly," but the chart-topping singer still hasn't gotten over stage fright -- before the performance she had her husband bring her a shot of whiskey to calm her nerves.
According to several reports from gossip magazines, Kardashian had become fed up with Humphries' partying while he is out of a job thanks to the NBA lockout. Humphries, 26, has been spotted in Miami and New York without his new wife, getting flirty with multiple women and "acting like a single man."

READ MORE - Kim Kardashian Celebrates her Birthday

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton make it into the bingo hall

Prince William and Kate Middleton have been honoured with their own bingo call.
For its 50th birthday, Mecca Bingo asked its players to invent alternative lines to rival such famous phrases as Lucky For Some, Number 7 and Two Fat Ladies, 88.
William And Kate, 8, is included in the new list of bingo lingo, as is Harper Beckham, 7, and Angelina v Jen, Number 10.
'The suggestions we've had from our customers were really diverse, from the sublime to the ridiculous,' Mecca's Claire Osborne tells The Sun.
'But what we found interesting was how they reflected modern times.'
READ MORE - Prince William and Kate Middleton make it into the bingo hall

Serious Effects of Pollution on Health

All scientists are now confident that air pollution remains one of the main environmental problems in cities and that current levels of pollution are still affecting the health of urban populations.
Traffic is primarily responsible for the air pollution, caused by nitrogen oxides and suspended solid particles generated by combustion engines and other mechanical aspects of wear.
About 50% of emissions of nitrogen oxides in these urban areas are produced by cars. According to studies in several cities, traffic is also responsible for 50% of average annual levels of particulate matter.
But how does all this affect our health?
Many studies have been conducted on the effects of air pollution on our health and some scientists have reported that:
1. People living near areas with higher traffic have more respiratory symptoms, infarction and reduced life expectancy. In fact, the co-director of the Center of Environmental Epidemiology stated that “in situations of high exposure it was observed that deaths have increased by 11%”.
2. The frequency of children who have symptoms of bronchitis is higher among those living near busy urban roads compared to those living in low-traffic areas, as has been demonstrated in several European cities.
3. Among women who are pregnant living in higher traffic areas have more babies weighing less than expected.
4. Children who grow up in areas with higher traffic intensity show a slowing in the growth of lung capacity compared with children living in less polluted areas.
And if this were not enough …
There are a number of epidemiological studies showing that exposure to air pollution in the short term are associated with increased acute respiratory symptoms. These can range from irritation to death.
Children, are a particularly vulnerable segment of the population…..
The fetus and young child have a special vulnerability to environmental toxins compared with the adult, due to differences in exposure, physiologic immaturity and living longer after exposure.
Traffic is a major source of air pollution. Millions of people who are commuters, ride bikes or walk are directly exposed to these emissions. The population is also affected by secondary pollutants formed from traffic emissions. In addition, this adversely affects the health of children and adults.
The most significant effects are short-term irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, respiratory infections, and asthma attacks. The important effects on long-term health include a slower lung development in children, chronic respiratory diseases, lung cancer, heart disease and even potential damage to the brain and other organs.
The whole population is exposed to the pollution but not all the same way. Some are more sensitive than others. Young children and the elderly suffer most from the effects of air pollution as well as people with health problems.
Many examples have shown that sustained improvements in air quality lead to big health benefits. Given the dominant role of vehicles as a source of air pollution, the use of cleaner cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses will be of great benefit to public health.
Jack Clarke has been an author and content publisher for the past 15 years. He currently runs several review sites including Infant Car Seat Covers among many others.
Web publisher and author for the past 15+ years.
READ MORE - Serious Effects of Pollution on Health

Elizabeth Olsen: "Martha Marcy May Marlene" London Premiere

Arriving for a red carpet debut, Elizabeth Olsen was spotted at the screening of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” in London, England on Friday (October 21).
The younger sister to infamous twins Mary-Kate and Ashley looked stunning in a floor-length ruffled frock and heels as she happily smiled for the cameras before heading inside for the 55th BFI London Film Festival.
As a super mature 22-year-old, Olsen recently opened up about what it was like being at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“There were six young women that got a lot of great attention at Sundance. Which is really cool,” she sai. “There’s this thing when people are amazed when young women are making choices that are substantial. It shouldn’t be that weird.”
“Martha Marcy May Marlene” opens in theaters today (October 21).
READ MORE - Elizabeth Olsen: "Martha Marcy May Marlene" London Premiere

The Miracle of Oil From Sand

Standing on the edge of the immense and spectacular pit of an oil sands mine for the first time, I was surprised by a sense of exhilaration. Later, seven stories up, equipped with earplugs and clad in bright blue overalls, I marveled at the cascades of black bitumen froth bubbling over the sides of a separation cell like a giant witch’s cauldron. The scale of the enterprise and the sheer ingenuity involved in wresting value and sustenance from the hands of a stingy Mother Nature provoked in me a feeling close to glory. Yet as I stood at the edge of the mine, I understood that lots of people viewing the same sight would be horrified by it—and outraged by my enthusiasm for it. They would, instead, see the pit as a deep wound in the earth, amounting almost to a desecration.
Can I explain myself to those who see mining oil sands as a moral offense? I plead humanism. Modern capitalism and the technology it engenders has lifted a significant proportion of humanity out of our natural state of abject poverty for the first time in history. Even now, depending on the cycles of nature to renew supplies of fuel (in the form of wood and manure) means poverty, disease, and early death for millions.
So how did I happen to be standing at the edge of the Millennium oil sands mine in Alberta, Canada, this summer? I was on a propaganda trip with other journalists and bloggers paid for by the American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil and natural gas lobby in Washington, D.C.
The goal of the trip was to sell us on the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport synthetic oil produced from Canadian oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. When completed, the pipeline could transport 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. Environmentalist groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) not only oppose the oil sands production because of the greenhouse gas emissions, but also assert “the oil industry is transforming one of the world’s last remaining intact ecosystems into America’s gas tank.”
A 2010 well-to-wheels study by the consultancy IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates calculated that with regard to greenhouse gas emissions, the “average oil sands import is about 6 percent higher than that of the average crude oil consumed in the United States.” A 2010 report from the Royal Society of Canada notes that other studies have found that producing oil from oil sands results in greenhouse gas emissions that average 10 to 20 percent higher than conventional oil. Oil sands emissions currently account for 6.5 percent of Canada’s emissions and 0.15 percent of global emissions. However, recent reports suggest that these emissions will triple by 2020. This is something to take into account when considering trade-offs between energy security and climate change.
The pipeline would almost certainly be a major economic boon, however. Studies project the creation of as many as 600,000 jobs and a $775 billion boost to the U.S. gross national product by 2035 as a result of importing Canadian oil.
The Keystone XL project has already been delayed for three years. The U.S. State Department now says that a final decision will be reached on the pipeline by the end of the year. TransCanada Pipeline Vice President Robert Jones declared that the pipeline is “shovel ready” and construction would involve hiring as many as 10,000 Americans immediately, with up to 34,000 by 2014. Alberta’s Minister of Energy Ronald Liepert, who was present on my tour, dryly commented that in June Alberta (population 3.7 million) created 22,000 new jobs, compared to just 18,000 for the entire U.S.

The NRDC and other environmental lobbyists are right that mining oil sands does mean ripping up some boreal forest. Let’s put that in context: Canada’s boreal forest covers 2.2 million square miles, an area that is about 60 percent of the size of the entire United States. So far oil sands production has disturbed about 410 square miles of that territory. For comparison, the Chicago metropolitan area covers about 10,000 square miles.
Only 20 percent of Alberta’s oil sands are shallow enough to mine, which means that the other 80 percent must be recovered by other technologies. Just 50 miles from the open Millennium oil sands pit is another facility, this one a joint project of Conoco-Phillips and Total, which extracts oil using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Horizontal drilling creates two parallel wells, one on top of the other exactly three meters apart. The well pairs can extend to about a kilometer. Once completed, operators inject high-pressure 500 degree Fahrenheit steam produced by four enormous natural gas-fired steam generators into the top wells. This melts the bitumen causing a mixture of bitumen and water to drain into the bottom pipe from which it is then pumped to the plant. The SAGD process recovers about 60 percent of the resource in the ground.
Thanks to horizontal drilling, the wells occupy about 13 acres and drain bitumen from the surrounding 250 acres. The wells will operate for between and 8 and 15 years. The facility I visited currently produces 23,000 barrels of bitumen per day, but ConocoPhillips plans to up that production to 136,000 barrels by 2015. The company estimates that it could produce as much as 500,000 barrels per day by 2040.
In contrast with the magnificent roiling mine, the SAGD facility was clean and orderly, almost shockingly so—not even stray bits of paper or oil smudges anywhere. Asked about the lack of visible oil, a clearly proud ConocoPhillips employee responded that seeing oil would mean that something is wrong; it’s supposed to stay in the tanks and the pipelines.
The footprint of SAGD operations typically occupies only 5 percent of the land from which oil is being recovered, leaving most of the forests undisturbed. Perhaps for this reason, anti–oil sands activists who eagerly highlight photos of vast oil sands mining pits like the one I found so striking don’t tend to show photos of SAGD facilities. The tidy, compact facilities are unlikely to provoke the horror—or the exultation—inspired by the open mine pits.
READ MORE - The Miracle of Oil From Sand